Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Catholic bishops: More exorcists needed ", Exorcist in Vatican Said Devil Involved in Power Struggles in Vatican

By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- "Citing a shortage of priests who can perform the rite, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are holding a conference on how to conduct exorcisms."

"The two-day training, which ends Saturday in Baltimore, is to outline the scriptural basis of evil, instruct clergy on evaluating whether a person is truly possessed, and review the prayers and rituals that comprise an exorcism. "

"Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".

"He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true - including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."

Friday, November 12, 2010

"The Straight Arrow Theologian and the Pope"/ Hans Kung/National Catholic Reporter

TÜBINGEN, GERMANY -- "Hans Küng has always held to his progressive theological views. He believes that the present crisis in the church shows that he was right. The whole Roman system is in question, he maintains, though neither the Vatican nor the majority of the bishops yet realize it."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pope Benedict Summons Cardinals to Rome to discuss sex abuse scandal and other issues/

Prelates to discuss response to sex abuse scandal

EXCERPT: VATICAN CITY (AP) --" Pope Benedict XVI has summoned cardinals from around the world to a daylong summit in Rome next week on the clerical sex abuse scandal and other issues facing the Catholic church, the Vatican said Monday."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I wonder what are the other issues. I hope there are no more "delicta graviora" (s) for Roman Catholic Womenpriests!
In July, 2010, the Vatican announced that Roman Catholic Womenpriests' ordinations were serious crimes, in the same category as pedophiles. Since then we have received more applications from women wanting to sign up to serve the church as priests in a renewed priestly ministry and more people have expressed interest in our liturgies! Yeah God!

"Legion Inquiry Could Have Happened Years Ago/Tom Roberts/NCR/Example of Vatican Corruption at Highest Levels

Nov. 10, 2010

The headline on one account reads: “Legionaries reform process outlined.” That is a generous way to characterize the remarks of Archbishop Velasio De Paolis in explaining what will occur as a result of Pope Benedict XVI’s mandate that the Legionaries of Christ undergo reform."

"But despite repeated and credible accusations against him, Maciel held the late Pope John Paul II enthralled because of his ability to raise money and to attract high numbers of young seminarians. He was a charming liar who kept judgment at bay in part by spreading piles of cash around to powerful “friends” around the Vatican."

"I asked Berry for his impression of this new turn in the story, and he responded, not untypically for a Jesuit-educated journalist, with questions":

“How can Benedict or any future pontiff presume to speak about justice in the world when the Vatican’s system of tribunals stands aside, literally, when confronted with bishops and even cardinals [the late Hans Hermann Gröer of Austria] who have themselves abused young people? "

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The bottom life is the Vatican is not held accountable by anyone. This is an example that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The people of God are the church and it is our responsibility to speak truth to power, to cut off donations, and to work together to reform our beloved in order to live the Gospel message of integrity and, compassion and justice.
There is hope because there are millions of Catholics, religious orders and organizations like Voice of the Faithful, Call to Action, The American Catholic Council, We Are Church, CORPUS, Roman Catholic Womenpriests and many more working for the transformation and renewal of our church.
I commend Tom Roberts and the staff of the
National Catholic Reporter for speaking truth to power in their unrelenting coverage of the global sexual abuse crisis, Fr. Maciel, and the Legionaires of Christ, and the corruption at the highest levels of the Vatican. It is obvious why the top Cardinals including our present Pope did not take action years ago. Tragic, that the witness of victims were not taken seriously until now.
We should be grateful for the National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic free press that informs and challenges the church, including the hierarchy and Vatican to live up to Christ's teachings and example. Bridget Mary Meehan

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Women Priests": New booklet from Catherine Cavanagh

In the introduction to this inspiring and passionate reflection,
Catherine Cavanagh writes:

"Here lies the truth: the Church does not call a priest to priesthood. God calls.Only God. Always God. Any limitations placed on the priesthood are limitations placed on God. Never separated from the people, God suffers as humans suffer... Throughout Catholic history, the people of God , the Sensus Fidelium, have time and time again called their Church back to accountability... We stand at such a crossroads again...we must reject the Golden Calf we have built to our male hierarchy...We are a people of community, of inclusion, of peace. We are all God's potential priests."

