Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Community 4th Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day Homily May 10, 2014/ Kathryn Shea, ARCWP Candidate


In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought we might explore the divine feminine and what that means to each of us in our spiritual development.  If you are like me, you grew up, regardless of your identified religion, envisioning God sitting on a cloud somewhere high above.  This God was clearly male, old, with a beard, and not necessarily friendly.  The “fear of God” was felt much stronger than the “love of God.”   To this day, I can still clearly pull up that image in my head.  But, I try not to.  In recent years, I have been replacing this image of God with a feminine image; a peaceful, gentle, kind, loving, accepting image, much like we see in many portraits of Mary.  At first, it was a little scary to imagine God in this way.  Years of indoctrination can have a powerful hold.  I waited for the lightening strike, but only found a rainbow. 
For thousands of years monotheistic religions have held up masculine images of God the Father for the religious to relate to.  The Father God rules over humankind and has great power to move mountains or destroy the Earth.   His expectations are high, and at times unreachable.  We were told we were born in sin and it felt as if no matter what we did to repent, it was never good enough.
I believe for many of us that day is over.  As Jesus says in our Gospel reading today, “they simply will not follow strangers- they will flee from them because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”  The old image of God the Father, and the patriarchal voices coming from the Vatican denouncing the equality of women has become a stranger, whose voice we no longer recognize.   
What would that be like if we were able to envision a Mother God and a Father God in unison?  What might have happened if the Goddess had been the default image for humanity?  How different might the world be if for thousands of years we held the image of the divine mother nurturing ALL humanity (not just a chosen few) instead of a patriarchal God who rewards or punishes our behavior?
I believe the Divine is both. 
What if we were able to carry with us always in our mind’s eye, the always-affirming mother-father God?  The unconditionally loving mother-father God?  The one that sees us and accepts us as we are, originally blessed, the living light of God?
How would our prayers change?  How would our world change?  How do we begin to re-birth the City of God where the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine is common language, not merely accepted, but embraced and taught to our children?
I read one suggestion I really like and encourage you to do for yourselves.  Create your own God icon.  Draw it, build it, illustrate it in some way other than words and carry your inner god/goddess with you at all times.  Call upon it, bless it, talk to it, and give thanks to your new Spirit Divine.    
As we go forth on this eve of Mother’s Day, let us embrace our earthly mothers and fathers, as well as our spiritual ones.  If we follow our own hearts, and our own new vision of the enlightened and renewed City of God, we will give it voice and we will see the true face of God, the one that continually says, “I came that you might have life, and have it to the full.”

And now we want to celebrate those who have and now are moving us closer to our vision - Slide show
http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/2014/05/call-to-action-slideshow-homily-roman.html







Two Women Priests Homilies for the Good Shepherd 4th Sunday of Easter, 5/11/2014

http://judyabl.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/two-women-priests-homilies-for-the-good-shepherd-4th-sunday-of-easter-51114/

