- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2015

A newly released Vatican document condemned elective plastic surgery for women, comparing it to “a burqa made of flesh” and denouncing it as a rejection of individual identity.

The document, prepared by female consultants for the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, a Catholic religious body that explores issues in contemporary culture, calls plastic surgery “one of the many manipulations of the body that explore its limits with respect to the concept of identity,” The Crux reported Thursday.

“Plastic surgery that is not medico-therapeutic can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body in as much as it if a refusal of the ‘season’ that is being lived out,” the document reads. “If the body is the place of the truth of the feminine self, in the indispensable mixture of culture and biology, it is also the place of the ‘betrayal’ of this truth.”

The text suggests that women who elect to have plastic surgery often spiral into other negative “pathologies” such as eating disorders, depression and dysmorphic disorders.

The authors also address the depiction of women in mass media and denounced the “sexual allusion and debasement of its role” in advertising and communications.

The document, titled “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference,” was prepared in advance of Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, to be held Feb. 4-7 in Rome, according to Crux.

“No political or social battle has been able to do without a mechanism so profoundly rooted as that of the exploitation of the female body for commercial benefit,” the document reads, according to Crux.

The authors tackled a number of other issues plaguing women in the Catholic Church, including infanticide, rape, abortion, forced marriage and trafficking. They called for a reexamination of women’s role in the church and how women function and worship in the contemporary world.

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