Mary Magdalene As First Feminist
From time to time, CNN Presents decides to
do something "religious".
Founded by militantly anti-Catholic Ted Turner, it is not
surprising that CNN's something religious is an attack on Catholic
belief. It is trendy to equate the Virgin Mary with others, in an
attempt to bring Mary down to that same level. A good example of
this was the program of December of 2004, CNN Presents The Two Marys.
The producers of this program chose a time when Christians, and
particularly Catholic Christians, were contemplating the wonderful
miracle of the birth of Jesus and the Virgin Mary's role in that
birth. The main theme of the program was that there are two Marys
to consider. One is Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the other is
Mary Magdalene, who is in need of rehabilitation.
The title promises to inform about the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene.
However, the program rehashes some old errors dear to Protestants'
hearts, and throws in some new ones. Mentioned favorably was the
book The Da Vinci Code, which has caused much mischief to traditional
belief and is not to be taken seriously by Catholics. The program
claimed that Mary Magdalene had been given a raw deal, public relations
wise, while the Mother of God is too much admired, even to the point of
making a goddess of her. Some of those interviewed were women who
supported the idea that powerful men of the Church had floated the
rumor that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. It was even reported
that an ancient pope had made this up, ruined Mary Magdalene's
reputation, and the Church has believed it ever since. It was
claimed that there was a strong "need on the part of Church fathers to
put women in their place, so by dividing women into madonnas and
whores, they could be all good or all evil". We have recently
been treated to a variety of theories. One is that Jesus was a
homosexual. This program asked if Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a
couple and if Mary Magdalene was the mother of Jesus' children.
To lend credence to these ideas, an uncovered "probable" Gnostic gospel
was credited to Mary Magdalene, and those who believe this are eagerly
awaiting more "probable" evidence of these theories. Mary
Magdalene, it was said, was in a competitive position with the apostle
Peter for power, and she probably was another apostle. Could it
be, it was even asked, that Mary Magdalene was really the first
pope? The evidence for all this is nonexistent, but it is pointed
out that Mary Magdalene was chosen to give the good news of Christ's
Authenticity was attempted by interviewing Reverend Gerald O'Collins
SJ, collar and all, who seemed bemused by it all, but in the few lines
allotted to him, did try to defend traditional thought. However,
he managed to express his relief that the Church had revealed the
secret of Fatima, and it was really not much of anything at all.
Supposedly, the Virgin came down to visit the children just to have a
chat. One could be forgiven for thinking he was there for
ecclesiastical window dressing.
Gnosticism has been condemned by many popes through the ages. The
Catholic Encyclopedia defines Gnosticism as "the doctrine of salvation
by knowledge", and also says that "the salvation of the soul merely is
the possession of a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the
universe and magic formulae indicative of that knowledge". It has
a deep root principle, which is religious and philosophical
pessimism. As such, it is anti-Catholic. In tune with
Gnostic thought, one speaker explained that "God is male and God is
female". Gender seems to mean a lot to these people. To
connect Mary Magdalene to such belief is a stretch, but one the program
was willing to make.
Following the CNN program came a recent History Channel offering.
To bolster the claim that Mary Magdalene was favored by Jesus and was a
probable apostle, the painting of The Last Supper was shown to point
out the theory that it was really Mary Magdalene to the right of Jesus,
instead of St. John. Through the technique of morphing, the
figure turned into a feminine apostle. This program picked up on
the Da Vince Code
Sometimes, such attacks on Catholicism are best ignored. However,
the demand for greater recognition of women parallels those made by
Catholic feminists, including some religious. The agenda of these
feminists includes women priests and married priests. Much of
condemnation of powerful male leadership is illogical. The Virgin
Mary is loved and venerated by these same leaders and given a high
place of honor in the Catholic Church. Still, Mary Magdalene is a
relatively sketchy figure. Therefore, her persona may be molded
by those who would use her for their own purposes. The Virgin
Mary, on the other hand, has too much accepted history to
overcome. She was traditional, not ambitious foir recognition,
and accepting of God's will, even to the cruel death of her beloved
Son. She showed humility, a most endearing attribute, but one not
found in the noisiest feminists of today.
CNN Presents seems fixated on the book The Da Vinci Code and promotes
its heresies. The book itself has drawn Christians and
non-Christians into its premises. However, it is nothing more
than an exercise in "What if?" In "The Two Marys" and the History
Channel offering, the heresies abounded as startling and confusing
theories were presented, and gave further proof of the unique value of
papal succession, which carries with it traditional truth.
theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children. It
claimed that a shadowy organization called the "Priory of Sion" existed
to protect their bloodline, and that this is the true "Holy Graill".