Saturday, March 23, 2013

Leonardo Boff: "What matters isn't Bergoglio and his past, but Francis and his future"

http://www.iede.co.uk/news/2013_1332/qa-what-matters-isn%E2%80%99t-bergoglio-and-his-past-francis-and-his-future
I agree with Leonard Boff, prominent liberation theologian. We should be looking forward with Pope Francis and see what he does now to reform and renew our church in a more open, egalitarian and justice approach! Now that would be the fresh air we need, indeed! Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp, www.arcwp.org

Exploring the Feminine Divine in Christianity/ Mary Embodies the Motherhood of God in Her Person - Mercy, Compassion, Justice

http://www.christfaithpower.com/2013/03/01/return-of-the-mother-goddess/
Jesus came to end patriarchy and promote partnership as the will of God. My focus is on reintegrating the feminine face of God in our worship and ministry. See Delighting in the Feminine Face of God and Heart Talks with Mother God, two books that are available on amazon.com Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com
This article is highly recommended!

"Jesus got his feminine heart from his Mother—peace, love, justice, mercy and compassion. These virtues are usually not attributed to males, especially in patriarchy which represents power, control, preservation of the status quo and domination.
Speaking of Mary, Harvey comments:
Any unbiased reading of the Magnificat makes clear, Mary was on the side of the marginalized, the defeated, the scorned, and the poor in a very unmetaphorical sense. The pure eyes of her love saw the misery of the world without any consolation, precisely because they also saw the total holiness of all created things and the plan of the divine love that the Father-Mother had willed for creation. (353)
Eliazondo contends that the Virgin of Guadalupe is so powerful a presence in the Americas because, the Mother of the New Creation, turned things around. The Virgin refers to Juan Diego as “My dignified one.” The Mother bestows status and dignity on Juan who before had thought of himself in this way:
Because in reality I am one of your campesinos, a piece of rope, a small ladder, the excrement of people: I am a leaf, they order me around, lead me by force; and you, my most abandoned Daughter, my Child, my Lady, and my Queen, send me to a place where I do not belong. (10)
Juan represents the conquered mestizos, victims of the violent conquest by the conquistadors. Mary sends Juan to a place of dignity in her son’s kin-dom.The Virgin is so powerful because she also brought about the conversion of the conquistadors. The patriarchal bishop of Mexico City obeyed her order to build a sanctuary in the hinterlands of the conquered campesinos. Do not miss the transformation here—a conquering patriarch obeys the command of a native woman, The Virgin. Oppressors and their victims now have the possibility to be transformed because of the Mother of the New Creation that spawned at Guadalupe. Both sides returned to the Mother and, the words of St. Bernard were made real, “Remember, O Most Holy Virgin, that is never was heard in any age that anyone turning to your protection was abandoned.” Mary told the children at Fatima, The greatest sin is to revel against the Motherhood of God, and to refuse to recognize me as the Mother of all human beings.” (Why did we not hear about this statement instead of all the condemnations of Communist Russia?) John Paul I said, “God is our father, and above all God is our Mother.”
Mary is our Mother Goddess. She embodies the Motherhood of God in her person—mercy, compassion, justice. Merton wrote in Hagia Sophia:
O blessed, silent one, who speaks everywhere!
We do not hear the soft voice, the gentle voice, the
merciful and feminine.

We do not hear mercy, or yielding love, or non-resistance,
or non-reprisal. In her there are no reasons and no answers.
Yet she is the candor of God’s light, the expression of His
simplicity.

We do not hear the uncomplaining pardon that bows
down the innocent visages of flowers to the dewy
earth. We do not see the Child who is prisoner in all
the people, and who says nothing. She smiles, for
though they have bound her, she cannot be a prisoner.
Not that she is strong, or clever, but simply that
she does not understand imprisonment.

The helpless one, abandoned to sweet sleep, him the
gentle one will awake: Sophia.

Mary is Sophia, the Mother of the New Creation, the incarnation of the Divine Feminine.
As the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mary represents the return of the divine feminine. "

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Roy Bourgeois Calls on Pope Francis to Ordain Women Priests

My Prayer - Let Women Be Priests - NYTimes.com
...."Our loving God, who created us equal, is calling women to be priests in our Church. Let us welcome them and give thanks to God.”       

