Saturday, November 19, 2011

"God 's Kindom Today Means Living Compassion and Doing Justice" Meditation on Feast of Christ the King/by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Let us begin our prayerful meditation by being grateful for the gift of God’s kindom, as Jesus passion for living compassion and doing justice now…


Take a few deep breaths and journey to the center of your being... dwell in the Heart of God, the Heart of Love, where you receive infinite boundless love....and where love flows out from you to others....

 As a resister to religious and political domination, Jesus was accused of planning to destroy the Temple and to make himself King….But, Jesus stood on the margins with the poor, rejected and oppressed. Jesus spoke truth to power. He did not back down even though he knew he would be in big trouble with both religious and civil authorities… This led to his death...

Jesus proclaimed the Kindom of God is about living compassion and doing justice for all especially to the poor, oppressed and marginalized. In Matthew 25, we read that whatsoever we do to the least of our sisters and brothers, that we do unto Jesus… Jesus’ kindom is about nurturing and loving relationships, not about domination, power and control…

Give thanks for the ways that you are living compassion and justice in your life now. Ask for healing of negative patterns of domination, power and control in your life...and in our church... and world.


Open yourself to God’s call to you to live compassion and do justice in deeper and even new ways….


One interpretation of Matt. 25 is that heaven and hell are not a geographical places, they are states of being that we all have experienced. In Understanding Difficult Scriptures in a Healing Way, (p.17) the Linns- Matthew, Dennis and Sheila, present this interpretation. Whenever we feel alienated, fail to give love, we pass by a sister or brother in need, we experience hell, whenever we have been loved, seen our goodness reflected in the loving appreciation of another, share our food, nurture another, live compassion, do justice, we have experienced heaven. As Dennis Linn concludes, the kindom of God is within us and we’re all good goats or one could say- saints in the making!...


Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
sofiabmm@aol.com

"Protests of Va. Parish’s Move Away From Altar Girls Reflects Wider Catholic Debate/Washington Post/ Message to Girls and Women- Not Wanted on Altar

by Michele Boorstein
"...After Taylor’s announcement, Zickel and her husband and two daughters, ages 4 and 7, stopped attending Corpus Christi. Zickel continued to teach at the Sunday school through June before the family started “floating around,” driving up to 45 minutes in an effort to find a parish with altar girls.Mary Barnes choked up as she described watching her seventh-grade daughter serve during Mass in a white robe while the boys were switched to black ones. Barnes has attended Corpus Christi, in a booming area of eastern Loudoun County, for 13 years.“It’s really hard to sit in church every weekend looking at that,” said Barnes, a manager at AOL. “It’s demoralizing, understanding you’re not really wanted.”The Vatican in 1994 approved the participation of girls in altar serving, and the official Vatican newspaper has run pieces characterizing the acceptance of girls as correcting a “profound inequality...”
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
How much more can girls or women take of this blatent sexism in our institutional church?  The Vatican cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it. Women are created equal by divine design and are desperately needed to take their rightful place as equals in all areas of church life including service at the altar as servers, deacons, priests and bishops. The good news is that more and more women are becoming Roman Catholic Women Priests and girls are welcome to serve at our altars everywhere. One day, we will be ordaining you too!
http://associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests



Catholics Reject New Roman Missal/ Try New Inclusive Worship Aides from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

http://liturgyforum.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/statement-of-convictions/#respond
Bridget Mary's Reflection
Catholics, stop complaining about new Roman Missal. Take action. One recommendation-try on some creative, joyous, inclusive liturgies.  The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests just published our Inclusive Worship Aides which feature 11 Eucharistic Prayers utilizing inclusive prayers, and poetic language that people understand and can easily pray together. Some of the liturgies are the following: Advent, Lent, Ordinary Time, Easter/Pentecost, All Saints/Funerals/Memorials. Our first order came from a male priest in a parish community!
We offer them on cd and em in pdf or .docx so you can adapt for your community.
You can order on our web site:
http://associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pope to Boehner- "Tax Wall Street"/Catholics United


http://www.catholics-united.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=2&reset=1&cid=40276

"Progressive Religion to the Rescue" Huffington Post, Chaplain Paul Dodd/Advocate for Gay Marrage in the Military

http://progressive%20religion%20to%20the%20rescue/

Evaluation of 30 Years of Joseph Ratzinger on the Catholic Church/"We Are Church" Press Release

For 30 years, Joseph Ratzinger, has largely determined the course of the Universal Church
On 25 November 1981, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope Benedict XVI, was appointed by John Paul II as prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the last 30 years, this German theologian has influenced the worldwide Roman Catholic Church for much longer, and in many more profound ways, than most others in the Vatican have been able to do in all of Church history. He is responsible for more than 23 years of administering the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF—the successor to the “Congregation of the Roman and General Inquisition,” founded in 1542) and for six and a half years as Pope.


