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VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Italian nun speculates that St. Paul attended a "'non ritual' female liturgy" in Philippi.
Mother Maria Grazia Angelini made the remark Friday in front of delegates at the Vatican's Synod on Synodality during her "spiritual reflection on the theme of women and mission."
In her exegesis, Angelini proclaimed, "Strangely, Paul was welcomed by a liturgy outside the ritual, among women, in the open air. The apostle did not start here, as was his custom, in the synagogue."
"He inserted himself into a 'non ritual' female liturgy, breaking into it with the word of the Gospel," she continued. The Italian nun was referencing a passage from Acts 16 that reads:
On the Sabbath day, we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyateira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.
Lydia was then baptized along with her household. No part of the passage mentions a "liturgy" among the women. "Jesus was innovative; he created a daring and revelatory style, in his way of relating to women, but this peculiarity finds provocative validation in the current climate," The 79-year-old nun also claimed, "Today, we find ourselves in the concrete situation of realizing that this relates to us — it relates to the Church that seeks reform."
Angelini was one of three women speaking before synodal delegates today — including Sr. Gloria Liliana Franco and Sr. Xiskya Valladares. In her speech, Franco reportedly lamented, "Many women have no place in the parish or diocesan council, even though they are the teachers and the catechists." In a TikTok video earlier this year, Valladares advocated for women "priestesses."