Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nuns Build House of Straw/Showcasing Clean Energy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrVPvDD67AM

"First Woman Priest Ordained from New Jersey Dies"

__._,_.___


"Petition to Reinstate Fired KC Pantry Director met by Security Guards" by Brian Roewe/National Catholic Reporter/Newly Ordained Deacon Georgia Walker, ARCWP, Organized Protest

"A group seeking to deliver a petition to Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn on behalf of a fired gay foot pantry coordinator met resistance Wednesday afternoon as they attempted to enter the downtown chancery offices.A group of about 30 people carried a copy of an online petition with more than 32,000 signatures asking that Finn apologize to Colleen Simon -- a woman dismissed from her parish position after her same-sex marriage was inadvertently made public by a local newspaper -- and to give her job back.The group made their way into the first set of doors at the chancery before two security guards for the building blocked them from entering farther.
According to Georgia Walker, organizer of the Faithful America petition, the group prayed and sang in the lobby as they waited for a representative from the diocese to receive the petition. After calling several offices, she said a summer intern came to collect the petition. Walker said in an email to NCR that as she left police arrived, reportedly at the diocese’s request, to break up an “unauthorized protest.”
On July 17, Simon filed a lawsuit against Finn and the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese. She claimed she was fired because of her same-sex marriage, despite disclosing the relationship to the parish priests, who told her it would not play a factor. Simon is married to the Rev. Donna Simon of St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church; the couple's marriage was disclosed in a Kansas City Star 816 magazine article exploring inter-city revitalization efforts.
Colleen Simon worked at St. Francis Xavier Church, a Jesuit parish, from July 2013 until her May dismissal as its director of social ministry (later titled pastoral associate for life and justice). The role primarily had her working in the parish food pantry...."
[Brian Roewe is an NCR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianRoewe.] 
Bridget Mary's Response: 
Newly ordained deacon, Georgia Walker, ARCWP organized this witness of 32,000 signatures in support of justice for Colleen Simon.  How sad that Bishop Finn fired Colleen Simon, a faithful, dedicated minister of the Gospel because she was in a  same-sex marriage. At heart, this is a justice issue. Thank God for the group who challenged Bishop Robert Finn to reinstate Colleen.  Like Jesus who ministered on the margins, so we must too.  Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org



"Opinion: After tiff over woman priest, a miracle" Mary Pierce Brosmer

..." Imagine the church politicians faced with a perfect storm of threat to their house of cards: A woman priest leading a prayer service on the Feast of Mary Magdalene, and Archdiocesan money, all $700 of it, to be put in service of the fleshy, messy business of LAUNDRY!
What's a prelate to do? Withdraw the $700, of course, because his is an institution which has been built on the solid rock of refusing the feminine in all its forms, in all its values. How dismaying it must be to see, if said prelate has eyes to see, however, that it is Lydia's House which expresses the Jesus Way.
In feeding the 5,000 or more, the hopelessly large number of hungry people who gathered in an inhospitable place, Jesus did what Lydia's House does every day.
He (and they) do not despair over the impossibility of the task before them. Rather, they bless what they have, and HERE is the real miracle Jesus performed that day (and Lydia's House performs every day). People are so inspired by his courage and vulnerability, they share what they have, whether little or a lot, creating the miracle of Enough for Everyone... "
The Lydia's House Facebook page: What we'd most like to highlight from this sad and confusing experience is the overwhelming support we've received from Catholics around the country this week and the over $7,000 in donations that have come through our mailbox and across the internet. We've now paid for our washer/dryer and funded our portion of a yearlong women's ministry internship that we'll co-host with a local church this fall. Thank you!
As more donations come in we're grappling with how to best use them. Could anyone recommend a local organization that serves women in poverty and has an emergency need for funds? We have what we need and want to share this outpouring with others in greater need.

