Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pope Benedict in London Expresses Sorrow for Sexul Abuse/Meets with a Few Survivors/ Leaders Want Access to Vatican Files

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11354357

Commenting on the Pope's message during the Westminster Mass, Peter Isely, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said: "We don't need a Pope who is sad about crimes. We need a Pope who will prevent crimes. And his words prevent nothing."

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, who was also a victim himself, called on the Pope to make funding available to abuse survivors and provide access to Vatican files.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

As important as expressing sorrow and meeting with a small, pre-chosen group of survivors of sexual abuse in England is, Pope Benedict needs to go further and adopt structurall reforms. These are a few recommendations:

1),acknowledge his role as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith, take responsibility for the coverup of the sexual abuse scandal,

2)change the policy of protecting predator clergy first to protecting victims by reporting all serious allegations to civil authorities and doing justice for all,

3) fire bishops who kept predatory priests in ministry,

4) turn over all Vatican files to an international committee for investigation

5) announce systemic changes to reform clericalism with a special focus on the core issue of the abuse of spiritual power that is at the heart of this crisis,

6) adapt structures of accountability and transparency that will apply to all clerics and church ministers worldwide.

7) apologize to Roman Catholic Womenpriests and the entire church for the recent Vatican decree that linked women's ordination with pedophilia.

8) End mandatory celibacy, open up to the partnership of women and men in the Gospels, including womenpriests.


Papal Visit: Thousands Protest against Pope in London



"Thousands have marched in London to protest against the Pope's visit. Organisers of the Protest the Pope event said they wanted to highlight his stance on controversial subjects, including the ordination of women.Sex abuse and Catholic opposition to contraception have also been criticised..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection

According to the BBC news story Al Murray, a comedian who was part of the protest group, said: "The Pope's opposition to condoms kills people. It is all very well him lecturing us on morals but he should look at his own organisation's view."

Mr. Murray reflects the contradictions in Pope Benedict's worldview and teaching. The Catholic Church proclaims that it is a pro-life church, yet it puts people's lives at risk everyday by its opposition to condoms. In Africa, for example, thousands, perhaps, hundred of thousands of women die because their partners do not use condoms during sexual intercourse. These women, often faithful spouses, became infected with the HIV AIDS virus. This teaching is morally reprehensible and should be changed if the church is to truly be pro-life and pro-women. Pope Benedict should ask himself: what would Jesus do? The teachings of the church should reflect the values of justice and compassion in the Gospels. Jesus treated women and men as equals and partners.. Therefore there is no justification for the Catholic Church's teachings which puts women's lives at risk and that excludes women from ordained ministry. More than ever, the Catholic Church needs womenpriests! Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.com,703-505-0004

Friday, September 17, 2010

"A Conspiracy of Bishops and Faithful" by Drew Christiansen/ America

http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12465

Drew Christiansen | SEPTEMBER 27, 2010

“On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine” was newly edited and republished in 1961 on the eve of the Second Vatican Council and has since become a minor classic. It argues that the church does not consist of pastors attended by dutiful faithful, but that it is rather “a conspiracy of pastors and faithful” (pastorum et fidelium conspiratio) in which the faithful should have a respected place justified by their proven witness to Christian orthodoxy. In the bishops’ relationship with the laity, Newman argued, “there is something...which is not in the pastors alone.”

"Newman’s point was not to praise the one group and shame the other. It was rather to assert their importance to one another, to affirm their lived unity in the one body of Christ. In particular, he wanted to urge upon the hierarchy an intellectual as well as affective consideration for the laity..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

When Pope Benedict canonizes St. John Newman in England this weekend, I hope he focuses on Newman's legacy-- that the Spirit of God speaks through the People of God. The magisterium's current prohibiton of women's ordination is a striking example of the hierarchy's failure to listen to the Sensus Fidelium! The equality of women in the church and world is the Voice of God in our time and it is enshrined in the hearts of the community of believers. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are meeting with enthusiasm in the Catholic communities that we serve and in those who are seeking women priests to serve their parishes. In Florida, this year, a woman called the local parish to find out when the woman priest was presiding at Mass! And the joy was the parish knew where to find her and shared the information with the inquirer! Can't you see the pastor scratching his head and sighing!! If it was up to some of the stressed out, overworked priests, they would welcome womanpriesst on staff.

Bridget Mary Meehan RCWP, sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Female Priests Raising Papal Eyebrows" CNN American Morning/International


Bishop Andrea Johnson

RCWP Gloria Carpeneto

Left Gloria Carpeneto and right Andrea Johnson
were interviewed today on CNN American Morning/International

Contact Information:
Living Water's website is: www.thelivingwatercommunity.org
Co-pastors: Gloria Carpeneto and Andrea Johnson, RCWP
Address and schedule of liturgical services and outreach activities on website.

Scroll down on cnn site to picture of Andrea:
"Female Priests Raising Papal Eyebrows"

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/16/roman-catholic-women-priests/



Carol Costello, CNN
Story Highlights:
"Some Catholic women aren't waiting for an answer from the Vatican - they say they've figured out a way around the traditional church and are leading Catholic congregations.

Gloria Carpeneto is one of them. She says she was ordained, thanks to an unnamed male bishop who secretly ordained the first female priests and bishops in 2002. Those women then ordained other women like Carpeneto, who says she is now able to hold mass every Sunday, in priestly robes, in front of small, but loyal congregations in Maryland.

"It struck me that I did not want to go to another faith tradition to be ordained," said Carpeneto...And so the notion of being in the Roman Catholic Church within the Roman Catholic tradition meant a lot to me."...

Despite that, the movement to ordain women priests is growing. That first group of seven women ordained in 2002 has grown. There are now five bishops, 47 priests, 10 deacons, and 16 candidates for formation to priesthood in the United States.

Andrea Johnson, who considers herself a Catholic bishop, is thrilled by the numbers..."It's Catholicism that needs us," she said. "We need the voices of men and women. We need everyone to work together in community, and I think the more we do of that the healthier the Church will be..."

www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are growing and the church, the people of God, are accepting us. It is the hierarchy and the Vatican that is have a hard time with female priests. Sexism is a sin. It is wrong for any institution to discriminate against anyone including women. The full equality of women in the church and society is the Voice of God in our time. Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP, sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004





Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Sign for Pope Benedict To Behold on Buses in UK: "Pope Benedict-Ordain Women Now" /BBC News

Set up as a counterpoint to Catholic Voices, Catholic Voices for Reform describes itself as the Church's "loyal opposition".

A London bus displays an advert calling for Pope Benedict to ordain women, 31 August 2010
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11294941
"Reformist Catholics have called on the Pope to revise Vatican positions

It wants an open debate on issues such as women's ordination, homosexuality and clerical celibacy."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/11297461

Pope Benedict XVI is the head of the biggest Christian denomination in the world, some one billion Roman Catholics, or one in six people. In Britain there are about five million Catholics, or about one in 12 people

"Numbers from the Catholic Directory suggest that currently about one million Catholics in England and Wales regularly attend mass. But according to the Catholic National Library, figures for mass attendance were not kept before 1989 and therefore no comparison is possible with the 1982 papal visit...

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

The good news is that there is a Roman Catholic Womenpriest in the UK. Morag Liebert lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She presides at house church liturgies. Contact Morag Liebert at moragl@connectfree.co.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11317441


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sexual Abuse Survivors Unite/ Let us Support Survivors, Call Vatican to Accountability

http://www.survivorsvoice.org/

Sexual abuse Survivors" are gathering in Rome in St. Peter's Square on Oct. 31st to declare the "Year of the Survivor", in a special "Reformation Day" ceremony.

It’s a gathering of people from around the globe standing together with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, in one united voice to say
“ENOUGH!”

Boston abuse victim, Bernie McDaid, who met Pope Benedict in 2008 said it was planned to observe 60 seconds of silence in St. Peter's Square to be followed by a candelight vigil. "We've just had the Year for Priests, now we will have the Year for Survivors." Contact Bernie McDaid: bernie.mcdaid@gmail.com



Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Catholics worldwide must stand in solidarity with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and demand change from the Vatican. The victims of sexual abuse are our sisters and brothers. No more excuses, no more stonewalling, no more hand-wringing. We the church, the people of God, must demand that Pope Benedict accept the resignation of bishops who shuffled predator priests from parish to parish. If, Pope Benedict himself cannot or will not do this, then it is time for him to resign as a sign of solidarity with survivors and an act of reconciliation to heal this cancer destroying the soul of our church.
In addition, there must be a system of accountability and an end to clericalism that puts clergy on pedestals and protects the institution at the expense of the victims of horrific abuse and criminal behavior. Systemic change is needed in the Catholic Church. In my view, the people in the pews should stop giving until the hierarchy starts listening and adopting significant reforms. More than ever, we need women priests in a renewed priestly ministry in people-empowered, transparent, accountable Catholic communities. We are the church and its future is in our hands. Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP , sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004

Belgian church seeks way out of abuse crisis

http://apnews.myway.com//article/20100913/D9I6VGT80.html

"BRUSSELS (AP) - The Belgian Roman Catholic church is acknowledging widespread sexual abuse over years by its clergy and promising to help victims heal and punish the abusers.

On Friday, a report was published in which hundreds of sex abuse victims revealed harrowing accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy throughout the country over the past 50 years.

In response, Belgium's Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard said Monday "a feeling of anger and powerlessness" had taken hold of the church."

Ordaining of first female bishop makes worshippers happy:Irja Askola becomes Bishop of Helsinki

Irja Askola becomes Bishop of Helsinki, Finland

http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/htimes/domestic-news/general/12309-askola-becomes-finlands-first-female-bishop.html

"Several female bishops from European churches were present at Helsinki’s Lutheran Cathedral on Sunday, when Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church ordained Irja Askola as Bishop of Helsinki. Even though the Finnish Orthodox and Catholic churches had criticised the choice of a woman as the Lutheran Bishop of Helsinki, both were represented at the ceremony. Metropolitan Ambrosius of the Finnish Orthodox Church and Vicar-General Wieslaw Swiech of the Roman Catholic Church were present at the ordination..."


