Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Irish Catholics, lead the way, challenge Vatican Abuse of Power, Claim Justice and Equality to Save the Catholic Church

Bridget Mary Meehan at St. Brigit's Well Licannor,
County Clare, May 27,2009)

"Challenge Vatican Abuse of Power, Lead the Way toward Justice and Equality to save the Catholic church "
by Bridget Mary Meehan
Irish missionaries saved Europe in the Dark Ages, now Irish Catholics can save the church from its own demise.
I was born in County Laois and have written about women in the Celtic Christian Tradition. (Praying with Celtic Holy Women)
As a passionate reformer who has worked for church renewal for many years, and now as an ordained woman priest in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement, I am following the story of the fallout of the clerical sex abuse scandal in Ireland with great hope that the Irish people,will demand justice, equality and accountability from the hierarchy, and send a powerful message to Pope Benedict that a new day has dawned for the church in Ireland. The Vatican abuse of power and world-wide cover up is the crux of the sex abuse debacle. It is my hope that you, the people of God, will demand more than apologies and go for important structural change including women priests and married priests as well as a role in the selection of bishops who will be called forth from the community to serve the community, not named in a secretive process that rewards candidates for "loyalty" to the hierarchy at all costs, over pastoral care for the people. Sadly, the corruption of our church goes to the top of the pyramid/the Vatican. It is a story of power and control run amuck! It is a worldwide crisis that has affected millions of Catholic worldwide. (see article below*** on corrupation/ abuse of power by Vatican)
My young -adult Irish cousins tell me that they are "disillusioned" by the Catholic Church in Ireland. No wonder, they have been betrayed and abused by bishops who were supposed to be truth-tellers and justice-doers. No wonder there are so few young adults in the pews in Ireland today.
Irish Catholics , it is my hope that the the home of saints and scholars, including nuns and priests who serve with integrity, will be the tipping point now and bring in a new day for church renewal.
When the iron is hot, it is time to act!
In grassroots communities, you can shape an open, renewed, vibrant church where all are welcome, all are safe, and all are invited to receive sacraments.
In the United States, the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement have more than tripled in growth in less than 3 years. (close to 70 in the U.S., 100 worldwide) . There are approximately 35 womenpriest led communities in the U.S. In Florida, I work with a leadership team that includes two priest partners, bothof whom are married.
Women of Ireland, stand up for equality and join the movement to renew a priestly ministry in a community of equals. It is time to ignite the fire of the Holy Spirit blowing across Ireland for reform and transformation of the Catholic Church.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP
Bishop of Southern Region

***Pope outraged and shamed by Irish clergy's abuse.
. . . a report by the Irish government of sex abuse from 1975-2004 . . .
Benedict was "deeply disturbed and distressed" by the report . . .
The report said church placed greater importance on protecting its reputation and maintaining secrecy than it on children's welfare and justice . . .
The report also criticized the Vatican for not cooperating with the inquiry. The commission had asked for details of abuse sent to the Vatican, But the Vatican did not reply
later explaining that the request had not gone through proper diplomatic channels.
excerpted from December 25 NCR

Why Only Laity can rid us of turbulent priests

Ireland confronts its sex abuse crisis

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Church must hold a national synod to solve its problems by John Cooney/Irish Independent/Dec.26, 2009

Church must hold a national synod to solve its problems,
by John Cooney
"With Galway’s Martin Brennan under persistent pressure to fall on his crozier after the resignations of four ‘Murphy’ bishops, the first healing step has been taken to assure victims of clerical sexual abuse that the Catholic Church in Ireland is no longer a safe haven for prelates who have let innocent children suffer at the hands of paedophile priests... 2009 was the year that bishops became accountable for their misdeeds and inactions. " Priests have no national conference having disbanded from fatigue of being largely iognored by know-all bishops who are still under the illusion that they are the officer corps...What may lie ahead is a slimmed-down church which may have joyous lay participation as far as liturgy is concerned but remains essentially under the rules directed by Romeward-looking bishops too afraid to champion the case with Pope Benedict for new forms of ministry allowing married male clergy, and women, married or single, to become priests. Neither Cardinal Brady nor Archbishop Martin support these aspirations which have been favoured for at least twenty years now by the vast majority of Irish Catholics..."
Thank you, John Cooney for this article.
I am heartened by the pressure that Catholics in Ireland have brought to bear on the hierarchy. It is long overdue. Yes, the people turned up the heat and the prelates fell on the croziers, as they should.
The fallout has been deeply felt especially by the older generation.
My cousin, Noreen, from County Laois told me that two elderly women, devout church-goers, told her that they were no longer attending Mass as a result of this horrific scandal. It takes a lot to shake the faith of our elders, but the Murphy report of the sex abuse of minors in the Dublin Archdiocese has been a tipping point for many.
But will the Vatican get the message, or will it be business as usual?
If Irish Catholics insist on a decision-making role in the selection of bishops, and in parish, diocesan and national councils, then this could be a first step. Perhaps, they will lead the way in moving away from an unaccountable, hierarchial church to a more open, participatory church, where they people are partners in decision-making.
I hope the Irish call on married priests and women priests to serve the community. In the early Celtic Christian community, Ireland had both married priests and woman priests. It is your ancient heritage. Why not reclaim it?
The institutional church cannot continue to discriminate against women and deprive the church of the gifts that women bring to heal and transform the Body of Christ. Ireland has taken the lead with two women presidents, why not now with women priests and bishops?
May St. Brigit of Kildare, leader and bishop pray for us.
Bridget Mary Meehan

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Let's think outside the rectory" by Bishop Fritz Lobinger/South Africa

Let’s think outside the rectory
The critical lack of priests is making the Eucharist an endangered species. It's time to consider a new kind of ministry among God's people, says this bishop.
By Bishop Fritz Lobinger, the retired bishop of Aliwal, South Africa
"Mmusong is a small but vibrant Catholic community of about 700 high in the mountains of South Africa. On Sundays the simple church building is full, but most of the time not for Mass, only for a service of the Word. Mass is something rare in Mmusong. The priest of the distant parish center serves nine communities, and he is able to celebrate Mass in Mmusong only once a month..."

"Ordaining proven local leaders could thus be the starting point for a solution. Because the majority of proven local leaders are women, it is unavoidable that the question of their inclusion among ordained elders will arise, though present church law does not permit it. .."

