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Vatican compares plastic surgery as 'burqa made of flesh'Reuters

A new Vatican document has described plastic surgery as a "burqa made of flesh".

The document, entitled Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference, warns plastic surgery threatens the core of female identity and masks greater psychological issues, such as eating disorders and depression.

The document which will be presented to Rome's Pontifical Council for Culture on in early February said surgery can "amputate" a woman's face and affect her ability to empathise.

"Plastic surgery that is not medico-therapeutic can be aggressive toward the feminine identity," It states, "showing a refusal of the body in as much as if it is a refusal of the 'season' that is being lived out.

"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."

It also addresses the objectification of women in the media slamming it as "sexual allusion and debasement of its role" in advertising and communications.

The document aims to raise awareness how women can impact the world in a unique way to men, through having their own perception of the environment and their way of solving problems.

It says women "are much more capable of tenderness and forgiveness than men. Cancelling such differences impoverishes personal experience."

It explores the issue of depravity women face across the world, who are subjected to horrors such as trafficking, genital mutilation, sexual molestation and rape, describing them as "deepest injuries inflicted daily on the soul of the world, on the bodies of women and of girls, who become silent and invisible victims".

The role of women in the Catholic Church, in which they are not allowed to be deacons, priests or bishops, is also explored despite being the first believers and witnesses in the faith.

"Women have always been a sort of silent rock of strength in the faith, to them has always been entrusted the task of educating children to life as believers," it states.

"An army of teachers, catechists, mothers and grandmothers that, however, instead of being seen as figures of the Church seem to belong to a small ancient world that is disappearing."