"AFTER serving as a Roman Catholic priest for 40 years, I was expelled from the priesthood last November because of my public support for the ordination of women.
Catholic priests say that the call to be a priest comes from God. As a young priest, I began to ask myself and my fellow priests: “Who are we, as men, to say that our call from God is authentic, but God’s call to women is not?” Isn’t our all-powerful God, who created the cosmos, capable of empowering a woman to be a priest?
Let’s face it. The problem is not with God, but with an all-male clerical culture that views women as lesser than men. Though I am not optimistic, I pray that the newly elected Pope Francis will rethink this antiquated and unholy doctrine.
I am 74 years old. I first felt God calling me to be a priest when I was serving in the Navy in Vietnam. I was accepted into the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in New York and was ordained in 1972. After working with the poor of Bolivia for five years, I returned to the United States. In my years of ministry, I met many devout Catholic women who told me about their calling to the priesthood.
Their eagerness to serve God began to keep me awake at night. As Catholics, we are taught that men and women are created equal: “There is neither male nor female. In Christ you are one” (Galatians 3:28).
While Christ did not ordain any priests himself, as the Catholic scholar Garry Wills has pointed out in a controversial new book, the last two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, stressed that the all-male priesthood is “our tradition” and that men and women are equal, but have different roles.
Their reasons for barring women from ordination bring back memories of my childhood in Louisiana. For 12 years I attended segregated schools and worshiped in a Catholic church that reserved the last five pews for blacks. We justified our prejudice by saying this was “our tradition” and that we were “separate but equal.” During all those years, I cannot remember one white person — not a teacher, parent, priest or student (myself included) — who dared to say, “There is a problem here, and it’s called racism.”
Where there is injustice, silence is complicity. What I have witnessed is a grave injustice against women, my church and our God, who called both men and women to be priests. I could not be silent. Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard we may try to justify discrimination against others, in the end, it is not the way of a loving God who created everyone of equal worth and dignity.
In sermons and talks, starting in the last decade, I called for the ordination of women. I even participated in the ordination of one. This poked the beehive of church patriarchy. In the fall of 2008, I received a letter from the Vatican stating that I was “causing grave scandal” in the Church and that I had 30 days to recant my public support for the ordination of women or I would be excommunicated.
Last month, in announcing his resignation, Pope Benedict said he made his decision after examining his conscience before God. In a similar fashion, in November 2008, I wrote the Vatican saying that human conscience is sacred because it always urges us to do what is right and what is just. And after examining my conscience before God, I could not repudiate my beliefs.
Four years went by, and I did not get a response from the Vatican. Though I had formally been excommunicated, I remained a priest with my Maryknoll Order and went about my ministry calling for gender equality in the Catholic Church. But last November, I received a telephone call from Maryknoll headquarters informing me that they had received an official letter from the Vatican. The letter said that I had been expelled from the priesthood and the Maryknoll community.
This phone call was one of the most difficult and painful moments of my life. But I have come to realize that what I have gone through is but a glimpse of what women in the church and in society have experienced for centuries.
A New York Times/CBS poll this month reported that 70 percent of Catholics in the United States believed that Pope Francis should allow women to be priests. In the midst of my sorrow and sadness, I am filled with hope, because I know that one day women in my church will be ordained — just as those segregated schools and churches in Louisiana are now integrated.
I have but one simple request for our new pope. I respectfully ask that he announce to the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world: “For many years we have been praying for God to send us more vocations to the priesthood. Our prayers have been answered. Our loving God, who created us equal, is calling women to be priests in our Church. Let us welcome them and give thanks to God.”
Roy Bourgeois is a former Roman Catholic priest and the author of “My Journey From Silence to Solidarity.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who is Pope Francis-the artist formerly known as Cardinal Bergoglio?

http://questionsfromaewe.blogspot.com/2013/03/who-is-pope-francis-artist-formerly.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QuestionsFromAEwe+%28Questions+from+a+Ewe%29

