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