Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Popes Joined Forces to Crush Vatican Coup"/ Vatican Hardliners Oppose Pope Francis' Agenda, New York Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/popes-joined-forces-to-crush-vatican-coup-n2ctk8rgk#top
The lesson here is : do not underestimate the power of hardliners in the Vatican Curia to oppose Pope Francis' agenda of openness to dialogue and change in the Catholic Church. One example is Pope Francis recent announcement of a commission to study women deacons. Some of the Curia fear the changes that a church that treats women as equals and partners, like Jesus did in the Gospels. Indeed, ordaining women deacons could be a first step towards gender equality that could shake the patriarchal power structure to its core!
The Pope's recent apology to gays and mistreated women open doors to further dialogue and much needed healing in our church. While these words must be followed by changes in teaching, policies and laws , Pope Francis has made a courageous beginning.
My prayer is that Pope Francis hangs in there through the hostility and opposition! It is important to stand together as a church, one in Christ, in loving solidarity, united in our diversity for justice, equality and renewal!
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com

"Popes Joined Forces to Crush Vatican Coup"/ Vatican Hardliners Oppose Pope Francis' Agenda, New York Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/popes-joined-forces-to-crush-vatican-coup-n2ctk8rgk#top
The lesson here is : do not underestimate the power of hardliners in the Vatican Curia to oppose Pope Francis' agenda of openness to dialogue and change in the Catholic Church. One example is Pope Francis recent announcement of a commission to study women deacons. Some of the Curia fear the changes that a church that treats women as equals and partners, like Jesus did in the Gospels. Indeed, ordaining women deacons could be a first step towards gender equality that could shake the patriarchal power structure to its core!
The Pope's recent apology to gays and mistreated women open doors to further dialogue and much needed healing in our church. While these words must be followed by changes in teaching, policies and laws , Pope Francis has made a courageous beginning.
My prayer is that Pope Francis hangs in there through the hostility and opposition! It is important to stand together as a church, one in Christ, in loving solidarity, united in our diversity for justice, equality and renewal!
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com

"Popes Joined Forces to Crush Vatican Coup"/ Vatican Hardliners Oppose Pope Francis' Agenda, New York Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/popes-joined-forces-to-crush-vatican-coup-n2ctk8rgk#top
The lesson here is : do not underestimate the power of hardliners in the Vatican Curia to oppose Pope Francis' agenda of openness to dialogue and change in the Catholic Church. One example is Pope Francis recent announcement of a commission to study women deacons. Some of the Curia fear the changes that a church that treats women as equals and partners, like Jesus did in the Gospels. Indeed, ordaining women deacons could be a first step towards gender equality that could shake the patriarchal power structure to its core!
The Pope's recent apology to gays and mistreated women open doors to further dialogue and much needed healing in our church. While these words must be followed by changes in teaching, policies and laws , Pope Francis has made a courageous beginning.
My prayer is that Pope Francis hangs in there through the hostility and opposition! It is important to stand together as a church, one in Christ, in loving solidarity, united in our diversity for justice, equality and renewal!
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pope Frqncis Says Christians Must Apologize to Gay People and "Mistreated Women" for Marginalizing them, How About Women Priests?

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-christians-must-apologize-gay-people-marginalizing-them, English
https://evangelizadorasdelosapostoles.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/el-papa-francisco-dice-los-cristianos-deben-pedir-disculpas-a-la-gente-gay-y-mujeres-maltratadas-marginadas-como-las-mujeres-sacerdotes/  Spanish
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/28/world/europe/pope-francis-gays-christians-apology.html?_r=1
Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Yerevan, Armenia, to Rome June 26. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Bridget Mary's Response: I am deeply touched that Pope Francis asked forgiveness of gay people and of "mistreated women." Pope Francis'  words reflect  the compassionate heart of Christ for those on the margins whom the institutional church has hurt through centuries of its toxic teachings and punitive policies.  

