Friday, December 3, 2010

"An Imagined Dialogue Between Pope Benedict and Bridget Mary"

Press Release: from the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Dec. 4, 2011

Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 859-684-4247,

Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004,

In his just-released book, Light of the World: "The Pope, the Church and the Sign of the Times," Pope Benedict XVI says ordaining women is not the church's choice to make. See:

In her just-released book: "Living Gospel Equality Now, Loving in the Heart of God - A Roman Catholic Women Priest Story," Bridget Mary Meehan shares her journey to priesthood as a Roman Catholic woman.

The following "press release" is an imagined dialogue between the Pope and Bridget Mary.

Pope Benedict: It's Jesus' fault. He didn't ordain women priests. Why blame me for everything?

Bridget Mary: Don't blame Jesus! He didn't ordain anyone -- male or female.

Pope Benedict: He had only male Apostles.

Bridget Mary: Come on, my brother. Jesus set the pace. He called women to be disciples and apostles. Mary of Magdala is called the "Apostle to the Apostles." She was the person closest to Jesus. Talk about a job description for an apostle! As the Risen Christ, he chose her to "go and tell" the male apostles the good news of the Resurrection. So God is not impotent before women! Neither is our church! Jesus provided an example for you to follow.

Pope Benedict: The church has no authority to ordain women.

Bridget Mary: There you go again...contradicting papal scholarship on Scripture. In 1976, the Vatican's own Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded that there is nothing in Scripture to prohibit women's ordination. For twelve hundred years, women were ordained in Christianity as deacons, priests and bishops! Did you page through Dorothy Irvin's calendars that were sent to you, the Cardinals and U.S. bishops? Archaeologist/theologian Dorothy Irvin studied atTubingen U. when you were there. She's found plenty of evidence in frescoes, tombstones, catacombs and mosaics that women were leaders of our church. It's all over Rome and the Mediterranean world. For Goodness sake, take a walk with your camera to St. Priscilla's Catacomb.

Pope Benedict: There were no priestesses in the community of Jesus Christ!

Bridget Mary: Benedict, Benedict. Open up your eyes to what's happening. Women priests are a sign of the times! People welcome us with open arms! You've lost the young who believe in gender equality. We are your spiritual equals. Made in the image of God. Empowered by a Spirit who doesn't quit...

Pope Benedict: Why can't you be quiet! I excommunicated the first group of your women priests in 2002, those Danube Seven. Yes, we even sent them the official Vatican excommunication parchment. I've given instructions to bishops to excommunicate you wherever you women get ordained! And anyone who comes to your ordinations! Priests who support you! Wasn't it enough for me to issue delicta graviora? You and your women priests are in the same category of serious sin as pedophile priests!

Bridget Mary: And you didn't excommunicate them! Pope Benedict, male church leaders before you excommunicated women whistleblowers: St. Joan of Arc, Mother Theodore Guerin, Mother Mary MacKillop. Today they're saints.
I'm sending you two books: Living Gospel Equality Now and
Come By Here (
by woman priest Judy Lee who ministers and lives with the poor.
We continue to pray. You had a change of heart on condoms. We're praying for your change of heart on women priests.

Your sister priest (and bishop) in Christ,
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

P.S. One day we hope to dialogue in person. Meanwhile, yours is the gift that keeps giving...Thanks.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Book by Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP: Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God: A Roman Catholic Woman Priest Story

My new book, Living Gospel Equality Now,
Loving in the Heart of God-
A Roman Catholic Woman Priest Story

The direct link to the book is

Thanks for your support. It is with great joy that I share treasured memories, stories of family, friends, community and the growth of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement in this book --in spite of Vatican opposition-- which in many ways, has actually been a contributing factor to greater support.
In addition to stories, my book has a variety of prayer experiences, photos, and inclusive liturgies. May all who read it be blessed and may our dream of a renewed priesthood in a community of equals flourish!
Today I read an article that stated that Pope Benedict said that the church had no power to ordain women. Nonsense, Jesus did not ordain anyone --male or female. Benedict's interview contrdicts the Vatican's own scripture scholarship. In 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Association concluded that there was nothing in scripture to prohibit women's ordination. According to scripture women were among Jesus' closest disciples and Mary of Magdala was chosen by the Risen Christ to "go and tell" (the job description of an apostle) the male apostles the good news of the Resurrection. So God is not impotent before women! Neither is our church!
Therefore, Jesus provided an example for the pope to follow. In addition, for twelve hundred years, women were ordained in Christianity as deacons, priests and bishops! So, indeed, Pope Benedict is ignoring both scripture and tradition by this statement below. The full equality of a woman is indeed a sign of our times that will not go away. Therefore, it is time for the institutional church, including Pope Benedict, to follow Jesus example of Gospel equality and partnership and treat women as equals in all areas of the church's life, including ordination. This is what Roman Catholic Women Priests are doing. This is one of my motiviations in writing my new book: Living Gospel Equality Now- Loving in the Heart of God- A Roman Catholic Woman Priest Story.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP
Pope says ordaining women is not the church's choice to make
By Rita Fitch
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "In his latest book, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed that the church has "no authority" to ordain women as priests and rejected the idea that the rule was formed only because the church originated in a patriarchal society.The pope said that man did not produce the form of the church, and does not have the power to change it. Christ gave the form of the priesthood when he chose his male Apostles, he said in the book-interview, "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times "

"Catholic AIDS Workers: Pope Echoing Us On Condoms"

by Michelle Faul (Associated Press)


"...But parish priest Rev. Didier Lemaire showed no embarrassment when asked about the stash of 600 condoms, set conveniently on an examination couch so one could grab a few on the way out the door. Lemaire said Pope Benedict XVI's groundbreaking statement about the selective use of condoms only cements what Catholic AIDS workers have said for years."

