Saturday, August 9, 2008

Articles-Radio-TV Coverage of Janice Sevre-Duszynska's Ordination as a Roman Catholic Womanpriest

View Fr. Roy's Homily on google

National Catholic Reporter's Article on Janice Sevre-Duszynska's ordination as Roman Catholic Womanpriest
In his homily, Catholic Maryknoll Priest, Fr. Roy Bourgeois states that the ordination of women is an integral part of the social justice agenda of the church.
Sixth woman priest ordained this year
Bishop Dana Reynolds lays hands on Janice Sevre-Duszynska during Sevre-Duszynska's ordination Aug. 9 The movement has ordained 32 priests in the United States over the last two years. Saturday’s event was noteworthy because for the first time, a male, Roman Catholic priest in good standing publicly joined the ceremony. Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois concelebrated at the ceremony and was a homilist. (See related story and read Bourgeois’ homily.)

National Public Radio Interview with Janice Sevre-Duszynska- Ordination as a Roman Catholic Womanpriest in Lexington, Kentucky on Aug. 9th, 2008
Female Activist To Be Ordained

Bryan Bartlett
LEXINGTON, KY (2008-08-08) Although the Roman Catholic Church banned women from becoming priests over two-thousand years ago, a Jessamine County woman will be "ordained" by a church activist group. Bryan Bartlett has the story.

Lexington Woman Ordained a Priest
Saturday, 09 August 2008 19:13
A Lexington woman goes against centuries of tradition and the Catholic Church to be ordained a priest. Jane Sevre-Duszynska was publicly ordained Saturday afternoon as a Roman Catholic woman-priest. Ten years ago, Sevre-Duszynska asked a Lexington bishop to ordain her as priest. He refused. Even so she never gave up her belief she had been called to the ministry. Saturday, inside the Unitarian Universalist church, she became the first woman in the South to be ordained by the Roman Catholic woman priest.

Links to Local Lexington TV Clips of Press Conference
PROGRAM: LEX 18 News at 5:30 STATION: WLEX-TV NBC 18CITY/STATE: Lexington, KY DATE/TIME: 08-08-2008 at 17:30

WKYT's (ch. 27, CBS) coverage of the press conference was aired in the Lexington area during the 6 p.m. news on August 8.

Article in Lexington Herald Leader
Jessamine Woman to be Ordained a Priest

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vatican Fears Growth of Roman Catholic Womenpriests

Women Bishops in the Catholic Church, Too? Some Are Trying
By Sandro Magister
L’espresso (IT)
August 4, 2008

"In Rome, in fact, the fear is that the number of ordained women will continue to increase. Roman Catholic Womenpriests is thought to have another 150 women waiting to become priests. Moreover, in some countries, agreement with the ordination of women seems to be on the rise. For example, after her sentencing, the signs of support for Sister Lears multiplied. There is, finally, the suspicion that some of the bishops are assisting the operation. Patricia Fresen, the former sister who is one of the four bishops of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, affirms that she was ordained to the episcopate in 2005 by three Catholic bishops whose names she is keeping secret. The same is thought to be the case for the other three women bishops of the movement. "

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Love and Serve Our Church despite Vatican and Hierarchy's Disapproval

"Francis of Assisi: A Model for Human Liberation" by Leonardo Boff.

Leonardo Boff discusses the reasons Francis did not leave the Church despite its persecution of his vision and practice of simple, transparent Gospel living without the burden of man-made, burdensome, unnecessary rules.

Boff explains: "When someone is evangelic and puts up even with the persecution on the part of the Church in the spirit of the Beatitudes, remaining united to it and loving it, then there is no way of excluding him or her from the ecclesial community, just as there is no way of stopping him or her from renovation and innovation within the Church."

