"It’s perplexing that the bishops have used their authority to declare that the vast majority of Catholic women who do use a modern form of birth control--only two percent rely on the natural family planning method endorsed by the Vatican--are beyond the pale. So much so that the campaign to avoid paying for this birth control overshadows any analysis of these women’s needs.The bishops’ media firestorm is hollow, because it reflects a failure of the imagination. Instead, the bishops are called to a different, quieter kind of action. It starts with asking, “What do you need, my sister?” and being patient and humble enough to really listen. If the bishops are going to go around yelling to the heavens about their conscience rights being abrogated and their religious liberties being threatened, and all the while ignoring the health needs of women right in front of them, they’re never going to hear the conscience where it already is: quietly, assuredly, directing ordinary people in the sacred task of living everyday life."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
This latest fiasco with the U.S. hiearchy reminds us how much we need women priests, women bishops and women in leadership positions in every area of decision-making in the Catholic Church. We are visbile reminders that women are equal images of God. Indeed ,Rick Santorium may be half right, if we had women priests in every parish in the Catholic Church, the bishops would not have embarked on this ill-advised campaign to cut contraceptive coverage. Presidential candiate, Rick Santorium recently said that Obama would force U.S. bishops to put women priests in every Catholic parish!
Just imagine what that could mean!! First, women priests would speak truth to power as we are doing now.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests issued a news release on Feb. 10th (see blog below that castigated the U.S. bishops for demanding an exemption to the mandate of providing contraceptive coverage in the Affordable Care Act.
Can you imagine Jesus who lambasted the religious leaders for putting heavy burdens on the people allowing the male hiearchy to condemn Catholic women for using contraceptives to plan families and avoid unwanted pregancies. Many women were among Jesus closest disciples. (Luke 8.), The bishops' attempts to exempt themselves from the demands of justice, lacks compassion, and is hostile toward Catholic women, and all their employees who depend on contraceptive coverage for responsible family planning. It is time for the bishops to treat women as Jesus did, beloved sisters and equal partners in the Gospel.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests