Saturday, April 7, 2012

Priest Whose Movement Targeted by Papal Criticism says Pope only Asking for Reflection/Roman Catholic Women Priests Stand in Solidarity with Courageous Male Priests in Austria and Around the World

http://www.newser.com/article/d9tupkpg3/priest-whose-movement-targeted-by-papal-criticism-says-pope-only-asking-for-reflection.html
By NICOLE WINFIELD | Associated Press
The Rev. Hellmut Schueller said Benedict was merely asking for reflection on whether their disobedience can help reform the church. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Schueller noted that Benedict didn't forbid what the dissident priests were doing or advocating.
In his Holy Thursday homily, Benedict said the dissidents of the Pfarrer Initiative claim to be motivated by concern for the church. But he suggested that in reality they were just making "a desperate push to do something to change the church in accordance with (their) own preferences and ideas."The Pfarrer Initiative is at http://www.pfarrer-initiative.at
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Now that hundreds of male priests are publically advocating for married priests and women priests, Pope Benedict has reluctantly responded. It is a clear sign of the Spirit's power at work in a renewed model of priestly ministry. We stand in solidarity with our brother priests who have the courage to follow their consciences and name the injustice of gender inequality. Jesus  who called both women and  men, married and unmarried as disciples, stood with the margnalized for justice. He was put to death for challenging the religious and civil leaders for their oppression of God's people. According to all four Gospels it was the women who accompanied Jesus to Calvary and were the first to witness his resurrection. Today women priests, like the Easter women, are taking our rightful place as leaders in our church in grassroots communities of enthusiastic Catholics.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com
703-505-0004

Critics Challenge Pope’s Stance Against Ordaining Women /CBS News/Chicago/ RCWP Priest Barbara Zeman Speaks Out


"Barbara Zeman is one of several Chicago area Catholic women who have been “ordained” as priests in recent years by other rebellious clergy.
“As Catholics, first and foremost, we speak to the primacy of conscience. Conscience trumps any obedience,” she says.
“We have disobeyed a law,” she adds. “I will not argue with that. However, it is a law that is made by human beings, specifically by men.”

"The former pastor of St. Gertrude’s parish in Chicago believes in the ordination of women.
“It’s going to happen eventually,” says Father Bill Kenneally.
He’s not afraid of speaking out against church doctrine. He’s retired.
“I’m in a position where you can say whatever you want to say, because they can’t take anything away from you,” says.
Kenneally believes most active priests secretly agree with him.
Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George agrees with the Pope. He has been quoted as saying the Sacrament of Ordination of male priests  is a gift from Jesus."

The Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church: a survey of attitudes in Spain in Journal of Gender Studies



This paper examines the correlation between socio-economic factors and attitudes to the ordination of women in the Catholic Church against a background of the existing literature on the perception of the Pastoral Ministry of Christian women. The struggle to find theories of economics that assist in formulating expectations in such research is identified and a part-solution offered through the Sraffian account for innovation.
A survey was carried out on 110 postgraduate students at the University of Granada (Spain) in 2006. The results demonstrate that the perception of the Catholic Church as sexist is positively related to the gender, political ideology and family size of those surveyed with discrimination perceived to be more prevalent in non-Christian religions. Respondents with a male image of God had less enlightened attitudes to gender equality and believers took a more conservative approach to gender equality than non-believers. Surprisingly, a conservative attitude to gender equality was correlated with a favourable attitude to the ordination of women.