  
..."He took the bus, lived in a simple apartment and cooked for himself – all good things.  But wait - he is moving into the 10 room Papal apartment, getting a cook and staff, and will take a helicopter for the whopping 15 mile journey from Rome to Castel Gandolfo.  (By the way, having made the trek to Rome from a hotel by the pope’s Castel Gandolfo residence, I’m puzzled by the helicopter ride and also confused how it supports his “love the environment” message from today’s homily, but sometimes I’m easily confused.)  Some say he sided with the military junta and economic elite that abused and oppressed the poor during Argentina’s “Dirty War.”  But wait – others say he actually helped the marginalized and poor during the same war.Many say he is genuinely humble because he checked out of his own hotel room and asks people to pray for him.  But wait – others say he is merely a highly skilled politician and his humility is just a well-staged act. He is conservative and doesn’t like homosexuals.  But wait - he washed the feet of AIDS patients. He is an educated Jesuit, trained in chemistry.  But wait - he seems to uphold doctrinal orthodoxy over scientifically proven facts. Somehow, I read all these conflicting accounts and hear the quibbling nuns from the Sound of Music.  They could be describing Maria or Pope Francis, “(S)he is gentle!  (S)he is wild!  (S)he's a riddle!  (S)he's a child!  (S)he's a headache!  (S)he's an angel!  (S)he's a girl!”  Oh, scratch that last one.  Ix-nay on the irl-gay thing.Is this really a case of selecting a guy with a limited public record or a case of selecting a guy who carefully controls his public image, repeatedly feeding the press the same limited assortment of sound-bites?  I don’t know.  But I do know from undergoing press training that repeated sound-bites are trademarks of a carefully groomed public image.I also know that before Benedict resigned until Francis’ election, the press was occupied reporting the deluge of stories related to corruption in the Curia, bishop accountability, clergy sexual abuse, Vatileaks, and the Vatican Bank scandal.  Suddenly the press has been enrapt with an image of the pope much like humble and loveable shoe-shine boy (Google the Underdog cartoon for reference).  Without any reforms addressing the church’s core issues around governance, inclusion or equality, all those stories about the church’s problems magically began evaporating from the press.   But the problems themselves have not disappeared.  One sexual abuse survivor sent me a series of notes expressing frustration that the world sat on the edge of its seat watching the color of smoke and seemed to forget the hundreds of thousands of men and women raped by priests as children and the dozens if not hundreds of bishops who enabled this to happen.  This still remains unresolved.  Having a pope who wears a smaller, less ornate miter does not heal their wounds, or restore their dignity.  ..

...."In the meantime, I wonder, what is it we’re waiting for from the pope?  We know Jesus calls us to care for the poor and marginalized.  We know that about 5 million children die from poverty each year.  Did we really need to wait for a pope who dressed in simple cassocks rather than elaborate, expensive lace, capes and furs before we followed this instruction? 



The U.N. estimates that 70% of the world’s poor are females.  Are we going to wait for Francis to address the causes of systemic poverty especially amongst women, or are we going to do that regardless of what Francis does? (Amen Sister, that is exactly what  many of our women priests believe.)

"We know we need to protect children and hold clergy accountable for abuses.  Even if Francis doesn’t, are we going to let the issue drop and abandon the abused?

We know there is no theological justification for mandatory clergy celibacy and that this could be changed by the simple stroke of a pen.  Even if Francis doesn’t address this, are we going to stop advocating for married clergy?


We know there is Scriptural and historical evidence of female apostles leading worship.  Even if Francis doesn’t acknowledge or address this, are we going to stop advocating for women whom the Spirit has called to ordination?


We know that Pope John XXIII’s papal commission recommended that the church adjust its birth control stance because science and theology indicate it’s not justified and prima facie evidence from married couples indicates it damages numerous marriages.  Even if Francis doesn’t address this, are we going to stop advocating for women’s health and healthy sexual relations between married people?



We know many of the church’s issues stem from an outdated, ineffective governance model.  Even if Francis doesn’t address church governance which permits clericalism and clerical abuses of sexuality, power, and substances, are we going to tacitly permit these injustices to continue or use our prophetic voices to demand reform?


We know most of the bishops’ funds to help the poor come from government sources and that most of the faithful's money donated to the church actually pays for church salaries instead of helping the poor.  Regardless of what Francis does, are we going to continue to fund such a financial model?


I read many promising things about Francis and other things that give me pause.  But while the passage of time allows events to sketch his character, what is stopping us from doing what we know is right? ....

