When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection, he sent her to tell the apostles.
So, there has been a growing sentiment that Mary M. was an apostle…to the apostles.
And, it seems that that this sentiment, after all these centuries, has been formalized more by Pope Francis, by his elevation of her feast day to be on a par with the other apostles.
Obviously, this is a papal ‘nod’ to women, one of several that Francis has made to recognize and elevate the role of women in the Church (while re-iterating at the same time, that women cannot be ordained).
Scripture does not designate or address Mary Magdalene as an apostle. So, this represents “the development of doctrine” in the Church (which the Orthodox and Protestants and others criticize the Roman Catholic Church for, for “adding” to the word of God).
This was brought up in a recent Bible study session conducted by a woman, and it seems that this resonated with the group (mostly women) a lot more than I thought it would (I’m a guy).
WHY does this make such a big difference to women? Do you think this “opens a door” for women in the Church?