Friday, April 6, 2012

“When Old Models Become Corrupt” - Catholic Women Priests Part 7 by Diana Milesko


              On Holy Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI criticized clerics who champion the ordination of women priests and married clergy. Thus the Pope demonstrated again that ancient Middle Eastern prejudices have hobbled today’s institutional Church; that Church hierarchy is impossibly out of touch with today’s vibrant Catholic movement to live the potential of God’s love within us.
            It’s a shame the Pope chose Holy Thursday to censure women and married priests when there were far better topics to dwell upon. He is to be forgiven, I suppose, for he is an old man used to having his way.
            But instead of sour jeremiads about the inferiority of women, he could have reflected upon God’s egalitarian love for everyone, “There is neither Jew nor Greek...neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:28
            He could have examined the expansive news Jesus himself announced on Holy Thursday, "A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you." John 13:34.
            But he didn’t. And that’s too bad. Because women and men priests (married and unmarried,) are working hard to turn the Church into a model for the world. They create high ethical standards in the clergy; they show by their lives and instruction that moral behavior produces good outcomes; they teach that individuals, organizations and societies must know the difference between right and wrong. Together, women and men priests embody the compassion, wisdom and justice of our loving God.
            And justice is the Church’s mission. “Let justice flow like water, and uprightness like a never failing stream.” (Amos 5:21, 24) “You have been told what God requires of you: To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.”(Micah 6:8) Jesus took up this same message in his stories and actions.
            Women and married priests know what it means to be marginalized; they are uniquely equipped to help the Church advocate God’s love for everyone. They can help liberate the Church from it’s narcissism and renew the good news upon which it was founded; love your neighbor as yourself; forgive others; and help the poor, the marginalized and the suffering attain justice.
            When one attends church services of Women Priests, one sees the generosity, tenderness and compassion of our loving God honored by everyone through the Eucharist; everyone joins in the blessings of the Mass and participates in Gospel related-homilies; everyone is invited to serve God by working for justice, by practicing charity, and by sharing in a community of equals. Roman Catholic Women Priests are proof that women and men priests, working together, can help the Church live God’s mission of compassion, justice, and decency.
            Still, the Pope grasps at faded prejudices, trying to make things stay the same as they were in an ancient, ignorant time. His words show that, more than ever in this complicated world, we need a renewed, transparent, and accountable Church in which women and men are true equals and partners in ministry, and are included as decision makers on all levels including the Vatican.

Women's Ordination Conference and Roman Catholic Women Priests Challenge Pope's Slam on Women Priests and Our Supporters


Once again the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving. Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the Church into a renewed priestly ministry in grassroots communities. For some, like Pope Benedict, this is a revolution, but for millions of Catholics, including many male priests and some bishops, including one cardinal who are rising up for gender justice, it is a welcome holy shakeup!
Next weekend, two USA bishops, Regina Nicolosi and Bridget Mary Meehan will preside at women's ordinations in Indiana and Florida!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
www.arcwp.org
703-505-0004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2012
Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna, 202.675.1006 

On holiest of days, Pope slams women's ordination supporters

Response from Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director   
   
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Roman Catholics globally joined together for the feast of Holy Thursday, to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus the Christ and welcome the Easter Triduum, the holiest days for Catholics.  It was during the Last Supper that Jesus gave those gathered a new commandment -- to "love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

While during these holy days we would presume to hear Pope Benedict XVI echoing Jesus' call for love and inclusion, instead the Pope put forth a message of fear, intimidation, and oppression. In his homily earlier today, he denounced "disobedience" within the church and strongly reprimanded priests who support women's ordination.

The Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) is discouraged that the Pope would use this sacred time in our religious tradition to attack his fellow priests, who in good conscience, support women's full inclusion in the Roman Catholic Church. It is not these priests who are disobedient, it is the hierarchy who has lost touch with the people of God.

Out of fear of the growing numbers of ordained women and the overwhelming support they receive, the Vatican is trying to preserve what little power they have left by attempting to extinguish the widespread call for women's equality in the church. It will not work.

More than 63 percent of U.S. Catholics, and millions of Catholics worldwide, support the ordination of women. The Vatican's own Pontifical Biblical Commission found in 1976 that there is no scriptural reason to prohibit the ordination of women.  The Bible describes how women were prominent leaders in Jesus' ministry and early Christianity.  In all four gospels, Mary Magdalene was the primary witness to the central event of Christianity-Christ's resurrection. 

It is long overdue for the Vatican to listen to its own research, its own theologians and its own people who say that women are equally created in the image of God and are called to serve as priests in a renewed and inclusive Roman Catholic Church.  

