Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Women and their Role: Letters to Editor: Irish Times: My Response

Excerpts from 3 Letters to Irish Times and My Responses

Madam. "...Now, it is time for catholic men to support their sisters struggling for justice especially those who have offered themselves as part of the all male deaconate in the Irish church by renouncing this role until women are accepted as deaconesses. We, as men, should realise that this office of deaconate is being introduced at this time to further reinforce the all-male clerical structures of the church and to keep women in the pews at all costs; that is the reason that I did not offer myself for this role..." Yours, etc, BRENDAN BUTLER,

Bridget Mary's Response:

Dear Brendan:
  • Right on! Thanks for your wonderful statement of support for women's equality in the church! Indeed, I am delighted to report that in our community, Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Community, the men are as outspoken in their support for Roman Catholic Womenpriests as the women are! We are blessed to be living Gospel equality now in our vibrant community where all are welcome to share the Eucharist.
  • Bridget Mary Meehan,, 703-505-0004

  • Madam, ..."the Apostolic Letter from the Holy See of May 22nd 1994 needs to be highlighted again, for in this document the definitive answer to the whole matter is set out clearly. Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis( Priestly Oration).“Wherefore in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22.32) I declare that the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church’s faithful.” Fr TOM INGOLDSBY SDB,
Dear Fr. Tom,
  • I hope that you don't mean to suggest that God who is all powerful, all-loving, all-just is impotent when it comes to ordaining women. The institutional church's teaching, which you cite above, is an insult to anyone who believes that women and men are created in God's image according to God's Word in Genesis, therefore, both women and men are called to be partners and equals in relationships, in work, in every aspect of life, including ministry in the church. Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP,, 703-505-0004

  • Madam, –
    "To remove the template of male priest presiding at the Eucharist in the place of Jesus whose own maleness was not accidental and who defined his relationship with his church in spousal terms would be as inappropriate as replacing bread and wine by other types of food and drink..."
    Co Cork.

    Dear Margaret,
  • The image of Jesus as bridegroom and the church as bride is a metaphor, not to be taken literally. When it is applied to the priest presiding at Eucharist, the metaphor is twisted out of context, literalized and "sexualized". Jesus gave the Eucharist to the whole church, as a sacred memorial meal. In the early church, the community leader presided at Eucharist. Paul mentions in Romans 16, the names of women leaders of house churches, who more then likely presided at Eucharist in their homes.
  • Jesus used many images in the parables including the feminine images of God; the woman who lost a coin, and a "mother hen", to show the nurturing presence of God .
  • The church teaches that God is neither male, nor female, but both women and men are created in God's image. So women priests remind us that women are equal images of God. Therefore, women can take our rightful place at the altar.
  • Jesus was a Jewish male, and the Twelve were Jewish males, most of whom were, more then likely, married. We know for sure that Peter and 39 popes was married. So does that mean, only Jewish, married men should be priests. For the first twelve hundred years of the church's history, women were ordained deacons, priests and bishops. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are reclaiming our ancient tradition and offering the gift of a renewed priestly ministry to our church. According to the Irish Life of St. Brigit, Brigit was ordained by Mel as a bishop.
  • Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP,, 703-505-0004

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