Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Inspirational, Inclusive Liturgy by Womenpriests in Kansas City

I just received this brillant testimony about a liturgy at which Elsie and Ree, two of our Roman Catholic Womenpriests, presided in Kansas City.
Bridget Mary
"On May 9, Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath came to Kansas City andconcelebrated a Mass at the Universal Universalist Church. It was so exciting, and I did extend an invitation to everyone I knew, including my study group. The Mass was just as I imagined it would be: open, sacred,inclusive, uplifting, and a visual affirmation of women's callings. As Iwas standing in line for Communion, someone tapped me on the shoulder, and Iturned to see one of the women in my study group. I didn't know she wasgoing to come to the Mass and my heart was overflowing that she also wasable to experience this special occasion...and, she brought her husband!Today, during our study group, she shared how beautiful it was for her. But the best endorsement came from her husband. She said that when they got in the car, her husband had tears in his eyes and said, "I finally got it."

Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson: Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church

On May 19, 2008, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, retired bishop of Sydney, Australia, spoke in the Washington DC area. A group of about 100 people attended the lecture. Bishop Robinson was
effective in stressing the need for structural changes in the Roman Catholic Church to address the sex abuse crisis.
It took courage for a bishop to write a book. He explained that his own journey as victim of abuse led him to identify with the sufferings of victims. He felt that he needed to address this issue and promote a conversation between the people and the hierarchy on this crisis, in particular addressing the structural changes that need to happen to cause effective change in the church.
According to two recent news reports the Australian hierarchy have criticized his book and Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles has refused to allow Bishop Robinson to give his presentation on church property.
If you wish to see some clips from Bishop Robinson.s talk, and do not have the opportunity to hear him, the links are below.
In the first clip, he talks about how papal energy has been invested in condemning contraception, women priests, and homosexual acts Papal authority has been committed to these teachings, and has been undermined in the process.
He also talks about the hierarchy's tendency to "keep up appearances" and stressed how this was a major factor in the sex abuse crisis, avoiding scandal etc. It was a journey for him to break ranks and share his story.
Second clip is:
"There must be profound changes in the church, study of causes of abuse, unhealthy psy, unhealthy ideas about sex and power and unhealthy living conditions. we must look at institutional factors that contribute ...
I got up at the question and answer time and introduced myself as a Roman Catholic Womanpriest and said that in our movement we are living the change we wish to see in inclusive ecclesia communities in North America and Europe. The people clapped. He responded that I should follow my conscience. Later a number of people came up and asked for about attending our liturgy.
Andrea Johnson was present and she likewise experience a number of people approach her who were enthusiastic about Roman Catholic Womenpriests.
Bridget Mary
Bishop Robinson's response to Australian bishops:
The statement of the Australian bishops is not unexpected, but it is disappointing. My book is about the response to the revelations of sexual abuse within the church. Sexual abuse is all about power and sex, so it is surely reasonable to ask questions about power and sex in the church.
In their statement, the bishops appear to be saying that, in seeking to respond to abuse, we may investigate all other factors contributing to abuse, but we may not ask questions concerning ways in which teachings, laws, and attitudes concerning power and sex within the church may have contributed.
This imposes impossible restrictions on any serious and objective study, and it is where I have broken from the Bishops Conference. We must be free to follow the argument wherever it leads.
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Committed to Cover-Up
When Cardinal Mahony disinvited Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, author of CONFRONTING POWER AND SEX IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, and recommended that he cancel his scheduled lecture tour, he was echoing the sentiments of many bishops in the US who proclaim themselves to be committed to doing all they can to prevent clergy sexual abuse of children, yet are trying to silence the voice of truth. Robinson's testimony to reality provoked Cardinal Mahony to join the regiment of fearful hierarchy in attacking the faith of this courageous bishop who has served the Church all his life and who, in that role, studied and researched clergy sexual abuse in Australia for many years. Like Bishop Oscar Romero did by witnessing poverty and persecution, Robinson experienced a complete "conversion" by witnessing the clergy sexual abuse he encountered. The bishop's message opens the windows to the reality of the ongoing situation in the Church structure that incubates and covers up such abuse. This message is not heard by those in authority nor do they want it heard by the citizens of the Catholic Church. If you are not so fortunate to have the opportunity to hear Bishop Robinson, get and read his book. Catholics need to know why he is being targeted as the bearer of bad news and spokesperson for the desperate need for the changes in the way the Catholic Church is managed. In order to be healed, the Church must abandon the widespread practice of secrecy, unaccountability and cover-up, all designed to maintain absolute power and control. The pope and the bishops must be open and accountable to the people they lead but also serve. They must be willing to admit past mistakes. Thank you for your support of The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC). More about ARCC is at Permission to circulate with source acknowledged is given. Comments and questions are welcomed at or 1-877-700-ARCC. _