Thursday, October 24, 2019

Women's Ordination Worldwide Witnesses to Women Priests and Deacons at Amazonian Synod in Rome, "Empowered Women Will Save the Earth and the Church," Excellent Articles from Future Church

Congratulations to Women's Ordination Worldwide For Witness to Women Priests and Deacons in the Church at Amazonian Synod. Empowered women in the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement -women deacons and priests- are serving inclusive Catholic communities and ministries in 12 countries like empowered women in the Amazon who perform baptisms, marriages, hear confessions without official Vatican endorsement. Indeed, empowered women are saving the Earth and Church by setting a table for justice for all especially the poor, oppressed and the indigenous who suffer the devastation of Earth's resources. Activists who plundered statues that depict  feminine divinity cannot hinder the rising of Holy Mother in the hearts of God's people leading us to revere and care for her handiwork, Earth. The indigenous people are leading the way especially the women of the Amazon! Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
  • (Photo Credit: Women's Ordination Worldwide)
    WOW's Witnesses to Women Priests and Deacons in the Amazon
    Women's Ordination Worldwide witnessed to the priestly and diaconal ministries of women in the Amazon, and like those women, helped heal the sting of the thieves and plunderers who, just the day before, desecrated an indigenous, feminine, and sacred icon by throwing it into the Tiber.

    Thank God for these women!

    Kate McElwee, Miriam Duignan, Kathleen Gibbons Schuck, Pat Brown, Alicja Baranowska, and Therese Koturbush carried the banner, "Empowered Women will Save the Earth, and Empowered Women Will Save the Church." They prayed, proclaimed readings by Sr. Theresa Kane, Pope Francis, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, and Sr. Simone Campbell. They sang "Sister Carry On", and explained their position to the many press outlets who covered the event.

    Their message was eloquent and comprehensive:

    1. Women are already serve in priestly roles and to demand that they too are recognized as equal leaders of the Church.
    2. The all-male voting delegates behind the Synod Gate are discussing the priest shortage in the Amazon region, but WOW wants to remind them that women are already leading sacramental ministry across Amazonia and around the world. Their vocations are recognized by the communities they serve. 
    3. As momentum to ordain married men increases, WOW cautions against adding yet more men to an already imbalanced church without addressing the injustice of excluding women.
    4. WOW is encouraged by the new Pact of the Catacombs, signed by 40 Bishops from the Synod on October 20, demanding that the church: ‘Recognize the services and real diakonia of a great number of women who today direct communities’ and for ‘an adequate ministry of women leaders of the community’. 
    5. Without women, the Catholic Church would not exist in the Amazon and it is a matter of justice that they too are finally empowered as equals rather than being supplanted by local men whilst women continue to do the work of serving the communities.
    6. WOW called on Pope Francis to publicly acknowledge that a majority of attendees of the Synod support women deacons and witness their ministries daily in the Amazon region and asks that the Synod take a first step towards equality and justice by restoring women deacons in the same rite as men. 
    7. The call for ecological justice cannot be separated from the call for spiritual and sacramental equality. 

    Yeah, that is me in the photo too -- so happy to join! I love my sisters in the faith! And I'm grateful everyday for their creatively and courage.

    Sisters, carry on!
    Get the Twits
    My grandkids love lying in bed with Grandma and reading a bedtime story. They love Roald Dahl with his funny, frightening tales and I love the social commentary in child size bites.

    When I get home, the first story I am going to read to them is "The Twits", the story of a nasty couple who keep caged monkeys and make bird pies with real birds.

    And of course, there will be a moral to the story.

    "Yes, little ones, there are still twits in our world. And Grandma hopes they catch all the little twits who disparaged a beautiful people and their culture and stole a precious feminine sacred symbol and threw it into the Tiber River."
    I hope I can report to them that the thieves are caught by the time I go home because they bear the responsibility for this egregious act.

    Still, in this sad and ugly tale, there are smoking guns, fake news, and complicity. Too many in the Catholic media world have been hard at work stirring their followers by generating doubts, calling names, and inventing conspiracy theories.

    In the search for those who may have created the world of words where this egregious act manifested, I have been particularly grateful to Heidi Schlumpf who has been following the money and rhetoric for a long time. The trail sheds light on Francis media critics such as EWTN, The Catholic Herald, and big time funders of anti-Francis elements such as Tim Busch. The National Catholic Reporter has also helped Catholics understand the shadowy side of the media world with articles about ChurchMilitant and the Lepanto Institute, two orgs that even Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote off.

    I have also been curious about the initial report by Catholic News Agency and to what degree it helped steer a wave of doubt by casting the opening ceremony with indigenous participation as something that stirred silence in Pope Francis implying that the feminine symbolism had to be overcome with an "Our Father." They also reported that other Vatican officials attended but denied any responsibility for the ceremony. That may have been true, but what do the questions imply?

    Then there is the power of Lifesite to hold a press conference hostage by repeating doubts and demanding answers about the sacred symbol of life -- a symbol that was finally stolen and plunged into the Tiber. I don't accuse them of plundering the altar, but did their words contribute in any way to this act of vandalism?

