Bridget Mary's Response to Debate:
The full equality of women in the church and the world is the voice of God in our times, and includes ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops, and women in decision making roles in the church. The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement promotes a renewed priestly ministry that is one with the people with whom we serve in grassroots, faith communities where all are welcome. I love the church and am passionate about promoting equality to heal centuries old oppression and exclusion of women as spiritual equals. I ordain women and men not to foster clericalism, but to promote inclusiveness in empowered, communities where all can find a spiritual home in the warm embrace of sisters and brothers who follow Jesus' message and example of compassion in action on behalf of justice. In my community, we gather in a circle around the altar, pray the Eucharistic prayer together and share dialogue homilies that honor the Spirit of God speaking through the entire community. The entire Body of Christ, as the church teaches, celebrates Eucharist.
Let me be clear, one of the major issues in the ordination debate is celebrating our oneness with the people as communities of faith who are devoted to healing sexism and promoting gender empowerment. Right now in our institutional church, for example, Catholics are deprived of hearing the stories of women's faith experiences in homilies because they are not allowed to preach. This discrimination and exclusion of women at the altar and in decision making in our church is connected to the abuse and violence toward women in the world. Decision making is reserved for the ordained according to church law, therefore women are excluded.
There is a major disconnect that ignores our spiritual equality as images of the divine. Baptism makes us all spiritual equals in Christ, therefore, a male priest does not image Jesus more than a female priest. We need to see the feminine face of God in women as well as men to restore a sense of spiritual balance, partnership and integration. Genesis states that women and men are created in the divine image, so both women and men reflect God. Therefore, how can we say you need to be a physical male to be in Persona Christi?
God is calling women as well as men to serve as deacons, priests and bishops today. We are living Jesus' vision of a discipleship of equals to heal our church's deep wound of sexism and to foster gender empowerment in communities that are open, loving, compassionate and inclusive.
See stories of ministry of women deacons, priests in vibrant, inclusive communities on this blog for more information as well as visit our website. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
|Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan Ordains Ronnnie Dubignon a priest in Orlando in Jan. 2016|