"Once a pope trashes you, it's pretty much downhill from there. So once Pope Gregory the Great in 591 declared that the "sinful" woman in Luke's Gospel who anointed Jesus' feet was Mary Magdalene, a whole industry developed to discredit her...There's a zinger for everyone: sisters, nuns, married women, working women. OK, not quite everyone, just the female everyones. You know the litany: the LCWR thing, the birth control thing, the "radical feminist" thing. ..t took almost a century and a half for Pope Paul VI, in 1969, to indirectly disconnect Mary Magdalene from the slur his predecessor levied on her. We are all Magdalenes. How long will it take for the rest of us?"
[Phyllis Zagano is senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University and author of several books in Catholic studies. Her most recent books are Women & Catholicism(Palgrave-Macmillan), Women in Ministry: Emerging Questions about the Diaconate (Paulist Press) and Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future (with Gary Macy and William T. Ditewig), (Paulist Press).]