                                                                          ###

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.  



Roman Catholic Women Priests Denounce Pope Benedict XVI's Holy Thursday Message


Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc. 
Suzanne Avison Thiel, President
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Media ARCWP
            859-684-4247      
5 April 2012 
This Holy Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI,  in another heavy-handed move,  denounced all priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and the ordination of women but he surely cannot denounce the millions of Catholics who no longer believe that such practices are what Jesus would want.  The Catholic people through the sensus fidelium have already accepted women priests.  We in this prophetic movement continue to experience the support of Catholics throughout the world who are in favor of a married priesthood and of women who are answering their call from God to be their priests.  For the pontiff to so boldly speak against the men and women who have taken the risk to question these teachings is simply a misused tactic and exercise of the sin of arrogance and sexism. His unwillingness to even participate in a dialogue with the so called "dissidents" is nothing but a  punitive, radical, authoritarian attempt to squelch any freedom of conscience and so-called disobedience. We call on all Catholic women to speak out for their equality and justice. Our Church must continue to evolve and be renewed in the signs of the times. Let us not forget that there were married men and women participating in the events of Holy Week- holy women that Jesus knew and loved and trusted with priestly ministry.  

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on the church.
Benedict made the rare and explicit criticism from the altar of St. Peter's Basilica in his homily on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises they made when ordained.
In 2006, a group of Austrian priests launched the Pfarrer Initiative, or pastor initiative, a call to disobedience aimed at abolishing priestly celibacy and opening the clergy to women to relieve the shortages of priests.
Last June, the group's members essentially threatened a schism, saying the Vatican's refusal to hear their complaints left them no choice but to "follow our conscience and act independently."
They issued a revised call to disobedience in which they said parishes would celebrate Eucharistic services without priests, that they would let women preach, and they pledged to speak out publicly and frequently for female and married priests.
The group now claims more than 300 Austrian priests and deacons as well as supporters in other countries, and its influence has grown to such an extent that top Austrian bishops met with Vatican officials in January to discuss how to handle them, Italian news reports said.
So far, neither the Vatican nor the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, have imposed any canonical penalties on them.
In his homily, Benedict said the dissidents claim to be motivated by concern for the church. But he suggested that in reality they were just making "a desperate push to do something to change the church in accordance with (their) own preferences and ideas."
"We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date," he said. "But is disobedience really a way to do this?"
He said Jesus always followed true obedience to God's will, not "human caprice."
Benedict's straightforward, "lucid" homily reaffirming mandatory celibacy for priests shows that the pontiff is in solid command at the helm of the Catholic church, said the editor of the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
The pope, who turns 75 this month, has recently taken to using a cane and other devices to help him move during public ceremonies, and some observers have speculated that the less physically vigorous pontiff's leadership grip of the church might be loosening.
But Benedict's strong call to priests to staunchly embrace church teaching on celibacy "once again erases the stereotype of a weak pope who supposedly isn't governing the church," wrote Vatican editor Gian Maria Vian in an unusually prominent front-page commentary on the papal homily.
Early in the evening, Benedict went to Rome's St. John in Lateran Basilica to preside at the traditional Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony. There, two aides helped the pope down the few steps from the altar, but otherwise Benedict walked steadily and briskly on his own to the array of priests who sat, each with one foot bare, so the pope could pour water over the foot in a symbol of humility and service. In remarks at the service, Benedict denounced "arrogance" as the "true essence of sin."
In the same spirit of service, the pope earmarked the collection of money offered by faithful during the Mass to help refugees of the violence in Syria.
The head of the Pfarrer Initiative, Rev. Hellmut Schueller, downplayed the severity of Benedict's message and said the pope was merely asking for reflection on whether disobedience can reform the church.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Schueller noted that Benedict didn't forbid what the dissident priests were doing or advocating.
"We are listening with interest to this message," he said. "I cannot see it as a very sharp wording."
The members of the initiative, Schueller said, will reflect on Benedict's words as part of a dialogue he hopes to open with Austrian bishops.
"We have decided to go this way because it's the way of our conscience, as faithful, and we are expressing only the opinion of the people at the base of the church."
He said the initiative did not seek to split the church or create schism, saying the positions articulated in the call for disobedience increasingly reflected the will of ordinary Catholics.
Any divisions that are being created, Schueller said, are between the base of the church and the hierarchy.
Holy Thursday homilies are often unusual in that the pope uses them to issue direct messages to priests. In 2006, for example, Benedict read a letter written by a cleric who was killed as he prayed in Turkey.
And on Holy Thursday in 2002, Pope John Paul II broke his silence over the explosion of the U.S. sex abuse scandal, denouncing the sins of priestly abusers and the "grave scandal" that was casting a "dark shadow of suspicion" over all priests.
___
AP writer Frances D'Emilio contributed to this report from Rome.

