Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Sisters Witness/America

The Sisters' Witness

http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12248

Yes, I agree with this excellent article, affirming the witness of the Sisters in health care over the centuries. It is time now for nuns who are called to priestly ministry to come forward, fully supported by their religious orders. We need courageous religious to stand up to the Vatican and declare by their actions that women are equals in our church and justice for women in the church is now a reality as they serve the people of God in local, vibrant communities. Women are equal images of God and reflect Christ's presence fully, as do men, therefore women should preside at the altar.
Bridget Mary Meehan sfcc

The Editors | APRIL 26, 2010
T housands of U.S. women religious have just staked their public credibility in the cause of health care reform, during one of the most polarized civic debates in decades. These women with a vow of poverty had riches to spend: public trust accumulated since the Middle Ages, when European orders of women and men risked their lives to treat victims of the plague. Later, congregations like the Daughters of Charity and the Sisters of Mercy built hospitals in the United States to serve the poor, refugees and immigrants. Catholic sisters tended the wounded during the Civil War and nursed the pioneers—all for the love of Christ at pittance wages...

We are Church: "Now is the time to start reforms long overdue"


Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
Celebrates Liturgy in Florida

(married priests and women priests preside)

Press release Madrid / Rome, April 17, 2010
We are Church: "Now is the time to start reforms long overdue: Benedict XVI's fifth pontifical anniversary"

International Movement We are Church asks all the faithful to support Hans Kueng’s open letter to the bishops

The International Movement We are Church regrets that the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's election is so much tarnished by the deep crisis our Church at present is undergoing. We refer to the world-wide disclosure of sexual abuse scandals and their cover up for such a long time.
"It is not growing secularism that has caused the most profound crisis of our Church, but the inability of the Papacy to read the signs of the time", declares Raquel Mallavibarrena from the Spanish Somos Iglesia, present Chair of the International Movement We Are Church. "The abuse crisis and its concealment are due to an inhumane conception of sexuality and outdated patriarchal power structures. The actual global crisis makes it clear that the clerical hierarchy alone can’t serve any longer as the foundation and justification of the Catholic church's institutional structure and authority."
We are Church appreciates the present activities of the Pope combating paedophilia in the Church. Benedict’s tragedy is caused by the fact that he started it too late, too weakly, and that he is not supported enough by all cardinals, bishops, and the Roman Curia. He is now harvesting the fruits he sowed, when in 2001, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) he ordered all bishops in the universal church to conceal from public authorities any case of sexual crime against minors by members of the clergy and instead to inform his office.
Joseph Ratzinger, who has held over the past three decades the highest institutional responsibility for shaping official Catholic doctrine, is accountable for the failure to respond to the challenges of our time in many fields, ignoring time and again the requests presented to him by some bishops, theologians and many lay faithful from all over the world, who have to face concrete pastoral challenges in their countries. Especially he has opposed with hostility the theology of Liberation. Now the five years of the pontificate of Benedict reveal more and more the fundamental weakness of the whole system of the Roman Catholic Church - its hierarchical constitution, "two-class society" priests / laity, the Roman centralism.
Moreover the strong opposition to the war, which characterised John Paul II, was abandoned by Benedict XVI who met very on friendly terms with the former US president George W. Bush, responsible for the attack on Iraq. The Pope must come back to vigorous opposition to heads of the States working for war and must speak very clearly about wars, disarmament and weapons trade.
"The uproar that went through the church all over the world when the Pope, in a solitary move of total disrespect for the principle of collegiality, lifted the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX, was a clear manifestation of the distance of Pope Benedict XVI from the Second Vatican Council", states Pedro Freitas from Nos Somos Igreja in Portugal, who will soon take the Chair of International Movement We Are Church. "The extreme centralization of power and a total disregard of the principle of subsidiarity in the Church that has characterized Benedict's governance has alarming consequences, and accounts to a great degree for the growing pastoral challenges the local churches have to face, with vocations to an outdated form of priesthood dropping ever more and growing numbers of laity deserting."
The International Movement We are Church firmly supports Hans Kueng’s open letter to the bishops in which he urges them to push for reforms. We are Church asks all the faithful to send emails and letters to their bishops and nuncios in support of Kung’s open letter. The present crisis and the inadequacy of the response to the crisis by the church authorities show with unprecedented urgency that structural reforms in line with the Second Vatican Council We Are Church also has been asking for for 15 years cannot be postponed. Now is the time to start these reforms:

The People of God have to be allowed to participate at all levels of our Church so that innovative ways to meet the pastoral challenges of our time can be started. The faithful should have a say in the appointment of their bishops, otherwise Rome will continue appointing bishops who care more for the institution than for their flock.
Ecclesial misogyny should come to an end and women be admitted to all church ministries, which need to be ministries of service and not of power.

