Refuting inscription/frescoe proofs used to promote Female Ordination


#1

Hi everyone,
Lately I have been frequenting a chatroom where I often have conversations with a " so-called Catholic" who is a professor of Theology/Religion and is Pro-Female Ordination.

I need help to show him that he is in error, for he is putting these links providing his so-called evidence in the chatroom promoting female ordination causing other Catholics whose faith may be weak to believe him.

He uses as evidence the frescoes in Rome in the catacombs of Priscilla that date to the end of the 2nd Century, then points out the tombstones that date around 425 A.D. in Apulia and Dalmatia that also have the inscriptions of “Presbytera” on the tombstones of these deceased women.

Continuing on… he talked of the Mosaic of the Empress Teodora (Mother to Pope Pascal I) in the Chapel of St. Zeno in Rome that dates to the 9th Century where she is referred to as “Episcopa” as proof that she was an ordained Deaconess.

Before going any further… I am against Female Ordination and have read the writings of the early church where Deaconesses were usually “widows or women of an advanced age” who for the most part helped in matters such as Baptism, but, were not ordained. I also know that Presbytera’s were the wife of Priests and that they were not Female Priests as those who are Pro-Female Ordination would like to make others believe.

Anyway, I decided to look more into this on the net and came across pictures of the Empress Teodora here

ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~rs002/Images/Christian/teodora.jpg

And here are links given to me by the Professor I was chatting with as his proof…The first being pics of women in the early church and the second shows pics of the inscriptions…

dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/Issue2/Damien_Casey.htm

futurechurch.org/newsletter/spring05/officeholders.htm

Another point that many pro-female Ordination people like to point out is that in frescoes such as the “Fractio Panis” or breaking of the bread (which is the first pic in the 1st link I was given by the professor) and that it shows a woman amongst the men in this frescoe and proves that women took part in the breaking of the bread and were indeed Priests.

I will be against Female Ordination no matter what arguement or so called proofs are shown to me, but, even this makes my head spin at times and if I feel this way, imagine someone who is weak in their Catholic faith or who do not take the time to read the early church writings and how it may cause them to become pro-female ordination. :eek:

How can we provide solid proof that there were never any female ordinations in the history of the Catholic Church when the pro-female ordination crowd brings up tombstone inscription evidences???

The Theology/Religion professor I spoke to gave me many links to pics of these inscriptions which I unfortunately have lost and being I am not a scholar in languages that these inscriptions are written in… Are there any online sources or books that refute the claims being made of these inscriptions?

Sorry for the long post… I just have never seen a thread that deals with the inscription and frescoe evidences the pro-female ordination crowd use to promote their viewpoint and counter-viewpoints to this.

Thanks and God bless all


#2

Sigh… I should have titled my post **“Refuting inscription/frescoe evidence used by those who promote Female Ordination” **… but, not enough room… :frowning:

I hope it doesn’t make it seem that I think these inscriptions/frescoes in themselves promote Female Ordination. :eek:

Oh well, I will let the Holy Spirit guide people’s hearts to this thread in understanding what I really meant…

God bless


#3

:):):slight_smile:

First things first A VERY DEFINITIVE LINK aimed precisely* at your question:

ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/WOMPRS.TXT


#4

A few more thoughts:

Arguments from such archepological evidence is VERY ambiguous and requires the making of too many assumptions.

First, frescoes picturing women at the Eucharistic table are difficult to interpret because we do not know the liturgical practice of the Christian community in question. For example, in the ancient catacombs, the Eucharist might be shared by all around the tomb of a martyr (a small, tight space). Picturing a women breaking bread beside the men does not definitevely indicate any priestly function. We don’t know if the community prohibited its lay members to break bread amongst themselves (today, they are prohibted to in the later Latin and Byzantine rites were the bread is broken only by the priests and then distributed.)