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Why laity must help choose bishops" in Irish Independent

Why laity must help choose bishops
Our Rome-appointed bishops have been playing the Vatican's game of Pass the Parcel, says Tim Pat Coogan

"GIVEN the scale of what is happening in the Irish Catholic Church, debating the departure of five auxiliary bishops has all the rich, ripe irrelevance to the gravity of the situation as had Taoiseach Brian Cowen's axing of five junior ministers.
The only meaningful departure would be that of the Pope himself. As Cardinal Ratzinger he was probably the best informed man in the Vatican, being both Prefect of the powerful Congregation of the Faith and Dean of the College of Cardinals. These offices mean that he was privy to the ever swelling tide of reports on clerical sex abuse which poured into the Vatican during his tenure in office, from every diocese in the world... "

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Schedule 2010

(Mary, Mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God into the Body and Blood of Christ, pray for us. The Catholic Church has an age-old devotion to Mary as priest. )

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

Mass at Saint Andrew UCC /Sarasota, Florida on Saturdays at 6:00pm until May

Historic Ordinations of Roman Catholic Womenpriests- Feb. 6th, 1:00 pm, (Contact Bridget Mary Meehan at, St. Andrew UCC/Sarasota, FL.

“Break the Silence on Women’s Ordination” Maryknoll Priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois speaker:
Feb. 20th, 1:00pm (Contact Mike Rigdon at, St. Andrew UCC/Sarasota, FL.

Where: St. Andrew Church, United Church of Christ
at 6908 Beneva Rd. Sarasota, Florida 34238

Pastors: Bridget Mary Meehan, Roman Catholic Womanpriest,
Priest Partners: Michael Rigdon, Lee Breyer

All are welcome

For more information:
email or
call 955-2313 or

*Mass/ Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Ft. Myers, Fl. Jan. 10th, 2:00 pm
(Contact: Pastor Judy Lee at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Second Bishop to step down over abuse cover-ups" by John Cooney
Second bishop to step down over abuse cover-ups
John Cooney Wednesday December 23 2009
"A SECOND Catholic bishop named in the shocking Murphy Report into cover-ups of clerical child sexual abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin is expected to announce his resignation today.
Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin James Moriarty will explain that he is stepping down as head of the diocese in order to give the priests and lay people a fresh start for 2010.
The decision of Bishop Moriarty, a former Dublin auxiliary under Cardinal Desmond Connell, comes six days after Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray's resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI.
Dr Murray stepped aside over his "inexcusable" failings when investigating complaints against notorious paedophile priest Fr Thomas Naughton when he too was an auxiliary bishop in Dublin."...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Letter of Thanks to Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community for Prayer for Healing Mass

Dear Bridget Mary:
..." Jean and I would love to be able to join you on Christmas. We will at least in spirit. I want to give you a special thanks for all that you and your community did for me this year. The special healing mass you offered Jean and I during our first visit to Sarasota and the healing prayer offered by you and fellow community members. They had a tremendous impact on my life and health. Mission accomplished, Dr. Dattoli told me during our consultation in late October. He reported that the body scans taken earlier that day showed no signs of cancer. Based on my initial diagnosis of advance, aggressive, and lethal prostate cancer, I never thought I would be hearing news this great. I am currently in Jerusalem Israel finishing up an UNT extension course with students at Neve Yerushalayim. I am staying near the Old City and participated in the Via Dolorosa procession last Friday afternoon that ended up in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. What a powerful, solemn yet joyous, and spiritual experience it was. May your life be blessed for all the wonderful blessings you provide others. I will be forever grateful. Tell your Dad, Jack, that he has inspired my oldest son to renew his interest in music. Jean and I wish you both a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope we get a chance to visit again."...

Rudy and Jean

Rudy Ray Seward

Professor of Sociology & Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Sociology
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #311157
Denton, Texas 76203-5017
Phone: 940.565.2295

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Jimmy Carter's Speech to Parliament of the World's Religion's Urging "End to Discrimination and Violence Against Women"

Speech by Jimmy Carter to the Parliament of the World's Religions
Melbourne, Australia
Dec. 3, 2009

Delivered via remote video from Atlanta, Ga., as part of The Elders project.
First, I want to thank Executive Director Dirk Ficca for making it possible for me to join you, even though remotely. I occupy a privileged position these days, best explained by a cartoon in New Yorker magazine. (President Carter explains cartoon about a boy who says "When I grow up, I want to be an ex-president.")
No longer in public office, I am able to receive exciting invitations like this, and also to speak without restraint on somewhat controversial subjects.
I am pleased to address the Parliament of World Religions about the vital role of religion in providing a foundation for – or correcting – the global scourge of discrimination and violence against women. As will be seen, my remarks represent the personal views of a Christian layman and a former political leader.
There are international agreements as well as our own Holy Scriptures that guide us:
Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, origin ... or other status ..."
The Holy Bible tells us that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)
Every generic religious text encourages believers to respect essential human dignity, yet some selected scriptures are interpreted to justify the derogation or inferiority of women and girls, our fellow human beings.
All of us have a responsibility to acknowledge and address the gross acts of discrimination and violence against women that occur every day. Here are some well-known examples:
Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, February, 2000)
Our Carter Center has been deeply involved in the Republic of Congo. In war zones where order has broken down, horrific and sometimes lethal rape has become a tactic of warfare practiced by all sides.
In a study in 2000, the U.N. estimated that at least 60 million girls who should be alive are "missing" from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect.
According to UNICEF, an estimated one million children, mostly girls, enter the sex trade each year and the U.N. estimates that 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually.
In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.
The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and explains why so few women hold political office, even in most Western democracies.
You are all familiar with these facts, and I know you are considering the causes and possible solutions to this serious global problem.
There are clear indications that progress is being made in the secular world. We have seen women chosen as leaders in nations as diverse as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel, Great Britain, Ireland, Chile, Germany, the Philippines, and Nicaragua. Their support came from citizens who are predominantly Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, and Christian, and include two of the three largest democracies on earth.
It is ironic that women are now welcomed into all major professions and other positions of authority, but are branded as inferior and deprived of the equal right to serve God in positions of religious leadership. The plight of abused women is made more acceptable by the mandated subservience of women by religious leaders.
Most Bible scholars acknowledge that the Holy Scriptures were written when male dominance prevailed in every aspect of life. Men could have multiple sex partners (King Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines), but adulterous behavior by a woman could be punished by stoning to death - then, in the time of Christ and, in some societies, 2009 years later.
I realize that devout Christians can find adequate scripture to justify either side in this debate, but there is one incontrovertible fact concerning the relationship between Jesus Christ and women: he never condoned sexual discrimination or the implied subservience of women. The exaltation and later reverence for Mary, as Jesus' mother, is an even more vivid indication of the special status of women in Christian theology.
I have taught Bible lessons for more than 65 years, and I know that Paul forbade women to worship with their heads covered, to braid their hair, or to wear rings, jewelry, or expensive clothes. It is obvious to most modern day Christians that Paul was not mandating permanent or generic theological policies.
In a letter to Timothy, Paul also expresses a prohibition against women's teaching men, but we know – and he knew – that Timothy himself was instructed by his mother and grandmother.
At the same time, in Paul's letter to the Romans, he listed and thanked twenty-eight outstanding leaders of the early churches, at least ten of whom were women. "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church … greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus … greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you… greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was … greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them."
It is clear that during the early Christian era women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers, and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.
My own Southern Baptist Convention leaders ordained in recent years that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors, chaplains in the military service, or teachers of men. They based this on a few carefully selected quotations from Saint Paul and also Genesis, claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin. This was in conflict with my belief that we are all equal in the eyes of God. The Roman Catholic Church and many others revere the Virgin Mary but consider women unqualified to serve as priests.
This view that the Almighty considers women to be inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or tradition. Its influence does not stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths, creating an environment in which violations against women are justified.
The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.
Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views and set a new course that demands equal rights for women and men, girls and boys.
At their most repugnant, the belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo. It also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair and equal access to education, health care, employment, and influence within their own communities.
Recently I presented my concerns to a group of fellow leaders known as The Elders, who represent practicing Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus. We are no longer active in politics and are free to express our honest opinions. We decided to draw particular attention to the role of religious and traditional leaders in obstructing the campaign for equality and human rights, and promulgated a statement that declares: "the justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."
Having served as local, state, national, and world leaders, we understand why many public officials can be reluctant to question ancient religious and traditional premises – an arena of great power and sensitivity. Despite this, we are calling on all those with influence to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices – in religious and secular life– that justify discrimination against women and to acknowledge and emphasize the positive messages of equality and human dignity.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Mary, Mother of Jesus, the first priest/ Belief held for Centuries in Catholic Tradition