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Aug. 3, 2014 by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Down at Claver House last week
we received a few dozen cans of tomato sauce.
We thought to put it in the soup of the day,
but when I picked up a can,
I noticed that the expiration date was December of 2009,
and the can was dented.
I opened it and sniffed—smelled okay. Looked okay.
I tasted it. It wasn’t okay.
For me, that can of tomato sauce
symbolizes what we’re doing with the needy in our world:
too often they get food we wouldn’t eat,
get clothes we wouldn’t wear,
get overcharged for dilapidated houses we wouldn’t live in.
____________________________________
Isaiah tells us today to receive grain and eat.
Drink wine and milk.
Delight in rich fare.
Come to the water!
Lake Erie is dying.
It’s full of plastics and poisons and fish with mercury in them.
The rich can buy Perrier water and organically raised seafood;
the poor drink from the tap and throw a line in the Maumee.
Then they go home to their central city rentals,
where their children are exposed to lead
from the peeling paint
or the poisoned soil
or the lead water pipes
that the landlord is not required to make safe.
And lead poisoning causes neurological damage,
so their children can’t succeed in school
and will face a life of poverty and failure.
Isaiah asks, why spend your money for what fails to satisfy?
The poor have no choice—
they can’t afford the good stuff
like a safe place to live
and safe food to eat
and safe water to drink.
They’re stuck with the bad stuff.
____________________________________
In Matthew’s Gospel we hear the story of Jesus’ feeding the 5,000.
The disciples’ attitude is the attitude of those who have.
It’s late. They’re getting hungry.
They want Jesus to send the crowds away
to buy food for themselves.
The disciples sound a lot like some of today’s politicians
who vote tax breaks for the rich
but won’t raise the minimum wage.
Let them go away and take care of themselves, the disciples say.
But Jesus tells them to share what they have.
And it’s more than enough.
____________________________________
This story of the feeding of the crowds
is told six times in the four gospels.
The lessons drawn from these stories by our ancestors in faith
are many, and they hold true for us.
Like the evangelists,
we draw lessons from them that relate to the signs of our time.
Our tradition is clear:
we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
We do not believe in the literal interpretation of the scriptures
that tell us about a paradise that we fell from by sin.
We do not believe in the literal interpretations
that led to the development of atonement theology.
We do believe this: we are to feed the world.
_________________________________________
But so much of what is done these days does not nourish:
the five loaves are full of GMOs and toxins.
The two fish have fed on plastic beads and DDT that cause cancer.
Those of us who can afford it
buy the best and freshest fruits
and vegetables grown without herbicides and pesticides,
organically fed free-range beef and chicken and pork.
____________________________________
We can demoralize people with our refusal to share,
whether it’s decent food or safe water
or human dignity or meaningful work.
Or we can share what we have.
Wherever I go around town,
I hear how extremely generous
our Holy Spirit Community has been—
food, clothes, dishes, even a refrigerator…
every week there are donations of good stuff for Claver House,
and we have a generous weekly collection
that more than pays our expenses,
enabling contributions to many important causes.
And you’ve been extremely generous with your time and talent—
the overnight hosting and the meal for the homeless
in the Family Promise shelter last week is just one example.
Folks stop me and say they saw one of you
with a sign at the peace demonstration,
holding a baby in the neo-natal intensive care unit,
or driving your mother or your neighbor to the doctor’s office,
or donating blood,
or reading to a child at the library…
the list goes on and on.
You use your energy and your resources to heal
with an intervention,
a gift of food or clothing or cash or an odd job.
And you work just as hard
to dismantle the systems that oppress people,
or conversely, to build a society that empowers everyone.
_________________________________
From time to time some of you tell me
That you feel that you don’t do enough,
don’t really do anything significant.
At a meeting this week
Pastor Karen Shepler shared an image
that came to her on retreat,
and I think it fits.
She thought of a butterfly, flitting from flower to flower.
It doesn’t look like it does much, she said.
It seems to randomly stop here and there,
drink nectar and inadvertently spread a little bit of pollen,
but not nearly as much as the busy bees do.
At the end of the day a butterfly really hasn’t done very much.
But millions of butterflies
will have pollinated billions of flowers,
and that is a very big thing.

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
419-727-1774
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ABC News I Team Uncovers the Growing Ranks of Female Priests

http://abc7chicago.com/religion/i-team-uncovers-the-growing-ranks-of-female-priests-/225638/

..."In 2008, the Vatican ruled that women are automatically excommunicated at the time they go through a self-styled "ordination" ceremony. At that time, the I-Team reported that a handful of Roman Catholic women were willing to face banishment. Their numbers have since blossomed to more than 200 women priests in 12 nations...:

Open Letter from Prison by Sr. Megan Rice, on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares July 28, 2014

 Our Dear Sisters and Brothers,
 We send warm greetings and many thanks to all who actively engage in
the transformation of weapons of mass destruction to sustainable
life-giving alternatives. Gregory Boertje-Obed (U.S. Penitentiary,
Leavenworth, Kansas) Michael Walli (Federal Correctional Institution
McKean, Bradford, Pennsylvania) and I are sending you some of our
observations and concerns on the 2nd anniversary of our Transform Now
Plowshares action.