Likewise, fescoes depicting women at prayer do not mean that they exercised authority (especially priestly authority) over males. And, whiel it is certainly true that ancient Christian house curches may have been seen their female host as a presiding matriarch (thehome was, in Roman society, the domain of a woman), there is no clear evidence that this incuded anything beyond the social function of hostess. It certainly does NOT indicate ordination in the apostolic succession, and the priestly functions proper to the ministers.

You alread kow that “presbytera” does not necessarily mean ‘priestess,’ and that in most Eastern Churches the wife of the priest assumes such a title with no implication of her own ordination. (orthodoxwiki.org/Presbytera) This raises the question: could not these ancient references to “presbytera” be examples of this unique usage of the term? Why would your friend insist that these are priestesses?

Now, I am not excluding the possiblity that some women may have assumed "priestly’ functions within the Church unlawfully. The canons of the Councils of Laodecia, Nicaea* Naymes, and Orange I (through a period lasting roughly 100 years) all include canons prohibiting women to excercise any preistly, clerical, or president functions within the Church, due to certain abuses (perhaps even female ordination) that were occuring in the Church at the time. The Church issued a swift correction/condemnation to such individuals.

Likewise, in an epistle, Pope Gelasius I (late 400s) lashes out against such abuses: “Nevertheless we have heard to our annoyance that divine affairs have come to such a low state that women are encouraged to officiate at the sacred altars, and to take part in all matters imputed to the offices of the male sex, to which they do not belong.” This may indicate that attempts were being made at the time to place women in a liturgical position that belonged properly to men (ordained).

But note: It is unfotunate that your friend tries to argue the ordination of women from “tradition,” but uses examples that were swiftly CONDEMNED by Church Councils, including the First Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I). It was also unequiocably condemned by Rome, which exercised its ordinary teaching magisterium in Gelasis’ day and more recently in the papacy of John Paul the Great (which of course raises the question, does he accept papal authority or not!?) But to claim a historical precedent in a condemned tradition is no better than Baptists or Adventsts who search up and down ancient heretical groups to support their errors. Is the Catholic Church consistent? Then if it condemned female ordination in one generaion despite the spread of such an abuse, it will condemn it today despite similar abuses by renegade women and sympathetic bishops.

** Ask him to produce a universally-accepted council decree or canon that protects the ordinaion of women, insted of sifting through these marginal groups/individuals. ** If in fact some women (unlawfully) assumed a priestly function means NOTHING if the Church’ teaching authority condemned it consistently, and continues to do so today. (which it has… see the link I gave you fo more evidence). To be Catholic is to submit to the teaching authority/magesterium of the Church.

Ask him why the modern Catholic Church should “awaken” to the practice of female ordination if the Chuch has already struggled with this issue (in a more open way) and made the Spirit’s will absolutely clear in countless council canons, decrees, and epistles?

Advocates of a female priesthood at once argue that the Church should awaken to the role of women in the modern age, and yet claim that women were ordained 1,600 years ago. The Catholic perspective is clearer: the Church has dealt with the same issue before: 1,600 years ago it was an unequivocable no, and it will remain no. Nothing has changed with regards to this age-old pressure upon the Church upon this point, and yet, nothing will change the Church’s eternal position on the matter.

Hugo


#5

Hi ** Hugo **,
Thanks so much for your informative posts… It was chock full of great information. :smiley:

Your explanation on the ambiguousness of some of the frescoes and in being able to properly interpret them makes alot of sense.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Pope Gelasius I point… Many Pro-Ordination Crowds use his Epistle in condemning unlawful ‘priestly’ actions by women as a sort of “you see, there were female priests at this time”, yet ignore the fact that he was CONDEMNING this, not promoting it… and this little fact they just choose to gloss over.