Bridget Mary's Response:
I agree. We must work in solidarity with one another, including our new pope, for justice in our church and in our world. No matter what our disagreements in God's family, we must lead in prophetic obedience to the Spirit. And for RCWP, that includes the full equality of women
in the Roman Catholic Church.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
www.arcwp.org
 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis Meets with Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina, Will Pope Francis Treat Women As Equals in the Church?

http://abcnews.go.com/International/pope-francis-meets-argentine-president-cristina-kirchner/story?id=18753171
Bridget Mary's Response:
They looked like old friends from the body language and smiles.
Cristina Kirchner has challenged Francis on some of the hot button issues such as gay marriage, use of contraceptives, and  sex education in public schools.
 I wonder if Francis views women as equals in the church. He certainly has had personal experience and  plenty of "dialogue" with Cristina Kirchner as an equal in Argentina.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com

Official Biographer says Bergoglio/ Francis Supported Gay Unions

http://millennialjournal.com/2013/03/16/breaking-news-popes-official-biographer-says-he-supported-gay-unions/

"According to the new pope’s authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, Bergoglio was politically wise enough to know the church couldn’t win a straight-on fight against gay marriage, so he urged his bishops to lobby for gay civil unions instead. It wasn’t until his proposal was shot down by the bishops’ conference that he publicly declared what Paulon described as the “war of God” — and the church lost the issue altogether.
Despite his conservatism, “Bergoglio is known for being moderate and finding a balance between reactionary and progressive sectors,” Paulon said. “When he came out strongly against gay marriage, he did it under pressure from the conservatives.”

Bridget Mary's Response:
Let's hope that as Pope, Francis will stand up for full equality of all in the Catholic Church. Now that would be a welcome change!
Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com

Pope Francis; Forgiveness- A Reflection of Compassion

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/

Pope Francis: Theology Has Consequences, What Policies Will Pope Francis Champion? by Mary Hunt

http://religionandpolitics.org/2013/03/18/theology-has-consequences-what-policies-will-pope-francis-champion/

Monday, March 18, 2013

Media Misses Deeper Justice Issues in Papal Coverage by Thomas C. Fox and Ivone Gebara/ Brazilian Liberation Theologian/National Catholic Reporter



Despite their value, the media also have the power to distract us, writes Latin American theologian, Brazilian Sister of Our Lady Ivone Gebara. They lull our minds and keep us from allowing needed critical questions to surface. In the days leading up to the papal election, many in Brazil and around the world, she writes, were “hijacked” by live broadcasts from Rome. What interests are leading the huge telecommunication industry to transmit every detail of the election of a new pope? Who gains by the millions of dollars spent on the uninterrupted coverage until the white smoke appears? What Vatican interests make it so willing to offer facilities for these transmissions?

 

"These questions, which may not interest the wider public, continue to be significant for groups concerned over the growth of consciousness among ourselves and all of humanity. In large measure, she goes on, the telecommunication industry is responsible for maintaining the secrecy surrounding Vatican electoral policies. Secrecy, oaths, and the consequent sanctions when they are not respected are an integral part of the industry. They create an impact and make headlines. But this isn’t about a centuries-old tradition that will have no real impact on the rest of the world. Rather, these are behaviors that end up derailing the pursuit of dialogue among groups, or excluding some groups from the necessary dialogue.

 

There is no criticism of this perverse system, which continues to invoke the Holy Spirit in order to maintain ultraconservative positions clothed in the pretext of religiosity and docile submission. Official coverage allots no space for dissonant voices to be heard (even at the risk of being stoned). Once in a while, light criticism is allowed to surface, but it is quickly drowned out by the “status quo” imposed by the prevailing ideology."


Gebara is one of Latin America’s leading theologians. She writes from the perspective of ecofeminism and liberation theology. For nearly two decades Gebara has been a professor at the Theological Institute of Recife. The author of Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation, Gebara articulates an ecofeminist perspective that combines social ecofeminism and holistic ecology,

"New pope and geopolitics of secrecy"

Mar. 18, 2013 

Full text of Brazilian Theologian Sr. Ivone Gebara

 
Now that the initial shock of Buenos Aires Cardinal Bergoglio's election and the thrill of having a Latin American pope who is both cordial and friendly are over, it’s time for some reflection.

