Saturday, June 14, 2008

Women Should Be Allowed Into Priesthood

June 14, 2008 The Olympian

Women should be allowed into priesthood
The Olympian reported that three more men have alleged they were sexually abused by a priest at Saint Martin’s High School in the 1950s. This is the second lawsuit filed this year against the priest, who died in 1980.
What is not reported and probably never will be are the names of the church leaders in charge of supervising this alleged sexual predator and allowed him the freedom to keep on abusing. If we go with history, no bishops or abbots have yet to be charged for their cover-up activity.
The same day this report aired, the Vatican announced that, “anyone trying to ordain a woman and any woman who attempts to receive such ordination is automatically excommunicated.”
Isn’t this another form of sexual abuse? It’s sad that the church does not excommunicate clergy guilty of sexual abuse nor will they discipline church leaders guilty of allowing the abuse to continue and yet they will jump on any woman who feels called to ordination!
The vast majority of Catholic theologians are in agreement that there is not a defensible theological argument against ordaining women. When Pope John Paul II asked his Pontifical Biblical Commission to outline the scriptural arguments against women’s ordination, the scripture scholars told him to look elsewhere for reasons because they are not in the Bible.
Sexual abuse of minor boys will always elicit strong reaction but the ongoing sexual abuse of women by our Church is too often ignored or accepted as normal behavior.
Tom Hill, Olympia

Friday, June 13, 2008

Voice of the Faithful/N.J. Responds to the R C Church's Decree that Automatically Excommunicates Women Ordained to the Priesthood


Contact: Theresa Padovano (973) 539-8732

VOTFNJ Responds to the Roman Catholic Church’s Decree that Automatically Excommunicates Women Ordained to the Priesthood

In response to the Decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) against Women's Ordination, we the members of Voice of the Faithful New Jersey support the following statement issued by CORPUS – National Association for an Inclusive Ministry.

Priesthood serves the People of God by bringing healing and hope through sacramental celebration and pastoral care. It is God’s People who must discern their leaders and it is the bishops of the Church who are called to validate this in the normal course of events. When that validation is withheld for reasons which have nothing substantial to do with ministry, then the baptized community must call bishops to respect biblical norms and Gospel imperatives. The life of a community and of the Eucharist cannot be held hostage to Church policies which undermine them. A baptized community has a human and evangelical right to community, pastoral care and Eucharistic celebration.
For these reasons, CORPUS stands in solidarity with those ordained women who followed their calling and were selected for priesthood when bishops rejected them. When rejection is based on weak theological reasons and on a refusal to dialogue with or hear these women, then the community must act against what is sees as an injustice, indeed discrimination, and behavior which Christ could not endorse.
To excommunicate all these women, “latae sententiae”, automatically, without a hearing and due process, is the mark of a frightened and absolutist leadership. No democracy or humane government in the world employs its harshest penalty automatically against its citizens, without due process, redress, appeal, open courtrooms, judicial restraint and equity. It astonishes us that a Church we love can act in so desperate and destructive a manner. We, therefore, in the conviction that the future church will find this action shameful and unworthy, stand in solidarity with our sisters who seek to serve God’s People and are treated as criminals. They are branded as sinners to be excluded from the very sacramental life of the Church which their ordination was intended to make more abundantly available. Irony is too weak a word to describe this; tragedy is a more accurate description.

In addition, we offer the following points:
1. The Papal Commission on the ordination of women found no biblical justification for the exclusion of women from Holy Orders.
2. The National Review Board set up by the bishops in Dallas in 2002, made clear that the “clerical culture” of the Roman Catholic Church was a root cause of the sex abuse phenomenon. The ordination of women and of a married priesthood would help reform that culture.
3. History informs us that ordained women ministered to their faith communities in the early Church and throughout the first millennium.
4. As the faithful we have a responsibility in Church law to express our needs to our pastors. The Holy Spirit has spoken to women among us. They have courageously responded.
We know from our historical experience that silence implies consent. Catholic theology and tradition teach that an unjust law must be resisted and that a dubious law need not be obeyed.
We believe the elements above are in accord with all the goals of VOTF.

- END -

Support from Florida Rabbi and British Lord and Lady for Roman Catholic Womenpriests

Many months ago, I was introduced to a movement called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. I invited one of them, Bridget Mary Meehan, to speak to our congregation on a Friday night after Services. This week word reached me that all of the Womenpriests had been excommunicated by the Vatican. I wrote Bridget Mary and commented that a little thing like excommunication surely would not stop her and those like her. Her response basically was, of course not! Originally, I likened the Womenpriest movement to the early days of Reform Judaism. Like them, we were opposed by the 'authorities', namely the Orthodox, who, through the European model of connections between religion and the state, brought government pressure against the Reformers. Clearly, because Reform Judaism was transplanted to America, with its concepts of religious freedom and the separation of church-state, Reform has flourished and now is a world-wide presence. Hopefully, the dream of Womenpriests to 'reform' the Church will also grow and gain in strength in this free land of ours.

Rabbi Larry Mahrer

Temple Beth El

Bradenton, Florida
From the Telegraph in the U.K., 6.11.2008.
* * *
Lord Patten: Let women and married men become Roman Catholic priests

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:42PM BST 12/06/2008

Thousands of leading Roman Catholics including Lord Patten and Baroness Williams are calling on the Church to allow women and married men into the priesthood.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Papacy Is A 'Gift" That Needs Repair

Published on National Catholic Reporter (
Papacy is a 'gift' but needs repair, leading ecumenist says


The papacy is a “gift” of the Catholic church to other Christians, a leading Catholic ecumenist said this morning, but it needs “repair” before those other Christians are likely to accept it.