The following are links where you can find more information on this booklet:

Ordering Information:,
there is a button there to purchase the booklet. This website is devoted specifically to the booklet at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Emily and Rosemary Fund Supports Courageous Women who have lost jobs because of injustice in the Roman Catholic Church

I was delighted to read in the current issue of Equal Writes (October-January 2011) about the start-up of a new fund to support courageous women. Indeed, there are many women who have lost jobs in the Roman Catholic Church because of discrimination or injustice.

Now, the Emily and Rosemary Fund provide a way that we can offer our financial support to these gutsy women.
Lynette Petruska, an attorney in St. Louis, MO, made the first donation of $75,000. Thank you, Lynette and all the donors who have started the ball rolling.
Voice of the Faithful administers this fund , known as Emily and Rosemary Fund- and has begun to accept applications for grants.

To find out more about this fund, go to or Write to
Voice of the Faithful
P.O. Box 423, Newton
Upper Falls, MA. 02464

Blessings to VOTF and all involved in this fund,
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Catholic Bishops Silent on Gay Suicides, 2000 Catholics and four Catholic Organizations Issue Anit-Bullying Statement

Catholic Bishops Silent on Gay Suicides,
2,000 Catholics and Four Catholic Organizations Issue
Anti-Bullying Statement: "We stand on the side of love."

November 8, 2010

(Milwaukee, WI) The largest annual gathering of progressive Catholics met this weekend for the Call To Action conference and issued a statement in conjunction with Equally Blessed, the pro-LGBT Catholic Coalition, against bullying in light of the recent rash of suicides among gay youth:

We cannot wait for the Catholic bishops to issue a statement on behalf of our children. Instead, as Catholics we stand today and say "no" to the bullying that our youth experience. We say "no" to the culture of violence that promotes this bullying and we say "no" to the statements of Catholic bishops that fuel this culture of violence against our vulnerable young people. Instead, as people of faith, we say "yes" to standing with our youth and dedicating ourselves to building a culture of love in our churches and our world so that every child-no matter if they are gay or straight-will know they are beloved and that God is, indeed, a God of love.

-Statement of Equally Blessed Coalition and Call To Action Conference Participants

"We cannot wait for the Catholic bishops to have a change of heart," said Jim FitzGerald, Call To Action Executive Director. "Our children need to know that our hearts are with them. That is why today we are announcing a call for Catholics to wear rainbow ribbons at masses during Advent, the liturgical season preceding Christmas, to show our gay youth that we stand on the side of love."

"A month has gone by since the media broke the news about a series of gay suicides, but the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has failed to issue a single statement regarding these tragic, preventable deaths," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA. "It is the bishops' discriminatory rhetoric which denigrates those not fitting the heterosexual stereotype that perpetuates a culture where youths are bullied for being who God created them and, sadly, sometimes pushes them to attempt suicide. Gay youth are three times more likely to commit suicide than their peers."

A week from today, the U.S. bishops are scheduled to meet in Baltimore to hear a presentation from its own "Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage" which works to deny marriage equality and has prompted the bishops to spend millions of dollars to discriminate against LGBT people. The Ad Hoc Committee, despite its name, has become central to the Conference of Bishops and its committee members include top bishops from dioceses including Washington, DC and Los Angeles (see list below).

"Jesus said 'let the little children come to me' but each time a bishop issues a statement or supports a campaign against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people, he is pushing our children away--and potentially pushing them over the edge to suicide," said Mary Ellen Lopata, Co-Founder of Fortunate Families and mother of a gay son. "The church teaches that all children are gifts of a loving God. This is about saving children's lives and there are no exceptions."

"The church justice movement-working for justice in society and the church-is essential in these times because justice cannot stop at the church door," said Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry. "What is said from the pulpits on Sundays affects what happens every other day of the week. We have the obligation as Christians to profess ourselves as people, not of hate, but of love and our youth need to hear it now more than ever."


Dioceses Whose Bishops Sit on the USCCB's Ad Hoc Defense of Marriage Committee:

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Archdiocese of Louisville (chairman)
Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Archdiocese of Washington
Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, Diocese of Oakland
Bishop William Lori, Diocese of Bridgeport, CT
Bishop Gabino Zavala, Archdiocese of Los Angeles


Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 112 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families: Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.

Press Contacts:
Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata, Spokespeople, (ph) 585.698.6100

Pope defends family as Spanish gays hold 'kiss-in' By NICOLE WINFIELD Roman Catholic Womenpriests Invite Women to become Priests

Nov 7, 1:29 PM EST

Pope defends family as Spanish gays hold 'kiss-in'

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests-- Kathy Redig Preaches Homily at Call to Action Liturgy on Nov. 6th

Homily—CTA—RCWP Liturgy

November 6, 2010

by Kathy Redig, RCWP

“It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view” (Oscar Romero’s Prayer). My friends, it has been our purpose, in lifting up the theme of this conference, “Faithful Prophets—God Alive in Every Generation,” to give us all a view of this—how God is indeed alive in every generation—how Jesus’ Spirit is continually renewing the face of the earth—no matter what the hierarchy says about all the truth being in—that there is no more to discover. Through our opening hymn, uplifting Mary of Nazareth as prophet, and our three readings today, giving us the prophecies, through word and action, of Micah, our brothers, Jesus, and Oscar Romero, we have scanned past and present and the challenge now falls to each of us by virtue of our baptisms, to be prophets for our day and into the future. Let us take a deeper look at these prophets, past and present to better understand their words and actions, their timeless challenges, and therefore to enable ourselves to more faithfully follow their lead.

Mary, our sister from Nazareth, in her Magnificat that we sang so beautifully this morning in the Canticle of the Turning, extols the fact that we many times feel “small,” insignificant and inadequate to the task. We need not worry though, because as she proclaims, “the God of our heart is great.” This God of ours is a God of justice and the fires of our God’s justice burn continuously and will not go out. We thus, to quote Micah, have the strength within us “to do justice, love goodness and to walk humbly with our God. And why? Because our God is great!

Mary continues in her canticle: Our God is merciful and compassionate, is the one who wipes away all our tears—and she would know too—being pregnant outside of marriage—something looked down on more so then, than now, at which a present-day musician suggested; “it wasn’t as if she could say, oh folks, no, you don’t understand, my baby is from the Holy Spirit! The God of her heart drew her close, as God does us, giving the strength we all need for the “turning” our Church so desperately needs today. Mary, our sister, prophet of your son, Jesus, the Christ, be with us!

I have read commentary on Mary’s place in our world being that of the “model mother” saying her “yes” to the incarnation. She was also considered a model “listener” –“she kept all these things in her heart.” But the Magnificat really gives the lie to any interpretation of her as an affirming, good, “yes” girl and nothing more. Mary’s words ring out across the generations and speak to us today, as the words of any prophet should. She is a model for any and all of us who are called to suffer in our own vocations as prophets, speaking and challenging with words and actions to continually keep our eyes on her son, Jesus, speaking the truth, “when convenient and when inconvenient,” as Paul was fond of saying.

In addition, I believe she was a profound “listener” as well—only through attention to the great heart of our loving God can any of us have the strength and grace to proclaim God’s words to our world. Reflecting on Mary, we learn that at times we too may have a sword pierce our hearts as we strive to follow her son—we may not have our lives taken as did Jesus and Romero, but we may have to endure excommunication, shunning by family and friends—but, whatever the cost, we must, we simply must be true to the message we have heard in our hearts.

