Why did the Church make Mary Magdalene a whore?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I looked up every single refrence to mary magdalene in the bible and not once is she mentioned as being a whore. From what i read i actually belive that she was a diciple of jesus, it says she was a follower of jesus, jesus appeared to her when he first rose and she was there when he died when the men were afraid and fled.
Understandably many people will probably disagree with me on this but i felt it had to be adressed. I actually feel a great guilt that all my life i have believed her to be a prostitute, an adultress, a sinner and now i feel that i have been judgemental and cruel towards god himself.
The church has, in the past always seemed to stick women into two catorgories the "sinful eve" or the "pure mary" i guess where mary magdalene was concerned and the fact that she could of even been seen as a diciple of jesus it was easy to put her into the sinful catorgory. If the church was the recognize that mary magdalene was a diciple then the teaching of "only male priests because only male diciples" (yes i know it is only part of the reason) could be seen as wrong. what does everyone else know about the topic?
-- alice (email@example.com), October 10, 2003
Look that's stupid. The only reason you and everyone else knows anything about Mary Magdalen is because the Catholic Church declares her to be A SAINT - and honors her relics and name.
We remember St Matthew as "the tax collector" and St Paul as "once a persecutor of Christians" - but their past is behind them.
You're also wrong that the Church has divided women into only two categories, sinners and virgins. Not so, as can be seen by all the saints and martyrs honored through the centuries who were mothers and widows too.
PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY - just because some book of FICTION creates new myths about the Catholic Church doesn't mean the Catholic Church and Catholics throughout the ages have behaved as the anti-Catholic author claims us to have behaved!
The Acts of the Apostles and Gospels and Epistles all point to women who did wonderful things for the Gospel - giving them honor and praise as holy women. But some people are never satisfied. They want to be declared gods - and if they're not, they cry foul.
I'd like to see any other religion or church's track record with women! Name one famous woman from the cult of Mithras or Isis (which both had priestesses!) Name one famous woman from the Greco-Roman or Celtic religions! Name one famous woman from the Aztec or African or Asian religions!
Only Judaeism and Catholic Christianity records the names and stories of great women and honors their memory and contribution.
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2003.
There is no teaching about "only male disciples". We know for a fact that all of the Apostles, personally chosen by Jesus, were men. And there is no record to suggest that Jesus ordained anyone other than the Apostles as priests. Therefore the priesthood is reserved to men. However, the followers (disciples) of Jesus were certainly not all men, and Mary Magdalene appears to have been one of them.
She may or may not have been a prostitute before becoming a follower of Jesus. Many people have been notorious public sinners before their conversion. It is not an official teaching of the Church that she had been a prostitute. The tradition to that effect is the result of identifying Mary Magdalene as the woman who anointed Jesus' feet, washed them with her tears, and dried them with her hair, as recorded in Luke 7. The onlookers on that occasion indicated that the woman in question was a "woman of ill repute". "Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." (Luke 7:39) However, John 11:2 indicates that Mary Magdalene was not the woman who annointed Jesus on that occasion. In any case, the woman who had been a prostitute did indeed become a follower of Jesus.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 10, 2003.
Alice, Paul's answer is the best I have seen.
There is this confusion about Mary the sister of Martha being Mary Magdalene, and Mary Magdalene being the woman who anointed Jesus head, and perfumed his feet since Mary, Martha's sister anointed Jesus.
Ch. 16 of Romans and The Acts of the apostles mention women who were prominent in thenChurch like Lidia and Junias.
Joe, this is for you. Just because there are no famous "priesteses" mentioned from other female dominated religions doesn't mean they were not famous. Remember that history is written by the victors.
Example1: have you heard of Hypatia, a famous woman mathematician? She was executed by the Church around 400 AD for being a pagan. No more women were famous for being academecians and independant. It wasn't until the late 1800s that women began to go to the university.
Example 2: Have you heard about Pedro Valdo? He founded the Waldensian Church after the Church prohibited him from preaching. This was around 1180 AD. By 1215 the famous "Saint" Dominic Guzman led a crusade to kill not only the cathars, but the Waldenses. So many records were lost that up until this time we don't know if Valdo's name was really Peter. Yet, the Waldenses have survived until our days despite all crusades against them, even in the heart of The Pope's domain: Italy ( since until 1871 the Piope ruled most of Italy, the famous Papal states).
-- Elpidio Gonzalez (email@example.com), October 10, 2003.
Can you show proof that Hypatia was ''executed by the Church''--? According to my Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Hypatia was beaten to death in a riot. The cause of this riot was supposedly a reaction against her teachings of pagan philosophy.
You blame the Church for the actions of a mob. If I said the killing of Davy Crockett at the battle of the Alamo was the work of fanatical Catholics, would you agree? You likely would; since you have much more proof of that than for the Church's execution of Hypatia.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2003.
David crockett died because he was a mercenary on land belonging to Mexico. He didn't die because he was a Protestant but an invader.
Alexandria wa the domain of "Saint" Athanasius who died around the 370s and his followers. he was famous for killing his adversaries through the use of riots. The only reason he is a saint is because he is the mastermind behind the Nicene creed, with its trinitarian tendencies. He used to beat up his oponents and kill his archenemies. That is why Arrius had to flee Alexandia. The rerst is history.
-- Elpidio gonzalez (email@example.com), October 10, 2003.
You make Davy Crockett out to be a swine, all right.
Hypatia is who we're talking about. Who told you the Church executed her? The odds and ends you made up about the bishop are nothing we can ascertain. Since the ''victors'' write history you say. Too bad.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2003.
WILL YOU PEOPLE STOP POSTIGN SUCH GOOD ANSWERS AND LET ME POST FOOD ONES INSTEAD OF " Yeah, I agree."!!! ( No seriously this shows peopel who actually study and learn.which is god these days.)
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), October 10, 2003.
Is this one of your pupils, Elpidius? Could be. Lol!!!
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), October 10, 2003.
Just to make sure everyone understands when i said the church classifies women in two catorgories "sinful eve" or "virgin mary" i didnt mean virgin literally i mean pure, kind, gentle and all those annoying other "proper" female attributes.
There is no way to deny that the church was sexist because that was how the world was, yet now the world has seemed to move on a little and the church has stayed the same. Im not one of those whining "ooh the curch is out dated! women should be priests" people but still i think the sexism needs to be acknowledged.
-- alice (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2003.
Eugene? You surely could agree with the idea of "Remember Those Swines". I mean "Remember The Alamo". This is a result of the history books written by the "victors". Can you hear me, Joe?
I've also heard story about Magdalene being a woman of money. Perhaps this was the reason the Pharisees considered her a "woman of ill repute"? If this is true, I wonder if her money had any role in the Apostle's commissions, surely not. Either way, her reputation becomes a moot issue; her faith is the focal point.
-- rod (email@example.com), October 11, 2003.
So, "annoying...proper female attributes" is your take on women? I love sexism. It defines our roles in this life. That "annoying" proper female attribute is what attracted me to my wife. I'm sure that my "annoying" proper masculine attributes did the same for her (gosh I sure hope so). I guess that it might be safe to say that you are not at all attracted to those female attributes the way a normal man would be. That is probably why you would make such a comment. I would probably say the same thing about men. We tend to border on big clumsy, brutish, arrogant, sexist, dominating, and "annoying" attributes......and then we have our bad sides to deal with.
Long live sexism. I like lines of demarcation.
-- rod (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2003.
You said, "all my life i have believed her to be a prostitute, an adultress, a sinner and now i feel that i have been judgemental and cruel towards god himself.....it was easy to put her into the sinful catorgory
She was a sinner as we all are. Do you deny there is sin in the world or in us humans? Are we not all guilty of the crucifixion of Our Blessed Lord?