On July 28, 2012, after thorough study of nuclear issues, and because
of our deepening commitment to nonviolence, we engaged in direct
action by cutting through four fences at the Y-12 National Security
Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. continues to overhaul
and upgrade thermonuclear warheads.

On that day, two years ago, when we reached the building where all
U.S. highly-enriched (bomb-grade) uranium is stored, we prayed and
also wrote messages on the wall, such as"The Fruit of Justice is
Peace." (Realistically, the higher and stronger fences built as a
result of our nonviolent incursion can never keep humans safe from
inherently dangerous materials and weapons.)  We acted humbly as
"creative extremists for love", to cite one of our most important and
revered leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are a number of reasons for what we did. We three were acutely
mindful of the widespread loss to humanity that nuclear systems have
already caused, and we realize that all life on Earth could be
exterminated through intentional, accidental, or technical error.

Our action at the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge exposed the storage of
weapons-making materials deliberately hidden from the general public.
The production, refurbishment, threat, or use of these weapons of mass
destruction violate the fundamental rules and principles by which we
all try to live amicably as human beings. The United States
Constitution and the Laws of War are intended to ensure the survival
of humanity with dignity. However, it is abundantly clear that harmony
and cooperation among nations can never be achieved with nuclear
weapons. (These arguments, we assume, will be made on our behalf
during the eventual appeal of our convictions that accused us of
sabotage, though it was never our intention to harm our country.)

Our "crime" was to draw attention to the criminality of the
70-year-old nuclear industry itself and to the unconscionable fact
that the United States spends more on nuclear weapons than on
education, health, transportation, and disaster relief combined.

We three Transform Now Plowshares consider it our duty, right, and
privilege to heighten tension in the ongoing debate of Disarmament vs.
Deterrence because history has repeatedly taught us that the policy of
deterrence doesn't lead to security, but rather to the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction. During our trial, the U.S. prosecutors
and the U.S. courts accused the wrong people when they claimed that we
violated the law, because what we did was to make America's citizens
aware of egregious preparations for mass murder.

We took action because we were acutely aware that our government has
failed to keep its long-standing promise to pursue nuclear
disarmament. (As Ramsey Clark testified during one of our pre-trial
hearings, the U.S. entered into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
in the 1960's because our country was finally facing up to the severe
human and environmental consequences of the U.S. atomic bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as to the hideous results of countless
nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. government within and beyond our
own borders.)

One of our pressing concerns is that U.S. prosecutors and the courts
adhere to an obsolete view of security with no cognizance “or
consciousness“ of the horrific effects caused by nuclear weapons.
Greg, Mike, and I believe that, undeniably, the U.S. is in a state of
denial. Itâ's what Hannah Arendt called not evil, but the banality of
evil. There's nothing deep about it. It's nothing demonic! There's
simply the reluctance ever to imagine what the other person is
experiencing, right? (Hannah Arendt, "Eichmann was Outrageously
Stupid" in The Last Interview and Other Conversations, Melville House,
Brooklyn 2013, p. 48).

We citizens cannot permit ourselves to be rendered passive and mute by
the banality of evil! Only complete nuclear disarmament can save
humanity. At stake is the honor and dignity of the Hibakusha, along
with the physical, environmental, emotional, and psychological trauma
long suffered by victims of the nuclear system, from uranium miners to
down-winders. (From 1946 to 1958, Marshall Islanders were bombarded
with 67 atomic and thermonuclear tests that were carried out by the
United States.)

Michael Walli, Greg Boertje-Obed and I are in U.S. prisons because,
ironically, our action at Oak Ridge was based on the common sense
reality that we human beings have endured more than enough destruction
and exploitation. We believe that we citizens can exercise our
collective power to consciously transform our nation's priorities. We
all need to actively insist on more humane uses for the billions of
dollars now budgeted for the nuclear weapons/industrial complex.

Two years ago, as we neared the building in Oak Ridge, we were
extremely surprised by the ineffectiveness of the system that
supposedly guarded our nation's most important National Security
Complex. We believed that we were about to expose the source of
unfettered violence that has led to the chronic spiritual and economic
decline in the U.S. As it turned out, it was the laxity of the
security system at Y-12 that caught the attention of the courts and
the mainstream media. Security weakness became the big story. There
was no mainstream acknowledgement that the national security complex
is rotting from its own irrelevance.

Most surprisingly, our July 2012 action and our court cases have
revealed that it is not the U.S. government that is in control of the
nuclear weapons complex, but in reality it is the corporations that
are in control through their solicitation and manipulation of endless
funding for the refurbishment of unlawful thermonuclear warheads. We
three are incarcerated because we stood up to a nuclear weapons
industry that is kept thriving by the interlocking and obsolete
institutions that subscribe to the long-discredited notion that law
and security can be enforced by ever-greater force.

Regarding the 22.8 billion dollar contract recently awarded for the
operation of the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge and the Pantex site in Texas
for the refurbishment of thermonuclear warheads and a new Uranium
Processing Facility (UPF), the relevant corporations don't actually
operate under the long-discredited myth of a "nuclear deterrence".
Rather, corporations such as Babcock and Wilcox, Lockheed, and Bechtel
operate under limited liability subsidiaries, joint ventures,
consortiums, and partnerships for the main purpose of making profits
by engaging in huge nuclear weapons production/refurbishment
contracts. By this time, Congress certainly is aware that valid
contracts can be issued only for the dismantlement of all nuclear
weapons and for the environmentally-sound treatment and disposition of
all nuclear materials.

In order for the U.S. to negotiate for nuclear disarmament in good
faith, we say it is essential to peaceably transform these very
corporations so that they are no longer able to violate the most basic
moral and legal principles of civilized society by deliberately
precipitating planetary self-destruction.

We thank you for your letters and your concerns. We ask you to support
the Republic of the Marshall Islands in their current legal actions
against the United States in U.S. federal court  and against the U.S.
and all the other nuclear weapons states in the International Court of
Justice, for failure to eliminate their respective nuclear arsenals.
You can learn more and add your support by signing the petition at

Blessings,

Greg, Michael and Megan

[You can learn more about the July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares
action, and find prison addresses to write a note of support to Sr.
Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, at



Open Letter from Prison by Sr. Megan Rice, on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares July 28, 2014

 Our Dear Sisters and Brothers,
 We send warm greetings and many thanks to all who actively engage in
the transformation of weapons of mass destruction to sustainable
life-giving alternatives. Gregory Boertje-Obed (U.S. Penitentiary,
Leavenworth, Kansas) Michael Walli (Federal Correctional Institution
McKean, Bradford, Pennsylvania) and I are sending you some of our
observations and concerns on the 2nd anniversary of our Transform Now
Plowshares action.

On July 28, 2012, after thorough study of nuclear issues, and because
of our deepening commitment to nonviolence, we engaged in direct
action by cutting through four fences at the Y-12 National Security
Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. continues to overhaul
and upgrade thermonuclear warheads.

On that day, two years ago, when we reached the building where all
U.S. highly-enriched (bomb-grade) uranium is stored, we prayed and
also wrote messages on the wall, such as"The Fruit of Justice is
Peace." (Realistically, the higher and stronger fences built as a
result of our nonviolent incursion can never keep humans safe from
inherently dangerous materials and weapons.)  We acted humbly as
"creative extremists for love", to cite one of our most important and
revered leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are a number of reasons for what we did. We three were acutely
mindful of the widespread loss to humanity that nuclear systems have
already caused, and we realize that all life on Earth could be
exterminated through intentional, accidental, or technical error.

Our action at the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge exposed the storage of
weapons-making materials deliberately hidden from the general public.
The production, refurbishment, threat, or use of these weapons of mass
destruction violate the fundamental rules and principles by which we
all try to live amicably as human beings. The United States
Constitution and the Laws of War are intended to ensure the survival
of humanity with dignity. However, it is abundantly clear that harmony
and cooperation among nations can never be achieved with nuclear
weapons. (These arguments, we assume, will be made on our behalf
during the eventual appeal of our convictions that accused us of
sabotage, though it was never our intention to harm our country.)

Our "crime" was to draw attention to the criminality of the
70-year-old nuclear industry itself and to the unconscionable fact
that the United States spends more on nuclear weapons than on
education, health, transportation, and disaster relief combined.

We three Transform Now Plowshares consider it our duty, right, and
privilege to heighten tension in the ongoing debate of Disarmament vs.
Deterrence because history has repeatedly taught us that the policy of
deterrence doesn't lead to security, but rather to the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction. During our trial, the U.S. prosecutors
and the U.S. courts accused the wrong people when they claimed that we
violated the law, because what we did was to make America's citizens
aware of egregious preparations for mass murder.