The short reading chosen from Micah today is probably the one of his that everyone is most familiar with—that, “we do justice, love goodness and walk humbly with our God.”

What is probably most significant for us to remember of Micah is that he was truly against those in leadership, primarily the rulers in Jerusalem in his time who saw taking care of themselves as more important than caring for the needs of the people. He prophesied that because of this, God would destroy their temple. Micah’s challenge is one for our times as well. We all lament and criticize the popes and bishops who thought more of themselves and their temple than of protecting the children who were being abused by their priests; and we should! We rail at the bishops and the popes who enabled this abuse to go on and on and did nothing; and we should! But my friends, all of us must reflect too on the times that we have remained silent, rather than speaking a word, writing a letter, challenging a prelate—when we knew that something was wrong within our parishes. The present push to move back to pre-Vatican II times with exclusive, archaic language—returning to Latin, elimination once again of women from the sanctuaries of our churches, and as in my diocese, perhaps in yours too, elimination of all women from the chancery.

In my state of Minnesota, an anonymous donor recently gave a million dollars to support a campaign through DVDs that were sent to every Catholic home uplifting the MN bishops’ belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman and asking our state legislators to come up with a bill proclaiming the same. There is no compassion or understanding of the pain and suffering this causes so many of our gay, lesbian, transgendered and bi-sexual sisters and brothers, along with their families;

to say nothing of the down-right wrongness of such an action. If we say nothing my friends, we enable these un-Christ-like actions to continue and are no better than our brother popes and bishops who are protecting themselves, their power and their way of life.

The theme of this conference calls each of us to get back to our roots. As Christians, as followers of Jesus, the Christ, we have to at least pretend to follow his lead. Back, when I was still attending traditional Catholic church services, I so longed to hear the message of Jesus uplifted—I wanted to be challenged “to put up or shut up” basically, and I just never heard that. We in our parishes must ask and demand this of our priests if we are not getting it—they can’t hardly deny us or say this is not theirs to do.

If our priests do not challenge us and themselves to live better lives, it is probably because of the same things that Jesus faced 2,000 years ago. After he proclaimed that the Scriptures were today, “fulfilled in their hearing,” and goes on to instruct those present to care for the poor in their midst—the lepers—the widows—the truly faithful ones—those he was sent to uplift—he calls his hearers to task for their narrow-mindedness in following the letter of the law concerning cleanliness rituals and who is worthy and acceptable in the temple, to the detriment of the needy right in front of them; they want to throw him over the cliff. Being liked, holding on to one’s power and the collection plate can never stand in the way of speaking the truth.

Reclaiming their priestly character, which is also the name of a fairly new book in conservative priest circles, happens in their mindset through the use of titles,

feminine and regal dress, with attempts to more and more separate themselves from the people, and these actions will only serve to bring their kingdom down.

Jesus was about establishing a kin-dom of believers who knew they were loved by their God; thus they could love God in return and their neighbors as themselves. Friends, we are called to follow his lead—none of us can bring about this kin-dom on our own; but as the Romero prayer says, we can begin the process, we can plant the seed, we can provide the opening for God’s grace to enter. We will be prophets for a future that is not our own. Let us pray that we can follow the challenge of Micah to simply do the just thing, love goodness and walk humbly with our God.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Celebrate Liturgy with 600 Activists at Call to Action National Conference on Nov. 6, 2010

By Alice Iaquinta, RCWP

The People of God, 600 strong, assembled for an inclusive Saturday morning mass at the Call to Action conference in Milwaukee, WI on Nov. 6. The liturgy, hosted by the Midwest Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests this year, reflected the Conference theme of “Prophets for all Generations,” in the readings, the prayers and the music. Alice Iaquinta, West Bend, WI (Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles Catholic Church, Milwaukee, WI and Jesus Our Shepherd, Nenno, WI) presided and Kathy Redig, Winona, MN (All are One Roman Catholic Church, Winona) was the homilist.
The assembly gathered, declaring in song that “Top of Form

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!” (“Canticle of the Turning” by Rory Cooney) The entire worshipping community together offered the opening prayer, the prayer after communion and the dismissal prayer.

