As a bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women
Priests, I disagree with Phyllis Zagano's characterization
of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement in the
She said: "Theological hairsplitting aside,
the official Catholic determination is no,
they are not Catholic and even within their own
movement they are not priests."
First: Roman Catholic Women Priests are faithful Catholics
who love our church and offer the gift of a renewed priestly
ministry in an inclusive church where all are welcome to receive
sacraments. By our baptism we are Catholic
and will always be! No one, not even the Pope, can cancel
our baptism! Galations 3:28 reminds us that by our baptism
men and women are equal images of Christ.
Therefore, women are worthy to preside
at the altar. Women priests are visible reminders that all
women are equal images of God and that it is time to begin
the healing process of centuries of misogyny in our church.
Like the women in the Gospels mentioned in Luke 8:1-3,
women priests are following Jesus's call to discipleship,
equality and partnership.
Like Mother Theodore Guerin and Mother Mary McKillop,
who were excommunicated by the church hierarchy, and
later canonized saints,
we believe that faithful Catholics must always follow their
consciences no matter what the cost.
Obedience to God always trumps obedience to church laws.
Women Priests are living prophetic obedience by disobeying
an unjust law that discriminates against women in our church.
Second : RCWP ordinations are valid because our first bishops
were ordained by a unnamed bishop in apostolic succession and in
communion with the Pope.
Third: there is scholarly evidence that women were not only
ordained deacons, but were also ordained priests and bishops
during the first twelve hundred years of church history.
See Professor Gary Macy's book, The Hidden History of
Ordination and Catholic theologian Dorothy Irvin's
archaeological evidence of women in ordained ministry
in the ancient world.
Fourth: Dr. Zagano cites Jesus' words: "do this in memory of me"
to support the Vatican position of the Last Supper as Jesus
selection of a male priesthood.
On the contrary, these words indicate that
Jesus gave Eucharist to the church. Jesus did not ordain twelve
male apostles at the Last Supper.
The Twelve represents the
Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Jesus' words remind us that the Eucharist
is a Sacred Meal that we share to celebrate the Christ Presence
in our midst and the Christ Presence that we are as the
Body of Christ in the World.
In other words the Body of Christ
is on the table, at the table and around the table. Contemporary
theologian Bernard Cook reminds us that the gathered assembly
is the celebrant of Eucharist. It is the entire community that
performs the eucharistic action, not the presider alone.
Historical scholarship supports this conclusion and goes
even farther. Gary Macy concludes from his research in
Middle Ages manuscripts that, in the understanding of the
medieval mind, regardless of who spoke the words of
man or woman, ordained or community -
the Christ presence became reality in the
midst of the assembly.
(National Catholic Reporter. Jan. 9, 1998 p.5)
For the Vatican, Roman Catholic Women Priests are a revolution,
but for millions of Catholics, we are a holy shakeup whose time
|Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org|
Friday, October 12, 2012
Roman Catholic Women Priests? by Phyllis Zagano/Why I Disagree with Phyllis Zagano on Women Priests by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Posted by Bridget Mary Meehan at 10:48 PM