The film “Duel” was directed by Steven Spielberg when he was a graduate student. Within the first ten minutes of this film there was a definite shadow of foreboding presence with every turn, every hill and bend on a highway.

We, the viewers, could almost feel the dread of being in our own vehicle, followed by such a treacherous specter of some type, casting an ominous presence of sheer terror.

Shades of the mysterious reside inside the meaning of the word “shadow” itself. It can range in appearance from darkness or bring on a feeling of gloom or even be named a ghost, spirit or phantom. The term shadow figure is used in the paranormal arena of investigation.

A shadow figure can project a somewhat human type of faceless black silhouette.

Many others might associate the word shadow to an old radio show of the 1930s called “The Shadow.” They either listened to it themselves or like me, heard about it through their parents. The opening of the show began with a familiar line, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” This was followed by a wicked laugh. After hearing the opening spooky music along with the wicked laugh, it certainly set the mood for this radio mystery show.

The shadow of women priests’ actual history is truly like a phantom from the shadows residing in the graveyard of papal records. Its voice, having been lost for centuries, is now but a whisper wanting to be heard by today’s Catholics. Its own attempts to break out have been successfully thwarted by the hierarchy’s own apparition of non-disclosure of women priest’s past ministry within Church history.

Perhaps you are a grandmother, mother or aunt – why should any of you be concerned about this issue of women priests? If I asked any of these women why should they care about this, I probably would come away with three different replies. You might expect the grandmother to be adamantly against this, while the mother really isn’t sure one way or the other – then why is the aunt definitely for women priests?

But I could ask that same question with different sets of women and have completely different answers. So, what is accounting for such a wide variance of answers over such a diverse age span? While not for everyone in this age range, you must remember that predominantly the older group of Catholics grew up in a time where you would never think about ever questioning your Church.

For the mother group, many are obviously following what their own mothers have handed down to them in beliefs. Why then Is the aunt not following the previous two choices? What has moved her to view it completely differently from the others?

The age span for the group of people I picketed with ranges from middle age and upward. What is strikingly noticeable is the absence of young adults. Their very non-attendance speaks volumes to the issue of inequality for women today in our Church.

To learn more about this topic, be sure to opt in for Chapter 4 of the soon-to-be-released book, Scandal in the Shadows. Visit to access.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret Mary O’Connor has made it her mission to reveal the truth of Your Catholic Church.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University At Buffalo (NY), and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY. She is a former Chaplain and is currently a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Charity Parish where, ironically, the Church windows depict the Vatican II Council. One window represents the “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World,” which includes an article that speaks directly to ending sexual discrimination of all kinds in our Church.

Margaret Mary is available for podcast interviews. Visit for more information.

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