Culture suggests art; and the Chinese are renowned world-wide for an artistic tradition that goes back thousands of years, and is still expressed today with that fine touch of delicacy and beauty so often lacking in modern western art. I was reminded of this just yesterday when looking once again at one of those marvellous representations of Our Lady, Queen and Empress of China. What taste, I thought, the artist has!; what sense of beauty and tenderness!; just to look at that work of art raises one's heart to God.
"Why can't a woman be more like a man?", complained Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady". Today he wouldn't be let get away with the remark without some people (not necessarily feminists) retorting: "and why can't a man be more like a woman?" Others might not only reject both complaints, but even question the importance of a man having to be like a man or a woman having to be like a woman. Indeed, if asked, they might be hard put to say what being a man or being a woman properly means, apart from elementary bodily differences. We live in fact in an historical period when sexual differentiation is becoming confused, sexual character is of little value, and sexual identity is in danger of being lost.
Lecture Washington, D.C., Dec. 2004 (published in Position Papers, Dublin, July 2005, pp. 209-214)
[The following is extracted from the "In Iure Section" (i.e. the legal considerations) of a sentence of July 9, 1998, regarding the nullity of marriage, handed down by the Roman Rota. The rotal "Turnus" or panel of judges deciding the case was presided over by Msgr. Burke, who also wrote the decision.]