Almost airbrushed from history: Women and the early Church

Christ in the house of Marth and Mary

As the Pope declares the need for more women in decision making areas, an annual pilgrimage in Rome is focussing on the nearly forgotten role of women in the early Church. A Vatican Radio special report on putting women back in the picture.

Vatican Radio writes that rediscovering and re-evaluating the role of women in early Christianity is the goal of the pilgrimage taking place in Rome under the auspices of a U.S. based Catholic group seeking greater leadership roles for women in the Church today.

Members of the Future Church group have also been meeting with officials at different Vatican dicasteries, sharing suggestions on how to follow up on Pope Francis' call to increase the participation of women in Church and in society.

For the fourth year in a row Future Church has organised the pilgrimage to visit some of Rome's ancient basilicas and catacombs, following in the footsteps of many influential early Christian women whose contribution to the spreading of the Gospel has largely been lost over the centuries.

Among those organising the annual event is the former executive director of Future Church, Sr Christine Schenk of the Congregation of St Joseph. She spoke with Philippa Hitchen about what she describes as a journey of discovery and healing for the men and women embarking on this pilgrimage.

To listen to the full interview, CLICK HERE.

Pictured: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, by Diego Velazquez


Jimmy Carter says Pope Francis promised 'women should have a greater role' (The Washington Post)

Women Could Have Greater Role in Church, Says Pope (The Wall Street Journal)

Early women leaders: from heads of house churches to presbyters (NCR Online)

Pope Benedict acclaims role of women in Church history (CNA)

Mulieris Dignitatem, Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II, 1988 (Vatican)


Q&A with Archbishop Coleridge - Why can't the Church ordain women to the diaconate or priesthood? (The Catholic Leader/YouTube)

Pope Francis highlights role of women, youth as messengers of faith and hope (Rome Reports/YouTube)

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