May this apology lead to a change in teachings, policies and actions that promote a healthier church that proclaims the spiritual equality of all the baptized.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church needs a major revision. If we are to live Christ's love as Catholics we cannot teach that anyone is objectively disordered! Each person is the beloved of God called to reflect the loving face of the divine in our world. No exceptions!

I pray that Pope Francis will begin a dialogue with our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement that will lead to the dropping of excommunication and punishments against our members and supporters. We are following our consciences and leading the church into living Gospel equality now. As Francis initiates the commission to study women deacons, he could also begin a healing process of the wounds of sexism with a dialogue with women priests. 

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com.

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-christians-must-apologize-gay-people-marginalizing-them
"In a press conference Sunday on the flight back to Rome after his weekend trip to Armenia, the pontiff said bluntly: "The church must say it's sorry for not having comported itself well many times, many times."
"I believe that the church not only must say it's sorry ... to this person that is gay that it has offended," said the pope. "But it must say it's sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work."
"When I say the church: Christians," Francis clarified. "The church is holy. We are the sinners."
The pope was responding to a question about remarks German Cardinal Reinhard Marx made last week that the Catholic church should apologize to the gay community for marginalizing them.
"I will repeat the same thing I said on the first trip," Francis said today, referencing the press conference he held on a return flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013. "I will also repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that [gay people] should not be discriminated against, that they have to be respected, pastorally accompanied."
"The matter is a person that has that condition [and] that has good will because they search for God," said the pontiff."
"Who are we to judge them?" he asked, reframing his famous phrase from 2013 into the plural. "We must accompany well -- what the Catechism says. The Catechism is clear."
Francis also said that the culture in which he grew up in Argentina many years ago was a "closed Catholic culture," giving the example of how it was looked down upon to even enter the home of a couple who had been married civilly after one of the partners had previously divorced.
"The culture has changed -- and thank God!" the pope exclaimed. "Christians; we must say we are sorry many times; not only on this."

Sunday, June 26, 2016

"The Face You Make When God Calls, And Tells You She's been Calling Women to the Priesthood for Millennia!"


"Women Priests March on Rome Asking Pope Francis to Consider Changing Church Rules ". New York Times

WITW STAFF

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 20:  Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of the Palm Sunday Mass on March 20, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 20: POPE FRANCIS WAVES TO THE FAITHFUL AS HE LEAVES ST. PETER'S SQUARE AT THE END OF THE PALM SUNDAY MASS ON MARCH 20, 2016 IN VATICAN CITY, VATICAN. (PHOTO BY FRANCO ORIGLIA/GETTY IMAGES)
During a celebration known as the Jubilee for Priests and Seminarians at the headquarters of the Catholic church this month, a group of women who say they have been rightly ordained as Catholic priests had their own celebration by way of a march near St. Peter’s Square.The  Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, along with the advocacy group Women’s Ordination Conference, carried a pink cardboard telephone booth with the words “Door to Dialogue” on it, sending a message to Francis and church officials that they were there, willing to discuss the possibility of the church finally allowing and recognizing female priests. The women told The Daily Beast that it was a sign of progress that they were even given a permit to march near the Vatican, and that a petition they had signed was delivered to a senior Vatican official.
Still, the Church has a longstanding policy of barring women from serving as priests. Some women who have been ordained by Catholic bishops claim they already are priests, though women who claim that are excommunicated from the church, according to the report. Cristina Moreira, of Spain, and Janice Sevre-Duszynska, of the United States, both say that they are ordained priests, and marched in the event this week in Rome.
The Women’s Ordination Conference said it’s time for the church’s policy of sexism to change.
“Opening a commission to study the diaconate for women would be a great step for the Vatican in recognizing its own history,” Kate McElwee, co-executive director of the WOC, told The Daily Beast. “Discussion on ordained ministries for women is new for the Vatican, and something we celebrate.”
Read the full story at The Daily Beast.

