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Resurrection narratives confirm women's key role in Church, Pope notes

Catholic World News - April 09, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI called attention to the important role of women in the Gospel accounts of Christ’s Resurrection, as he met with the faithful on Easter Monday.

The Holy Father spoke at noon to a crowd gathered at his summer residence in Castel Gandalfo, where he is—following his usual custom--spending a few days to rest after the rigors of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. After leading the Regina Caeli, the Pontiff offered a short meditation on the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection.

The Gospels do not speak at all about the moment of the Resurrection, the Pope observed. That event, he said, “remains mysterious—not as something unreal but as something beyond the reach of our knowledge—as a light so bright the eyes cannot bear it.”

However, the Gospels do tell us that the first witnesses of the Resurrection were faithful women. This is noteworthy, the Pope reminded his audience. “In those days, in Israel, women's testimony could have no official legal value,” he said. But the women’s involvement underlines the special bond that Jesus had with women, and the special role women played in the early life of the Church.

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