The Women of the New Testament
This ministry explores the diverse roles of women in the early church by studying and discussing the Old Testament, the New Testament, other writings and practices of the early church, and scholarly commentary on these sources. In the light of this process, the group–women, and men–pray to discern the roles to which women (and men) are being called in the contemporary church. The meeting takes place from on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:45 – 8:30 PM in Ignatian Hall, in the basement of the Church.There will be no meeting in December. For additional information contact Dusty Lidinsky, 410-467-1421; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The book that WNT are currently reading is Four Women Doctors of the Church: Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, by Mary T. Malone, available on Amazon. Chapter 1, Hildegard of Bingen, will be discussed at the October meeting. All are welcome to attend, listen, discuss whether or not you’ve read the chapter!
Regarding Four Women Doctors of the Church: “There are now four women who are officially part of the magisterium, the official teaching body of the Roman Catholic Church. After two millennia of silence this is a revolutionary innovation, but it has passed the vast majority of Catholics by with barely a ripple of attention. These four women – HIldegard, Catherine, Teresa and Therese – have joined the ranks of about thirty male Doctors of the Church….
“When the apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians around the year 55 CE, ‘Let the women be silent in the churches’ (14:34-36), he inaugurated two millennia of diminishment of women’s presence in Christianity….What they thought, how they theologized, and even how they prayed were considered to be entirely irrelevant….As a result there was, for example, not one single Christian reflection for about two thousand years on the extraordinary but commonplace experience of conceiving a child, carrying a child, giving birth to a child and nourishing a child from one’s own body. Instead, when male theologians looked at these experiences, they perceived something sinful and associated with original sin….
“Shortly after the Second Vatican Council, [Pope Paul VI] requested the Pontifical Biblical Commission to look at the strictures of Paul against the teaching of women. They reported back that this particular word of Paul was indeed just that, a pastoral word of Paul, and not an expression of divine revelation. As a result, in the autumn of 1970, Pope Paul VI declared Catherine of Siena a Doctor of the Church, representing all laywomen, and Teresa of Avila a Doctor of the Church, representing all religious women. This momentous event passed the Catholic Church by without a murmur….” [likewise when Hildegard of Bingen, who in her own lifetime was excommunicated by the Church, and Therese of Lisieux were elevated to the rank of Doctor]
–from Introduction to Four Women Doctors of the Church by Mary T. Malone (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017; originally published in Dublin by Veritas Publications, 2015)