Mary, Mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God into the Body and Blood of Jesus, pray for us.
Mary, the first priest, pray for us.

In the Chapel of the Veiling in the catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome, Italy, a fresco depicts the ordination of a woman priest by a bishop seated on a chair.The woman is dressed in the vestments of the priesthood, the alb, chasuble, and amice, and holding a gospel scroll. In the center of the fresco, we see the same woman depicted as a deacon, vested in deacon's dalmatic, her arms raised in an attiude of worship in the orans position. On the right of the fresco, there is a woman holding a baby on her lap and wearing the same robe as the male bishop on the left, She is sitting in the same type of chair . These attributes indicate, according to Dr. Dorothy Irvin, Roman Catholic theologian and archaeologist, that the woman is thought of as a bishop, while the baby on her lap indicated that she is Mary, Mother of Jesus.. She is turned toward the figures in the center and left, watching the woman deacon and priest. "Women's ordination, Dorothy Irvin, concludes "was based on succession from the apostles, including women such as Mary, Mother of Jesus; Mary from Magdala, Phoebe, Petronella, and others abut whose status among the founders of the church thre could no doubt. " (See Dorothy Irvin's calendars, articles and resources for more information, contact
"One example of latent tradition is the age-old devotion to Mary as Priest.People believed held that Mary was, indeed, a priest for four main reasons: Mary belonged to a priestly family. Mary exercised priestly functions. Mary gave us the Eucharist and Mary procures forgiveness of sins. The devotion to Mary Priest has been present throughout the history of the Church. Tradition stressed Mary’s role as a priest in her offering Jesus during the Presentation in the Temple and during his crucifixion on Calvary.The devotion continued until 1927, when it was suddenly suppressed by the Holy Office - probably because of the implied link to women’s ordination! " See this site for excellent arguments from the Scripture, the Tradition, and Contemporary Scholarship.
Image of Nativity from Free Catholic Clip Art

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Homily-4th Sunday in Advent by Kathy Redig, RCWP

Homily—4th Sunday in Advent
December 19 & 20, 2009

The question my friends for each of us to ask today on this 4th and last weekend of Advent might be: “Just what is God up to in the Incarnation? We can let this question sit for a bit, and in the mean time, I invite you to think about the anticipation of a long-awaited event—how we feel as we wait in line for a new store opening, the opening night of a new movie or play, the first day of a sale or entrance into a sports event. If you have ever been in such a waiting line, you know of the almost palpable excitement for things to start. That is where we find ourselves today on this 4th Weekend/Sunday of Advent—on the threshold of something great!
The readings today bring together the major themes we have looked at during the season of Advent: promise, repentance, transformation and joy—and now we are on the threshold of entering into that joy. A purely human manifestation for me that we are almost there comes when we put up our Christmas tree and decorate our house. We always do that about a week before Christmas and then, for me at least, we are at the point of having the preparations move into a special place. The quiet waiting is over –the joy is becoming palpable. Soon gifts start to show up under the tree—a manifestation of the felt love of family and friends.
But what is the joy really about? What is God up to in the incarnation? Today’s readings show us clearly that Jesus, the Christ was born into ordinariness, if not abject poverty. He appeared incarnate the first time in a backwater town, Bethlehem, whose only other notable inhabitant up until that time had been David and no one of any import is known to have followed Jesus.
In today’s Gospel, we see Mary, a young maid, going to help her matronly aunt, who like Mary is with child. Nothing unusual here, except for Elizabeth being pregnant in her later years. Young girls would often go and help older family members. But certainly there was more to God’s plan than this.
The two growing babies recognize each other from the sanctuaries of their mothers’ wombs. We catch the excitement through the Gospel words, “When I heard your greeting, my baby leapt in my womb for joy!”
God probably intended that in an unbelieving world where others doubted the truth of what each woman proclaimed, they needed the affirmation of each other to confirm what each knew had happened within her as a response to her faith and trust in a loving God. This is what Mary’s “blessedness” proclaimed by Elizabeth is really all about—her faith and trust in a loving God—and that this same God would be faithful to her.
Another question then that we might ask: why does God choose the ordinary to show us the divine?—perhaps to direct us back to God wherein all is possible; thus in simplicity, we can see greatness. If this is a problem for us, seeing greatness in the simple, the ordinary, maybe the problem is with us in insisting that the divine come in loud and flashy ways, rather than through the ordinary of life: through the administrator of a nursing home, an electrician, a farmer, an educator, a maker of school lunches, a volunteer, a parent, a grandparent, an advocate for women and children, a family caretaker, and the list goes on to include us all.

