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Child of Bast

Newly restored frescoes reveal female priests

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I suppose like most things, people will interpret these frescoes however they want.

ROME (AP) — The Vatican on Tuesday unveiled newly restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla, known for housing the earliest known image of the Madonna with Child — and frescoes said by some to show women priests in the early Christian church.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, presided over the opening of the "Cubicle of Lazzaro," a tiny burial chamber featuring 4th century images of biblical scenes, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and one of the early Romans buried there in bunk-bed-like stacks as was common in antiquity.

The labyrinthine cemetery complex stretching for kilometers (miles) underneath northern Rome is known as the "Queen of the catacombs" because it features burial chambers of popes and a tiny, delicate fresco of the Madonna nursing Jesus dating from around 230-240 A.D., the earliest known image of the Madonna and Child.

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Looks like a bit of 'straw-clutching' to me. Nevertheless, I'd love to have a tour of those catacombs.

(Incidentally, I'm completely neutral on the question of women clergy.)

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There were priestesses back then, but not in the Christian church, that I know of. There were also nuns. Isn't that where they say Mary ended up, in a nunnery?

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These frescos, and others, have been know of, and referenced in books, for quite a long time. I think the point here is the restoration of them.

Not only is mary portrayed but there are pictures of women priests performing all the rituals of catholicism. This is not suprising. It has been known for years that, up until 500/600 AD. women were priests and performed all the roles of male priests, in many parts of the catholic church. They were often railed against by other male clergy and eventually, as the church became more centralised and male dominated, they were eliminated. At the same time priests were allowed to be married and have families.

http://romancatholicwomenpriests.org/RCWP_Resource.pdf

The first written mandate requiring priests to be chaste came in AD 304. Canon 33 of the Council of Elvira stated that all"bishops, presbyters, and deacons and all other clerics" were to"abstain completely from their wives and not to have children." A short time later, in 325, the Council of Nicea, convened by Constantine, rejected a ban on priests marrying requested by Spanish clerics.The practice of priestly celibacy began to spread in the Western Church in the early Middle Ages. In the early 11th century Pope Benedict VIII responded to the decline in priestly morality by issuing a rule prohibiting the children of priests from inheriting property. A few decades later Pope Gregory VII issued a decree against clerical marriages.The Church was a thousand years old before it definitively took a stand in favor of celibacy in the twelfth century at the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, when a rule was approved forbidding priests to marry. In 1563, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the tradition of celibacy - See more at: http://hnn.us/article/696#sthash.hptf5wUd.dpuf

http://hnn.us/article/696

Edited by Mr Walker

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