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Jesus' Extraordinary Treatment of Women View Comments
By Barbara Leonhard, O.S.F.

"I DON’T THINK there is a place for me at the table,” a young woman told me a number of years ago. She was talking about how she felt in her Church.

Her comment has haunted me. The image I have of Jesus from the Gospels is of one who went out of his way to welcome women at the table and in his ministry. Read against the backdrop of first-century, Middle Eastern, Judaic culture, Jesus’ words and actions are strikingly inclusive.


Barbara Leonhard, O.S.F., is an Oldenburg Franciscan who has a B.A. in theology from Marian College (now University), an M.A. in biblical studies from the Catholic Theological Union and a Ph.D. in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union. Based in Batesville, Indiana, she facilitates a spiritual direction internship in Beech Grove, and does retreat work and workshops.

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		<p>Clement of Rome was the third successor of St. Peter, reigning as pope during the last decade of the first century. He’s known as one of the Church’s five “Apostolic Fathers,” those who provided a direct link between the Apostles and later generations of Church Fathers. </p>
		<p>His <em>First Epistle to the Corinthians </em>was preserved and widely read in the early Church. This letter from the bishop of Rome to the Church in Corinth concerns a split that alienated a large number of the laity from the clergy. Deploring the unauthorized and unjustifiable division in the Corinthian community, Clement urged charity to heal the rift. <br /></p>
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