Pope reaffirms ban on women priests

ABC Online - ‎21 minutes ago‎
Pope Benedict XVI leads a ceremony at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome. Pope Benedict has reasserted the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests during a sermon at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Pope warned he would not tolerate...

WORLD BRIEFS

Newsday - ‎40 minutes ago‎
World Newsday > News > World Print Aa WORLD BRIEFS Published: April 5, 2012 10:18 PM VATICAN CITY: Pope warns defiant priests Pope Benedict XVI, in his Holy Thursday homily, denounced priests who question church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women ...

Pope reaffirms ban on women priests, assails disobedience

Reuters India - ‎47 minutes ago‎
By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Thursday restated the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he would not tolerate disobedience by clerics on fundamental teachings. Benedict, who for decades before ...

'Liberal' priest under Vatican investigation

Irish Examiner - ‎1 hour ago‎
By Claire O'Sullivan The founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Tony Flannery, is being investigated by the Vatican because of his liberal views. For the past 14 years, Fr Flannery has written in the Redemptorist Order's Reality magazine, ...

Pope denounces priests who question celibacy, ordaining women

Chicago Sun-Times - ‎2 hours ago‎
AP April 5, 2012 7:54PM Pope Benedict XVI, foreground, is photographed by the faithful as he tours St. Peter's square during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope ...

Pope denounces dissident priests on celibacy

CBS News - ‎2 hours ago‎
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on the church. Benedict made the rare and ...

Vatican moves to quell internal dissenting voices

Irish Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
The Vatican has moved to suppress dissent in the Irish Catholic Church by clamping down on two well-known liberal Redemptorist priests as well as the congregation's monthly magazine, Reality. Restrictions have been placed on Fr Tony Flannery, ...

Assailing 'Disobedience,' Pope Says Women Will Not Be Ordained

NPR (blog) - ‎4 hours ago‎
by Eyder Peralta Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves at the end of the Chrismal mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on Thursday. Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves at the end of the Chrismal mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on Thursday.

Pope slams reformists' calls to ordain women

Kansas City Star - ‎5 hours ago‎
By PETER MAYER VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday marked the first of a series of traditional Easter rituals with a Mass during which he criticized a group of Austrian clerics championing the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic ...

Pope Benedict XVI says church reform won't come through open dissent

Washington Post (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎
VATICAN CITY — In a rare public rebuke, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (April 5) denounced a call for optional celibacy and women's ordination that was issued by a group of Austrian priests, saying true reform will not come as a result of open dissent.

Pope denounces rebel clergy who question church teaching on celibacy and ...

Daily Mail - ‎7 hours ago‎
By Daily Mail Reporter The Pope has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women. In a rare and explicit criticism, Benedict XVI said yesterday that they were being selfish in disobeying his authority.

Pope denounces dissidents on celibacy, ordaining women

Salt Lake Tribune - ‎9 hours ago‎
Benedict XVI » The pontiff's strong call to priests to staunchly embrace church teaching on celibacy challenges the perception of his weakness. By NICOLE WINFIELD | The Associated Press VATICAN CITY • Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have ...