Here we present Rev. Dr. Beverly Bingle’s Homily with thanks to her for sharing it and my own reflections and brief homily for this special Sunday for good shepherds and mothers.
IMG_0142This Sunday we listen for the voice of our Good Shepherd and we hear the voice of Mother God, even as we also celebrate the mothers and all of the women in our lives. In a sense this Sunday is the Feast Day of our Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community and it is very special that it is also Mother’s Day.
Unlike the male priests who are called “Father” we as women priests are not called “Mother”, but in our community that does not deter some of the members using that title in a very real sense. Nathaniel always calls me Mother, for example. He is now a 50 year old man whom we met as a homeless man in our outdoor worship services in the Park from 2007-2009.  The brother of a local preacher whose beloved parents are deceased, he struggled with untreated mental illness and could simply not take hold of reality enough to negotiate work or housing. He simply slept outside anywhere he could.  He was drawn to our worship. He is a man of faith and has a beautiful reading and singing voice. We helped him to connect to the mental health system, become housed in 2008, access a Social Security Disability income and reunite with his brother and family. His life is now completely changed and he attends our church regularly both on Sundays and for homeless outreach on Tuesdays. He enjoys leading the singing with his rich voice. We were particularly moved as he was Confirmed with our sixteen individuals on April 26th. Dressed in his navy blue Sunday Suit, his strong  voice resonated as he read the reading from Isaiah 61: ” I have been anointed to preach good news to the poor…” And he does this with his life. When we offer the sign of peace, he always says “Peace be with you, Mother”. And I always reply: “Peace be with you, my son”.  When he prays he always starts  “Loving God,our Mother and Father God, I thank you for my church family”.  So today we thank God for loving us like a mother hen spreading her wings around her chicks as Jesus wanted to do with his beloved people (Luke 13: 34 b) and for  God, our Shepherd, and Christ as the Good Shepherd giving everything for the flock.  We are thankful for our Mother God and for all mothers whose voices guide us and comfort us.
We present here our brief homily and that of Rev. Bev. Bingle, for she is right on that we are also now the shepherds to one another.
The Voice You Know: Homily for Fourth Sunday of Easter- May 11th2014    Pastor Judy Lee
Prayer: Our Loving God, You are our Shepherd. Yours is the voice we know. And you have given us other guiding voices. On this special day for Mothers and all women thank you for the feminine voices that lead us on your path, including Your own. Grant that we may heed Your guidance and recognize it when we hear it. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Brother Who lives with You and the Holy Spirit, One God forevermore. AMEN.
Liturgy of the Word   Listen Now…
Acts 2:14,36-41  Be baptized then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit-3000 added
Psalm 23 R. Adonai, You are my Shepherd,I have no wants
I Peter 2:20-25 You were straying now you have returned to the Shepherd
Holy Ground  Alleluia  I am the Good  Shepherd, I know my sheep and…  John 10:1-10
Homily: Shepherds and mothers are a lot alike. It makes sense that we can celebrate both the Good Shepherd and our Mothers today. In fact Shepherds are like Mother God. The Gospel says: they know their sheep by name and the sheep know their voices. The first voice we respond to in our lives is our mother’s voice. We hear it in the womb and we know it always. I can hear my mother’s voice right now. I will never forget it. The voices of my mother and Grandmother and all of my shepherds will guide me until the end. 
In Nigeria where 200 school girls were kidnapped by terrorists there is great mourning and prayer. “Bring back our girls” is the plea and the prayer now echoed around the world. Indeed we do pray for them. The faces of the mothers are in pain beyond description. One bereft mother said to the TV reporter: “Let them come and burn my house and take all I own. Let them even take me, but let them bring back my girl”. She would give her life for her daughter, she would do anything to find her. And this is what God through Christ did and always does for us. God continues to be both our Mother and Father God, and our Good Shepherd. Our Mother God’s voice, like the voice of that Nigerian Mom, and like the voice of the Shepherd calling the sheep will never stop calling us. And we know it, and hear it and get back on the path of life if we have lost it (as 1 Peter says). We have been baptized and are full of the Spirit which is the voice that guides us, comforts us, chastises us, loves us beyond all words, and leads us on. It is our Mother’s voice, let us heed it, serve one another, and be ever so thankful for it. Amen!
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, Good Shepherd Co-Pastor
Rev. Dr. Beverly Bingle’s Homily-We Are Called To Be Good Shepherds like Jesus  
In today‘s second reading from the first letter of Peter,
we are reminded that we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus,
that is., do no wrong, speak no deceit,
do not return insults, do not threaten.
Mostly it’s what not to do.
John’s Gospel is much more positive about how to follow Jesus.
John gives us the extended metaphor of the good shepherd
as a picture of the life and mission of Jesus.
_____________________________________________
When we say we want to follow Jesus,
we commit ourselves to becoming good shepherds.
As the Second Vatican Council ended,
women religious around the world
entered into the process of discernment, reform, and renewal
that the documents called for.
The Sisters read the signs of the times
and went about doing good,
tending their flocks of school children
and hospital wards full of ailing people
and everyone in between.
Good shepherds.
_____________________________________________
Lots of examples out there:
Mother Teresa did it in Calcutta.
Dorothy Day in New York.
Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
The first responders on 9/11.
The shepherding goes on all the time,
in lots of different places and widely different shapes.
_____________________________________________
Monday I drove to Claver house as usual, my car stuffed
with your donations of food and clothes and bus tokens
and to-go containers and toiletries and puzzles.
Good shepherds you are,
tending the flock of folks on the margins in downtown Toledo.
_____________________________________________
Tuesday I wrote a $500 check and mailed it off
to help The University Church with their garden project
for the needy in their neighborhood
because you authorized the donation at last week’s meeting.
at our last Community meeting:
Good shepherds you are,
reaching out with a hand up
for a flock of hungry kids and their families.
_____________________________________________
Wednesday my car was broadsided
as I headed over to our book discussion,
and two of you phoned the next day
to check up on me and make sure I was okay.
Good shepherds, tending to me.
_____________________________________________
Life presents us with endless chances to be good shepherds.
Parents and grandparents do it–
the constant tending of the baby,
the nurturing of the teen,
the letting go as their offspring step into the world on their own.
On this Mothers’ Day
we’re especially conscious
of the many ways mothers “lay down their lives”
for their children.
Friends do it, too, over lunch or on the phone late at night,
listening, just being there.
Spouses, neighbors, teachers, even strangers at the Sav-A-Lot
lay down their lives for others.
____________________________________________
Yes, we are called to be good shepherds, just like Jesus.
And it’s inspiring to see you answering the call.
I’m grateful.
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
www.holyspirittoledo.org
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pope Rejects "Economy of Exclusion", Should Reject Theology of Exclusion in Roman Catholic Church

