I've been reviewing a recent book on Mary Magdalene.
I was struck by this great quote from one of Jerome's letters, written in the fifth century:
'The unbelieving reader may perhaps laugh at me for being occupied with the excellences of mere women. Yet, let him but remember how the holy women, the companions of our Lord and Saviour, ministered to him of their subtance, and how the three Maries stood before the cross and especially how the Mary 'Magdalene'... was privileged to see the risen Christ first of all before the apostles. Then he will convict himself of pride sooner than me of folly. For we judge of people's capabilities not by their gender but by their mind.' [emphasis mine]
I find it so sad that after another fifteen centuries, the Church still has not 'got it'.