“for whoever is not against us is for us.” – Jesus
Here an irate response to my annual holiday update from someone, who is an ordained Roman Catholic deacon. My response is below.
Ordained Deacon's Challenge to me;
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011
Gee, I hope you believe it is important to be a person of integrity! So, why would you say a woman has been ordained a deacon in the "Roman Catholic Church", when you full well know that the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women either as deacons or priests? Also, you know that only Bishops can ordain anyone. This claim you make seems to me to be like a college football team making up its own rules rather than playing by the same rules as the other teams. (Yes, I know all analogies have weaknesses!) I find this statement to be offensive and a slap in the face of all those faithful Roman Catholics who are trying to live our faith with integrity and have probably made sacrifices to be faithful. Your statement also seems disrespectful of all those Saints who were martyred because they were faithful to the teachings of the Church. Finally, you make no mention of the "reason" for the season, namely the coming of Jesus Christ who "ordained" the Apostles and is the One that the Roman Catholics follow and adore, for the gift of Himself to us for our Salvation!
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.' (1 John 2)
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011
Since this is not the first time I have mentioned the Roman Catholic Women Priest movement in our annual update, it interesting that you have responded with such intensity. It might help if you read the website www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org and this one based in the USA:www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org. They have carefully collected a volume of information to help faithful catholics understand this alternative position to Rome's dictates. Listen to Bishop Patricia Fresen's YouTube talks (and her personal experience standing against apartheid in South Africa), look at the evidence of women priests in the 1st two centuries documented in catacomb mosaics, read Bishop BridgetMary's blog or Diane Dougherty's blog and inform yourself of the way these brave women are following their deafening Call from God's Holy Spirit. Learn about Maryknoll's Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who put his pension and his reputation on the line by participating in our friend Janice Sevre-Duszynska's ordination. Because he gave the homily (and reading something he originally published in the Maryknoll journal a decade before) and co-celebrated Mass, Roy has been threatened with excommunication by the Vatican and dismissal from the Maryknolls. The Roman police arrested him and other supporters of women priests when he walked toward the Vatican with a banner. They quickly dismissed the case. He is still in dialogue with both groups.
Try to find - or purchase a copy of the documentary "Pink Smoke over the Vatican" and educate yourself about what has lead RCWP and it's supporters to stand up and be counted. You might change your mind about what is happening here. It is historical and I am pleased to be even a small part of it. I am not alone. This year HUNDREDS of priests have signed petitions from around the world identifying their support of women priests in the Catholic church. So it not like we are simply "making up our own rules." It is enlivening be in solidarity with so many of those who the Vatican considers "dangerous"... and heretical.
If the Vatican loyalists could still burn or torture us to death, they would. But they can't, so they have to imagine that they are in charge of our souls and try to scare us into compliance while they defend those who harm children and have yet to excommunicate even those who have been found guilty. Are you aware that the current pope has equated seeking ordination or ordaining women as grievous a sin as pedophilia? That he says it's "normal" behavior... so what's the fuss? and you, in good conscience, follow the dictates of this dictator? Those currently in power lost my respect many years ago. They have yet to do anything but make it worse since then and, as I've said, I am not alone. Discerning people of conscience are leaving the Roman Catholic church in droves.
I firmly agree with those who are challenging the Vatican. They are walking through fire to bring the Catholic experience to the marginalized and those alienated by the current regime. I have not joined them officially because I am uncomfortable with (but still support) their very valid need to call themselves "Roman Catholic Women Priests." If & when I become an RC priest it will not be as part of an all woman group... but that is my issue and I am stilled thrilled to call many of them friends. Actually, as the founders of The Holy Cooperative Order of Blessed by Default, our members consider Bob and I closer to being Bishops within our order and we are a multi-faith group, so I have released some of my longing to join the Vatican boys club. For what it's worth, we tend to follow the lead of the Celtic church that evolved in Ireland & Scotland, if we follow the dictates of any church, at all... but that is another story.
The 1st women who became Roman Catholic priests were ordained by a male Roman Catholic Bishop who was ordained in apostolic order and in good standing with the Vatican. He believed in the cause and hid himself to keep the movement going. A few years ago, several woman priests were elevated as Bishops. The principal bishop who ordained our first female bishopspassed down apostolic succession, so that nothing can stop the movement, even if the Vatican discovers this original presiding bishop.
Catholic theologians who have studied this movement have gone on record saying that the ordinations may be illicit, but they are also completely VALID and the Vatican cannot change that, no matter how much they threaten and sputter. Those involved believe they are breaking an unjust law, which is the only way things EVER change in the Catholic Church. Most of the saints were people willing to stake their lives and their souls on the need for change... even within the Roman Catholic Church. Many were martyred and imprisoned by the very church you are defending... for example, was the Inquisition right????? Those were faithful catholics, as I remember...
As for my letter, my friends include a large number of people who are not Christian, so I do not emphasize the Jesus part. I am a deeply devoted follower of Jesus' Way, but I do not idolize him, nor do I try to convert anyone with my annual update. Bob and I prefer to "BE" Jesus, rather than beat people over the head with Him... and as far as Jesus being the "reason for the season," well, since he was no doubt born in March, during lambing season... and when the actual census took place, using December 25th as the date he was born is simply wrong. When Constantine made Christianity the "world religion," they simply co-opted this date to keep people happy, since it was a traditional time of revelry and such. I believe it was called Saturnalia in Rome, Yule in the British Isles and celebrated as the Solstice in many nature-based traditions. Easter is a more believable date for Jesus' birth... and I guess we do celebrate it in a fashion... as Jesus' bright and glorious burst through the veil... but many of our traditions were also co-opted from ancient equinox and spring traditions... like what in the world does Jesus resurrection possibly have to do with rabbits and eggs? Those were Oester traditions from the Goddess...
Well, the kids are up and I have to quit. Thanks for the challenge. I didn't think I wanted to spend much time on this, but given that it is my passion, I guess I couldn't help myself. Take it or leave it or keep the dialogue going, if you like. I follow the Divine Spirit of Love in all Forms, the Love who is God and my Guide from the beginning of my life. I may not follow the rules of man, but you can be sure that every choice I make is inspired by Love = God = Love. I suspect you do the same... and if we find each other, it's beautiful... if not, it can't be helped. Like a kind parent, it matters not to God whether we agree on our petty differences or not, S/He keeps on feeding us and leading us and bringing us Home, no matter how far we wandered...
Always yours in Blessings and in Light