Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Dance with God" for Justice in Non-Violent Revolutions in the World and Church" by Bridget Mary Meehan

"If I can't dance," Emma Goldman writes, "I don't want to be part of your revolution."
Some are depressed at the state of the world and church. We have seen a movement toward democracy in which monarchy-style governments have tumbled with the Arab Spring.
We have seen the 99% challenge the 1% who possess an inordinate amount of the world's wealth in the "Occupy Wall Street" Movement.
We have seen the dictators in Egypt and Libya go.
We have seen it in the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement with more and more Catholics supporting gender justice in the church including male priests.

For some, this paradigm shift is frightening and depressing. Millions have lost their jobs. The growing gap between rich and poor is widening. Everything seems to be in chaos. Change appears to be happening everywhere, at once.

But, perhaps, because I love to dance, the image that best describes this phenomena is a spiritual dance-God's dance for justice in the non-violent revolutions, the holy shakeups of our times!

Like Miriam ,tambourine in hand, leading the women , singing and dancing, across the Sea of Reeds, after the Israelites escaped from slavery in Egypt to freedom, God is leading the dance of the people of our time from domination and oppression to liberation and justice. (Exodus 15:20)

In her joyful prayer, the Magnificat, Mary, Mother of Jesus, reminds us God always takes the lead in the dance of justice for those on the margins. "...You have deposed the mighty from their thrones and rased the lowly to high places. You have filled the hungry with good things, while you have sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1"46-58)

"My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior", is the prayer that lifts our hearts as we twirl around with God in the dance in the the "holy shakeups" of unjust structures and systems of oppression. Now in this "dance" we pray that will God reveal the steps for living fully in the circle of life as sisters and brothers of all.

It appears to me that no amount of condemnation by the prelates, nor lobbying by Wall Street corporations or wealthy titans, nor dictators killing peaceful demonstrators, can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
It is the time to dance wth God for justice!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
sofiabmm@aol.com

"Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" in Decatur, GA./Clip of Panel Discussion with ARCWP- Priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Deacons Diane Doherty, Donna Rogeux

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c9kVbRNGqg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Excommunicated Sister Fnds Healing"/NCR Online/Zoe Ryan

http://ncronline.org/news/people/excommunicated-sister-finds-healing

MILWAUKEE -- "Caught in a controversy over medical ethics and excommunicated, Mercy Sr. Margaret McBride thought she would find all of her healing from the church. But she said she found healing in a conversation with the patient who unwittingly was at the center of the debate.
McBride, a former vice president of mission integration and a member of the ethics committee at the St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, was in the news last year when it became public that the ethics committee assented to the abortion of an 11-week-old fetus in order to save the life of a pregnant woman suffering from pulmonary hypertension.
For this, McBride was excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically, Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted said in May 2010. In December 2010, Olmsted withdrew formal recognition of St. Joseph’s as a Catholic hospital. .."
The psychiatrist left McBride a message saying the mother wanted to talk with her. It was Valentine's Day.
"I walked into the room and of course I burst into tears and she burst into tears, and she said, 'I'm so sorry for all these terrible things that happened to you. You saved my life, and all these terrible things happened to you,'" McBride said.
"And if I were to say where I thought I was going to get my healing, it would have been from the church. But the healing really came from the woman, who graciously told me that her life had been changed because of me, but that now she felt guilty that so many things had happened to me. And I told her 'you just don't see my support, you don't see the employees, you don't see the doctors, you don't see the board of directors and the Catholic Healthcare West who have supported me through this interesting time.'"
McBride also told the mother "that in some wonderful and beautiful way, when you go through difficulties and challenges, there is a tremendous amount of grace that comes to you, that I never would have experienced, that I never would have realized had it not been for this experience..."
[Zoe Ryan is an NCR staff writer. Her e-mail address is zryan@ncronline.org.]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sign Petiton to Stop Bullying and Violence Against Youth/Link/USCCB

Dear Fortunate Families friends,

The link below takes you to the petition sponsored by Equally Blessed, a coalition -- of Fortunate Families, DignityUSA, Call To Action and New Ways Ministry -- working for justice and equality for LGBT people.
The petition calls on the US bishops to work for an end to bullying and violence against LGBT youth.
We have over 1500 signatures! Can you help us reach 2000?
The signatures will be delivered to the USCCB at their meeting next week.
You can link to the petition at:
www.equally-blessed.org
(in the upper left corner)
Fortunate Families, Inc.PO Box 18082

