Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pope Accepts Resignation of a Bishop in Germany/New York Times Article
May 8, 2010
Pope Accepts Resignation of a Bishop in Germany

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday accepted the resignation of a German bishop under investigation for sexual abuse, the latest high-profile resignation since a sexual abuse crisis erupted in the Roman Catholic Church.

Through a lawyer, Bishop Mixa, 69, denied the accusations, which date to his time as bishop in the Bavarian town of Eichstätt from 1996 to 2005, The Augsburger Allgemeine said.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"How to Save Your Soul Without Religion"/New Blog by Sister Karol Jackowski, sfcc

How to Save Your Soul Without Religion
Posted by Sister Karol Jackowski
" Having spent half my life as a nun working at a Catholic College for women – Saint Mary’s in Notre Dame, Indiana – it wasn’t until I moved to New York City in 1990 and became a writer that I discovered so many people whose souls were nourished and saved without any religion at all."
Losing My Religion
"Last month, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life released a report entitled “Religion Among the Millenials” which found that one in four 18- to 29-year-olds are unaffiliated with a religion, but also appear to be more spiritually conscious and driven than older generations."

If you want to find out more, and you are in for a treat if you do:Visit her website at

Sister Karol Jackowski, a Sister for Christian Community is one funny nun! I recommend her new book: Ten Fun Things to Do Before You Die! She is helping us lighten up and enjoy our spiritual lives as the beloved in whom the Divine dwells, and who accompanies us everywhere.
The challenge for those of us who are working for renewal in Catholicism is to be the message that we proclaim. Instead of a focus on rules and regulations, we in the renewal movements like Roman Catholic Womenpriests are offering a new face of Catholicism that is inclusive, welcoming and joy-filled.
Karol, my sister, you go, girl!
Your sister,
Bridget Mary Meehan sfcc

Austria Cardinal Schonborn Attacks Sodano Urges Reform in Catholic Church

Schönborn attacks Sodano and urges reform
Christa Pongratz-Lippitt8 May 2010

"The head of the Austrian Church has launched an attack of one of the most senior cardinals in the Vatican, saying that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, “deeply wronged” the victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy when he dismissed media reports of the scandal. In a meeting with editors of the main Austrian daily newspapers last week, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, also said the Roman Curia was “urgently in need of reform”, and that lasting gay relationships deserved respect. He reiterated his view that the Church needs to reconsider its position on re-married divorcees."....

Is this the beginning of the institutional church dealing with the issue of sexual abuse and the need for reform in a more open, realistic way? I wonder how Cardinal Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, feels about women priests! It is interesting to me that one of our first womenpriests is from Austria and lives in Austria, Roman Catholic Woman bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, who has celebrated funerals and weddings with male Catholic priests in Catholic Churches in Austria with the knowlege of diocesan officials. Perhaps, let us hope this is a crack in the stained glass ceiling in the Roman Catholic Church!
Bridget Mary Meehan

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dateline TV Interview with Fr. Tom Doyle

GEORGE NEGUS:"It sounds like you're saying if the Church has a close look at itself in the way you're suggesting it has to almost pull the whole institution apart and start all over again."

"FATHER TOM DOYLE: Well, I think there are a lot of things that they should take a close look at - celibacy being one of them. They're deathly afraid to look at the women priests issue because they claim that Jesus Christ only ordained men. Well, that's a long short there - to presume that Christ had an ordination ceremony at the Last Supper, you know, that's a bit of a stretch..."

FATHER TOM DOYLE: "It's unfortunate that it takes this type of destruction to move it towards change, but that's what has to happen, I believe. I'm not one anymore to mince words and be diplomatic and fart around with this. I mean, this is it. I've spent 25 years talking to people who've been ruined because of this stuff, and you know, the whole damn thing, they ought to sell the Vatican to the Mormons or to Disney or something and go out and start all over again."

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are offering the church a new model of priestly ministry that is not hierarchical. We have become the change that the church needs to be.
Check us out.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Holy Week with Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community Fort Myers, Florida-Roman Catholic Woman Priest Judy Lee

Holy Week calls forth the faithful of Good Shepherd Community in Fort Myers, Florida as it does throughout the world. With tremendous love and passion our people, poor, once homeless, and some still homeless along with persons who support us from various local Catholic parishes, and other Christian denominations, including Lamb of God Lutheran-Episcopal Church, walk together from Palm Sunday through Easter.

These pictures show us blessing the palms outside on Palm Sunday before processing into the House Church where we worship on one side and where up to five homeless individuals live as they make the transition from homelessness on the other side.
It shows our people outside in the local park walking the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. We pray in front of the Hospital where we lost six of our homeless people this year. On the Cross are petitions written by our people and nailed to the Cross with Jesus. With the fifteenth Station we all rise again with Jesus and say "We rise, we rise!" Then we proceed to the Church for our Good Friday worship.
On Easter this year we also had three baptisms-of a Grandmother and two of her grand daughters. So our Easter celebration was doubly full of joy this year!

Each week in the Easter Octave we say: Jesus is risen and I rise. We are filled with new life as we anticipate the refreshment of the Holy Spirit and pray that we may be a serving church.
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP

"Church Leaders Are Spinning Their Wheels"/Article by Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish/National Catholic Reporter

Church leaders are spinning their wheels
by Maureen Paul Turlish on May. 04, 2010 -NCR Online
The institutional Roman Catholic church can attack every newspaper in every country in the world but that will not change the fact that as an institution it has participated in an extremely well documented, egregious pattern of enabling and covering up for the sexual abuse of thousands of innocent children the world over during almost an entire century.

"What are the systemic and endemic flaws in church structure and governance that gave rise to the continuing crisis of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church? ...

..."And is it really necessary for bishops to call down God's wrath on another newspaper when what they should be doing is "besieging" their fellow hierarchs to initiate the reform and renewal that is so necessary?"

"Have they learned so little in eight years?"

[Maureen Paul Turlish, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, is a victims' advocate and writes from New Castle, Del.]

Vatican Launches Investigatons Against Nuns/ Modern Day Inquisition/ Nuns Should Not Cooperate in their own Oppression

What a waste of money and a travesty of justice? Instead of focusing on structural reforms that will prevent sex abuse in the future, including women priests and married priests, the Vatican is launching a modern day inquisition of the nuns, one of the most dedicated workforces in history. Why? One of the top reasons is women's ordination. We now have women priests and the Vatican is afraid that they will join us in our journey toward justice and equality for women in ministry in the church. I sure hope so.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests will ordain qualified candidates, including nuns of course, who are committed to a renewed priestly ministry in an inclusive church!
Sisters, as I have said before, it is time to affirm freedom of conscience , rid yourselves of the alabatross of institutional oppression, and continue your work for justice, peace and equality around the world. Do not coooperate in your own oppression. Witness prophetic obedience to Gospel equality and lead the way in union with the people of God toward a renewed, reformed, liberated Catholic Church! You have the support of millions of Catholics! Perhaps, you may want to consider non-canonical status like my religious community, Sisters for Christian Community.
Bridget Mary Meehan

Media Contact:Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director, O: 773.404.0004 x262
Nicole Sotelo, Communications Director, O: 773.404.0004 x285

As World Examines Vatican on Sexual Abuse; Vatican Quietly Launches Investigations Against Nuns While the world's attention focuses on the Vatican this month in the continuing revelations of sexual abuse cover-up, the Vatican also quietly launched its on-site investigations of women religious in the United States.As part of a multi-year investigation that began in 2009, these on-site visitations are the third of a four-phase investigation into the lives of approximately 53,000 women religious. Teams of visitors chosen by Mother Clare Millea, the Vatican-appointed investigator, will visit selected congregations during the weeks of April 11th to May 30th and again from September 12th to December 12th. "Where are the church's priorities?" asked Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action, the nation's largest progressive Catholic justice organization. "Instead of focusing on how they can prevent additional sexual abuse of vulnerable children, the Vatican is spending time and money on an investigation into women's religious communities and ministries that have often been at the forefront of caring for children in schools, hospitals, food kitchens and parish communities.""The Vatican has estimated that their investigation will cost $1.1 million dollars. It is unconscionable that a church that prides itself on helping the poor would spend over a million dollars investigating its own people due to a small group of conservative male leaders who do not like the fact that women religious do not always fall under their control. It is an egregious example of the sexism that still pervades our religious structures.""Our prayers remain with the women religious during this time of trial," said FitzGerald. "We urge the Vatican to focus on real priorities now: caring for the survivors of sexual abuse and creating new structures of accountable leadership so that our churches may become safe places, true sanctuaries, for children and families everywhere.

