Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Early History of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sarasota, Florida 2008-2010 Including Article: "Bishop to Bishop" (Featuring Bishop Dewane's Threat of Excommunication of Judy Beaumont and Bridget Mary Meehan's Response)


http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/2019/04/bridget-mary-meehan-videos-of-mary.html


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EuJ5KHzs28

ABC Video of House Church Beginnings in Sarasota, Florida, April 11, 2008 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G00LMtBVlwU

This was the first liturgy we celebrated at St. Andrew UCC in March 2009.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3gZRAUuUjI

Easter Vigil at St. Andrew UCC, April 2010 Michael and Imogene Rigdon on the right, Lee and Carol Ann Breyer on the left
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MMOJ Liturgical Dance by Sheila Carey on Christmas Eve at Mary's House
Dec. 24, 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3KQz1LbxLQ

Liturgical Dance by Sheila Carey in MMOJ House Church above Dec. 24, 2008

Mary, Mother of Jesus Catholic Community's Easter Vigil- March 22, 2008 in House Church

These photos provide a glimpse of the joyful celebration of our Easter Vigil on March 22, 2008. 

Over 30 people gathered in our House Church including members of Duffy and Gumbleton family.  My Dad,  Jack Meehan led the music with his saxophone with a lively version of Jesus Christ is risen today.
Our homily was a dialogue with many of the community offering insights. I I asked the community to share what they wanted to "go and tell "this Easter. 
Several shared that they felt that they felt hopeful that they are members of our House Church community where they experience the Spirit moving us forward together to live Christ's Easter message. They had lots to share that they would "go and tell". One family shared they would be going to Rome in the coming weeks and they would "go and tell "of their experience of a woman priest there too!

Mary, Mother of Jesus House Church Retreat and Liturgy on Dec. 6, 2008 (Carol Ann and Lee Breyer on couch, Margaret Smith in purple, Dad in blue with sax)

 


On Sat. Dec. 6th, 2008, members of Mary, Mother of Jesus community,(some of our snowbirds are not in Fl. yet) met for prayer, reflection and discernment. Our prayer and sharing led us to conclude that our ministry in the local church in Sarasota/Venice is to reflect God's love embracing all by living this vision of inclusivity and compassionate care and outreach to our sisters and brothers. We are called to "shepherd"-- to give comfort to God's people now.


We consecrated ourselves to be the hands and feet of Christ in our local communities. One of our prayers is that our brothers, priests, religious and bishops, will embrace Jesus vision of justice for women in the church and work for a renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church as an inclusive, renewed discipleship of equals.


Tomorrow, Dec. 8th is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary, Mother of Jesus is the role model of our local Sarasota House Church Catholic Community. Our work for justice, equality and a renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church is rooted in the prophetic vision of Jesus which is echoed in Mary's prayer for justice, equality and empowerment. Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, reflects the prophetic vision of Jesus who rejects domination and injustice and calls us to mutual service and empowerment. Mary prays to the Holy One who has done great things for her and portrays God as the liberator of the marginalized and oppressed. “God raises up the lowly and puts down the mighty from their thrones.” As we know, women continue to be the oppressed of the oppressed in our world to this day.

In praying the Magnificat, we stand with Mary, the simple teenaged, pregnant, but unmarried woman of faith, in her clairvoyant perception of God's relationship with us, through the strong language of her prayer. In this prayer, Mary is a symbol of strength, comfort, and power for the disinherited and powerless of the world. She is companion, champion, and change-agent for the righteous poor, who will triumph over oppression and experience the justice promised to them by God. (Praying with Women of the Bible, p.105)

Jesus, Mary's child, called women and men to be disciples. "With Jesus went the Twelve, as well as some women he had healed of evil spirits and sicknesses; Mary of Magdala, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Suzanna; and many others who were contributing to the support of Jesus and the Twelve with their own funds. " (Luke 8:2-3)

It is obvious from the archaeological evidence that the early Christian community upheld Mary, Mother of Jesus, as mentor of women leaders and office holders in the early church. In St. Priscilla’s catacomb, there is a beautiful frescoe of Mary, dressed in bishops’ robes and seated on a bishop’s chair, present at the ordination of a woman priest. Mary is also depicted in a group portrait with Episcopa Theodora in a mural in St. Praxedis Church in Rome.


