Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Not enough Catholic priests? End celibacy, ordain women"/Baltimore Sun

"Parishioners need to speak up to remove a theologically dubious barrier to the priesthood"

By Dan Rodricks/The Baltimore Sun

October 27, 2010

"Their church is not a democracy, but Catholics who still care about this can do something about it. They can speak up. They can demand change. They can present their bishops with sensible solutions."

"The Rev. Richard McBrien, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, has suggested that the church could welcome back the many priests who, over the last few decades, left to marry and might still be willing to serve as married priests. Celibacy needs to go, and so does the equally theologically dubious ban on the ordination of women."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vatican Refuses Permission for Filming of Victims of Clergy Abuse to Gather at St. Peters Square

October 26, 2010

Boston Massachusetts

For Immediate Release
Gary Bergeron / 978-606-3193
Bernie McDaid / 617-529-2029

Survivors Voice Inc

Vatican Refuses Permission for Filming of Victims of Clergy Abuse to Gather at

St. Peters Square

October 26, 2010 Boston Massachusetts: Survivors Voice ( co-founders Gary Bergeron & Bernie McDaid plan to move ahead with the Reformation Day event on Sunday, October 31, 2010.

Survivor's Voice was informed today that the Vatican social communications officer, Mr. Scelzo, began informing members of the media yesterday that they will not be allowed to cover the Reformation Day event or film from the grounds of the Vatican. Survivors Voice has also been denied permits for victims of clergy abuse to gather as a group on Vatican property.

The event which is described as "A gathering of people from around the globe standing together with survivors of childhood sexual abuse in one united voice to say "Enough!" will go on as planned at the City Square in front of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome beginning at 6:00 pm on Sunday Evening, October 31st.

"Although we are disheartened by the news, we are not discouraged. An invitation was extended to them for what could have been a moment in time that may have helped heal victims of abuse. They said no. With groups of survivors and individuals coming from over a dozen countries around the world, we have been forced to move our event to 500 meters away from St. Peters Square, but we will proceed. What began as humble expectations has grown to the point where we are humbled by the numbers of survivors who will be making the journey to stand with us and say 'Enough'. It was one thing for the Vatican to say that we were not welcomed, but now to hear that they are trying to stop people around the world joining us in sprit, by attempting to stop the filming of anything that happens at St. Peter's square is quite frankly, Enough."

This event will include the introduction of a petition calling on the United Nations to define and include the Systemic Sexual Abuse of Children under Article 7 of its charter definitions of Crimes Against Humanity. (

For more information visit

Contact: Gary Bergeron / 978-606-3193

Contact: Bernie McDaid / 617-529-2029

End Release---------------------------------------------------------------------

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
How sad that the Pope and Bishops will not meet with you and embrace you in St. Peter's Square. In my view, it is an opportunity of grace for the hierarchy to ask forgivenesss, and to pledge justice and reform. But, know that you have many sisters and brothers in the Catholic community who support you on your journey to healing. We stand in solidarity with you as you call the Vatican to do justice for survivors of sexual abuse, and to adopt new structures of accountability. We hold you in our hearts as you journey to Rome. We too join you in saying, "enough"
Bridget Mary Meehan RCWP, Oct. 26, 2010.

"'Don’t even think about it' just isn’t working anymore" NCR / Roman Catholic Womenpriests - A Revolution for Justice/Equality for Women in Church

Sr. Joan Chittister/NCR/Oct. 25, 2010

"Change always happens one way or another. If it happens through the system, we call it evolution. If it happens despite the system, we call it revolution. The problem is that the spirit of revolution -- that unguided burst of change so often triggered by frustration or despair -- is in the air now, politically, economically and spiritually..."

Women have begun to open their own seminaries and ordain their own priests.
Priests for Equality published a non-sexist edition of the scriptures in the face of the Vatican’s refusal to admit that God is speaking to all of us, not simply to men.

..."It looks as if the church may have to choose whether it will foster evolution or risk revolution one more"

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Thank you, Sister Joan Chittister for naming the elephant in the living room , women's ordination in the Catholic Church, which appears to be the Vatican's worst nightmare. The good news, is that it has already begun with Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are the revolution that is rocking the Vatican. Church authorities have done everything possible to stop the movement from excommunication of our members and supporters to punishments for anyone associated with us. I am sure there are many more examples of serious consequences and job loss that could be added to St. Joan Chittister's list of Vatican reprisals.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are a revolution for justice and equality for women in the church. We are a change that is already happening despite the system . The Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement is a revolution, but one that is peaceful, loving and passionate, rooted in the heart of the Church, the people of God. We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who long for justice and equality for all God's family everywhere.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are following our well-formed consciences, which Pope Benedict In his earlier writing affirmed, "Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one's own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirements of ecclesiastical authority." (Joseph Ratiznger, Commentary on the Documents of Vatican ll, Herder and Herder, 1967)

Jesus called women and men to be disciples and equals. It is the Vatican that is out of step with Jesus who appeared first to Mary of Magdala, the apostle to the apostes. It is the hierarchy that is out of step with St. Paul, who called Junia, "an outstanding apostle" in Romans 16:7. It is the Vatican that rejected its own scholarship that stated that there is nothing in the bible to prohibit women's ordination. (Papal Biblical Commission, 1976)

It is the Vatican that is out of step with the early church where women served as leaders of house churches in whose homes the community celebrated Eucharist. Scholars believe that these women presided at the Holy Banquet, and provide evidence that women were ordained in the first twelve hundred years of the church's history. (Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women's Ordination, Ute Eisen, Women Officeholders in Early Christianity, and Dorothy Irvin's archaeological discoveries of tombstone inscriptions and evidence in catacombs and churches in Italy, North African and the Middle East) So it is Vatican's hostile attitude toward womenpriests that is out of step with Jesus, St. Paul and with the church's early tradition, and is a blessing, helping the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement to grow.

One could say that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving to the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement! Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP,, 703-505-0004

Monday, October 25, 2010

"The need for closure: When a parish shuts its doors" U.S. Catholic/ downsizing of churches/ movement to house churches

Judy Lee, RCWP ministers to youth in
house church in Ft. Myers, Florida

The need for closure: When a parish shuts its doors

Thursday, September 16, 2010

J.D. Long-GarcĂ­a

"According to the Code of Canon Law, a diocesan bishop can entrust the pastoral care of a parish to a layperson so long as a priest directs that pastoral care. Parish life coordinators run about 4 percent of parishes in the United States, but such appointments appear to be less popular in recent years. There seems to be reluctance on the bishops' part..."

Suggesting alternatives such as parish life coordinators is fairly common among parishes threatened with closure or merging. And for some, the shortage of priests has fueled discussion about ordination of married and women Catholics. "We don't believe the priest shortage is a valid reason to close parishes," says Sister Chris Schenk, C.S.J., of FutureChurch, a national network of parish-based activists. "We're closing parishes rather than opening ordination. Why couldn't we open the conversation to the married priesthood?..."

"...I get the sense that we've gone from a ‘family-owned business' to a ‘corporation model...'

WASHINGTON POST: "A Special healer is called when the church itself needs saving"

(Washington Post, Oct. 24, 2010) by Michelle Boorstein

Researchers say that there is a decline among white Catholics, mainline Protestants, and non-Orthodox Jews. Even among growing nondenominational Christianity, younger Americans are nowhere to be seen. They are much more alienated from organized religion than young people were in past years. Robert Putnam said in his book "American Grace" that organized religion is suffering particularly among people in their 20s and 30's -from being too closely tied to divisive political issues, "I don't think that new hymns or new seating will help until the overall public association between intolerance, as young people see it, and religion fade.

The article went on to report that churches are hiring consultants to help them reach out. The central question is what nurtures you spiritually. Everything is put on the table including whether they congregation closes the building and moves to a store house or to home churches. In these tough economic times, there are many who don't want to upkeep church buildings. "The rejection of institutionalized religion by many America, in the view of Phyllis Tickle, a consultant, is experiencing "evidence of a major upheaval she believes happens in Christianity about twice a millenium. Right now, she says 'church' is a "middle-class institution in an economy that's becoming increasingly polarized.'

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Catholic parishes are shutting down in record numbers, some faithful parishoners have occupied church buildings for years in places like Boston. Young adults are missing in churches including the Catholic Church. Yet the newest trend is house churches, where people meet in small groups, share faith, and pray together. There between 6 and 12 million Americans who attend house churches. (SEE article in blog on house churches/NBC's program. Sounds like a return to our beginnings in early Christianity. Read Romans 16:3-5, and note that Paul greets the church that meets in the homes of prominent leaders like Prisca and Aquila. The Church gathered in their home in Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus. (see also Acts 18:18, 2 Tim:4;19, 1Cor.16:9)

"Pastoring" in not about title but about function, it is about nurturing and caring in context of a faith community.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are now serving grassroots communities in 23 states in the U.S. Our communities are inclusive and welcoming to all. Sounds likes the Holy Spirit speaking loud and clear to me as we head back to basics- women and men, partners and equals, proclaming the Word, sharing faith around the Eucharistic table and building community.

"'Rites' for women, 'rights' for gays: Cardinal George's double standards"/NCR

"For the cardinal rights may not have any claim within a rite, but a rite possesses the power to take away rights...

"The cardinal tells his readers: “In the order of grace, no one has rights and everything is gift from a God who loves us. . . . We can’t demand it from God; nor can we tell God to change it to suit us.”

"The cardinal doesn’t seem to realize that no one who fights for the inclusion of women in priestly ministry is demanding anything from God. God has already given the gift of calling forth women to service and leadership in God’s church. The demand is being made of the institutional church."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Speaking out for for justice for gays and for women in the Catholic Church, equal rights and equal rites for all, is the voice of God in our time! Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP,