Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Amid Abuse Scandal, Focus of Church Drifted Away" New York Times/ A Call to Action /Solidarity with Survivors/Path Forward

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/world/europe/02pope.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and DAVID M. HALBFINGER
EXCERPTS:

In its long struggle to grapple with sexual abuse, the Vatican often cites as a major turning point the decision in 2001 to give the office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger the authority to cut through a morass of bureaucracy and handle abuse cases directly.
The office led by Cardinal Ratzinger, the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had actually been given authority over sexual abuse cases nearly 80 years earlier, in 1922, documents show and canon lawyers confirm. But for the two decades he was in charge of that office, the future pope never asserted that authority, failing to act even as the cases undermined the church’s credibility in the United States, Australia, Ireland and elsewhere. ...

"The Vatican, moreover, has never made it mandatory for bishops around the world to report molesters to the civil authorities, or to alert parishes and communities where the abusive priests worked — information that often propels more victims to step forward. .."

"It was only in April that the Vatican posted “guidelines” on its Web site saying that church officials should comply with civil laws on reporting abuse. But those are recommendations, not requirements. "


My Reflection:
The global sex abuse scandal rocking the church is a wake-up call for Catholics around the world! If the institutional church was a patient, she/he would be on life-support! It is tragic that Pope Benedict failed to make the protection of innocent children and vunerable youth from rape and sexual molestation his top priority during the past two decades. No wonder people are calling for his resignation. It appears that both popes, John Paul 11 and Benedict, the Vatican Curia, and many bishops in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere put protection of the church's reputation and its priests before the pastoral care of victims of sexual abuse.

This raises so many serious questions.


How could a hierarchy, who prides itself on being pro-life ignore outrageous sexual crimes such as rape and sodomy against children and youth?

How could the bishops transfer pedophiles from parish to parish where they preyed on more victims?

How come it has taken Cardinal Ratzinger and the Vatican Curia so long to "get it" --to understand that sexual abuse devastated the lives of thousands of victims!

How could the Vatican argue against "zero tolerance"?

Of course, priests deserve due process, but criminals deserve jail, not more chances to sexually abuse minors. The Catholic Church should not act like a crime family! Cardinal Law, who presided over the Boston Archdiocese where the sex abuse scandal came to light in the U.S. was "rewarded" with a plush position on prestigious committees in the Vatican as well as give the title of archpriest in charge of St. Mary Major in Rome.

During the course of an investigation, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly blasted the church's handling of the scandal.
"We looked at this and it became clear that there was an elaborate system not to report these crimes to law enforcement. This never should have gotten to this point. This is a leadership problem. They thought that it was more important to protect the church, and as a result of that, countless children were harmed. The church cared more about itself than the kids and that is wrong. There certainly was a cover-up," Reilly said.


Why did Cardinal Ratiznger fail to defrock criminal priests who abused many children, yet, move quickly to excommunicate women priests and our supporters, who are leading the church into a new era of justice and equality for women?

I think we should ask ourselves what would Jesus do?
I believe that the Spirit of God works in the people of God. Since the people of God are the church, we are called to action!

Here are some actions that we can take to make our church family: healthier, holier, and safer.

First, We the Catholic community must ask forgiveness of the survivors of clergy abuse who have suffered for years trying to procure justice in a system that too often treated them badly. We must express solidarity with and support justice for the survivors and express our appreciation for their courage and persistence.

Second: We must demand new structures of accountability and transparency in our church so that no child will be abused again.

Third: We must establish Review Boards at every level, parish, diocesan, and national that are responsible for policy and implementation. Survivors should play an integral role as leaders in this process. All allegations of abuse should be reported to civil authorities for investigation. The canon laws of the church must be changed to reflect this basic standard.

Fourth: We must support laws that protect children and remove statues of limitations so that justice can be done for all survivors of sexual abuse.

Fifth: We must demand that the bishops who kept pedophiles in ministry be removed.

Sixth:We must hold our bishops accountable, the Pope accountable, and stop supporting a system that is corrupt, and not up to Gospel standards.

Seventh: We must withhold financial support and demand resignations until justice is done and our church is a safe place for all.