I am glad you are on the side of the Church :thumbsup: I greatly enjoyed your informative post response in another thread about Adventists…

I am going to post in a separate post below a section from a an article on a website (sent to me by the Professor in my first post) and ask for your opinion/comments on it… It is loooong, so please forgive me in advance… :cool:

God bless


#6

CONTINUED…

Women as Elders?

churchwomen.tripod.com/mseltzer.htm

In Acts 20:17 and 28, it appears that the elders and overseers of Ephesus are the same people. Titus 1: 5 and 7 suggest that these two words meant the same thing—the terms were interchangeable. There are no men identified in the New Testament as an elder or overseer except for elderly Peter and John using the term “elder” for themselves (1 Peter 5:1; 2 John 1; 3 John 1) and neither are there any women identified. However there are references to women in association with house churches and with the address to a woman found in 2 John, who seem to be doing the work of overseers. Of the six certain citations of house church congregations, three are of women, two are of a woman and man together, and the sixth a man.46 Phoebe (Romans 16:1) is referred as a “diakonos” deacon of the Cenchrean church.

There is some early church history that supports women elders, deacons or bishops.

Pliny the Younger, writing about A.D.104 refers to two women deacons or ministers and around A.D. 200. Tertullian wrote that there were four orders of female church officers: deacons, widows, elders, and presiding officers. Dionysius of Alexandria described one martyr as “the most holy elder Mercuria” and another as a most remarkable virgin elder, Appollonia ( A. D. 250-251).47

Evidence for Women as Elders (presbutera or presbutis)481. A mummy label from second or third century Egypt: Artemidoras, daughter of Mikkalos, fell asleep in the Lord, her mother Paniskiaines being an elder (presbytera).2. Diogas the bishop [set this up] as a memorial for Ammio the elder (presbytera feminine). Found near Usak in modern turkey (ancient Phrygis), before the time of Constantine. 3. St. Cyprian writes (in Epistle 75.10.5) of a female presbyter (elder) in Cappadocia (also part of modern Turkey) in the mid 230’s. 4. From Thera, a Greek island, an epitaph for Epiktas the elder (presbutis, feminine). Third or fourth century. 5. An epitaph for Kale, the elder (presbutis) from Centuripae in Sicily. Fourth or Fifth Century.

There is a floor mosaic covering the tomb of Guilia (Julia) Runa noting that she was a presbiterissa, a presbyter (elder). She was buried under the floor of the cathedral at Annaba, in what is now Algeria, on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. The ancient name of this town was Hippo, made famous by the bishop of this very cathedral, St Augustine.49

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#7

CONTINUED…

Dorothy Irvin, who has a pontifical doctorate in theology from the University of Tuebingen, Germany with specialization in Bible, ancient near eastern studies, and archaeology, says that as the English language developed, presbyter was shortened to “prester” and then to “priest.” Among a number of women named as priests in the first centuries of the church are two whose tomb inscriptions in the cemeteries of Rome read " Veronica presbyters daughter of Josetis," and "Faustine presbitera."50

A fresco of women celebrating the Eucharist was painted on the upper front wall of a small underground chapel in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome, where hundreds of early Christians were buried. The location as well as other features supports a date not long after 100 A.D. Another fourth-century fresco, in the Catacomb of Priscilla shows a woman standing before a bishop. The bishop is wearing a wool garment called a pallium, associated with ordination. And the woman is wearing an alb, a vestment received by a priest at ordination. No one under the rank of a priest may wear one. The bishop is laying his right hand on her shoulder and she is holding an open scroll. This woman was ordained by a bishop and equipped for her ministry with the proper liturgical vestments from which she would read and preach.51

