Of Women, Priests, and Angels
… or why the Angel Gabriel struck the Priest Zechariah and not (the Virgin) Mary dumb, although both questioned his startling news that they would be the parents of extraordinary sons.
Zechariah doubted the announcement because his wife was “advanced in age,” Mary because she had not “known” a man.
But Gabriel robbed Zechariah of the power of speech, so he couldn’t pronounce the blessing on the people after leaving the temple, yet left Mary free pronounce the Magnificat to Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, soon to become the mother of John the Baptist. Why such a harsh punishment for Zechariah, a priest in the temple, father of “the forerunner,” and a free pass for an ordinary girl?