Saturday, June 28, 2008

Archbishop Burke punished nun for attending Roman Catholic Womenpriests' Ordinations in St. Louis

Burke leaving St. Louis
By Tim Townsend
JUNE 27, 2008 - Archbishop Raymond L. Burke is leaving the St. Louis Archdiocese


The other was the ordination of two women as "Roman Catholic Womenpriests" at a synagogue in St. Louis. The two women were declared excommunicated by Burke. In one of his last acts as archbishop, Burke imposed the penalty of interdict on Sister Louise Lears, a nun in the order of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, who works at St. Cronan's parish in St. Louis and who attended the women's ordinations last fall. The interdict prohibits Lears from receiving the sacraments and forced St. Cronan's to remove her from her ministry at the church.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Archbishop Burke wants Ad pulled from newspaper that welcomes Catholics to inclusive liturgies in St. Louis

Archbishop Burke is really ticked off again at Elsie McGrath and Ree Hudson, Roman Catholic Womenpriests because they will not pull their Ad in the St. Louis paper inviting Catholics to celebrate inclusive liturgies.

Archbishop Burke Orders St. Louis Womenpriests To Yank Newspaper Ad
Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 03:44:27 PM

"The archbishop is enraged about a display advertisement that the women have been running in the Post-Dispatch, according to a June 10 letter from Burke to the Womenpriests. The ad, publicizing their services at Thérèse of Divine Peace Inclusive Community, runs every other week in the “Catholic” section of the newspaper’s Saturday-edition worship directory"

Supporter of Roman Catholic Womenpriests shares letter to Editor of National Catholic Reporter

Attention: Letters to the Editor,

Your lead story in the December 7 issue, “Women Find a Way” was inspiring to me, as it brought back many of the impressions I still treasure “in my heart’ as a participant in the historic ordination of womenpriests (Pittsburgh, 2006). When all of the arguments about validity, canon law, historic precedence, ‘simulation of sacrament’ and male modeling of Christ are set aside, what is left for those of us who witnessed this ordination (and the many that have followed and will continue) is a profound sense of wonder at the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. It seems to me, that in the Roman Catholic tradition there has always been that struggle between the mystic and law bound, the sacred and the powers that rise up to defend and define it. And so it was that on that ship in Pittsburgh. For all present, the ordinands and the people supporting them, we realized that the time had come to reclaim the legacy of all baptized people to the call of priesthood, at whatever the temporal cost, including excommunication and loss of jobs and status.

NCR would do well to follow the stories of those witnesses who have felt the power of this experience, a life changing and transformative moment for each of us as well as our church. During the ordination, as I knelt down on the floor of the boat carrying us down the river, one thought came to mind, that after this moment had passed, none of us could return to the way things were. I was reminded of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, when He announced that the Scriptures ‘had been fulfilled’, right there, in the synagogue on a ‘typical’ Saturday morning in ancient Palestine. The hearers of that message for the most part rejected it, to the point of trying to kill the prophetic voice calling them to change. But some accepted the Spirit readily, and a church was born. The struggle played out into the next generation, when the barrier of Gentile and Jew had to be met head on. Paul took up that challenge, ‘moved by the Spirit’ to take the gospel message to all, in communities which welcomed women as deacons, apostles, and sacramental leaders of house churches. Sadly, those doors quickly closed to women, until a Roman Catholic bishop in apostolic tradition, called three women priests to lead their people as bishops, saying, ‘not for them, but for the church’ and its mission.

The Womenpriests movement, in my understanding is about reclaiming an inclusive church, as it was in the beginning, even as the fight goes on with those who want to keep the status quo. This false comfort zone of tradition, which excludes women and protects hierarchy, puts our church at risk of losing its credibility. The people in the pews are loudly signaling to the Vatican that they want women priests and married men to lead them in sacraments. Whether we are active participants in these ordinations, or those hearing the story and saying, ‘a last’, we feel that a journey has begun to return us full circle to the heart of the early, pre-Roman church where presiders and the people they serve recognize that they are called together to ‘be Christ’ on this earth, in humility, service and prophetic mission. The legal conundrums holding the tattered arguments about apostles being male, and ‘imaging Christ’ as men, fall away when confronted with the realization that in our lifetime, here and now, we are called to make this change. The conflict of law and spirit, power and prophetic calling, plays itself out once more in the struggle to recognize the true vocation of these womenpriests. Going back to 2006, something within me shook when I heard the women candidates shout, “I am ready!” It was the same for us praying with them, and for those who would hear this story and tell it. We are all ready.