You mentioned jesus appeared to her when he first rose but for some reason you left of the next part of the scripture verse...
Mark 16:9 But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen; out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Seven devils would have made me a fine sinner, male prostitute, alcoholic roller derby king, Adolph Hitler type, you name it.
Maybe you don't believe in the demonic? Satan is real. Do you believe that?
-- Mike H. (email@example.com), October 11, 2003.
Alice, you wrote, "i said the church classifies women in two catorgories "sinful eve" or "virgin mary"
To be sure, the Church classifies all people that way. Mary is a model for men and women alike. Ah, that all men would have the blessed meekness of Mary.
-- Skoobouy (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 12, 2003.
Would someone please explain why we need woman priests I still do not understand why people think this.
-- Steven S (email@example.com), October 13, 2003.
1 Tim 2:11-12
Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.
"The Epistles to Timothy and Titus have naturally a peculiar bearing and character, being addressed to persons deputed by the apostle to act in his name, or to care for the churches during his absence."
-- Mike H. (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 13, 2003.
What makes think Alice is one of my pupils? I doubt she knows at all.
I believe the only reason women were excluded from the priesthooh was because of their periods.
Modern women are not incovenienced by their periods those of the past were. They can stay dry now.
Jesus himself taught Mary. There is a famous saying of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas,, not in the received Bible, which states that Jesus wanted women to be the same as men. It is the last saying in this Gospel.
Rod, don't confuse sexism with gender differentiation.
When I was a child they used to say women were not good for many occupations. Now I know they can compete with men in 90% of jobs. Only ones I have seen men dominate are mostly in manual labor: construction, plumbing, electricity, ...
Sexism implies that women cannot do most jobs, and if they can, they don't get equal pay for equal labor.
-- Elpidio Gonzalez (email@example.com), October 13, 2003.
The Gnostics of that time considered women equals to men and allowed them the be very important figures in their "church". Women were allowed to be high priesteses(sp?). Considering the Scriptures and the social climate of the times, I would imagine that the Church made a conscience and logical decision to put women in there places.
I don't believe that men can do what women can do in the entire scheme of things. Women cannot do equally what men can do. I think society has this misconception that men and women are equal. They even believe that men and men are equal. Sure, society can provide a false perception that the work place or playing field is equal. I can't conform or even imagine such a thing as true equality between men and women. I'll probably get severely torched because of my comments, so I'll say this. A man is not a woman and a woman is not a man. We need each other and are meant to be as one in union. When we are man and woman--as one--we are each other's halves. This is what makes us equal. Seperately? One will dominate the other. That one is the man. I suppose "la dotrina" embedded that one in my beliefs. I need my wife and she needs me.
-- rod (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 13, 2003.
You come directly to me now. How flattering.
I'm surprised at you. I figured you for more depth than this con about women. It exposes that academic preparation of yours. I pity those students who will buy all that crap from you. Their professor.
''The only reason women were excluded from the priesthood was because of their periods.'' Good for everyday pander at the campus. You must not believe then, in God; Who calls the potential priest out of the world. He is secondary; for you it makes more sense to hire a healthy man; what does God have to do with it?
A period? An impediment to holiness? Let me ask you, Elpidio;
Did the mother of God suffer all of womens' monthly trials; before and after the birth of God's Holy Son? The more you write here, the more I'm convinced you will get to the bottom of this. Even the Virgin Mary's monthly installments! There's nothing you can't solve, is there? In your dreams.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), October 13, 2003.
I have also been taught and read about that a womans period had alot to do with the whole priest issue. In the early church and early society women were belived to be unclean also because of their periods. The idea that ties with periods that restricted women was because of their mood swings, they were seen as un stable and "out of order"
From the cannonical accounts of Jesus it can be seen that he held women in a high regard. In Pauls letters he highlights many womens names when he is speaking of the early church services and oranization etc. he mentions "chloes people" as a faction of christians. other women are mentioned in his letters for example pheobe "a deacon (diakonas) of the church in Cenchrae" This completley goes against the idea that women never held positions in the church.
