The Invisible Women begins with the retelling of the Gospel account of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the miracle most familiar to Christians. Marks account tells us that five thousand men were fed. However, Matthews account adds a phrase that changes the whole story: Five thousand men were fed, not counting women and children. This is where this book takes off. Page after page presents us with the incredible fact that women throughout scripture and church history went unnamed and unnoticed.
But the women are there in incredible numbers in the Old Testament and New Testament, in miracle accounts, in stories of bravery and wisdom. They are there as teachers, prophets, judges, healers, deacons. Yet the passages proclaiming them are either excised from the lectionary or left out altogether. This book traces the gender inequality in the church since the time of the early church fathers as well as the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the Second Vatican Council, and the 1983 Code of Canon Law. It explores the consistent pattern of women being unnamed and unnoticed. The author declares that it is now time to acknowledge and celebrate these forgotten women and to challenge one another and our church to also count them as equally effective leaders in the church. Men and women together are needed in order to live out the true message of equality and inclusivity, which has always been the message of the Gospel.
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