"What the pope is saying, many priests have been saying for a long time," said Lemaire. He said eschewing condoms when people have AIDS goes against the commandment "Thou shalt not kill."

"Pope Benedict's comments have far-reaching implications for Africa, the continent with the highest numbers of AIDS victims — and the fastest-growing number of Catholic converts. But it is more important because the Catholic Church is the biggest private provider of AIDS care in the world, providing antiretroviral treatment, home-care visits and counseling to one in four of the world's 33.3 million AIDS patients, according to the Catholic charity Caritas International. In 2008, members of the Catholic HIV and AIDS network spent 180 million euros (about $235 million) on assistance, it said. "

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Homily – 1st Sunday of Advent – Cycle A – 28 November 2010 by Roberta M. Meehan, RCWP

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:37-44

Advent Reflections

We miss the point about Advent. We really do.

Let us look briefly at these First Sunday of Advent readings and then let us look at some serious points about how we should be reflecting on Advent.

The reading from Isaiah tells us to be happy! The words excitedly encourage us to climb the Lord’s Mountain and to walk in the Light of the Lord! Who said anything about “drab advent” there?

The response on the psalm is “Rejoice in the House of the Lord.” We know that so often the whole liturgical theme can be found in the psalm. Here it is! Rejoice!!

In Romans we hear two interesting phrases, “Awake from sleep” and “Throw off darkness.”

And in Matthew we hear we are supposed to stay awake because we do not know when the Son of Man is coming.

Notice how all of these readings are exciting! They are happy! They are upward looking! Why, oh why, do we look at Advent with this glum pretense of mourning??? We should be excited and happy – just as the readings exhort us to be! This is not a season of solemnity; it is a season of rejoicing!

I remember the first time I wrote about Advent. I was heading for Chicago. Here is a quote from what I wrote back then.

“Rushing madly – trying to get to Chicago. Advent! Advent! Advent! Hang on, Chicago! I’m coming! Really. And as I wrote that ramble, I stopped and paused and thought about the words before me. Advent, of course, is loosely translated as a coming. And we all know the coming in question is the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas Day. That part is relatively easy for us.”

I can still feel that Advent excitement. I still know what I meant as I dashed to the airport to spread that metal bird’s wings toward the Windy City.

But, what does this coming – or this preparation – mean to us in this Advent of 2010? How can we be an Advent People when we are faced and raced with the five week holiday season? And isn’t it a non-stop holiday? For those of us in education, we know that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is an academic wasteland! We know that this is true regardless of the level – kindergarten through graduate school.

If asked what this Advent Season means, most people will make a brief statement about how we are getting ready for Christmas and then they will start saying something about what Christ should be to or in the world. Maybe they will even start talking about putting Christ back into Christmas!

Most of us avoid what Advent means to us personally as a part of the Church calendar. We may mouth the words – but we forget the meaning. Maybe we don’t really forget the meaning; maybe we simply don’t have a solid grasp of what that meaning is.

Sometimes clergy (of various denominations) try to impose a guilt trip on people who are getting ready for Christmas too early. How silly!!!!! This is that “put Christ back into Christmas” theme. But, Christ is in Christmas. And we’re having a party!

Christmas is a great party! Of course it is! Sure, we can go back into the pagan origins of the feast and we can make pious statements about the first official ecclesial celebration of Christmas in 359 (or was that 353?). But, what does it prove? Absolutely nothing!

Regardless of how the feast of Christmas came about, the thing is that for almost 1700 years people have been celebrating the birth of Christ! And for almost that long, people have – in one way or another – been preparing for this great birthday party!

Yes, He is coming! And this is our time of preparation! But, party preparations are not all somber and sad! When was the last time anyone got ready for a great party by donning sackcloth and ashes? No way! We are preparing for a party! A salvation party! Let us celebrate!

If we are planning a wonderful party, don’t we play music? If we are planning a wonderful party, don’t we laugh with our friends? If we are planning a wonderful party, don’t we decorate our homes and put out festive things so the guests will be welcome? Of course we do!

And, I believe that that is what our Advent should be about! Yes, we are getting ready for the birthday of our Savior. And we are getting ready for it in fine style because we already know he will arrive safe and sound. Oh, we will not be able to see Jesus in person at our tables and around our Christmas trees. But, he is coming! And Advent is the time that we are preparing for that coming.

Oh, wait! Maybe we do see Him! Maybe the Christ, whose birth we await on Christmas day, is seen in every person who stops by during this Advent season! Maybe the Christ is seen in every person who sits at our tables. Maybe the Christ is seen in every family member who is or was or will be a part of that circle of people we love and rejoice with! Maybe the birthday presents we have for that Christ are the presents we wrap for each other! After all, we see our party guest of honor in every person we wish “Season’s Greetings” to. Don’t we?

The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday – and Gaudete means rejoice (because it’s half over!). Oh, I think we should rejoice the whole time!!! All of Advent should be Gaudete! Not because Advent is half over at any given point. But, rather because we are reminded so clearly of the coming of our Savior in every person we see, in every decoration we put up, in every meal we prepare, in every visit we make, in every present we wrap.

This is a wonderful season! Gaudete!!!! Let us rejoice! We’re going to have a wonderful party – and we are now having a wonderful time preparing for that party! Play the music! Deck the halls! Sing and laugh and be in Christ’s love with one another!

Oh yes, Chicago, Phoenix, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and on and on! Rejoice, Chicago, Phoenix, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and on and on! I am coming to be a part of the wonderful party preparations! Jesus – thanks for being – and thanks for this opportunity to rejoice with each other as we see the Christ in every person we meet – and we are getting ready for a great party! Let us have a wonderful time preparing for our Christmas party – as Jesus reminds us once more that we are the People of God!

-- Roberta M. Meehan