Woman & Man: Complementarity as Mission

Why are we created male and female?

How do we account for differences in light of their obvious equality?

In what ways do men and women contribute particular gifts to the tasks of human living?

Definition of Complementarity:

“Man and woman are created absolutely equal and are both equally human and possessed of intellect, will and freedom. That they are different is reflected in the fact that they also possess distinctly masculine and feminine natural capacities and orientations. In general, these two orientations complement each other and insure the survival and flourishing of families, cultures, and civilizations.”

– Dr. Deborah Savage, Director of the Siena Symposium and Professor of Philosophy and Theology, The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity

“It refers to situations where one of two things adds to, completes or fulfills a lack in the other. But complementarity is much more than that…Christians find its deepest meaning in the first Letter to the Corinthians where Saint Paul tells us that the Spirit has endowed each of us with different gifts so that-just as the human body’s members work together for the good of the whole-everyone’s gifts can work together for the benefit of each.”

“To reflect upon ‘complementarity’ is nothing less than to ponder the dynamic harmonies at the heart of all Creation…All complementarities were made by our Creator, so the Author of harmony achieves this harmony.”

– Pope Francis