Friday, April 20, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Let the children come to me ..." Luke 18-15-17. Olga Lucia Álvarez Benjumea ARCWP *
More and more we are hearing about the marginalization, and 
lack of inclusion of women, in the texts of Scripture and in the
 ecclesial institution. Just as the name of so many precursor women 
in the Salvation History is unknown, I believe that without the 
"I believe", that the children have also been left aside, 
forgotten and marginalized.

Photo of Infocatólica.

It is said that there are fewer and fewer young people 

and children participating in the liturgies of the Church. 
The Liturgy seems to be only liturgy for adults. 
A moment, and the role of the altar boys? Okay. 
But, every time they are less and I believe that
 in addition to going in procession - 
if it is done - the children are not just to 
bring cakes, put water and wine, ring the bell ...

Someone says: "that is not so true" the children, i

t has its catechesis, its youth groups, 
it becomes a youth ministry.

Granted, that has existed and in some places it exists and 

should continue to be done and should not be suppressed. 
But, in the celebrations ...? T
hey can not take part, because they can not, and the 
liturgy as such is unique and exclusive to the 
ordained clergy. (1)

Camilo asked, to read the Gospel, after his mother did it. It is impossible to deny that he can participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Samuelito Franco, in the Altar does not bother us.

Children want to participate actively in the Eucharist. These two are children of women in prison. I would not be able to tell you that you can not fully participate in the altar.

This couple of children from Soacha, want to do the readings. You would dare to tell them that you can not. Because "REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM 
On some things that should be observed or avoided 
about the Most Holy Eucharist" (2). So you have planned?

Empowering the laity. Ramiro and his son (the young man) participate in the altar. Would you tell them to stay at bay because REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM, has already conceived, what can and can not be done in the Eucharist?

Carlos Andrés, has always been worried that he would allow him to read and feel useful in the Eucharist. Could it be that we say no?

It is Christmas, I accompany you, we celebrate and we have consecrated everyone in the present Community. Juliana and Pablo as well as today received their Christmas gifts, they want to give to dad and mom the Holy Eucharist. Would you say no, do not do it, because that is an abuse and disrespect?

Felipe, place his hand on mine and together we anoint Camilo and the rest of those present, praying for health, and protection for all. Would you say you can not?

The Ecclesial Community of Base, present, father, mother, elders, children and women presbyters celebrating the Eucharist, announcing the Gospel. The message of Jesus left us no rules or borders: "And he said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

Dayanita, you want to give me the blessing, will it be that I am worthy of receiving your blessing and that you can not either?

This little one seems to ask: "Who dares to tell me that I can not praise you, bless you and make you known? Oh, my Divine Essence !?"

Jesus comes forward with the children, among them Luisito, an acolyte martyr child of the Ecclesial Base Communities in El Salvador.

"Let the children come to me ..." Luke 18-15-17
Each eucharistic, intergenerational, and interreligious celebration can not lose its pastoral and catechetical dimension:  "This is my body that is being delivered by you, do this in memory of me." Luke 22:19. In this mandate or suggestion of Jesus: "DO"  no one has been excluded, the commitment belongs to everyone.
* Roman Catholic Presbyter.

2)               la-celebrating-de-la-misa

"Activist priest John Dear tours with new book on resisting climate change" Apr 14, 2018 by Tom Boswell, National Catholic Reporter

Fr. John Dear (CNS/Octavio Duran)

Just prior to the December 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris, Pope Francis warned a group of reporters that the world is on the brink of committing "suicide." Less than a year later, Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election and then, after he took office, pulled out of the Paris accords. These days, it's hard to believe that the state of our planet could be more dire.

Explore Pope Francis' environmental encyclical: Get this free readers' guide when you sign up for the weekly Eco Catholic email.

But John Dear, Catholic priest, longtime peace activist and, more recently, a global-warming warrior, still brims with hope, energy and optimism.

"There's more happening in active nonviolent movements around the planet right now than ever before in history," he told NCR in an interview in early April. "There's massive change happening beyond the bad news from the current administration. There's incredible organizing going on, such as the teacher's strikes, such as the anti-gun-violence organizing, such as all the people working on immigration. And some people working against war, but not enough."