Mary, Mother of Jesus, may we live your prophetic call as witnesses to justice, equality, mutual service and empowerment.


Jack Duffy's Letter to Editor Published in Sarasota Herald Tribune January 2009


Jack Duffy (navy blue) seated next to Helen, his wife at Mary, Mother of Jesus liturgy

Bishop to Bishop: Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan Responds to Bishop Frank Dewane About His Letter to Deacon Judy Beaumont Regarding Her Upcoming Ordination as Priest

Bishop Frank :
It has been brought to my attention that you purportedly reside in the Diocese of  Venice in Florida and may attempt to be " ordained " to the ministerial priesthood here within this Diocese on January 22 , 2012 . This is a most grave and serious matter of consequence for your soul.

Bishop Bridget Mary:
Under all circumstances, the church teaches that one must follow one’s conscience. So how can serving God as a woman priest cause a problem for one’s soul? I wish our male bishops would be as concerned about the thousands of victims of sexual abuse as they appear to be about the souls of women priests!


Bishop Frank :
The Catholic Church has always taught that the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women.

Bishop Bridget Mary:
Jesus set the example by calling women and men to be his disciples. Witness his relationship with Mary and Martha and Mary of Magdala for example. He did not ordain anyone. Ordination was developed much later, in the early centuries of the church. According to historians, such as Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination, women were ordained for twelve hundred years before the patriarchy abandoned the practice.


Bishop Frank:
The Church shares this teaching with our Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters. The ministerial priesthood is a gift from God, not something that someone " earns, " " deserves " or has a "right " to, due to advanced education, devoted service in the Church, or simply because of one's own personal desire. The reasons for this include : the example recorded in sacred Scripture of Christ choosing His Apostles ; the constant practice of the Church, which imitated Christ in choosing only men ; and the Church's living teaching authority.


Bishop Bridget Mary:
This is a complete re-write of the Gospels! The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala and called her to be the apostle to the apostles (John 20:17). Paul affirmed Junia as an apostle, who was his mentor and teacher in Romans 16. Note (Luke 10:42) Jesus' words to Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, as she sat at Jesus' feet listening to what he said(as disciples do)"Mary has chosen what is better,and it will not be taken away from her." Bishop Frank, neither you nor church tradition since the 12th century are powerful enough to take away what Jesus has clearly given to Mary and countless women disciples like Judith Beaumont-"it will not be taken away from her".


Bishop Frank:
In calling only men as His Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and  sovereign manner . Throughout His earthly ministry, Our Lord also emphasized the dignity a n d the vocation of women , and in so doing , did not conform to the prevailing customs, traditions , and legislation of the time. Still , among His twelve Apostles , Jesus Christ did not include any women. This fact withstands any so-called "scholarship" to the contrary. Sacred Scripture further reveals that Jesus did include the participation of women in His public ministry in ways that shows a differentiation of roles between men and women . Together both worked to build up the unity of the Church, avoiding divisiveness . Specific to the role of women, the Church gives thanks for the feminine "genius",
appearing in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations, and for the charisms of the Holy Spirit on women's manifestations of faith, hope and love .


Bishop Bridget Mary:
Luke 8 affirms that women were not only among Jesus disciples, but that there were many of them and they were leaders in supporting his ministry. Jesus was a radical feminist in his vision of a “discipleship of equals”. He had a theological conversation with the Samaritan woman, who became the first evangelist to bring her whole village to him. Martha’s profession of faith parallel’s Peter’s and her table ministry indicated that women presided at Eucharist in house churches in early Christianity. Jesus never spoke of feminine “genius", he treated women as equals to men, a reality lost on our present hierarchy, who try to wax eloquent about women’s second class citizenship in their own church by use of lofty phrases like you, Bishop Frank, used above. Roman Catholic Women Priests are the "Rosa Parks" of the Catholic Church. We will no longer settle for sitting in the back of the Catholic bus. Sexism, like racism is a sin and always wrong.

Bishop Frank:
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, all Christians , both men and women , share equally in the " common priesthood of believers . " Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders , priests also share in the " ministerial priesthood " of Christ , the High Priest . However, no individual has the "right" to be ordained to the ministerial priesthood. Ordination to the ministerial priesthood must be conferred by a validly ordained bishop on a baptized man. A candidate must receive the authorization of the Church, which has the authority and responsibility to determine if a true call to the priesthood exists for the said candidate.