The readings today insist that the incarnation comes to the most ordinary among us and all that is required on our part is an openness to do God’s will—a willingness to answer God’s call. The reading from the author to the Hebrews states that this willingness to answer God’s call and do God’s will was the motivating force in Jesus’ life.
Jesus is proof that God doesn’t want our sacrifices, holocausts, or sin offerings. What God wants is our open and willing hearts. Such was Mary’s heart in her “yes” to God as was Elizabeth’s in welcoming Mary into her home. In the actions of both of these women, they welcomed into their hearts and into our world, the long-awaited Messiah.
The examples of Jesus, Mary and Elizabeth in our scriptures today should give us a great deal of hope because if we follow their examples, then each loving action we personally do in faith says that the incarnation has taken place—that Jesus lives within us and by extension then—in all of God’s people.
This is why it is such a travesty for us ever, in any of our Catholic churches to deny people access to the Eucharist. We then effectively stop the incarnation from happening in that life. We, each of us, are the conduits for God’s presence to be felt in our world—we have an awesome responsibility to welcome all as evidenced in our scriptures today.
A final point that I think it is important for us to meditate on today, given our scriptures, is the case of Mary and what it was like for her to be found with child in the society in which she lived. Elizabeth addresses her as “blessed among women.” Probably many in her neighborhood, if truth be told, gossiped about her and some even shunned her for what they felt was only too obvious.
It couldn’t have been easy for her—scripture doesn’t tell us—but her family may not have believed her story—Joseph didn’t at first. After all, it was quite a fantastic story when one thinks about it—pregnant by the Spirit of God—carrying the long-awaited Messiah! At the least was the ridicule and shunning. At the worst, a woman could be stoned in the streets for carrying an illegitimate pregnancy.
For all these purely human reasons, part of my Advent ritual each year is to read Marjorie Holmes’ love story of Mary and Joseph—TWO FROM GALILEE, copyright 1972. What she does in this short volume is make human these creatures of faith that have too often been put up on pedestals so that they lose their connection to our humanity. Mary and Joseph, Anna and Joachim, Joseph’s parents, were flesh and blood humans—people of faith, yes, but people who struggled with what faith asked of them in their purely human lives—just like each of us. We all gain hope when we truly try to understand how they struggled to believe that God’s promise would be fulfilled in their lives, for their little town of Nazareth and ultimately for the entire world through their simple “yes.”
Mary wasn’t a remote, supernatural being, but a flesh and blood human that came to be called “blessed” through her willing response to God’s call. We too are “blessed” when, like Mary we believe in God’s promises through all the ups and downs of our lives, which will bring us true happiness and peace.
We stand now on the threshold of something great as we remember at Christmas time once again that divine love became more fully present in our world through Jesus, the Christ. We assure that divine love will continue in our world through our lives.
Every time we try to be more under standing, more merciful, more gentle, more kind, more just; when we strive to see the divine in each other, even the most seemingly wretched among us, then and only then do we incarnate Jesus once again into life.
I believe my friends, this is what God was all about in sending Jesus to begin life in poor and humble surroundings, to live a life that wasn’t about glitz and power, in order that we would know that each of us can be instruments of God’s love, peace and justice in our world. This is what we celebrate each year at Christmas time—the promise and the possibility of love born again into our world.
Kathy Redig
or 507-429-3616

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Rev. Dr. Judith A.B. Lee: Bishop Dewane's support for poor inadequate during a recession" in News-Press
Rev. Dr. Judith A.B. Lee: Bishop Dewane's support for poor inadequate during a recession
Rev. Dr. Judith A.B. Lee - Guest Opinion • December 19, 2009

I read Dan Warner's article on Bishop Dewane, “Undeterred by dust-ups, Bishop Frank Dewane focuses on flock,” Dec. 13, with great interest as I am a priest who lives and serves in the Diocese of Venice.
My ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd: An Inclusive Catholic Community serves the poor of Fort Myers and surrounding areas. We feed, clothe and shoe the poor and shelter the homeless. We celebrate Mass at 2 p.m. on Sundays and serve a hot meal afterward. We also provide social and spiritual services.
In reading Warner's article I wondered if I would learn about something substantial that Bishop Dewane plans to offer the poor and homeless. Their ranks have swelled in this time of national recession. This area is near the top of the list for unemployment and foreclosure, and the people are in great distress. Yet, your article is very clear that under Dewane’s administration financial assistance for the poor given through Catholic Charities has been ended and food pantries are down to being open two hours on one day a week.
These facts are well known to people who turn to local churches directly for assistance. It is true that Catholics are generous givers, as are those of other faiths. I commend the work of Catholic Charities, but there is something very wrong when the finery of the church is maintained, including housing for the Bishop, when people are hungry and without shelter. The church can do better than placing a giving-tree in the Cathedral. Shame, if we cannot help empower people to attain the resources they need to live. Shame if whatever money we collect does not go to relieve the poor.
There is something very wrong when Mission churches, such as St. Peter Claver, are closed when they are in the areas that serve the poorest. There is something very wrong when a Bishop claims to put the people of God foremost and funds are no longer available for them.
There is something very wrong when a bishop claims no knowledge of the several firings of the educators named in the article and others, and the censure of spiritual leaders who see things differently, such as the leader of Call To Action, Ellen McNally, a former Sister. It is well known that any person or organization who supports a range of issues regarding equality and dignity for all of God’s children even indirectly, or that even listens to other views is censured by the Bishop’s office. How can he not know? The affairs of a spiritual leader’s office should be open and transparent. The buck stops with the head, the bishop.
-->(2 of 2)
I am a validly ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest, one of over a hundred throughout the world and the number grows steadily.
Although we are not recognized by the Catholic hierarchy, we do not accept that anyone can separate us from the Church. I have remained publicly quiet until now as all of my energies must go to serving God’s people, but your article awakened me.
We have served the flock that the Bishop talks about for almost three years, providing thousands of hot meals on Friday nights in Lion’s Park and now at our church by the grace of God and the generosity of people. We have shepherded 25 people from sleeping on the streets and in the woods to permanent housing. We believe that the good news to the poor includes being poor no more.
We partner with Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church in Estero in a blessed ecumenical effort. We have had over one hundred volunteers from various communities (Roman Catholic parishes included) assist us in these efforts, including Ellen McNally, who headed one of four teams that cooked and served meals. If her “Catholicity” is in question because she heads Call to Action, then so is Bishop Dewane’s. My soul is full of hope in this Advent season. If Bishop Dewane’s heart is moved by God’s people, then let him redirect some funds to the poor and cease his censure and oppression of all who disagree with him.
— Rev. Dr. Judith A.B. Lee is Pastor of The Good Shepherd: Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers

Friday, December 18, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Interview with Bridget Mary Meehan on "Women Matters", a radio program in the Sarasota area

The first part of program features a music group:
Featured Musician: Jesse Lane. Jesse Lane put together the Summerland Express in 2008; a few months after producing her debut album Needless. On this program Jesse will introduce us to her second album, Vanishing Point. This album is very different from the last. Be sure to catch the songs from this very different sounding CD.

Interview begins approximately 30 minutes into the program
Roman Catholic Women Priests and BishopsHost, Jane Blanchard, interviews Bridget Mary Meehan. Bridget Mary Meehan has fifteen years of experience in parish ministry. Irish-born Meehan is author of fifteen books including The Healing Power of Prayer (translated in seven languages) and award-winner Praying with Visionary Women. and one of the editors of three books including Women Find A Way: The Movement and Stories of Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Dr. Meehan is currently Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program for Global Ministries University,and producer of the award-winning television program, GodTalkTV that provides programs on google and youtube on justice . She was ordained womenpriest in 2006 and womanbishop 2009.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Irish bishop resigns after sex abuse scandal

Irish bishop resigns after sex abuse scandal
By FRANCES D'EMILIO (AP) – 10 hours ago

The Irish government-sanctioned investigation found four other serving bishops and five retired bishops, including Cardinal Desmond Connell, as playing a role in the scandal cover-up lasting for decades.
The report said that church leaders in the Dublin Archdiocese failed to inform authorities about sexual abuse by priests, while police failed to pursue allegations under the belief that church figures were above the law...