 
Despite their value, the media also have the power to distract us, to lull our minds and keep us from allowing needed critical questions to surface. In the days leading up to the papal election, many in Brazil and around the world were “hijacked” by live broadcasts from Rome. Of course the historic events witnessed in these days are not everyday occurrences! But what interests are leading the huge telecommunication industry to transmit every detail of the election of a new pope? Who gains by the millions of dollars spent on the uninterrupted coverage until the white smoke appears? On which side do these interests stand? What Vatican interests make it so willing to offer facilities for these transmissions? These questions, which may not interest the wider public, continue to be significant for groups concerned over the growth of consciousness among ourselves and all of humanity.

 
In large measure, the telecommunication industry is responsible for maintaining the secrecy surrounding Vatican electoral policies. Secrecy, oaths, and the consequent sanctions when they are not respected are an integral part of the industry. They create an impact and make headlines. But this isn’t about a centuries-old tradition that will have no real impact on the rest of the world. Rather, these are behaviors that end up derailing the pursuit of dialogue among groups, or excluding some groups from the necessary dialogue.


There is no criticism of this perverse system, which continues to invoke the Holy Spirit in order to maintain ultraconservative positions clothed in the pretext of religiosity and docile submission. Official coverage allots no space for dissonant voices to be heard (even at the risk of being stoned). Once in a while, light criticism is allowed to surface, but it is quickly drowned out by the “status quo” imposed by the prevailing ideology

 

They repeat that Pope Francis uses public transportation, that he is close to the poor, that he cooks his own meals and that the name he has chosen as pope shows his similarity to the great saint of Assisi. He was immediately tagged as a simple man, cordial and friendly. The Catholic press says nothing about many people's suspicions regarding his role during Argentina’s recent military dictatorship, or about his current political stands against gay marriage and the legalization of abortion. Neither do they mention his well-known criticism of liberation theology or his distain for feminist theology.

 

The image of a kindly and modest figure just elected by a group of cardinals assisted by the Holy Spirit veils the reality of a man who in fact embodies numerous contradictions. More recently the Brazilian newspapers (Folha de Sao Paulo, Estado de Sao Paulo) have offered differing profiles of the new pope that give us a more realistic idea of who he is.

 

In this light it becomes clear that his election was, beyond doubt, part of a geopolitical offensive involving competing interests and a balance of forces within the Catholic world. An article by Julio C. Gambina published via Internet March 13 in Argenpress, as well as information coming in from alternative groups in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil and especially Argentina have confirmed my suspicions. The See of Peter and the Vatican State are positioning their pieces in the world game of chess in order to empower political projects championed by the North and its allies in the South. In a certain sense, the South is being co-opted by the North. A Church leader who comes from the South will help balance the forces in the world chess game, which have been displaced a good deal in recent years by left-leaning governments in Latin America and by the struggles of many movements -- among them Latin America's feminist movements, whose demands annoy the Vatican.

 

If something new is happening politically in the South, there’s nothing better than a Pope from the South, a Latin American, to confront this new political movement and preserve intact the traditions of family and property. Such an affirmation undoubtedly dumps cold water on this election's charm and on the thrill of seeing the multitude in the St Peter’s square breaking into applause and joyful cheers when the figure of Pope Francis appears. Many will say this criticism dampens the beauty of such an emotional event as the election of a pope. Perhaps, but I believe this critique is necessary.

 

The highly touted commitment to evangelization as a Church priority seems instead to be a commitment to a hierarchical order in a world where the elites reign and the people applaud in great plazas, where they pray and sing and bubble over with high spirits, invoking divine blessings upon the heads of their new political-religious leaders.

 

The same doctrine, with little variation, continues to be preached. There is no reflection, no awakening of consciousness, no invitation to critical thinking. What is invoked, instead, is a set of quasi-magical teachings. On the one hand, we have a society awash with great spectacles that captivate us and urge us to accept -- with a dose of romanticism -- the restraints imposed by the contemporary system of order/disorder, and on the other a system of paternalistic handouts that is equated with evangelization.

 

To go out into the streets and give food to the poor and pray with prisoners is somewhat humanitarian, but it does not solve the problem of social exclusion that afflicts many of the world’s countries.