http://www.aol.com/article/2014/05/09/pope-demands-legitimate-redistribution-of-wealth/20883183/?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D474375

By NICOLE WINFIELD
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the "economy of exclusion" that is taking hold today.
Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who met in Rome this week.
Latin America's first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity, though his predecessors have voiced similar concerns.
On Friday, Francis called for the United Nations to promote a "worldwide ethical mobilization" of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.
He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
Bridget Mary's Response:
Kudos to Pope Francis, prophet for justice, for his call for "legitimate redistribution"of wealth and for rejection of an "economy of exclusion". Like Jesus, Pope Francis challenges those who are exploiting the poor. Like Jesus, Pope Francis should also reject a theology of exclusion and empower women as equals in the Roman Catholic Church. The full equality of women in religion including women priests in the Roman Catholic Church, is the voice of God in our times. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Nuns Comfortable with New Cosmology/Creation Spirituality/Vatican Curia Needs to Catch Up with the Nuns

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/lcwr-vision-builds-john-paul-ii-initiative

..."Many U.S. women religious communities, influenced by Teilhard and Berry, became active proponents of what some have called creation spirituality, using science and traditional Catholic sacramental notions to energize Christian belief and present the faith in a more contemporary setting.
This work has sparked a greater ecological awareness throughout the church. Countless women religious communities, meanwhile, have started eco-friendly farms and gardens to helps sustain themselves and others.
If there is a question as to where LCWR feels comfortable and plans to go, however they eventually come to terms with the CDF mandate, one need not go further than recall what Franciscan Sr. Pat Farrell told the LCWR assembly in her 2012 presidential address:
"It is easy to see this LCWR moment as a microcosm of a world in flux. It is nested within the very large and comprehensive paradigm shift of our day. The cosmic breaking down and breaking through we are experiencing gives us a broader context. Many institutions, traditions, and structures seem to be withering. Why? I believe the philosophical underpinnings of the way we've organized reality no longer hold. The human family is not served by individualism, patriarchy, a scarcity mentality, or competition. The world is outgrowing the dualistic constructs of superior/inferior, win/lose, good/bad, and domination/submission. Breaking through in their place are equality, communion, collaboration, synchronicity, expansiveness, abundance, wholeness, mutuality, intuitive knowing, and love. ... We can, indeed, live in joyful hope because there is no political or ecclesiastical herbicide that can wipe out the movement of God's Spirit. Our hope is in the absolutely uncontainable power of God."
[Tom Fox is NCR publisher and director of NCR's Global Sisters Report. Follow him on Twitter:@NCRTomFox.]

