Friday, June 29, 2012

"10 Years of Ordaining Women" / NCRONLINE

http://ncronline.org/news/10-years-ordaining-women

Jun. 29, 2012  By NCR Staff

Historic ordination of seven women on the Danube River, June 29, 2002 (Erwin Wodicka)
Ten years ago today, this story led the news at NCR:
Passau, Germany -- Seven Roman Catholic women, along with two bishops not in communion with Rome but claiming apostolic succession, attempted June 29 to break through the debate in the Catholic church over women’s ordination by presenting a fait accompli: women validly ordained according to the Roman rite, holding themselves out as priests. (Read the full story.)See also: Seven women ‘ordained’ priests June 29: In ceremony they term ‘not licit, but a fact’

According to Roman Catholic Woman Priest Bridget Bridget Mary Meehan, Shortly after the Danube ordinations, "a male Roman Catholic bishop, in apostolic succession, agreed to ordain two of the women priests, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Forster, as Roman Catholic Bishops. the male bishops granted this ordination in the presence of witnesses, but otherwise in secrecy to avoid reprisal from the Vatican. Patricia Fresen was ordained by this same male bishop and Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Forster in 2005. So our orders are valid, but violate church law."

Today, about 130 women in half a dozen countries belong to the Roman Catholic Woman Priest movement. To mark the anniversary, we offer the following commentary by Bridget Mary Meehan.
*********
I’m Bridget Mary Meehan. I am a Roman Catholic Woman Priest. This year, the women priests’ movement celebrates our tenth anniversary. The first public ordination of Roman Catholic women took place ten years ago on June 29th 2002 on the Danube River.
From this small beginning, when seven women were ordained as priests, an international movement has developed that is rocking the Catholic Church.
At present there are about 130 members in various countries.
In 2012, hundreds of priests and theologians in Austria, Germany, Ireland and elsewhere have expressed public support for women’s ordination.
Bishop lays hands on women during the Danube ceremony, on right is Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Forster.(Erwin Wodicka)Bishop lays hands on women during the Danube ceremony, on right is Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Forster.(Erwin Wodicka) On Holy Thursday in April 2012, Pope Benedict issued a stinging public rebuke to the priests for their disobedience to the Church’s Magisterium on the question of women’s ordination. One could argue that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving. In spite of their harsh punishments, our movement continues to grow.
Women priests minister to people in small house churches, in larger communities, in hospitals, hospices, retreat centers, and prisons. We serve the homeless, migrants, and those on the margins of church and society. We stand in solidarity with all those who are working for justice in the church and in the world.
All are welcome to receive sacraments in our inclusive communities. Women priests are transforming a male dominated patriarchal church into a more women-friendly, partnership model, rooted in Jesus example. Even the Vatican’s own scholars, the Papal Biblical Commission, in 1976, concluded that no grounds can be found in the New Testament for excluding women from priestly ordination. Nevertheless, in 1994 Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis declared definitively that women are excluded from priesthood.
Dr. Ida RamingDr. Ida RamingDr. Ida Raming, a prominent theologian has written scholarly articles and books on women's ordination. Ida and her friend Iris Mueller, are often referred to as the "grandmothers of the women's ordination movement." Ida co-authored Women Find a Way, the story of the first women in the movement which is available in English and German.
In a statement commemorating the 10th anniversary, theologian Dr. Ida Raming, one of the women priests ordained on the Danube, said: “The rejection of women's ordination by the Vatican is clearly based on antifeminist, theologically unfounded arguments. In answer to this we are seeing an increasing wave of resistance among Catholic women and within church reform movements as they demand equal rights for women and justice within the Roman Catholic Church.”
Bishop anoints the hands of Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger.Bishop anoints the hands of Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger.Women priests are living prophetic obedience to the Spirit as we disobey an unjust, man-made, canon law that prohibits women’s ordination. In order to change an unjust law, we must break it. For some, like the hierarchy, women priests are a spiritual uprising, but for millions, the time has come for a holy shakeup that brings new life, creativity, and equality to our church. Let us give thanks to God for the international women priests movement leading the way toward a renewed priestly ministry on our tenth anniversary!
Visit us on our websites: www.arcwp.org and www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org Friend us on facebook and on Bridget Mary's Blog. http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/

The seven women who were ordained on the Danube on June 29, 2002 were: Germans Iris Müller, Ida Raming, Gisela Forster, and Pia Brunner; Austrians Mayr-Lumetzberger and School Sr. Adelinde Theresia Roitinger; and an Austrian-born American who used the assumed name of “Angela White.”

[The photos in the video and blog below are the property of Erwin Wodicka and used with his permission. For more information on obtaining copies, please email: info@bilderbox.com]

NEW VIDEO: Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement- 10th Anniversary of Historic Ordination of 7 Women on the Danube on June 29,2002- Congratulations to these Courageous Pioneers Who Paved Way for a Renewed Priestly Ministry in the Catholic Church



New Video:Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement- 10th Anniversary- Link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3TQNJjtMbg

The photos in the video and blog below are the property of Erwin  Wodicka and used with his permission. For more information on obtaining copies, please email: info@bilderbox.com

video script:
Hi. I’m Bridget Mary Meehan. I am a Roman Catholic Woman Priest. This year, the women priests’ movement celebrates our tenth anniversary. The first public ordination of Roman Catholic women took place ten years ago on June 29th 2002 on the Danube River. 