Specifically, Margaret O’Gara of the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto called for a papacy that’s “less centralized, less authoritarian, and more respectful of the diversity of local churches.”

Worldwide Network Challenges Pope on Excommunication and Sexism in the Church

Worldwide network challenges Pope on excommunications and sexism in the church
Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) expresses profound dismay at the recent decree by the
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which automatically excommunicates anyone involved in the
ordination of women priests. With this decree, the Vatican attempts to reinforce its ban on the
discussion of women’s ordination among faithful Catholics who are gravely concerned for the future of
pastoral ministry.
In its obstinate refusal to test women's priestly vocations, the Vatican fails in its duty to ensure the
faithful receive the sacramental pastoral care to which they are entitled. The conviction of the Church
has always been that genuine vocations come from God. Though no one has the right to be ordained,
the Vatican persists in its flagrant discrimination against women by refusing even to consider their call
to priesthood. The fact that many responsible women, together with their communities, discern
vocations to ordained ministry is a sign from the Holy Spirit. Vatican actions which block such a sign
show nothing but contempt for the sensus fidelium and demonstrate that the hierarchy is tragically out
of touch with the people it is called to serve.
In baptism, women and men share equally in the priesthood of Christ. Baptism implies a fundamental
openness to all sacraments, including Holy Orders. The history of the Church documents the
ordination of women. Jennifer Stark, coordinator of WOW, commented, ‘This is a global issue. In
many countries around the world, the exclusion of women from ordained ministry, and thus from the
decision-making structures of a worldwide church, has profound effects for their position and well
being, and that of their children. It signals that they are lesser beings in the eyes of God.’
WOW calls on all to act against the unjust laws that exclude women from the sacrament of Holy
Orders. We ask Pope Benedict XVI to follow Christ’s gospel imperative by liberating the church from
the sin of sexism. We urge bishops throughout the world to recognize and act on their episcopal
responsibility to their people. We further urge them to use their voice to challenge the legitimacy of
this decree and the ban on discussion of women’s ordination.
Women’s Ordination Worldwide was established during the First European Women’s Synod in Gmunden,
Austria in 1996. It is a network of national and international organisations working for the inclusion of women in
all ordained ministries. WOW has hosted two international conferences (Dublin 2001 and Ottawa 2005) and
plans to hold a third conference in California in 2010.
10 June 2008

European Theologians: "The Vatican Cannot Stop the Ordination of Women"

Statement by ICETH – The Interreligious Conference of European Women Theologians concerning the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Decree on the ordination of women

The Vatican cannot stop the ordination of women

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has on the 29th May 2008 issued a decree that "both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See". The decree, which comes to force immediately, is issued "in order to protect the nature and validity of the sacrament of order".

Apparently, the movement within the Roman-Catholic Church which since 2002 has ordained women as priests and bishops in Europe as well as the USA, has caused great anxiety in the Vatican. That the Hierarchy takes such drastic measures is an indication that this movement is seen as a serious threat.
Tha Vatican anathema is directed agains women who no longer submit to being excluded from holy orders by the male establishment of the church, but pursue their vocation to the priesthood in a time of acute shortage of priests in the Roman-Catholic Church. They do so in fidelity to the words of the Bible that say that the Spirit "blows wherever it pleases" (John 3:8), and gives its gifts "to each one, just as (s)he determines" (1 Cor 12:11), and that among those who are baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, there is "neither male nor female" (Gal 3:28).
In tying the gifts of the Spirit to the male sex, instead of baptism, the Vatican rejects not only the human rights of women, but also the word of the Bible. Thus, the women who have received the vocation to the priesthood cannot defer to a hierarchy that so has forfeited its authority. Accordingly, the ban will not have the desired effect. The movement for women's access to the interpretation of holy scriptures, as well as leading postions within religious communities, that is growing within all religious traditions, will not be stopped, even in the Roman-Catholic Church.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Female Priest Marie Evans Bouclin called to pastor Christ the Servant Catholic Community

Female priest reflects on first year of service
Evans Bouclin was ordained on May 27, 2007, in Toronto

"When I asked to be ordained, I was expecting to serve small faith communities like the ones that call me as their priest here in Sudbury," said Marie Evans Bouclin.
Instead, she was given a church to minister. "I was asked to pastor the community of Christ the Servant in Cobourg and I was not expecting that kind of public ministry," Evans Bouclin said.
"I plan to continue my ministry in Cobourg, working with the full-time pastor to build and develop the community, and I will also be journeying with women and men who are preparing for priestly ministry."

Monday, June 9, 2008

More Links to articles on Roman Catholic Womenpriests Reaction to Vatican Excommunication

West Bend woman reacts to Vatican excommunication
By Tom Heinen
Tuesday, Jun 3 2008, 12:57 PM
Alice Iaquinta of West Bend, who underwent unsanctioned ordination ceremonies last year in Toronto (diaconate) and Minneapolis (priesthood), has not been deterred by a Vatican decree last week

"The whole notion of excommunication is quite outdated,” she said. “And it has to be received. And that’s what the Roman Catholic Womenpriests’ position is, that we simply don’t accept this excommunication because nothing can separate us from our faith, from our God, from our spirituality or from our call.