Saturday, September 25, 2010

Credo: Bridget Mary Meehan | Washington Examiner

Credo: Bridget Mary Meehan | Washington Examiner

Credo: Bridget Mary Meehan

By: Leah Fabel
Examiner Staff Writer
September 24, 2010

(Andrew Harnik/Examiner)

Bridget Mary Meehan entered a convent as an 18-year-old woman, inspired by a Roman Catholic faith born during her childhood in the Irish countryside. But as her faith matured, Meehan felt increasingly called to the priesthood, despite church laws forbidding women's ordination. In 2006, she rejected Catholic law and was ordained as a priest. She is one of about 80 women worldwide who claim Catholic priesthood and lead church communities, saying that apostolic succession has been transmitted by a bishop who remains anonymous. Meehan, 61, spoke with The Washington Examiner about the beliefs that drive her to disobey the Vatican, even as she holds fast to Catholicism.

Do you consider yourself to be of a specific faith?

I'm a Roman Catholic. I appreciate the faith for the prayer life that it has opened up to me, and to people throughout the centuries. And I value its teachings of justice, peace and equality through the application of what Jesus taught: Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself; love your neighbor as yourself; what you do to the least of my people, you do to me.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

We've had enough': Portland Catholic women to skip Sunday morning Mass over treatment of women

"We had been talking amongst ourselves about how to be a woman and be a Catholic, dealing with that angst," says Sarah Granger, 34, who is active in St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland. "Her call struck a chord with us. We needed to do something, to say, 'We've had enough.'" But she and other women from St. Andrew's envisioned a "prayerful, positive public witness," not a protest or a boycott. "

"Sleeman -- who is from Ireland and the mother of a monk -- said at the time that her call was inspired by a Vatican statement in July that seemed to equate the ordination of women with pedophilia. "One Spirit -- One Call" will unfold at 9:30 a.m. Sunday in the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. The 90-minute program calls for prayers, a gospel reflection, and a litany of women saints. Organizers say they hope participants will attend Mass on Saturday night or stay downtown for a special noon Mass at the Downtown Chapel. "

Bridget Mary" Reflection.
Now the revolution led by gutsy Catholic Women has begun. Special thanks to Jennifer Sleeman, an 80 year-old grandmother for challenging the Vatican in response to their outrageous linking of the ordination of women with pedophilia. Tomorrow in Ireland and in Portland Oregon, women will come together to witness to equality and demand change from our hierarchy.
Women are fed up with the stained glass ceiling in the Catholic Church that keeps them out of the top jobs and excludes them from priestly ministry. They reject the lame excuse that the church has no power whatsoever to ordain women because Jesus was a male and therefore the priest must be male. This argument is sexist and belongs in the dustbin of history. Do they seriously think that God is impotent before women? Most Catholics believe that women are equal images of God and that God can call either men or women to priestly ministry. The church is now at a tipping point. Faithful Catholic women have had enough of second class citizenship in their own church.Courageous women are leading the way to take back our church and make it a community of equals. The full equality of women in the church, including priestly ministry is the voice of God in our times. When Catholics demand change, and stop giving money to their parishes, change will come. Hopefully, this day of prayerful witness will lead the women activists of "One Call , One Spirit" to become proactive in the movement to support women called to priestly ministry in a people-empowered church.. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are already on the ground working to renew our church in enthusiastic, inclusive grassroots communities in 23 states in the U.S., Canada, Europe and coming soon South America. We are growing like the tiny mustard seed. Visit our website:
Bridget Mary Meehan,RCWP

Woman in Priestly Garb Sounds ‘a Great Echo’ by Elisabetta Povoled, New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLED, September 25, 2010/NY Times

MILAN —"Maria Vittoria Longhitano lay before the altar in May in Rome when she was ordained a priest of the Old Catholic Church..."

..."But the Roman Catholic Church has no place for women among its clerical ranks, as the Vatican stated forcefully over the summer when it decreed that the attempt to ordain female priests is to be considered one of the most serious crimes against church law."

"Equating ordination of women with a crime like pedophilia drew howls of outrage from many Catholics..."

"Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Washington-based Women’s Ordination Conference, argued that placing the ordination of female priests in the rank of “highest crime” suggested that the Vatican was on the defensive “because our movement is growing...”

“...We were excommunicated in 2008, but we rejected it,” said Bridget Mary Meehan, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Womenpriests organization, who was ordained a priest in 2006 without Vatican consent. “What matters is that we follow our conscience.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Tensions Linger Between Pope and Anglicans" NY Times, Womenpriests Here To Stay

September 21, 2010
by Rachel Donadio


...the two churches that split during the Reformation over issues of papal authority are as divided as ever.

“Christians have very diverse views about the nature of the vocation that belongs to the See of Rome.”

"Both Anglicans and Catholics say that dialogue aimed at full communion — in which the two churches work toward mending the rift of the Reformation — has grown nearly impossible since the Church of England opened the way for female bishops. It first ordained women as priests in 1994."

"In the coming years, the Church of England is on track to ordain the first female bishops, a move that is expected to divide the Anglican Communion even further, including pitting more liberal communities in England and elsewhere against more traditional ones in Africa."

"Once women become bishops, more Anglican traditionalists are widely expected to leave — although it remains to be seen whether they will join the Roman Catholic Church, which recently ruled that ordaining women as Catholic priests is a crime against the faith, punishable by excommunication."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Sexism is a sin. The Vatican needs to repent and recognize the gift that womenpriests bring to our church. We practice prophetic obedience to the Gospels. Jesus treated women and men as equals. The Risen Christ gave prominence to Mary of Magdala by appearing to her first and calling her to be the apostle to the apostles. Jesus did not ordain anyone according to the Gospels. Womenpriests remind all that women are equal images of Christ, and therefore can preside at Eucharist and all the sacraments. Right now the institutional church has six sacraments for women and 7 for men. Catholics are voting with their feet by their enthusiastic acceptance of womenpriests. They do not believe that it is a crime to ordain women. The real crime is the Vatican's policy of discrimination against women! The Vatican's punitive action against womenpriests has been condemned by Catholics and non-Catholics alike throughout the world. Not one pedophile or bishop who shuffled predator priests was excommunicated! The sexual abuse of thousands of youth and the unjust treatment of women in the church are real crimes from which the Vatican should repent ! Bridget Mary Meehan 703-505-0004,

A Revolution Has Begun: Catholic Women Protest Exclusive Male-Dominated Church/ Protest Led by Jennifer Sleeman, 80-year old Gutsy Irish Woman/

For some weeks Jennifer Sleeman has been in the news in Ireland. She is the 80 year active Catholic and mother of a monk who made news by declaring her dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church - 'Somehow I have grown up but the church has not'. Read her story in the Irish Times report. She has decided to make a protest and has invited women to join her 'Whatever change you long for, recognition, ordination, the end of celibacy, which is another means of keeping women out, join with your sisters and let the hierarchy know by your absence that the days of an exclusively male-dominated church are over.' WOW (Womens Ordination World wide have taken up her idea and have sent the fol lowing letter.

Take Action on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) stands in solidarity with Catholic women in Ireland who call for a widespread boycott of Mass on Sunday, September 26, 2010.

"Women make up 60% of Mass-goers and 80% of lay ministers. If each one of us took action on one single day, there is no doubt that this would be a powerful and significant event," stated Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director of the Women's Ordination Conference (WOC). "The practical, financial, and political implications would be substantial to say the least," Hanna continued.

Jennifer Sleeman, an active Catholic from Cork, Ireland initiated this movement when she urged women of Ireland to send a message to the Vatican that "women are tired of being treated as second-class citizens in the Church." This call which began with one woman is now spreading beyond the shores of Ireland as women around the world link arms together for participation in the day of action.