Historic Ordination of 7 women on the Danube River on June 29, 2002

Bishop lays hands on women on the Danube, on right is Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger
and Gisela Forster
From this small beginning, when seven women were ordained as priests, an international movement has developed that is rocking the Catholic Church. 


 Bishop anoints the hands of  Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger 
Bishop presents paten and chalice to Gisela Forster at ordination 
At present there are about 130 members in various countries.
 In 2012, hundreds of priests and theologians in Austria, Germany, Ireland and elsewhere have expressed public support for women’s ordination.
On Holy Thursday in April 2012, Pope Benedict issued a stinging public rebuke to the priests for their disobedience to the Church’s Magisterium on the question of women’s ordination. One could argue that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving. In spite of their harsh punishments, our movement continues to grow. 
Women priests minister to people in small house churches, in larger communities, in hospitals, hospices, retreat centers, and prisons . We serve the homeless, migrants, and those on the margins of church and society. We stand in solidarity with all those who are working for justice in the church and in the world. 
All are welcome to receive sacraments in our inclusive communities. Women priests are transforming a male dominated patriarchal church into a more women-friendly, partnership model, rooted in Jesus example. Even the Vatican’s own scholars, the Papal Biblical Commission, in 1976, concluded that no grounds can be found in the New Testament  for excluding women from priestly ordination. Nevertheless, in 1994 Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis declared definitively that women are excluded from priesthood. 


(Dr. Ida Raming, a prominent theologian  has written scholarly articles and books on women's ordination.. Ida and her friend Iris Mueller, are often referred to as the "grandmothers of the women's ordination movement."  Ida co-authored Women Find a Way, the story of the first women in the movement which is available in English and German. )
In a statement commerating the 10th anniversary, theologian Dr. Ida Raming, one of the women priests ordained on the Danube, said: “The rejection of women's ordination by the Vatican is clearly based on antifeminist, theologically unfounded arguments. In answer to this we are seeing an increasing wave of resistance among Catholic women and within church reform movements as they demand equal rights for women and justice within the Roman Catholic Church.”

Women priests are living prophetic obedience to the Spirit as we disobey an unjust, man-made, canon law that prohibits women’s ordination. In order to change an unjust law, we must break it. For some, like the hierarchy, women priests are a spiritual uprising, but for millions, the time has come for a holy shakeup that brings new life, creativity, and equality to our church.  Let us give thanks to God for the international women priests movement leading the way toward a renewed priestly ministry on our tenth anniversary! Visit us on our websites: www.arcwp.org 
and www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org Friend us on facebook and on Bridget Mary's Blog.
Shortly after the Danube ordinations, "a male Roman Catholic bishop, in apostolic succession, agreed to ordain two of the women priests, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Forster, as Roman Catholic Bishops. the male bishops granted this ordination in the presence of witnesses, but otherwise in secrecy to avoid reprisal from the Vatican. Patricia Fresen was ordained by this same male bishop and Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Forster in 2005. So our orders are valid, but violate church law. 

The seven women who were ordained on the Danube on June 29, 2002 were: Germans Iris Müller, Ida Raming, Gisela Forster, and Pia Brunner; Austrians Mayr-Lumetzberger and School Sr. Adelinde Theresia Roitinger; and an Austrian-born American who used the assumed name of “Angela White.”
 





Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Upheld Affordable Care Act/Victory for Families and Young Adults/Jim Wallis/Sojourners

"Today, in a long and complicated ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. This is an important victory for millions of uninsured people in our country and ultimately a triumph of the common good. Children, young adults, and families will have access to basic health care, adding security and stability to their lives.

While I believe the decision is reason to celebrate, it doesn’t mean that this legislation is somehow the flawless will of God; it is an important step in expanding health-care coverage and reducing long-term costs, but it still is not perfect and more work is yet to be done.

Many Christian organizations and people of faith were involved in advocating for expanded insurance coverage, specifically for low-income and vulnerable people. And that’s what we can never forget: Our involvement in the world of politics is always based in and motivated by the way that it affects the lives of real people, and especially poor people..."


Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a step toward following Jesus' mandate to care for the poor and needy in our midst. I believe that universal health care coverage is the ideal and the goal that we should aim for in our policies and laws.

Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp
sofiabmm@aol.com

 

Leaving the Church is a Luxury the World Cannot Afford by Jamie L. Manson/Excellent article/RCWP is Living the Change that One Day will be the Church's Reality-Inclusive and Egalatarian

http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/leaving-church-luxury-world-cannot-afford
"...We must think differently about what leaving the church looks like now. The traditional line in the church justice movement has been that "one can only change the church from within." But I think the hierarchy has made it clear there is little if any room left for the prophetic voice within the institutional church.
So while there are some who can still manage to be prophetic voices within their parishes or church-based institutions, we must accept that authentic, prophetic, Catholic work is also being done in intentional eucharistic communities, in Catholic communities led by Roman Catholic Womenpriests or ordained members of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, and in groups that have been ejected by the institutional church, like Spiritus Christi or Dignity USA.
Although these groups technically stand outside of the institutional church, they still maintain their Catholic identity through their love of Catholicism's sacramental life, social justice teachings, and mystical and spiritual tradition. They are "working out" in the present what an inclusive, Catholic community might look like in a reformed church in the future.
This is why, in addition to offering a spiritual home to Catholics who are psychologically distressed by the hierarchy's treatment of the LCWR, women and LGBT persons, these Catholic communities continue to have a vested interest in reforming the teachings of the magisterium. They recognize that, though they may have chosen to dissent from some of these teachings, the hierarchy's doctrines about sexuality still have a profound impact in our world.
If the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church were realizing their prophetic potential, they would muster the courage to be a living witness to the equality of women and the dignity of LGBT persons in our world. They would use their intellectual power and pastoral sensitivity to apply sophisticated, ethical discernment in matters related to the life-saving use of contraceptives.
We know that the hierarchy isn't doing this, but that doesn't mean that Catholics with the resources and privilege shouldn't be. Ministering on the margins, questioning religious authority and speaking truth to religious power do not equal "leaving the church." In fact, as our own faith history has taught us time and again, these are most important steps to becoming the church that the world most deeply needs.."

[Jamie L. Manson received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. Her columns for NCR earned her a first prize Catholic Press Association award for Best Column/Regular Commentary in 2010.]

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I agree with Jamie L. Manson's analysis that Roman Catholic Women Priests, the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, LCWR, Dgnity USA are some of the reform communities that are ministering on the margins and creating the church of the future now. "They are 'working out' in the present what an inclusive, Catholic community might look like in a reformed church in the future."
The Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement has just published a directory of our inclusive worshipping communities. Check our websites for the links to this wonderful directory of women priests-led, inclusive Catholic communities. (www.arcwp.org, and www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org )
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp
sofiabmm@aol.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Filmmaker, Jules Hart, Found Compelling Story in Women Fighting for Ordination"/ Pittsburgh Post -Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/movie-reviews/filmmaker-jules-hart-found-compelling-story-in-women-fighting-for-ordination-642073/
..."After Friday's screening, Jules Hart, a California-based filmmaker who spent seven years and $150,000 of her savings to make "Pink Smoke," will participate in a discussion about it. The film's title refers to actions by the Women's Ordination Conference in the days leading up to the elevation of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. Conference members burned pink smoke to remind people that women played no role in the papal election. The Vatican sends white smoke into the air to announce the selection of a new pope.
Ms. Hart, 56, lives six miles inland from Carmel by the Sea and said she felt compelled to make "Pink Smoke."
"I absolutely had no interest in the subject. I'm not Catholic. I was raised as a Christian Scientist," a belief system founded by Mary Baker Eddy.
"I'm not a stranger to a woman representing the divine. I didn't have a problem with envisioning women as priests," Ms. Hart said during a telephone interview..."
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/movie-reviews/filmmaker-jules-hart-found-compelling-story-in-women-fighting-for-ordination-642073/#ixzz1z11R9ta4

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"My Encounter with William Lynn" by Eileen McCafferty Di Franco

My one and only meeting with former Vicar for the Clergy William Lynn took place on March 25, 2001 in the home of a woman who had been sexually abused by Nicholas Cudemo, a man whom Lynn’s predecessor, James Molloy called, “One of the sickest people I ever knew.” Sick would have been just one of many adjectives our support group used to describe a man who had done unspeakable things to young girls with impunity for many years. Whether or not Lynn shared this assessment, one would assume that he was acquainted with the now public and very copious diocesan notes attesting to Cudemo’s sordid record before arriving at our meeting.

Lynn arrived at the meeting dressed in a green sweater sans Roman collar at the survivor’s request. A Pillsbury Doughboy sort of guy, he seemed both friendly and nervous, almost anxious to please. He gave us all a tense smile as one of our members recited the now public litany of Cudemo’s abuses to him. I recall beginning the meeting feeling sorry for him. That feeling didn’t last.


How, we asked, given the undisputable facts of Cudemo’s actions, could he remain in ministry, a priest in good standing? Lynn sadly and repeatedly nodded his head in seemingly empathetic understanding and agreement as if he felt the woman’s pain and shared the support group’s disbelief. Unfortunately, Lynn told our stunned group, Cudemo had “rights under canon law,” rights, which apparently superseded crimes against children that would make a decent human being shudder, crimes which were never reported to the police, because of that canon law. The nurses, doctors, and social workers in our support group would have lost their jobs and their professional licenses for failing to report crimes such as these to the police.


To add to our horror, the survivor told all of us, including Lynn, that Cudemo continued to preside at Mass at her local parish. Lynn’s face turned red in what seemed to be genuine anger. He said forcefully that he had told the pastor not to allow Cudemo to preside at Mass at the woman’s parish.


I was not the least bit reassured by Lynn’s words. The survivor had told us that Lynn had made similar promises in the past. My suspicions were confirmed in May of 2001 when an acquaintance called me to report that Cudemo had presided at the woman’s parish on Mother’s Day, almost two months after our meeting. I called the secretary at the parish to confirm the story. She told me that “Father Nick” regularly filled in whenever the pastor needed him.


