On one occasion, Dorothy Day challenged a young priest: "Words are not enough, she said. " You have to do something. " ( God of Love, p.99)
We find "Dorothy Days" everywhere today who are doing something to promote justice for the marginalized, oppressed and wounded in our world and in our church.
Love of God, compassion and justice go together, like hand in glove.
I am reminded too that these words can also be applied to the Catholics who feel rejected by the institutional church. They are no longer welcome at the Banquet table of Christ's love in the Eucharist.
Some are unwelcome because they are Gay, Lesbian, Transgender. Some are divorced and remarried without an annulment. At this time the Vatican is still working out the details on the internal forum guidelines that may open the door a crack for divorced and remarried. Some women feel unwelcome because of the church's sexist teachings and structures prohibiting women's ordination. The list goes on and on.
Contemporary theologians have made the case for justice and equality in the church and the world. Their words speak eloquently the message that the will of God in our time is the full equality of women in the church and world.
The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement have taken Dorothy's Day's admonition to heart and are acting to make change a reality in the Roman Catholic Church: "Words are not enough, You have to do something.'
Indeed, as Dorothy Day challenges, we are acting! In prophetic obedience to the Spirit, we are breaking an unjust law to bring gender equality and justice to our church. We make the connections between abuse and violence toward women in the world and discrimination toward women in the church. Women priests are bringing healing to centuries old misogyny.
We are ordaining women and men in our communities in apostolic succession as a prophetic act of obedience to the Spirit so that gender equality is a reality now in our grassroots faith communities. We are in 13 countries and over 35 states in the United States.
Let us rejoice and give thanks that the Spirit of God is working through us to create a new justice for women in empowered, inclusive, compassionate communities of faith!
I think Dorothy Day, blessed prophet of justice and equality, is cheering us on!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org