Dear visited Madison, Wisconsin, April 4 as part of a 50-city, three-month book tour to promote They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace & Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change, the latest of his 37 books. A former Jesuit who left the orderafter 32 years, Dear is now a diocesan priest and a staff member of the national peace organization Pace e Bene. He lives on a remote desert mesa south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and east of Los Alamos, the birthplace of the atomic bomb.

Dear spoke at James Reeb Unitarian Universalist on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He sprinkled his talk with direct quotes and anecdotes from King's teachings on nonviolent social change.

"One of the great casualties of violence and warfare is the loss of imagination, the loss of vision," Dear said, and then quoted King as saying, the night before he died, "Hope is the final refusal to give up."

In They Will Inherit the Earth, most of it written while on a retreat with Buddhist leader and author Thich Nhat Hanh, Dear traces his personal spiritual journey, what he calls “a long pilgrimage of peace.” The journey has included ministering to the family members of the victims of the World Trade Center attacks; visiting Standing Rock with more than 600 other clergy to stand in solidarity with the Dakota, Lakota and Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline; and presiding at Masses in Yosemite National Park.

"Because we have practiced violence — global, structured, institutionalized violence — and created systems of total violence, we have hurt and killed one another and destroyed the creatures and the Earth. With the onslaught of climate chaos, we have entered the full consequences of global violence. … We are killing the Earth, but it will not go down without a fight."

In another chapter, Dear describes the struggle of the indigenous community of the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico, whose home just below the mountain of Los Alamos and the nuclear weapons national laboratories has become a lethal radioactive waste dump. The labs upon the mountain make up “the second richest county in the U.S., with one of the highest per capita rates of Ph.D.'s and millionaires anywhere on earth,” Dear points out. But down below is the second poorest county in the U.S. It's an egregious example of environmental racism.

During his Madison talk, Dear stressed what Christians and everyone else can and must do to resist the Earth's doomsday scenario.

"I think the only way change happens is bottom-up, people-powered, grassroots movements of creative nonviolence in the tradition of Gandhi and King, which, by the way, goes back to Jesus, who was a movement builder and organizer," he told NCR after his speech.

"After studying nonviolence for 40 years, I've decided that nonviolence requires three simultaneous attributes. First, you have to be nonviolent to yourself. We have to stop cooperating with our own inner processes of violence, beating ourselves up, fueling our anger, our rage, hatred and resentment. Second, we have to practice meticulous, interpersonal nonviolence towards everybody in our lives, everybody in the world, and all the creatures and Mother Earth. Third, you have to be involved in the struggle for justice, disarmament and creation.

"We're usually good at one of these," said Dear, "but very few of us reach the level of Dr. King, who did all three."

In both his book and talk, Dear outlined a list of "rules for living in solidarity with Mother Earth." The first speaks of our need to grieve and to be joyous.

"We need to take quiet time and sit in the beauty of creation in the presence of the Creator and grieve," he writes in his book. "We grieve for our sisters and brothers, for the death and extinction of billions of creatures, and for Mother Earth herself. The more we take formal time to quietly grieve for suffering humanity and suffering creation, the more nonviolent and compassionate we become."

Other "rules" include practicing meditation, prayer, mindfulness and nonviolent communication, cultivating fearlessness, taking public action for climate justice, and teaching nonviolence, particularly to priests and ministers.

Dear, who is a co-founder of Campaign Nonviolence, a project of Pace e Bene, was offered an opportunity to teach nonviolence to clergy two years ago, when 80 Catholic peacemakers from more than 25 countries were invited to the Vatican for a conference to discuss abandoning the church's just war theory. While there, Ken Butigan of Campaign Nonviolence, Marie Dennis of Pax Christi International, and Dear were asked to help draft a statement for the pope for the 2017 World Day of Peace.

It became the "first statement on nonviolence in the church since the Sermon on the Mount," Dear said, with obvious pride. "It's a huge breakthrough."