ARCWP-COLOMBIA. PARTICIPA EN LA FORMACIÓN DE LAS VEEDURIAS DESDE LA MESA ECUMENICA POR LA PAZ. Olga Lucia Álvarez Benjumea ARCWP

https://evangelizadorasdelosapostoles.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/arcwp-colombia-participa-en-la-formacion-de-las-veedurias-desde-la-mesa-ecumenica-por-la-paz-olga-lucia-alvarez-benjumea-arcwp/

Logo en español
El pasado 23 de Junio sido un día muy importante para Colombia. Se han firmado los acuerdos de Paz entre el Gobierno y las FARC. Somos conscientes que nos “faltan muchas cosas para conseguir la Paz”, como dice la canción. A pesar de ello, no vamos a dejar de soñar, para construir realizarla y hacerla posible.
Es el momento de involucrarnos y participar activamente con entusiasmo, con alegría y pleno compromiso como cristianas/os en velar, vigilar y cuidar para que la semilla de la Paz, germine, crezca, y su Luz,  irradie, no solo para nuestra región, sino que llegue a todo el país y al mundo entero.
Es así como nos hemos reunido, quienes participamos en la Mesa Ecuménica por la Paz: Iglesia Católica, Iglesia Vetero Católica, Fraternidad Sacerdotal, Comunión Sin Fronteras, Casa Biblica-Laureles, ARCWP, invitando a varios líderes –mujeres-hombres- de nuestros municipios y barrios, a fin de auto-capacitarnos, capacitar  y ayudarnos mutuamente a protegernos y proteger nuestros derechos adquiridos, construyendo una Sociedad Incluyente.
Ha sido muy importante, recoger la historia de los Barrios, focalizar nuestros problemas, descubrir nuestros valores, encontrar nuestros líderes y la capacidad de sus dones al servicio de la Comunidad, para luego plantearnos el qué hacer y preguntarnos, si estuviéramos cada vez más unidos/as qué sucedería en nuestro país?
El compromiso es seguir informando, capacitando a los líderes hacia las Veedurías públicas, articuladas al cumplimiento de la Ley 850 del 2003.

REPORTE GRÁFICO DEL TALLER SOBRE VEEDURÍAS, REALIZADO EN MEDELLÍN, ANTIOQUIA, JUNIO 25/16

Ancizar Cadavid, motivando, explicando el sentido ecuménico y el aporte para la PAZ desde la Mesa Ecuménica por la Paz.
Ancizar Cadavid, motivando, explicando el sentido ecuménico y el aporte para la PAZ desde la Mesa Ecuménica por la Paz.
Nos hemos presentado haciendo una telaraña sobre el mapa que representa los espacios donde estamos ubicados.
Nos hemos presentado haciendo una telaraña sobre el mapa que representa los espacios donde estamos ubicados.
Aspecto del taller y sus participantes.
Aspecto del taller y sus participantes.
Recogiendo la historia y experiencia de cada participante por zonas.
Recogiendo la historia y experiencia de cada participante por zonas.
IMG_0855IMG_0856
Los aportes de los grupos fueron compartidos en el plenario y consignados en el tablero.
Los aportes de los grupos fueron compartidos en el plenario y consignados en el tablero.
Recibiendo información, clarificando conceptos, escuchando propuestas y sugerencias.
Recibiendo información, clarificando conceptos, escuchando propuestas y sugerencias.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community 13th Week in Extraordinary Time June 25, 2016 Michael Rigdon and Sallly Borchu ARCWP Co-Presiding Mindy Lou Simmons, Music Minister

Presider Michael Rigdon welcomes the community, Sally Brochu, ARCWP co-presider on left
Sally Brochu ARCWP, Co-Presider holds Gospel Book and proclaimss Gospel 


Welcome!
Moment of silence
Gathering Song: #513 Come, follow me, vs 1-3

All: In the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom. Amen.
Presider: God is with you. All: And also with you.