Rochester, NY 14618-0082585-698-6100
www.fortunatefamilies.org
info@fortunatefamilies.com

(British High) Court's Ruling on Church Responsibility the Correct One/ Sexual Abuse/National Catholic Reporter

http://ncronline.org/blogs/examining-crisis/courts-ruling-church-responsibility-correct-one
by Thomas P. Doyle on Nov. 10, 2011

"The British High Court ruled Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church can be held responsible for the wrongdoings of its priests, according to BBC News.
"The Church had claimed it could not be held vicariously responsible because there was no formal employment relationship with its priests," the site reported.
It appears that Mr. Justice MacDuff used a realistic test to determine if the Diocese of Portsmouth was liable for the actions of its priest, Fr. Wilfred Baldwin, who is accused of raping a woman, now 47, when she was a girl at a children's home in Hampshire."...MacDuff bypassed the literal interpretation of a classic employer-employee relationship when it came to the diocese and the priest and focused instead on the relationship itself as well as the role of the bishop of the diocese in the activities of the priest. "
"..The bishop alone appoints a priest to his post, and the bishop alone can remove him. It is true that the pope alone has the power to involuntarily "defrock" a priest, but that is not the point. The bishop can suspend a priest with little or no due process. He can remove a priest's faculties, which are the special permissions needed to perform key priestly functions. The bishop lacks the power of complete dismissal from the priesthood itself, but he certainly can dismiss a priest from an assignment, ministry or even residence in a diocese...
..."Priests are referred to as "collaborators," "brothers," "sons" and co-workers with the bishop, all of which lead to the mistaken impression that there is a standard collaborative relationship based on some degree of equality. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bishop is part of a governmental system that is the last absolute monarchy in the world. He is an aristocrat and the sole authority in his own share of the overall church-kingdom...What is even more important to understand is that though the bishop does not technically "own" the property and the funds of a parish, he does have control over them. The priest's monthly check may be drawn on the parish bank account, but it is the bishop who has ultimate control over that account."
"It is true that there is no formal contract between a priest and a bishop, but there is no need for one. During the ceremony of his ordination to the priesthood, the priest promises "obedience and respect" to his bishop and to his successors. This is not mere decoration but is a real promise with real consequences. The bishop's word is final subject in some cases to appeal to the Holy See. The priest is pledged to obey the bishop, thereby fulfilling God's will for him in his life and ministry..."
[Tom Doyle is a priest, canon lawyer, addictions therapist and longtime supporter of justice and compassion for clergy sex abuse victims. He is a co-author of the first report ever issued to the U.S. bishops on clergy sex abuse, in 1986.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
In the Roman Catholic Women Priests model of governance, the bishops are equal members of the community. They have a spiritual, pastoral role, but no administrative duties. Our bishops ordain deacons, priests and bishops. The ordinands do not promise to obey the bishop. In fact, at ordinations ordinands prostrate in front of the altar to indicate consecration to God, not in front of the bishop to demonstrate obedience to the bishops.We are reimagining the bishop's role as one that is truly collaborative and egalitarian.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
sofiabmm@aol.com

"Ban On Women Priests Is a Betrayal of the Loyalty and Sacrifice of Nuns"/ Herald Scotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-letters/ban-on-women-priests-is-a-betrayal-of-the-loyalty-and-sacrifice-of-nuns-1.1133781
Published on 9 Nov 2011
"I HEARTILY endorse the views of Colette Douglas Home and Helena Kennedy QC on the need for women priests in the Catholic Church (“Women priests would be boon for Catholic Church”, The Herald, November 8).
We hear of the dire shortage of (male) priestly candidates. The reality is a dwindling number of overstretched, drained and heroic individuals spread too thinly and rattling round vast parish houses, while ignored, intelligent, stable, and dedicated women, nuns as well as married women, are out there doing priests’ work, unconsidered and sidelined. I know many of them..."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catholic Church Liable Over Priests/London High Court

Catholic Church liable over priests – London High Court
http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/catholic-church-liable-over-priests-ndash-london-high-court-2928531.html
THE High Court in London ruled today that the Catholic Church can be held liable for the wrongdoings of its priests.