I believe that the Spirit of God is writing straight with crooked lines, spurring us on to to work together as partners and equals for justice and equality, transparency and accountability in a a renewed Catholic Church!

Our first priority must be to follow the example of Jesus and witness Gospel inclusivity where all are welcome and loved, like the children in the arms of Christ.


I see this already beginning to bud as a reality in vibrant communities where women priests and married priests are working together with the people they serve in a community of equals. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are a prophetic movement standing on the margins of Catholicism with the maginalized. We are living prophetic obedience to the Spirit by disobeying an unjust law that discriminates against women. An unjust law is no law at all as St. Augustine reminds us. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are not leaving the church, we are leading the church into a new future- one of inclusion and welcome for all. We walk in solidarity with others who are calling for a more open, participatory, partnership model of church. It is time for a new Ecumenical Council called by the people of God, Vatican 111 where, one can hope, that the hierarchical church will truly be transformed and celebrate its identity as equals members of the people of God, the Body of Christ, called to to be servants of the servants of God.
Bridget Mary Meehan.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Answering God's Call to Renew Church/"Here I am God"/Holding God's People in our Hearts


Florida ordination/Feb.5th, 2010



Watch this video of the historic Florida ordinations at which the community burst into spontaneous humming, then singing of "Here I am God". It will move your soul.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests, are responding to God's call with "here I am, God, I have heard you calling in the night, I will go God if you lead me... I will hold your people in my heart."

The good news for the Roman Catholic Church is that during this time of institutional global sex abuse crisis, the renewal of the church is taking place in grassroots communities. Roman Catholic Womenpriests, united with the people we serve, are leading the way to a more inclusive and just church in a community of equals.

Bridget Mary Meehan



Roman Catholic Womenpriests Vesting New Deacon with Stole Watch ...
Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Vesting New Deacon with Stole - Watch Video, watch this video on Kendin Coş video search engine.
en.kendincos.net/video-dtdttplp-roman-catholic-womenpriests...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Schoenborn Rebuked by Vatican/ Time for Mutual Accountability and Transparency

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_VATICAN_CHURCH_ABUSE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-06-28-12-02-42

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- "The Vatican on Monday issued an unprecedented rebuke of a top cardinal who had accused the retired Vatican No. 2 of blocking clerical sex abuse investigations, publicly dressing down a man who had been praised for his criticism of church abuse cover-ups.

The silencing of Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna and long considered a papal contender, drew heated criticism from clerical abuse victims. They said the Vatican should be honoring Schoenborn, not publicly humiliating him, for his calls for greater transparency and demands for a crackdown on priests who rape and sodomize children.

Schoenborn has also called for an open discussion of priestly celibacy; views that the Vatican said he "clarified" on Monday during an audience with the pope.

As it admonished Schoenborn, the Vatican appeared caught on the defensive on two other fronts in the ongoing sex abuse scandal: it remained locked in a diplomatic tiff with Belgium over the brazen raid on church offices last week, during which police detained bishops and even opened a crypt in search of church abuse documents. And it bristled at the U.S. Supreme Court decision to let a sex abuse lawsuit in Oregon naming the Holy See go ahead.."

The Vatican's attempt to silence Cardinal Schoenborn, the Belgian police raid, and U.S. Supreme Court's decision to let the sex abuse lawsuit in Oregon proceed are all signs that the Catholic Church can no longer get away with a climate of secrecy and cover ups to avoid accountability for crimes against vulnerable children and youth. Finally, a corner has been turned. The Catholic Church hierarchy must obey civil law as well as answer to a higher power. Women, including womenpriests, are part of the solution to work toward a more accountable, transparent, inclusive church of equals where mutual accountability and openess is the norm for all. We, the people, are the church. Now is the time for reform of our beloved faith community in accord with Jesus in the Gospels. Bridget Mary Meehan

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5huy30ja9Y-DzKy5mndofefJM179AD9GKA6900

Vatican admonishes Austrian cardinal for comments

By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press Writer

EXCERPTS:

"Victims groups said the Vatican should have praised Schoenborn for his honesty in taking Sodano to task, not humiliate him and stifle other potential whistle-blowers within the church."

