Friday, September 25, 2015

Dear Pope Francis, The Church that Welcomes Everyone,Treats Women as Equals by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP




Dear Pope Francis,
It has been a joy to witness your visit and enthusiastic reception.  Your prophetic message on healing the earth, solidarity with the marginalized and ending the death penalty are highlights for me. 
You once said : " Let the church always be a place of mercy and hope where everyone is welcome, loved and forgiven."
The sad reality is that the institutional church does not practice what you are preaching. 
A few examples of discrimination and sexism are:
1.  The Vatican has excommunicated women priests and  put us in the same category as pedophiles.  Will you drop excommunication and all punishments against women priests and against all Catholics who follow their consciences?
2. Women have been fired from Catholic schools if  it is reported  that they use contraceptives, live with a partner outside marriage, if they support marriage equality and women priests. Will you address the hierarchy's abuse of power and unjust practices that violate primacy of conscience and that continue to marginalize women?
The hallmark of the international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is inclusivity.  In our communities all are equal and all are welcome to receive sacraments, including the marginalized Catholics like divorced and remarried, gays, lesbians and transgender and many others who are alienated and marginalized by the institutional church. 
The  institutional church's policies of discrimination toward women is a stumbling block to healing the deep wounds of sexism in our church.
In order to create a more just church where everyone is welcome, women must be treated as equals. 
I hope you address this issue before you leave our country.
I await your response in hope and in prayer. 
Your Sister in Christ, 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org


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