    Other players stirring the pot are the men who are losing their grip on power and are in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction about the direction of the Church.

    And this pack have been working hard stirring followers to action. 

    The 40 Day "Crusade of Prayer and Fasting" initiated by U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke and company asked people to pray that the synod won't get drunk on “error and heresy”, especially when respect for the Amazon's indigenous people, culture, spirituality, and love of their land is taken seriously.

    Cardinal Walter Brandmüller insisted that the synod document is "heretical."

    Cardinal Gerhard Mueller has spent a lot of ink characterizing aspects of the synod document as "false teaching."

    And, finally, as if they share one clericalist mind, the Voice of the Family sees the "egalitarian and ecological minded society" framework for the Amazonian Synod, along with the proposal for married priests to be an "attack on the family." 

    The Church is moving toward a new way of being. It is slow, too slow. But, the force of that change can be charted by the growing pitch of the complaints of those who believe they are losing their power. 

    To that degree, even their symphony of conspiratorial tales and accusations can be counted as a genre of music that is marking the end of an era. 

    Ultimately, in "The Twits", the clever monkeys and birds outwit the cruel couple and win their freedom.

    Now that is my kind of ending!
    For My Grandchildren
    During my time in Rome reporting on the synod, I have been visiting the side altar in Santa Maria in Traspontina where the images of the martyrs, including Sr. Dorothy Stang, along with the sacred symbols are laid at the foot of the altar.

    As I listen to the stories from indigenous people and women religious and men, the plight of the people and the destruction of their land has penetrated my heart and mind more deeply. And that has me praying - for conversion to greater action.
    During a presentation about Sr. Dorothy Stang's life, martyrdom, and continuing legacy, I met women religious who were carrying with them "tucum" rings made of the wood of the Amazonian tucuma palm tree. The ring has a long history as a symbol of resistance dating back to a time when blacks wore them in opposition to Brazilian Empire.

    More recently, the the ring became a symbol of liberation theology and the "preferential option for the poor." Here at the Amazonian synod it has become a symbol of solidarity with indigenous people of the Amazon and their land and a sign of a pledge to struggle alongside the Amazonian people to end the violence against people and land, and to heal that which we have destroyed.

    So, I am wearing a "tucum" ring as a symbol my desire for greater conversion, and I am bringing home one small gift for each of my 14 grandchildren -- the same ring..

    I want to continue to spend my life working for justice, living the Gospel more fully, healing what I and others in my generation have broken and destroyed, and somehow pass on to those I love most God's radical dream of a world where justice and peace reigns for all Her people, creatures, and the land.
    Thanks to all those who are sharing their insights with me! 

    What are your questions and your thoughts? 

    Send them to me:
    Prayer for the Burning Amazon Forest
    Loving God, the Amazon is on fire!
    We come before you with a heavy and contrite heart.
    We know Your heart must be deeply grieved
    as You hear the cries of the innocent trees, creatures,
    rivers and indigenous communities as their home burns.

    We pray that in Your mercy, You will forgive us
    For our way of life, for we have created the markets
    For beef, timber and minerals taken from the Amazon.

    We pray that You will forgive those who have set the fires
    in the Amazon, those who have cut down the ancient trees,
    those who plunder its precious resources,
    to fulfill human desire for things.

    Oh God, Your mercy is infinite
    And only Your power can save us from choosing destruction,
    Grant us Your grace to turn to better and kinder ways of living.
    Rain down your love to heal the scorched earth and its inhabitants.
    May Your love, justice and peace reign for all creation always.

    In the name of Your son, Jesus the Christ we pray. Amen.

    (Clare Westwood, adapted from the GCCM prayer)
    PILGRIMAGE TO GREECE: March 4-13, 2020

    "MEET" PHOEBE, LYDIA, EUODIA and MORE!Visit the sites of early Christian women leaders with expert author Christine Schenk, CSJ (Crispina and Her Sisters), spiritual director and co-director of FutureChurch, Russ Petrus, and Aliki, our wonderful Greek guide.


    Each week we have preaching by Catholic Women such as Shawnee M. Daniels-Skykes who offers a reflection on the sanctity of all bodies:

    "For there is no difference between Jews and Samaritans, disabilities and abilities, men, women, and children, black, brown, and white bodies. Yes, we are all one in Christ Jesus." 


    As the U.S. Bishops begin their Ad Limina visits with Pope Francis in Rome, make sure they take your message with them. Advocate for married priests, women deacons and full equality for women within the Catholic Church on every level. 

    Imagine a church where ordained and lay Catholics work in the spirit of true equality and partnership. Imagine a church where clericalism fades in the face of a vibrant ministry by the whole People of God. 

    Pope Francis has often spoke about the harmful effects of clericalism. Begin a discussion in your own parish to build awareness about how it might function there and how you might overcome it together. This project is a collaboration between FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithful, and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.


    Robert Mickens knows Vatican politics inside and out and he has never backed down from telling a story "like it is." He has confronted corruption, misogyny, clericalism, and the naysayers in the Catholic Church who want to see Pope Francis fail. Join us for a delightful night hearing Bob's insights about all the characters who make up the Roman church. 

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