Saturday, January 18, 2014

4 Roman Catholic Women Ordained Female Priests and Deacons in Sarasota by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/roman-catholic-women-ordained-female-priests-and-deacons-in-sarasota/article_669d5e28-80a1-11e3-9781-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=image&photo=0
On Jan. 18, 2014, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ordained four women in Sarasota, Florida: Maureen McGill from St. Petersburg, Fl., Marina Teresa Sanches Mejia from Cali Colombia, Rita Lucey from Orlando, Florida and Mary Bergan Blanchard from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Approximately 140 enthusiastic supporters including Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida and a large group of children, teens and adults from Good Shepherd Inclusive Community from Ft. Myers, Florida attended. Sheila Carey led the youth and clergy in a processional and recessional joyous liturgical dance. Linda Lee Miska Michael Rigdon and Jack Duffy were our  music ministers and cantors.  Pastor Phil Garrison welcomed everyone in the name of St. Andrew United Church of Christ. He prayed that like the cloak of St. Brigit of Kildare, our women priests movement would spread throughout the world and embrace all. Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan presided at the 2 hour ordination which was in English and Spanish. The entire community raised hands in blessing and laid hands on each ordinand in a joyous affirmation of the newly ordained women deacons and priests. Several people said that they saw such love and affirmation on the faces of the people as they laid hands on the newly ordained women that they felt that the church had already changed! Yes, we are a "holy shakeup" of God's justice and love for our church and beyond that welcomes all to the Banquet Table of the Eucharist.  NBC, ABC, Univision, Columbian TV and NPR covered this historic event of the ordination of the first Afro-Colombian woman Marina Teresa Sanches Mejia.
Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org, www.marymotherofjesus.org






Rev. Anne Robertson And Cardinal Sean O'Malley's Moving Photo Sends Shock Waves Through Internet


At a time when there is much discussion about the role of women in the Christian Church, one cardinal demonstrated the power of respect caught in a moving photograph that has sparked enthusiastic approval as well as vehement criticism.

Friday, January 17, 2014

"Why Everyone's Favorite Pope Has a Serious Problem With Women"

http://www.policymic.com/articles/79211/why-everyone-s-favorite-pope-has-a-serious-problem-with-women

"Sarasota Woman Calls for Ordination of Female Priests"/WFLA/NBC/MSNBC

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/54105526/#.Utn66Jso6c8
http://www.wfla.com/story/24486328/sarasota-woman-calls-for-ordination-of-female-priests

(Grant Boxleitner, SNN News 6) -" A Sarasota woman who identifies herself as a bishop is stirring up debate over whether women should be allowed to become priests.

Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota is a bishop with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.  She has been pushing for gender equality in the Roman Catholic Church.

"Ordaining women priests so that the future of the church may become reality now,” said Meehan.  “The full equality of women is what we're about. It's our mission."


This weekend, Meehan plans to ordain women as priests and deacons during a service of the Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic community at St. Andrew United Church of Christ.

The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize women as priests.

"The hierarchy is not ready yet they say for women priests. But we're hoping to pave the way by living gospel equality now," Meehan said.


Maureen McGill, of St. Petersburg, is one of the women who will be ordained by Meehan. She says she has become disenchanted with the church.

"If they don't have women at the table participating actively in the decision making process, how are they going to be able to make rational decisions about inclusiveness?" McGill asked.
Meehan says her movement for equality goes beyond the church.

"I think the issue of justice for women in the church is very much linked to justice for women in the world and partnership and equality for all people,” said Meehan.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Venice, Billy Atwell, issued a statement saying:  “The Diocese has no association with this group.  The Catholic Church has no authority to confer the sacred ordination on women.”

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Pope's View of Women"/Women's equality is elephant in living room

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/opinion/popes-view-of-women.html?_r=0
Bridget Mary's Response:
I agree with Ms. Janet Gallagher's view in the New York Times. I, too, am a big fan of Pope Francis. There is so much to admire. He lives the preferential option for the poor in his service of the destitute and poor, and he critiques unjust policies that contribute to global inequality. He reflects the compassion of Christ to the marginalized. 
But, I am troubled by his failure to recognize women as equals in decision making and ministry and his continued support of the ban on women's ordination. Women's equality is the elephant in the church's living room.  Pope Francis should follow Jesus' example of Gospel equality and affirm the early church tradition in which women presided at Eucharist in the homes. 
Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the way toward a more just, inclusive church that honors the gifts of the baptized as equal members and the gifts of women to lead sacramental ministry as deacons, priests and bishops. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

