Rosemary Joyce writes in her article Women as leaders in early Christianity; Fairy tales? about images that were discovered in the Roman Catacombs of women that appear to be the preachers. She explains the anthropological view of coming to this explanation and why the Vatican’s view of these images are misinterpreted. The figures are identified as women, in a position of leading prayer, and wearing the proper attire for a priest.
Archaeologist and anthropologist have identify these images as female priests. The Vatican and many other christian denominations believe that the bible and other doctrines do not allow females to be leaders of the church. However based on the original translations of biblical texts there is evidence of females being the leaders of great congregations.
This information does promote room for a lot of controversy. Some believe that these finding are just fairy tales as the title suggests. However Rosemary Joyce uses clear evidence to support otherwise. This is no fairy tale. Somewhere along the way women have been degraded in status. There is evidence of Jewish and Christian communities in the ancient Mediterranean where women held positions of high priests, teachers, apostles, and many other highly regarded positions. It is amazing that anthropology can be used to prove old theories and myths wrong. Especially ones that have been institutionalized and have used bad translations of religions texts to justify.