"Austria: The Arrival of the “Do-it-Yourself” Mass"

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/inquiries-and-interviews/detail/articolo/austria-9753/
Austrian Catholics
The neoliberal “We are Church” movement anounces its launch of liturgical celebrations led by laypeople

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
vatican city
A lay Mass in Austria. This has become the cause for an open clash between Austrian Catholic dissidents and the Holy See after the announcement by the ultra-progressive movement “We are Church” that it intends to promote in the country liturgical ceremonies in which laypeople act as priests.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Jesus invited all to the table to "do this in memory of me", the gathered assembly is the celebrant of the Eucharist, not the priest alone!
The Austrial "Do it Yourself" Mass obviously is rooted in a Vatican II understanding of Eucharist that is rooted in a earlier understand of Eucharist. The Dutch Dominicans affirmed this view.

(From Introduction to New Inclusive Worship Aids by Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, 11 Inclusive Liturgies available from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests)
"In his book The Future Of Eucharist, Bernard Cooke observes that a new understanding of the resurrection in the Vatican II church has broadened the church's understanding of "real presence" and helped people to appreciate Christ's loving presence in the believing community. According to Cooke, while individuals may have specific functions within the gathered assembly, the entire community performs the eucharistic action (p. 32). If this is so, then the gathered assembly is the celebrant of Eucharist. It is the community that "does" the Eucharist, not the presider alone. A community encamps, wherever it happens to rest for this moment in time, around the Christ Presence that infuses our communion, vivifying our One Body. Some apply a “both/and” theology and say that the Body of Christ is on the table, at the table and around the table.

Historical scholarship supports this conclusion and goes even farther. Gary Macy, chairperson of the Theology and Religious Studies Department at the University of San Diego, concludes from his research in Middle Ages manuscripts that, in the understanding of the medieval mind, regardless of who spoke the words of consecration - man or woman, ordained or community - the Christ presence became reality in the midst of the assembly. Contrary to the mindset of many contemporary Catholics who think that the way the Church is now was the way it was from the beginning, Dr. Macy observes that the theology of the Middle Ages was very broad in application. It was far less rigid than has usually been imagined and more open to different liturgical practices than we have realized. In other words, people were not declared heretics or thrown into prison for not following the norms. (National Catholic Reporter. Jan. 9, 1998 p.5)
Small faith communities are gatherings of spiritual pilgrims from different backgrounds who reflect this profound shift in perception toward Eucharist. Here, we remember that eucharists with the “small e” are those celebrated without the presence of an ordained presider and Eucharistic celebrations (Capital E) usually have an ordained presider, who, in the case of women priests, will share the prayer of consecration with the whole community. Both celebrations are genuine Eucharistic celebrations."

The Dutch Dominicans in their groundbreaking work, “The Church and the Ministry” addressed the pastoral dilemma many Catholics face today:
“ With some emphasis we urge our faith communities, the parishes, to realize what is at stake in the present emergency situation of the shortage of ordained celibate priests and to be allowed to take the extent of freedom which is theologically justified to choose their own leader or team of leaders from their own midst. …If a bishop should refuse such a confirmation or `ordination' on the basis of arguments not involving the essence of the Eucharist, such as obligatory celibacy, parishes may be confident that they are able to celebrate a real and genuine Eucharist when they are together in prayer and share bread and wine.”
futurechurch.org/sopc/DutchDominicansThe_Church_and_the_Ministry.pdf

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
sofiabmm@aol.com

Ministering to, Ministering as 'the Marginalized' Theme of Call to Action Conference

Nov. 07, 2011
By
Zoe Ryan
http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/ministering-ministering-marginalized-theme-conference

"Women Priests Would Be Boon for Catholic Church"/Scotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/colette-douglas-home/women-priests-would-be-boon-for-catholic-church-1.1133614
"HELENA KENNEDY QC has become a standard bearer in the fight for women to become priests in the Catholic Church.
It is, she says, an issue of justice and fairness. The ban on women priests is an “enduring form of the marginalisation of women”. I couldn’t agree more."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NEW Inclusive Liturgies for Catholic Masses- Order NOW: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests/ADVENT is coming soon!




