Sunday, September 27, 2020

Roman Catholic Women Priests On the Inside Edge of Catholicism Are Mystics and Prophets

In his Sunday Meditation today,  "Mystics and the Margins", Richard Rohr writes about ordinary Catholics who "take their small and sufficient place in the great and grand scheme of God by “living on the edge of the inside.” They build on the solid tradition (“from the inside”) but from a new and dynamic stance (“on the edge”) where they cannot be co-opted by a need for security, possessions, or the illusions of power." (Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020) 

From its beginning when seven courageous women were ordained priests in 2002 on the Danube River to today with over 275 members, the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement offers hope to 1.3 billion Catholics who comprise the membership of the Church.  The women priests are a visible expression of women's equality that is now a reality in an ordained ministry on the inside edge of our community of faith. 

Even though the women priest initiative is marginalized by the condemnation of the institutional Church, we choose to live on the margins and provide women the option of living their call to ordination in public ministry on the inside edge of Catholicism. We offer a renewed model of  priestly ministry  rooted in the solid foundation of the prophets and mystics who have gone before us.  

Grounded in the faith of mystics and prophets, we follow the example of Jesus who called both women and men to ministry around an open table where everyone is welcome at the extravagant feast of divine love. On the "inside edge of Catholicism," our movement is deconstructing medieval practices and reconstructing sacramental rituals that are meaningful for contemporary Catholics. Some examples are: In inclusive  liturgies, the entire assembly is often invited to share in the homily and to pray the Eucharistic Prayer. In the celebration of baptism, parents are invited to take an active role which can include pouring the water over their child's head as the priest prays the formula. When a community gathers to anoint the sick, often a loved one anoints the forehead and hands with sacred chrism as the entire group prays for healing and wholeness. At ordinations, the bishop lays hands on the ordinand and so does the entire assembly and/or representatives of the community. 

There are no  punishments, excommunication, or man-made laws that  can stop our Spirit-filled movement for women's equality in the Church.  As we move forward with love and faith, we are moving mountains in a "holy shakeup" that will reverberate through history for centuries to come!

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