Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


I received a letter from a woman who wrote regarding the picture accompanying the entry "Mary Magdalen" on the "Dictionary of Dissent" page:

I think that the pictures of "John", are not and never have been of "John". They are of Mary Magdalene. She was another beloved disciple of Christ's, as well as the first to see the resurrected Christ..."

-- all with a smiley face after it. I thought it was a joke, so sent back the following:

Just send your payment to:

Mr.Bayo Adeoni
Union Bank of Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria 87-4321

-- and we'll get the deed right to ya! <wink>

God bless, friend, and thanks for the laugh : )


I was surprised to receive the following response. She was serious!

Read Margaret Starbird's book, "The Woman With the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail".

In it, Starbird searches through art history and finds clues about Mary Magdalen's importance to Christianity. Once you study the art she includes in her book, look at "The Last Supper" with a fresh eye.

Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1879181037/qid=1083998928/sr= 1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-3508671-8107228?v=glance&s=books

Dan Brown is laughing all the way to the bank, with "The Da Vinci Code", isn't he? Guess he could buy your Brooklyn Bridge...

A closed mind is useless, isn't it?


(Name deleted)

My response to this note:

First, sorry about having sent that postcard to you! I truly thought you were pulling my leg, challenging me to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge as I threaten (in my "Dictionary of Dissent") to do to those who believe the "Da Vinci Code" stuff. If I had known you were serious, I wouldn't have sent that (that'd be smart-alecky) (not that I am never smart-alecky, mind you).

Anyway, yes, I imagine that, if it were possible, Dan Brown could buy the Brooklyn Bridge (so could Britney Spears, that genius!).

On to the point: my mind isn't closed (note, though, that it is closed-minded to think that traditional Catholics must be closed-minded). I used to be an "enlightened" agnostic, then a "spiritual person" who was rather "New Agey" and VERY much the feminist. I even wrote Elaine Pagels a fan letter once. I've read her "Gnostic Gospels," I have a copy of "The Passover Plot," I've read what the feminists have to say about Mary Magdalen, I even have a copy of "The Chalice and the Blade" that I bought back in that hey-dey. I'm hip to all that jazz and used to believe all that jazz. Then I discovered they are all wrong. Way wrong. When this book comes out (July), get a copy:


Now, if you think that what Catholics believe wasn't believed until "Constantine made Christianity the state religion" (which he never did, by the way; read the Edict of Milan -- and then see how his successor, Julian the Apostate, treated Christians), just read what the Christians (i.e., those gathered around those who are in the line of apostolic succession) who lived before Constantine wrote. You'll find the <gulp> patriarchy in all its glory, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments (all 7 of them!), ban on abortion (see the Didache, for ex.), clerical sexual continence, praying for the dead, veneration of relics, exhortations to chastity (and to virginity for those called to it),etc.-- "Catholic stuff" through and through.

Finally, why is it that the Gnostics seem to have this idea that traditional Catholics diss Mary Magdalen? We see her as one of our greatest Saints! She was there at the very foot of the Cross, she was the first to see the risen Christ, she was faithful to Him to the apparent end and beyond. We believe she is glorified in Heaven, interceding for us as we speak. We have churches and shrines named in her honor, and icons, sculpture and paintings depicting her are everywhere. We celebrate her Feast every 22 July. What gives? Is it because we see her as a penitent? Why are there no issues among these same people with our seeing St. Paul the same way -- as a penitent, one who had been a murderer of Christians at that? No one accuses us of man-hatred against St. Peter even though we acknowlege that our first Pope denied Christ three times. Her repentance is part of the beauty of Mary Magdalen's story, and one I can relate to very much.

This anti-Church slander alll seems to be an aspect of the incessant accusations against the Church that She is misogynist or something -- even though we see a woman as God's very greatest creature, His ultimate creation, the most perfect human being to have ever lived. It is a woman, Mary, whom we call the Mother of God, the All Holy, the Queen of Heaven, the Co-Redemptrix, the Ark of the Covenant, the "Virgin Most Powerful," the Tower of David, the House of Gold, etc. It's uncanny how we are accused by Protestants of "worshipping" (by which they mean latria) a woman -- and are simultaneously accused by seculars and Gnostics of hating women! The animus from the secular side always seems to boil down to sexual issues (contraception, abortion, homosexuality, fornication, masturbation. If those issues didn't exist, I imagine everyone would be Catholic). Yeah, we expect women to keep their knickers on before they're married and to remain faithful after marriage. So sue us -- but don't forget we also expect the same thing of men.

Eh, everybody hates the Church for one reason or another. But we expect it:

John 15:18-20
"If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also."

If there's a particular aspect of the Da Vinci Code stuff you want to talk about, I'm here, friend.

His blessings on you, and may He lead us both to all Truth.

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