While Catholic women have honored Mary Magdalene as the “apostle to the apostles” for generations, Pope Francis elevated her in the Roman calendar of saints in early June.
Today, July 22, 2016, marks the first official “Feast day” of Saint Mary Magdalene in the Roman Catholic calendar.
Today, Catholic women are gathering in Krakow, Poland, at the house where John Paul II lived when he was cardinal to lift up the call for ordination of Catholic women to the priesthood.
According to the international Women’s Ordination Conference:
“Mary Magdalene’s official recognition as an apostle, chosen by Jesus, affirms women’s rightful capacity to act “in persona Christi,” and restores her, often maligned, legacy as someone instrumental to our faith and equal to her male counterparts.
Claims of male clerical superiority based on a physical resemblance to Jesus have never convinced nor served the wider Church.
WOW calls on the Church to rid itself of the sin of sexism and model unconditional equality by opening up all ministries to Catholic women who have the talent and vocation to serve their communities as St. Mary Magdalene did.
WOW also celebrates its 20th anniversary in July and will hold their annual gathering in Krakow ahead of Pope Francis’ visit for World Youth Day. During the past 20 years of campaigning, WOW has worked to challenge all remaining arguments against women’s ordination. The official recognition of Mary Magdalene’s role makes an exclusively male leadership model impossible to uphold and strengthens the case for gender justice.
We are calling on Pope Francis to recognize that a “discipleship of equals” and renewed church will only be possible when women are accepted as equals and are able to participate alongside men.”