The Vatican has been harshly criticized in Ireland, a nation of staunch Catholic traditions, for failing to answer letters from the Dublin Archdiocese investigators.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "On Shepherding" - Letter to Editor by Judy Lee, Roman Catholic Womanpriest

I read Dan Warner's lead article on Bishop Dewane with great interest as I am a priest who lives and serves in the Diocese of Venice. My ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd: An Inclusive Catholic Community serves the poorest of the poor of Fort Myers and surrounding areas. We feed and clothe the poor and shelter the homeless. We celebrate Mass at 2 PM on Sundays and serve a full hot meal afterward. We also provide a full range of social and spiritual services. In reading your article I wondered if I would learn about something substantial that Bishop Dewane plans to offer the poor and homeless of this Diocese. Their needs are greater than ever and their ranks have swelled in this time of national recession. Fort Myers and Cape Coral are near the top of the list for unemployment and foreclosure and the people he claims to care for are in great pain and distress. Your article is very clear that under his administration financial assistance for the poor given through Catholic Charities has been ended and food pantries are down to being open two hours on one day a week. These facts are well known to people in need who then turn to all local churches directly for assistance as all else often fails. It is true that Catholics are generous givers, as are those of other faiths , and I commend the work of Catholic Charities but there is something very wrong when the finery of the church is maintained, including housing for the Bishop, when people are hungry, without shelter and desperate. The church can do better than a giving-tree in the Cathedral in Venice- local restaurants throughout Florida do the same. Shame, shame if we can not help empower people to attain the resources they need to live. Shame if whatever money we collect does not go to relieve the poor. There is something very wrong when Mission churches, such as St. Peter Claver, are closed when they are in the areas that serve the poorest. There is something very wrong when a Bishop claims to put the people of God foremost in his thinking and funds are no longer available for them. There is also something very wrong when a bishop claims no knowledge of the several firings of the progressive educators named in the article, and others, and the censure of spiritual leaders who see things differently, such as the leader of Call To Action, Ellen McNally, a former Sister The Mother of God House of Prayer, a Catholic Retreat House serving Catholics and the wider community was deemed "not Catholic" by the bishop. It is well known that any person or organization in the Diocese who supports women's ordination or married priests or a range of other issues of equality and dignity for all of God's children, even indirectly, or that even listens to other views is censured by the Bishop's office. How can he not know? The affairs of a spiritual leader's office should be open and transparent to all, including of course the bishop who ultimately directs his staff. In two written communications written by the Bishop Dewane in 2008, the year of my Ordination, I also was in essence deemed "not Catholic". I was warned not to proceed with Ordination with the "salvation of my soul" in question. I am a validly ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest. Such letters are not standard for all bishops. Only some of the more than seventy validly ordained women in the United States (and over one hundred world-wide) have received such letters. We can also attest to the support of some bishops and priests, and at the very least a lack of censure. I have been told that I have separated myself from the church. I have not done so, and I do not accept his interpretation that the various ecclesial writings on women's ordination are "infallible teaching". In fact, they are simply decisions made by men that limit God's calling to males. Women were deacons, priests and bishops until the Twelfth Century. They led in the early church before the current structures developed. In Paul's letter to the Romans, Chapter 16 we hear the Apostle's praise of such women. Scholarly works demonstrating this by Gary Macy, Karen Jo Torjeson and Dorothy Irvin are available for all to read. I have remained publicly quiet until now as all of my energies go to serving God's people, but your article caused me to respond. The story about the shoes is a familiar one right here and now ,and our ministry has provided countless pairs of work boots and shoes to the poor of Fort Myers. When we run out of money to buy them new, we arrange with local Thrift Stores to provide good quality used shoes. We have served the flock that the Bishop talks about for almost three years, providing thousands of hot meals on a weekly basis as well as clothing and yes, financial aid, by the grace of God and the generosity of people of all walks of life. We have been able to shepherd twenty-five people from homelessness, from sleeping on the streets and in the woods to permanent housing. We believe that the good news to the poor includes being poor no more. We have partnered with Lamb of God Lutheran Episcopal Church in Estero in what is a blessed ecumenical effort. We have had over one hundred volunteers from various communities and churches( Roman Catholic parishes included) assist us in these efforts, including Ellen McNally, now 80, who headed one of four teams of those who cooked and served the meals for well over a year. She continues to help us and is one with the people we serve. If her "Catholicity" is in question because she heads CTA and if The Mother of God House of Prayer is not Catholic then neither are Bishop Dewane or Pope Benedict. And, in case anyone is wondering,my soul is just fine too. If Bishop Dewane's heart is moved by God's people, then let him redirect some funds to the poor and cease his censure and oppression of all who disagree with him.
Rev. Dr. Judith A.B.Lee
Pastor of The Good Shepherd: Inclusive Catholic Community
2621 Central AvenueFort Myers,Florida,33901
(My home address is 18520 Eastshore Drive, Fort Myers, Florida, 33967;

Go to Site Index/Worship, type in Bishop Dewane

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Radio Interview on Dec. 15th on Women Matters, a radio program that airs on WSLR 96.5 LPFM i

Historic Ordination of Women Deacons: Dena O'Callaghan and Katy Zatsick
Sarasota, Florida, Dec. 5th, 2009 at St. Andrew UCC
(Bridget Mary Meehan, bishop southern region RCWP- laying on hands at Ordination)

WSLR 96.5 LPFM » Blog Archive » Women Matters


Host, Jane Blanchard, interviews Bridget Mary Meehan. Meehan has fifteen years of experience in parish ministry. Irish-born Meehan is author of fifteen books including The Healing Power of Prayer (translated in seven languages) and ...WSLR 96.5 LPFM -

Roman Catholic Women Priests and Bishops

Host, Jane Blanchard, interviews Bridget Mary Meehan. Meehan has fifteen years of experience in parish ministry. Irish-born Meehan is author of fifteen books including The Healing Power of Prayer (translated in seven languages) and award-winner Praying with Visionary Women. and one of the editors of three books including Women Find A Way: The Movement and Stories of Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Dr. Meehan is currently Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program for Global Ministries University,and producer of the award-winning television program, GodTalkTV that provides programs on google and youtube on justice . She was ordained womenpriest in 2006 and womanbishop 2009.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Hans Kung- 30th Anniversary Celebration- We Are Church Media Release

M e d I a R e l e a s e:
We are Church recalls: 30 years since revocation of the ecclesiastical right to teach of Hans Kueng

(18 December 1979):

‘His persistence is encouragement, inspiration and incentive for all of us.’

This 18 December 2009 will be the 30th anniversary of the day when Pope John Paul II revoked theecclesiastical right to teach (missio canonica) of Prof. Dr. Hans Kueng because of his proposals for reform in the Catholic church. In his book ‘Infallible? An inquiry’ published in 1970 after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and equally prompted by the encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’ from 25 July 1968 Kueng raised the question if the papal ministry is indeed infallible. With this Kueng, like nobody else in our time, raised the question of truth in Christianity and kept it alive ever since.