UN Confronts Vatican on Child Abuse/BBC Story

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25748952

..."The Vatican was asked why it continued to describe abuse as an offence against morals rather than a crime against children.
"Does the Holy See believe that paedophilia is something that can be successfully overcome?" was another question.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said: "To prevent abuse of minors is a real, immediate concern."
On prosecution of offenders, he said priests were "not functionaries of the Vatican but citizens of their countries and fall under the jurisdiction of their own countries..".


Bridget Mary's Response: The Vatican has jurisdiction of every aspect of church life with canon law, so ultimately it is responsible for the world-wide cover-up.
 Of course, priests are also citizens, and are accountable.
But sexual abuse is a crime, not just a moral failure.
It is time for the Vatican to take responsibility for these horrific abuse and change the structures of the church so all the baptized are accountable including priests and hierarchy! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink"- Women Priests Lead Way to Equality in Roman Catholic Church


America ranks 30th in the world on a report called "State of World Mothers"
A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink will examine the rates of financial insecurity among American women and the children who depend on them, investigate the impact of it on our nation’s institutions and economic future, and promote modern solutions to help women strengthen their financial status.
Shriver Report:

"But even as far as we’ve come, women are still one class of people who are set apart, separated, and given less value and worth by multiple religious traditions. Religion has defined women by their maternity—just one dimension of a woman’s multifaceted humanity. Religion has defined women as “helpmates,” as too irrational to lead, too intellectually limited for the public dimensions of life. Though they are endowed with the same degree of sense, reason, and intellect as men, women have been locked out of full humanity and full participation in religious institutions and society at large. This marginalization of women masquerades as “protecting” them and even “exalting” them. Instead, these attitudes serve to deny the human race the fullness of female gifts and a female perspective on life.As a result, women make up two-thirds of the hungry of this world. Women are two-thirds of the illiterate of this world. And women are two-thirds of the poorest of the poor, because they lack access to the resources and recognition men take for granted. That’s not an accident. That is a policy—one supported by religious institutions that call such discrimination “women’s place” and “God’s will.”"
Bridget Mary Meehan's Response to Shriver Report: "A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink"The Shriver Report is a stinging indictment of the world's religions that continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it.  The full equality of women is the will of God in our times. Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the church into living Jesus' example of Gospel equality now. We are a holy shakeup that offers a path to a more open, just and inclusive  Roman Catholic Church. Bridget Mary Meehan,  Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com


Sr Joan Chittister responded

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

United Nations Committee Will Question Vatican on Child Sexual Violence/ Links to Live Stream/Twitter hastag #HolySeeConfess

 On Jan. 16, 2013 Thursday, the Vatican will be questioned 
by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child 
about its record on child sexual violence.  
This is the first time the Vatican has been called by 
an international body to account for its handling of the crisis 
of sexual violence throughout the 
Catholic Church. CCR will be there with our clients, the 
 Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). 
Directly after the hearing, SNAP leaders and CCR experts 
will host alivestream report-back to update survivors, 
advocates, 
and supporters.
Tune in on Thursday, January 16, at 8pm CET (2pm EST).

You can follow the global conversation about this historic hearing 
via the Twitter hashtag #HolySeeConfess.  
You can also ask questions before or during the report-back by 
tweeting to the hashtag or
 emailing your questions to askCCR@ccrjustice.org
 We will answer as many as possible during the livestream.
Throughout the world, children and vulnerable adults have been and 
continue to be subjected to widespread and systemic rape and 
sexual violence by priests and others associated with the 
Roman Catholic Church. 
The Vatican’s policies and practices enable this violence. 
 In February 2013, SNAP and CCR submitted reports to the 
Committee on the Rights of the Child, detailing how the 
Holy See has violated the core principles of the 
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
You can also watch the hearing live in its entirety
 From 10am-12pm CET (4am-6am EST), the Vatican 
will be reviewed 
on its compliance with the Convention on Rights of the
 Child. 
From 3pm-6pm CET (9am-12pm EST), the Vatican 
will be reviewed 
on its compliance with the Optional Protocol on the
Sale of Children, 
Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography.  
Both broadcasts will be in English. 
 For more information on our efforts to hold the 
Vatican accountable see our webpage and factsheet.