Celibacy should become optional, so that marital love is no longer a taboo for clerics. The results of Human Sciences concerning sexual morals should come to be acknowledged and the primacy of the individual informed conscience should be respected.

The Gospel should be proclaimed as an invitation to life in fullness and not a means to discipline people through intimidation.

Pope Βenedict should understand the ever louder, world-wide criticism of his pontificate as an expression of deep concern for the welfare of the faithful of the whole Church. The Code of Canon Law says in Can. 212: “The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.” (§2.) “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (§3.)
Background Information:
The International Movement We Are Church, founded in Rome in 1996, is represented in more than twenty countries on all continents and is networking world-wide with similar-minded reform groups. We Are Church is an international movement within the Roman Catholic Church and aims at renewal on the basis of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). We Are Church was started in Austria in 1995 with a church referendum, answering the paedophile scandal of the former Cardinal of Vienna/Austria, Hans-Hermann Groer.
Please contact / Póngase en contacto con / Contatti / Contacter /Kontakt/ Por favor entre em contato:
Austria: Hans Peter Hurka +43-650-315 42 00 hans_peter.hurka@gmx.at
Belgium: Edith Kuropatwa-Fèvre +32-(0)-2-567-09-64 ekf.paves@happymany.net
Brazil: Irene Cacais +55-61 3223 4599 luisirenecacais@solar.com.br
Canada: Jean Trudeau +1-613)745-2170 trudeau.jean@videotron.ca
Cataluña: Francesc Bragulat somescat@somesglesia-cat.org
Chile: Enrique Orellana +56-696 4491 lapazesobradelajusticia@yahoo.com
Finland: Giovanni Politi giovanni.politi@kolumbus.fi
France: Hubert Tournès +33-240119873 hubertourne@orange.fr
Germany: Christian Weisner +49-172-518 40 82 media@we-are-church.org
Hungary: Dr. Marcell Mártonffy +36 1 2190621 martonffy@pantelweb.hu
Ireland: Helen McCarthy wearechurchireland@eircom.net
Italy: Vittorio Bellavite +39-02-70602370 vi.bel@IOL.IT
Netherlands: Henk Baars +31-20 6370221 hbaars@steknet.nl
Norway: Aasmund Vik aasmund.vik@nationaltheatret.no
Peru: Franz Wieser +51-1-4492716 fwieser@speedy.com.pe
Portugal: Maria Joao Sande Lemos +351.91 460 2336 mjoaosandel@gmail.com
Spain: Raquel Mallavibarrena +34-649332654 rmallavi@mat.ucm.es
Sweden: Krister Janzon krister.janzon@comhem.se
Switzerland: Brigitte Durrer +41-819212725 bridu@gmx.ch
United Kingdom: Martin Pendergast +44 (0)208 986 0807 martinjp@btinternet.com
United States: Anthony Padovano +1 973-539-8732 tpadovan@optonline.net
Homepage: http://www.we-are-church.org/int/

More Fallout as Bishops challenge Nuns

One of the charisms of religious life is to live prophetic obedience to the Spirit, not blind obedience to the Pope or bishops.
Sisters, you are on a collision course with the Vatican and U.S. bishops. It is time to remind the bishops that primacy of conscience is an authoritative teaching of the church, and this is your first priority. The bullying tactics of the Vatican and some U.S. bishops against the nuns are counterproductive and unbecoming of servants of Jesus Christ. The real scandal in the church today is not the nuns dissent on health care, but the bishops' cover-up of the worldwide sex abuse of youth. This is the crisis that is bringing down the institutional church.
Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc

R.I. hospital latest victim in health care flap
More fallout for Catholic Health Association endorsing health reform bill
Apr. 16, 2010
By Thomas C. Fox - NCR Online
Politics
http://ncronline.org/news/politics/ri-hospital-latest-victim-health-care-flap
Bishop Thomas Tobin (CNS)
A Rhode Island health care system has become the latest casualty following a bitter split between U.S. Catholic bishops and Catholic organizations over abortion clauses in health care legislation last month.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., has demanded that the Catholic Health Association remove St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island from its membership rolls, calling its affiliation with the association “embarrassing.”

