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Perspectief 32 dr. Margriet Gosker 4. Now I draw your special attention to the female aspect of catholicity. As baptised and confessing members of the one holy catholic and apostolic church, women are not to be excluded from unity, holiness, apostolicity or catholicity. It has been said that in times of heathen antiquity women were not accepted in structures of teaching and preaching 11 and for this reason they were also not accepted in early Christian church ministry. But as far as I know this is not true. There were still women priests in antiquity. In the area of the priesthood, women were the equals of men. 12 Against exclusion 5. Many churches don’t ordain women. Despite encouraging words of our new Pope Franciscus concerning the role of women in decision making processes of the Roman- Catholic Church and the decision for sister Mary Melone as the first ever female Rector Major of a pontifical university,13 women are still in too many churches kept outside apostolicity and catholicity, because they are still excluded from the ministry of word and sacraments. Beginning in the 19th century most Reformed, Lutheran, and Methodist churches opened their ministries step by step for women and finally established equal rights for everyone concerning all levels of ministry without regard to gender. Most Anglican, Baptist and Old Catholic churches did the same. I know very well, that it raises ecumenical problems. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches officially stated: “Some churches still do not ordain women although this is not supported biblically or theologically. Often the reason for not ordaining women is founded in the prevailing patriarchal social, cultural and religious environment of the nation in which a church exists. 11 J. Müller, In der Kirche Priester sein. Das Priesterbild in der deutschsprachigen katholischen Dogmatik des 20. Jahrhunderts , Echter Verlag, Würzburg, 2001, p. 198 Anmerkung 57: “ So war beispielsweise für den sukzessiven Ausschluss von Frauen aus Lehr- und Verkündigungsfunktionen die fehlende Akzeptanz in der heidnisch-antiken Gesellschaft ausschlaggebend, wie Rosemarie Nürnberg nachweist (“ Non decet neque necessarium est, ut mulieres doceant.“ Überlegungen zum altkirchlichen Lehrverbot für Frauen, in: Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 31, 1988, pp. 57-73). 12 J.B. Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2007. 13 pontifical-university