The Time is Now for restructuring the RC Church by Alice Iaquinta
What’s wrong with this picture?
Father Lombardi (NY Times article, 25 March) in discussing the handling of pedophile priests, said that “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties.”
Why then are “automatic penalties” of ex-communication imposed on women who are ordained as Roman Catholic Womenpriests, and those Catholics who support them?
The Church is saying that it is far worse for a woman to answer her call to be a priest than it is for male priests to rape the most vulnerable and to betray the trust of the faithful.
Liberation theologians and priests are censured and silenced.
Women religious are persecuted and investigated because of their independence and commitment to social justice.
People are denied the sacrament of communion for their political views.
Old, unmarried males declare what is acceptable regarding sexual reproduction. Gays and Lesbians are declared disordered.
The divorced are marginalized unless granted an annulment.
These are the positions of the pope and the hierarchy.
BUT they are not the pastoral positions of the great majority of priests today. Nor are they the positions of most Catholics.
Catholics are Christian who have Jesus Christ at the center of their faith lives, not a fallible man in the role of pope. Our faith is in God, not the pope or those who have held the reins of power in the political structure of the church. Catholics believe that the Church is the people of God, not the Vatican hierarchy.
We are the people of God. We are the Church. We cannot leave ourselves.
But we can demand an end to the medieval, dysfunctional and atavistic structures and rules that remain in the ecclesial infrastructure. We can dismantle and reconstruct our church according to the model of a discipleship of equals, not an absolute monarchy. Many faithful Catholics are working to do just that. Roman Catholic Womenpriests, Corpus, Voice of the Faithful, Call to Action, Dignity, Future Church, to name just a few. These organizations have been working tirelessly for such restructuring for decades within the church.
It is time for Catholics to demand an end to the long-outdated, dictatorial, absolutist, discriminatory ways of the church. Vatican II laid the groundwork for this reconstructing and it is time to fully implement its teachings. Sex abuse by clergy is abhorrent; all the forms of discrimination and control that exist are as well. It is time for the new springtime, called for by John XXIII.
Those of us who have been ordained in Roman Catholic Womenpriests say to dismayed, discouraged, disgusted, and dissed Roman Catholics,
"Here we are! We are ready to serve the Catholic Church, the people of God." If you are looking for an inclusive Roman Catholic faith community in your area, check out htpp://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org. We are all over the country, Canada and Europe.
Rev. Alice Iaquinta,M.Div. Roman Catholic Womenpriests - Midwest Region.
2006 Honors Graduate, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Seminary, Milwaukee, WI
Ordained August 28, 2007 in Minneapolis, MN by Bishop Patricia Fresen.
Rev. Alice M. Iaquinta, M.Div.