"Using strong words during an address in Mundelein Seminary, Archbishop Raymond Burke, former archbishop of Saint Louis and now head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura reportedly said April 9 that consecrated religious who openly dissent from the authority of Rome and the church's teaching on life are "an absurdity of the most tragic kind" and should cease identifying themselves as Catholic"...

"Who ever could have imagined that religious congregations of pontifical right, would openly organize to resist and attempt to frustrate an apostolic visitation, that is, a visit to their congregations carried out under the authority of the vicar of Christ on earth, to whom all religious are bound by the strongest bonds of loyalty and obedience?" he asked.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Bishop sentenced for not exposing paedophile priest"/The Tablet

Bishop sentenced for not exposing paedophile priest
23 June 2001

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/5114

"A French bishop convicted of failing to alert the police to the crimes of a paedophile priest was given a suspended jail sentence last week, Alain Woodrow reports from Paris."


"The case of Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux, Normandy, is unprecedented in modern French legal history. For the first time, a bishop stood in the dock, on 14 June, accused of refusing to denounce one of his priests, Fr Ren? Bissey, convicted of 'ill treating and sexually abusing minors of under 15 years of age'. ..

"His attitude shocked many Catholics, especially the families of the children concerned, to whom he had addressed not a single word of sympathy or excuse. During his own two-day trial, the 66-year-old Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux had to listen to the outraged accusations of three Catholic families whose children had been abused, and who refused Pican?s tortuous explanations concerning his silence, which he described as 'an option of conscience'..."

The Irish Times/ Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation, theologian tells bishops

HANS KÜNG
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0416/1224268443283.html

The Irish Times - Friday, April 16, 2010
Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation, theologian tells bishops
"Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops."

More Articles on Sex Abuse Scandal-"Embarassing Vatican Letter Hailing Predator Priest"

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld
Reuters' Tom Henegan from the Faith World blog:
"This amazing letter, in which Castrillon Hoyos promises Bayeux Bishop Pierre Pican he will be presented as a hero to all Catholic bishops around the world, exudes the arrogant atmosphere of Church superiority that victims say they have had to battle against for years to have their grievances taken seriously. It puts forward the incredible argument that a bishop, because he has a kind of “spiritual paternity” for priests under him, is equivalent to a father who is not obliged to testify against his son. It even cites Saint Paul and the Second Vatican Council as supporting this view."
Castrillon Hoyos is a staunchly orthodox cardinal and old school Curia official who was in the forefront of restoring the old Latin Mass to more frequent use and reintegrating the four excommunicated bishops of the ultra-traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX)..."


Condemnation Builds Over Vatican Prelates Gay Slur
http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0414/condemnation-builds-vatican-prelates-gay-slur/
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - – "Condemnation from gay groups and the French government forced the Vatican into damage control Wednesday over remarks by the pope's right-hand man linking paedophilia to homosexuality.

The Vatican issued what spokesman Federico Lombardi called a "clarification" of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's assertion Monday that homosexuality -- not celibacy -- is the "problem" that causes Catholic priests to molest children.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community: Women and Men Preside at Easter Vigil: Penance Pope Should Do: Renew Priestly Ministry

(photo courtesy Jack Duffy)

Carol Ann and Lee Breyer, (married priest couple) Bridget Mary Meehan,(Roman Catholic Womanpriest) Michael and Imogene Rigdon (married priest couple) Women and Men, Partners and equals celebrating Easter Vigil liturgy/April 2010


The Penance they Pope should consider is opening the church up to a renewed priestly ministry of women priests, married priests and an end to mandatory celibacy. This would bring the necessary structural change the church needs now.
I was saddened that Fr. Pfleger apologized for his courageous homily where he expressed support for women in the priesthood and a married priesthood.