The world-famous Swiss theologian, appointed official adviser to the Second Vatican Council by Pope JohnXXIII, contributed decisively to an ecumenical theology notwithstanding his later marginalization by the church. His doctoral thesis ‘Justification’ about the Swiss reformed theologian Karl Barth, finished in 1957, was praised at the time by Joseph Ratzinger, teaching colleague of Kueng at the University of Tuebingen/Germany until 1968. Kueng made major contributions to the agreement reached in 1999 between the Catholic church and the Lutheran Church with regard to the declaration of the doctrine of justification. His ‘Project world ethos’ ( started in 1990 grew into an important stimulator for the interreligious dialogue, today more necessary than ever in the face of our global problems. On 6 October 2009 he proclaimed his ‘Declaration to a global business ethos’ in front of the UN.

After the revocation of the ecclesiastical right to teach Kueng did not retract his theologically well foundedstatements to the disputed dogma of infallibility of 1870. By doing so he showed that what we are being asked to do is not to obey but to resist the usurpations from Rome. In 1979 Kueng was appointed to the chair for ecumenical theology that was created for him outside the Catholic faculty and which he occupied until 1997.

In 1968 Hans Kueng drafted, together with other theologians, the declaration ‘For the freedom in theology’. In the end this text carried the signatures of 1360 theologians – also that of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. – from all over the world. In 1989 Kueng was co-signer of the so-called ‘Cologne Declaration’, a votum for an open-minded catholicity and against an overstretching of the papal authority.

Hans Kueng is also one of the spiritual supporters of the ‘KirchenVolksBegehren’ (We are Church referendum) started 1995 in Austria which resulted in the International Movement We are Church. The second volume of his memoirs ‘Controversial truth' presents a historic as well as a systematic foundation of the We are Church movement's concerns which emerged ever more clearly since the Second Vatican Council and for which he had fought already in the 1960s and 1970s. With his fundamental works (‘The Church’ 1967, ‘Being a Christian’ 1974 and ‘Does God exist?’ 1978), Kueng brought specific reform topics into public sphere early on, thoroughly justifying them both biblically and spiritually.

Today we find that Kueng’s enquiries into the papacy have not been answered at all as evidenced by the increasing conflicts between the church leadership and the laity in the church. Obligatory celibacy, ordination of women and the Eucharistic question are still being discussed – despite of all the interdictions from Rome.

In September 2005 Hans Kueng had a surprise meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, his former colleague at university, Professor Ratzinger. Not so surprisingly all topics regarding reforms within the Catholic church had been excluded beforehand. And as before so did Hans Kueng after the meeting commit to the reform issues important to him. Because, in the words of Hans Kueng in the second volume of his biography, ‘It is not the Council but the betrayal of the Council that led the church into crisis’.

‘His persistence in the renewal of the Roman Catholic church and his commitment to ecumenical issues as well as to the dialogue between the world religions is encouragement, inspiration and incentive for all of us’, the catholic reform movement We are Church gratefully declared on the occasion of his 80th birthday on 19 March 2008.

Movimiento internacionalSomos-IglesiaMovimento InternacionalN├│s somos IgrejaMovimento InternazionaleNoi siamo ChiesaMouvement internationalNous sommes EgliseInternationale BewegungWir sind KircheInternational MovementWe are ChurchChair at present:Raquel MallavibarrenaPenuelas 17, 28005 Madrid, SPAINTel.: +34-649332654E-Mail: rmallavi@mat.ucm.esMedia contact:Christian WeisnerTel.: +49-8131-260250 or +49-172-5184082E-Mail: media@we-are-church.orgInternet:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Time For The Faithful To Choose Our Own Bishops" article in Irish Times

The Irish Times
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Time for the faithful to choose our own bishops

Roman Catholic Womanpriests: "Dancing with God" by Eileen DiFranco

Sing joyfully, be glad and rejoice. Exult with all your heart. Fear not and do not be discouraged. The Lord God is in your midst. Zep. 3
This was a real dream that I had about ten years ago. I wrote it down immediately because I never wanted to forget how I felt when I woke up. I had this dream.
I was dancing in a country garden with lush green grass. Tulips and daffodils and hyacinths bloomed against a low stone wall. Magnolia, cherry, and dogwood trees draped their branches over the top of the wall. The sun shone in a blue sky with soft edges and the wind was the sweet breeze of late spring. I recall wondering in my dream why I was dancing in the middle of the day when I should be at work, and went right on dancing. There were, I think, three other women with me. Two, I recognized as my friends. Mary danced with her book bag over her shoulder, Monica carried her paint brush. I held my pen. The third one, who stood next to me, had a round, pleasant face and wore her blonde hair in braids coiled around her head. She was dressed in a frilly white dress dotted with small flowers while the three of us wore business clothes. All of us were barefoot. My first thought when I saw the woman in the white dress was that she was grotesquely fat from the waist down. Never in my life had I ever seen a woman with hips that large. I immediately felt guilty for thinking that she was fat. We all did some kind of dance. We kicked out our legs and waved our arms up at the sky. The woman next to me moved agilely in spite of her great girth. And then we all began to sing. The words we sang over and over were snippets of hymns we might sing at church although there was a lot more. I just don't remember it. While we were singing and dancing in that garden I asked myself again with more joy than I could ever remember, I began to wonder. Who is this strange woman with the golden crown of braids want from me, from us?
At the conclusion of our dance, the large woman began hugging all of us, one at a time. When she hugged me, I realized that she was not made of flesh and blood. Her body felt like the aluminum poles we use to give shape to our tent. I looked up at her face in wonderment. She drew me to her in a closer embrace and then I saw that inside Her was the earth, and that She was giving shape to it with her Body. "All of the earth," She told me, "Is my Body and My Blood. Rejoice and be glad.” Her human Face smiled this very loving smile. Her golden braids sparkled in the sunlight. She lifted Her Hands in blessing and the three of us danced out of the garden, waving streamers.Then I then realized that there were hundreds of other people in the garden behind us, lining up. They, too were going to be given the rules of the universe and to get their chance to dance with God.
Eileen DiFranco, RCWP

Roman Catholic Womanpriests: Cardinal Sean Brady criticized the Vatican for not responding to Murphy Commission-Irish Times Article

"INTERVIEW: THE CATHOLIC primate Cardinal Seán Brady has criticised the lack of response by the Vatican and papal nunciature to correspondence from the Murphy commission.
Speaking to The Irish Times in Dundalk yesterday he said “it was unfortunate that requests from the [Murphy] commission didn’t get the courtesy of a reply” from the Vatican. “They should have,” he said."