Bridget Mary's Blog:
Irja Askola , Bishop of Helsinki,
blessings and warm wishes to you as you chart a path toward partnership and equality for women and men in the Christian tradition. Perhaps, one day, the Roman Catholic hierarchy will affirm the ministry of womenpriests and bishops called forth from the community for ministry in an inclusive, people-empowered church.
In prayerful solidarity,
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP






Anglicans Proceed with Women Bishops, Time for Pope Benedict and Vatican to Affirm Women Priests and Bishops


Roman Catholic Womenpriests' Ordination of U.S. bishops
left to right Joan Houk, Great Waters, Ida Raming, Germany,
Regina Nicolosi, Midwest (holding crozier) Bridget Mary Meehan, South
Andrea Johnson, East, second row, right Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Austria, Patricia Fresen, Germany
Patricia, Ida and Christine presided at historic U.S. bishops ordinations on April 19,2009 in California. Our first bishops were ordained by a male Roman Catholic Bishop in apostolic succession, therefore, our RCWP ordinations are valid, but in violation of man-made canon law. We claim equal rights by using equal rites.


http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE68C2J720100913

2010 -- July 9-12 -- "The CofE General Synod approves the latest stage in the consecration of women bishops, a long process unlikely to be completed before 2014. Within days, the Vatican codifies the "attempted ordination of a woman" to the priesthood as a most serious crime against Church law." Bridget Mary's Reflection Bravo for the Anglican Communion for moving ahead with women bishops. Equal rights for women in the church is the Voice of God in our times! The Vatican's new law codifies misogyny. It takes us back to Church Fathers like Tertullian who called women "the gateway to the devil." It is time for the Vatican to follow Jesus' example of Gospel equality. The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala, the apostle to the apostles. Is it a crime to ordain a woman, or is the real crime the institutional church's discrimination against women? Roman Catholic Womenpriests are leading the way toward justice and equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church. Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004

Monday, September 13, 2010

BBC Report on Pope Benedict's Visit to UK: "there are women priests."/RCWP grows in spite of Vatican opposition


Catholics Pack Church in
support of Roman Catholic Womenpriests
in Florida at historic ordination in Feb. 2010

Judy Lee, a Roman Catholic Womanpriest, ministers in
house church-serving homeless and impoverished people
in Ft Myers, Florida

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/09/an_embattled_pope.html

"Beneath the surface, there is a clamour for change. Robert Mickens from the Catholic paper the Tablet says that increasingly parishes are going their own way. Unofficially there are women priests in the US... "

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are serving communities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In the UK, Morag Liebert, the first Roman Catholic Womanpriest ordained in Scotland, presides at liturgy in a house church there. Contact Morag Liebert at moragl@connectfree.co.uk

Catholics are voting with their feet. They are enthusiastic members of our inclusive grassroots communities. The opposition of the hierarchy in many cases serves as an impetus to growth. When Bishop Frank Dewane threatened to excommunicate the historic ordination of women priests in Sarasota, Florida in Feb., over 200 Catholics filled the church in support of Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Since the Delicta Graviora story, the Vatican's comparison of the crime of ordaining women to priest pedophilia,the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement has experienced a surge in new applicants and requests for information on women-led priests' liturgies as well as world-wide media coverage. Onc could say, the Vatican's hostility to women priests has resulted in greater interest and support for our initiative of a renewed priestly ministry in which women take their place as equals and partners in the church.

CNN will feature a story on The Living Water Inclusive Catholic Community in Catonsville, Maryland that will air on this coming Thursday, September 16, twice, between the hours of 6-10AM EDT. That program is called CNN Morning.

Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP, sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pope Benedict 's Faces Criticism on Issues including Women Priests


(left Morag Liebert, RCWP,
right, Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan
ordained Morag Liebert
in Edinburgh in 2009)

"Pope Benedict's failure to tackle the child abuse issue adequately is just one of a number of criticisms facing the Catholic church ahead of his arrival in Edinburgh on Thursday. Issues ranging from homosexuality, the ordination of women priests, contraception to prevent the spread of Aids, and abortion threaten to overshadow the visit. A series of Protest the Pope events are planned."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/child-abuse-victims-urge-pope-to-act-2077195.html

Morag Liebert, a Roman Catholic Womanpriest, from Edinburgh was ordained by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests' Movement in 2009. She offers hope for the future of Catholicism as inclusive and open... Contact: moragl@connectfree.co.uk

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are disobeying an unjust law that discriminates against women. Our first women bishops were ordained by a male Roman Catholic bishop in aposotlic succession, so we are validly ordained. We claim equal rights using equal rites.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are leading the church into a new era of justice and equality for women in the church, modeled on Jesus example in the Gospels and the twelve hundred year tradition of women in Holy Orders. Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP, 703-505-0004.sofiabmm@aol.com