Now Dear is hopeful that Francis will craft an encyclical on nonviolence to match "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," his encyclical on the environment. "That's my personal hope and prayer and goal."

[Tom Boswell is a freelance journalist, photographer and poet living near Madison, Wisconsin.]

"Francis still falls short with Catholic women, feminist scholars say" Apr 19, 2018 by Peter Feuerherd , National Catholic Reporter

Attendees listen to speakers during Francis After Five: A Feminist Review, April 16 at the Arrupe Library of Xavier High School in Manhattan. (Provided photo)

NEW YORK — In five years, Pope Francis has led a call to save humanity from climate change, propelled a renewed vision on social justice and offered a clear welcome to estranged Catholics.

But he still has issues with women which dampen that positive impact, a consensus emerged from feminist scholars and others at an April 16 panel discussion at Xavier High School here.

"Pope Francis falls short of the whole church," said Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, a co-sponsor of the "Francis After Five: A Feminist Review" event with Dignity New York, a group which promotes LGBT rights for Catholics.

Some of the early optimism of the papacy has eroded, said one panelist.

"At what point does our hope for him become denial?" asked Jamie Manson, NCR columnist and books editor, who said that Francis is circumscribed on women's issues by "the church's teaching that biology is destiny." In papal statements, women are ascribed nurturing roles, while men are still viewed in the context of asserting leadership. The pope believes, said Manson, that as women, "Our first and most essential vocation is motherhood and raising a family."

Francis After Five: A Feminist Review speakers, from left: Jamie Manson, Teresa Cariño, Marian Ronan, Anne Barrett Doyle, Eileen Markey and Kate McElwee. (Provided photo)

While Francis has offered positive statements about women, they are still in the context of patriarchy, said Manson. "Putting someone on a pedestal does not make them equal," said Manson, who described herself as a "queer woman who has felt called to the priesthood since the age of 12."

The church's view that complementarity of gender is the basis for marriage dismisses those who believe in the rights of LGBT people to marry. Francis declines to change church teaching on LGBT rights and on contraception, issues that continue to have an impact both on LGBT people and women throughout the world, said Manson.

Denying LGBT Catholics the right to marry in the church, said Manson, "creates shame. You are saying this love is not worthy."
Related: Should women rejoice over 'Gaudete et Exsultate'?

Teresa Cariño, pastoral associate for youth and young adult ministry at St. Ignatius Church in Manhattan, said she watched the papal election five years ago with hope and anticipation while still a college student. Describing herself as a product of the San Francisco Bay area liberal Catholic cocoon, at the time she felt "This was our moment," with the election of the Latino pope.

She has experienced disappointment with his leadership.

"We are left with what's next. He hasn't done as much as he could to follow through on what he is saying."
—Teresa Cariño

"Catholic youth are leaving the church," she said as they have grown disillusioned with the pace of change. "Why stay when there are so many reasons to leave?" is what she hears from her contemporaries. Still, as a woman and a Filipina, she said she was cheered by Francis' encyclical, "Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home," which called for a worldwide movement to deal with climate change.

But, she said, "We are left with what's next. He hasn't done as much as he could to follow through on what he is saying."

As a parish worker, Cariño finds that using her last name can carry some weight. But when her gender is identified, her influence is often dismissed, even in routine matters such as administering sacramental documents. As a woman and a church worker, her opportunities for advancement remain limited, she said.

While Francis has not budged on church teaching, such as offering ordination solely to men, panelists have seen positive developments with this papacy.

Marian Ronan, professor of Catholic studies at New York Theological Seminary, said that Laudato Si' was a game changer, inspiring the world to take a harder look at the impact of the calamity of climate change.

"The environmental catastrophe is one of the two greatest threats facing humanity in our time," said Ronan, citing the threat of nuclear war as the other great challenge. Within decades, she said, "We face biological annihilation."

Francis has focused on the environment and placed Catholic social justice teaching as a top priority, on the same level that previous popes had placed issues of sexual morality. That, said Ronan, is a needed challenge to the world, particularly in Francis' challenge to those in prosperous countries who produce many times the pollutants than those in poorer countries.