Irish Times

Roman Catholic Womanpriests: Radio Free Eireann Report on Sexual Abuse of Children by Priests in Ireland

Radio Free Eireann.
Report on the sexual abuse and assault of children by priests in Ireland. Their overseas call/interview is to a Sean Whalen. The links below are for the programs on Saturday 11/28/09 and 12/5/09. The radio station is WBAI, a listener sponsored station, part of the Pacifica network. The interview is a third to a half way into it.

If you can't get it through the links, go to, on the right side of the page there is a tab call archives. Click on it. Then click on See All Shows and scroll down to 11/28 at 1 PM and to 12/5 at 1 PM, Radio Free Eireann

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Video Clips of Historic Ordinations of Deacons Dena O'Callaghan and Katy Zatsick in Florida on Dec. 5, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Video Clips of Historic Ordinations of Deacons Dena O'Callaghan and Katy Zatsick in Florida on Dec. 5, 2009

Presentation of Dena O'Callaghan for ordination

by married priest husband John O'Callaghan

Presentation of Katy Zatsick by Eleonora Marinaro

Prostration/Litany of Saints

Laying on of Hands/Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan

Laying on of Hands by married priest John O'Callaghan

at ordination of Dena, his wife.

Laying on of Hands/Community

Prayer of Consecration in Ordination Rite

Investiture with Stoles

Presentation of newly ordained Roman Catholic Women Deacons to Assembly

Dena and Katy prepare the Altar for Liturg y of the Eucharist

Liturgy of the Eucharist, Prayer of Consecration

Married Priest, Mike Rigdon, from Mary,

Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

presents gifts from CORPUS,

a married priests 'national organization,

that supports women priests

and works as partners to renew

the Roman Catholic Church

in grassroots communities in the United States.

Hank Tessadori, from Good Shepherd Inclusive

Catholic Community in Ft. Myers

presents a painting of "women at the table" that depicts

Jesus with cotemporary women disciples of Christ.

Judy Lee, pastor of Good Shepherd Community and

administrator of the Southern Region is seated

next to Jesus in this inspirational painting.

Bridget Mary, joyfully accepts painting.

Recessional Hymn: Notice RCWP bows before altar

and before the Body of Christ, the people of God

Visit our website:

Information on ordinations in Southern Region and liturgies:

email: Bridget Mary Meehan at

Monday, December 7, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Homily for 2nd Sunday of Advent/Cycle C by Roberta Meehan

Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent – Cycle C – 06 December 2009
(This homily was prepared for presentation at the Ecumenical Worship Service at Banner Estrella Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.)
Readings from the Common Lectionary
Alternate Readings Malachi 3:1-4 ,Baruch* 5:1-9Psalm126 Luke 1:68-79Philippians 1:3-11 Philippians 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-6 ,(Same)
(* Baruch in the Catholic and Episcopal traditions is called a Deuterocanonical text; in many – not all – Protestant traditions it is considered to be an Apocryphal book and is found in the Apocryphal sections of most Protestant Bibles.)

Today’s theme is Prepare and Rejoice! Here we are at the second Sunday of Advent and I must ask you if you are prepared and if you are rejoicing. How easy it is to forget that this is a season of rejoicing! After all, we are re-enacting the time that the chosen people waited for the Messiah. We forget the rejoicing part and we tend to think only of the waiting part. I think we forget we are not really waiting but that we are re-enacting the time of waiting. Jesus is here and we are preparing to celebrate his birthday!
This is a wonderful birthday party that we are getting ready for! And we are all invited! Our theme is Prepare and Rejoice! but if we look at our readings today, the rejoice part comes first! This is amazing! In our common way of thinking, we usually think that we have to prepare before we rejoice. But, that is not what we learn in today’s readings!
For the first reading, I looked at both the selection from Malachi and the section from Baruch. Both say approximately the same thing. You can check that for yourself. Baruch is a bit more dramatic and flamboyant, which is why I chose it for our reading. So, what does Baruch say? Let us look at a few select phrases. “Jerusalem, take off your robes of mourning and misery and put on the splendor of glory from God….for God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.” Does this not sound like an exciting reading? Does this not sound like a call for rejoicing? Does this not sound like we should be preparing with a sense of jubilation? After all, we have the glory of God to guide us! Now, let us look at that Psalm. The Antiphon is, “God has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.” Now, that sounds pretty exciting! And if we look at Psalm 126 (a Psalm that is almost unique in that it is complete within the liturgy – most Psalms are included only in part), we see several very interesting jubilation points. Here they are: “…our tongue with rejoicing,” “we are glad indeed.” “Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.” “…they shall come back rejoicing.” Those are very happy exclamations! How can we not rejoice?
Let us look at our second reading from Philippians. This too is full of joy and excitement! Just to lift a few phrases, we hear, “I pray always with joy” and “that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge of every kind of perception….” And that you may be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.” These are exciting phrases! These are statements that fill us with hope and joy! How can we think anything else? This is part of our REJOICE statement. We need to rejoice because we know the story, We know what will happen. We know that Jesus has come and that we are awaiting his birthday party! Are you ready for the birthday party???? So far we have talked about the rejoicing part of our theme. But, the theme is Rejoice and Prepare. Now let us look at the Gospel. Keep in mind that so far we have heard nothing except the Rejoice message.
Finally, here in the Gospel, the final reading of the liturgy, we hear something about preparing. Amazing! Look at that message from Luke. We are excited by the rejoice messages but now, suddenly, we have a PREPARE message. Isn’t this interesting? The PREPARE message is amazingly simple. Luke tells us that John went throughout the region proclaiming a baptism of repentance and he then quotes Isaiah’s profound statement of “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths….” The Gospel concludes by saying that “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” What does all of this mean for us? Well, clearly we have to prepare for God in our lives. But, I think it is important for us to keep this in perspective. The last line of the Gospel tells us that all flesh will see the salvation of God. But, we have already seen it! We know the story.
We know what happened. Jesus came, he was crucified, and he rose from the dead. Jesus is our salvation. So, we know the end of the story. We have seen the salvation of God! In addition to our personal preparations, perhaps we need to concentrate on the other part of the day’s message – REJOICE. Do we spend so much time with pious preparations that we forget to rejoice? These are exciting readings! These readings are full of glorious and rejoicing words. That is where we need to be. After all, Christ is here. It is not that he is coming; he is here. During advent, we are simply re-enacting the time our ancestors waited for the Messiah. But, he is here and we need to rejoice as we prepare for this marvelous birthday party we are all invited to on December 25.

Roberta M. Meehan

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Diverse Congregations Welcome The Historic Ordinations of Roman Catholic Women Deacons in Florida

On Dec. 5, 2009 Dena'O Callaghan and Katy Zatsick were ordained as deacons in the Roman Catholic Women Priests. This historic occasion marks the first ordinations of women priests in Florida and the combining of two congregations served by women priests and representing the inclusive church that is not of the future but is here now.