Pope says church must do penance for abuse cases

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Thursday the sexual abuse scandal shaking Roman Catholicism showed the Church needed to do penance for its sins, in a rare public reference by the pope to pedophilia in the priesthood.


Fr Pfleger apologizes for comments on marriage, priests
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7388994

April 15, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Fr. Michael Pfleger apologized Thursday for recent remarks he made condoning marriage for priests and allowing females into the priesthood...
In a written apology posted on the archdiocese Web site Thursday, Fr. Pfleger said he respects and follows the teachings of the Catholic Church and his comments failed to do that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Greensburg bishop denies women's order recruitment request" Needed now: "nun-priests" to serve our church

Needed now: "nun-priests' to serve our church.
Sisters, your fellow Catholics need your wisdom, spirituality and leadership now more than ever in a time of global sexual abuse that is rocking the institutional church. Your service to the marginalized in our society speaks volumes about Jesus' loving compassion in our midst. Your position on health care is a powerful witness of Gospel values- that each human being has the right to the basics in life-- not just those who can afford to pay for it. This is the church's teaching on social justice. Now, Bishop Brandt has punished you for being faithful witnesses.
I'd like to respectfully suggest that you consider your call to be "nun-priests." Roman Catholic Womenpriests ordain qualified women, and here you are, ready, willing and able to serve God's people with a diversity of gifts.
Leaders of Women's Religious Orders, it is time to support your sisters called to priesthood.
The Vatican and local bishop may excommunicate the Sisters called, maybe even the order, but the people who appreciate all that you have done to bless their lives, will rejoice in your pastoral presence. Just think what nun-priests could do to transform the Catholic Church!

Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc, rcwp
sofiabmm@aol.com
Greensburg bishop denies women's order recruitment request:

http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/greensburg-bishop-denies-womens-order-recruitment-request
Citing a women religious order’s support for the recently passed health care bill, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg, Pa., has prohibited it from advertising upcoming vocation recruitment events.
The result is that the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, Pa., will not be allowed to promote recruitment with the support of diocesan media."

Vatican Official Slams "Obstinate Betrayal" of U.S. Nuns, Cath. Health Assoc. etc./Time for Nuns to run Vatican?

Archbishop Raymond Burke has directed his ire at the nuns who stood up for access to health care, for people who cannot afford it in the U.S. The reason that he is upset with the good Sisters is that they dissented from the "authority of Rome". What ever happened to the primacy of conscience that Vatican 11 taught?
Sorry, Archbishop Burke, it appears that the Vatican clearly does not control the nuns anymore, no matter how many investigations or "inquisitions" they initiate against religious orders. That horse left the barn for most religious orders long ago! Indeed, when Pope John XXIII opened the windows to let fresh air blow through the church, blind obedience blew out and primacy of conscience blew in on the wings of the Spirit of God to renew our church.
To be honest, nuns today do not need the good housekeeping seal of Vatican approval. They have earned their stripes by centuries of selfless dedication for little recognition in our church. Nuns are free moral agents like every other adult Catholic capable of making ethical decisions that reflect the call of God in the 21st century. In a church devoid of women in decision-making roles in the Vatican, the hierarchy is out of touch with many issues that people face in living faithful, holy lives. The nuns are leading the way in a global world, working for justice, equality and peace with the marginalized and under-served in our society. They are practicing prophetic obedience to the Spirit as they serve the people of God.
Instead of criticizing the nuns, Archbishop Burke and the all male-hierarchy should utilize the Sisters' gifts in leadership in the Vatican. Archbishop Burke should also affirm the call of women to a renewed priestly ministry in an inclusive community of equals. If anyone owes the people of God an apology for "obstinae betrayal", it is Vatican and our male-hierarchy for the global sexual abuse scandal that has gutted the moral credibility of the institutional church!
Perhaps, it is time for the nuns to run the Vatican!!

Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc I belong to the Sisters for Christian Community, an independent community of women religious who are serving the church in U.S. Mexico, Canada. African, Asia.
703-505-0004
Vatican Official Slams 'Obstinate Betrayal' of U.S. Nuns, Cath. Health Assoc. etc.
"Official" anger at U.S. nuns over their support of Obama's Health Care plan.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/printerfriendly.html?articleid=10041201

"Catholic consecrated religious who openly dissent from the authority of Rome and the church's teaching on life are "an absurdity of the most tragic kind" and should cease identifying themselves as Catholic, said Archbishop Raymond Burke, the head of Rome's Apostolic Signatura."

"Burke gave the remarks in his keynote address Friday at the Institute for Religious Life’s national meeting at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois. The Institute also honored Burke with their Pro Fidelitate et Virtute Award at a celebration of the legacy of Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, SJ."

"Confronting sexual abuse in the Episcopal Church" by Ann Fontaine Yes, Women will help save the Catholic Church too

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/episcopal_church/confronting_sexual_abuse_in_th.php

In my view, the Roman Catholic Church can learn from the Episcopal Church in dealing with sexual abuse by clergy. Note that it was the women in the Episcopal Church that pressed that the issue be dealt with and that is one of the differences women priests would make in the Roman Catholic Church. NO secrecy or denial or foot dragging on the part of the bishops would be tolerated. Now it is up to Catholics to save our church, including women and womenpriests!
Bridget Mary Meehan
sofiabmm@aol.com
703-505-0003

Confronting sexual abuse in the Episcopal Church
By Ann Fontaine

Andrew Sullivan, writing on The Atlantic's Web site, has been praising the Episcopal Church for its actions on priests who commit sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment. In the comments on his column stories of quick action following the reporting of abuse have appeared. It is good to hear that our system is working for some people who have suffered at the hands of priests and bishops. Women clergy began to hear the stories of child and youth sexual abuse by clergy in the late 70s and early 80s. Women had only been ordained since 1974. A few women across the denominations met to compare notes....

"The bishops did not think the time was right for this action but we pressed ahead. The women of the Episcopal Church – Episcopal Women’s Caucus, Episcopal Church Women, Daughters of the King, and others mobilized to lobby both Houses and to talk their bishops about the importance of immediate action by the church. Abuse victims/survivors came to testify, often the first time they had told their stories in public. 1997 saw a number of resolutions including the revision of Title IV (disciplinary canons) passed. (The history of resolutions is here.) The Bishop’s Pastoral Office led by the Rt. Rev. Harold (Hoppy) Hopkins was a key supporter of funding, education, developing training and facing the issues of abuses and exploitation."

Critics Call for Pope to be put on trial/ Guardian/UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/11/critics-trial-pope-benedict-xvi

Richard Dawkins calls for Pope to be put on trial
Critics including Christopher Hitchens are exploring


"The Vatican has already suggested the pope is immune from prosecution because he is a head of state. But Dawkins and Hitchens believe that because he is not the head of a state with full United Nations membership, he does not hold immunity and could be arrested when he steps on to British soil."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Call for Independent Truth Commission to Examine Sexual Abuse Crisis/See Washington Post Article


Roman Catholic Womenpriests are in solidarity with Catholics calling for an independent commission to deal with the global sexual abuse crisis. In our news release we issued the following statement:
Roman Catholic Womepriests call on the all-male leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, especially those in the Vatican, to admit their failures, including the abuse of power at the center of this crisis. Standards of accountability must be the norm for all, including the pope and hierarchy. We call for an independent truth commission made up of a broad representation of people of integrity, including victims of abuse and the non-ordained, to examine this global sexual abuse crisis and to chart a path forward to structural change - a change which would include women priests and married priests with an end to mandatory celibacy. Now more than ever our Church needs the wisdom and experience of women to re-birth a renewed community of equals empowered by the Spirit. Roman Catholic Womenpriests offer a collaborative model of an inclusive Church rooted in partnership with the people we serve, with no one excluded.

