Male and Female

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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Equality of Man and Woman (369-370)

God willed that man and woman would have perfect equality as human persons. "Being man" or "being woman" is a good reality and each possesses an inalienable dignity.

God is neither man nor woman. He is pure spirit. The different perfections of man and woman (as mother, father, husband, wife) reflect God's infinite perfections.

Made for Each Other (371-373)

Man and woman were created for each other. Because man was alone, God created a "helper fit for him" (Gen 2:19-20). When God fashioned the woman, the man cried out in wonder, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Gen 2:23) acknowledging that woman shares his humanity.

God did not make man and woman incomplete, but he created them as a "helpmate" for each other. In marriage, by becoming "one flesh," they can transmit human life and cooperate with God in creating.

Although called to "subdue the earth" (Gen 1:28), man and woman must not destroy creation.

Created in Original Harmony (374-376)

Man was created in friendship with his Creator, in harmony with himself and with all creation, and in a state surpassed only by the new creation in Christ.

Our first parents, Adam and Eve, enjoyed an original "state of holiness and justice" by which they shared in divine life. While remaining in this divine intimacy, they would not suffer or die. They also possessed a personal inner harmony and a harmony with each other, and with creation. This was called "original justice."

In Control and in the Garden (377-379)

This divine gift of "mastery" was realized within man himself. He was free from the triple concupiscence that now subjects all men to sensual pleasure, to covetousness of earthly goods, and to false self-assertion. These three evils are "sensual lust, enticement for the eyes and a pretentious life" (1 Jn 2:16). In the garden, work was not yet a burden but a collaboration with God. Unfortunately, our first parents lost this entire harmony by their sin.

The Source of Evil (385)

Man rightly asks "Where does evil come from?" "I sought to know where evil comes from and there was no solution" (St. Augustine). For Augustine, the mystery was clarified only by his religious conversion. We, too, examine this question of evil with our eyes upon Christ, who alone is its conqueror.

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