We took action because we were acutely aware that our government has
failed to keep its long-standing promise to pursue nuclear
disarmament. (As Ramsey Clark testified during one of our pre-trial
hearings, the U.S. entered into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
in the 1960's because our country was finally facing up to the severe
human and environmental consequences of the U.S. atomic bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as to the hideous results of countless
nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. government within and beyond our
own borders.)

One of our pressing concerns is that U.S. prosecutors and the courts
adhere to an obsolete view of security with no cognizance “or
consciousness“ of the horrific effects caused by nuclear weapons.
Greg, Mike, and I believe that, undeniably, the U.S. is in a state of
denial. Itâ's what Hannah Arendt called not evil, but the banality of
evil. There's nothing deep about it. It's nothing demonic! There's
simply the reluctance ever to imagine what the other person is
experiencing, right? (Hannah Arendt, "Eichmann was Outrageously
Stupid" in The Last Interview and Other Conversations, Melville House,
Brooklyn 2013, p. 48).

We citizens cannot permit ourselves to be rendered passive and mute by
the banality of evil! Only complete nuclear disarmament can save
humanity. At stake is the honor and dignity of the Hibakusha, along
with the physical, environmental, emotional, and psychological trauma
long suffered by victims of the nuclear system, from uranium miners to
down-winders. (From 1946 to 1958, Marshall Islanders were bombarded
with 67 atomic and thermonuclear tests that were carried out by the
United States.)

Michael Walli, Greg Boertje-Obed and I are in U.S. prisons because,
ironically, our action at Oak Ridge was based on the common sense
reality that we human beings have endured more than enough destruction
and exploitation. We believe that we citizens can exercise our
collective power to consciously transform our nation's priorities. We
all need to actively insist on more humane uses for the billions of
dollars now budgeted for the nuclear weapons/industrial complex.

Two years ago, as we neared the building in Oak Ridge, we were
extremely surprised by the ineffectiveness of the system that
supposedly guarded our nation's most important National Security
Complex. We believed that we were about to expose the source of
unfettered violence that has led to the chronic spiritual and economic
decline in the U.S. As it turned out, it was the laxity of the
security system at Y-12 that caught the attention of the courts and
the mainstream media. Security weakness became the big story. There
was no mainstream acknowledgement that the national security complex
is rotting from its own irrelevance.

Most surprisingly, our July 2012 action and our court cases have
revealed that it is not the U.S. government that is in control of the
nuclear weapons complex, but in reality it is the corporations that
are in control through their solicitation and manipulation of endless
funding for the refurbishment of unlawful thermonuclear warheads. We
three are incarcerated because we stood up to a nuclear weapons
industry that is kept thriving by the interlocking and obsolete
institutions that subscribe to the long-discredited notion that law
and security can be enforced by ever-greater force.

Regarding the 22.8 billion dollar contract recently awarded for the
operation of the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge and the Pantex site in Texas
for the refurbishment of thermonuclear warheads and a new Uranium
Processing Facility (UPF), the relevant corporations don't actually
operate under the long-discredited myth of a "nuclear deterrence".
Rather, corporations such as Babcock and Wilcox, Lockheed, and Bechtel
operate under limited liability subsidiaries, joint ventures,
consortiums, and partnerships for the main purpose of making profits
by engaging in huge nuclear weapons production/refurbishment
contracts. By this time, Congress certainly is aware that valid
contracts can be issued only for the dismantlement of all nuclear
weapons and for the environmentally-sound treatment and disposition of
all nuclear materials.

In order for the U.S. to negotiate for nuclear disarmament in good
faith, we say it is essential to peaceably transform these very
corporations so that they are no longer able to violate the most basic
moral and legal principles of civilized society by deliberately
precipitating planetary self-destruction.

We thank you for your letters and your concerns. We ask you to support
the Republic of the Marshall Islands in their current legal actions
against the United States in U.S. federal court  and against the U.S.
and all the other nuclear weapons states in the International Court of
Justice, for failure to eliminate their respective nuclear arsenals.
You can learn more and add your support by signing the petition at

Blessings,

Greg, Michael and Megan

[You can learn more about the July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares
action, and find prison addresses to write a note of support to Sr.
Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, at