|Discussion at the 2016 International Conference of |
Priest Movements and Reform Organizations
(photo by Amanda Fenton)
"It was a remarkable collection of forty individuals, most of whom had labored for decades in church reform under two papacies that looked upon reform as anathema. Many carried bruises and battle scars quietly in their hearts. They met in Chicago last October, an international network of priest associations and reform groups. The priests' groups hailed from Germany, Austria, Ireland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Australia, and the U.S. The reform organizations also came from these countries, as well as Italy, Argentina, and the United Kingdom...."
..."Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery, a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, and Kate McElwee, co-executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, suggested that the group celebrate the Eucharist without any main presiders. The group would sit in a circle, around an altar table, with different people praying various sections of the liturgy, but with the whole assembly reciting the Eucharistic prayer. This, they felt, would be a sign that gender is no barrier among us. Furthermore, the action could be interpreted according to the opinion of each participant...
And the opinions expressed were thoughtful and wide-ranging. A few who had disagreed with the suggestion made in Limerick that a male priest and a woman preside at the Eucharist, felt this latest suggestion for the manner of praying was "OK." One priest said this was an opportunity to practice the inclusivity we preach. Another disclosed, "When I celebrate Eucharist with students, I invite a woman to co-preside. I view this proposal as a compromise."