We cannot forget, given how clearly the effects are still noticeable, how Ratzinger, between 1981 and 2005, in his capacity as Prefect of the CDF: imposed teaching bans, condemned the Theology of Liberation, marginalized women in the Church, put the brakes on Ecumenism with various churches of the Reformation, and has long contributed to the cover-up of sexual abuse. This is in line with numerous other decisions that were influenced by him, such as the Synodal Instruction of 1997, the Instruction to the Laity (1997), the “Dominus Iesus” declaration (2000), the Vatican paper against homosexual unions (2003) and also the approach to laity-based reform movements like We are Church. The German church was faced with a difficult ordeal by his teachings against the counseling of women with distressed pregnancies. The list of theologians (male and female) throughout the world who have been reprimanded and intimidated by him is long (see Appendix) and has led to a permanent climate of fear and paralysis within the church.
After his election as Pope, on 19 April 2005, there was a change in his public face, partly also due to the mass media’s influence. Yet the hope that Joseph Ratzinger, as Pope, would — in deference to his new title of “Pontifex Maximus” (“bridge builder-in-chief”) — change his behavior has not been fulfilled. The opposite has occurred.
Ratzinger, who is always complaining about the “dictatorship of relativism,” has himself been responsible for a long time for the relativization of the Second Vatican Council, mainly by his complete release of the pre-Vatican-II Tridentine rite (2007, contrary to the recommendations of the worldwide Synod of Bishops in 2005), through his reformulation of the Good Friday prayers for the conversion of the Jews (2008), and finally by the extremely problematic rehabilitation of the Confraternity of Pius X, in January 2009. The decades-long altercation with this confraternity might also be a personal trauma for Ratzinger. If only he had tried harder, on behalf of Pope John Paul II in 1988, to reintegrate its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre! This has not yet occurred, despite all manner of extremely questionable concessions by the Vatican up to now.
The Roman Catholic Church now finds itself in the deepest crisis since the Reformation. The disclosure of the decades-long coverup of abuse scandals worldwide is certainly not the only reason for this is, but it has thrown open the crisis of the clerical system. The tragedy of Ratzinger is that he started too late and too hesitantly to deal directly with the abuse scandals, and that he is not fully supported by either the Roman Curia or the cardinals and bishops. This is not least because he had, as prefect of the CDF in 2001, ordered all the bishops under threat of punishment to keep sexual crimes against minors by clerics as secret as possible, and only to let the CDF know about them.
It is not secularism, but Joseph Ratzinger himself, who is largely responsible for the Church's failure in many areas to meet the challenges of our time. Again and again he proved to be deaf to the concerns brought to him by bishops, theologians, and numerous “lay” people from around the world. Liberation Theology, in particular, was treated by him with suspicion and hostility. The years of his pontificate are increasingly laying bare the fundamental weaknesses of the whole system of the Roman Catholic Church: its autocratic, monarchical governance, its “two-tier society” of priests and “lay,” as well as the rapidly growing Roman centralization in recent years, which concedes scarcely any responsibility to the local churches.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993), which he substantially authored and edited, and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2005), which he approved and promulgated as Pope (i.e. formally approved and published), in no ways meet the demands of modern theology. The Vatican “Instruction on Homosexuality and ordained ministry” of 2005 (whose full title is Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders) was one of the first documents approved by him as pope to exclude homosexual men from the priesthood. Neither the widespread distribution of the catechism for youth, YouCat (2011), nor the commercial success of his many books, can obscure the fact that today only a small number of people accept and observe the teaching of the Catholic Church, as studies and surveys repeatedly show.
Pope Benedict should understand the increasingly loud and worldwide criticism of his pontificate as an expression of deep concern for the welfare of the faithful throughout the church. For as canon law states in Can. CIC 212 § 3: “According to their knowledge, competence and preeminent position they (i.e. the faithful) have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the church (. . .).
Meanwhile, humanity has developed a keen awareness of the countless injustices in the world. The Catholic Church, with its worldwide reach, could and must exert a positive influence on how we will all live in the future. The task for today should be to bid farewell to leadership structures that have been handed down but are no longer life-serving, rather than to cling anxiously to the hierarchical governance allegedly instituted by Jesus: “Do not call anyone on earth your father; only one is your Father, the One in heaven. Avoid being called teachers. Only one is your teacher, the Christ” (Matthew 23.9 ff.)
 A list of all persons who, directly or indirectly, have been investigated in any way, disciplined, or excommunicated by the CDF under Joseph Ratzinger (a compilation by “Catholics for Choice,” 2006) is available at www.wirsindkirche.de/files/212_2006movingforwardbylookingback_31-38.pdf.
 A list of 99 theologians and spiritual leaders who were banned, expelled, or silenced under Ratzinger is included in the 2011 book by Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved?www.wir-sind-kirche.de/files/1567_Fox_Liste%20der%2099.pdf
 An in-depth analysis of the theology of Joseph Ratzinger is available (in German) in Hermann Haring's “Im Namen des Herrn. Wohin der Papst die Kirche führt” (Gütersloh, 2009).
English translation by Anne Goodrich Heck









Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Austrian Dissident Catholics Urged -Maintain Church Unity"/Christian Century

http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-11/austrias-dissident-catholics-urged-maintain-church-unity
Nov 17, 2011 by Jonathan Luxmoore

..." In their 10 November declaration, the bishops rejected a 5 November call by Austria's We Are Church movement for laypeople to preside at Mass and celebrate the Eucharist. The bishops were also reacting to a July "Call to Disobedience" signed by 250 of Austria's 4,200 Roman Catholic priests, urging the ordination of women priests and distribution of Communion to non-Catholics and remarried divorcees...Hans Peter Hurka, We Are Church's chairman, told ENInews that Austria's bishops had pledged to hold a dialogue with Catholic clergy, but had rejected calls for a discussion of New Testament guidelines. He added that 505,000 Austrians had signed the movement's founding petition in 1995, adding that recent opinion surveys suggested 80 percent now backed its demands."All of this is seen as irrelevant by the bishops -- they don't seem to realize the train has already left and they're still standing on the platform," the lay Catholic said. "The situation is now beyond church control and the dangers of a schism are very real..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection
The "holy shakeup" continues to grow and Catholics worldwide are joining the movement for ality for gender justice in the church. Obviously, the priests of Austria and Ireland are leading the way toward a renewed priestly ministry in union with the people of God, not the backward slide to the clerical culture of the Medieval world that promotes a "magical" approach that focuses on the special powers of the priest to "confect" the sacraments, and the indulgences that the laity gain by attending  certain  churches and saying specfic prayers. These devotions indicate that the Catholic believers in the pew's primary responsibility was to pray, obey and pay ( as in make an offering for candles lit etc). Note that Pope Benedict promotes indulgenes today for certain devotional practices including pilgrimages to sacred sites.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests  focus on being living witnesses of the Gospel of compassion in serving our sisters and brothers, especially those in most need and in challenging structures that keep people on the margins and impoverished- we are called to speak truth to power, like Jesus did, so that justice will be a reality for God's people. Ordination is not about us, it is about being catalysts for justice in church and world!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
sofiabmm@aol.com







Meet Our New Deacon in Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests: Judy Beaumont

Ordination of Judy Beaumont to the Diaconate on November 15, 2011.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Ordination of Judy Beaumont as Deacon on Nov. 15, 2011/Sarasota, Florida