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan presided, Judy Lee , the Regional Administrator, was the MC and Eleonora Marinaro, the Regional Coordinator, presented the women to the assembly. Linda Miska was the Music Director and Michael Rigdon, Jack Duffy and Jack Meehan the Music Ministers. The Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, of Ft. Myers, and the Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community of Sarasota participated enthusiastically. On this holy day, we were one church, well to do and poor, male and female, black and white, the once homeless and those with homes, born Americans and strangers in the land. We came together to celebrate Dena and Katy, Deacons,called to serve the people of God.

Pastol Phil Garrison, welcomed the assembly, to the United Church of Christ , the first church to ordain a woman Pastor in 1956. At the Table all were welcomed. Co-celebrants were: Michael Rigdon, John O'Callaghan, and David Gabhouri, married priests, Phil Garrison, United Church of Christ Pastor, and Eleonora Marinaro and Judy Lee, women priests with Bridget Mary Meehan, Bishop of the Southern Region presiding.

At the closing of the litrgy Corpus, represented by Michael Rigdon presented Katy and Dena with pyxes. And, Hank Tessndori, an artist from the Good Shepherd Community presented Bridget Mary and the Southern Region with a prophetic and beautiful painting entitled: Women At the Table.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Article on Blog about women priests and feminism

"However, it seems that the Spirit is calling women anyway. World-wide there are over 100 Roman Catholic (RC) women ordained under the auspices of RCWP (Roman Catholic Women Priests) and more in the process.They are forming communities; they are ordained from both canonical and non-canonical communities; their bishops are pastoral not administrative; they utilize a consensus model of decision-making and democratic processes. "Our goal is a new model of ordained ministry in a renewing Roman Catholic Church," according to Bridget Mary Meehan, Bishop of Southern Region, RCWP, former Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister. "

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Article by Author James Carroll on Church's rightward turn

Does God Hate the Kennedys
by James Carroll
November 28, 2009

"How reactionary has the Catholic hierarchy become? Let me count the ways:
• Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence “respectfully” tells Congressman Patrick Kennedy to refrain from receiving communion, a harbinger of what every pro-choice or pro-gay-marriage Catholic politician faces.
• Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington threatens to cancel Catholic provision of services to the homeless and poor if the D.C. City Council passes a law giving equal rights to gays. .."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests : Homily for the First Sunday of Advent-Cycle C by Roberta M. Meehan, rcwp

Homily for the First Sunday of Advent
– Cycle C –
29 November 2009

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14

1 Thessalonians 3:12 – 4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

It is often said that the key to the central theme of the readings can be found in the Psalm. This is usually true. Sometimes, however, this key is a bit hidden. That is what we are faced with today – an almost hidden theme, hidden right in plain sight!
Let us start by looking at the first line of the Psalm. “Your ways, O God, make known to me….” Now, that seems like a rather straight-forward verse. And, on the surface it is. We need to keep it in mind, however, as we go through the readings and try to discern what our theme is for this First Sunday of Advent. Advent should be a happy time because we already know the story. We may be waiting for Jesus – but he is already here! We have cause to rejoice. Advent is for rejoicing! Indeed, this upbeat idea fits right into today’s readings! And, this idea is in that first line of the Psalm too. “Your ways, O God, make known to me.” What are these ways and are they really joyful? Let us examine each of the readings and see. The readings are all about our learning and knowing the ways of the Lord, which is the plea of the Psalm. And each reading is up lifting and happy. In the reading from Jeremiah, God says, “The days are coming when I will fulfill the promise I made to the House of Israel and Judah….In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure.” God also promises a leader who will do all that is right and just. Those sound like rather exciting promises! Imagine the land safe and secure. Imagine not having to worry about anything that is not right or just and leaders who practice these virtues in all things. This definitely fits the plea of the Psalm. This is certainly very positive. The second reading, from the First Letter to the Thessalonians, is a direct answer to the cry of the Psalm. “May God make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all…to be blameless in holiness before our God….(We) ask and exhort you…(that)…you should conduct yourselves to please God….” These are the same directives – the same ways o fGod – that are found throughout Scripture, particularly the New Testament. Definitely positive. The Gospel from Luke also answers the query about the ways of God and specifically mentions right behavior so that we are not caught by surprise. In this reading, however, the emphasis is on end times and the writing itself is almost apocalyptic in nature as it talks about signs in the skies and disruptions among nations and roaring waves and the coming of the Son of Man. Even so, we are prepared so again we have a positive and exciting message. So, if we look at a succinct overview of what we have here, we see that we are looking for the way of God. We see the promise and what will happen when God reigns in Jeremiah; we see the directives of Jesus (albeit through Paul) in Thessalonians; and we see the warnings of the end times and the coming of the Chosen One in Luke. This seems to be very much of an answer to the plea to be shown the way – right through history, from the prophets, through Jesus, to the end. And it is all there for our happiness, for our benefit. What about this first Sunday of Advent though? How does this fit – both with the theme and with the statement earlier that Advent is a time of rejoicing? Advent should be a time of excitement, of exhilaration! We know the end of the story! We know Jesus has already come! This is not a time for being morose. We are getting ready for a birthday party! Everyone know how exciting it is to prepare for a birthday party! People are happy. They are singing. They are wrapping gifts. They are decorating. Why does the church think advent must be so somber? What is wrong with Christmas Carols during Advent? Nothing, I say! We’re getting ready for a wonderful birthday party. We know the story of Advent. We know about waiting for the Messiah. Well, here in our readings today we have the whole story! We have the initial promise, the basic rules for doing what pleases God, and the final coming. What more could we ask for? Why are we glum during Advent? I have never understood that. And I am excited that this year I have heard a number of people wishing each other a “Happy Advent!” Indeed, it should be a Happy Advent!! We know the whole story! We know how the story will end for each of us individually and we know how it will end for the world. Our individual ends are in sight; the end of the world is probably several million years in the future. Regardless, we must still be prepared. And, we do have those directions. So we should rejoice. At least that old stand by “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” has the word “rejoice” in it – even if too many people do sing it like a funeral dirge! So, what is Advent really about? Advent is a reenactment of the wait for the Messiah. The Messiah is already here; Advent is a reminder, a reenactment. It is also a time for planning a birthday party. Let us rejoice that Jesus has come as promised. Let us rejoice that we know the story. Let us rejoice that we are each invited to take part in his birthday celebration. The actual wait was over 2000 years ago. Let us reenact the wait but let us do so with a sense of jubilation because he did come and he is still here among us. Oh, and have a very Happy Advent!!
Roberta M. Meehan, rcwp

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community worships at St. Andrew UCC in Sarasota, Dec.-April

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community You are invited to celebrate inclusive Catholic Liturgy with us on Sat. evenings at 6:00pm from Dec.- April at St. Andrew UCC 6908 Beneva Rd. Sarasota, Florida 34238 We are a community of equals where all are welcome to come and celebrate God's extravagant love in our midst We are passionate about loving God living Jesus' call to Gospel equality and justice.
For more information,
email Bridget Mary at
email Mike Ridgon at