|Gregorio Borgia / AP|
Frescos e sacerdócio no feminino
Partilho uma notícia em inglês, publicada a 20 de novembro de 2013 pelo The Guardian, e que nos fala da descoberta da representação de sacerdotisas cristãs no restauro dos frescos na catacumba de Priscilla
Vatican unveils restored catacomb with frescoes showing 'female priests'
The Vatican has unveiled newly restored frescoes in the catacombs of Priscilla, known for housing the earliest known image of the Madonna and child, and frescoes said by some to show women priests in the early Christian church.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, presided over the opening of the "cubicle of Lazzaro", a tiny burial chamber featuring fourth-century images of Biblical scenes, the apostles Peter and Paul, and one of the early Romans buried there in stacks, as was common in the age of antiquity.
The labyrinthine cemetery complex stretching for miles under northern Rome is known as the queen of the catacombs because it features burial chambers of popes and a tiny, delicate fresco of the Madonna nursing Jesus dating from around AD230-240., the earliest known image of the Madonna and child
More controversially, the catacombs feature two scenes said by proponents of the women's ordination movement to show female priests: one in the ochre Greek chapel features a group of women celebrating a banquet, said to be the banquet of the eucharist. Another fresco in a richly decorated burial chamber features a woman, dressed in a dalmatic – a cassock-like robe – with her hands up in the position used by priests for public worship.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, which includes women who have been excommunicated by the Vatican for participating in purported ordination ceremonies, holds the images up as evidence that there were female priests in the early Christian church.
But Fabrizio Bisconti, the superintendent of the Vatican's sacred archaeology commission, said such a reading of the frescoes was pure "fable, a legend".
Even though the catacombs' official guide says there is "a clear reference to the banquet of the holy eucharist" in the fresco, Bisconti said the scene of the banquet wasn't a eucharistic banquet but a funeral banquet. He said that even though women were present, they weren't celebrating mass.
Bisconti said the other fresco of the woman with her hands up in prayer was just that – a woman praying. "These are readings of the past that are a bit sensationalistic but aren't trustworthy," he said.
Asked about the scenes, Ravasi professed ignorance and referred comment to Bisconti. The Vatican has restricted the priesthood for men, arguing that Jesus chose only men as his apostles.
The Priscilla catacombs are being featured in a novel blending of antiquity and modern technology. For the first time, Google Maps has gone into the Roman catacombs, providing a virtual tour of the Priscilla complex.