Vatican investigating Irish priest over liberal views

RTE.ie - ‎9 hours ago‎
A founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Tony Flannery, has confirmed that he is being investigated by the Vatican for his liberal views. Today's Irish Catholic newspaper reports that the Vatican intervened directly to stop the Redemptorist ...

Pope rips into dissident priests on celibacy

Zee News - ‎9 hours ago‎
Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI has issued a rare and explicit denunciation of priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying they were being selfish in disobeying his authority. Benedict made the criticism in his ...

Pope Slams Austrian Priests

Daily Beast - ‎10 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday condemned a group of Austrian dissident priests who have called for “long-needed reforms” on priestly celibacy and female clergy. About 15 percent of Austria's priests signed an initiative to call for disobedience in June ...

Pope slams call for women priests

News24 - ‎11 hours ago‎
Be an eyewitness to various religions and learn about the wheel of existance, Christ's Crucifixion... Now R80.95 Vatican City - Pope Benedict on Thursday re-stated the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he would not tolerate ...

Pope Condemns European Priests Calling for Disobedience

Voice of America - ‎11 hours ago‎
April 05, 2012 Pope Condemns European Priests Calling for Disobedience VOA News Pope Benedict has issued a rare condemnation of priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and ordaining women during a homily in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy ...

Pope Condemns Priests About Celibacy, Women Clerics

Voice of America (blog) - ‎12 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict has issued a rare condemnation of priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and ordaining women. Benedict issued the denunciation during his homily in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises ...

Pope Benedict XVI slams priests who question church on celibacy

New York Daily News - ‎14 hours ago‎
AP Pope Benedict XVI waves after mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on April 5, 2012 at St Peter's basilica at The Vatican. VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI issued a blistering denunciation Thursday of priests who have questioned church teaching on ...

Pope Benedict XVI rebukes Austrian dissident priests

BBC News - ‎14 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict XVI has sharply condemned a group of dissident Austrian priests and laymen for questioning key teachings of the Catholic Church. The group, known as the Pfarrer Initiative, has challenged the church on topics such as priestly celibacy and ...

Pope slams rebels over celibacy and women priests

Inquirer.net (blog) - ‎14 hours ago‎
VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI issued a rare condemnation of disobedient priests on Thursday, saying those who questioned the Church over celibacy and the ordination of women were being self-serving. “Recently, a group of priests in a European country ...

Pope Benedict restates Catholic Church ban on women priests

RTE.ie - ‎15 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict has firmly restated the Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he will not tolerate disobedience by his priests on essential teachings. Pope Benedict has firmly restated the Catholic Church's ban on women priests and ...

Pope tells dissident priests exactly what they can do with their anti-celibacy ...

NEWS.com.au - ‎15 hours ago‎
POPE Benedict XVI has issued a rare and explicit denunciation of priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women. Saying they were being selfish in disobeying his authority, the Pope made the criticism from the altar of St ...

Dissident priest: Pope just asking for reflection

Atlanta Journal Constitution - ‎16 hours ago‎
By NICOLE WINFIELD AP VATICAN CITY — The Austrian priest who founded a group of clergy who question church teaching on celibacy and women's ordination has downplayed Pope Benedict XVI's denunciation. Pope Benedict XVI, foreground, is photographed by ...

Pope Rebukes Priests Who Advocate Ordaining Women and Ending Celibacy

New York Times - ‎16 hours ago‎
ROME — Striking the tone that once earned him the nickname “God's Rottweiler,” Pope Benedict XVI in a stern Holy Thursday homily denounced “disobedience” in the Roman Catholic Church, chastising priests who sought the ordination of women and the ...

Pope Denounces Priests Who Question Catholic Teachings On Celibacy And Women ...

Huffington Post - ‎17 hours ago‎
By NICOLE WINFIELD 04/ 5/12 01:33 PM ET VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on ...

