Donna Rougeux, Janice Sevre Duszynska,
Ree Hudson, and Fr. Roy Celebrate Liturgy
on rooftop overlooking the Vatican/St. Peter's Basilica.
"The story is an old one and I've told it before, but never has it felt so ominous as it does right now.It happened this way: About 15 or 20 years ago, I gave a series of conferences in a parish in Canada.So I was surprised when the topic came up at lunch from the couple hosting my visit. More than that, I was surprised at what triggered it..."
"It wasn't the dearth of theology around the question of the ordination of women that piqued them. It wasn't the growing statistic on the coming decline in the priesthood that worried them. It wasn't the fear of merging parishes that troubled them.On the contrary. They had a good parish, they said, a fine and loving parish priest, the kind of congregation that was family to them and the kind of faith to trust the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit among them.What bothered them was their 4-year-old daughter. She was a quick-minded child. Precocious. Persistent. Confident. They knew, they told me, that some day, she would question the difference between what her brother could do in the church and what she could do. That would be years away, of course, but still — maybe more for themselves than for her — they were struggling, to no avail, to find a reason good enough to appease her, they said.
Then, suddenly, one Sunday morning after Mass as they sat at the family breakfast table, it happened.
"Mama," she said suddenly, "why don't we have any girl priests at our church?"
They looked at one another, dumbstruck, unprepared. Too late. There was nothing left to do now but be honest.
"Because, darling," the mother said, "our church doesn't allow girl priests."
The little girl pursed her lips and frowned. "Then why do we go there?" she demanded.
With the retreat to Vatican I in full force, this question and its answer get closer and closer.
Feminine language is fast being cut from the very prayers of the church. The invisibility of women is official policy again. Women have been removed from various church boards stealthily but steadily...
"The Rev. Roy Bourgeois and about a dozen supporters had marched down the main boulevard leading to the Vatican holding a banner "Ordain Catholic Women" and chanting outside St. Peter's Square "What do we want? Women priests! When do we want them? Now!"
Police prevented the group from entering the piazza and told them to take down their banners since they didn't have a protest permit. When police then tried to confiscate the banners, members of the group resisted, resulting in Bourgeois and two supporters being taken away in police cars, witnesses said.
The three were detained for about two hours at a Rome police station and released without being arrested or charged, though prosecutors were still investigating, said Bourgeois' attorney, Bill Quigley.
Bourgeois and members of the Women's Ordination Conference and other groups that support women priests had come to Rome to deliver a petition signed by some 15,000 people backing Bourgeois, who is facing dismissal from his Maryknoll order for his support of women's ordination.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2008 ordered Bourgeois to recant his support for women priests or risk excommunication after he delivered the homily at the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska, one of several women who have defied the Vatican and begun passing themselves off as Roman Catholic priests."
October 17, 2011
ROME, ITALY - Today, at 12:00 noon at Casa Del Cinema (Sala Kodak), Largo Marcello Mastroianni, representatives of Catholic organizations from around the world challenged the “grave scandal” of women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church, calling for the full and equal participation of women as deacons, priests, and bishops in a renewed church.
The remarks came following the Italian premiere of the award-winning documentary film, “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican,” during a press conference held by Women’s Ordination Worldwide and other pro-ordination organizations. The activists traveled to Rome with Fr. Roy Bourgeois—an outspoken priest on the issue of women’s ordination—to hand-deliver a petition signed by 15,000 supporters on the issue. After the press conference, the groups staged a vigil in St. Peter's Square.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Roman Catholic priest, peace activist, US veteran, and founder of the human rights group, School of the Americas Watch, currently faces potential dismissal from his Maryknoll order for his public support of women’s ordination. “I have come to Rome with a basic question for our church leaders at the Vatican: how can we, as men, say that our call from God is authentic, but God’s call of women is not?”
“The scandal of demanding silence on the issue of women’s ordination reflects the absolute arrogance of the hierarchy and their tragic failure to accept women as equals in dignity and discipleship in the eyes of God,” said Erin Hanna, executive director of the U.S. based Women’s Ordination Conference. Therese Koturbash, lawyer and National Coordinator of Canada's Catholic Network for Women's Equality continued: “Even though canon law invites our Church leaders to hear from the faithful, our leaders are silent when we try to engage.”