I have saved an email I wrote to another member of the support group on May 25, 2001 detailing the telephone conversation I had with Lynn apprising him of Cudemo’s latest infraction. I told Lynn that I needed to know that the survivor could freely walk into any church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and feel confident that she would not see her abuser behind the altar.


Lynn replied that he was “furious” with both Cudemo and the pastor. Lynn said, “I told that pastor he would lose his parish if NC (Nicholas Cudemo) is ever there again. According to Lynn, the pastor “misunderstood” the directive. (My note at the time? 50 ways to obfuscate) Lynn also said that although it was “terrible” that Cudemo had returned to the parish, it could also be seen as a “good thing” because now (finally?) they could take “canonical” action against him. Lynn assured me he was going to contact a canonical lawyer, which led me to believe that he was taking a really big step. Silly me. When I spoke to the survivor about my phone call with Lynn, she assured me that so such thing would happen.


The Grand Jury Report of 2005 states that Lynn knew in November of 2000 that Cudemo was hanging out at the woman’s parish. In fact, Cudemo actually bragged about it in writing. Lynn also knew that Cudemo had a long-standing record of non-compliance with archdiocesan directives. Yet the man could feign anger at both Cudemo and the hapless pastor who, according the 2005 Grand Jury report, had no idea that a dangerous serial predator walked amidst his unknowing flock.


Cudemo remained in priestly ministry until his faculties were finally restricted in March, 2002, a year after our meeting and two months after the sexual abuse scandal in Boston rocked the church. His rights under canon law, so inalienable in 2001, magically began to disappear as the specter of public scrutiny loomed in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Obviously, the specter of negative publicity posed more of an impetus to defrock Cudemo than did the destruction of innocent souls.


In September of 2005, Lynn told his parishioners at St. Joseph Parish, “I never put a child in harm’s way,” and received a standing ovation. I don’t think Cudemo’s victims would agree with Lynn’s self-declaration of innocence.


Eleven years ago I wrote in my email to my fellow support group member, “Told him I felt that he feels he can be disobedient with impunity; that he is above the law.” Eleven years ago I meant Cudemo. Today, my words apply to the members of the hierarchy and their obedient lieutenants who handed over spotless lambs to the wolves.


Eileen McCafferty DiFranco

June 26, 2012

New Challenge for Opus Dei Vatican Media Advisor: "Argentine Bishop Bargallo quits over 'amorous ties' row"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-18605310

The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop after the publication of pictures showing him embracing a woman on a Mexican beach.

Bishop Fernando Bargallo, 57, was photographed in the sea, hugging a woman in a bikini.

He initially said she was a childhood friend, but later admitted to having had "amorous ties" with her.

Bishop Bargallo was in charge of the diocese of Merlo-Moreno, in the province of Buenos Aires.

The scandal broke last week, when an Argentine television station broadcast pictures of Monsignor Bargallo on holiday at a beach resort in Mexico in the company of a woman.

'Childhood friend'

In one of the pictures, he is seen half-submerged in the water, embracing a woman in a bikini.

Shortly after the pictures were published, Monsignor Bargallo gave a public statement saying that the woman was a childhood friend, whom he had known all of his life.

He said the situation in which he had been photographed was "imprudent, as it could lead people to jump to the wrong conclusion".

He asked his flock to forgive him for "the ambiguity of the pictures" and urged them to view the photos "in the context of a long friendship".

But later that same week, Monsignor Bargallo convened the priests of his diocese and told them he had had "amorous ties" with the woman and would resign.

The Vatican said he would be replaced by Monsignor Alcides Jorge Pedro Casaretto.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The Vatican scandals are way "hotter" than reality TV these days! What a challenge for the new Vatican Opus Dei media advisor. I wonder how he will spin these stories! See more links below.
 
Related Stories

Sisters For Christian Community- A Prophetic Community of Women Religious- An Option for Nuns/Communities today

http://www.sfccglobal.org/index.php?pageID=0
(Welcome page, on web site)
Sisters For Christian Community Welcome You!!
The Sisters For Christian Community are contemporary women bonded together to manifest their commitment to Christ in a distince response to Religious Life, as a prophetic, collegial, ecclesial community. The Community: was formed in 1970 in response to Vatican II's call to return on every level to a participatory and mutual bond of organization; is an international community with a committed membership in all the continents of the world.

The Community reflects the journey of women called to be co-foundresses, co-equals and co-responsible for all aspects of this prophetic response to Religious Life which is ecumenical, with a self-supporting membership.

SFCC is organized into geographical regions, each with a Regional Communication Coordinator (RCC) who is selected from among the regional membership. The Region aims at fostering community through regional meetings and open communication among the membership. The Region sends reports about its activities to the community newsletter.

An annual assembly is convened at a different location with the purpose of fostering communication and community among the full membership of SFCC. The addresses all community business and proposals that have been raised via the community newsletter during the previous year. All community business is conducted using consensus as the decision making process.

