Saturday, August 28, 2010

Needed Ireland's Daughters to Serve as Priests and Save the Church

There is no vocation shortage in Ireland or anywhere else if the institutional church was to affirm women's vocation to the priesthood.

Now is the time for courageous Irish women to step up to serve the Roman Catholic Church in a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals! Let's get rid of the clericalism and share our beloved faith in Jesus who led the way by calling women and men as disciples and equals. St. Brigit of Kildare would be proud. She was ordained a bishop in Kildare where women and men served the Christian community in the double monastery there.

Like our foremothers who passed on our mystical, Celtic spirituality, Irish women today can lead the way toward justice and equality for women in the Church. After the boycott called by Jennifer Sleeman on Sept. 26th, I hope women in Ireland and around the world, will answer their God-given call to serve their communities as priests!

We owe a depth of gratitude to Jennifer Sleeman, the gutsy Irish grandmother who has called for a boycott of Mass attendance on Sept. 26th. Hopefully, many places, not just in Ireland, will catch the spirit and join Roman Catholic Womenpriests as we serve in inclusive communities where all are welcome in the U.S. , Canada, and Europe.

Women of the world, unite in solidarity to live Jesus call of Gospel equality now. Your faithful protest will not only shake up the boys in Rome, but may even change the institutional church in ways yet to be imagined!!
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP/USA Southern Region.

"On August 11th, 80 year old Jennifer Sleeman of Ireland called all women in Ireland to stay home from Mass on September 26th (her 81st birthday) to raise awareness of the unjust treatment of women in the Catholic Church. This was prompted by the Vatican’s declaration that ordination of women is a sin as grave as pedophilia. She said, “I think this might give people who perhaps feel voiceless in the church a voice. There are lots of women who feel very strongly about being able to do more within the church but are simply not allowed to do so.”
Many women of St. Andrew Parish in Portland, Oregon have been moved by Mrs. Sleeman’s call to witness to the injustices to women in the Church. We have been inspired to invite others across the Northwest to join us in promoting awareness of the Church’s treating women as second class citizens by staging a public event on September 26 to pray, sing, and give testimony to the need for change in the Church. Our intentions are not to be divisive or disrespectful; rather, with great hope, peace and prayerfulness, we desire to make a strong statement for justice for women, and the need for change in the Catholic Church. "

Ireland's sons turn their backs on the priesthood
By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Friday, 27 August 2010 - THE INDPENDENT UK
"The number of priestly ordinations in Ireland has dipped below England and Wales for the first time in living memory, new figures reveal. The recruitment crisis is a clear indication of how low the church has sunk in a country that once used to export Catholic missionaries to all corners of the globe and often provided Britain with a significant proportion of its priests. "
"According to new figures released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ireland, just 16 men are due to start training for the priesthood this autumn, less than half the 39 that signed up for the priesthood last year. In the 1980s Ireland would regularly draw more than 150 new recruits to the priesthood every year. "

Thursday, August 26, 2010

News Stories: Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan Calls For Justice and Equality for Sexual Abuse Survivors and for Women Priests in Ireland

Bridget Mary speaks at Humbert Summer School Aug. 20,1010 in Castlebar, Ireland

Bridget Mary Outside Cottage where family lived Coolkerry, County Laois, Ireland

Catholic Church is a 'toxic place' for women
Mayo News
Laois native, Bridget Mary Meehan, an ordained Bishop of the Roman Catholic Women Priests organisation in the US was speaking at the Humbert Summer School ...

Humbert Summer School 2010
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, who appeared last year on Joe Duffy's Spirit Level programme on RTE, is to speak at the Humbert Summer School in Castlebar this ...