Judy Lee, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Holy Week Liturgies/ Ministry to Poor and Marginalized People in Ft. Myers, Florida


Easter Sunday Liturgy at Good Shepherd Community, Ft. Myers, Fl.
with Co-Pastors Judy Lee, ARCWP and Judy Beaumont, ARCWP




Thursday, April 5, 2012

Roman Catholic Women Priests Denounce Pope Benedict XVI's Holy Thursday Message


Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc.
Suzanne Avison Thiel, President
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Media ARCWP
859-684-4247
5 April 2012 
This Holy Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI,  in another heavy-handed move,  denounced all priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and the ordination of women but he surely cannot denounce the millions of Catholics who no longer believe that such practices are what Jesus would want.  The Catholic people through the sensus fidelium have already accepted women priests.  We in this prophetic movement continue to experience the support of Catholics throughout the world who are in favor of a married priesthood and of women who are answering their call from God to be their priests.  For the pontiff to so boldly speak against the men and women who have taken the risk to question these teachings is simply a misused tactic and exercise of the sin of arrogance and sexism. His unwillingness to even participate in a dialogue with the so called "dissidents" is nothing but a  punitive, radical, authoritarian attempt to squelch any freedom of conscience and so-called disobedience. We call on all Catholic women to speak out for their equality and justice. Our Church must continue to evolve and be renewed in the signs of the times. Let us not forget that there were married men and women participating in the events of Holy Week- holy women that Jesus knew and loved and trusted with priestly ministry.  

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on the church.
Benedict made the rare and explicit criticism from the altar of St. Peter's Basilica in his homily on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises they made when ordained.
In 2006, a group of Austrian priests launched the Pfarrer Initiative, or pastor initiative, a call to disobedience aimed at abolishing priestly celibacy and opening the clergy to women to relieve the shortages of priests.
Last June, the group's members essentially threatened a schism, saying the Vatican's refusal to hear their complaints left them no choice but to "follow our conscience and act independently."
They issued a revised call to disobedience in which they said parishes would celebrate Eucharistic services without priests, that they would let women preach, and they pledged to speak out publicly and frequently for female and married priests.
The group now claims more than 300 Austrian priests and deacons as well as supporters in other countries, and its influence has grown to such an extent that top Austrian bishops met with Vatican officials in January to discuss how to handle them, Italian news reports said.
So far, neither the Vatican nor the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, have imposed any canonical penalties on them.
In his homily, Benedict said the dissidents claim to be motivated by concern for the church. But he suggested that in reality they were just making "a desperate push to do something to change the church in accordance with (their) own preferences and ideas."
"We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date," he said. "But is disobedience really a way to do this?"
He said Jesus always followed true obedience to God's will, not "human caprice."
Benedict's straightforward, "lucid" homily reaffirming mandatory celibacy for priests shows that the pontiff is in solid command at the helm of the Catholic church, said the editor of the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
The pope, who turns 75 this month, has recently taken to using a cane and other devices to help him move during public ceremonies, and some observers have speculated that the less physically vigorous pontiff's leadership grip of the church might be loosening.
But Benedict's strong call to priests to staunchly embrace church teaching on celibacy "once again erases the stereotype of a weak pope who supposedly isn't governing the church," wrote Vatican editor Gian Maria Vian in an unusually prominent front-page commentary on the papal homily.
Early in the evening, Benedict went to Rome's St. John in Lateran Basilica to preside at the traditional Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony. There, two aides helped the pope down the few steps from the altar, but otherwise Benedict walked steadily and briskly on his own to the array of priests who sat, each with one foot bare, so the pope could pour water over the foot in a symbol of humility and service. In remarks at the service, Benedict denounced "arrogance" as the "true essence of sin."
In the same spirit of service, the pope earmarked the collection of money offered by faithful during the Mass to help refugees of the violence in Syria.
The head of the Pfarrer Initiative, Rev. Hellmut Schueller, downplayed the severity of Benedict's message and said the pope was merely asking for reflection on whether disobedience can reform the church.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Schueller noted that Benedict didn't forbid what the dissident priests were doing or advocating.
"We are listening with interest to this message," he said. "I cannot see it as a very sharp wording."
The members of the initiative, Schueller said, will reflect on Benedict's words as part of a dialogue he hopes to open with Austrian bishops.
"We have decided to go this way because it's the way of our conscience, as faithful, and we are expressing only the opinion of the people at the base of the church."
He said the initiative did not seek to split the church or create schism, saying the positions articulated in the call for disobedience increasingly reflected the will of ordinary Catholics.
Any divisions that are being created, Schueller said, are between the base of the church and the hierarchy.
Holy Thursday homilies are often unusual in that the pope uses them to issue direct messages to priests. In 2006, for example, Benedict read a letter written by a cleric who was killed as he prayed in Turkey.
And on Holy Thursday in 2002, Pope John Paul II broke his silence over the explosion of the U.S. sex abuse scandal, denouncing the sins of priestly abusers and the "grave scandal" that was casting a "dark shadow of suspicion" over all priests.
___
AP writer Frances D'Emilio contributed to this report from Rome.

Pope reaffirms ban on women priests

ABC Online - ‎21 minutes ago‎
Pope Benedict XVI leads a ceremony at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome. Pope Benedict has reasserted the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests during a sermon at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Pope warned he would not tolerate ...

WORLD BRIEFS

Newsday - ‎40 minutes ago‎
World Newsday > News > World Print Aa WORLD BRIEFS Published: April 5, 2012 10:18 PM VATICAN CITY: Pope warns defiant priests Pope Benedict XVI, in his Holy Thursday homily, denounced priests who question church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women ...

Pope reaffirms ban on women priests, assails disobedience

Reuters India - ‎47 minutes ago‎
By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Thursday restated the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he would not tolerate disobedience by clerics on fundamental teachings. Benedict, who for decades before ...

'Liberal' priest under Vatican investigation

Irish Examiner - ‎1 hour ago‎
By Claire O'Sullivan The founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Tony Flannery, is being investigated by the Vatican because of his liberal views. For the past 14 years, Fr Flannery has written in the Redemptorist Order's Reality magazine, ...

Pope denounces priests who question celibacy, ordaining women

Chicago Sun-Times - ‎2 hours ago‎
AP April 5, 2012 7:54PM Pope Benedict XVI, foreground, is photographed by the faithful as he tours St. Peter's square during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope ...

Pope denounces dissident priests on celibacy

CBS News - ‎2 hours ago‎
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on the church. Benedict made the rare and ...

Vatican moves to quell internal dissenting voices

Irish Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
The Vatican has moved to suppress dissent in the Irish Catholic Church by clamping down on two well-known liberal Redemptorist priests as well as the congregation's monthly magazine, Reality. Restrictions have been placed on Fr Tony Flannery, ...

Assailing 'Disobedience,' Pope Says Women Will Not Be Ordained

NPR (blog) - ‎4 hours ago‎
by Eyder Peralta Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves at the end of the Chrismal mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on Thursday. Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves at the end of the Chrismal mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on Thursday.

Pope slams reformists' calls to ordain women

Kansas City Star - ‎5 hours ago‎
By PETER MAYER VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday marked the first of a series of traditional Easter rituals with a Mass during which he criticized a group of Austrian clerics championing the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic ...

Pope Benedict XVI says church reform won't come through open dissent

Washington Post (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎
VATICAN CITY — In a rare public rebuke, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (April 5) denounced a call for optional celibacy and women's ordination that was issued by a group of Austrian priests, saying true reform will not come as a result of open dissent.

Pope denounces rebel clergy who question church teaching on celibacy and ...

Daily Mail - ‎7 hours ago‎
By Daily Mail Reporter The Pope has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women. In a rare and explicit criticism, Benedict XVI said yesterday that they were being selfish in disobeying his authority.

Pope denounces dissidents on celibacy, ordaining women

Salt Lake Tribune - ‎9 hours ago‎
Benedict XVI » The pontiff's strong call to priests to staunchly embrace church teaching on celibacy challenges the perception of his weakness. By NICOLE WINFIELD | The Associated Press VATICAN CITY • Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have ...

Vatican investigating Irish priest over liberal views

RTE.ie - ‎9 hours ago‎
A founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Tony Flannery, has confirmed that he is being investigated by the Vatican for his liberal views. Today's Irish Catholic newspaper reports that the Vatican intervened directly to stop the Redemptorist ...

Pope rips into dissident priests on celibacy

Zee News - ‎9 hours ago‎
Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI has issued a rare and explicit denunciation of priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying they were being selfish in disobeying his authority. Benedict made the criticism in his ...

Pope Slams Austrian Priests

Daily Beast - ‎10 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday condemned a group of Austrian dissident priests who have called for “long-needed reforms” on priestly celibacy and female clergy. About 15 percent of Austria's priests signed an initiative to call for disobedience in June ...

Pope slams call for women priests

News24 - ‎11 hours ago‎
Be an eyewitness to various religions and learn about the wheel of existance, Christ's Crucifixion... Now R80.95 Vatican City - Pope Benedict on Thursday re-stated the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he would not tolerate ...

Pope Condemns European Priests Calling for Disobedience

Voice of America - ‎11 hours ago‎
April 05, 2012 Pope Condemns European Priests Calling for Disobedience VOA News Pope Benedict has issued a rare condemnation of priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and ordaining women during a homily in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy ...

Pope Condemns Priests About Celibacy, Women Clerics

Voice of America (blog) - ‎12 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict has issued a rare condemnation of priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and ordaining women. Benedict issued the denunciation during his homily in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises ...

Pope Benedict XVI slams priests who question church on celibacy

New York Daily News - ‎14 hours ago‎
AP Pope Benedict XVI waves after mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on April 5, 2012 at St Peter's basilica at The Vatican. VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI issued a blistering denunciation Thursday of priests who have questioned church teaching on ...

Pope Benedict XVI rebukes Austrian dissident priests

BBC News - ‎14 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict XVI has sharply condemned a group of dissident Austrian priests and laymen for questioning key teachings of the Catholic Church. The group, known as the Pfarrer Initiative, has challenged the church on topics such as priestly celibacy and ...

Pope slams rebels over celibacy and women priests

Inquirer.net (blog) - ‎14 hours ago‎
VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI issued a rare condemnation of disobedient priests on Thursday, saying those who questioned the Church over celibacy and the ordination of women were being self-serving. “Recently, a group of priests in a European country ...

Pope Benedict restates Catholic Church ban on women priests

RTE.ie - ‎15 hours ago‎
Pope Benedict has firmly restated the Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he will not tolerate disobedience by his priests on essential teachings. Pope Benedict has firmly restated the Catholic Church's ban on women priests and ...

Pope tells dissident priests exactly what they can do with their anti-celibacy ...

NEWS.com.au - ‎15 hours ago‎
POPE Benedict XVI has issued a rare and explicit denunciation of priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women. Saying they were being selfish in disobeying his authority, the Pope made the criticism from the altar of St ...

Dissident priest: Pope just asking for reflection

Atlanta Journal Constitution - ‎16 hours ago‎
By NICOLE WINFIELD AP VATICAN CITY — The Austrian priest who founded a group of clergy who question church teaching on celibacy and women's ordination has downplayed Pope Benedict XVI's denunciation. Pope Benedict XVI, foreground, is photographed by ...

Pope Rebukes Priests Who Advocate Ordaining Women and Ending Celibacy

New York Times - ‎16 hours ago‎
ROME — Striking the tone that once earned him the nickname “God's Rottweiler,” Pope Benedict XVI in a stern Holy Thursday homily denounced “disobedience” in the Roman Catholic Church, chastising priests who sought the ordination of women and the ...

Pope Denounces Priests Who Question Catholic Teachings On Celibacy And Women ...

Huffington Post - ‎17 hours ago‎
By NICOLE WINFIELD 04/ 5/12 01:33 PM ET VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on ...




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