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2007/09/03 04:18:06 (permalink)

Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles


 
Mary Magdalene: Banned by Law

From women let no evidence be accepted,
because of the levity and temerity of their sex;
neither let slaves bear witness. –Flavius Josephus


Obviously only men fleeing the flow
of blood upon the hill are properly fit
to testify before some Thomas protests No,
not possible that the dead has sprung the pit
of rot. We women beneath the nailed hands
are light of head, fickle of heart, no court
in the land will trust our word. If banned
by law, who will say yes to our report,
the blaze cremating all our logic. No,
no one builds on shifting sand. You need
a rock, like Peter to whom he says Get,
behind me, Satan. Go! Only he will lead.

Christ sends his Magdalene to him who keeps
the keys. Go, tell the news to him who weeps.

–Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., is a monk/theologian of Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. He started writing poetry when he was 75-years-old. His latest book of poetry is Yahweh's Other Shoe (Liturgical Press).  Founder and president of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, McDonnell writes of his poetry, “I wrestle with God ‘flesh to flesh, sweat to mystery,’ and I limp away.”  This poem appeared in the March 2007 issue of The American Benedictine Review .

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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/09/03 04:39:25 (permalink)
    A young lady was waiting for her flight in a board room of a big airport.  As she would need to wait many hours, she decided to buy a book to spend her time.  She also bought a packet of cookies.  She sat down on an armchair in the VIP room of the airport to rest & read in peace.  Beside the armchair was a packet of cookies lay.  A man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine & started reading. 
     
    When she took out the first cookies, the man took one also.  She felt irritated but also said nothing.  She just thought, "What a nerve! If I was in the mood, I would punch him for daring!".  For each cookies, she took, the man took one too.  This was infuriating her but she didn't want to make a scene.  When only one cookies remain, she thought, "Ah... what this abussive man do now?"  Then, the man taking the last cookie, divided into half, giving her one half.  "Ah! That was too much!  She was much too angry now!
     
    In a huff, she took her book, her things & stormed to the boarding place.  When she sat down on her seat, she looked into her bag to get her eyeglasses, and to her surprise, the packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened!  She had forgotten that her cookies was kept in her bag.
     
    The man had divided his cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter...... while she had been very angry, thinking that she was dividing her cookies with him.
     
    And now, there was no chance to explain herself... nor to apologise.
     
    There are four things we cannot recover:
    1)       The stone.... after the throw
    2)       The word.... after it's said
    3)       The occasion .....after the loss
    4)       The time...... after it's gone
     
    Morale of this story:   Let's consider our ways
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/09/03 05:20:53 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    Today, September 3 is the anniversary of Saint Gregory the Great's accession to the papacy in 590, AD.  One of the most influential popes of all time -- now recognised as one of 32 Doctors of the Church* --



    Pope Gregory I

    aspects of his legacy include:
    • he did not use the term 'pope' but instead summed up the responsibilities of the papacy in his official appellation, as "servant of the servants of God".
    • his pontificate saw the development of the notion of private penance as parallel to institution of public penance.
    • he explicity taught a doctrine of purgatory
    • he concentrated diplomatic energies on the West where he undertook conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms
    • he worked to improve communications between the eastern and western Church
    • he implemented many liturgical reforms
    • Gregorian chant


    and perhaps most importantly to those of us concerned with women's ordination, through a famous sermon he preached in 591, he is credited with conflating three Gospel women into one person -- with one name -- Mary Magdalene!

    Mary's reputation as a prostitute, adulterous woman, and penitant sinner who annoints Jesus's feet is solidified from the pulpit of Pope Gregory the Great.  His ecclesiastical conflation is now solidified and set to last for the next 1400 years and more!

    Stay tuned--

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~

    *for more about Doctors of the Church, see our dialogue thread Holy Women at this post: RE: Holy Women Through the Ages
    post edited by Sophie - 2007/09/03 15:38:27
    Sophie
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/09/03 05:31:22 (permalink)
    From our www.womenpriests.org Team member, Sister Theresia Saers, expert on the Magdalen:



    The Gospels mention three women who played a role in Jesus’ life:
    • Mary of Magdala, who was a disciple of Jesus, who was present at the crucifixion and who visited the empty tomb.
    • Mary who lived in Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha. She listened to Jesus’ teaching and anointed his feet with ointment two days before his Passion.
    • the repentant woman in Simon’s house (Lk 7,36-50).

    Authors are divided on the question whether these women were, in fact, identical, with different strands of oral tradition retaining various aspects of the same woman disciple.