Firm in his conscience, Fr. Roy Bourgeois has broken through the Vatican’s culture of fear to stand with the 63% of Catholics who support women’s ordination in the United States. “Increasingly priests around the world are rising up for women’s equality and ordination in the Catholic Church,” stated Nicole Sotelo, from Call To Action (USA). “Just this summer in the United States alone, 200 priests signed the Clergy for Conscience letter supporting Fr. Roy and his right to speak his conscience. Together, we are creating a stronger, unified movement that carries high the scriptural mandate to preach the good news, without censure, but rather, firmly rooted in one’s conscience: ‘there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’” (Galatians 3:28).
“A holy shake-up is taking place here," said woman priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska, "that is challenging the institutional church's sexism which treats women as second class members of their own church and contributes to violence toward women in society. Women priests remind us that women are equal images of God and therefore worthy to preside at liturgy and the sacred rituals of our church."
“We love our family, the Catholic Church,” stated Miriam Duignan of Housetop’s womenpriests.org. “We feel obliged in conscience to make our carefully considered reasons known. In doing so, we fulfill our canon law duty to speak out, as our present Pope has encouraged us to do.”
In 1976, the Biblical Commission of Pope Paul VI determined there was no scriptural reason to prohibit women's ordination. Despite the Commission's finding, the Pope issued a statement later that year declaring the Vatican is not authorized to ordain women. “Christian history documents that women were deacons, priests and bishops in the early church. As a result, we know that Canon 1024, which states that only men can validly receive the sacrament of ordination, is blatantly sexist,” concluded Hanna.
Call To Action (CTA) educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles. An independent national organization of over 25,000 people and 53 local chapters, CTA believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just in its appointed leaders. For more information, visit http://www.cta-usa.org/ Contact: Nicole Sotelo, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org +1(773) 404-0004 x285
Catholic Network for Women's Equality (CNWE), based in Canada, is a feminist-focused support and advocacy group for women and men in the Roman Catholic tradition, seeking to effect structural change in the institutional church that reflects the mutuality and integrity of a community of co-equal disciples, and to create life-giving alternatives to the present institutional structures. Therese Koturbash email@example.com
Housetop's www.womencanbepriests.org is the largest internet site providing information and documentation on the ordination of women. Though its focus is on the Catholic Church, its work benefits all Christian Churches. Offering thousands of documents in English and 24 other languages, the website covers decrees of councils and synods, the teaching of the Fathers of the Church, medieval theologians, recent papal decrees, contemporary articles and ongoing discussions on scripture, tradition and the teaching authority of the Church. Contact: Miriam Duignan, +44(0)1923 779 446, firstname.lastname@example.org
International Movement We are Church (IMWAC), Founded in Rome in 1996, is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it. We are Church evolved from the Church Referendum in Austria in 1995 that was started after the paedophilia scandal around Vienna's former Cardinal Groer. We are Church is represented in more than twenty countries on all continents and is networking world-wide with similar-minded reform groups. Contact: Nicole Sotelo, +1(773) 404-0004 x285 email@example.com
Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP)/ Association of Roman Catholic Womanpriests, an international initiative within the Roman Catholic Church, advocates for a new model of priestly ministry united with the people with whom they serve. The movement is an initiative within the Church that began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. Women bishops ordained in apostolic succession continue to carry on the work of ordaining women in the Roman Catholic Church. Contact Janice Sevre-Duszynska, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ree Hudson, email@example.com
Women's Ordination Conference, founded in 1975 and based in Washington, D.C., the is the oldest and largest national organization working for the ordination of women as priests, deacons, and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Roman Catholic Church. WOC also promotes new perspectives on ordination that call for less separation between the clergy and laity. Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna, firstname.lastname@example.org +1(401) 588-0457
Women's Ordination Worldwide, founded in 1996, is an ecumenical network, whose primary mission at this time is the admission of Roman Catholic women to all ordained ministries. Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna, email@example.com +1(401) 588-0457; Therese Koturbash firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
October 17, 2011
Contacts: Erin Saiz Hanna, email@example.com
US: (202) 675-1006, Rome: 401-588-0457 (US Mobile)
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, firstname.lastname@example.org,
US and Rome: 859-6844247 (mobile)
For Immediate Release