Bridget Mary Meehan
703-505-0004
941-955-2313

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/04/pope_should_endorse_independent_investigation.html

Pope should endorse independent investigation
By Gerald T. Slevin
retired attorney
"The expanding abuse crisis requires immediate action by Catholics. It is needed to invigorate their dispirited Church for the sake of defenseless children, disrespected women, disheartened clergy and disillusioned Catholics everywhere. The repeated worldwide pattern in too many child abuse cases leads to a central source that honest Catholics must now sadly acknowledge. The Church's hierarchy for much too long has been unwilling to act responsively on urgent issues. The hierarchy has lost much of its credibility.
Much careful analysis already exists on potential solutions. Catholics must now choose and act on these solutions. Concerned Catholics are calling for the pope to set up promptly a commission of informed Catholic lay women and men, nuns and priests, both young and old, married and single...."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vatican to bishops: follow law, report sex abuse/ Vatican Needs Women to Clean Up Mess

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_CHURCH_ABUSE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-04-12-15-55-08
April 12, 2010
All I can say is it is about time that the Vatican made it clear that the bishops should follow the law. The rape of children is a crime. I agree with Ms. Casteix, that if the Vatican was serious about cleaning up the mess of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, they would fire the bishops who shuffled the abusers around from parish to parish, country to country. In addition, they need to change the structure of the all-boys, insular, top-down male hierarchy to include women in leadership roles including women in a renewed priestly ministry in an more open, accountable, just and transparent church, where children are safe, and predators are not shielded. As Lisa Miller pointed out, in a church that honors Mary, women are needed now to clean up the mess and renew the church.
Good grief, the Vatican promoted Cardinal Law to a prominent bascilica in Rome and a seat at the table of decision-making in appointing new U.S. bishops. How credible is Pope Benedict and the Vatican when bishops like Cardinal Law remain in office or are promoted to posh jobs in the Vatican?
It is time for a reality check!
The guidelines issued by the Vatican describing church policy still leave the bishops and pope in charge of the sex abuse investigation. It is the coverup of the all male hierarchy that has caused this global crisis. The church is the people of God and we the people, women and men, must reform it as partners and equals, not as subordinates or second-class citizens. The Vatican needs an independent truth commission both ordained and non-ordained, women and men, including victims on any church tribunal, not just the hierarchy. This newly released Vatican policy still looks too much to me like the fox guarding the hen house! Let's hope it is work in progress!Catholics, speak up with a billion voices, "it is silence that kills the soul",as St. Catherine of Siena said.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP
sofiabmm@aol.com


Vatican to bishops: follow law, report sex abuse
By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press Writer
EXCERPT: Victims, government inquiries and grand juries have all charged that the Catholic Church created what amounted to a conspiracy to cover up abuse by keeping allegations that priests raped and molested children secret and not reporting them to civil authorities.
Victims were not impressed by Monday's action.

"Let's keep this in perspective: it's one sentence and it's virtually nothing unless and until we see tangible signs that bishops are responding," said Joelle Casteix, western regional director for SNAP, the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, the main victims' group in the U.S. "One sentence can't immediately reverse centuries of self-serving secrecy."

"She said if the Vatican truly wanted to change course "it would be far more effective to fire or demote bishops who have clearly endangered kids and enabled abuse and hid crimes, than to add one sentence to a policy that is rarely followed with consistency."

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Surrender" A Reflection on the Ordination of Janine Denomme and Marty Meyer-Gad on April 10, 2010 in Chicago


Nancy Katz and her sister are in the far left, then Barbara Zeman, Janine Denomme on the floor, Joan Houk, and then Marty Meyer-Gad on the right.

Surrender

It was an electrifying experience – energy, anticipation, joy, the movement of the Spirit was pulsating throughout a church filled to capacity.
Yet, it was a celebration in contrasts:
presence and hiddenness,
robust song and absolute stillness,
tears of joy and tears of letting go,
where the spiritual realm and nature became one.
Ordination, April 10, 2010 in Chicago.

Janine had stated that only 30% of people with her type of cancer at stage IV live five years. So the reporter asked, “Why would you ordain her?” My reply, “It’s not important the length of time, but rather to live in the time one has, no matter how short. I must ordain Janine because I cannot deny the People of God her blessing and her service. Janine brings life to other people.”