In a side chapel of the Church of St. Praxedis, scarcely a ten-minute walk from the main railroad station in Rome, is a beautiful group portrait in mosaic of four women ministers. Some churches nowadays display a row of portraits of their pastors over the years, and this mosaic is similar in intention. Theodora, with the word “episcopa” over her head about 820 A.D. and Praxedis, about seven hundred years earlier, stand shoulder to shoulder, the living and the departed, both is wearing their Episcopal crosses. They attest to a conscious succession to Theodora, who, at the time of her portrait, was bishop of the church of St. Praxedis. Pudentiana, the woman on the far right is related to the Roman Pudens, sometimes thought to be the same Pudens named by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:21. It is commonly accepted that a Pudens owned the properties where the church of St Pudentiana and farther on, the Church of St Praxedis, now stand, and that these family lands later became church property, as the era of house churches passed into the era of church buildings. Excavations under the church of St. Pudentiana have shown that a public bath was constructed adjoining the family’s dwelling. In this way, numbers of people could enter and pass into the house church without it being suspected that a gathering of Christians was taking place. The baths could also be used for baptisms, which were by immersion and required a pool. Praxedis, the woman next to Theodora, was probably a slave girl rather than a biological descendant of the Pudens. Her slave status would present no obstacle to her becoming an officeholder and leader in the early church as we are reminded in the baptismal formula quoted by St. Paul in Galatians 3:28, "… there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."52

Giorgio Otranto, Director of the Institute for Classical and Christian Studies at the University of Bari in southern Italy, unearthed correspondence of popes and bishops on the subject of female priests. One epistle from Atto, an Italian bishop of the ninth and 10th centuries, explained to a priest the existence of female priests and deacons in the early church: “For the helping of men, even religious women were ordained caretakers in the holy church,” Atto wrote, “not only men but also women were in charge of the churches for greater efficiency.” Atto’s letter goes on the say that the practice of ordaining women was forbidden by a church council of the fourth century. But Otranto said the bishop’s letter is important because it establishes that the ordination of women was once an accepted practice.53

Can women and men be elders? If they qualify to be an overseer, then it appears another word for that service is elder. And it appears that there were women elders in early church history.

====================

Thanks and God bless


#8

I followed your links and looked at the inscriptions. Dr. Irvin’s drawing of the epitaph for “Presbyter” Kale is puzzling. The Latin does not mesh with the translation provided; neither the word presbyter nor sacerdos appear in the original. Perhaps some of the inscription is missing. A description of it appears on some other sites, but there are no photographs.

In regard to Episcopa Theodora, in order for her to have been a bishop, we would have to believe that someone in Rome was ordaining female bishops in the 9th century. That seems highly unlikely.

You can see short video clips of Dr. Irvin:
godtalktv.org/archaeological.html


#9

[quote=Maryam]CONTINUED…

Women as Elders?

churchwomen.tripod.com/mseltzer.htm

In Acts 20:17 and 28, it appears that the elders and overseers of Ephesus are the same people. Titus 1: 5 and 7 suggest that these two words meant the same thing—the terms were interchangeable.

Agreed… a titular distinction between the “episcopos” and the presberate only gradally developed, though Ignatius testifies to its usage in Syria/Asia Minor by the close of the first century. Still, catholics believe that the distinction was real, though titles had not yet been ironed out for each position.

There are no men identified in the New Testament as an elder or overseer except for elderly Peter and John using the term “elder” for themselves (1 Peter 5:1; 2 John 1; 3 John 1) and neither are there any women identified.

When it suits the author, “elder” only means that the individuals in question were senior-citizens. Any reading of 1 Pet. 5:1-4 however will demonstrate that the office of “elder” is a ministerial office, involving “shepherding of the flock.” Their flock is “assigned” to them. That he represents the rest of the church as “younger men” who must submit to these elders does indicate that a close connection (properly) existed between age and Church office (older men became elders).

Note a very telling detail however: if one argues that the “young men” mentioned refer to simply to younger males (and not necessarily to the entire laity): women are not adressed in this letter at all. The Jewish tradition of female submission to males (especially in a liturgical setting) is the most likely context to this verse. All women are to be submissive to the males in the congregation (as St. Paul insists), but Peter may be especially focued on the younger men in the Church who were becoming too ambitious within the community (seekig to hold as much power as the elders), and careless in their own spiritual lives. Still, I would not contend long against the assumption that the phrase “young men” included young (and old) women as well, and thus represents the entire laity.