Why do Roman Catholic Women Priests Ordain in Apostolic Succession?

Women priests sometimes get asked why we bother with apostolic succession?
Here is my response:
We care about apostolic succession because in this time of paradigm shift in the Roman Catholic Church, the Women Priests Movement is a bridge- joining hands with the institutional church in order to transition from a hierarchical model to a more community centered ecclesial model of a discipleship of equals. In order to accomplish this change we must connect with the institution where it is and they value apostolic succession as a tradition. We are aware that Peter was probably never in Rome and that this apostolic succession comes from the 15th century and has a number of broken links such as 3 popes at one time etc. However, in order to be taken seriously by the institutional church, and to serve all of its people, we needed to find a bishop with apostolic succession who ordained our first women bishops. That we did and that is part of the reason we are such a threat to the institutional church!
We have valid orders!
We use them to renew the structures from within and share our orders with the priesthood of all the people. If you don't have it, you can't share it!  We use equal rites to achieve equal rights in our church.  The Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is a justice movement for women in the church, leading the church into its future now- a more open, just, inclusive, egalitarian community, rooted in Jesus' example and early Christianity's house church tradition.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,
www.arcwp.org

Janet is Going Home: A Mass of Celebration with Women Priests Judy Beaumont and Judy Lee, ARCWP


Image

This is Janet,the lovely woman with her arms around her loved ones, and two of her children, Kathy and Billy and a dear friend. They, and son, Henry, and a large living room room full of dear friends have gathered to celebrate Mass. Janet loves the Eucharist and she attended daily Mass at the local parish and Sunday Mass with friends Ellen and Jack McNally at another parish. Yet Janet did more than attend Mass, she lived serving others. Pastor Judy Beaumont and I met Janet as part of the local Call To Action group, a progressive group within the Roman Catholic Church. Janet, who is a mother of four and a proud grandmother, has several advanced degrees and  a life of service. This includes Government service with several certificates of recognition and serving through the church. She joined our ministry of serving the homeless a hot meal in the park in 2007. She cooked, brought the food and stayed and served the people. She also gave clothing and other needed articles. Our people grew to love her and pray for her always.
Over the years she continued to assist in our ministry to the homeless even as she battled cancer. She went into remission for seven years and nothing held her back from her daily Mass devotions and serving others. In the past few months Janet learned that her cancer had returned and advanced. She and her Doctors and family looked at her options. With the faith of one whose eyes are on God, Janet refused further cancer treatment and is now preparing to go home to God. Janet and her family freely use the word “dying” but there is so much life within her. Going home is clearly the way she sees it, and the way it is. How blessed it is to be able to go home. 
Janet followed Christ in traditional ways and yet with her open mind and heart embraced the women priest movement. She attended my Ordination in Massachussetts with her son Henry and years later she attended Judy Beaumont’s ordination in Florida.   A woman of conviction, she accepted and was pleased that there were now women priests within her beloved Roman Catholic Church.  Eternally optimistic, she believed that some day women priests would be able to take their rightful place in the church, right beside their brother priests. She believes this to be a possibility with Pope Francis. And so, when we learned that she would dearly love to attend Mass again though she was not able to leave her home we responded. She was delighted and able to participate fully, planning hymns and music. Her neighbor and friend Bert was there to play the violin.  What ensued was one of the most spiritual and meaningful Masses we have ever attended or presided in.
Image

 Below is Pastor Judy Beaumont and  Bert who played Ave Maria and other pieces including Danny Boy and an Adagio so beautifully on his violin that Janet closed her eyes and took herself home as we were all transported with her.  Janet reclined for much of the Mass yet received strength to stand at several points. 