Respectfully submitted by Lorraine Nagy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Letter of Judy Lee to Bishop Dewane, Diocese of Venice, Florida

Judy Lee in center presiding at Church in the Park where a community of volunteers hosts a dinner for those in need in Ft. Myers, Florida. Judy will be ordained a priest in Boston in July 2008. The letter below is her response to a letter by Bishop Frank Dewane that stated: "The opportunity is taken to inform you once again that, should you proceed with this action of attempting ordination, that you will in fact separte yourself from the Catholic Church, by your own free choice."
June 23, 2008

Dear Bishop Dewane:

Thank you for sharing the official position of the church regarding "automatic excommunication" personally with me in your letter of 6/17/2008. I learned about this in The New York Times and from other sources on May 30, 2008. It is always good to be individualized. Now I extend the same respect and courtesy to you and respond to your letter.

I have been called by the Holy Spirit to priestly service and can not deny the call. Therefore I continue in my intention to receive Holy Orders on June 20th in Massachusetts. I do not think the traditions of the Church that developed after the early years when women clearly served as Deacons, Presbyters, and Bishops, supercede the call of the Spirit. "The harvest is many and the laborers few," and women are being called to the harvest. God is calling. We are answering, “Yes!” With my sisters and brother priests in the Roman Catholic Women Priests I reject the penalty of excommunication. We are loyal members of the church who stand in the prophetic tradition of holy disobedience to an unjust law that discriminates against women and men who are married or openly and honestly gay.

Your own background as Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 2001-2006 and serving on the Pontifical Council Cor Unum from 1995-2001 sets you apart as one who is dedicated to justice and peace and charity throughout the world. You also follow the peace and justice leadership of Bishop John Nevins who championed the needs of the migrant farm workers in this Diocese. Therefore the church's contradictory and punitive behavior toward women and others called by God to serve and to enact justice must be difficult for you. My lifelong dedication in Christian service as a social worker, social work educator, theoretician, author and activist has also been to peace and justice. I too have championed the cause of the migrant worker with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers here in Southwest Florida. I also served at St. Peter Claver Catholic Mission in Fort Myers some years ago until its internal and clerical troubles nearly tore it apart. I still work voluntarily on my own with impoverished families from that church. For several years I also offered pro bono professional services with the elderly and others through the Visitation Ministry of Our Lady of Light Catholic Community. Now you are saying that they can not serve me the Eucharist - that I have no seat at the Table.

I continue to serve the poorest here in Lee County. As I noted in my earlier letter I am considered the Pastor of the Friday Night Church in the Park. This is an ecumenical service effort with over fifty volunteers by now, many of them Catholic. In a recent survey of seventy regular attendees of our feeding and worship services we learned that most of our people are homeless and have no source of income in this economy. Many are Roman Catholics. Most are American citizens, many are veterans of our wars, and some are here as migrant workers. We serve children, families, men, women and the elderly. All are suffering spiritually as well as economically, medically and socially. We are having some success in ending homelessness and poverty one individual or family at a time. With God's grace I will continue to serve as their priest. I invite you to join us in worship on any Friday night and experience the beautiful faith of the poorest of the poor in this Diocese. God has called. The people have welcomed me and call me forth to serve. I do not need permission, but in recognizing your wisdom and passion for justice I would love to serve the poor with you here in Fort Myers.

I remain, your sister in Christ,

Dr. Judith A. Lee, RCWP

Monday, June 23, 2008

Roman Catholic Womanpriest Suzanne Avison Thiel's Letter is published in the Oregonian

Photo of Suzanne Avison Thiel with her husband and sons standing beside her.

Affirm Women as Priests
Monday, June 23, 2008

The Oregonian

"Women claim ordination, are expelled from church" (June 17), updated us on the latest developments in the Roman Catholic Church.This is a time of transition in the church, a time of renewal but also a time of justified anger not only for all the sex abuse that has gone on (right here in our hometown) but anger because the all-male clergy has now pronounced excommunication for women daring to be ordained to the priesthood.Isn't it ironic that there is no automatic excommunication of priests who have committed crimes of violence against our children? The refusal of the church to treat women as equals, basing it on the tradition of the church, is disgusting.The continued refusal of the church to treat half the human race as equals makes women in society vulnerable to violence in all its forms.It is time that the Catholic Church affirms that a woman is holy (as holy as a man), a full human being who can image Christ in the priesthood.