But for women everywhere, such a declaration would be very bad news. The cult of Mary, adapted and shaped by pagan obsessions with fertility and chastity, has already made a fetish of virginity and motherhood. Turning a lowly, naive Jewish girl into Co-redemptor would strengthen the church's demands that women be as passive and self-sacrificing as its presentation of Mary. John Paul II runs a clerical patriarchy which offers women little recognition of the right to control their fertility and none at all of equality.
But whatever her more recent killjoy image, she did once demonstrate that she knew what makes a party go with a swing - when she urged Jesus to turn water into wine at the Cana wedding. Perhaps those disaffected members of the Roman Catholic Church could ask Mary to intercede now, and make their church a place that embraces all "poor banished children of Eve" in equal measure.Reuse content