I know some of you will now say - But there is also the letter in conrinthians 11: 2-16 which is to our modern beliefs sexist as it silences women and blah blah blah. Historians have strong belief that pauls letters were edited and added to later on by diciples and that the section from conrinthians 11: 7-12 was one of these additions. Paul acknowledged that women had the right to pray and prophesy publicly the letter on a whole is absolutly contradictry of his over all message.
"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not MALE and FEMALE, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3: 27-28)
-- alice (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 15, 2003.
Thanks for your comments.
Men and women have equal dignity before God. No good Catholic denies that. The two have different roles to play at least in the common scheme of things. Men and women look different on the outside, maybe that could suggest they are called to perform differently in the world? Fulfilling our roles are only the means by which we obtain our salvation, in and of themselves the role we are called to does not save. So it matters not if you are a woman and are excluded from certain activities because of it or if you are a man who is likewise excluded from certain activities because of that. We only must do whatever we are called to do; one calling does not save better or more completely than another calling. Odd and extraordinary circumstances may call men or women to unusual roles.
By the way, women get better treatment in Catholic circles than they do in many non-Catholic ones. Are you Catholic? I am guessing you are not otherwise you would not be lending credence to spurious documents allegedly written by St. Paul or to strange non-Catholic interpretations of sacred scripture.
-- Mike H. (email@example.com), October 15, 2003.
The Catholic Church doesn't "stick" women anywhere. Be careful how you generalize because you would be incorrect. Look it up for yourself if you truely want to know what the teachings of the Catholic Church are. Try the Vatican website, the Catholic Encyclopedia, or the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not only are they usually generic and non-biased, but they also lead you to more references. Relying on poor research and heresay won't get you anywhere that's good.
If you look up the meaning and connotations to the word Magdalen in the Catholic encyclopedia, there is evidence that the word Magdalen itself means adulteress. Maybe I'm not totally correct on this, but with a little research and the knowledge that Mary's reputation was proclaimed throughout the Bible by the Jewish culture as an adulteress, it is easier to understand the prejudices and labels that held on to her throughout the centeries.
Of course Mary Magdalen was a disiple of Jesus, but the difference between her and the twelve, was that she was not called out by Jesus himself as part of the twelve. For reasons that not even the Catholic Church knows, Jesus kept his "priestly" ministry to men. Our Lady was the most perfect next to Jesus, why was she not considered? The silent strength and presence of Our Lady and Mary Magdalen at the Cross speak loudly for the calibar of their character and ability to withstand public humiliation and dishonor. It doesn't make them better then the twelve who all died a martyrdom later in life, just different.
I suggest reading what we do know out of the Bible and the Catholic Catechism and then taking it to your prayer. Especially now with the internet we can read the Catechism or references to the Bible online without going to a liberary.
-- Andrea B (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2003.
the bible does not talk much about women, why ist that? women are percieved to be whores if they do something that intemidates men. why cant the people see equal in today world? and why arent they any women preists?????? i mean we can do the same work as the male preistsa can.
-- mary Jane rowley (luv_dun_luv_me@.msn.com), December 09, 2003.
the bible does not talk much about women, why is that?
actually, the bible talks quite extensively about women. HOWEVER, you have to read it to find them... in current society, the male figures are most often referenced, because they are the dominant leaders of the church, but nevertheless women have an equal, albiet different role to play.
women are percieved to be whores if they do something that intemidates men.
no, this is something that feminazis say to make men look insecure, afraid, and vengeful. women are percieved as whores if they are easy... women who intimidate men are percieved as ... intimidating.
why cant the people see equal in today world?
read the curse incured by original sin in Genisis, and you will have your answer...
and why arent they any women preists??????
because in the same way that it is not possible for a woman to 'father' a child, so can a woman not become a priest. there is, however, a female version of the priesthood, equal in everyway, but different in role, called nuns.
i mean we can do the same work as the male preistsa can.
no, women priests could not do the same work as a male priest could... you could do the same physical actions, yes, but the spiritual power behind those actions would not be present. God empowered men to do priestly duties, only men, just as He empowered women to do sisterly duties, and only women. if you are born woman, then you must fit the role of woman... equal, but different. you are the mother, NOT the father.
