Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cardinal Sean O' Malley on Sixty Minutes/ Bridget Mary Meehan says: Don't Blame God for the Sin of Sexism in the Catholic Church!

Like a deer caught in the headlights, Cardinal Sean O' Malley defended the indefensible, sexism in the Catholic Church, in the 60 Minutes Interview with Norah O'Donnell. From both his body language and his words, you could tell that he was uncomfortable. In the end, Cardinal Sean, trying to avoid further alienating Catholic women who make up at least half of the church,  caved and said if he, not Christ, had founded the church, then he'd love to have women priests!..."if I were founding a church, you know, I'd love to have women priests. But Christ founded it and what he he has given us is something different."
According to O'Malley, gender discrimination is all Christ's fault! Yet, we know that the Jesus of history  called both women and men to be his  disciples and in the Christ of faith, there is radical spiritual equality."In Christ, there is no Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus." Galations 3:28  
How can Pope Francis say that" inequality is the root of social equality," when the Catholic Church continues to  treat women as second class citizens  by their official teaching prohibiting women's ordination? The Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is calling the church to live prophetic obedience to the Spirit. In our inclusive communities, all are welcome to receive the sacraments.  The hierarchy cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it like Cardinal Sean O'Malley did on Sixty Minutes. It is a sin and a failure to follow Jesus' example of Gospel equality. Pope Francis and his friend, Cardinal O' Malley need to put this on the Pope's  to do list of needed reforms! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,,

Historical Perspective on the Development of Priestly Ministry:
In the early Christian community, the entire community celebrated Eucharist in the house churches as there is no evidence that anyone was ordained in that historic period. The ministry of bishop and deacon preceded the ministry of priest.  In the first centuries of Christianity, Christians gathered to break bread in remembrance of Jesus in each other's own homes.  The one who presided was most likely the man or woman who hosted the gathering.  Priests as the cultic role that the church teaches today started in the second century and blossomed in the third century. Jesus was not a Jewish priest who served in the temple offering sacrifice. In 1 Peter we read, "But you are a chosen race , a royal priesthood, a holy people, God's own people in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of God who called you out of darkness into God's marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9. 
 Thus, according to this passage, the entire Christian community are priests.  Later the RC church referred to this as the priesthood of the laity.
  It was not until Cyprian that  we have the concept of the bishop presiding at Eucharist in the place of Jesus. But even Augustine refuses to call bishops "priests" in the sense of  being mediators between God and the community. This also raises the issue of the importance of eliminating atonement theology from our liturgies.
The ministry of priest as assistant to the bishop only emerged after the church grew and the bishop needed additional help in celebrating Eucharist. . So, in light of Cardinal O' Malley's interview on Sixty Minutes blaming Jesus for discriminating against women in the current official church teaching on women priests, I think it is important to keep in mind as Margaret Ralph from Lexington, KY, concludes "So although, the New Testament authors are familiar with the concept of priesthood, they say not a word about there being any ordained Christian priests who had a specific, sacral cultic role in the first hundred plus years of Christianity.  We have no evidence to support that Jesus ordained anyone. Neither Jesus himself, the twelve, nor the apostles were priests in either a Jewish or Christian context."  Margaret Nutting Ralph,  Why the Catholic Church Must Change, p. 85

Bridget Mary's Response to Cardinal O'Malley's Interview by Nora O'Donnell on 60 Minutes
* My responses in blue to interview. 

Norah O' Donnell doesn't let up in the discussion:

Norah O'Donnell: The church says it's not open to the discussion about ordaining women. Why not? 
BMM:  Pope Francis once said that inequality is the root of social sin. Women are being called by God to serve as priests. So, how can the church  negate God's  call and treat women as subordinate? Jesus ,women to serve as disciples, they were first witnesses to encounter Risen Christ. So , the church should follow Christ's example and treat women as disciples and equals.  Jesus did not ordain anyone at the Last Supper. 
Cardinal Seán O'Malley: Not everyone needs to be ordained to have an important role in the life of the church. Women run the Catholic charities, the Catholic schools, the development office for the archdiocese. 
BMM:Women are excluded from decision making in the institutional church because according to canon law decision making power is linked to ordination. So, until women are ordained they will not be equals in the Catholic Church. 
Norah O'Donnell: Some would say women do a lot of the work but have very little power.
Cardinal Seán O'Malley: Well "power" is not a word that we like to use in the church. It's more service. 
BMM: If it's not a problem for men to have power and to serve. why is it an issue for women?  
Norah O'Donnell: But they can't preach. They can't administer the sacraments.
Cardinal Seán O'Malley: Well...  
BMM: Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the church into its future now by ordaining women in apostolic succession. We serve inclusive, empowered communities of equals. 
Norah O'Donnell: I mean, some women feel like they're second class Catholics because they can't do those things that are very important.
Cardinal Seán O'Malley: Well, they, but they're, they have other very important roles that, you know, a priest cannot be a mother, either. The tradition of the church is that we have always ordained men. And that the priesthood reflects the incarnation of Christ, who in his humanity is a man. 
BMM:How Sexist! Women cannot be priests because they do not have the right body parts!
Norah O'Donnell: But in spite of that, does the exclusion of women seem at all immoral?
Cardinal Seán O'Malley: Well, Christ would never ask us to do something immoral. And I know that women in... 
BMM: Women apostles, women disciples and women priests are not immoral. Jesus stood on the edge with the marginalized of his time and the Gospels describe important encounters with women disciples and apostle Mary of Magdala. The church leaders cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it. 
Norah O'Donnell: The sense of equality. I mean, just the sense of sort of the fairness of it, you know. You wouldn't exclude someone based on race. But yet you do exclude people based on gender. 
BMM: Until women are ordained by the institutional church amd treated as spiritual equals, women will be second class citizens in the church.  
Cardinal Seán O'Malley: Well, it's a matter of vocation. And what God has given to us. And this is, you know, if I were founding a church, you know, I'd love to have women priests. But Christ founded it and what he he has given us is something different. 
BMM: Stop blaming Jesus for the church's gender discrimination  Jesus treats women as disciples and equals in the Gospels and that is how the church should act today!
By Michael O'Loughlin
National reporter November 14, 2014
"Speaking out on the most important clergy sexual abuse issue in the United States, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley said the Vatican must do something quickly about Bishop Robert Finn, the Kansas City prelate convicted of failing to report child abuse by one of his priests.
Finn, convicted two years ago, was sentenced to two years of probation for waiting six months before telling police that diocesan officials had found pornographic images of young girls on the computer of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, one of his parish priests.
Ratigan pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison; Finn has remained the bishop of the diocese.

Speaking to CBS News, O’Malley agreed that under the Catholic Church’s zero-tolerance policy, he wouldn’t let Finn even teach Sunday school in Boston, let alone head a diocese.
“It’s a question the Holy See needs to address urgently …. There’s a recognition of that from Pope Francis,” O’Malley told 60 Minutes reporter Norah O’Donnell in an interview scheduled to air Sunday..."

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