The problem with the Catholic Church
The problem with the Catholic Church is indeed men. But it is also the grave sin of pride, a pride that has allowed them to stubbornly misinterpret the Bible due to the decisions about the canon ostensibly made at the Council of Nicea (in 325 A.D.) and later codified into the Magistereum in Rome. But what remains, namely that the ONLY story in the Bible in which all four Gospel accounts agree is what happened on Easter morning. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all confirm that it was a WOMAN, namely Mary Magdelene, who first witnessed, believed, shared, and de facto ‘preached’ that Jesus had risen from the tomb, or was gone or disappeared. She ran to the (male) Apostles and shared this astonishing situation with them.
John 20: 1-9 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb.”
Matthew 28: 1-10 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. An angel said to the women ‘I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.’ Then they went away quickly from the tomb, and ran to announce this to his disciples.
Luke 24: 13-35 Some women [Mary + Mary Magdalene] from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.
Mark 16: 1-7 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb. They saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter . . .
Hence, she was the first priest. She was the one entrusted with the ‘Good News’; she was the person chosen to spread the very foundation of the faith: the Resurrection of Jesus.
Thus, there is no foundational reason for excluding women from the church. In fact, Pope John Paul II called Mary the Mother of Jesus (the other great Marian figure on the church) a ‘co-redemptrix’ — in other words, she has salvation powers just as did her son; she can redeem sinners, perhaps heal the sick, and act as instrument of communication between God the Father and his children.
No organization can be functional with zero gender-diversity. The U.S. military has learned this lesson, and now allows women in the highest roles including combat. Global corporations, educational institutions, healthcare, athletics, entertainment — all of these fields are gender-integrated, are the better for it. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, refuses to admit that its most sacred moment was experienced first by a woman, who shared her faith immediately with her brethren. Mary Magdalene was the first, best priest of the nascent church. The church should thus welcome women in all roles. I guarantee that child abuse, including the crime (not ‘scandal’) of child rape would end, and it would not have been as pervasive, or perhaps happened at all, if the church had not always been a dysfunctional, perverted, all-male organization.