Opening Prayer. All: Let us pray. O God, make our hearts places of peace and our minds harbors of tranquility. Sow in our souls true love for you and for one another. And root deeply within us friendship and unity, and concord with reverence. So may we give peace to each other sincerely and receive it beautifully. Amen

General Absolution by Community. All, with hand extended in prayer: O God of all mercy, through his life Jesus revealed that nothing can separate us from your love. May God give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and for our earth, in the name of Abba God, and of our brother Jesus, and of Spirit Sophia. Amen

All sing: Glory to God, glory. O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory. O praise the name of our God. (x3)
1st reading from the first book of Kings
Response: #743 You are my inheritance, O God, my inheritance, O God.
2nd reading from Paul’s letter to the Galatians
Gospel Acclamation: #931 Celtic Alleluia
A reading from the Gospel of Luke.
Response. All: Glory & praise to Jesus the Christ!
All (sing): Celtic Alleluia

Shared Homily
Moment of silence

Profession of Faith. All: We believe in God, the creator of all, whose divinity infuses life with the sacred. We believe in Jesus the Christ who leads us to the fullness of humanity. Through Christ we become new people, lifted to the fullness of life. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God on earth, who keeps the Christ vision present and infuses energy into weary spirits. We believe in God who is life. Amen to courage, to hope, to the spirit of truth, to wholeness, to the partnership and equality of women and men in God’s plan. We believe in justice and peace for all. We surely believe in all this!

Community Petitions. Presider: Always mindful of God’s love and care for us, we bring the needs of the people to our loving God. Response: God of love, hear our prayer.
Presider: Energize us in our works for justice, equality, and peace. We pray this with Jesus our brother.
All: Amen

Collection and Procession of Gifts to the table.
All Sing: #361 Seed Scattered and Sown, 1&3
Eucharistic Prayer. We invite all to gather around the table for our community meal.
All Sing: We are holy holy holy (x3) We are whole. You are holy… I am holy… We are holy
All: As we do in this place what you did in an upstairs room, send down your Spirit Sophia on us and on these gifts of bread and wine that they may become for us your body, healing, forgiving, and making us whole. And that we may become for you, your body, loving and caring in the world until your kindom comes. Amen.

We remember Jesus. All, with hand extended in blessing: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. This is my body which will be broken for you.” (Pause) In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. This is the cup of my life-blood. Do this in memory of me.”

All: Remember, gracious God, your Church throughout the world. Make us open to receive all believers. In union with all people, may we strive to create a world where suffering is diminished, and where all people can live in health and wholeness.
Thru Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, gracious God. Amen (sing)

Prayer of Jesus (Sing “Our Father and Mother”)

Group Sign of Peace: #532 Let there be peace on earth.
Presider: Let us offer one another a sign of peace.
All: This is Jesus who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this banquet of love. We are the Body of Christ.
All Sing: Holy gifts for holy people; come, you hungry, and believe. Come and take Christ’s body offered, come and be what you receive. (Repeat x2)

Communion: Instrumental music (Mindy)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (DidacheInstruction, 100CE)
Men: For the thanksgiving, give thanks this way: First, for the cup: We thank you, Abba God, for the sacred vine of David your son, whose meaning you made clear to us through our brother Jesus, yours ever be the splendor.
Women: And for the bread fragment: We thank you, Abba God, for the life and wisdom whose meaning you made clear to us through Jesus, yours ever be the splendor.
All: As this fragment was scattered high on hills, but by gathering was united into one, so let your people from earth’s ends be united into your single reign, for yours are splendor and might through Jesus Christ down the ages.

Prayers of Thanksgiving. Introductions. Announcements.

All sing, hand extended in blessing: You are the face of God, I hold you in my heart, You are a part of me, You are the face of God. You are the face of God, I hold you in my heart, You are my family, You are the face of God.
Presider: Go in the peace of Christ, may our loving service to all continue! All: Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Closing song: #504 Go make a difference, vs 1-3
Anointing of those in need
http://www.marymotherofjesus.org/liturgy/

After liturgy, members of MMOJ  Inclusive Catholic Community continue  their sharing at supper in a local restaurant in Sarasota, Florida.  There is room for everyone at the table!






