Baker Academic

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Image of Cerula, Catacomb of San Gennaro

BBC 4 reports on an image found in a catacomb in San Gennaro, Naples. The image suggests that Christianity continued to employ female bishops as late as the fifth century.

The super-duper, dynamic duo of Helen Bond and Joan Taylor featured here:



  1. This image was published in 1989. Presenting it as a new discovery is naive. It is its interpretation as a bishop that is new. The current interpretation, since 1989, is that she is a deaconess. Nothing in what I read in The Telegraph makes me lean towards the new interpretion. Significant is in the article the omission of what is represented in the paenula.

  2. The telegraph article quotes Ian Paul more than Helen and Joan. Which is odd. (That being said, it worth noting its written by women).

    Ian, who is in favour of the idea of women bishops and apostles doesn't think that the Fresco is of a woman bishop as no stole is shown. Any thoughts on this?