Was Mary Magdalene a Victim of Character Assassination?
Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, the Eastern Orthodox tradition never recognised it and Pope Gregory the Great deliberately fudged unconnected incidents in the gospels and trashed her reputation to make a point about repentance. In savaging the reputation of a woman who was as close to Jesus as any of his male disciples for his own misguided message, however, you have to acknowledge this act was the result of underlying sexism at the very least as well as falling far far below any decent standards of love, integrity or honesty. The facts are that Mary stood by Jesus when the men ran away and that she was the first to the see the risen Jesus on the ‘morning after’; and modern thinking is that she was of a higher social status and may even have help support Jesus during his ministry. Whatever she was however her pivotal reputation has been degraded in a way that casts shame on those who did it and the truth needs to be trumpeted widely.