The mission and the goals of the Sisters For Christian Community are clearly stated in the SFCC Profile. The apostolic goal of SFCC is to promote and witness Christian community; and, the Sisters strive through all means available to forward the realization of Christ's prayer, "that all may be ONE", that they may be community. To achieve this goal they seek to bring together into a Community Christ-commited women afire with the mission of building up the Body of Christ through helping to build dynamic Christian Community wherever they live out there calling.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I am a Sister for Christian Community. I cannot express the joy that this community has brought to me life in offering a new paradigm of religious life rooted in honoring the call of the Spirit to minister as co-equals in a community that promotes the prayer of Jesus, "that all may be one."
Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc, arcwp
www.arcwp.org
http://www.sfccglobal.org/index.php?pageID=0

In Defense of My Anger by John Chuchman/ A, Prophetic Call , the Ministry of Irritation- Response by Bridget Mary Meehan




Most with whom I share my Anger
at our abuse at the hands of
a corrupt church hierarchy
respond with affirmation
and positive encouragement
to keep on speaking out
for all to hear.

Some, albeit only a few,
bemoan it,
suggesting I be more peace-like,
more accepting of a church
that has accomplished much good and
survived the centuries
despite its human frailties.

God knows that each and every day that passes,
I consider simply moving on
like thirty million American Catholics
have already done,
leaving the corruption and abuse
to its own demise.

But I keep being reminded
(by whom I know not, but suspect)
that silence in the face of abuse is complicity;
that, as Martin Luther King said,
We begin to die when silent in the face of the things that really matter;
that, as Bishop Desmond Tutu said,
Choosing to be neutral in the face of oppression
is choosing the side of the oppressor;
that, as Roy Bourgeois urged,
We are all called to speak out loudly
against the hierarchical sins of discrimination;
and that
Over the Pope stands my conscience
which must be obeyed before all else.

Sister Joan Chittister
urged those who leave institutional church
to leave loudly so all know why,
and those like me who stay to help reform church
to stay LOUDLY. 

As one of the ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priests professed,
It’s a Ministry,
a Ministry of Irritation.

Richard Rohr
said that non-dualistic thinking
as part of an Everything-Belongs Spirituality
does not preclude the need
to speak out against abuse and discrimination
as long as I don’t let my anger possess me.

Does my anger possess me?
I certainly am passionate in my efforts,
but I daily work at focusing
on life’s positives,
on Spiritual Growth and Nurturing
rather than religious malfunctions,
on helping others
not get stuck or trip over life’s stumbling blocks.

It surely would be easier
to ignore, accept, overlook
institutional church corruption,
and simply pay, pray, and obey.
Many do just that,
including the ordained
who risk loss of income, pension, and benefits.
(I judge them not.)

But not speaking out against
the hierarchs who make institutional church
so un-Christlike
is simply not part of my DNA.

Mother Theresa
taught me that
True Peace
is not silence, tranquility, restfulness,
but that True Peace is
Love in Action.

So I will continue to
Speak Out and
put my love of church, as Jesus intended,
into Action.

Bridget Mary's Reflection
John's thoughts reflect the thoughts of millions of Catholics who stay in the church in order to reform the corrupt institution out of loving faithfulness to our community of faith.  A ministry of irritation is a blessed exercise in transforming the old boys patriarchal club to an open, inclusive community worthy of Jesus in the Gospels. One could argue that the ministry of irritation is a time-honored, integral part of the prophetic call.
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Religion Writer Ann Rodgers chronicles the spiritual life of Southwestern Pennsylvanians: " Pink Smoke marks Pittsburgh anniversary for Roman Catholic Womenprioests"

http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/faithburgh/34568-pink-smoke-marks-pittsburgh-anniversary-for-roman-catholic-womenpriests
July will mark the sixth anniversary of when eight women were ordained on a Pittsburgh riverboat by Roman Catholic WomenPriests, which claims they were were valid Catholic ordinations because the first women in the movement were secretly ordained by a male bishop in the line of apostolic succession.
In honor of the event, there will be showing of the documentary “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican” on Friday, June 29, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.in the Hollywood Theater, 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. There is no admission charge, but donations will be sought.
One of those ordained was Joan Houk of McCandless, a former pastoral associate at two Catholic parishes, who has a master of divinity degree (the basic one required for a Catholic priest) from the University of Notre Dame. The Post-Gazette doesn’t use “the Rev.” and “Bishop” as courtesy titles for clerics and prelates in this movement since they claim to be part of a church that doesn’t recognize them -- a standard that we would use for any other company or religious body with a similar dispute over employment. But Ms. Houk was elected by her fellow clerics in 2009 to become bishop of the Great Waters Region for Roman Catholic WomenPriests...."

Minnesota Archbishop Becomes a Union Buster/ So that is what the Forthnight for Freedom is All About/Bishop's Authority Over Workers' Rights?

http://ht.ly/bOfbY
 
 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sister Joan Chittister: "Rebel, rebel, rebel – for all our sakes, rebel. For if the people will lead, eventually the leaders will follow.""