Francis, she said, has provided "a global moral compass more powerful than the Paris accords" on global climate change.


Attendees listen to speakers during Francis After Five: A Feminist Review, April 16 at the Arrupe Library of Xavier High School in Manhattan. (Provided photo)

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of, an independent agency which tracks the record of the church on sex abuse, said that Francis has a mixed record on that issue. His rhetoric has been strong, being the first pope to describe the church's response to the sex abuse crisis as a cover-up that needs to be corrected.

Francis has also clearly, in his public statements, called bishops to accountability for the crisis. Yet his major reforms in that area — a pontifical commission and a tribunal for complicit bishops — have fizzled amidst curial opposition and foot dragging.

Sometimes Francis' rhetoric has not been helpful, said Doyle, as in his focus on condemning "calumny," which is sometimes used to hush the voices of sex abuse victims.

Yet Francis' penchant to admit mistakes offers hope, said Doyle. He has turned around his view on a Chilean bishop accused of being an accomplice in clerical sex abuse and has summoned the bishops of that country to the Vatican to address the crisis there. "Heads are going to roll," she said is the consensus of church watchers about the situation of the church in Chile.

Doyle said her hope on sex abuse issues comes largely from outside the church, through the actions of civil authorities in Chile, Australia and some U.S. states who are unwilling to overlook clerics complicit in abuse. The unprecedented search of the offices of the Saginaw, Michigan, diocese by authorities concerned about alleged sex abuse cover-ups offers an example for church officials in other dioceses to be more transparent.

Other positive developments cited by the panel included Francis' selection of bishops considered more progressive; the recent synod of youth conference at the Vatican which addressed concerns about women's roles in the church, and the pope's outreach to divorced and remarried Catholics.

Change is happening, said Ronan, even if it is not formally acknowledged in doctrinal changes desired by the group. One example, she noted: the investigation into religious sisters in the United States, begun by Pope Benedict XVI, has been allowed to wither away. Catholic women, she said, need to agitate for change, and are finding a more sympathetic audience inside church structures than they did prior to the Francis era.

And Manson noted another significant change that would never have happened without this papacy. The panel discussion itself, which attracted about 70 people, held in the library of a Jesuit high school. Such an event, she said, would never have been allowed to take place in a Catholic venue before Francis provided an opening to a more freewheeling discussion within the church. Panelists agreed that Catholic women promoting change in the church need to use that opportunity to make their voices heard.

[Peter Feuerherd is a correspondent for NCR's Field Hospital series on parish life and is a professor of journalism at St. John's University, New York.]


Panelists look at 'new lens' of Pope Francis
APR 6, 2018

After five years, Pope Francis seems tired of struggle
APR 2, 2018

Panel takes stock of 'ennobling' leadership of Pope Francis
MAR 16, 2018

Wonder and wit: Five years of Pope Francis' unique turns of phrase
MAR 13, 2018

Interim results: Pope Francis revitalizes Vatican II reforms

Woman Priest to Witness for Acceptance of Women Priests in the Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore on Vocation Sunday, April 22nd, 9:30am-11am, Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP

Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP

April 19, 2018

Women Priests Are Here with Equal Rites, Serving Inclusive Catholic Communities

From the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests,

Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska,, 859-684-4247
Bridget Mary Meehan,, 703-505-0004

To Baltimore (MD) area media: This Sunday, April 22nd from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., I will be outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (409 Cathedral Street, Baltimore) in my alb and stole witnessing for the acceptance of women priests in the Roman Catholic Church. I was ordained a priest in on Aug. 9, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky.

This Sunday, April 22nd is “Vocations Sunday” in the Roman Catholic Church: an effort to attract males to become priests or brothers and women to become nuns. Some Catholic women, however, have prophetically crossed over into the future of the Church: Since 2002, (with the Danube 7 than 250 women have been ordained priests. The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is mainly in the U.S., Canada and Colombia, South America, and also in 11 countries. Our ordinations are considered valid because a bishop in apostolic succession ordained our first women bishops. In prophetic obedience we violated church law because an unjust law sometimes must be broken in order to be changed.