My Response to the Vatican letter that asks Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to Rome for 'prayerful conversation' by Dan Stockman/National Catholic Reporter:


Bridget Mary's Response: According to this National Catholic Reporter article, about 15 communities have been invited to a Vatican dialogue on areas of dissent: "from the Church's moral teaching or approved liturgical practice".  

I thought the Vatican investigation of the U.S. religious orders was over! Didn't the Vatican learn its lesson: don't mess with the nuns? In city after city, hundreds of Catholics took to the streets to show their support for the Nuns on the Bus and the ministries of the courageous, dedicated Sisters who have educated and cared for millions of Catholics through the years.  Is this another example of the Vatican as the gift that keeps on giving? I don't get it!
 Seriously, what is the Vatican trying to do? Single out a  "bad girls" list of  Religious Orders that don't conform to church teaching on "hot button" issues such as birth control, abortion, gay marriage, women priests,etc. The church teaches that one must follow one's conscience in all moral decisions. Is this a last ditch effort on the  Vatican's part to  pressure the nuns to support teachings that violate their religious freedom?

Will the Vatican force religious congregations to relinquish their canonical status,  the good housekeeping seal of approval by the institutional church unless they conform to official church teaching on these and other issues?  Or will the religious congregations finally say "enough is enough" and liberate themselves from the yoke of Vatican patriarchal control in order to live Gospel freedom and integrity ? 
Pope Francis is full of wonderful surprises!  So, I am hopeful  that he can stop this train wreck from happening.  In a respectful, prayerful  conversation, perhaps, the Vatican officials involved in this dialogue will comprehend the legacy of love, compassion, faith and hope that the women in these Religious Orders bring to the table. Perhaps, this will be an opportunity for mutual growth and spiritual sharing versus ecclesiastical "nit-picking" over the nuns' perceived failures to follow
magisterial teaching?  Just imagine Jesus, the rule breaker, at the Vatican participating in this dialogue! 
As baptized members of the church,  the Sisters and their brothers in the Vatican hierarchy, are spiritual equals. The nuns, including the Orders on this recent "Vatican hit list", have spoken truth to power in their prophetic witness on many issues. They have not supported the hierarchy's policies of discrimination against LGBTI and have spoken out on environmental healing, poverty, economic justice and sexual exploitation etc.   
I hope this upcoming Vatican dialogue will promote Gospel equality as the Sisters  speak truth to power on the elephant in the church's living room-  the full equality of women as priests and decison-makers in all ministries of the church.  Pope Francis and the Vatican hierarchy need to listen to the voice of God, speaking through the the Sisters if the church is to be credible and to flourish in the 21st century. 
Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.comwww.arcwp.org
"The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are among the recipients of letters from the Vatican asking congregations to explain matters learned during the apostolic visitation.
About 15 communities of U.S. Catholic sisters are being asked to provide the Vatican with further clarification in the aftermath of the controversial, six-year investigation. The apostolic visitation was announced in 2009, and a final report of the six-year process was released in December 2014.
In addition to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Loretto Sisters also received letters from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL).
Both the Loretto Sisters and the Sisters of St. Joseph were invited to Rome to discuss the matters at meetings in October.  The Loretto Sisters' meeting is scheduled Oct. 18. The timing of the Sisters of St. Joseph meeting in October is tentative, the letter said. The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were only asked to provide a written response.
The Sisters of St. Joseph said in a statement their letter invited them to Rome for a "prayerful conversation" about "a few points mentioned in the letter." The statement did not say what those points were, and congregational leaders declined to say anything beyond the issued statement.
A copy of the subsequent letter sent by leadership to Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet sisters was obtained by Global Sisters Report. It says that all CSJ Province Leadership Teams received the same letter from CICLSAL and quotes from it on five matters "voicing the following concerns":
• Your desire to help bring about an 'emerging new form of religious life';
• Your evaluation of the way you promote the spiritual and community life of the congregation, in light of the Church's definition of apostolic religious life;   
• Your Congregation's policy regarding members of the community who are known to hold positions of dissent from the Church's moral teaching or approved liturgical practice;
• The identity and role of lay associates/consociates, assuring the distinction between vowed religious life and laity.
• We also urge you to evaluate your efforts to promote 'communion with creation', especially in light of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si, a comprehensive presentation on the responsible care of creation, in view of integrating its principles enunciated in the encyclical into your current efforts in this area.
The congregation's statement said the letter was presented as a follow-up to the on-site visit to the order in St. Paul, Minnesota, in late 2010. The congregation's leadership team discussed whether to accept or decline the summons, but decided the "benefits outweigh the challenges of expense and some inconvenience."
The statement said the way sisters conducted themselves during the apostolic visitation and an even more controversial investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith showed the value of remaining engaged to resolve differences and misunderstandings between sisters and the church hierarchy.
"We want to 'stay at the table' and participate in respectful dialogue. We want to communicate by our behavior that we see ourselves as their partners in continuing Christ's mission," the statement said. "It is also potentially an opportunity for the staff of CICLSAL to deepen their understanding of women religious in our country."
The Loretto Sisters were asked to report on five so-called "areas of concern," including:
• Your way of promoting the spiritual and community life of the congregation, in light of the Church's definition of apostolic religious life;
• A certain ambiguity regarding the congregation's adherence to some areas of Church doctrine and morality;
• Your Congregation's policy regarding members of the community who are known to hold positions of dissent from the Church's moral teaching or approved liturgical practice.
The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were asked in a letter they described as "friendly" to respond to the office's continued concern over the order's "public dissent of Church teaching."
Sr. Teri Hadro, president of the order, said the Vatican interprets things as dissent that are actually just different ordering of priorities, citing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' spending the last decade making abortion its primary cause, while many U.S. women religious congregations have focused on issues like food, water and shelter for marginalized populations.
 [Dan Stockman is national correspondent for Global Sisters Report. Follow him on Twitter @DanStockman or on Facebook.]