    But Christian imagination took a firm line. In the course of time, perhaps under influence of Gregory the Great’s writings, the two Marys and the repentant woman were assumed to be one and the same person: St. Mary Magdalen. In later tradition, the three personalities simply became one.

    Read the Gospel texts for yourself.
     
    and a discussion of the identity question in One Mary, Two or Three?
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/09/03 05:57:37 (permalink)
    The moment arrived on an autumn Sunday in the year 591, in a sermon preached at the heart of the Catholic Church. Taking the pulpit at the Basilica San Clemente in Rome, Pope Gregory the Great offered a startling conclusion about the Magdalene: she had been a whore. Before she came to Christ, Gregory explained, Mary's sins were manifold: she had "coveted with Earthly eyes" and "displayed her hair to set off her face." Most scandalously, she had "used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts." Looking out at his audience, a somber mass of monks, Gregory gave Mary a new identity that would shape her image for fourteen hundred years. "It is clear, brothers," he declared: she was a prostitute.

    But it was not clear at all. Gregory's remarkable assertion was based on the idea that Mary was the unnamed "sinful woman" who anoints Jesus' feet in the seventh chapter of Luke—a conflation many contemporary scholars dismiss. Even if she were the sinful woman, there is no evidence in any Gospels that her sins were those of the flesh—in the first century, a woman could be considered "sinful" for talking to men other than her husband or going to the marketplace alone. Gregory created the prostitute, as if from thin air.

    The pope made his new Mary a reformed whore because he knew that the faithful needed a story of penance that was at once alluring and inspiring. The early Middle Ages were a time of tremendous social tumult—war and disease roiled nations and sent destitute women into the streets.
     
    Gregory's church needed a character from Jesus' circle who provided an answer to this misery, who proved that the path of Christ was an escape from the pressures of the sinful world. The mysterious Magdalene of the Resurrection story was peripheral enough to be reinvented. Finally, the church fathers were able to put the inconvenient woman to good use.

    Christendom eagerly embraced its new saintly sinner. A Magdalene cult spread throughout Europe, from England where Mary was made the patron saint of lepers, to Florence where prostitutes and young men ran a race on her feast day. In Germany, the Penitent Sisters of the Blessed Magdalene took the lead in reforming wayward women; in Spain young men on stilts danced with Mary's icon in the streets.


    Web Gallery of Art
    'The Life of the Virgin,' a 15th century painting,
    depicts Mary Magdalene, right, weeping below Jesus' bound body
     
     
    - excerpt from:An Inconvenient Woman
    by Jonathon Darman
    Newsweek
    May 29, 2006
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12893635/site/newsweek/
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/16 04:27:49 (permalink)
    Women celebrate Mary of Magdala
    By Frank Flegel
    The Prairie Messenger
    October 10, 2007

    REGINA, Saskatchewan — It took a couple of years but a group of eight Regina women calling themselves the Sophia Sisters arranged a prayer service with inclusive language and chose to celebrate Mary of Magdala, often described as the Apostle to the Apostles. They gathered Sept. 30 in Campion College’s chapel at the University of Regina.

    “We began about two years ago,” said Jennifer Banga, one of the organizers, “meeting once a month for a potluck supper and a time of prayer. In our discussions we were desiring a form of prayer that spoke more to women and that used inclusive language.”

    The group decided that Mary of Magdala was a good biblical person on which to focus. “She is recognized in church documents as the Apostle to the Apostles and has been for centuries, but that hasn’t always been what she is most well known for,” said Banga.

    Many people feel that Pope Gregory the Great (540-604).was wrong in identifying Mary of Magdala as a prostitute. “She was the woman who was cured of her demons, but she was not a prostitute,” said Banga, adding that biblical scholars are now acknowledging that she was not the prostitute she was reputed to be.

    Banga said the group wanted to celebrate their faith and celebrate women’s voices of faith. “God speaks to us as well,” she said.

    The group took the name Sophia from the Book of Wisdom. “We are women of faith in the Catholic Church who are struggling a bit, wanting to have a different experience of prayer. We’re all women of deep faith but we were yearning for something that spoke more to us as women, that uses more inclusive language, that uses feminine images of God.” Women in Scripture are often not highlighted in the lectionary, she said.

    Banga said the Sept. 30 celebration was a “reaching out,” but they’re not sure where it will go. She suggested there may be other women who want to gather in small groups; if one group gets too large, it’s difficult to gather in someone’s home.