#BringBackOurGirls

#BringBackOurGirls: A joint op-ed by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund on the abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria:
 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Does Pope Francis Have a Woman Problem?", Feminist theologians and Women Priests Can Help

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/20/does-pope-francis-have-a-woman-problem.html
 (Jon) "O’Brien and many other Catholics hoping for more equality in their church are particularly bothered by Francis’s statements on women needing what he called a separate theology. In the September interview with the Jesuit publications, he said, “We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.”  O’Brien argues that the statement is not about seeing women as equals. “Theology of people should include women,” he says.  “The idea that the Church needs a separate theology for women is plain condescending...”
Bridget Mary's Response: Pope Francis should read Elizabeth Johnson's books for a quick catch up on feminist theology! He could consult with Cardinal Kasper, his hand-picked theologian, who is an admirer of top feminists like Elizabeth Johnson and Elisabeth Schussler- Fiorenza. There is no getting around the basic truth that the full equality of women in the church and world is the voice of God in our times. Of course, this means affirming justice and equality for women in the church in all areas of ministry in more open, inclusive, and egalitarian communities of faith. Our women priests are offering the church the gift of a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals, not a new machisimo clerical model that the Pope abhors. Come and see, visit our communities, Pope Francis. You may be delighted at what you encounter!  Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

"Celtic Prayers for Holy Delighting" /Discover Mystical Ireland trip Deadline for Registration May 21st

Celtic Prayers for Holy Delighting now on Kindle
 I plan to use this resource on the upcoming Irish pilgrimage in Sept.  Deadline for trip signup is May 21st.
Many blessings in God's extravagant love,
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
http://www.travelscouter.com/mystical-ireland
Discover Mystical Ireland in Quest of the Celtic Soul 2014
with Bridget Mary Meehan, author of "Praying with Celtic Holy Women".
September 3 - 12, 2014 - starting at $2998*
Locations include:Dublin • Glendalough •  • Rock of Cashel • Cobh • Blarney • Adare • 
Bunratty Castle • Cliffs of Moher • Connemara • Croagh Patrick • Kylemore Abbey • 
Knock • Corrib River Cruise • Clonmacnoise • and more 

Includes:
Deluxe Motorcoaches • Guided Sightseeing • Entrance Fees to Sites Visited • 
First Class & Superior First Class Hotels • Buffet Breakfast and Dinner Daily • 
Program Fees • Fuel Surcharges & Government Taxes (subject to change) • 
Roundtrip Airfare from NY (additional baggage and optional airline fees may apply)
Mary Meehan Bridget Mary Meehan, a native of County Leix, Ireland will share prayers and reflections that will draw us into a quest for the Celtic soul in this musical mystical Isle. This will remind us of our oneness with creation, the indwelling presence of the Divine, the nearness of our ancestors, and the communion of the saints in the thin times and places where earth and heaven embrace. Bridget Mary Meehan is an author of 20 books including Praying with Celtic Holy Women. She is a Roman Catholic Woman bishop. (www.arcwp.org)
 
"Praying with Celtic Holy Women" books available for purchase before or during tour at the discounted Price of $20
Make Checks Payable to:
SOFIA/Spirituality of the Feminine in Action
3221 Pink Oak Terrace
Sarasota FL 34237 USA

Discover Mystical Ireland Itinerary
Sept 3 - Day 1 - Wednesday - Depart USA
Depart on your international overnight flight.