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), December 09, 2003.
One question that this discussion string brings up to my mind "Are we judging these ancient traditions by our current standards?". In the ancient world whether pagan or judeo-christian most cultures valued the strength of a man over women.
To the Spartans a man's duty, loyalty and respect all revolved around their military unit. Married Spartan men were expected to sneak away from their military encampments to rendevous with their wives and still be back in the morning. Not a very honorable way to treat anyone really.
So back to Christian history...The teachings of Jesus were all based in a Jewish world. One must look at the attitudes of the Jews regarding women. Their were no female rabbis. Plain and simple. Therefore no women priests would logically carry over. Is it sexist? Compared to todays standards definitely.
To spin in a different direction... Did the Church purposely remove teachings of equality and gender balance to prevent feminist ideas? Possibly. They certainly did eradicate the Goddesses(and Gods) of Pagan peoples rather efficiently(in many cases rather violently...similar to the other modern day religious terrorists). While at the same time adopting their holy days. Does that make Christianity evil? I don't think so. However ANY idea taken to an extreme becomes dangerous.
Personally I feel that the early Church instituded a good PR plan. Tho not carried out in a manner Jesus would have preferred. In the end it all comes down to faith. In any given church there are as many variations of that belief as there are people present. Educate yourself and choose for yourself.
-- S Yturralde (email@example.com), December 29, 2003.
Though we cannot rule out that periods of women could have played a part in the handling the Real Presence of Christ on the alter (not just a spiritual), here are other things too.
I believe there is wisdom why God does allow certain things to a man and only some things to women. The Bible gives a lot of insight how the mind and heart of a man and that a of woman normally works. There is a call to natural modesty in a woman (more than a man) because the way we are made. The special beauty and sexual formation in woman needs to be balanced by the God-given prudence of modesty, quietness, softness, hiddeness, purity, and submissiveness. Education and just having ablity to do many things like men does not change the foundational unique personality of being a real man and woman.
It is good to observe men and women in the light of the Bible, esp. the Proverbs, Sirach, etc., and see how true it is. One example is the observation I have made between alter boys and alter girls; the difference in their behavior; their distraction, their looks, etc. when the Holy Eucharist is going on. Another example is, in secular circles, girls are known to talk topics of their wavelength when among girls, but change it when they are in the presence of boys to reflect a boy talk. A boy talks in presence of other boys what he normally does, and he do not change it even at the presence of girls. These are just two of hundreds of examples of differences between man and woman. All the mordern american sexual deprogramming cannot alter this unique makeup and make you equal. Can you change what God has ordained? All these deprogrammings, in fact, directly or indirectly are the causes of increased number of psychiatric problems, sexual confusion, marital frustrations and breakusp, transexualism, homosexuality, and every other perversions and sickness in the society.
What have all freedom to American women contributed to? They have a society giving freedom to do all that a man does, to be in military, navy, airforce, football, wrestling, etc. They have the freedom to wear any kinds of clothes or almost close to nakedness almost everywhere including church, office, sports, etc. They have freedom to divorce for filmsy reasons, abort their children for no reason, and they themselves don't know any other ugly thing they should perform to demonstrate unrestricted uninhibited freedom they have and to feel like man. I don't think even a man half as much freedom. Yet, in the world, among all women, I find the American women most hungry (not the physical) and most sick. They are unsatisfied and uncontented. Like a fire fed with butter, their desires keep increasingly growing.
What will they do now? I guess more perversions, more sacrileges, more, more blaphemies, etc. Will they still be satisfied?