The Irish Times - Friday, August 20, 2010
Call to boycott Mass may be start of 'revolution in Catholic Church'
PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent
A REVOLUTION “may already have started” in the Catholic Church in Ireland, the Humbert Summer School was told in Castlebar, Co Mayo, last night.
US religion commentator Robert Blair Kaiser said in the keynote address that news reports last week of 80-year-old Jennifer Sleeman’s call for a boycott of Sunday Mass on September 26th in protest at the Vatican’s treatment of women suggested that “this grandmother from Cork” may “already have started a revolution”.
“She obviously believes what I believe, that you can have a voice and a vote in your own church, and still be Catholic and, at the same time, Irish,” he said.
Author of 13 books, many on Catholic Church reform, as correspondent for Time magazine, Kaiser was awarded an Overseas Press Club award for his coverage of the Second Vatican Council.
Speaking last night on the topic Catholic Church Reform: No More Thrones, he said that “until the Copernican revolution, monarchs exercised absolute control over their subjects by divine right. But when the peoples of the world, informed by a new cosmology, put the divine right of kings into history’s dust bin, they forgot to toss the divine right of popes into the garbage, too.
He emphasised: “I am not attacking our Catholic faith. I am talking about the special and corrosive tyranny that popes have been exercising over Catholics everywhere . . .”
He said that “for a thousand years, popes have promoted a clerical church instead of a Jesus church, that the fathers of Vatican II worked for four serious years to give the church back to the people, and that popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI spent the next 30 years repealing their labour, and allowing corruption to reign, a move that has left our church, which is Christ’s body on earth, broken”....“Can you help create a people’s church?” he asked. “Yes! You can if you want to. In this context, I like to quote Pope John Paul II. In 1978, he travelled to Warsaw and told millions of Poles: ‘You can take back your country if you demand it.’ You could be saying the same thing: ‘We can take back our church if we demand it.’
“The Poles were fighting against long odds – the military might of the Soviet Union itself. But they won their battle.”
He said that “news over the past decade about our crumbling, abuse-of-authority church may tell us that change is already happening, happening faster than anyone thinks”.
Responding, Irish Catholic deputy editor Michael Kelly said that clericalism in the church “was at the heart of the sex abuse scandal”. By “clericalist” he meant “an elitist mind-set, together with structures and patterns of behaviour corresponding to it, that take it for granted that clerics are intrinsically superior to the other members of the church and deserve automatic deference. Passivity and dependency are the laity’s lot.”

The Irish Times - Saturday, July 31, 2010
'Being a woman priest is what I feel I am called to do'
PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent
The Vatican’s directive confirming its policy of excommunication for those involved in the ordination of women has been greeted with defiance by dissidents in the US and dismay by Irish campaigners
‘SHOCKING.” “A travesty.” “A slap in the face.” “The action of a paranoid, scared, running-for-cover Vatican.” Those are just some of the phrases used by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan to describe the latest directive from Rome on the ordination of women.
The Vatican’s Normae de Gravioribus Delictis , published two weeks ago, concerns sanctions in canon law for clerical child sex abuse, concelebration of the Eucharist with Protestant ministers, heresy, apostasy, schism – and the ordination of women. It reaffirmed the sanction of excommunication for anyone involved with the ordination of women in the Catholic Church.
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan is a leader of an ever-growing band of dissidents from this policy. She is “happy to be excommunicated. If they keep going like this there’ll soon be more ‘out’ than ‘in’. We’re at the heart of the church, renewing it. We’re not going to put up with second-class membership any more. We are an empowered community of Catholics. Mysticism and social justice are in my DNA as an Irish Catholic. I love the faith, but this corrupt church has to be reformed. Where are the excommunicated paedophiles or bishops who covered up the abuse of children?”...
Publication of Normae de Gravioribus Delictis has been “a watershed moment” for the Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) group, to which she belongs. It has attracted huge media attention to the RCWP in the US.
Meehan is based in Florida, where, she says, “the publicity is unbelievable”. Members of the movement in Europe have said to her that if the group can make headway in the US, the Vatican will take heed.
Rome just has to “get over the sexism and misogyny”, says Meehan. “To say women are not worthy is so over the top. It is very hateful to women. Very, very hostile to women.”
It has got to the stage, she claims, where people are now seeking out the RCWP as “the Catholic Church has become too toxic now”. Besides, “there were women deacons, priests, and bishops for the first 1,200 years of Christianity, in the Celtic Church too. There is a letter from Rome condemning women priests in the Irish church back then.”
Meehan was ordained bishop last year, having become a priest in 2006, and serves communities in Virginia and Florida.
The first women Catholic priests, the so-called “Danube" Seven”, were ordained on that river in Germany in 2002. Five were German, one was Austrian and one was American. The following year saw the ordination of two women Catholic bishops, one German, one Austrian.
As explained on the RCWP website, the ordinations “are valid because of our unbroken line of apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church. The principal consecrating Roman Catholic male bishop who ordained our first women bishops is a bishop with a line of unbroken apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope.”
The Vatican does not agree. On May 29th 2008 its Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) stated that the women priests and the bishops who ordained them would be excommunicated latae sententiae (automatically)..."

Vatican rejects resignations of 2 Dublin bishops
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK Associated Press Writer
EXCERPTS: DUBLIN (AP) -- Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has told priests that the Vatican has rejected the resignations of his two auxiliary bishops following their reported involvement in the Roman Catholic Church's cover-up of child abuse.

"Posters Advocating Womenpriests Will be on London's Buses When Pope Visists"

LONDON (Reuters Life!) -
"Pope Benedict will be confronted by posters on London's famous red buses during his trip to the British capital next month which will call for the ordination of women priests.
Protests are planned throughout his four-day trip to England and Scotland, the first papal visit since John Paul II's pastoral visit in 1982 and the first-ever official papal visit to Britain.
One group of women, Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will have its message plastered on the side of the buses as they travel along key routes, including past Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, where the pope is set to deliver a speech to Britain's civic society on September 17."