Sept 4 - Day 2 - Thursday - Arrive in Dublin
On arrival at Dublin Airport meet with driver and English speaking guide. First stop you will be at Monasterboice, one of the most famous religious sites in the country. It was built in the 5th century and is said that the monastic site was founded by St. Buithe, a follower of St. Patrick. With two churches, a round tower and two High Crosses, it is one of the most visited religious sites in Ireland. The treasure of this site is the high Cross-of Muiredach. Muiredach was the Abbott in Monasterboice until 922 and the prayer at the base of the cross is translated as "a prayer for Muiredach for whom the cross was made." Check into your hotel in the Malahide area for dinner and overnight.


Sept 5 - Day 3 - Friday - Downpatrick and St. Patrick Center
Today visit Downpatrick, home to the Saul Church (the first church that St. Patrick established in Ireland). Down Cathedral is best known as the burial site of St. Patrick - Ireland's patron saint. According to legend, St. Brigit and St. Columcille also lie buried with St. Patrick, making the site especially revered as the final resting place of a trinity of saints important in Irish history and culture. The Cathedral is the property of the Church of Ireland and has been a place of pilgrimage and Christian worship for centuries. Benedictine monks first established the site of the church in 1183. The structure you see today dates back to the remodeling of the old church carried out between 1789 and 1812. Visit the St. Patrick Centre in Downpatrick. It is one of Northern Ireland's major Millennium Projects, housing the exhibition entitled 'Ego Patricius'. The exhibition uses state of the art interpretation that gives visitors a real understanding of the arrival and establishment of Christianity in Ireland. Appropriately, the Centre is located in a stunning new building below the reputed burial site of St. Patrick. Overnight in Malahide.

Ireland Sept 6 - Day 4 - Saturday - Kildare and Rock of Cashel
Travel to Kildare where you will visit both St. Brigit's Holy Well and beautiful Cathedral, the site of her monastic foundation. According to the Irish Life of St. Brigit, she was ordained a bishop and presided over a double monastery of celibate and married monks. See the Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of Irish kings. Here St. Patrick is thought to have converted the King of Munster. The present ruins are from structures built in the 12th and 13th Centuries, during the Norman era. Dinner and overnight in Cork.


Sept 7 - Day 5 - Sunday - Cobh and Blarney
In Cobh, you will visit the Heritage Center. From this port, between 1845 and 1860, more than 2.5 million people sailed to America. If you have an ancestor who came from Ireland to America, chances are they departed from this very place. Find your family name on the archived passenger lists. There will also be time for reflection, meditation and worship in town here. Then we'll travel to Cork to visit Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills Shop. At the Castle of Blarney you will see the fabled Blarney Stone. Legend says that those who kiss the stone acquire a gift of eloquence. Overnight in Killarney.


Sept 8 - Day 6 - Monday - Adare, Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher and another St. Brigit's Holy Well
Enjoy the beauty of the thatch roofs of Adare. The church here has a Norman Castle keep at its center. Travel through the enchanting Irish countryside, an ever-changing patchwork of green and dotted with ruins, to Bunratty Castle near the town of Limerick. Bunratty is Ireland's most complete, authentic and elaborately furnished medieval castle. Stop at St. Brigit's Holy Well. As you travel through the Burren Region, you arrive at the Cliffs of Moher, sheer cliffs dropping 600 feet to the water below, one of the most impressive stretches of shoreline on the west coast of Ireland. Head to Galway for your Overnight.
Ireland Sept 9 - Day 7 - Tuesday - Connemara, Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey, Knock
This morning we will visit the Connemara Region. famous for its rugged scenery. The National Park consists of 5,000 acres where ponies and Irish red deer roam freely. The scenic mountains, bogs and grasslands are a feast for the eyes. We will visit Croagh Patrick, named for Saint Patrick, who reputedly fasted on the summit of Croagh Patrick for forty days in the fifth century and built a church there. It is said that at the end of Saint Patrick's 40-day fast, he threw a bell down the side of the mountain, banishing all the snakes and serpents of Ireland. We will travel to Knock, where in 1879, it was claimed that the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist were seen at the gate of the parish church at Knock. Millions visit this sacred shrine to Mary Mother of Jesus to pray for healing each year. You will spend the balance of your day in Knock for reflection, meditation and worship. Overnight in Galway.


