'Women's Cry,' a photo exhibit, opens in St. Peter's Square
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Nestled in the arms of Bernini's colonnade around St. Peter's Square, 26 photos of women and girls make up an art exhibit meant to open people's eyes and hearts to the suffering and resilience of women.
Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Raffaella Petrini, secretary-general of the office governing Vatican City State, and María Lía Zervino, president of World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, were joined by Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, in opening the exhibit May 2 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The exhibit, "Women's Cry," will be open through May 28.
"It could be said that Jesus had a certain fondness for women, not only for his mother, but also for the Samaritan woman, the sinner, the widow of Naim, Mary Magdalene," Zervino told reporters.
"So how is it that so many women in the world today experience that the church does not love them, does not stand with them as Jesus did?" she asked, pointing to surveys and responses that came out of the listening sessions for the Synod of Bishops.
The exhibit in St. Peter's Square, she said, "is a sign of how the church today wants to embrace all women in the world, believers and non-believers alike, and give them visibility, to transform, to improve their lives and that of their families and people."
Working in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Yemen, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, Togo and Vietnam, eight photographers captured images that "take us to a world of strong and fragile women, carrying enormous burdens, but telling us about beauty," said Lia Beltrami, creator and director of the exhibit.
"Art," she said, "is even more beautiful when it has a social impact, when it creates emotions that generate change," and that is what she hopes the exhibit will do for the tens of thousands of people who visit St. Peter's Square each day.