However there are references to women in association with house churches and with the address to a woman found in 2 John, who seem to be doing the work of overseers.

From the NAB textual notes (which tend to stay on the moderate-liberal side): “Since the contents of the epistle are scarcely appropriate for anindividual, scholars assume the elder was using an accepted literary device bypersonalifying the Christian community as woman.” *.

Of the six certain citations of house church congregations, three are of women, two are of a woman and man together, and the sixth a man.46 Phoebe (Romans 16:1) is referred as a “diakonos” deacon of the Cenchrean church.

Not sure what they aim to prove (let alone where they extract the information) in the first sentence. In regads to the second point, I agree that Phoebe probably held the office of a “deaconess” in the Cenchrean church. Still: we are all too aware that the office of the female deaconate existed in the ancient Church. What bearng this has on he question of female ordination (as including priestly functions with the diaconate never has shared) I do not know. In ancient synagoagues there were two ranks of ministers: those who led the liturgical/didactic ministry of the Church (elders/overseers) and those who assisted these ministers and the entire congregation in lesser, less noble roles. (Handing priest a chaice, distributing food for the needy, etc.) Phosbe fits into the latter category… so we are not speaking of priestly ordination here.

…Theres more that could be said//argued/counter-argued about the Biblical evidence, but let’s move on…
[/quote]


#10

There is some early church history that supports women elders, deacons or bishops. Pliny the Younger, writing about A.D.104 refers to two women deacons or ministers and around A.D. 200. Tertullian wrote that there were four orders of female church officers: deacons, widows, elders, and presiding officers. (A. D. 250-251).

Again… the mention of deaconsesses is irrelevant to his discussion. Tertullian’s testimony presented here appears without citation (I need that, if you can find it). We do know some about the “presiding officers” however, as they are metioned by the Council of Laodecia. Ac ommentary is included by Schaff here: ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/Npnf2-14-47.htm#P2909_522404.

Dionysius of Alexandria described one martyr as “the most holy elder Mercuria” and another as a most remarkable virgin elder, Appolloni.

The mention of Mercuria provides no compellig evidence that she was, in fact, ordained. The second mention (St. Apollonia) is more intriguing. Traditionally, it is argued that the phrase “parthénos presbytis” (virgin elder) distinguishes her as an older* virgin. In the ancient church, many young girls consecrated themelves to perpetual virginity (as did many widows). There were referred to as the order of “virgins” or the order of “widows,” in which their status became a kind of title. St. Apollonia is a matriarch among the church’s virgins – well advanced in years, and carrying her covanent until the end. Describing her as an “elder” (presbytera) gives us an indication of her age. Now, this is the traditional interpetation fo the Church… lol, but we’re all involved in an enormous coverup as it is. :smiley:

A mummy label from second or third century Egypt: Artemidoras, daughter of Mikkalos, fell asleep in the Lord, her mother Paniskiaines being an elder (presbytera).

This is far more compelling. Here, her mother* is worthy fof mention, and aloe recieves the title “presbytera.” If Artemidoras was the daghter of a presbyter & presbytera, one would expect the label to have indicated she was the daughter of X, the presbyter. That it identifies her mother instead (and exclusively) is fascinating, and a strong argument. Of course, we know that women priests (unlawfully) existed in the past… lol, so what does this actually prove? :slight_smile: Anyways, give them a thumbs up for this find.

Diogas the bishop [set this up] as a memorial for Ammio the elder (presbytera feminine). Found near Usak in modern turkey (ancient Phrygis), before the time of Constantine. 3. St. Cyprian writes (in Epistle 75.10.5) of a female presbyter (elder) in Cappadocia (also part of modern Turkey) in the mid 230’s. 4. From Thera, a Greek island, an epitaph for Epiktas the elder (presbutis, feminine). Third or fourth century. 5. An epitaph for Kale, the elder (presbutis) from Centuripae in Sicily. Fourth or Fifth Century. There is a floor mosaic covering the tomb of Guilia (Julia) Runa noting that she was a presbiterissa, a presbyter (elder).