"For more information, see: Vatican asks U.S. bishops to fund $1.1 million sisters study
Apostolic Visitator details on-site visit guidelines
Official Apostolic Visitation Website
Call To Action (CTA) is a Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society. An independent national organization of over 25,000 people and 53 local chapters, CTA believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just its appointed leaders. Visit our website at

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vatican Statement on Apostolic Visitation of Legionaries of Christ

Vatican Statement on Apostolic Visitation of Legionaries of Christ
"....One of the sessions took place in the presence of the Holy Father, to whom the Visitors presented a summary of their report, which had been previously submitted. During the visitation over 1,000 Legionnaires were met in person and hundreds of written documents were examined. The Visitors have visited almost all the religious houses and many of the works of the apostolate directed by the Congregation. 2. The Apostolic Visitation was able to ascertain that the behaviour of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado has caused serious consequences in the life and structure of the Legion, so much so, to require a journey of profound re-evaluation. The serious and objectively immoral behaviour of Fr. Maciel, supported by incontrovertible evidence, at times constitutes real crimes, and manifests a life devoid of scruples and of genuine religious feeling. The large majority of Legionaries were unaware of that life, particularly because of the system of relations created by Fr. Maciel, who had skilfully managed to build up an alibi, to gain the trust, confidence and surrounding silence and strengthen his role as a charismatic founder. Not infrequently the lamentable disgracing and expulsion of those who doubted his upright conduct, and the misconception of not wanting to harm the good that the Legion was doing, had created around him a defence mechanism which made him untouchable for a long time , thus rendering knowledge of his real life difficult. 3. The sincere zeal of the majority of the Legionaries - which also emerged from the Visitation of the congregation houses and their many works, and which is appreciated by many - led many in the past to believe that the charges, which gradually became more insistent and widespread, could only be slander. Therefore the discovery and knowledge of the truth about the founder resulted in surprise, dismay and deep sorrow among members of the Legion, as clearly evidenced by the Visitors.4. From the results of the Apostolic Visitation it has emerged clearly, among other elements: a) the need to redefine the charism of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, preserving the core truth, that of "Militia Christi", which characterizes the apostolic and missionary action of the Church and which is not identifiable with efficacy at any cost; b) the need to review the exercise of authority, which must be conjoined to the truth, in respect of conscience and to develop in light of the Gospel as an authentic ecclesial service; c) the need to preserve young people's enthusiasm of faith, the missionary zeal, the apostolic dynamism, through appropriate formation. Indeed, disappointment about the founder could call into question the core of this vocation and charism that belongs and is specific to the Legionaries of Christ. 5. The Holy Father would like to assure all Legionnaires and members of the "Regnum Christi" Movement that they will not be left alone: the Church has a strong desire to accompany them and help them in the path of purification that awaits them. It will also mean sincere confrontation with all those who, inside and outside the Legion, were victims of sexual abuse and of the power system devised by the founder. It is to them, at this time, that the thoughts and prayers of the Holy Father go, along with his gratitude to the many who, even in the midst of great hardships, had the courage and perseverance to demand the truth. 6. The Holy Father, in thanking the Visitors for the delicate work which they competently carried out with generosity and deep pastoral sensitivity, assured them that he will soon indicate the modalities of this process of accompaniment, starting with the appointment of a Delegate and a Study Commission on the Constitution. The Holy Father will send a Visitor to the Regnum Christi Movement, in response to insistent requests from consecrated members thereof. 7. Finally, to all Legionaries of Christ, their families, committed lay people in the Regnum Christi movement, the Holy Father renewes his encouragement during this difficult time for the Congregation and each one of them. He urges them not to lose sight that their vocation, which originated from Christ’s call and is animated by the ideal to witness his love to the world, is a true gift from God, a treasure for the Church, the indestructible foundation on which to build their personal future and that of the Legion. "

"Who Can Mock this Church?" by Nicholas D. Kristof/ Catholics Need to Reform Structures / Sex Abuse Crisis/Womenpriests

Op-Ed Columnist
Who Can Mock This Church?
Published: May 1, 2010 - NY TIMES
JUBA, Sudan
Maybe the Catholic Church should be turned upside down.
"Jesus wasn’t known for pontificating from palaces, covering up scandals, or issuing Paleolithic edicts on social issues. Does anyone think he would have protected clergymen who raped children?"
"Yet if the top of the church has strayed from its roots, much of its base is still deeply inspiring.In the city of Juba, I met Cathy Arata, a nun from New Jersey who spent years working with battered women in Appalachia. Then she moved to El Salvador during the brutal civil war there, putting her life on the line to protect peasants..."

Yes, the people, including nuns like Sr. Cathy, are the face of Jesus in our midst! We are blessed the lived example of so many saints who have gone before us and who are in our midst.