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/june/baccalaureate-address-chittister-061612.html


 
"Chittister advised the graduating students to choose their heroes wisely, because they would be the measure of their character, ideals and legacy:
"If you want to lead the world to compassion, you must surround yourself with the compassionate, rather than the uncaring.
"If you want to lead the world to wholeness, you must follow the peacemakers, not the warmongers.
"If you want to lead the world to the freedom you learned here, equality for everyone must mean more to you than domination by anyone.
"Justice must mean more to you than money. People must mean more to you than fame. Ideals must mean more to you than power or politics or public approval."
Chittister said that the motto under which the graduating students had been educated – the wind of freedom blows – was exactly what the world struggling between the challenges of the present and the ideals of the past requires.
She called on the graduating students to "rebel against the forces of death that are obstructing us from being fully human together."
Chittister quoted essayist Leo C. Rosten, who said that the purpose of life was not to be happy, but to matter – to have it make a difference that you lived at all.
She concluded her address with a call to leadership:
"To save this age, use your education, use your freedom, to make a difference in the way tomorrow's wind blows," she said.
"Inspire in those who follow you the conviction and the will to denounce the lies, to reject the greed, to resist the heretics of inhumanity who peddle inequality, injustice and the torturers' instruments of social violence.
"To be a real leader, by all means make a difference. Rebel, rebel, rebel – for all our sakes, rebel. For if the people will lead, eventually the leaders will follow."

 

SCOTUS on Ariz Immigration Law

http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/scotus-ariz-immigration-law

The Supreme Court has upheld part of a controversial Arizona anti-immigrant law and stuck down other parts. Here is Politico's look at the decision.
The bad news is they upheld the provision that permits law enforcement authorities to request the immigration papers of those they pull over for other reasons, or whom they suspect are in the country illegally. But, the good news is that in writing the decision, Justice Kennedy opened the door for further litigation if the implementation results in racial profiling. The other good news is that the Court struck down other provisions of the law, such as making it a crime not to carry one's immigration papers with one. Another provision, making it a state crime to hold a job without proper work authorization was also struck down.
All in all, a narrowly tailored decision is never a bad result.
 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Why is Pope Benedict and the Vatican Targeting America and Americans?/Chilling "reform of the reform"- Can Vatican Power Politics Impose Church Teaching on All Americans?

