It is always amazing to me how outdated un-truths remain in the global consciousness, where people continue to believe and defend them as “facts”. One example that comes to mind is the myth of Mary Magdalene. Ask many Catholics and non-Catholics today who is Mary Magdalene and they will tell you that she was a prostitute who Jesus forgave, yet this is completely untrue.
In the 6th Century, Pope Gregory lumped together the stories of three women including the story of a prostitute and declared that this was the story of Mary Magdalene in order to make his point in a sermon. This lie became a “fact” endorsed by the Catholic Church for centuries, until 1969 when the Catholic Church officially stated that this information was not true and that Mary Magdalene has been misrepresented for centuries. Reportedly under pressure to reveal the truth about Mary Magdalene, they shared that what is actually stated about Mary Magdalene in scripture is that she was present at the empty tomb of Jesus and the person who witnessed the resurrection. This has always been problematic for the Church, which endeavors to downplay the role of women, while also having to acknowledge that the only person who witnessed the resurrection of Christ was a woman.
Many scholars believe that Mary’s presence was a sign of a spiritual movement that was working to establish women as equals in spiritual roles. This challenged patriarchal control and as was the custom during previous centuries until today, it was easy to discount the role and power of women by condemning them as prostitutes and dismissing them. In the 20th Century, the truth was revealed about Mary Magdalene by the Church, yet here now in the 21st Century, ask yourself, which story is still most stated as fact about Mary Magdalene?
With this in mind, do you wonder if the Divine Feminine is really manifesting and making evolutionary and revolutionary changes at this time? Will we see a change in religion, dogma, and spirituality in regards to the treatment of women?
In the ancient wisdom teachings, it is said that change comes first from within and then ripples outward. It is described as… “As Within, So Without”. Can the changes come from within the churches themselves for women?
Consider this modern day story, which has all the makings of becoming an important marker in history… American Nuns are currently challenging the Catholic Church with its medieval patriarchal dominated rules. The “Sisters” are doing it for themselves, rising up and saying that women deserve equal standing in the Church, which has caused an vehement reaction from the Vatican.
A CBS 60 Minutes segment recently interviewed these Nuns to see what they are doing and why it is angering the Vatican. According to the report, it is being described as … “the Vatican is creating a new Inquisition”. It is indeed the same office targeting these women that once ran the Inquisition, only this time the target is against women who dare to stand up against the Church.
The Vatican has called the situation a “crisis” and has accused the Sisters of “insubordination, undermining the Church and radical feminist themes” and has refused to even discuss the idea of women playing a more equal and prominent role in the Catholic Church.
Women around the world are supporting these Sisters as they fight for women to be respected and acknowledged in the Church. One of the most popular support groups is Nuns on a Bus. NETWORK’s first Nuns on the Bus tour traveled in the summer of 2012 through nine states to highlight the work of Catholic Sisters. Since that initial tour, there have been many others, visiting states from Colorado to New York – and even including a “Nuns on the Ferry” trip on the Staten Island Ferry.
The Vatican has singled this group out and assigned an American arch-bishop to crack down on them. Will Pope Francis handle this situation differently? It remains to be seen. Two years ago, in a Church riddled with controversy over priests and pedophellia, the Vatican put out a directive that said that the worst crimes that can be committed are pedophellia and…. are you ready for this…. ordaining women! It is shocking to think that those two things could be compared and criminalized in the same sentence and very telling as to why people are leaving Churches in droves and not looking back.
From Mary Magdalene to Joan of Arc, from the torture and killing of thousands of wise women during the Inquisition to the treatment of the daughters of Fatima, the castigation of women must be stopped.
The role of The Divine Feminine energy grows stronger each day and these antiquated and Misogynist views of women will no longer be accepted. I have the greatest respect and admiration for these Nuns who are working from the inside out to change how women are viewed and respected and hope that it inspires women from all walks of life and religions to do the same in their communities.
The interview with the Catholic Nuns on CBS 60 Minutes can be watched here on CBS.