The monthly prayer intentions of the Holy Father are a means by which all the faithful can join together to lift up particular needs in collegiate fashion. They are all-encompassing and remind us of the vast needs of the Mystical Body of Christ. The general intention for the month of April is as follows:
That the individual, social and political rights of women may be respected in every nation.
How very wonderful. We join whole-heartedly in this prayer for the universal needs of women and appreciate his brotherly affection and concern.
Given that his monthly missionary intention is specific enough to pray for the Church in China, we can see that he is pin-pointing particular challenges to the faithful that are not only contemporary but urgent. In this wise, it is entirely possible that his concern for women takes into account the particular difficulties that Islam proposes, given its restrictions on women in all the areas mentioned above. In fact we would name Islam as one of the two gravest threats to women's legitimate freedoms, along with the sexual utilitarian heresy which has gripped the West, reducing women to objects and inhibiting their ability to be appreciated as integral beings fundamentally equal to men.
Whatever his "intentions behind the intentions," we appreciate this month's focus and will pray sincerely for God's will to be manifest in the lives of all women.