Again, nothing compelling here. The title presbytera means little unless we have more evidence. I will not assume these are simply the wives of priests, but it is dissapointing that the other sidepresents these as priestesses without any further information. They should place a disclaimer in such instances.

There is a floor mosaic covering the tomb of Guilia (Julia) Runa noting that she was a presbiterissa, a presbyter (elder). She was buried under the floor of the cathedral at Annaba, in what is now Algeria, on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. The ancient name of this town was Hippo, made famous by the bishop of this very cathedral, St Augustine.

Same issue. Her burial benath a church may raise some doubt, but the relics/bodies saints were usually kept within church grounds (the bodies of any church leader, not necessarily so). If she was a woman of any unique sanctity, it would be fitting that she was buried beneath the church.


#11

“Dorothy Irvin,…presbitera.”

Not that interesting, not much new learned. Dissapointingly, no discussion of the critical issue regarding the use of “presbytera” (that it has most commonly referred to the wife of a priest.)

A fresco of women celebrating the Eucharist …The location as well as other features supports a date not long after 100 A.D.

Wow… that’s a liberal dating for that fresco. Most scholars agree that catacomb art does not arise until the end of the second century, and doesnt reach its peak until the fourth. I can’t engage in a critical discussion fo that issue without learning more, but I have my suspicions.

Here’s are thespeculations of one man: thechristianactivist.com/vol3/WomenPriests1.html It’s a tedious essay because he’s not a focused writer, but every paragraph or so, you find a gem of thought. His point is clear though on the section about the fresco (maybe 2/5 ofthe way down the page): there is no clear intrepreation of this icon to be made. We simply do not have any surity one way or the other.

Here are my questions:

Most scholars now agree that at least one of the figures (and a prominent one) is a woman. If this is a depiction of an early Eucharist, is she the wife of a male figure in the picture? Is thi her home? Was the Eucharist even held within a home? (remember, we’re looking at this fresco from within a catcomb). Could the woman be symbolic of the Church itself? (All early Christian art is highly symbolic, and women have been a powerful ecclesiological symbol within Christianity since apostolic times, as in 2 John) Why are there always seven people within such frescoes? (there is at least another such image with 7 people seated together). Numbers certainly were key in early Christian art. Do all the individuals seated share a symbolic significance? And it is even more diffcult to say what is occuring in this picture if this is a depiction of a Christian Eucharist. Is it a consecration, a fraction (breaking/distribution), or a partaking/eating? It is certainly Eucharistic because of the Eucharisitc symbols around it (loaves, baskets alluding to Christ’s miracles), but is it Eucharistic in an eschatological light? Could this be a eternal image of the Eucharist, or a depiction of a future Messianic banquet? Can it be a concelebration (as the author contends) considering we have no evidence of concelebration until the end of the first millennium.

…the individual who can answer all of these questions will recieve up to half of my kingdom.

Another fourth-century fresco, in the Catacomb of Priscilla shows a woman standing before a bishop. The bishop is wearing a wool garment called a pallium, associated with ordination. And the woman is wearing an alb, a vestment received by a priest at ordination. No one under the rank of a priest may wear one. The bishop is laying his right hand on her shoulder and she is holding an open scroll. This woman was ordained by a bishop and equipped for her ministry with the proper liturgical vestments from which she would read and preach.

Much more interesting… defintive in fact… if we assume this is a literal event being depicted. I almost surely believe it is. A symbolic reception of the priestly functions of every believer (only represented by an alb) seems too much of a stretch. This one requires more attention, especially because it is found in Rome. I will have to do more research.

Theodora, with the word “episcopa” over her head about 820 A.D. and Praxedis, about seven hundred years earlier, stand shoulder to shoulder, the living and the departed, both is wearing their Episcopal crosses. They attest to a conscious succession to Theodora, who, at the time of her portrait, was bishop of the church of St. Praxedis.