"By choosing instead to publicly embarrass Cardinal Schoenborn, the pope is sending an unmistakable message to his bishops that in his administration, avoiding scandal still trumps truth,"...

Schoenborn was quoted as saying the quality of a gay relationship should be taken into greater consideration, the church needed a new perspective on the remarriage of divorcees, and it was no secret the Vatican government was "in urgent need of reform."

"Schoenborn, a former student of the pope's and a papal confidante, has been a leading figure in the abuse crisis, forcefully denouncing abuse, presiding over service of reparations for victims and openly calling for an honest examination of issues like celibacy."

Ireland and Austria are leading the way challenging the Vatican to adopt structural change and demanding accountability and transparency of the hierarchy including the Pope and the Curia. Let's hope that these steps lead to genuine reform of a top down hierarchical system to a more open, participatory, people empowered community of equals. Bridget Mary Meehan

"Catholic Women Are Called to Serve,Too" by Kathy Redig, RCWP


http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/opinion/article_2b47b42c-81e5-11df-97b6-001cc4c002e0.html

"Roman Catholic Women Priests reject the penalty of excommunication, stating that the Roman Catholic Women Priests are loyal members of the church who stand in the prophetic tradition of holy obedience to the spirit's call to change an unjust law that discriminates against them. The movement is receiving enthusiastic responses on the local, national and international level.

The women say that they will continue to serve their beloved church in a renewed model of priestly ministry that welcomes all to celebrate the sacraments in inclusive, Christ-centered, spirit-empowered communities.

People of the Winona area have the opportunity to attend such an inclusive Catholic parish."

All Are One Roman Catholic Church meets weekly for Mass at Lutheran Campus Center/Mugby Junction,

451 Huff St. each Sunday at

10 a.m., with the exception of the third weekend when a

4:30 p.m. Mass is celebrated on Saturday.

All are welcome at the table.

For more information, call Pastor Kathy Redig at (507) 429-3616.

Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP, baptizes three children at Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic in Ft. Myers, Florida


Keeron is 12, Keion is 8 and little Joelle is 3.
with Pastor Judy and Family of newly baptized children


Keeron is 12, Keion is 8 and little Joelle is 3.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Pope deplores Belgian Sex Raids, Stresses Autonomy" New York Times/Associated Press links/summaries

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/world/europe/28vatican.html?hp

"ROME — In a sign of sharply rising tensions between the Vatican and Belgium, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticized as “surprising and deplorable” a raid on church property last week by Belgian police officers investigating sexual abuse by clerics.

In an exceedingly rare personal message and rebuke of a sovereign country, the pontiff also stressed the church’s “autonomy” to conduct its own investigations and criticized the “deplorable methods” of the Belgian police, who detained bishops, confiscated files and even drilled into the tombs of at least one cardinal in the Cathedral of Mechelen, north of Brussels, in a search for documents."


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_VATICAN_BELGIUM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-06-27-10-43-25


VATICAN CITY (AP) -- "Pope Benedict XVI lashed out Sunday at what he called the "deplorable" raids carried out by Belgian police who detained bishops, confiscated computers, opened a crypt and took church documents as part of an investigation into priestly sex abuse..."


...."Belgium's Catholic Church has been stunned following the resignation in April of its longest-serving bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, who stepped down after admitting to having sexually abused a young boy during the time Danneels was archbishop."

"The revelation came as hundreds of case...."


The Belgian police are doing their job which is investigating possible criminal behavior by Catholic prelates. It is about time that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church is held accountable and treated like any other major corporation. Years of cover-ups have been the rather typical, scandalous pattern of church leaders around the globe. The community of Christ deserves better. The people of God deserve better. The Roman Catholic Church should not have special status and protection in any country when alleged criminal behavior is involved. Why would anyone allow foxes to guard the hen house! Perhaps, the actions of the Belgium police will send a message to the Vatican that crimes against children and youth are going to be taken seriously by civil authorities and that they will not be intimidated by ecclesiastical power. Our focus should be on full investigation, truth-telling and justice for victims. If Jesus was handling this situation, what do you think he would do?
Bridget Mary Meehan