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP (left),  and Katie Zatsick, ARCWP (right) hold banner: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priest - Reclaiming Our Ancient Heritage!
What do you think about Pope Francis and the new commission he called to study the ordination of women deacons?

We are grateful for Pope Francis’ work to protect mother earth, his care for the poor, and advocacy for economic equality. However, he must make the connection between poverty and gender justice. Two thirds of the world’s poor are women and their dependent children. If the Catholic Church were to embrace women's gifts as equals in the priesthood and in decision-making, just imagine the many blessings this affirmation would bring to a world where women suffer injustice and inequality every day. We hope that Pope Francis will chart a new path toward human equality in our church by opening all ministries to women. The commission on women deacons could be a first step toward the full equality of women in the church. 

How did your Movement begin?

The Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. An anonymous male bishop with apostolic succession ordained our first women bishops. Therefore, our ordinations are valid. We are disobeying an unjust man-made church law (canon 1024) that discriminates against women by prohibiting women's ordination. Right now, there are seven sacraments for men and six for women. The Catholic Church cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it.  Presently, the official teaching states that the Church has no authority whatsoever to ordain women because the priest acts in "persona Christi", and must bear a physical resemblance to Jesus. Thus, only men can be priests.  Baptism makes us all spiritual equals, and opens the door to all the sacraments, including Holy Orders. Baptized into Christ, we are all spiritual equals (Galatians 3:27-28). We are following our consciences and leading the church toward justice and equality by ordaining women in apostolic succession in a new model of church that is inclusive, non-clerical and empowering for all. 

In June 2016, Pope Francis has received our ongoing petition campaign from our international movement to lift our excommunications, stop all punishments against us and our supporters, and begin a dialogue with us.  See our petition to Pope Francis:
SIGN PETITION : CATHOLICS SUPPORT WOMEN PRIESTS. POPE FRANCIS SHOULD DO THE SAME., Groundswell Campaign

What is your vision/mission?

