Friday, November 6, 2015

(Former President of Ireland) "Mary McAleese, Leader of His Holiness’s Loyal Opposition" by John Cooney, Dublin, Ireland.


Bridget Mary's Response: Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese challenges Pope Francis to practice what he preaches. Mary McAleese is right about the failure of Synod to include the voices and votes of women who have changed children's nappies!
The Family Synod excluded women in decision making. No votes on any issues were cast by women! 
Pope Francis should invite passionate feminists like Mary McAleese and representatives from all nations and movements including women priests  to a Synod for Gender Equality!
 Now this would be a holy shakeup for the Vatican!
Special thanks to John Cooney for the good news about Mary McAleese's advocacy for a more inclusive church!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com

"The Church of Rome is constituted under the rule of a monarchical papacy and prides itself on not being democratic. However, in the more relaxed reign of Pope Francis there is a mood for change seeking a heavy hitter to break down the portals of male clericalism. Enter former President Mary McAleese, the de facto Leader of His Holiness’s Loyal Opposition.
Since her liberation in 2011 from the Phoenix Park as First Citizen, Mary Mac moved to Rome to pursue theology studies at the Gregorian University which she had begun part-time during her Presidency at the Milltown Institute from which she obtained an M A. in Canon Law. This addition to her many civil law parchments resulted in her obtaining a Licentiate in Canon Law at the Greg the following year which became a bestseller in the religious books charts, Quo Vadis, Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law.
The surprise election at the conclave of March 2013 of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio created expectations that McAleese would be appointed by Pope Francis to the Roman Curia. This did not materialise. Instead Francis has come under siege from a series of tirades from an increasingly radicalised McAleese on behalf of women and gays.
In rapid succession she scolded Il Papa for saying it was OK to slap children who misbehave, and claimed it was “completely bonkers” for the Pope to ask the advice of cardinals, archbishops and bishops who constitute his “old boys club” on family issues. This consultative body of prelates, known as a Synod, met both last year and again for three weeks last month.
McAleese made international headlines when she insisted there was “something profoundly wrong and skewed” about asking “150 male celibates” without adult experience of rearing children to review church teaching on family life; and when Rome sent a questionnaire to the Catholic faithful Mary sent her own single “serious question” to the Holy Father asking just how many of his advisers “have ever changed a baby’s nappy?”   
When the bishops – including Ireland’s two Martins, Eamon of Armagh and Diarmuid of Dublin - presented recommendations in a 66-page report on October 24, Mary gave an interview to her biographer, Patsy McGarry, which appeared in the Irish Times claiming that the Princes of the Church ‘produced nothing new’.
In issuing her unilateral judgement McAleese was correct in that the bishops, while wanting to provide pastoral care to gays and lesbians, refused to recognise gay unions as marriages, but she failed to acknowledge a win by Francis over his reactionary bishops by being given flexibility to issue a declaration next month allowing divorcees admission to Holy Communion, a move which will represent a major rebuff to journalist David Quinn, who warned in the Irish Catholic that such a move “would be anything but merciful.”
No doubt, McAleese’s intemperance of language will be attributed by critics to her son being bullied at school for being gay, but this underrates her belief that canon law obliges Catholics to speak out against church teaching on homosexuality as an “intrinsic disorder” which spreads homophobia.
Few bishops have the intellect to stop her rocking the barque of Peter. She is gaining further eminence in academia as a Professor at St Mary’s University in London, while completing a PhD for the Gregorian. And the Lady even found time to present an RTE programme on All Saints Day on the 1400th anniversary of St Columbanus.

Mary remains unrepentant. As she said in Sydney, trying to be heard by the Catholic hierarchy was comparable to shouting at children: "If I'm yelling it's because you didn't listen to me when I said it nicely.”

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