The issue is not the “episcopa.” (Theodora’s relation to the pope as his mother could explain her recieving that apellation, much as “queen mother.”) The issue is her alleged wearing of an episcopal cross. (image: roma.katolsk.no/img/prassede_zeno_mosaic1.JPG) Is that an episcopal cross? I am not versed in iconography of this period. That is the second major evidence presented. It deserves more attention.

… Everything else is more repition. Here’s an interesting link I found: turrisfortis.com/women.html But that’s about all for now. phew thoroughly exhausted

Hugo


#12

Hm… another thought before bed. Could the cross in the “Theodora Episcopa” mosaic be an Abesses’ pectoral cross rather than a Bishop’s? This does not look like a pallium cross (certainly worn by a bishop), but a pectoral cross, which can be worn by the pope, cardinals, bishops, abbots, abbesses, imporant prelates, and some priests (especially in the Eastern churches).

It’s has been speculated that Theodora may have consecrated herself to virginity. Then again, from the Catholic Encyclopedia (“Pectorale”):

The custom, however, of wearing a cross on the breast either with or without holy relics, dates back to ancient time and was observed not only by bishops, but also by priests and lay people.

A layman may have worn it, or at least had it depicted upon her in an icon. The proximity of that cross with the word “episcopa” obviosuly encourages the notion that this is an episcopal cross. But, if “episcopa” was a title of her dignity as the papal mother, her depiction with that cross is not unusual at all.


#13

Uh-oh… KEY issue:

I thought that perhaps, the cross in the “Theodora Episcopa” mosaic be an Abesses’ pectoral cross rather than a Bishop’s. It does not appear to be sown on a pallium (certainly worn by a bishop). It is almost definitely a pectoral cross (its gold color especially reinforces this), such as is worn by the the pope, cardinals, bishops, abbots, abbesses, imporant prelates, and some priests (especially in the Eastern churches).

But…I turned to the Catholci Encyclopedia:

The pectoral is the latest addition to episcopal ornaments. The custom, however, of wearing a cross on the breast either with or without holy relics, dates back to ancient time and was observed not only by bishops, but also by priests and lay people. …As an adornment for bishops we meet it [the pectorale] the first time toward the end of the thirteenth century (Durandus), but at that time it was not generally worn by bishops.

Hm… that’s a critical blow to the second line of evidence that was so compelling at first. If it cannot be proven that bishops were even recognized by their pectoral cross (a much later innovation of centuries afterwards), it is an error to claim any support from her depiction with a pectoral cross. It seems more likely that she is wearing a cross as a even a laymen might have (an ancient sacramental).

It seems the only tooth left on that argument is the word “episcopa” itself, which as I said earier, has its confident counter-interpretation.

  • Hugo

#14

** severinus ** Thanks for the Godtalk link…

I am always suspicious of evidence shown in drawings and not actual pictures and as you have pointed out the translation of the inscription doesn’t match what is posted on the website concering “Kale”.

Thanks again…God bless :slight_smile:

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Wow… I am supremely impressed by your posts Hugo…very informative and may help others (myself certainly) to sift the truth from fiction.

The pectoral cross information being very compelling indeed.

You can track down and get the info faster than anyone else I have seen on these forums. :slight_smile:

God bless you and may God continue to gift you with such gifts of knowledge and truth.


#15

[quote=Maryam]** severinus ** Thanks for the Godtalk link…

I am always suspicious of evidence shown in drawings and not actual pictures and as you have pointed out the translation of the inscription doesn’t match what is posted on the website concering “Kale”.

Thanks again…God bless :slight_smile:

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Wow… I am supremely impressed by your posts Hugo…very informative and may help others (myself certainly) to sift the truth from fiction.

The pectoral cross information being very compelling indeed.

You can track down and get the info faster than anyone else I have seen on these forums. :slight_smile:

God bless you and may God continue to gift you with such gifts of knowledge and truth.
[/quote]

You’re welcome.