Roman Catholic Women Priests are a renewal, justice movement, within the Catholic Church. We are creating a bridge between our present institutional church and a new model of church, rooted in Jesus’ vision of an open table, and beginning a healing process of centuries-old  misogyny. 

We are changing the church, one inclusive Catholic Community at a time. We offer hope that gender equality can be a reality now by living as companions in a blessed, mutual partnership of love, rooted in the teachings and example of Jesus. We are companions on the journey, an egalitarian partnership with the community of the baptized, facilitating inclusive liturgies and building loving communities of service in our local areas. Our mission is to serve especially those whom the Vatican marginalizes and to serve Catholics who are ready to embrace a more inclusive church. We have an open table which means everyone is welcome to receive sacraments: LGBTQI, divorced and remarried, etc. In our faith communities, everyone consecrates Eucharist, offers mutual blessing and shares in homilies and governance decisions. We are a community of equals, celebrating our identity as united in our diversity in the Body of Christ. 

The real issue is the full equality of women in a renewed church where all are equal and all are welcome.  The Church that treats women as second-class citizens violates God's will. Genesis 1:27: God created humanity in God's image, in the divine image, God created them, male and female God created them.  Galatians 3:27.  St. Paul reminds us that by our baptism there is neither male nor female, all are one in Christ. 
Now is the time for a loving “holy shakeup”, an explosion of grace, which will bring fresh hope for justice and equality for women in the church and world.  As a new ecclesial movement we are blessing the church with new life in grassroots egalitarian communities where all are  equal and empowered. 

Who is your target group?

We are serving inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. Thirty-three million Catholics in the U.S. have left the church and we are welcoming them to our inclusive Eucharistic communities. 

Are your orders recognized in the Catholic Church?

Roman Catholic Women Priests have valid orders. A male bishop in apostolic succession ordained our first bishops.  According to recent polls, a growing number of people in many countries support women priests. Our international movement has ordained members in thirteen countries and on five continents. 

Why don't you get ordained in another church, rather than face excommunication and rejection?

We are faith-filled members of our church dedicated to making our church more loving, open, inclusive, just and equal. The church is our spiritual family and home. Jesus stood on the margins with the least and the last. He treated women as disciples and equals. He proclaimed that we are all the beloved of God, who is love. As followers of Jesus, we live the beautiful mystical, prophetic and sacramental tradition of our church.  Pope Benedict canonized two excommunicated nuns: Theodora Guerin and Mary MacKillop. Like these courageous women we spoke truth to power and suffered condemnation; we too are called to be prophets of gender justice for women in our church today. Like them, we are following primacy of conscience, which the church has taught for centuries.  
"Anyone upon whom the ecclesiastical authorities, in ignorance of the true facts, impose a demand that offends against his (her) clear conscience should perish in excommunication rather than violate his (her) conscience."St. Thomas Aquinas, Sentences IV, 38, 2, 5


How do you deal with excommunication?

We reject excommunication. No punishment can separate us from Christ or cancel our baptism. No church authority can separate us from God. This is our church and we are not leaving it no matter what the Vatican says or does (The Vatican's official line is that our excommunicate is the automatic type, by your choice, you have excommunicated yourself).


Were women ever ordained in church history? The church teaches that Jesus had twelve apostles. How can women be priests?

Jesus called women and men to be disciples (Luke 8:1-3). Jesus did not ordain anyone. The Twelve symbolized the twelve tribes of Israel. Women were apostles: Mary of Magdala and Junia in Romans 16:7.  Paul calls Junia an outstanding apostle! So there were more than 12 apostles. Paul was an apostle, and Mary of Magdala and Junia were two women apostles. The early Church Fathers referred to Mary of Magdala as the apostle to the apostles!
The Risen Christ called Mary Magdala to be the apostle to the apostles. She was the first to proclaim the central message of Christianity, the Resurrection. Vatican hierarchy should follow Jesus’ example of Gospel equality and the early church’s tradition of women in liturgical leadership as deacons, priests and bishops.

What is the History of Women's Ordination?