 

To write about “the geopolitics of secrecy” in a moment of media euphoria amounts to spoiling the party for the buyers and sellers in the Temple, content with stalls filled with Rosaries, scapulars, bottles of holy water and the large and small statues of many saints. The problem is that if we break the secret and pull the plug on the allure of white smoke, we deflate the suspense of a secret conclave that denies the Catholic people access to the information to which we have a right—and lay bare those purple-clothed bodies with their sordid histories.

 

To break open this secrecy is to give the lie to the political and religious system that governs the Roman Catholic Church. It is to tear off the masks upholding it, and in this way to open our hearts to real independence and responsibility for us all. Power games are filled with cunning and deception, but there is also good faith. We are capable of being impressed with a public gesture of affection and friendliness without asking ourselves about this person's real life story. We don’t ask ourselves about his past actions, his present behavior or his future stratagems. The moment the amiable figure dressed in white appeared was enough to impress us. We can be deeply touched by the new pope’s warm greeting, “Buona sera” (“Good evening”), and then go to bed like well-behaved children blessed by a kind daddy. We are no longer orphans--since being fatherless in a patriarchal society is intolerable, even for a few days.

 

We are complicit in upholding these shadowy powers, which charm and oppress us at the same time. We ourselves—especially those of us who have more insight into these political and religious processes—are responsible for the delusions these powers foist on the lives of millions of people, especially those communicated through the religious media. We ourselves can become so enthralled that we forget the power games, the unseen manipulation and the cultivated theatrics so crucial for these occasions.

 

We cannot make predictions about the future direction of the Roman Catholic Church’s governance. But at first glance it seems that we can’t hope for great change in its current structures or policies. Significant change will come if Catholic Christian communities take concrete action in deciding the direction in which Christianity will move. If, that is, based on their own life needs, they are capable of saying how the Gospel of Jesus can be expressed and lived in our lives today.

 

The geopolitics of secrecy has huge interests to defend. It is part of a global power project in which the forces of order are seen as being threatened by the social and cultural revolutions underway in today’s world. To uphold the secret is to justify the belief that in history there are powers superior to the life-force--and that they are more decisive than the progress being made in our collective struggles for dignity, bread, justice and mercy in the midst of the many troubles and reversals that assault us along the way.

 

I end this short reflection with the hope that we will not allow the light of freedom living within us to go out, that we will continue to drink from the fountains of our dreams of dignity and clarity, without being much impressed by these seemingly novel occurrences. After all, it’s just one more Pope who has signed his name to an institution that, despite its history of ups and downs, deserves to be transformed and re-imagined for these times. Change can always occur, and we need to be open to the small signs of hope that continually pop up all around us, even in our world's most anachronistic institutions.

 
(Translated by Mary Judith Ress, Santiago, Chile, March 16, 2013)


Article in Portuguese:

Pope Francis and Argentine Dirty Wars by Tom Reese, SJ/NCR

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/francis-jesuits-and-dirty-war
The Society of Jesus is filled with intelligent men who are passionate about their ideas and work, so of course there are arguments and disagreements just as there are in any family. I have had debates with other Jesuits over dinner where voices were raised, but that does not mean I don't love them and would not be willing to die for them. We are a family.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, like Pope John Paul II, had serious reservations about liberation theology, which was embraced by many other Latin American Jesuits. As a North American, I have trouble understanding these disputes, since John Paul and Bergoglio obviously wanted justice for the poor while the liberation theologians were not in favor of violent revolution as their detractors claimed. But clearly this was an issue that divided the church in Latin America.
Part of the problem was the use of the term "Marxist analysis" by some liberation theologians, when they sought to show how the wealthy used their economic and political power to keep the masses down. The word "Marxist," of course, drove John Paul crazy. Meanwhile, the Latin American establishment labeled as Communist anyone who wanted economic justice and political power for workers. Even many decent but cautious people feared that strikes and demonstrations would lead to violence. What is "prudent" can divide people of good will.
There were also disagreements about how to respond to the military junta in Argentina. As provincial, Father Bergoglio was responsible for the safety of his men. He feared that Jesuit Fr. Orlando Yorio and Jesuit Fr. Franz Jalics were at risk and wanted to pull them out of their ministry. They, naturally, did not want to leave their work with the poor.
Yorio and Jalics were arrested when a former lay colleague, who had joined the rebels and then been arrested, gave up their names under torture as people he had worked with in the past. This was normal practice for the military. The junta did not get information from Bergoglio. Contrary to rumor, he did not throw them out of the society and therefore remove them from the protection of the Society of Jesus. They were Jesuits when they were arrested. Yorio later left the society, but Jalics is still a Jesuit today, living in a Jesuit retreat house in Germany.
The Jesuit historian Fr. Jeff Klaiber interviewed Jesuit Fr. Juan Luis Moyano, who had also been imprisoned and deported by the military. Moyano told Klaiber that Bergoglio did go to bat for imprisoned Jesuits. There are disagreements over whether he did as much as he should have for them, but such debates always occur in these circumstances.
Adolfo Esquivel, the Argentine who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980, says Bergoglio was not involved with the military and did try to help the two Jesuits. He himself was imprisoned by the military and his son is married to Mercedes Moyano, the sister of Juan Luis Moyano.
Other rumors circulating say that as archbishop, Bergoglio allowed the military to hide prisoners in an archdiocesan retreat house so that they would not be seen by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights visiting the ESMA prison. Fact: Bergoglio was not archbishop when this took place. Horacio Verbitsky, an Argentine investigative journalist, says Bergoglio helped him investigate the case.
It is also said there is written evidence in the Argentine foreign ministry files that Bergoglio gave information on the Jesuits to the military. The alleged conversation took place when Bergoglio was trying to get the passport of one of the Jesuits extended. Not only did this take place after they were arrested and after they were released, it was after they were safely out of the country. Nothing he could say would endanger them, nor was he telling the government anything it did not already know. He was simply trying to convince a bureaucrat that it was a good idea to extend the passport of this man so he could stay in Germany and not have to return to Argentina.
More recently, Cardinal Bergoglio was involved in getting the Argentine bishops to ask forgiveness for not having done enough during the dirty war, as it was called in Argentina.
In the face of tyranny, there are those who take a prophetic stance and die martyrs. There are those who collaborate with the regime. And there are others who do what they can while keeping their heads low. When admirers tried to claim that John Paul worked in the underground against Nazism, he set them straight and said he was no hero.
Those who have not lived under a dictatorship should not be quick to judge those who have, whether the dictatorship was in ancient Rome, Latin America, Africa, Nazi Germany, Communist Eastern Europe, or today's China. We should revere martyrs, but not demand every Christian be one,"

Joan Chittister "Pope Francis, do you know how weary Catholics are?"

..."At first sight, Jorge Mario Bergoglio — Pope Francis — is a quiet and humble man, a pastoral man and as a Latin American, a leader of 51 million Catholics, or the largest concentration of Catholics on the planet, which is not business-as-usual as far as papal history goes.

But perhaps the most profound and memorable moment of his introduction is that he presented himself on the balcony in front of thousands of people from all parts of the world not in the brocaded fashion of a pope, but in a simple white cassock.

And then came the real shock: He bowed to the people. Bowed. And asked them to pray a blessing down on him before he blessed them. Francis, I remembered, was the Christian who reached out to Muslims. Francis, the one who listened to every creature in the universe and dialogued with it.

Indeed, if this Francis, too, is a listener, there is hope for reconciliation, hope for healing, hope for the development of the church.

No doubt about it: We know who the people are who have been waiting for a pope and why they are weary. The question now is, Does he know how weary they are? And does he care? Really?

From where I stand, something has to change. Maybe, just maybe, this time...."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Church Celebrate Memorial Liturgy to honor Jack Meehan, RIP


On March 16, 2013, Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community celebrated a liturgy in memory of Jack Meehan. Co-Presiders Bridget Mary Meehan and Carol Ann Breyer co-presiders, led the remembrance and the members of the community shared many wonderful memories of Jack who
played sax and trumpet at community liturgies from the time they community began in 2006. Last year, community members also spent time with him in the hospital and at home, and recalled some of these precious memories.

After the liturgy, we continued our celebration at Judy and Kevin Connolly's home in Osprey.
The table was filled with Irish favorites like champ, bangers, soda bread, trifle and many other
delicious dishes which the community brought to share. Everyone had a great time and were grateful to Judy and Kevin for their warm and gracious hospitality.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,
www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com