#16

I’m no scholar of family customs of that age, but try this one on: Widows were common in that age. What if Artemidoras’ secular father died and widowed her mother. Her mother remarried and the new husband became a priest. Would not this be a plausible explanation due to a common circumstance?


#17

[quote=manualman]I’m no scholar of family customs of that age, but try this one on: Widows were common in that age. What if Artemidoras’ secular father died and widowed her mother. Her mother remarried and the new husband became a priest. Would not this be a plausible explanation due to a common circumstance?
[/quote]

Hi manualman, :slight_smile:

That’s certainly a possibility. I wouldn’t invest too much in it though. Widowhood was understood as a sacred state in Christianity (c.f. 1 Tim. 5). While a second marrage was canonically possible for those who had lost a spouse, it was not viewed as ideal, and a few ante-Nicene fathers certainly expressed their negative views on the subject. (More rigorist groups such as the Montanists forbade it it among their followers, as is especially apparent in Tertullian’s later writings).

As for marriage to a priest… the Council of Trullo (691) did include a canon (#3) forbidding priests to marry widows. The same canon also dictated that the widow of a priest was not to remarry. The establishment of such a canon usually implies that the practice was occuring somewhere at the time, but its late date (in terms of this discussion) provides us with very little in the way of concrete evidence.

Ante-Nicene bishops tended* to frame their views on the eligibility (or lack thereof) of a priestly candidate from the requirements for a Levitical priesthood. (Hence, we know of a few hopefuls were excluded from the priesthood because of a previous castration). Now, there is a definite Levitical prescription against the marriage of a priest to a widow (Lev. 21:14). What influence such a precedent may have had on the early Church is unknown however.

…All in all, I think the evidence makes such a possibility too difficult to seriously entertain, though it is ALWAYS within the realm of possibility. It’s certainly a thought.

Yours in Christ,
Hugo


#18

…I’m a bit shy, but thank you very much for the kind compliments you’ve shared throughout this thread. It is certainly a vote of confidence at a time when i need a bit more reassurances (conversion is difficult). Thank you for the encouragement, and yes, I too am overjoyed to be using my God-given gifts to defend the Catholic faith… it’s a little startling, a bit ironic too, having been a Adventist. But I thank Christ, who called me Home nonetheless.

Anyways, you’ve had me busy researching because I respond to every challenge wth a sene of urgency (lol). This issue is a very important one: it strikes at the heart of the Magesterium’s authority. As I prepare to fully embrace the Catholic faith, I need continual reassurances that I can trust that authority… I personally can’t understand “Catholics” who rebel against Rome, the canons, and councils. What is “Catholic” about refusing submission to the teaching auhority of the Church? Last time I checked, there are support groups more than willing to recieve such individuals (Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants, Sects, other World Religions, atheism, etc.)

One happy soul,
Hugo. :slight_smile:


#19

[quote=adventistnomore]…I’m a bit shy, but thank you very much for the kind compliments you’ve shared throughout this thread. It is certainly a vote of confidence at a time when i need a bit more reassurances (conversion is difficult). Thank you for the encouragement, and yes, I too am overjoyed to be using my God-given gifts to defend the Catholic faith… it’s a little startling, a bit ironic too, having been a Adventist. But I thank Christ, who called me Home nonetheless.

Anyways, you’ve had me busy researching because I respond to every challenge wth a sene of urgency (lol). This issue is a very important one: it strikes at the heart of the Magesterium’s authority. As I prepare to fully embrace the Catholic faith, I need continual reassurances that I can trust that authority… I personally can’t understand “Catholics” who rebel against Rome, the canons, and councils. What is “Catholic” about refusing submission to the teaching auhority of the Church? Last time I checked, there are support groups more than willing to recieve such individuals (Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants, Sects, other World Religions, atheism, etc.)

One happy soul,
Hugo. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

You’re doing a great job so far, Hugo. Glad to have you aboard.
Deus benedicat.


#20

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