Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Woman Priest Shares: "What A Renewed Priestly Ministry Means to Me" by Denise Menard Davis ARCWP

I, too, struggle with the recent words and actions of the Vatican,
especially when women defend positions that contribute to the pain of so many
other girls and women, Catholic and non-Catholic, around the world. But yet, to
some extent, I must wonder if all that we see unfolding - as ugly as it is
- actually reveals the potential of what will emerge.

For one, in being committed to our mission of renewing the priesthood, I
do NOT want to be ordained into the official church tomorrow. I fear that
Rome's acceptance of us too soon will actually obstruct many, if not all, of
our current efforts to offer new models of governance, new ways of
incorporating the powerful theologies of recent years into living liturgies, and to
broaden our awareness of living sacramentally in communities that
celebrate and honor our universal call to the priesthood. We need time to not only
create new possibilities, but to live them so that we may, in discovering
the mis-steps that happen when venturing into new territory, further explore
and develop beauty we have not yet seen. As soon as a "Roman" bishop lays
his hands on a woman in public, I fear that in then being forced to choose
between their way or ours, we will face a situation that will make our
current challenges with our sister priests/bishops seem like nothing.

For another, as much as their words - and, especially, Pope Francis'
attempts at humor - hurt, they reveal what happens when people cling to
positions that lack merit or truth. More and more in their attempts to cling and
defend, they must make claims that become ever more nonsensical. As this
current leadership does just that, the emptiness of their logic - and even the
danger within it - will be revealed for what it actually is. Gradually,
then, they will be the ones seen, and known to be, responsible for the collapse
of their system, since, as we well know, all is resting upon fallacious
declarations of God's intention and desire.

And so, even though my heart sincerely aches for the suffering that is
created and sustained through their own willful ignorance, and as much as I
mourn for those "Romans" as well, knowing that their own experience of God and
life is so stunted and warped, I will trust that all of this is what must
happen. I hope we women and men who have the courage to ignore boundaries that
their mistaken dogma impose can fully embrace our current freedom for what it
is so that we may draw upon the work of the many, many theologians, mystics
and prophets who are nurturing and developing such beautiful ways of
thinking about and experiencing God. And I do hope that we have the time we need
so that when they system collapses, our work will offer to all - and be
recognized and accepted as - a genuine means for a renewed priesthood.

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