Friday, March 25, 2016

Roman Catholic Priests Dialogue with Vatican Nuncio at Embassy in DC During Vigil for Women Priests and Equality for Gays in the Roman Catholic Church

Roman Catholic Priests: Jane Via, Janice Sevre Duszynska, and Roy Bourgeois prepare for All Night Vigil for justice for women and gays in the Roman Catholic Church
at Vatican Embassy. 

After completing their all night vigil of prayer and fasting Janice Sevre Duszynska, Jance Via and Roy Bourgeois left the Vatican Embassy on Good Friday morning. The Nuncio, who represents Pope Francis in the U.S., met twice with them during their Vigil. They occupied the Vatican steps in a non-violent witness for women priests and equality. During their encounter with the papal representative, they discussed the issue of women's ordination. 

It is interesting that the Archbishop did not request that the priests be arrested. Perhaps, he too was spiritually touched by their  prophetic witness for gender justice and equality in our church. 

I hope this encounter with the Vatican ambassador reflects Pope Francis' more open attitude toward dialogue on women priests and equality for gays. In addition, the Vatican refused to arrest Janice in Rome on two previous occasions when she witnessed for women priests there. The Vatican apparently does not want to have women priests arrested!  The good news is that there was an openness to conversation at the Vatican Embassy in DC. This is something I give thanks for on this Good Friday. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Roman Catholic Women Priests: (left to right)
 Jane Via, Janice Sevre Duszynska, and former Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois occupy steps of Vatican Embassy on Holy Thursday to protest Vatican policy on women priests.
Photos by Bob Cook with gratitude

From right to left: Roy Bourgeois,  Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP and Jane Via RCWP wash feet in remembrance of Jesus call to service at Last Supper. 

On Holy Thursday, March 24th at 10 a.m., people from around the country gathered for a foot washing ceremony and protest in front of the Vatican Embassy, 3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW in Washington, D.C.

After a Holy Thursday foot washing ceremony, three Roman Catholic  priests 
Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP, Jane Via, RCWP and Roy Bourgeois delivered a statement to the Papal Nuncio for Pope Francis calling for women's ordination and justice for women and gays in the Roman Catholic Church. They are fasting and occupying the steps of the Vatican Embassy in Washington, DC. until they get a response from Pope Francis. See the attached statement below: 

Stole and Statement placed on Vatican Embassy Door by Roman Catholic Priests
Read statement below to Pope Francis

On Holy Thursday, March 24th at 10 a.m., people from around the country gathered for a foot washing ceremony and protest in front of the Vatican Embassy, 3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW in Washington, D.C.
Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP in front of Vatican Embassy on Holy Thursday, March 24, 2016

Roy Bourgeois, Former Maryknoll Priest
Link to Photos by Bob Cooke:


“Where there is injustice, silence is complicity. We have come to the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., to speak out against the grave injustice being done to women and gay people by the Catholic Church.

1. WOMEN IN THE CHURCH: God created women and men equal: ‘There is neither male nor female. In Christ you are one.’ (Galatians 3:28) God calls both men and women to the priesthood, but Catholic women who are called are rejected because of their gender. Who are men to say that their call from God is authentic, but God’s call to women is not?

The ordination of women is not a problem with God, but with an all-male clerical culture that views women as inferior to men. The problem is sexism and sexism, like racism, is a sin.

2. GAYS IN THE CHURCH: The official teaching of the Catholic Church states that homosexuals are ‘objectively disordered.’ For millions of gay people, this teaching instills shame and self-hatred. It has contributed to gay people being rejected by their families, fired from their jobs, bullied and even killed. This teaching has also contributed to suicides, especially among teenagers.

God does not make mistakes in creation. Our all-loving God created everyone of equal worth and dignity: gay and straight. Our Church’s teaching on homosexuality is cruel and is based on a theology inconsistent with the teaching of Jesus. 

We are here today to call upon Pope Francis and the Catholic Church to ordain women and start treating LGBT people as equals.”

Jane Via, Ph.D., J.D. is a former professor of theology, a retired county prosecutor and an ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest. In 2005, she founded an independent Catholic parish in the Roman Catholic tradition which thrives in San Diego, CA. She is married and has two adult, feminist sons."

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min., a retired teacher and journalist, is an activist priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and an international leader for women's equality in the Roman Catholic Church. Her journey is explored in the award-winning documentary, "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican."

Roy Bourgeois served as a Catholic priest for 40 years. He is a Purple Heart recipient and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. In 2012, he was expelled from the priesthood and the Maryknoll Fathers because of his public support for the ordination of women.

For decades the Roman Catholic Church only washed men's feet on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis has ordered a change in the law. However, Pope Francis must go further, the full equality of women including ordination is the will of God because women are created in God's image, Jesus called women and men to be disciples and equals and the church ordained women during the first 1200 years of its history. 
 Bridget Mary Meehan, 
bishop of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, email
phone  703-505-0004

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