    Banga said she was surprised and happy at the number of people who showed up, including a few men. The prayer service included a reading from the Gospel of John which describes the resurrection and Mary Magdala’s role in it. There were also songs and prayers composed by women and community prayers that spoke about Mary Magdala and other women in the early church.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/27 00:38:18 (permalink)
    "It is curious that a woman, Mary Of Bethany, should perform the anointing of the Messiah rather than the woman who was far more prominent in the circle of disciples: Mary Magdalene.  Unless, of course, the two were the same--unless Mary of Bethany was, in fact, Mary Magdalene. "
     
     "A very interesting and persuasive perspective  was published by Margaret Starbird in her 1993 work The Woman With The Alabaster Jar.  The anointment of Jesus fits in with the acclamation of the Old Testament prophesies of the Jewish meshiha, Messiah, whose coming had been foretold.  Starbird suggests that we can find the origins of Mary Magdalene in one of these prophesies.  She points to the Old Testament prophet
     
    Micah (4:8) " And you, Tower of the Flock, Ophel of the daughters of Zion, to you shall be given back your former sovereignity, and royal power over the House of Israel."
     
      The phrase "Tower of the Flock' means a high place from which the shepherd might watch over the flock.  According to official Vatican translation , it refers to Jerusalem.  "The Flock" refers to the faithful of God.  The addition of the reference to "Ophel" reinforces this explanation, since Ophel was Jerusalem district where the king had his residence.  As the Jerusalem Bible also explains "Tower of the Flock" is Migdal-eder in Hebrew,  Migdel means "tower" and it carries the meaning of "Great".  Starbird suggests, very plausibly, that here we have the origins of the epithet "The Magdalene", rather than a possible town called Magdala.  In other words, if this explanation is correct, Mary of Bethany, "the Magdalene", the wife of the messiah, was known as "Mary The Great".   from the book, The Jesus Papers, 2006.
     
      Bishop Spong also writes that Migdel-eder means "Tower" "Great"  as well and is the title given to Jesus's wife, Apostle Mary Bethany/Magdalene.  book Sins Of Scripture
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/27 00:52:09 (permalink)
      By the way, it is recorded that 2 women anoint Jesus, one a "woman of the city" in Matthew and the other, Mary of Bethany, in John's Gospel (12:3) where no one protests that she anoints Jesus.  A royal or priestly annointing  perhaps of the Messiah by a woman, with no one resisting it in this account in John---his wife, his royal wife from the house of Aaron as Jesus is from the royal house of David.  Is that what John records?  A prophesy about the Messaih completed prior to crucifixion, from Micah, 4:8.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/27 00:57:58 (permalink)
     If Jesus did spend most of his childhood and youth in Egypt he would have been influenced by more feminine aspects of spirituality as Egypt did venerate the feminine  and masculine aspects of God.  Marvin Meyer and Willis Barnstone have a text of a woman prophet from Egypt which is very ancient (prior to Christianity) and many sentences and phrases are the same as what Jesus proclaims in the New Testment.  This is very interesting to see.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/27 20:10:51 (permalink)
    "In the beginning, according to the ancient Egyptians, everything was perfect.  Any fall from this state of eternal harmony, called Ma'at, was due to mankind's imperfections, and the greatest of these human imperfections were those caused by greed."   Did Jesus travel to Egypt as a child, Matthew writes he did  and prophet Hosea 11:1 says Child of Israel will come out of Egypt.
     