For 1200 years women were ordained (Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination, Dorothy Irvin’s archaeological evidence etc., and see major scholarship "women can be priests" in many languages: http://www.womenpriests.org/).

 “In the early centuries of Christianity, ordination was the process and the ceremony by which one moved to any new ministry (ordo) in the community. By this definition, women were in fact ordained into several ministries. A radical change in the definition of ordination during the eleventh and twelfth centuries not only removed women from the ordained ministry, but also attempted to eradicate any memory of women's ordination in the past. …However, the triumph of a new definition of ordination as the bestowal of power, particularly the power to confect the Eucharist, so thoroughly dominated western thought and practice by the thirteenth century that the earlier concept of ordination was almost completely erased.. References to the ordination of women exist in papal, episcopal and theological documents of the time, and the rites for these ordinations have survived” (Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination).

The Vatican and Google have created a virtual tour of catacombs including two frescoes in St. Priscilla’s catacomb that provide evidence of ancient women deacons and priests in first centuries of church’s history.  One fresco depicts a woman deacon in the center vested in a dalmatic, her arms raised in the orans position for public worship.  In the same scene there is a bishop being ordained a priest by a bishop seated in a chair. She is vested in an alb, chasuble, and amice, and holding a gospel scroll.  The third woman in the painting is wearing the same robe as the bishop on the left and is sitting in the same type of chair. In another fresco in the Catacombs of Priscilla, women are conducting a Eucharistic banquet. This evidence portrays women in liturgical roles and vestments.

Why are you being ordained as deacons, priests and bishops? Do you support clericalism, a top down pyramid model in which the people are basically shut out of decision-making?

We are called by God to minister in a renewed priestly ministry that celebrates our baptismal equality in Christ.  We live a non-clerical, circular model of decision-making in our governance and in our independent, inclusive communities. In our liturgies, all are welcome to receive sacraments and fully participate as baptismal equals in celebrating liturgies.  In many of our communities there are dialogue homilies, everyone recites the words of consecration and offers mutual blessing. Until women are affirmed as equals at the altar and in decision-making, women will be second-class citizens in our church. 

What is your response to sexism in the church today?

All the baptized are in "Persona Christi” who celebrate Eucharist as the Body of Christ.  In our present Roman Catholic structure, only male priests are officially recognized as in Persona Christi, and therefore, only male priests are called to preside at Eucharist. Roman Catholic Women Priests are visible reminders that women are equal images of God and therefore, are called to preside at and celebrate Eucharist as the Body of Christ. The Vatican hierarchy cannot continue to discriminate against women in sacramental ministry and in decision-making by insisting only ordained males are in Persona Christi. Our movement follows Jesus’ example of an open table where everyone is the Christ-Presence and all are welcome at the banquet table of God's love.  

How many are in your international movement and where are you?

The total number is approximately 225 for the entire Roman Catholic Women Priests international Movement which includes branches in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada, U.S., South America and South Africa

Why are there two branches of this movement in the United States?

In the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement, there are two RCWP groups in the United States, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) and Roman Catholic Women Priests – USA (RCWP-USA). Like two religious orders RCWP and ARCWP offer different approaches to governance and program preparation. Our common mission is a renewed priestly ministry in an inclusive church.

Both ARCWP and RCWP-USA offer a new model of priestly ministry in a renewed church that lives prophetic obedience and Gospel equality in the Roman Catholic Church now.  Both ARCWP and RCWP-USA communicate and share resources on a regular basis. We have a common listserv and national retreats. We collaborate on major reform movement events such as the celebration of liturgy at Call to Action National Conference..


The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priest's (ARCWP) vision is a renewed priestly ministry within a community of equals. ARCWP makes decisions by a consensus process that involves all members.

ARCWP is an international group without regional territories. Presently, ARCWP is in the United States, South America, and Canada.

Our website is www.arcwp.org

Media Contacts: Bridget Mary Meehan sofiabmm@aol.com, Janice Sevre Duszynska rhythmsofthedance1@gmail.com,