Image

We celebrated the Rite of Anointing within Mass,  greeting and receiving Janet and her family and friends. 
We began in the beautiful words of the Rite: ” We have come together to celebrate the sacraments of anointing and Eucharist. Christ is always present when we gather in Christ’s name….Christ taught his disciples to be a community of love…” Today we are in a wonderful community of love as Janet’s love for all of you and your love for Janet reflects God’s love for us in Christ and in one another. Through this Eucharist and anointing we invoke God’s love and power poured out on Janet and all here today.
In the Opening Prayer we asked that all who share in Christ’s suffering find in these sacraments a source of fresh courage and eternal life. We asked God to take Janet and this family and group of loved ones under God’s care knowing our physical and spiritual needs.
The first reading in the Liturgy of Word was read by Janet’s son Billy. Job 19;23-27:”….But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives…whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another’s shall behold God.  And from my flesh I shall see God;my inmost being is consumed with longing.”   Janet nodded her head with every word. 
The Psalm in response was Psalm 27.  The Refrain was “Put your hope in God;take courage and be strong.” Each one present said this directly to Janet and she made eye contact with each and sat up tall in her strength. 
The Gospel was John 6: 35-40.  ”I am the bread of life…and I will raise you up on the last day”. Janet beamed. Those gathered sang the hymn Bread of Life with the chorus “And I will raise you up, and I will raise you up, I will raise you up on the last day”. The bread of life is the central devotion of Janet’s spirituality and the promise is very real to her now. 
I began the homily claiming this promise for and with Janet. I spoke briefly of Janet’s devotion to the Eucharist and to serving God’s people then I asked that each one who desired to do so speak a word to Janet. All present spoke a word. A word praising the quality of her friendship, her out spoken-ness, her courage, her many accomplishments, including her hole in one in July,and her selfless service to the poor and all people. When her children spoke,choking back tears or letting them fall, Janet got up, walked to them and hugged each one. As one friend summed up “the kind of mother Janet was is evident here today.” Her daughter Kathy thanked her for including them in her preparations to go home to God. Each of the children said how pleased they were to be here with her and to share in this moment. Janet responded with love for all and with sharing how the most special thing in her life was to be able to serve the Holy Eucharist as a Eucharistic Minister. She was so happy now to have her women priests serve her and to accept the Eucharist becoming one with Christ.  Love surrounded her and all of us in these holy moments.  Then all stretched out their hands in blessing as she was anointed with oil, and most certainly with the love of all present.
When the sign of peace was given Janet, miraculously, got up and hugged all present.
Image


We served Janet first. As Janet stood to receive the Holy Eucharist, with the words “You are the body of Christ” You are the blood of Christ” it was as if both the suffering and the triumphant, risen Christ stood before us.  Her blue eyes shined like the sun and she smiled broadly, at peace and in anticipation of the eternal feast of love prepared for her.  All present felt comfortable to receive at our hands except one person whom we blessed.  Indeed all present were blessed, including the two priests, with the thanksgiving, the eucharist that Janet had requested for them.  
This most profound celebration of Mass was ended with Janet herself singing a stanza of “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman” and another Marian hymn.  She was indeed a reflection of the holy mother and God indwelling in us, around us and with us. How blessed we are to have Janet with us and to walk Janet home. 
Amen. 
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, ARCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sister Megan Rice- 83 Year-Old Anti-Nuclear Activist Faces Possible 30 Year Jail Sentence

http://exopermaculture.com/2013/08/14/sister-megan-rice-83-year-old-anti-nuclear-activist-faces-possible-30-year-jail-sentence/

Washington Post interview with Sister Megan Rice 
regarding the act of civil disobedience for which she now faces criminal charges.
..."Sister Megan Rice, an 83 year-old nun who helped conceptualize and organize the OccupyNukes coordinated day of actions on August 6, 2012 to remember the suffering of those in Hiroshima and call for an end to nuclear weapons, is presently facing a possible 30-year jail sentence for breaking into a high security nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee last summer..."


Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Pope Francis, Cardinal Sodano and Sacrificing Children" by Jerry Slevin

http://christiancatholicism.com/pope-francis-cardinal-sodano-and-sacrificing-children/

Homily for Baptism of Jesus: Sacrament of Identity and Opportunity

http://richardsvosko.wordpress.com/
"This feast is an opportunity to evaluate our own identity as human beings and as members of this particular Christian church. What are we known for? How will people remember us? Are we recognized always in relationship to someone else — as a spouse or partner, an employer? Are we stereotyped in some way because of race, sex, education, wealth, a title we hold? Or, are we known because of just the way we are with our unique characteristics, gifts and shortcomings. " Pastor Richard S. Vosko, Albany, New York
Bridget Mary's Response:

What do you want to be remembered for? What is your identity? Some important questions to ponder. Thanks, Fr. Richard for this inspiring homily.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, www.marymotherofjesus.org