This gives me hope as a Roman Catholic Womenpriest who loves our church. We, in the Roman Catholic Womanpriest initiative, are living the Gospel of Jesus who called women and men to be apostles and disciples, and who criticized and disobeyed the rules of Judaism. Jesus healed on the Sabbath and touched and healed women who, according to the Law, were considered unclean. Like Jesus, Roman Catholic Womenpriests are disobeying an unjust, man-made law that discriminates against women. Like Francis of Assissi, we offer the church a charism that is rejected by the institutional church. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are offering the gift of an inclusive, welcoming, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered Catholic church ,united with the people with whom we serve and whom we serve. In grassroots communities, the church is being renewed now. Nothing can separate us from Christ or from our beloved church, and nothing will stop a renewed priestly ministry and the renewal of the church that is now a reality in our midst in more and more places as we continue to grow. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are walking on water, keeping our eyes on Christ who is leading the way.
Bridget Mary Meehan

Monday, August 4, 2008

ABC/NBC Interviews with Roman Catholic Womanpriest: Gloria Carepeneto of Baltimore Maryland

There is a movement within the Catholic Church to try and pressure The Vatican to allow women to become priests. The Vatican says it goes against Catholic doctrine, and has excommunicated women who say they've been ordained.



Roman Catholic Womanpriest: Gabriella Velardi Ward from New York: Homily on Mary of Magdala

Newly ordained priests from left to right
Judy Lee, Gloria Carpeneto and
Gabriella Verlardi Ward (from New York on far right)

JULY 27, 2008
1 Samuel 16: 6 – 13
1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 11
John 20: 11 – 18

I first met Tracy late one summer evening. She was holding the door to the bank open for people as they entered and exited. And she held a cup in her hand to collect handouts. It was a very warm evening and I asked her if she would like some fresh fruit or something to drink. After she said yes, I went a few doors down and got her those things. We got to talking and later, every time we saw each other, mostly at the bank, there was a special greeting. She was a very lost soul. The NYC school system had failed this young African American woman. There had been some family problems. There is much child abuse and societal abuse in the experience of the homeless.

Tracy had two children, an early teen and a toddler. Her mother was raising them. She did not see them often.

I generally met Tracy at night, as I walked home from my nightly meditation in the church. She, who lived on the street, was concerned that I got home safely. So, she would walk me home. It was also an opportunity for her to share her life story with me.

One Sunday morning, as I was getting ready for church, the doorbell rang. It was Tracy. Something had happened and she needed to talk. I told her that I was on my way to church but she could walk with me and we could talk then.

When we got to the Church, I asked her if she would join me at Mass. She was hesitant at first. She wasn’t dressed well. I assured her that she was fine and that she would be welcomed in the church. And so she came in. As I sat in the church with this woman who probably had no reliable shelter for years, I asked God, “What do I do now? How do I help this child of yours?” In that low soft voice, that you only hear when you are very still, in words formed in my understanding, as Julian of Norwich put it, God answered, “I brought her here. Your job is done. I will take care of her.”

After Mass, as she moved around the church, looking at the carved marble statues, I could see something was stirring inside of her. Soon after that experience, Tracy began putting her life back together. Through government programs, she was able to get an apartment. And last I heard, she was working to get her children back……..

God’s preference is for our liberation and for freedom from that which prevents us from being fully human and fully alive. God recognized something in Tracy. God saw into her heart and called her to something larger than the way she was living. God sees and recognizes what is in all our hearts, the gifts we are given as well as the way we use them to bring about a more loving and compassionate society.

In the Gospel reading, we see Mary of Magdala weeping outside the tomb, wondering where they had taken Jesus’ body. She turned and thinking that Jesus was the gardener, asked him where the body of Jesus had been taken. Mary did not recognized Jesus until Rabbi Jesus called her by name. While Mary then recognized her Rabbi, Jesus also
recognized something special in the heart and spirit of Mary. Jesus could have, just as easily, shown himself to Peter who had been there only a short time before. But Jesus chose to show himself to Mary. He must have seen her courage and commitment to him even in the face of scorn. Some scholars believe that the woman at Bethany, in Mark’s Gospel, who anointed Jesus’ head was Mary Magdalene. And, of course, Jesus knew of her strength as she stood at the cross where he was tortured and where he died.

Jesus knew she cared, he knew that she loved; he knew that she understood his message. Jesus knew that even though, and maybe because she was a marginalized person, being female in that culture, she was intellectually and emotionally reliable. She would bring the Good News of his resurrection to the others. He knew that she would be strong enough to withstand the others ridicule and scorn.

Jesus commissioned her to be the Apostle to the Apostles not because of her outward appearance, but because of what she had inside. Jesus knew that her femaleness was not a factor that it was what was in her heart that mattered. Jesus saw her and recognized her gifts. Can you imagine how she must have run to tell the others, Jesus is alive! I saw him! She probable could not stop herself from telling everyone she met on the way. The one she loved, the one who was crucified is alive!

By selecting a woman to bear the good news of eternal life, he allowed Mary to gift us, 2000 years later, with the awareness that women count, that women are capable and are equally chosen. And the strength of that message was so threatening to those in power, as it is today, that in the 6th century, Pope Gregory combined the four women who anointed Jesus into one. And that woman, the one in Luke, named as a sinner, became Mary of Magdala, the prostitute. And the strength and call of women was rendered invisible under the emerging patriarchal culture.

The message in these readings is clear. In the reading from 1 Samuel, God sees what humans sometimes do not. The family of Jesse and probably society, looked on Eliab’s height and stature, on Abinadab’s and Shammah’s appearance but God did not choose any of these. For God looked on what was in the heart of Jesse’s sons and chose David, the youngest.

In Psalm 139, we see God searching us and knowing us, knowing our thoughts and our ways. There is nowhere we can hide from God’s love. For God knit us together in our mother’s womb. God sees us, God knows us, God loves us. And God knows what is in our hearts.

God sees us, not for our outward appearance, but for who we are, for what gifts and talents we possess and God calls us, to fulfill our purpose, to bring love and compassion to the world. God sees our struggles, our joys, and our pain. CAN YOU HEAR God saying, “I SEE YOU, I SEE YOU, I…SEE…YOU”.

For centuries God called women to the ordained priesthood. God sees these women as capable, filled with faith, able to bring the people of God to faith, hope and love and to the understanding of life beyond this plane.

In 1994, Pope John Paul II, with Cardinal Ratzinger, stated in Ordination Sacerdotalis, that the ordained priesthood was definitively reserved for men alone. And, there was to be no more discussion of the topic. For years after that, priests, scholars, people who worked for the institution were afraid to bring up the subject. We know from Paulo Freiere’s book, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, that in any oppressive system there are a number of things present, contradictions, lack of dialogue and fear instilled by divide and conquer tactics. The institutional church was certainly acting as an oppressive system.

In 2002, seven women, on the Danube River, said, no more. We will no longer cooperate in our own oppression. These women, in a God filled, Spirit filled move, were ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood by two Roman Catholic bishops. A year or two later, Roman Catholic male bishops in good standing with Rome, and in full apostolic succession, approached several of these women saying that they felt called to consecrate the women as Bishops so the movement could grow and go above ground.

Last year, when I was ordained a deacon, Bishop Patricia Fresen, the ordaining bishop, said the pectoral cross she was wearing was given to her by her ordaining male bishop. He asked her to wear it whenever she ordains anyone so that he could be present to the women being ordained.

And, God said to the women of Roman Catholic WomenPriests and to all of us, I SEE YOU, I KNOW YOU, I CALLED YOU. We, like Mary of Magdala, have been ridiculed and trivialized and now we are excommunicated. We know that excommunication only has power if you give it power. So, we do not accept excommunication, we do not give it power. We name the oppression for what it is, as sexism, a bias against women and the need to subject women to the all male institutional church’s authority and power. In the history of the world and the church, we have experienced sexual abuse, rape and murder. And yet we claim full humanity.

We know that God sees our struggles, our joys and our pain. God says to us, “I SEE YOU, I HEAR YOU, I KNOW THE INJUSTICE AGAINST YOU AND I STAND WITH YOU.”

In 1969, God stood with lesbian and gay people at the Stonewall uprising. God was there when the community said no more, we will not be intimidated any longer. We will claim who we are as full human beings with dreams and aspirations just as any other human being. The gift of the LGBT community to society, the Roman Catholic Church and ultimately to the world, is that this 5 or 6 day rebellion, forced all of us, gay or straight, to look deeply into what it means to be human. It forced all of us who had been taught to repress our God given sexuality to look at our own identity, to claim it, to embrace it and to live it. We could not deny it any longer. We had to deal with it. As we learned more about what sexuality means, society and the LGBT community identified being bi-sexual and transgendered as ways of being a sexual human being. And God says, loving physical relationships are good and of God. And yet, the LGBT community has been ridiculed, experienced violence and murder. And yet the LGBT community claims full humanity.

And God says: “I SEE YOU, I KNOW YOU, I LOVE YOU.”

Mary stood at the tomb wondering who would roll away the stone. The LGBT community, at Stonewall, rolled away that which blocked the community from full humanity and a fully human sexuality. RCWP women stood at the wall that barred full equality in the church we love so dearly. Roman Catholic women stepped out in 2002, in our own Stonewall on the Danube when seven women were ordained. These women were on a boat so there was no chance of being stormed by the bishops as gay people were by the police at Stonewall. Quite an image!

And God says, “I SEE YOU, I KNOW YOU, I CALLED YOU.” God sees what humans sometimes do not see. God’s preference is for the liberation of the individual, whether poor, homeless, abused or suffering women and men, whether women called to ordination in the Roman Catholic Church, or whether lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people. God’s preference is for freedom from that which prevents us from being fully human and fully alive.

It is a risk when you step out. It is not easy to experience ridicule and violence. But when our heart says enough, we are commissioned to be prophets. There are many gifts of the Spirit, as Paul’s letter to the Corinthians states, but those gifted with prophecy are called, in the words of Martin Luther King, to a vocation of agony. We have the choice to accept this commission or not. Some, like Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc and Patricia Fresen, are called to be extraordinary prophets like Jeremiah. Some of us are called to be everyday prophets and work quietly to bring love and compassion into the world.

So, followers of Mary of Magdala, Roman Catholic WomenPriests and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people call for liberation from the restrictive understanding of what it means to be human and call for freedom from that which blocks our liberation. Step out, whether extraordinary prophets or everyday prophets, we are seen by God and called to be agents of change, to create a more compassionate and understanding humanity.

So, claim your call, speak out against injustice, step out into your life, acknowledge who God made you, go where you may be ridiculed and proclaim the Good News. God wants us fully alive, right here, right now!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Women Find a Way: The Story and Movement of Roman Catholic Womenpriests

Dear Bridget Mary,
Helen and I have just finished reading WOMEN FIND A WAY, out loud, together. We realized at the first woman's story that this little book was much too profound to race through like a page-turning mystery. There is just too much meat in this powerful book, too much to absorb, to digest, to discuss. I can't find enough superlatives to describe our reaction on reading it. We shared more "Wow!"s, "Fantastic!"s, "Incredible!"s as we went through the twenty-five auto-bio-stories. We were so impressed how God called each of these unique, exceptional, yet, ordinary women…… and how each answered God's personal call. This small, 154- page stack of dynamite could be a real 'game-changer' by showing that God's touch and call could 'explode' into the lives of many of us ordinary men and women, to walk tight with God, be guided by the Holy Spirit, and help bring a renewed Church into being, the kind of Church that Jesus wants for God's world and God's people. This great book shows a new paradigm or modus operandi of how Jesus might like His Church to operate---being more inclusive and bringing His love and healing to ALL. These special women were anointed by the touch of God's Holy Spirit and are doing just that. What a glorious blessing it would be for all members of the Church ----Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, plain folks in the pews--- to read this book and see clearly what God is doing. This book should be required reading for….like, EVERYBODY! We think we could do more to help the Church and the spirituality of the members by buying copies of this book to give to friends, relatives, anyone, rather than contribute dollars for the expansion of our local parish church building to accommodate the increased numbers the planned priest shortage will bring, nor to tens of millions of dollars planned by our local bishop to rebuild a cathedral, the need for which, at best, is questionable. John H. Duffy DISCLAIMER: The accusation that I do have a biased point of view could well be substantiated by the fact that one of the editors and contributors is also our pastor of the Mary Mother of Jesus House Church in Florida, which we attend. To which I plead: GUILTY.