I guess to turn to the Word of God rather than listen the word of he devil who constantly speaks to them through the world, who says you have to do this or that to "be like god (or man)." You see how American education has contributed to a image of unsatisfied, abnormal, sick, womanhood. Their yardstick for feeling great or satisfied is to do everything what a man does. This has even afflicted our church to a large degree.
For long three generations, o women of America, you have been vain and in great unrest. In returning in submission and resting at the feet of the Lord you will have peace. Oh! What great peace is in His Presence. In listening and obeying without reserve you will have contentment, satisfaction, and all fullness, and you will not need anything more (even the need to become like man). Womanhood will prosper and glory only in the obedience to God. Not foolish rebelliousness and selfishness. Kick the devil out of your life and embrace Christ your Life.
-- leslie john (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 29, 2003.
Leslie and all the rest. Yes, men and women are different, physically and mentally and spiritually. But God did not make me smart to be submissive. I am a valuable member of the world as a mother, a wife and a scientist. If I were submissive, my ideas and research would be left undone. Eventually, I suppose, someone would come up with the same idea, but how long? God made man and woman to compliment each other, not hold one down or raise one up. If we all can learn to treat each other as God would treat each of us, we will all find peace.
-- HEIDE MCILWRAITH (email@example.com), January 03, 2004.
i stumbled on this thread by accident. unlike all of you, i am not catholic or even christian and grew up with the idea that christianity had caused a lot more evil than good. (certainly in this country the most vocal christians seem to be the ones most engaged in oppressing others -- yet in latin america the catholic church has done amazing things in helping the common people resist dictatorial oppression.) it is very heartening to see the discussions here and know that so many religious people are seriously thinking about the traditional teachings and what they may *really* mean (especially that this is being done in light of all that has been so painfully learned about human rights over the centuries), and not just what someone (your priest, a famous other, etc.) says they mean. remember that all men are fallible -- and those who claim to know the absolute truth are the most fallible of all. (conversely, everyone has wisdom to contribute, and some of those who seem the most deluded, insane, perverse, etc. may be among the wisest of all. certainly everyone now revered in any religion as a saint was considered all those things and worse in their own time.)
-- Ben Wing (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 02, 2004.
I have read a book on the story of Mary Magdaleen, this is how I stumbled onto this site also trying to find out more. The book however tells the story about a little girl that was sold by her father at the age of 9. She was gang raped just before she was sold. Being drugged and raped by the brothel owner, she was given a new name and there after (aproximately 9 years) she couldn't remember anything about her past. She was possessed by seven devils and Jesus Christ did cast them out. She was healed after this and she followed Jesus, it was she that washed His feet with her tears and dried it with her hair. However the story gave me insight that no matter what or how bad your past, forgiveness will always be available. After reading the last reply by Ben Wing I fully agree. Why must religion cause so much wars, hatred, undivision and quarrel, I don't understand it. If all of us are christians we should have nothing to prove being male of female. Also something to remember, the bible was written by males. The book I am reading is in afrikaans. If however you would like the name and author to find out more, please respond on this site. I do not wish to give my e-mail adress.
-- anneri erasmus (email@example.com), November 17, 2004.
The book is of course pure fiction, but glad you gained an accurate insight from it.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), November 17, 2004.
As for who is repressing whom and who has caused more wars and bloodshed of innocent people, the prize has to go to atheists and atheist regimes since the 1700s, not to any Christian church and certainly not to the Catholic Church.
In the 20th century alone, so-called "rational" atheists are responsible for over 100 million adult deaths due to war and political repression. Throw in the abortion deaths and we get a staggering 200 or 300 million deaths and countless psychologically harmed women all harmed by people who do not profess belief in God or allegiance to Christ.
About the only things Christians have done that hurts others is not being good Christians! But neither in this country or in Latin America or elsewhere has a nation been controlled by Catholics or Christians and still launched wars or persecutions of atheists.
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 17, 2004.