That being said, this does not mean that ordinary Catholics can sit back and accept the status quo of inequality, injustice, and criminal behavior that is at the heart of our church's institutional meltdown! We are the church, all of us, not just the pope and the bishops. Catholics are responsible to do all we can to hold our leaders, including the pope and hierarchy accountable, for this global devastating sexual abuse crisis. We must take on the tough task of structural reform immediately. We need a renewed priestly ministry that includes women and men serving the church in a community of equals, that is fully accountable, open, inclusive, and just. Bridget Mary Meehan

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Sharpens Rift Over what a Priest Should Be/Vatican Model Outdated/ Needed a Church of Equals /Time for Womenpriests

Catholic sexual abuse scandal sharpens church rift over what a priest should be
Progressive Catholics and theologians in the US and Europe say the Vatican's model of a priest is outdated. The global sexual abuse scandal has sharpened the church's inner struggle over how to reform that model.

By Robert Marquand, Staff writer / May 2, 2010 -
Munich, Germany; and Paris

"One member of the Benedictine order who is close to the university but was not authorized to speak to the media described the directives, which came out of Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, as part of a “purification of the church concept in which women should not be in the classes. A lot of us feel this creates instead a fortress church, a reclusive model…priests leave school and immediately go into communities and work with married people, and women, but have had little contact with either group in their priestly formation. This all originated in the Vatican.” ...

"At the same time, a shortage in priests is looming. "

“The problem for us isn’t the future, the problem is now,” says a French priest in the 16th district of Paris."
"Numbers are falling: Some 700 foreign priests, mostly from Africa, work in French parishes. "
"In Germany, one finds Polish, Indian, and African men taking up priestly slack. A senior priest in Bavaria says his graduating seminary class in 1982 had 90 priests; this year’s class has fewer than 10... "

The Vatican needs to stop isolating its priests from healthy relationships with women. Women are not the problem, clericalism and discrimination against women are playing a destructive role in the Catholic Church today. There is no vocation shortage in the Catholic Church if women and married priests were officially sanctoned. In the 21st century, the Catholic Church needs to practice the equality that Jesus modeled to embrace all women and men who are called and gifted for sacramental service. We need a vibrant priestly ministry that is inclusive, Christ-centered and community oriented, where Jesus' example of a discipleship of equals is the ideal. The Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement offers the church a renewed model of priestly ministry in partnership with the people with whom we serve in grassroots communities now. There is no room in the Catholc Church for sexism and discrimination against women. the Church needs women now more then ever to step to heal and transform Catholicism. Bridget Mary Meehan

Roman Catholic Womenpriests ordains 2 priests, 3 deacons at Spiritus Christi in Rochester, New York on May 1, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests ordains 2 priests, 3 deacons at Spiritus Christi
James Goodman • Staff writer • May 2, 2010

"Chava Redonnet was ordained a priest in Rochester on Saturday in what she considers to be an act of ecclesiastical disobedience.
Although the Roman Catholic Church prohibits the ordination of women as priests, deacons and bishops, Redonnet considers herself to be Catholic and hopes to move the church in a more inclusive direction.

"About 350 people attended the ordination at Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester.
Bishop Andrea Johnson of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an international group established in 2002, conducted the ordinations of Redonnet and Theresa Novak Chabot of Manchester, N.H.
Three women were also ordained as deacons during Saturday's service: Patricia LaRosa of Rochester, Caryl Conroy Johnson of Philadelphia and Ann Penick of La Plata, Md.
"The risks are significant. But the call is clear," said Johnson.
She went on to say: "God's work is the work of justice and peace for all."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bring Pope to Justice/Newsweek Article

Unfortunately, the Vatican has acted as if it is above the law in providing a safe haven for bishops like Cardinal Law. This article raises major issues for the pope and the current way the Vatican operates. No matter what happens in the legal sphere, the court of public opinion , including Catholics worlwide, are holding the pope, the Vatican, and their bishops accountable.
The institutional church must abandon the sense of entitlement that gives special honors and priviledges to the hierarchy. This is what has led it to its current demise: protecting itself as the expense of the thousands of victims who were sexually abused. Catholics must step up now and take action to reform the church in grassroots communities, where decision-making is in the hands of the people and priests, not just the hierarchy, and where women priests, married priests as well as celibate priests serve in a renewed priestly ministry. It is time!
Bridget Mary Meehan

Bring Pope to Justice
"Detain or subpoena the pope for questioning in the child-rape scandal? You must be joking! All right then, try the only alternative formulation: declare the pope to be above and beyond all local and international laws, and immune when it comes to his personal and institutional responsibility for sheltering criminals. The joke there would be on us."

..."This point must have hung in the air a bit, and perhaps lodged in Cardinal Law's own mind, because in December of that year he left Boston just hours before state troopers arrived with a subpoena seeking his grand-jury testimony. Where did he go? To Rome, where he later voted in the election of Pope Benedict XVI and now presides over the beautiful church of Santa Maria Maggiore, as well as several Vatican subcommittees.".....