According to Epiphanius of Salamis ( d. 403), who condemned them, the Kollyridians were a group of women priests "who worshipped the Virgin Mary and allowed women to serve as priests."
Sounds like a rather interesting group of women priests who really irritated the hierarchy sort of like some of us today!
I can just hear some prelate muttering under his breath, "holy Mary Mother of God, give me patience! What will they come up with next?"
I see Mary, Mother of Jesus, as my Sister, a prophetic companion on our journey to the full equality of women in the church!
Many priests in the institutional church affirm Mary as priest, because she is the first who could say "this is my body, this is my blood."
In my books on feminine images of God, I reflect on Mary as a visible symbol of a powerful image of the Feminine Presence of God in our midst. (Delighting in the Feminine Divine and Heart Talks with Mother God.)
For millions of Catholics throughout the ages, Mary has filled the need for the nurturing experience of a mothering God. Throughout medieval times God appeared as harsh judge, Mary as compassionate mother. So , Catholics sought refuges for the absence of a maternal God in the arms of Mother Mary.
Now, in our times, we are reclaiming her as our sister and friend, walking with us, guiding us on the journey to living and loving in the heart of our God.
Catholics have once again claimed Mary as Jewish mother who is truly our sister. Read Elizabeth Johnson's book, Always Our Sister.)
How about you? How do you see Mary, and does she have a role in your life?
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
In Quest of the Jewish Mary by Mary Christine Athans BVM, 2013, New York, Orbis, p. 24.)
Irish Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery said on his website: “We are told that Jesus had four brothers, and an indefinite number of sisters. This does not fit with the church’s need to present Jesus as the Son of God, conceived in a way that is different from other humans, and Mary as the perpetual virgin. So the scholars turned the brothers and sisters into cousins!”