A Celebration of Ordination with the Community of the Good Shepherd.
Judy Beaumont was ordained a deacon of ARCWP in the home of Bishop Bridget Mary on November 15, 2011. Twelve members of the community gathered in the mid-afternoon with Jack Meehan, Bridget Mary’s father, providing music on the sax and trumpet for the ordination liturgy. The music for Judy’s ordination came from the chants and melodies used by her Good Shepherd Community in Ft. Myers. These included “This is the Day our God has Made and This is Holy Ground” and we closed with “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” sung with great enthusiasm by all present.
Judy is co-pastor with Judy Lee, ARCWP of the Good Shepherd Community in Ft. Myers FL. Four of the elders represented her full community and Lauretta Rasmussen presented Judy for ordination to the deaconate with these words:
“I believe she has many good qualities for service as a priest…She serves our church with energy which is always inspiring…She enriches our lives with her kindness and gentleness…Judy is paramount in life-altering events in the lives of the poor, homeless and disabled…Her unselfish acts give inspiration for all…The Joshua House mission has given back to the poor their dignity and more, their hope. Ms. Beaumont has fed me, clothed me and provided shelter for me…When Judy smiles; you can see the Holy Spirit light up her face. The love she has for us is a gift from God. It shows in everything she does.”
Bishop Bridget Mary gave the homily, “…Today we are celebrating the ordination to the diaconate of Judy Beaumont, a woman who has spent her life on the margins living Jesus’ passion for justice and equality…your affirmation of your woman deacon and priest speaks loudly to all that the full equality of women and justice for all God’s people especially those who suffer poverty, joblessness and homelessness, is the voice of God in our time. Today Judy joins Judy Lee in ministry with you, the beloved community, as ordained women in Good Shepherd Community. Together they serve the Body of Christ at the table and around the table standing on the margins with you, living God’s compassion and doing justice.”
Then Bishop Bridget Mary called us into silence for the laying on of hands, the act of ordination of Judy as ARCWP deacon. The Spirit’s presence filled the room as each person came forward to lay their hands on Judy’s head offering prayers for her ministry. Jack Meehan could not come forward so immediately after Judy presented herself to Jack for his blessing. Such a tender Spirit filled moment for them and for us.
After the service we moved our celebration to a local restaurant for a wonderful Oriental buffet. May God’s Spirit Sofia pour down blessings on Judy Beaumont’s ministry as deacon with the People of God in Good Shepherd Community.





"Recognizing the Church We Already Are"/ Jamie Manson's Keynote At Call to Action/Link to Address

http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/recognizing-church-we-already-are
"This story, I think, does all of those things. It is a true story that happened in a place as ordinary as St. Louis and as recently as 2008. The year that stretched from the summer of 2008 to the summer of 2009 was especially bizarre for the Catholic Church in the United States (and, I know there is a lot of competition for that title). It was during this time that Father Roy Bourgeois was given his first notification from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he had 30 days in which to recant his position in support of women’s ordination or face excommunication.It was during this time that Sister Louise Akers was banned by the archbishop of Cincinnati from teaching catechetics on behalf of the archdiocese because of her public support of women's ordination in the Catholic church."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

REMEMBERING THE FEAST DAY OF A CHILD/ by OLGA LUCIA ALVAREZ, ARCWP


A year ago, the child Juan Dieguito Borda:
"He pleased God y God loved him...y he took him away" (Wisdom 4:10)

Gilma and her sisters, aunts of Juan Dieguito.
His family, little friends, neighbors and the neighborhood, have wished to honor his memory with a community Eucharist in the House/Church.

His grandmothers, his aunts, uncles, cousins, friends y neighbors of the family were there.

The aunts set up the altar, in the living room of the house and arranged the seats for everyone. The cousins and little friends of Juan Diego, with whom we saw him playing foot-ball so many times in the block in front of the house, spontaneously, asked to organize the presentation of the gifts and thus they did it:
Cousins and friends of Juan Dieguito, at the Presentation of the Gifts.

The family and members of the Community, had invited a Catholic priest (of Old Catholic) whom we also invited to concelebrate, explaining to the Community, giving the sense of ecumenism which is provided in the sharing of inter-denominational and inter-religious communion, which goes farther than just meetings and signing documents of mutual "closeness", posing for the "ecumenic
al" album.

Father Miguel Adolfo Figueroa reading the Gospel.

The readings were shared. The sharing of the homily in a community way, is still hard for us, but efforts were made to do it and it's a work in progress which will continue.

At the moment of consecration, we acted as community, women and men extended their hands over the elements reciting the words of the consecration as a sign of promise and solidarity in the service of the community and the church.