Bishop Bridget Mary :
Jesus did not see himself as a “High Priest”. He came among us to transform our lives and world so that the kindom of God would be manifest through our witness to justice, inclusion and compassion. He showed us that those who are leaders/ ministers must serve our sisters and brothers in the washing of the feet ritual at the Last Supper. Jesus challenged the religious leaders of his time for their abuse of spiritual power and hypocrisy. Judith Beaumont's Ordination will be conferred by a validly ordained bishop as we (our bishops) clearly stand in the line of apostolic succession through the male bishop in standing with the pope who ordained the first women bishops.


Bishop Frank:
Below is a 1995 responsum, issued by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI] , then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith , in response to the to the question of ,
"whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women , which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the  deposit of faith , '


Bishop Bridget Mary:
This is the ultimate cop-out. Of course, the church has authority to ordain women. It did so for twelve hundred years. There are thousands of ordained women in church history. The institutional church can no longer discriminate against women and blame God for it.


Bishop Frank:
Responsum : In the affirmative. This teaching requires definitive assent , since, founded on the written Word of God , and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of
the Church , it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf Second Vatican Council , Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25 , 2). Thus, in the present circumstances , the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf Lk 22:32) , has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always , everywhere , and by all , as belonging to the deposit of the faith .


Bishop Bridget Mary :
The Catholic faithful, including the world’s theologians, many priests, some bishops, did not affirm this teaching. Therefore, it is not infallible teaching because it does not reflect the faith of the believing community, the entire, universal church. It does not reflect the "sensus fidelium".


Bishop Frank :
Further, as you may know, on May 30, 2008 The Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith issued the general decree , "On the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of
a Woman . " The decree affirms that , "he who shall have attempted to confer holy orders
on a woman , as well as the woman who may have attempted to receive Holy Orders , incurs in a latae sententiae excommunication," that is, an automatic excommunication. Further, reconciliation for this excommunication must come through the Holy See in Rome .

Bishop Bridget Mary:
We do not fear excommunication. Actually, we are walking in the footsteps of giants such as St. Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake for following her conscience. Pope Benedict canonized two excommunicated nuns: Mother Theodore Guerin from the United States and Mother Mary MacKillop from Australia, thereby making excommunication a possible fast track to canonization! One day a future pope, perhaps, a woman, will probably say, according to the common and constant tradition of the church, taught by the apostles and lived through the history of the church for many centuries, we ordain women deacons, priests and bishops.


Bishop Frank:
As your Bishop , I urge you , to refrain from participating in what will be an invalid attempt at "ordination ." This opportunity is taken to inform you that, should you proceed with this action , you would in fact, separate yourself from the Catholic Church, by your own free choice .


Bishop Bridget Mary:
Nothing can separate us from God, nothing can cancel our baptism, nothing or no one can stop us from living the fullness of Christ’s love in a more open, just and inclusive Catholic Church. We are faithful women living Christ’s call to serve those in need and on the margins offering the church the gift of a renewed priestly ministry in a Christ-centered, inclusive Catholic Church.


Bishop Frank:
With this in mind, for the good of your immortal soul , I exhort you to choose not to participate i n this attempted " ordination . "


Bishop Bridget Mary:
Our souls are in God’s hands. We answer the call in prophetic obedience. We walk in faith and love, trusting in Christ and with Holy Wisdom, Sophia’s guidance, as we serve our beloved faith communities. Each week Catholics affirm women priests as they celebrate inclusive liturgies in Florida and in more and more places in the U.S. and abroad with our 124 ordained priests and deacons.

+ Frank Dewane
Bishop of the Diocese of
Venice in Florida


+Bridget Mary Meehan
Bishop, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (USA and South America)

Deacon Judy Beaumont Responds to Bishop Frank Dewane's Letter About Her Upcoming Ordination as Priest- Prophetic Obedience to Spirit Trumps Threat of Excommunication

Deacon Judy Beaumont's Response to  Bishop Frank Dewane's Letter
December 26, 2011
Dear Bishop Dewane:
I have received your letter regarding my ordination on January 21, 2011. I understand that you are fulfilling your obligation as Bishop and I take your words seriously. However, I must reply that as I have tried throughout my life to answer the call of the Gospel to serve God’s people, I must again answer this new call to sacramental ministry with the poor and otherwise marginalized persons in our midst. Members of the Catholic community here including the people of the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community and the Bishop of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests have affirmed my call, in fact, they also have called me forth to serve.