     The symbol of Ma'at is feminine and the qualities of Justice and Truth and Mercy are most significant, with the feather used to measure the honesty of the heart.  Hildegard of Bingen often used this image of the feather of truth--crusaders and pigrims returning with Egyptian texts?  Jesus saw primacy of Justice and Truth and Mercy and the value of the feminine.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/27 20:47:15 (permalink)
      The riddle of Mary Magdalene   After the Resurrection what became of Mary Magdalene?  Did she accompany Philip to preach to Greece, or go to Egypt or as some say France?  Her importance I think has been supressed and the finding of the Gospel of Mary suggests that she did have a major leadership position in the early church, though it was jealously resisted by Peter (and still is!). Here follows a quote from the book The Jesus Papers, 2006 :
       Matthew's Gospel refers to Jesus coming as a child from Egypt and "for the Egyptian Coptic Church, which separated from Rome in 451 following the Council of Chalcedon, it is a matter of considerable importance whether the Holy Family spent most of the childhood, youth and early adulthood of Jesus in Egypt.  There were Jewish communities in Egypt , including Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher who tries to draw together Platonic and Jewish philosophy, taking a mystical approach to Jewish thought and religion.  He tended to side with those Jewish religious groups of a mystical even esoteric nature, Jewish equivalents of the Greek philosophical traditions Philo admired most, such as Platonists and the Pythagoreans."
       "For almost a thousand years the Egyptian Coptic church has maintained a legend about the journey of the Holy Family into Egypt, all the sites they visited or resided at, and all the miracles that accopanied the presence of Jesus.  Called  "The Vision of Theophilus" who  was patriarch of Alexandria and leader of the Egyptian church from A.D. 385 to 412.  It may contain some elements of a real journey and a real residence of Jesus in Egypt.. "   The Jesus Papers, 2006 
       Due to competition for relics and pilgrimage trade, the different locations of the  Catholic church would at various times condemn each other as schismatic and denounce each other's validity. 
        What became of Mary?  Mary Magdalene, the Acts of Phillip found in the 1980's in a Greek monastery show she was a preacher along with Philip.  Why is this not included in our bible?  The text was found during renovation, hidden in the wall of this ancient monastery.  A Jesuit priest has this copy and I hope one day it will be entirely published.  How many books have been destroyed, gone missing or burnt along the centuries.  I think the silence that surrounds the ministry of Mary Magdalene is deafening in that I suspect there is more to her story and her role in the church than we are being allowed to know.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/10/27 21:04:59 (permalink)
      The Goddess Ma'at is depicted in a crypt in the temple of Hathor, Denderah, Egypt.  Ma'at is defined as the state of harmony, balance, mercy, truth, justice and completion that linked the physical world, the kingdom of the earth, with the divine world, the kingdom of heaven.  She holds a feather and has a feather in her headdress.  At the moment of Jesus's baptism a dove of the Spirit of God appears.  The Egyptians considered that every person had a Ba, a spirit body depicted as a bird, that could move independently towards its divine goal, between heaven and earth.  The primacy of truth and justice and mercy is also Jesus's main teaching and his way of creating harmony and balance with people as he solved problems was often how Jesus interacted with people and situations.  He spoke of the kingdom within, the kingdom is now as well as the heavenly kingdom of God.  The high regard Jesus had for women and his way of letting women be in leadership roles as anointers, apostles, preachers, missionaries, church leaders, witnesses is quite remarkable for his time and still the pope and Vatican is not yet in line with how Jesus interacted with women in his church.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/02 06:13:32 (permalink)
      Women are vital to the ministry of Jesus.  This is certainly new 2000 years ago that Jesus of Judaic tradition has given such honor and such full partnership to women.   Jesus has made Mary Magdalene one of his closest disciples and apostles.  She anoints him as Messiah, she is visited first after his Resurrection and chosen to tell the world of his Resurrection and she is key witness of crucifixion as the men ran away and she is very loyal. 
      Virgin Mary powerfully initiates that Jesus begin his ministry and enact his first miracle at Cana wedding and will not accept his reluctance.  Virgin Mary with his brothers and sisters at her side, warns him to be careful of his safety.  Her model of motherly strength, sensible, thoughtful, powerfully assertive  speech and actions informs him to use all of his intelligence and wit and ability to achieve his minstry as long as he can on earth. 
      Many women aid Jesus and are chosen and praised by Jesus and by Paul.  This is a new reality, the equality of women, as Paul reminds us in Ephisians. 
     
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/02 12:21:43 (permalink)
      I l;ike the way you show the value of women and their big part in the church .  The idea that Blessed Virgin Mary was quiet and meek is not correct according to scripture.  The idea that women were absent from the church is not correct either.  Without the women apostles the church would not be.  Women witnessed the death on the cross of Jesus and the resurrection.  Women ran churches in their homes and were deacons and prophets and leaders of churches.  Women were preachers and missionaries too,  Women kept the church alive and spread Christianity. Now the Vatican wants to keep "using then abusing" women, by shutting women out of the roles Jesus chose for them.  "Use and Lose" the women, once the dangerous tough times of being a beginning church were over and it became safe and prestigious to lead a church , the woman were ejected from any real role and leadeship and bullied out by the men.  That is exactly what looks like what happened in the later church.  Not the way of Jesus for sure.  Women need to be brought back to being in the priest role for the health and the good and the future of the Roman Catholic church.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/02 14:51:19 (permalink)
    Thank you for the great information and beautiful illustrations about Mary Magdalene.  It is a joy to read .  It is excellent .  Mary Magdalene has not been given the credit she is really due in the church.  Thanks so much for this good work you do. 
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/05 02:08:11 (permalink)
    The testimony of Mary Magdalene and the other women of the resurrected Christ was received by the apostles as "idle tales" kjv. Kick and scream all you want but this will never change. Since the creation man and woman have been at variance. Now sit down and keep silent.
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/05 02:22:19 (permalink)
    News for ya sisters, Between the beginning of the last supper and Jesus being led away to be crucified there is no mention of any woman. Astounding ! Women were not invited to the last supper. Women were not invited to see the transfiguration. Women were not invited to pray with Jesus and keep watch during his passion in the garden of Gethsemane. I cannot stop Laughing....!!!
     