Sept 10 - Day 8 - Wednesday - Corrib River cruise, Clonmacnoise, and Dublin
Enjoy a Cruise on Lough Corrib along the Majestic River Corrib and onto the lake, providing you with wonderful views of the historic monuments and scenery, which make this one of the most spectacular waterways in Ireland. Visit Clonmacnoise, founded by St. Ciaran in 548-9. Dermot, a local prince, helped Ciaran build his first church on the site and later when Dermot was elected High King he richly endowed the monastery. It was plundered six times between 834 and 1012, and burned 26 times between 841 and 1204. Clonmacnoise was a great centre of learning, and many manuscripts, including the Annals of Tighermach (11th century) and the Book of the Dun Cow (12th century), were written here. The heritage centre contains early grave slabs and the three remaining High Crosses, replicas of which now stand in their original location. Continue on to Dublin and enjoy the balance of your day at leisure for some personal shopping or sightseeing. Overnight in Dublin.


Sept 11 - Day 9 - Thursday - Dublin 
Today you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of Wicklow County - known as the 'Garden County' of Ireland. You will stop in Glendalough where St. Kevin founded a monastery in the sixth century. From this beginning the site grew to become famous as a center of learning throughout Europe. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin City as an ideal introduction to "Dublin's Fair City". The tour will introduce you to the principal sites, which you may then revisit at your leisure. You will visit Trinity College, with the 8th century Book of Kells and the long room with its 200,000 books. Brian Boru's harp said to be the "oldest harp in Ireland" and a copy of the 1916 proclamation, one of the most important documents relating to Irish history are also on display in the long room. Continue on your way to the Phoenix Park with its many monuments including the Papal cross. Return to the city centre via the Quays, passing by the Guinness brewery and Collins Barrack (which is now part of the national museum) before arriving back into O'Connell Street and the city centre. Overnight in Dublin or area with dinner bed & a full Irish breakfast at your hotel.


Sept 12 - Day 10 - Friday - Depart USA

Price: $2998 Full deposit of $300 per person required.
Final payment due by 105 days prior to departure.
Bookings made within 105 days of departure require full payment and any late additional fees.
Passport must be valid for up to 6 week after travel date and required 105 prior to departure.

If for some reason the group does not fill, there is an alternative itinerary with the same dates and two different stops will be replaced, so please tell all your friends and family to sign up!

Call 941-870-0691 or email anna@cruisescouter.com
for more information or to put down a deposit

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Letter to Pope Francis by Dr. Ana Maria Abreu Velez MD, PhD