In solidarity with Sleeman, WOW supports her call for justice for women in the Catholic Church. Recognizing the many different ways of bearing witness to the institutional sin of sexism that marginalizes women in the Church, on September 26th, 2010 WOW encourages people of Catholic faith to consider organizing one of the following options for their parish communities:

  • Withhold Funds: Instead of making a donation at collection time, place a note in the collection basket that expresses your support for women's ordination. (Print a postcard here.)
  • Wear green armbands to Mass
  • Boycott Mass: Grieving the Church's sin of sexism, part icipate in a prayerful fast from mass. Gather together in one of the many other meaningful ways in which the Eucharist can be celebrated, including women-led or community led communities.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

1. Attend a Woman-Priest led liturgy.

2. Call forth women in your community to serve in a renewed priestly ministry.

3. Give a donation to Roman Catholic Womenpriests to support educaion of women called to prepare for priestly vocation

Vatican Bank Probe Marks Frst Time Its Accounts Blocked/CNN

"Rome, Italy (CNN) -- An Italian probe into the Vatican Bank marks the first time Italian authorities have ever blocked an account at the bank, prosecutors told CNN Wednesday.

Italian authorities informed the Vatican Bank Tuesday that it was under investigation over possible violations of money laundering regulations, prosecutor Nello Rossi told CNN.

Prosecutors seized 23 million euros (about $30 million) in Vatican Bank transactions "as a cautionary measure" on Monday, he said."

AP Story:

Italian police seize $30M from Vatican in probe

The National Coalition of American Nuns Statement: Challenging the Vatican, Calling for Open Discussion on Women's Ordination

The National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN)

Statements - NCAN Board Meeting - August 16-18, 2010, Detroit, MI

1. Women’s Ordination

As Vatican II Catholics, committed to following Jesus who welcomed all people, we, and the majority of U.S. Catholics, believe in women’s priestly ordination. We cannot remain silent. We call for open, honest, and meaningful discussion.

We have witnessed some of our sisters and brothers being publicly chastised, removed from their ministries, put under interdict, and threatened with excommunication for their belief that women can be ordained priests. We think of Sister Louis Lears, who was placed under interdict for participating in the ordination of a woman priest in St. Louis. We think of Sister Louise Akers who was denied teaching in Catholic facilities because of her support of women’s ordination. We think of Fr. Roy Bourgeois who, according to the Vatican, incurred excommunication because of his public support of women’s ordination. We think of Janine Denomme who was denied a Catholic funeral and burial in a Catholic cemetery in Chicago because she was ordained a priest. We think of all those ordained in the Roman Catholic Womenpriest Movement, and those who attended their ordinations, who are considered excommunicated by the Vatican.

It is beyond our comprehension how the Vatican and individual bishops can summarily dismiss these committed Catholics who believe they are following the implications of the Gospel’s acceptance of women. We are appalled that the Vatican can equate the “attempted” ordination of women with the sexual abuse of minors.

When one of us is punished unjustly, we are all diminished, including those who punish. We call for the elimination of all sanctions against persons who support the ordination of women. We deplore the atmosphere of intimidation and fear that attempts to silence dissent and fails to respect our Gospel-informed conscience.

Silence is a betrayal of the Gospel, a betrayal of Vatican II, a betrayal of our Church, and a betrayal of conscience. The time for us to speak is NOW.

2. Service or Domination

Jesus’ way of teaching was affirming, inviting, encouraging and inspiring. He modeled service, rather than domination. He taught us the Beatitudes, which call forth the best in us, and spoke of God’s rewards for faithful service.

It is apparent that many church leaders do not exemplify the ideal expressed in the Beatitudes, but rather use denunciations, recriminations, dismissal, and punishments. The Bishop of Phoenix declared Sister Margaret McBride excommunicated because she chose to save the life of a mother of four who would have died without the termination of her pregnancy. The Archbishop of Denver allowed the exclusion of two children from a Catholic grade school because they have lesbian mothers. The President of Marquette University withdrew the offer of a deanship to Jodi O’Brien because she is a lesbian who has published articles on gender discrimination.

We feel that the people of God are being held hostage to hierarchical views, which are being enunciated as the “teachings of the Church.” If these indeed are the teachings of the Church, they are far from their teacher, Jesus. We call on our hierarchy to obey the example of Jesus by following His compassionate teachings in the beatitudes. We call on our hierarchy to mirror, not the domination of Roman emperors in their quest to conquer the world, but the service of Jesus in the Gospels.