The themes in the readings: In the first reading, Micha, in 6:8 tells us on how prophets of all generations, are to live, “Only to do the right and love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
SECOND READING: We are reminded that as ministers today we are prophets for a future not our own by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw MI, who composed the reading for a homily given by Cardinal John Dearden at a celebration in 1979 for departed priests. Later, as a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero, Bishop Untener included in his daily reflection book, a passage titled, "The mystery of the Romero Prayer." The mystery is that the words of the prayer are attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never spoken by him. Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, was assassinated thirty years ago, on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass. Martyrdom was the cost of preaching a prophetic gospel, of being close to his people, of denouncing the injustice in his country and of supporting the development of popular and mass organizations. All three of these men are prophets for all ages.

The author of the Gospel of Luke (4:14-30) tells us that prophets never gain acceptance in their hometowns, …….or, we might add, in our own church.
After the readings and the homily, The Commercium, (or the Exchange, in English,) was reclaimed, named and explained and to the CTA community.

The Commercium was used in the earliest years of the Christian church. Nothing is new or added to the mass. We are simply reclaiming the earliest worship form of the Christian church which focused first on the Word, then the Commercium and concluded with Eucharist.

After we have heard God speak to us in the Scriptures, we begin the Commercium or the exchange, where as a community, we respond to God. We profess our faith, offer our petition prayers, and present our gifts of bread and wine, as well as our talents and our treasure, offering them all back to God, from whom they came, blessing all the gifts and God as we do so. Then, we pray the opening of the Eucharistic prayer together.

Thus, the Commercium is a reclaiming of the role of the people in their expression of the creed, their prayers of the faithful, their presentation of the gifts and their blessing prayer over the gifts. This truly was the work of the people - the true meaning of liturgy.

As the cultic priesthood grew, the role of the people during the liturgy got appropriated by the priest and the laity was squeezed out. These are all the same familiar parts of the mass, but made clear as the central role of the People in the worship sequence:
We listen to God in the Word;
We give back to God what God has given us and that we have transformed from grapes and wheat to wine and bread in the Commercium;
We receive again those same gifts transformed by God into the redemptive body of Christ in Eucharist, so that we will become one in Christ.
The offertory song reaffirmed that “We will run and not grow weary, for our God will be our strength, and we will fly like the eagle, we will rise again,” as prophets in this age. (David Haas)

Together, the community prayed the dismissal prayer, “With hearts full of love and joy, we thank you for the Eucharist we have shared. May it give us, your pilgrim people, the strength and courage to be faithful prophetic witnesses to your goodness and your desire for peace in our world. Amen.”
The entire assembly led by the excellent music ministers (from WI, SD, IN, IA, and MN,) answered the Summons to follow Jesus no matter the cost. The musicans and vocalists helped the entire community to pray twice!! We praise God for their gifts and their generosity of time and talent.

Second Reading: Prayer of Oscar Romero [Rev. Mary Kay Kusner]
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith.No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness.No program accomplishes the church's mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.We may never see the end results, but that is the differencebetween the master builder and the worker.We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.We are prophets of a future not our own. This is what we are about.We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted,knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development.We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberationin realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. Amen.

Gospel: Luke 4:14-30 [Rev. Linda Wilcox]

Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and his reputation spread throughout the region. He was teaching in the Galilean synagogues, and all were loud in their praise.
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. Entering the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was his habit, Jesus stood up to do the reading. When the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed him, he unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: “The Spirit of our God is upon me: because the Most High has anointed me to bring Good News