Dear Pope Francis,
I respectfully write to you because I believe many high hierarchy Catholic leaders are acting in ways not for the good of the church, or consistent with Jesus’ teaching and example. In my letter, I suggest some changes for you to consider, in order to begin to address these issues.
Overworked priests need to have the option of male/female marriage.
Our parish priests are over worked! They also have a relatively low income and low pensions.
1. Our priests are lonely; they have little or no friends (especially in the USA) because they will be perceived as crossing the lines. In I Corinthians 9: 1-6, the original Apostles had the right to have a Christian wife. In the current system, the priests feel loneliness and depression, due to being socially isolated and addressing so many parishoner’s all problems. I believe the teaching of the Bible is clear on this issue. As a Roman Catholic, I believe that married priests would bring stability to the priesthood, would attract better candidates for priesthood, would allow many mature men (and women) to shift into the priesthood from other occupations as they matured, and would greatly assist priests that are counseling married couples.
2. Priests are suffering from the scandals of sex abuse committed by fellow priests; some also maybe being sexually abused, which is unacceptable.
3. Our priests have no free weekends, because they have to give at least 6 masses in two languages on the weekends (English and Spanish) and a weekly daily mass, plus confessions, sacraments, visiting the sick, funerals and so on.
4. The rate of suicide, mental disease and burnout among priests is too high, because they do not have spouses to console them. A married priest would have a spouse who could help to support a family, as most Christian married ministers do. There are too few priests for the extremely hard job they have to do, so they have to do the work of several priests. Thus, they keep constantly moving and working, never having enough time for rest. Moreover, there are more than 3,000 parishes in the United States without their own priests.
Women priests need to be allowed.
We have forgotten that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one. In the Church Age, the first disciple of God was Mary. She believed and did not even question her pregnancy with Jesus. In his trial and crucifixion, she did not betray, abandon or deny him like many male disciples and/or apostles did. Women were there with Jesus at the Cross, and they were the first to whom the angels appeared telling that Jesus was live on Resurrection Sunday. Also, God created the woman from Adam’s flesh, thus we are the same, all equally part of God. Thus, women’s ordination is absurd not to consider. If women were ordained in the Catholic Church, it would help to decrease the workload of priests worldwide.
The Catholic church needs to allow remarrying, and divorcees in the churches.
None priest can judge what is like to live with a drunk, gambler, abuser; ie, a bad husband or wife. No children need to have their life destroyed because of the Catholic church’s strict rules on divorce.
Rules on contraception need to be changed.
Oral contraceptives are not abortive; they create conditions that resemble the physiologic conditions t in a woman’s menstrual cycle or in pregnancy. The church has to change, similar to opponents of Galileo who thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. Condoms for both male are female are the only real protection against HIV/AIDS.
Gay couples and gay people need to be ministered to by the Catholic Church.
They are our sisters and brothers, and their orientation could be partially secondary to abnormalities in the environment, or alterations in genes. If they are respectful, they should be accepted and ministered to. They can be living together and or in civil union and respect the Lord.
The archbishops, bishops and high hierarchy catholic leaders need to be scrutinized for lavish mansions, lavish expending, meanwhile many churches struggle to pay their bills.
The rules for what Ex-Priests can & can’t do need also to changed, because they are cruel.
Priest need to retire at the age of retirement of most citizens in each country.
Sincerely and respectfully submitted,

Ana Maria Abreu Velez MD, PhD
e-mail:  abreuvelez@yahoo.com

Dear Pope Francis, I'm really confused....

http://questionsfromaewe.blogspot.com/2014/05/dear-pope-francis-im-really-confused.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QuestionsFromAEwe+%28Questions+from+a+Ewe%29


Dear Pope Francis, I’m really confused.
Because I read the very same day in the news


With abusive priests they claim their arms only reach the Vatican wall
But with the American nuns, suddenly across the ocean, those same arms can sprawl?

For predator priests the Curia says they must respect the law for each land.
Shouldn’t they do likewise when American nuns’ Constitutional liberties are at hand?

Maybe like the game my kids used to play,
They simply think that it’s “Happy Opposite Day?”

Because in my land, the land of the nuns in question
Free-speaking women are no problem, but sexually abusive priests deserve incarceration.

The pedophile priests are only part of the problem.
The Vatican ignores bishops shuffling predators round-robin.

Then pretend the problem disappeared and any worry is for naught

Money is hidden; bankruptcies are filed.
Bishops evade accountability while victims are reviled.

And the person who appoints every bishop … pssst…. That’s you
In my culture is considered somewhat responsible too

Popes appoint all bishops who ordain every single priest.
They have censured some people quickly for supporting certain causes, even in the least.

But with abusive priests they claim by their own admission
They lack extra-Vatican authority, or is that just an excuse for sins of omission?

