The website of the "Roman Catholic Womenpriests" (www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org) has the following image at the top of its first page.
Immediately below the image is the following caption.
This archaeological photograph of a mosaic in the Church of St. Praxedis in Rome shows, in the blue mantle, the Virgin Mary, foremother of women leaders in the Church. On her left is St. Pudentiana and on her right St. Praxedis, both leaders of house churches in early Christian Rome. Episcopa Theodora, "Bishop Theodora" is the bishop of the Church of St. Praxedis in 820 AD.
The figure on the left end of the image is entitled EPISCOPA THEODORA
, meaning "Bishopess Theodora."
The Bishop of Rome, and therefore the bishop of St. Praxedis Church in Rome, has always been the Pope.
Theodora was never "bishopess" in Rome or anywhere.
St. Praxedis Church in Rome was built during the reign of Pope Paschal I, son of Theodora.
As mother of Pope Paschal I, Theodora received the title Episcopa
, "Bishopess", as a cultural honorific, not as a title for any function she exercised in the Church.
St. Praxedis Church also has a mosaic of its real Episcopus
, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Paschal I.
However, the "Roman Catholic Womenpriests" choose not to show it on their website.
The mosaic of Pope Paschal I is in the apse (the rounded wall above and behind the altar), and it depicts him holding St. Praxedis Church.
The square halo of Paschal I and that of his mother, Theodora, indicate they were both alive when artisans made the mosaics. [The claim that the coif worn by Theodora proves she was an unmarried woman, and therefore not the mother of Paschal, is an additional historical falsehood that some women's ordination activists are perpetrating. The truth is that the coif was a common headdress of all women, married or not. The veil was also common to married women. In fact, in Roman culture a women received a veil at her wedding, and wore it all the time. Over time, the coif (wrapping the face and neck) with the veil draped over the coif became the "uniform" of the nun, the bride of Christ. That usage was borrowed from married women.
Furthermore, women who were "leaders of house churches in early Christian Rome" were wealthy personages in whose homes the Church gathered on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist through the service of priests (who have always been males) or the bishop (the pope).
Buildings dedicated entirely to the liturgy, such as St. Praxedis Church, were often built years or centuries later on top of the physical foundations of "house churches".
Misleading historical and ecclesiological falsehoods greet you at the doorstep of RomanCatholicWomenpriests.org.
Link to website of Roman Catholic Womenpriests: