Is "The Da Vinci Code" correct about Mary Magdalene?

A priest who writes in our dioscese Catholic Weekly newspaper recently responded to a question with, “The point of that section of the column is that she (Mary Magdalene) had that status (apostolic status) for several early centuries. There are, for sure, many historical inaccuracies in the “The Da Vinci Code.” But its reference to Mary Magdalene’s early status in the church is correct, a fact many Catholics, including (Name withheld here) are apparently just learning.”

In my (albeit limited) study of the early church, I have not seen anything that would indicate Mary Magdalene had apostolic status in the early church. Is Father correct here? I am going to challange him on this if you say he is incorrect, but not if you agree. Please help me with this. His column goes out to thousands in the diocese each week. Peace,

Dear MBS,

“The Da Vinci Code’s” mention of Mary Magdalen’s early status in the Church is entirely bogus. Such irresponsible reporting in a Catholic publication is unconscionable both on the part of the editor as well as the author. Our Catholic Answers special report, “Cracking The Da Vinci Code” states: “Brown asserts that in the original Gospels, Mary Magdalene rather than Peter was directed to establish the Church: ‘According to these unaltered gospels, it was not Peter to whom Christ gave direction with which to establish the Christian Church. It was Mary Magdalene… Jesus was the original feminist.’ …Appealing to prior ‘unaltered’ gospels that had not been doctored by Constantine or others in the early Church is fatuous. There is no evidence that Constantine ordered any copies of Scripture to be changed….Brown simply has no evidence to back up his claim.”

The report goes on to recall that the Church had just undergone an age of great persecution rather than deny it’s Lord and the Scriptures He gave it. “To allow those writings to be mutilated would be unthinkable, and any attempt to change them would have resulted in an enormous controversy that would be mentioned in the writings of the period.”

Our report can be ordered through our website or by phone: 888 291 8000.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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