"The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests donated $1,000 to a Catholic Worker house that shelters homeless women after the Cincinnati archdiocese retracted its funding because a woman priest led a prayer service at the shelter.
The archdiocese had promised Lydia's House, which offers shelter to homeless women and their children, $1,000 toward the purchase of a new washer and dryer. A number of community organizations support the house, which can hold up to four women and six children, and the archdiocese was an irregular donor.
"We spent the money in June with the promise that it would be reimbursed at the start of the new fiscal year July 1, and we submitted the receipt on July 5," said Mary Ellen Mitchell, one of the founders of Lydia's House. "We found out Wednesday, July 16, of this week that [the archdiocese] wouldn't do the reimbursement."
The archdiocese withdrew the donation after learning that Debra Meyers would hold a July 20 prayer service at the house. Meyers is a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, but the house's monthly newsletter, which contained information about the prayer service, did not identify her as such."
Bridget Mary's Response: The Association of Roman Catholic Women priests gave generously to Lydia's House because we make the connection between the oppression of women in religion and violence toward women in our world. It is all about justice.The Archdiocese of Cincinnati's withdrawal of funds to Lydia's House is a reprehensible power play to intimidate Catholics who follow their consciences and the Gospel. It has not worked in the past, nor will it work in the future because justice is rising up for women's equality in the people of God. www.arcwp.org Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP