Thursday, September 29, 2016

How to Be a Catholic and a Feminist: Celia Viggo Wexler By Jean E. Barker, The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is Catholic and Feminist

Bridget Mary, liturgy in Dublin in Aug. 2016

Bridget Mary's Response; The Association of  Roman Catholic  Women Priests is introducing a new model of priestly ministry to our Church that is rooted in Jesus'  practice of a community of equals. In our inclusive communities, all are welcome, including the divorced and remarried, gays, lesbians and transgender to celebrate Eucharist. For example, at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida our presiders include both ordained and non-ordained ; our homilies invite dialogue with the entire community; we pray the words of institution in the Eucharistic Prayer together; and all raise hands in mutual blessing as we go forth to serve our sisters and brothers in the world. We affirm primacy of conscience and make decisions as co-equals in ministry and finances.
It is a not an add women and stir clerical operation! We offer the Roman Catholic Church a vibrant, inclusive model of an egalitarian priestly ministry that is one with the community of the baptized!

"Among the range of diverse voices, including those of younger Catholics, Wexler discovered key themes, in particular what she called “the primacy of conscience” in making moral decisions that might differ from official Church teachings. While this can apply to a broad range of personal choices, “there is for many women a sense that the church does not respect the role of conscience when women are making decisions about reproductive issues, even birth control,” Wexler said. For Frances Kissling, whom Wexler refers to in the book as “abortion’s moralist,” her disagreements with the Church’s teachings on sexual ethics led to a 25-year career of very public activism as president of Catholics for a Free Choice (now Catholics for Choice), which fights for abortion rights.
Ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood was another topic Wexler’s interviewees discussed. Several “actually felt a call to the priesthood, and it mattered a great deal to them that that call was denied to them by the Church,” said Wexler. The women revealed a range of nuanced views on the impact of women priests: “Nun on the Bus” Sister Simone Campbell, who as executive director of NETWORK lobbies for social and economic justice, told Wexler that “we have to open our eyes to the broader story. We’re thinking of ordination too narrowly.” Taking another view, Latina theologian Teresa Delgado “does not believe that ordaining women to the priesthood alone would greatly alter the church’s unbending orthodoxy,” Wexler writes in the book.
While women are contributing their perspectives to Catholic theology, some of Wexler’s interviewees felt strongly that women’s voices should also be heard from the pulpits in Catholic churches. They “bemoaned the fact the liturgy is the poorer because women do not preach,” Wexler said. Psychotherapist and author Sharon MacIsaac McKenna, a former nun, told Wexler she was distressed by the quality of the sermons she heard in Church, knowing women colleagues capable of, in McKenna’s words, “doing it with more care and more pastoral sense.”

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