3. Vatican Visitation

A number of seminary personnel reported that the recent investigation of US seminaries did not reflect their actual experiences. We question how the Vatican will determine the results of their visitation of U.S. communities of women religious. No visitation should be completed without a final report being shared with the investigated community. We believe that the lack of transparency will invalidate the whole visitation process.

We cannot help but feel that this investigation is an attempt on the part of the Vatican to control US nuns and to silence dissenting voices. A recent poll reported in the National Catholic Reporter (Catholics want women religious to speak out on policy issues: Survey gives U.S. nuns strong Catholic backing,, June 4, 2010) showed that the majority of Catholics believe that women religious should follow their conscience and make public statements concerning church and society even when those statements counter the voice of the bishops.

Religious communities of women have long been engaged in self- studies, ministry evaluations, and spiritual development. Inspired by diverse charisms, under the leadership of duly elected leaders and Vatican approved constitutions, we women religious daily carry out our mission of compassionate service. We decry the assumption that mature women led by God’s Spirit are inadequate to live out their commitments without male oversight. As women religious we are proud of our history and the contributions women have made and are making in church and society.

4. Immigration

As members of the National Coalition of American Nuns, we call on all US citizens to welcome the stranger in our midst and to embrace all immigrants with respect and friendship.

We are alarmed by the anti-immigrant sentiments that have been voiced on the public airwaves. Recent legislation in Arizona and the subsequent state court ruling have fueled a national debate about racial profiling and scapegoating. Studies have shown that scapegoating tends to occur during times of financial stress, and such is the case in our present economy.

As daughters and sons of immigrants who established this country in their search of a better life, our hearts reach out to other immigrants in search of work to feed their families. As women of faith we believe that God’s earth was created for all peoples and that each person, citizen or not, is entitled to the basic human rights of health care, housing, education, and employment.

It is incumbent upon us to work for comprehensive immigration reform.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stained Glass Ceiling' Focus of Local (CTA) Conference/Grand Ledge Independent/ Lansing, MI.

Roman Catholic Womanpriest
Mary Ellen Robertson

by Mary Jo White

"Grand Ledge resident Karen Schrauben was one of the organizers of the day-long event and led the prayer service at its end, along with local married priest Dick Preston and Mary Ellen Robertson from Muskegon. Robertson has been ordained by Roman Catholic Womenpriest, a group not recognized by the Vatican which considers the attempted ordination of a woman among the "most grievous crimes," along with pedophilia."

"CTA is calling for needed change in our church," Schrauben said. "Women are definitely being discriminated against at all levels."

"The CTA keynote speaker was Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who founded the "School of the Americas Watch" in 1990 to oppose the training of Latin American soldiers in Fort Benning, Ga.More recently Bourgeois has taken a stand in support of the ordination of Roman Catholic women because he sees their exclusion from the priesthood as a justice issue. This is a grave injustice," he told the CTA audience. "Who are we as men to reject God's call to women to priesthood? Isn't God capable of empowering a woman? "...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy 35th Anniversary to Women's Ordination Conference/Enjoy Anniversary Video

Happy 35th Anniversary Women's Ordination Conference!

Thanks for stunning video. What a great trip down memory lane!
Shows diversity of women and men supporting our movement for justice and equality for women in the church.
I am grateful for all those who worked tirelessly for 35 years for women's ordination. Your support of Roman Catholic Womenpriests makes my spirit soar!
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Prayerful Public Witness: Raise Awareness of Injustices against Women in the Catholic Church

A prayerful public witness event in Portland, Oregon,
inspired by 80-year-old Jennifer Sleeman of Ireland,
to raise awareness of the injustices against women in
the Catholic Church.

Sunday, September 26, 2010
9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
South Park Blocks

Want to attend Mass before or after this event? Click here for Mass times in the Archdiocese of Portland.

Rain or shine!

All are welcome -- women, men, and children!

Women wear red!

Please bring a folding chair or two

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

You go, gutsy Catholic Women,

Speak out,

Resist discrimination,

Support a church in which women are treated as equals

Support Roman Catholic Womenpriests in our work for justice and equality for women in the church!

It is time for ACTION!