This selective impotency when it comes to abused kids
Has really put the whole church’s reputation on the skids.

And, I know by laypeople it’s been repeatedly stated
That the hierarchy’s credibility by its own actions has been negated.

If you claim national borders prevent you from stopping predator priests
Because you think they operate as independent disconnected uncontrollable beasts

Then kindly refrain from the obvious hypocrisy
Of trying to control independent nuns you accuse of apostasy.

Either you control the worldwide church or not
But please stop with this morally relativistic rot.

If you can’t control the priests then you don’t control nuns.  
If you want to control your daughters, please, first control your felonious, abusive sons.

The Curia speaks of dialogue but issues edicts instead.
This also is confusing from the guys wearing red.

I realize the bishops approve the sisters’ communities’ existence or not
But after that, the community makes most of the decisions, I thought.

The sisters elect leaders and vote on community members and rules.
A bishop just listens to them take poverty vows while dressed in his mitre and jewels.

I’m trying to understand why the CDF is so frustrated.
Maybe realizing their powers’ limitations leaves them feeling somewhat castrated?

Or do they covet the sisters’ hospitals and schools
Thereby inspiring them to impose overbearing rules?

Perhaps there’s a culture gap emerging from language skill
After all, that last Mass translation exposed their English abilities as being almost nil  

Yet, the priorities are apparent to most people with children
Thumbs up for strong sisters; thumbs down for negligent churchmen

"Cardinal Kasper, Pope's Theologian, Downplays Vatican Blast at U.S. Nuns" Will LCWR Challenge Vatican Curia Publically?

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/morning-briefing-1143
From National Catholic Reporter- Dennis Coday Briefing:
The latest on discussions between LCWR and Vatican:
http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/cardinal-kasper-popes-theologian-downplays-vatican-blast-us-nuns 
Cardinal Kasper, the pope's theologian, criticized the Vatican Curia for its narrow position on LCWR. "Asked about Johnson and another feminist theologian, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, whose views have also been disputed by the hierarchy, Kasper said he has known them both for years and added: "I esteem them both."
  • Bridget Mary's comment: 
  • Sisters, Cardinal Kasper gets it. He is a supporter of top feminist theologians. The Vatican is divided. Nothing new! So now, it is time for you to turn up the heat. 
  • Sisters, Cardinal Mueller, head of the modern day Inquisition, wants  LCWR to submit to institutional church teaching on the hot button issues. I am sure women priests are high on his list! What is your public response? 
  • Sisters, consider the freedom that non-canonical status will bring, You could become an independent religious body! My religious community, Sisters for Christian Community, have over 40 plus years of ecclesial service to God's people.  We are women religious living Gospel equality in the heart of the faith community without interference from the hierarchy. We do not need the Vatican good house keeping seal to do God's work.
  • Sisters, you have the support and love of the majority of Catholics. Thousands came out in the United States to support nun justice! Perhaps, Pope Francis is waiting to hear your response to the Curia. Millions of Catholics have been inspired and blessed by your faithful dedication and prophetic leadership in our church and world.  My prayer is that soon you will be able to publically name and affirm women called to be priests! 
  • Bridget Mary Meehan, SFCC, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

  • http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2014/05/05/vatican-tightens-crackdown-on-u-s-nuns-sartain-to-have-active-rol
  • Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the LCWR overseer, said the April 30 meeting with Cardinal Gerhard Müller was "frank and open" and "a very helpful meeting.
  • "That assessment charged LCWR with promoting "radical feminist themes" incompatible with Catholic faith and undermining church teachings on homosexuality and birth control. It also named Sartain "archbishop delegate" and gave him authority for "up to five years" over LCWR to oversee reform of its statutes, programs and affiliations. 
    In language he described as "blunt ... but too important to dress up in flowery language," Müller told the leadership group they were ignoring procedures for choosing speakers for their annual conferences and questioned if they were promoting programs "opposed to Christian Revelation."
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