While a Benedictine sister, I served as theology teacher, sacristan, trainer of altar boys and member of liturgy committees. I never thought of myself as being called to the existing all-male clergy. However in recent years, it has become clear to me that I am called by God to take on the sacramental ministry with our people. Four of the formerly homeless persons from our ministry presented me to Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan for my ordination to the diaconate.


I am convinced that in spite of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis women are being called by God to ministerial priesthood. In prophetic obedience we must answer and my answer is “Yes”. Surveys of Catholic faithful have reported that the majority are in favor of the ordination of women. Recognition of a woman’s call to ordination by the Vatican probably won’t happen in my lifetime nor in yours, but I do believe it will happen.


As a member of the Pontifical Peace and Justice Commission and attendee at the Bejing Conference on Women, you must be aware of the many injustices suffered by women worldwide. What a difference it will make for all women in our world when the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that God calls women as well as men to ministerial priesthood. What a blessing for the Church and our world it will be.
Thank you for your concern. Oremus pro invicem.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Deacon Judith Beaumont

BISHOP DEWANE'S Letter:
December 1, 2011
Dear Ms. Beaumont:
Greetings in Christ!
It has been brought to my attention that you purportedly reside in the Diocese of
Venice in Florida and may attempt to be "ordained" to the ministerial priesthood here
within this Diocese on January 22, 2012. This is a most grave and serious matter of
consequence for your soul.


The Catholic Church has always taught that the Church has no authority to
confer priestly ordination on women. The Church shares this teaching with our Orthodox
Christian brothers and sisters. The ministerial priesthood is a gift from God, not
something that someone "earns," "deserves" or has a "right" to, due to advanced
education, devoted service in the Church, or simply because of one's own personal
desire. The reasons for this include: the example recorded in sacred Scripture of Christ
choosing His Apostles; the constant practice of the Church, which imitated Christ in
choosing only men; and the Church's living teaching authority.
In calling only men as His Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and
sovereign manner. Throughout His earthly ministry, Our Lord also emphasized the
dignity and the vocation of women, and in so doing, did not conform to the prevailing
customs, traditions, and legislation of the time. Still, among His twelve Apostles, Jesus


Christ did not include any women. This fact withstands any so-called "scholarship" to the
contrary. Sacred Scripture further reveals that Jesus did include the participation of women
in His public ministry in ways that shows a differentiation of roles between men and
women. Together both worked to build up the unity of the Church, avoiding divisiveness.
Specific to the role of women, the Church gives thanks for the feminine "genius",
appearing in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations, and for the
charisms of the Holy Spirit on women's manifestations of faith, hope and love.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, all Christians, both men and women, share
equally in the "common priesthood of believers." Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders,
priests also share in the "ministerial priesthood" of Christ, the High Priest. However, no
individual has the "right" to be ordained to the ministerial priesthood. Ordination to the
ministerial priesthood must be conferred by a validly ordained bishop on a baptized man.
A candidate must receive the authorization of the Church, which has the authority and
responsibility to determine if a true call to the priesthood exists for the said candidate.


Below is a 1995 responsum, issued by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [now Pope
Benedict XVI], then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in response
to the to the question of, "whether the teaching that the Church has no authority
whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic
Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to
the deposit of faith,'
The answer follows:
Responsum: In the affirmative.
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of
God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of
the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal
Magisterium (cf Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff,
exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf Lk 22:32), has handed
on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held
always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.
Further, as you may know, on May 30, 2008 The Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith issued the general decree, "On the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of
a Woman." The decree affirms that, "he who shall have attempted to confer holy orders
on a woman, as well as the woman who may have attempted to receive Holy Orders,
incurs in a latae sententiae excommunication," that is, an automatic excommunication.
Futher, reconciliation for this excommunication must come through the Holy See in
Rome.
As your Bishop, I urge you, to refrain from participating in what will be an invalid
attempt at "ordination." This opportunity is taken to inform you that, should you proceed
with this action, you would in fact, separate yourself from the Catholic Church, by your
own free choice.
With this in mind, for the good of your immortal soul, I exhort you to choose not to
participate in this attempted "ordination."
+ Frank Dewane
Bishop 0f the e Diocese of
Venice in Florida

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