...."Inclusive Worship Aids, a resource created by priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests contain a variety of Eucharistic liturgies. Some will be ideally suited for Advent/Lent, Easter/Pentecost, and Ordinary Time, while other celebrations like the liturgy of the Poor, the Marian liturgy, and the Women’s Empowerment liturgy can be used for anytime. It is our hope that this resource will be a blessing for all inclusive communities who worship in spirit and truth. The prayers and rituals can easily be adapted to the specific needs of any group. You have our permission to fit our resource to your needs. It is our hope that other pilgrims will experience the blazing fire of Spirit's outpouring as they enter into the celebration of new life. We truly believe that in God and in the Christ we live and move and have our being. As we take our place around the banquet table of Christ’s love, we invite all to the tent and pray that all may be one. The moment has arrived and the celebration has begun! "
..."The eucharistic/Eucharistic prayers that are presented in these liturgies can be recited by a single presider or in parts by several members or by groups of community members. We believe that the consecratory prayers belong to the entire community and should be vocalized in that spirit, not by a single presider.
In this resource, we use inclusive language and imagery for God. The Prayer of Jesus is an inclusive prayer; therefore we recommend beginning the prayer with: "Our Father/Mother who art/are...." Women are equal images of God and our liturgy should reflect this reality. As award-winning theologian, Elizabeth Johnson notes:
“The still-developing historical struggle for women’s equal human dignity is the context for the growing treasury of female icons of the living God who acts womanish: outrageous, audacious, courageous, willfully desiring the flourishing of women... Walking this path, Christian believers cast their lot with the liberating compassion of Sophia-God present in the midst of the silencing and degradation specifically of women… It also challenges people of faith to collaborate in the struggle to transform society into a place where discrimination, exclusion, and violence against women and girl-children will cease and where women of all races and classes will be mutual partners with men rather than subordinate auxiliaries or marginalized objects.” (Quest for the Living God, p. 110.)
...."The Inclusive Worship Aids are formatted so that when you photocopy the pages, two-side your copies so your participants will only have one sheet of paper to handle. Feel free to use colored paper for the seasonal liturgies. Laminating the pages is also another hint for liturgies you plan to reuse frequently. "

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


Worship Aids are provided on a CD in Word Docx and PDF formats.
If you are able, a suggested donation of $25.00 will defray our cost and help to support the growth of ARCWP and our ministry. Please click the DONATION button above. If you prefer, you may write a check to: ARCWP, 18520 Eastshore Drive, Ft. Myers, Florida 33967
Here is a list of included liturgies: ~ Liturgy for Advent/Christmas ~ Liturgy for Lent ~ Liturgy for Water, Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, Third Sunday of Lent, Easter Season, Baptismal Celebration Liturgy, Earth or Renewal Themes ~ Liturgy for Fire, Easter Season, Pentecost, Earth Day, Social Justice ~ Liturgy for Ordinary Time ~ Liturgy to Celebrate Creation, New Life, Creativity, New Beginnings, Spring or Summer ~ Liturgy for Marian Feast ~ Liturgy to Celebrate Justice, Partnership and Equality for Women in Church and Society ~ Liturgy of Good News to the Poor, For Anytime ~ Liturgy for All Saints’ and/or All Souls’ Day, Funerals/ Memorials.

Vatican Punished Bishop Gumbleton for Support of Extending Statute of Limitations for Victims of Sex Abuse/NCR

Retired bishop asked to leave Detroit parish for testimony
Nov. 04, 2011
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton speaks at the Call to Action conference in Milwaukee. MILWAUKEE -- "Because he violated "communio episcoporum" (the communion of bishops) and other canons by speaking in support of extending the statute of limitations for cases of sexual abuse by clergy, retired Detroit auxiliary bishop Thomas Gumbleton said he was forced to discontinue his role as pastor at a Detroit parish.
Besides receiving the official notification that he had to resign as pastor, Gumbleton said none of his fellow bishops contacted him personally when he spoke in support of the bill and revealed at the bill's hearing that he was a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest.
Gumbleton spoke Nov. 4 at a session given by the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests at the Call to Action national conference in Milwaukee.
Read more about Bishop Gumbleton's story here:
Vatican moved quickly to punish Gumbleton "
"In 2006, he gave a written testimony to the Ohio House Judiciary Committee that explained his support for a bill that would extend the statute of limitations to 20 years past the victim's 18th birthday. In that testimony, he also said a priest sexually abused him in the 9th and 10th grades.
The Ohio Catholic Conference and bishops had spoken out against the bill. They opposed one part of the bill, which would give a one-year look-back period that allowed people to come forward with allegations that had ran past the statute of limitations..."
...His last day as pastor of St. Leo was Jan. 21, 2007.
Gumbleton, widely known as an advocate for the poor and for pacifist causes
, has a weekly column of his homilies [4] on the NCR website.