    And with regard to all the men running from Jesus but the women standing firm during his arrest. There was probably no women there to stand firm. Even if there were the scripture says "ALL" of his disciples fled. That would include female disciples......cough, gag, snort.....omg..! I am choking on my own spittle.....hahahah
     
    The men fleeing during Jesus arrest was of short duration where as John and Peter followed him into the palace of the high priest. But, no women were around to follow him into the palace.
     
    The scripture also says that most of the women disciples watch the crucifixion afar off. There was in fact at least one male disciple in the immediate vicinity of the cross. "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and he took Mary the mother of Jesus into "HIS" house.
     
    Now you know the biblical facts that you have distorted to promote your feminist agenda. And you wonder why we men will not allow you to teach.....????? It will never change. You cannot be trusted to handle the Word of God faithfully and we know it.
     
    Regards
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/05 03:33:29 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    News for ya sisters, Between the beginning of the last supper and Jesus being led away to be crucified there is no mention of any woman. Astounding ! Women were not invited to the last supper. Women were not invited to see the transfiguration. Women were not invited to pray with Jesus and keep watch during his passion in the garden of Gethsemane. I cannot stop Laughing....!!!

    And with regard to all the men running from Jesus but the women standing firm during his arrest. There was probably no women there to stand firm. Even if there were the scripture says "ALL" of his disciples fled. That would include female disciples......cough, gag, snort.....omg..! I am choking on my own spittle.....hahahah

    The men fleeing during Jesus arrest was of short duration where as John and Peter followed him into the palace of the high priest. But, no women were around to follow him into the palace.

    The scripture also says that most of the women disciples watch the crucifixion afar off. There was in fact at least one male disciple in the immediate vicinity of the cross. "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and he took Mary the mother of Jesus into "HIS" house.

    Now you know the biblical facts that you have distorted to promote your feminist agenda. And you wonder why we men will not allow you to teach.....????? It will never change. You cannot be trusted to handle the Word of God faithfully and we know it.

    Regards

     
    If you could stop laughing long enough to stop choking on your own spittle, you might be able to think clearly.
     
    Ordination of women is not some selfish agenda; it is a matter of equality and justice.
     
    Whether women were at the Last Supper cannot be proven. There is no written account. But even if they were not, this in no way excludes them from Holy Orders. By your reasoning women should not attend Mass either since they were not invited to the Last Supper.
     
    Not every apostle witnessed the transfiguration, but the gender of the three who did witness it is no justification for excluding women from the priesthood. While no woman witnessed the transfiguration, never forget that the incarnation took place within a woman. A woman was the first person to have the living Word of God within her.
     
    With respect to the Garden of Gethsemane, there is no account of women being present but there are accounts that women did stand by Jesus throughout His passion and openly displayed their support of Him along with Saint John and his mother Mary. And afterward women went to tend to Jesus’ body while the men hid in the upper room in fear.
     
    If you are a man, in your arrogance and your vulgar attempt to ridicule and upset women, you have presented a poor justification for why the Word of God should be entrusted to a man.
     
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/05 03:41:28 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest
    Now you know the biblical facts that you have distorted to promote your feminist agenda. And you wonder why we men will not allow you to teach.....????? It will never change. You cannot be trusted to handle the Word of God faithfully and we know it.
    Regards

    I'd really like to see how you would answer the "Examining Divine Precedent" argument listed under "Questions & Answers" and prove that your own line of thinking somehow miraculously doesn't lead to the conclusion that the whole of Christianity is just a "male only" rite.
     
    woman who votes with feet
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    RE: Mary, the Magdalen: Apostle to the Apostles 2007/11/05 05:32:16 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest
    And you wonder why we men will not allow you to teach.....????? It will never change. You cannot be trusted to handle the Word of God faithfully and we know it.
    Regards

    "we men"?  Sorry, but you'll have to comport yourself with far more maturity than you have so far demonstrated in order to convince anyone you're beyond pubescence.
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