One of the grandmothers of Juan Diego, who will give out Communion.

Before Communion, the grandmothers were asked to help with the distribution, explaining to the community why they were going to do so. "They through the years, in their homes, have cared for our lives, providing us with food. Giving us Communion today is caring for the spiritual life of their family, their sons, daughters and grandchildren, protecting them and helping them grow in the faith; therefore they are going to share Communion not only with their family, but also with the Community, recognizing thus their experience and wisdom."

When the church speaks of the importance of the laity, it is referring to the empowerment of the laic in it, causing the laity to assume responsability for the building of the Kingdom of God, in a community way and with a sense of church.

This was a powerful moment, understood and accepted by the community, which afterwards was much remarked about among the people.


"As his life was pleasing to the Lord, the Lord acted quickly to remove him from the midst of evil. The people see, but neither hear nor understand, that God treats his chosen with mercy and goodness, watching over his faithful ones." Wisdom 4:14-15


Monday, November 14, 2011

"Archaeological Sites in Rome and Elsewhere Depict Ordained Women/Interview by Nicole Sotelo/National Catholic Reporter

http://ncronline.org/blogs/young-voices/tomb-unknown-priests
Instead, she (Dorothy Irvin) said, "The really striking thing is that what we have archaeologically is pretty much universal coverage. We have ordained women from places such as Egypt and the southern deserts of Jordan through Jerusalem over to Turkey and the Czech Republic, and back through northern and southern Europe. In other words, the entire geographical area of the early church gives us written and pictorial documentation."
She noted that whatever forms of art are used in a particular region, "we find ordained women in those art forms." She went on to say, "If the art form is hand-woven textiles, then we will find ordained women in hand-woven textiles. If the art form is catacomb frescoes, we will find ordained women in those art forms."
Contact Dr. Irvin for calendars with depictions of ordained women at irvincalendar@hotmail.com

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"The Devil and Joe Paterno"/New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/douthat-the-devil-and-joe-paterno.html

..."It was precisely because Castrillón had served his church heroically, I suspect, that he was so easily blinded to the reality of priestly sex abuse. It was precisely because Joe Paterno had done so much good for so long that he could do the unthinkable, and let an alleged child rapist continue to walk free in Penn State’s Happy Valley. ..
...The best piece about Darío Castrillón Hoyos was written by the Catholic essayist John Zmirak, and
his words apply to Joe Paterno as well. Sins committed in the name of a higher good, Zmirak wrote, can “smell and look like lilies. But they flank a coffin. Lying dead and stiff inside that box is natural Justice ... what each of us owes the other in an unconditional debt.”
No higher cause can trump that obligation — not a church, and certainly not a football program. And not even a lifetime of heroism can make up for leaving a single child alone, abandoned to evil, weeping in the dark.

Woman Priest, a Beachwood Native, Sees Her Ordination as Valid; Roman Catholic Church Does Not"/The Plain Dealer

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/11/woman_priest_sees_her_ordinati.html

"Women priests are taboo in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who participate in ordinations of women automatically excommunicate themselves from the church, according to laws of the Holy See.
But the Rev. Barbara Zeman, a Beachwood native, considers herself both a priest and a devout member of the Catholic faith.
Zeman, who now lives in Chicago, will be in Northeast Ohio this week to say a Mass. She was ordained in 2008 within a movement that believes God calls women as well as men to the sacrament of Holy Orders. She is one of an estimated 125 women in the United States who wear priest vestments and administer the sacraments
..."

By Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

"Nuns who Won't Stop Nudging"/New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/business/sisters-of-st-francis-the-quiet-shareholder-activists.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

"NOT long ago, an unusual visitor arrived at the sleek headquarters of Goldman Sachs in Lower Manhattan.
It wasn’t some C.E.O., or a pol from Athens or Washington, or even a sign-waving occupier from Zuccotti Park.
It was Sister Nora Nash of the
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. And the slight, soft-spoken nun had a few not-so-humble suggestions for the world’s most powerful investment bank.
Way up on the 41st floor, in a conference room overlooking the World Trade Center site, Sister Nora and her team from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility laid out their advice for three Goldman executives. The Wall Street bank, they said, should protect consumers, rein in
executive pay, increase its transparency and remember the poor... "