Sunday, February 17, 2008

1200 years of female Catholic priests?

There's a new book coming out, claiming that the Catholic church had female officials for 1200 years, then reversed policy and tried to erase that history:

The Catholic church ordained women for the first 1,200 years of Christianity, says a new book by a U.S. scholar.

Then, in a struggle for political power in the 12th and 13th centuries, it vilified females, banned married clergy and rewrote its own history to excise clerical women.

Women were made deaconesses (equivalent to deacons) episcopae (bishops), and presbyterae (priests), and they preached, heard confessions, performed baptisms and even blessed the bread and wine for communion, says Gary Macy, a theology professor at Santa Clara University in California.

(HT: Pablo via email) Maybe, after reading this book, the officials at the school I mentioned in the previous post will allow women to officiate high school basketball games.

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