Janine and Marty have been preparing for this day of ordination. They were to process in together—“Here I am. I am ready.” However, this past year has been a continuing process of letting go for Janine. Her body has forced her to give up control. Having no clear vision of her future has led her to a deepening surrender and trust in God. When her legs said “no” to walking the aisle, she surrendered. With Marty pushing Janine’s wheelchair, the two became an icon of the humble, servant priest. Elsie presented the ordinands. Janine’s partner, Nancy, spoke of why Janine should be ordained a priest, and Janine’s mother, Mary Joan, said that Janine is called to be a priest, and Janine is priest. Bruno, a proud husband, in deep respect told us about the many groups who have invited Marty over the years to pray the invocation at their public events and services, and how her prayers are always specifically appropriate to the group. Janine and Marty were chosen for priesthood.

As Janine became more exhausted, once again she was asked to surrender. Her wheelchair moved to a stairwell where she was taken to a little room at the top of the steps. When she did not return for the beginning of the ordination rite, everyone was filled with concern for her. Lying on padding on the floor, unable to even sit up, Janine, surrendered her expectation of being in the sanctuary-nave part of the church where she would be able to see the faces of friends and community during ordination. Sound floated up the stairwell, but walls prevented sight. With Janine’s family around her, ordination began.

Marty prostrated face down with forehead resting on her hands, pressing any feelings of control over the situation into the hard floor, and surrendering her life to God. Janine lay on her back gazing up, letting go in total surrender of her life now. “Christ, have mercy…pray for us…all you holy men and women, pray for us.” Following the Litany of the Saints, the bishop asked the assembly to assist in calling forth the Spirit upon the two women—they stretched one hand out over Marty while the other hand was directed upward over Janine.

Directions: no representatives of the community would come forward to lay on hands. Instead, all would extend both hands in complete silence while the bishop lay hands on Marty, and then on Janine. Marty sat in a chair for the laying on of hands. The bishop went to the upper room, knelt down and lay hands on Janine. As she returned to the assembly, the stillness was so encompassing—it seemed that everyone was holding his or her breath. At last, the Prayer of Consecration broke the quiet.

As Monique and Judith vested Marty, Barbara and Alta went to the upper room and gently spread the chasuble and stole over Janine. Marty’s hands were anointed, followed by the anointing of Janine’s hands in the upper room. Vested for sacrament and anointed for service, the new priests were introduced to thunderous applause.

The teen acolytes, gracious and joyful young people, were reverent as they prepared the altar and received the gifts. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, new priest, Marty, led the Prayer of Consecration with such a presence at the altar, and with a strong confident voice. Members of the assembly were enthusiastically responsive so that the words of institution reverberated from the walls. Everyone in the diverse assembly was invited to the communion table, and all came forth to become one in Christ.

At the end of the liturgy, CORPUS, WOC and FCM presented gifts, and Ree thanked everyone for making it a wonderful celebration, especially the music ministry. The music was inspiring and uplifting as it was so well done.

Following the liturgy, I heard these two comments:
(1) “Although I could not see or hear Janine, I felt her presence so strongly among us!”

(2) Janine was hidden—we could not see her or hear her—she represents for me the hidden women, the voiceless women in the scriptures. She has a story, just as they had stories. This was a most profound experience for me—for me, Janine is the model of the “Anonymous Woman.”

Reflection by Joan Houk

Former Vatican No. 2 becomes unlikely cheerleader/Associated Press

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gfPYXJqQ_6SXsq6dvoRacwIJOUgAD9EUMJVG2

"But the retired Vatican secretary of state is an unlikely front man in Rome's battle for public opinion given his reported support for the Rev. Marciel Maciel, the discredited founder of the Legionaries of Christ.."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Katy Zatsick RCWP Co-Presides at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community on April 10, 2010


Katy Zatsick newly ordained priest, from Lexington, Kentucky co-presided with Bridget Mary Meehan at an inclusive liturgy with Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community on April 10, 2010 at St. Andrew Church in Sarasota, Florida.

UN Judge Calls For Prosecution of Pope Benedict

http://reform-network.net/?p=3959
UN judge calls for prosecution of Pope Benedict

By Stephen C. Webster

"Geoffrey Robertson, a renowned human rights lawyer and United Nations jurist, wants to see Pope Benedict put on trial for allegedly protecting predator priests.

