Vatican More Open to Women? (an editorial)
Twice in the past ten months Pope Benedict has acknowldeged publicly the need “to offer more space, more positions of responsibility to women.” In August he said: “..I believe that women themselves, with their energy and strength, with their superiority, with what I’d call their “spiritual power,” will know how to make their own space. And we will have to try and listen to God so as not to stand in their way but, on the contrary, to rejoice when the female element achieves the fully effective place in the Church best suited to her, starting with the Mother of God and with Mary Magdalene.”
Traditionally only Mary the mother of Jesus has been held up as a model for women. By citing Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles, Benedict seems to be making the point that women in ministerial roles are to be acknowledged and reverenced as well as women in mothering roles. I would wager that this is the first time in historical memory that Mary Magdalene was invoked as a model of ministry, and not as a reformed sinner.
Can it be that women as coworkers, such as Mary Magdalene and John, Prisca and Paul, are finally being recognized and celebrated as part of our tradition, rather than rejected in the name of it?