Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.

Degree Name

Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD)


Julie H. Rubio


2022 marks the tenth anniversary since the Philippine Reproductive Health Law was passed. Even as the Catholic bishops opposed the law, the surrounding debates raised questions on reproductive rights, especially for women. The Church’s teachings on sexuality and reproduction are based on the goods of marriage, albeit with a physicalist framing. While these teachings disenfranchise women, recent popes, including Pope Francis, recognize their giftedness and inherent genius. This dissertation proposes how the genius of women, a concept affirmed by Catholic teaching, can become a paradigm of conversation on women’s rights, including matters related to reproduction. Given the complexity of the subject, Kimberle Crenshaw’s intersectionality is used as the analytical tool for describing Filipina women’s situation today. Then, in the tradition of Louis Janssen, a personalist reading appraises the genius of women as a paradigm for dialogue between women and the Church’s leadership. From these methodologies, the genius paradigm can reframe the conversation about reproductive rights by shifting the emphasis from magisterial teachings on sexuality to fostering the formation of consciences. Furthermore, the genius paradigm allows for an open dialogue on sexuality and birth control and promotes women’s contribution to the Church and the common good.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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