Shut Down the School of the Americas: Nov. 18-20, 2011

November 8, 2011
Contact: Hendrik Voss,
202-234-3440
OCCUPY FORT BENNING

Shut Down the School of the Americas
November 18-20, 2011:
Thousands of social justice activists from across the Americas will occupy the main gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to call for an end to U.S. militarization and for the closure of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of Americas,The three day convergence will include a massive rally, where thousands will occupy the main gates of the Fort Benning military base in order to transform it from a place that trains assassins to a place of initiation into political awareness. On Sunday, November 20, the chain-linked barbed wire fence will be transformed with images of the martyrs, crosses, stars and flowers into a memorial for the victims of SOA violence and U.S. intervention. Human rights activists will carry their protest onto the grounds of the military base, risking arrest and up to six month in federal prison.
The mobilization will include speakers from the NAACP, the Sisters of Mercy, the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA), torture survivors and human rights activists from Latin America as well as plenaries, workshops, concerts, strategy sessions and more.“The SOA provides the military muscle to protect the greed of the 1% at the expense of the 99% throughout the Americas.” said Father Roy Bourgeois, the founder of SOA Watch. “The surge of social justice activism in the U.S. is fueling the call for the closure of this notorious institution.”The SOA/WHINSEC is a U.S. taxpayer-funded military training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia. The school made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Despite this shocking admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no independent investigation into the training facility has ever taken place. SOA violence continues in Mexico, where 1/3 of the original members of the Zetas drug cartel were trained at the SOA, and where the U.S. is promoting military solutions to the drug problem. SOA violence continues in Colombia, which has sent more than 10,000 soldiers to train at the SOA, and where SOA graduates are involved with extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights violations. SOA violence continues in Honduras, where SOA graduates overthrew the democratically elected government in 2009. SOA violence continues in Guatemala, where SOA graduate Otto PĂ©rez Molina just won the presidential elections, and throughout the Americas. In October 2011, Time Magazine published the article “Is It Time to Shutter the Americas' 'Coup Academy'?:” http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2097124,00.html#ixzz1b9Rvmcbu
In August 2011, 69 Members of the House of Representatives delivered a letter to President Obama, calling on the President to shut down the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the School of Americas (SOA) by executive order. The 69 Representatives including Representative John Lewis from Georgia, Representative Ron Paul from Texas and Representative James McGovern from Massachusetts. To read the letter, visit http://soaw.org/docs/ObamaLetter.pdf
On November 4, Representative McGovern introduced H.R. 3368, the Latin America Military Training Review Act, in the House of Representatives. The bill calls for the suspension of the SOA/ WHINSEC and an investigation into the connection between U.S. military training and human rights abuses in Latin America.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Roman Catholic Woman Priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska Blesses Priests Who Supported Fr. Roy Bourgeois at Call To Action Conference in Milwaukee

Janice Sevre-Duszynska- blessing of priests- who supported Fr. Roy Bourgeois stance of primacy of conscience http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCJXm4AJEeM&feature=related



Janice Sevre-Duszynska's Report from Call to Action Conference

At CTA this year in Milwaukee (Nov. 4-6' 2011),

Ruth Steinert-Foote greeted folks at our ARCWP booth. About 2,000 reform-minded Catholics came to hear Keynote speakers Jamie Manson, Marcus Borg, Kenneth Hardy and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz. There were lots of other speakers. Roy Bourgeois talked about sexism in the church along with Roman Catholic Womenpriests Alta Jacko and Jean Marchant. He spoke at the Thursday night reception.

On Saturday morning we held a blessing ceremony for Roy and the priests who have gone public in their support of Roy's primacy of conscience. CTA's Jim Fitzpatrick introduced WOC's Erin Hanna followed by Sr. Teresa Kane, Roy and myself. As I read the blessing, the names of the 200 priests who signed the petition in support of Roy were scrolled on the screen for all to see. About 20 priests were present at CTA and when I asked them to stand, they received a great applause. On Friday afternoon local peace and justice folks Bob Graf, Joe Radesewski and Don Timmerman led a march to Marquette University to protest their ROTC program for the Army, Navy and Air Force. It was a joy to see peace and justice friends Bill Bischel, Dave and Barb Corcoran and Bill Brennan. Mary Hunt and Diane Neu joined us later. it was great to chat with RCWP sisters Juanita Cordero, Barb Zeman, Barb Stinger, Mary Ann Schottley, and Ree Hudson.

At the WOC caucus Erin Asked me to share how I invited Roy to my ordination and about our trip to Rome. Later Jane Via and I got to chat. It was great to see Jane and Laura Singer and family, including Paschal and Kiara.

I was happy to be with my friend Marjorie Maguire and to get to spend some time with six month old Niko, Erin and Safi's little one. Also, special to see fellow Rome companions Kate Conmy, Nicole Sotelo, Bob Heineman, Pat McSweeney and Mike Toner.

Catholic Rebels Challenge Austrian Bishops/Reuters

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/07/uk-austria-church-idUKTRE7A62SL20111107
CathVIENNA Mon Nov 7, 2011 1:59pm GMT
(Reuters) - "Dissident Austrian Catholics announced lay people will start celebrating Mass when a priest is unavailable, a clear call to disobedience just as the country's bishops hold their autumn conference.
A manifesto adopted by dozens of activists at the weekend said lay people will preach, consecrate and distribute communion in priestless parishes, said Hans Peter Hurka, head of the group We Are Church.
"Church law bans this. The question is, can Church law overrule the Bible? We are of the opinion, based on findings from the Second Vatican Council, that this (ban) is not possible," he said Monday...Schoenborn, a former student and close associate of Pope Benedict, has ruled out sweeping changes demanded by dissident priests led by his former deputy, Rev. Helmut Schueller...The group, which claims to represent about 10 percent of the Austrian clergy, has challenged Church teaching on taboo topics such as priestly celibacy and women's ordination..."
"...A record 87,000 Austrians left the Church in 2010, many in reaction to sexual abuse scandals."
(Reporting by
Michael Shields and Tom Heneghan)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Vatican Officials Stunned by Irish Decision to Close Embassy"

Pope said to be ‘deeply irritated’ by the move to end diplomatic ties
By
CATHY HAYES,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Vatican-officials-stunned-by-Irish-decision-to-close-embassy-133290623.html#ixzz1cyQfFVyg

"Leading Irish Priest Criticizes Catholic Hierarchy for 'Burying its Head in the Sand'"/Irish Independent

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Leading-Irish-priest-criticizes-Catholic-hierarchy-for-burying-its-head-in-the-sand-133320373.html
By
ANTOINETTE KELLY,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

"A top Irish priest has said the Catholic Church hierarchy has been burying its head in the sand over key issues.
If the current church regime continues, says Fr Joe McGuane, Mass attendance in Ireland will be reduced to just a few groups of old women.
Fr McGuane's comments came just as the relationship between the Church and Ireland hit a historic low after the country confirmed the forthcoming shutdown of its embassy in the Vatican.
The church's precarious economic situation could have some clerics "filling supermarket shelves at night or on the dole if they have bad backs," said the Youghal, Co Cork-based priest.
Fr McGuane, a chaplain at the St Raphael's Centre, said the Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Dublin next summer, was "designed as a distraction."
"Priests will have to drag themselves along to -- I suppose -- the Phoenix Park or Croke Park for a ridiculous jamboree, and dragoon as many parishioners as possible along with them," he told the
Irish Independent.
He added that he took no pleasure in his negative assessment of the church's problems and said that the problems could be overcome "with honesty, courage, and transparency."
"...He said that the Church needs to change its position on women priests.
"We are the only profession that excludes women; the only one who insists that it (the vocation) is for life.
"Unless we have married women, we will soon have tiny numbers.
"But then they will only be catering for a few, so I suppose there is no need to panic. Furthermore, there will be income only for a few.
"Is it any wonder we are in the mess we are in? Seventeen years after the late Brendan Smyth was convicted of child sexual abuse, not alone are we still at square one but we have actually gone backwards.
"This is because of our dearth of leadership," he said. "Our prelates are, by and large, incapable of initiative and innovation. They are almost entirely bereft of ideas. They have no idea what to do."

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Leading-Irish-priest-criticizes-Catholic-hierarchy-for-burying-its-head-in-the-sand-133320373.html#ixzz1cyIWOqwS
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Fr McGuane is right on in his analysis that the church needs women priests now. I look forward to the day that we will have women priests in Ireland, following in the path of St. Brigit of Kildare! As the institutional church is in free fall in Ireland, may women rise up to create a more open, inclusive and just church of the people!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org
sofiabmm@aol.com