http://www.catholica.com.au/gc3/jc2/082_jc_240612.php
Why is Pope Benedict and the Vatican targeting America and Americans? Is it because he sees the prospects of re-evangelising Europe as now hopeless and America, with its still relatively bouyant participation rates, might be a better prospect? In this conclusion to their series, Sr Charlene Ozanick and John Chuchman are essentially asking these questions.
Series Navigation: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV
Issues Spilling into American Society
The beginning of this essay outlined the Vatican's insistence in the 19th Century to become a dominant factor in American life. At that time, Bishops were told to renounce "Americanism" (seen as an off-shoot of modernism). Americanism was viewed as a thrust away from dependence upon the Vatican's authority and a movement toward independent thought and actions. Yet, since Pope Benedict XVI called for a 'reform of the reform' a few years ago (revamp what Vatican Council II taught and go back to the Council of Trent), the intensity of his enactments has increased at a hectic pace.
Dr Lesley-Anne Knight
Dr Lesley-Anne Knight, former secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis blocked by the Vatican from re-appointment.
Vatican imposes new controls on charity federation, NCR Report, 2nd Mary 2012
See the NCR reports on the Vatican's imposition of new controls on Caritas.
In addition to the harsh demand that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious place itself under the control of the Tri-Bishops' Committee, so that all dissent and feminist themes will be eradicated, there are other areas that spill into the Catholic society in general. On an international level, new rules have been imposed on Caritas International. First, their secretary-general, a laywoman was ousted. Then all top Caritas officials were required to take a loyalty oath. Finally, a pontifical council must approve any Caritas texts with doctrinal or moral content.
It was also announced that all marriage annulments will be restricted. Since two-thirds of all the annulments in the world are presently granted to U.S. Catholics each year, these restrictions will especially be reflected in American society. It was noted by the head of the Roman Rota that the nullification of marriages because of 'psychic causes' [listed in Canon 1095], will be tightly restricted.
In American society, the thrust to prohibit contraception, does not just affect Catholics but all Americans. The teachings of John Paul II contained in his "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation" declared that this Catholic teaching MUST BECOME LAW. The Instruction states: "Politicians must commit themselves, through intervention upon public opinion, to secure the widest possible consensus on such essential points…" In other words, politicians are expected to enact into law 'appropriate legal sanctions' for violations of the contraception law. And today this Church law denying contraception is on the brink of becoming a Constitutional Law.
This is the core of the American Bishops' indignation about the Obama administration's insurance coverage mandates. This is presented as an anti-Catholic attack on religious liberty. And the Bishops are calling upon widespread disobedience among loyal Catholics by this 'secular, oppressive government'. This is the first time in America's history that its Bishops are poised (and in some dioceses have already done so) to require Catholics to vote against the incumbent President. Along with these pressures, the latest group to come under the American Bishops' scrutiny is the Girl Scouts — because of some reputed lack of orthodoxy because of some association with groups that also lack 'orthodoxy'. For many American women, this appears to be all out "War on Women" being waged by the members of the hierarchy in America.
In several states, there is an intense support by the hierarchy to encourage votes to reject same-sex marriages at the ballot box, and in some cases, domestic unions, are effected. In this way, the Church's official teaching on gay issues are being imposed on the general public — Catholic or otherwise.
Regionally, repressive actions are visible. In Madison, Wisconsin the bishop has threatened parishioners in a rural area with an interdict, because the people complained that the imported new priests from Spain at their church bar girls from serving at Mass and will not permit Catholic Eucharistic ministers from distributing Communion. Girls are barred from being altar servers in other arch/dioceses as well.
Sister Joan Chittister osb
Sister Joan Chittister osb
As Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, noted in the National Catholic Reporter,
"The American tradition comes out of a commitment to freedom of speech, freedom of thought and democratic participation in the political process, which, admittedly, the Vatican has always suspected; indeed, has never liked. To ask Americans to take on not simply a European or Eastern European or Asian or African approach to "obedience" or governance or women, but a medieval one at that, is asking for what no law can provide. It is easy, of course, to force obedience; but, never doubt, it is impossible to force belief."
All of the political, social, and religious ramifications point out to the unique situation that faces America. Most nations in the Western World have long had universal health care. While they may not have had the ethical complications that arise with church-run hospital systems, certainly tax dollars from Catholics do contribute to fund these services. And there is very little resistance from Catholic Church leadership elsewhere to any services that would cause the shouts of protest that come from some quarters in the U.S.
Why in America?
Why in America? Perhaps Pope Benedict has given up trying to bring Europe back to his concept of the Catholic Church's dominion of daily life? When he was elected pope, it was said that Joseph Ratzinger chose the name "Benedict" because of two reasons. One reason was that he admired the work of St. Benedict and his spiritual sons in preserving and transmitting the heritage of ancient Greece and Rome and the whole Christian culture for Europe. And the second reason had a darker implication: Ratzinger believed that his pontificate would be the last chance to keep Europe from going over the edge of the 'cliff'. Did Pope Benedict actually believe that Europe is, going to Hell in a basket?
Pope Benedict XVI and Cdl Timothy Dolan
Pope Benedict at a much later meeting with Timothy Dolan when the Archbishop of New York was given his palium.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan had an interview with John L. Allen, Jr. of NCR entitled "People of Hope" (a book-length commentary). A particular reflection by Dolan of an 'ad limina' visit with the still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, hints at a possible answer to this question. Dolan recalls that this ad limina visit occurred in 2004 with a group of American and European bishops gathered with Cardinal Ratzinger. Ratzinger said that he wanted to know the bishops' thoughts on the matter of politicians and Communion. One American bishop, in his turn, stated that it appeared that Rome expected the U.S. bishops "to be much more definitive on the issue of pro-abortion politicians, and much stricter, than the bishops in Europe". Dolan recalled the American bishops saying that they had seen placards and signs throughout Rome for political leaders who were known to be both Catholic and pro-abortion. "We've never heard of the bishop of Rome asking to dialogue with the mayor or any politician about this particular problem, or threatening to deny him Communion. Why is that never brought up here in Rome or in the rest of Europe, but we (in America) get instruction all the time on this issue?" Cardinal Dolan recalled that Cardinal Ratzinger never gave any answer to the bishop.
Has Pope Benedict, indeed, given up on Europe? And does the Vatican hope to achieve its goal since the 19th Century of exerting its hegemonism on American Catholics and, indeed, over all America?

APNewsBreak: Fox Correspondent Named Senior Vatican Communications Adviser/Opus Dei Member to the Rescue

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/apnewsbreak-fox-correspondent-named-senior-vatican-communications-adviser/2012/06/23/gJQA5URexV_story.html
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Now the Vatican is truly desperate. They are bringing in an Opus Dei member and professional from FOX who will control the message! Watch out, church, we are in for quite a ride! Things could get even more interesting with Vati-leaks, the so called take over of LCWR/Leadership Conference of Women Religious , the "monsignor's mutiny" in the Vatican, including the scandal in the Vatican bank . The hope lies with the people of God in the resistance movement that is emerging as a spiritual uprising for the renewal of the church. (including the international women priests movement, the Austrian, German and Irish priests revolt, the growth of new ecclesial communities with women priests, married priests, celibate priests and lay leaders etc)
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp
www.arcwp.org

Another Vatican Cover-up: Report of Irish Seminaries Not Made Public!

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0623/1224318508570.html
by Chris Hayden
 "A priest on the staff of one of the seminaries described in the papal visitation report reflects on its methodology
WHEN THE Report of the Apostolic Visitation of the Irish Church made the headlines recently, I thought back to the origins of the visitation.
It was first mentioned by Pope Benedict, in his 2010 pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland.
Near the end of that letter, the pope stated that the visitation was “intended to assist the local church on her path of renewal”.
That was just a couple of paragraphs after he had told the bishops of Ireland: “Only decisive action carried out with complete honesty and transparency will restore the respect and good will of the Irish people towards the church.”
From those words alone, I think it’s pretty clear that Pope Benedict’s mandate has not been fulfilled by those to whom it was entrusted.
The end product of the visitation is a document that is, by all appearances, considered unpublishable. With the exception of a very small number, not even the bishops of Ireland have been given the report. So much for complete honesty and transparency. So much for ownership of the task of renewal...Let me state immediately that I do not blame the few Irish bishops who have seen the report. Perhaps the only sane thing to do with toxic waste is to bury it – or to send it back where it came from. Nor, for a moment, would I call for publication of the document. The decision to bury it has, presumably, been taken for good reason.
While my take on the issue is purely personal, I have been a member of the staff of an institution which is mentioned in the visitation report... "