In a Guardian UK piece making its rounds this week in Catholic circles, Robertson demanded the pope be “put in the dock” so that the church might “feel the full weight of international law” over its thousands of pedophilia scandals.

The pope’s conduct, he said, “amounted to the criminal offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors,” making Benedict a justifiable target for either the International Criminal Court or a British court acting under the legal principal of universal jurisdiction."

Reality Check for the Vatican: PR is not the Problem, No Defense for the Indefensible

Reality Check for the Vatican: PR is not the Problem, Catholics, Speak Up and Take Action to Reform the Church
by Bridget Mary Meehan

No Public Relations team, certainly not the U.S. bishops, many of whom were involved in shuffling pedophlies around from parish to parish, can remove the stench of corruption of Vaticangate in the current global sex abuse crisis that is rocking the Catholic Church. The more we learn, the more we realize that children are the victims of heinous crimes, and that this is certainly not a holocaust against the hierarchy, but rather, a systemic failure to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ.("Vatican's lack of tactics frustrate some in the U.S." by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, April 11, 2010)

Lisa Miller is right on when she writes:"The cause of the Catholic clergy's sex-abuse scandal is no mystery: insular groups of men often do bad things. So why not break up the all-male club?" (Newsweek: "A Woman's Place is in the Church")

In the midst of the male-inflicted chaos, Roman Catholic Womenpriests bring hope as we lead the way to a renewed priestly ministry in our church. We serve in grassroots inclusive communities united with the people we minister with and directly accountable to them. There is no hiearachy and we affirm the Spirit of God dwelling in the people of God. Many of our womenpriests are mothers and grandmothers, others are women and men living in relationships in the real world, not cut off or isolated from the ordinary and sacred struggles of life. (www.romancatholcwomenpriests.org)

In my view children are not "collateral damage" of institutional power and must not ever be sacrificed on the altar to "save" holy Mother Church. No Public Relations spinning can ever justify crimes against anyone.

In one example, cited in recent news coverage, of the downward spiral that is gutting the moral authority of the institutional church, Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent a letter to the bishop of the Oakland Diocese urging him to reflect on the "good of the universal church" before proceeding with the defrocking of Fr.Stephen Kiesle, a pedophile who had molested two boys, tying them up in a parish rectory. (AP article)

Reality Check for the Vatican, PR is not the Problem, there is no defense for the global sex abuse of children and youth. Catholics must hold the pope and bishops accountable. Cry out as if you had a million voices, it is silence that kills the world," said St. Catherine of Siena, a courageous reformer who lived from 1347-1380, at a time of grave scandal when three men, each claiming to be the pope, shook the church to its foundation. Like St. Catherine, we, the people of God, need to speak truth and take action to reform the church. Forget PR spin to defend the pope, let's renew the Catholc Church that we love!

My Blog Stories Translated in Spanish

http://labisbessa.blogspot.com/

"Do Popes Quit?" by Daniel Wakin, New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/weekinreview/11wakin.html

Do Popes Quit?
By DANIEL J. WAKIN
Published: April 9, 2010


"Of course, popes have resigned before — the last a mere 595 years ago, when Gregory XII stepped down to heal a schism. Before that, Celestine V, a fiercely ascetic former hermit who wore his temporal power heavily, resigned in 1294 (Dante consigned him to hell for cowardice, some interpreters of the “Inferno” believe)...

...John Paul was responsible for two recent but fleeting references to papal resignation in official church policy. A revision of the code of canon law issued under him, in 1983, says, “If it happens that the Roman pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”

"Worlds Without Women" by Maureen Dowd/New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/opinion/11dowd.html

April 11, 2010
Op-Ed Columnist
Worlds Without Women
By MAUREEN DOWD
WASHINGTON

Excerpt

"Negating women is at the heart of the church’s hideous — and criminal — indifference to the welfare of boys and girls in its priests’ care.
...No wonder that, having closed themselves off from women and everything maternal, they treated children as collateral damage, a necessary sacrifice to save face for Mother Church.
... Crimes were swept under the rectory rug, and molesters were protected to molest again for the “good of the universal church.” And that is bad, very bad — a mortal sin.
...The church has had theological schisms. This is an emotional schism. The pope is morally compromised. Take it from a sister."