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
So much for transparency. This report must have been real shocker! When will the Vatican ever learn, more than likely it will be leaked and published! More than ever we need women priests, married priests in a renewed priestly ministry. Obviously, the clerical seminary system is in meltdown and the institutional church will not admit it. The first step to healing and transformation is to deal with the reality openly and honestly and then move forward.
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp
www.arcwp.org

"Clash between LCWR and Bishop" by NCR Editorial/The ball is in your court now, Sisters!


"It's as bad as we thought it could get. Maybe worse. In an interview with NCR shortly after meeting with the leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, confirmed our worst fears: that this Holy Office is hell-bent on bringing U.S. women religious to heel.
Franciscan Sr. Pat Farrell, president of the leadership conference, and St. Joseph Sr. Janet Mock, the group's executive director, went to Rome at the request of the conference's board to seek some understanding from Levada and Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the apostolic delegate, about the April 18 Vatican order that the women's group revise its statutes and programs. The Vatican order, which followed a nearly four-year investigation of the group, also appointed three bishops to oversee this reform: Sartain, Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.
Farrell and Mock were hopeful going into the meeting, calling it a continuation of a conversation already begun. On the other side of the meeting, Levada wondered if he were engaged in a "dialogue of the deaf." He's not convinced that the women's group is taking the Vatican's concerns to heart.
In his interview with NCR, Levada listed as "substantive issues" of the Vatican critique the publication of an interview with Fr. Charles Curran, a moral theologian censured by the Vatican in the 1980s for his views on sexual morality, in a recent issue of LCWR's Occasional Papers, and inviting Barbara Marx Hubbard, often described as a "New Age leader," to address the upcoming August assembly meeting. He also objected to the group's honoring Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Sandra Schneiders, another theologian sometimes critical of Vatican policy.
"Too many people crossing the LCWR screen, who are supposedly representing the Catholic church, aren't representing the church with any reasonable sense of product identity," Levada said.
That might qualify as one of the more bizarre assertions by a Vatican official in recent memory -- Madison Avenue meets the church -- that somehow the pursuit of holiness conforms to a certain "branding" process.
Levada's language, however, betrays more than a discontent with some Catholic distribution point that's messing with "product identity." What he really would like to see, he said, in suggesting that the Vatican might put in place an alternative group to lead religious women in the United States, is a group "that would focus on the priorities of religious life, the life of holiness, which is the fundamental call of all of us in the church."
That we're all called to a life of holiness is beyond dispute. The rub, of course, comes in the inferences to be drawn from the rest of that statement regarding how that life should be lived and what its priorities should be for women religious in the United States. In one breath, Levada and others speak of a desire for dialogue with the women. In another, they make clear that unless LCWR concedes to Vatican reforms, subjects its programs and speakers to the oversight of men, it will be replaced by another group established by the Vatican.
The question, then, is clearly whether the vision for religious life among women in the United States, how they should understand and live it, is most completely and correctly held by the men in the Vatican.
Dialogue presumes a parity among the partners, that each is open to being persuaded of the other's point of view, that different sides see value in and respect the other. On that point, the cardinal isn't really interested in dialogue. His words can only be taken as an ultimatum in which power trumps all and the noncompliant are made to know they've lost.
We've made the point before on this page that this contretemps between the sisters and the bishops is more a clash of cultures than a clash over theology or doctrine. The Vatican needs to get an interpreter, because these two groups aren't speaking the same language. The difference in cultures has never been so stark. The men in the Vatican, so deeply compromised by scandal of their own making, are trying to reassert authority by making this a dispute over theology and doctrine. It's not primarily that. It's mostly a dispute over power and how people perceive the church: as either a checklist of rules and orthodoxies or a pursuit of truth and holiness lived out amid life's realities and most profoundly on its margins.
If the bishops are listening at all, watching the persistent show of support for the sisters, they're aware of which path much of the community is prepared to follow."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
It is an authority crisis, but it is also a theology crisis. The bishops/Vatican are from Mars, and the nuns/LCWR are from Venus with two completely different worldviews of Catholicism today. I agree with the editorial above that it is not a serious dialogue because Cardinal Levada made it clear that the agenda is to replace LCWR and bring the U.S. nuns under the control of the Vatican in all things including theology.
The Vatican has achieved a hostile take-over of the LCWR. It is a disgraceful abuse of power. Now the nuns have to decide, will they submit and obey the Vatican patriarchy or will they affirm their freedom as independent, prophetic communities of religious women? The ball is in your court, Sisters, and the majority of Catholics and non-Catholics in the U.S. are on your side. I hope there will be nun priests in the church's future. The Catholic community is ready, are you?
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp
www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com