Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Dangerous Impostors" Philadelphia Grand Jury States that Cardinal Bevilacqua Endangered Phil. Children

AVE MARIA, Florida-

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart
FEBRUARY 23, 2011
A Special Report

"Following a long and painful investigation of the sexual abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a Grand Jury has issued a final report stating that they have no doubt that Cardinal Bevilacqua’s “knowing and deliberate actions during his tenure as Archbishop also endangered thousands of children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.“ This endangerment included vulnerable and poor immigrant children from the Hmong community.
"Cardinal Bevilacqua is one of America’s best known Roman Catholic Cardinals. He is also considered to be one of the most notorious protectors of dangerous sexual predators, in the history of the Catholic Church in America."

Obeying God Trumps Obeying the Pope- Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests' Response to Norma Jean Coon's Repentance and Repudiation

We understand the decision made in conscience by Norma Jean Coon, now a former RCWP deacon (California Catholic Daily, February 24, 2011, She has every right to change her mind and has an obligation to follow her conscience. We remain ordained Roman Catholic Women Priests who continue to follow our informed consciences and, simply put, obeying God trumps obeying the Pope.
It is the firm conviction of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests that women who are ordained into a renewed priestly ministry are following primacy of conscience. According to official church teaching, "the final authority in any moral decision-making must always be one's conscience, even if said decision is contrary to church teaching. As the church teaches, "the gospel has a sacred reverence for the dignity of conscience and its freedom of choice" (GS, 41) and "in all activity [one] is bound to follow [one's] conscience faithfully." (See: Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes (GS) 16, 41.
Roman Catholic Women Priests follow Jesus who treated women and men as equals and partners in contradiction to the religious establishment of his times. Scholars have found evidence of women deacons and priests in the early centuries of the church’s history. (See Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination) We stand in the prophetic tradition of holy obedience to the Spirit’s call to a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals. We are challenging an unjust law that discriminates against women. Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the church into a new era of justice and equality for women.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Church in 2011: A Necessary Departure : German Theologians Statement Challenging Roman Catholic Institutional Church/Vatican

The Church in 2011: A Necessary Departure
It is over a year since cases of sexual abuse of children and youth by priests and religious at the Canisius School in Berlin were made public. Thereupon followed a year that plunged the Catholic Church in Germany into an unequaled crisis. Today, a split image is projected. Much has been undertaken to do justice to the victims, to come to terms with the wrong done, and to search out the causes of abuse, cover-up, and double standards within the Church’s own ranks. Many responsible Christians, women and men, in office and unofficially, have come to realize, after their initial disgust, that deep-reaching reforms are necessary. The appeal for an open dialogue on structures of power and communication, the form of official church offices, and the participation of the faithful in taking responsibility for morality and sexuality have aroused expectations, but also fears. This might be the last chance for departure from paralysis and resignation. Will this chance be missed by sitting out or minimizing the crisis? Not everyone is threatened by the unrest of an open dialogue without taboos – especially since the papal visit [to Germany] will soon take place. The alternative simply cannot be accepted: the “rest of the dead” because the last hopes have been destroyed.
The deep crisis of our Church demands that we address even those problems which, at first glance, do not have anything directly to do with the abuse scandal and its decades-long cover-up. As theology professors, women and men, we can keep silence no longer. We consider ourselves responsible for contributing to a true new beginning: 2011 must be a Year of Departure for the Church. In the past year, more Christians than ever before have withdrawn from the Catholic Church. They have officially terminated their legal membership, or they have privatized their spiritual life in order to protect it from the institution. The Church must understand these signs and pull itself from ossified structures in order to recover new vitality and credibility.
The renewal of church structures will succeed, not with anxious withdrawal from society, but only with the courage for self-criticism and the acceptance of critical impulses – including those from the outside. This is one of the lessons of the last year: the abuse crisis would not have been dealt with so decisively without the critical accompaniment of the larger public. Only through
open communication can the Church win back trust. The Church will become credible when only its image of itself is not removed so far from the image others have of the Church. We turn to all those who have not yet given up hope for a new beginning in the Church and who work for this. We build upon the signals of departure and dialogue which some bishops have given in recent months in speeches, homilies, and interviews.
The Church does not exist for its own sake. The church has the mission to announce the liberating and loving God of Jesus Christ to all people. The Church can do this only when it is itself a place and a credible witness of the good news of the Gospel. The Church’s speaking and acting, its rules and structures – its entire engagement with people within and outside the Church – is under the standard of acknowledging and promoting the freedom of people as God’s creation. Absolute respect for every person, regard for freedom of conscience, commitment to justice and rights, solidarity with the poor and oppressed: these are the theological foundational standards which arise from the Church’s obligation to the Gospel. Through these, love of God and neighbor become tangible.
Finding our orientation in the biblical Good News implies a differentiated relationship to modern society. When it comes to acknowledgement of each person’s freedom, maturity, and responsibility, modern society surpasses the Church in many respects. As the Second Vatican Council emphasized, the Church can learn from this. In other respects, critique of modern society from the spirit of the Gospel is indispensable, as when people are judged only by their productivity, when mutual solidarity disintegrates, or when the dignity of the person is violated.
This holds true in every case: the Good News of the Gospel is the standard for a credible Church, for its action and its presence in society. The concrete demands which the Church must face are by no means new. And yet, we see hardly any trace of reform-oriented reforms. Open dialogue on these questions must take place in the following spheres of action.
1. Structures of Participation: In all areas of church life, participation of the faithful is a touchstone for the credibility of the Good News of the Gospel. According to the old legal principle “What applies to all should be decided by all,” more synodal structures are needed at all levels of the Church. The faithful should be involved in the naming of important officials (bishop, pastor). Whatever can be decided locally should be decided there. Decisions must be transparent.
2. Community: Christian communities should be places where people share spiritual and material goods with one another. But community life is eroding presently. Under the pressure of the priesthood shortage, larger and larger administrative entities (Size “Extra Large” Parishes) are constructed in which neighbourliness and sense of belonging can hardly be experienced anymore. Historical identity and built-up social networks are given up. Priests are “overheated” and burn out. The faithful stay away when they are not trusted to share responsibility and to participate in democratic structures in the leadership of their communities. Church office must serve the life of communities – not the other way around. The Church also needs married priests and women in church ministry.
3. Legal culture: Acknowledgement of the dignity and freedom of every person is shown when conflicts are borne fairly and with mutual respect. Canon law deserves its name only when the faithful can truly make use of their rights. It is urgent that the protection of rights and legal culture be improved. A first step is the development of administrative justice in the Church.
4. Freedom of Conscience: Respect for individual conscience means placing trust in people’s ability to make decisions and carry responsibility. It is the task of the Church to support this capability. The Church must not revert to paternalism. Serious work needs to be done especially in the realm of personal life decisions and individual manners of life. The Church’s esteem for marriage and unmarried forms of life goes without saying. But this does not require that we exclude people who responsibly live out love, faithfulness, and mutual care in same-sex partnerships or in a remarriage after divorce.
5. Reconciliation: Solidarity with “sinners” presupposes that we take seriously the sin within our own ranks. Self-justified moral rigorism ill befits the Church. The Church cannot preach reconciliation with God if it does not create by its own actions the conditions for reconciliation with those before whom the Church is guilty: by violence, by withholding rights, by turning the biblical Good News into a rigorous morality without mercy.
6. Worship: The liturgy lives from the active participation of all the faithful. Experiences and forms of expression of the present day must have their place. Worship services must not become frozen in traditionalism. Cultural diversity enriches liturgical life, but the tendency toward centralized uniformity is in tension with this. Only when the celebration of faith takes account of concrete life situations will the Church’s message reach people.
The already-begun dialogue process in the Church can lead to liberation and departure when all participants are ready to take up the pressing questions. We must lead the Church out of its crippling preoccupation with itself through a free and fair exchange of arguments and solutions. The tempest of the last year must not be followed by restful quietness! In the present situation, this could only be the “rest of the dead.” Anxiety has never been a good counselor in times of crisis. Female and male Christians are compelled by the Gospel to look to the future with courage, and walk on water like Peter as Jesus said to him, “Why do you have fear? Is your faith so weak?”
The names of the signatories can be seen here.
Translation by awr
The signatories of “The Church in 2011: A Necessary Departure”
Albus, Michael, University of Freiburg
Anzenbacher, Arno, University of Mainz
Arens, Edmund, University of Lucerne
Autiero, Antonio; University of Munster
Bäumer, Franz Josef, University of Giessen
Baumgartner, Isidor, University of Passau4
Bechmann, Ulrike, University of Graz
Belok, Manfred, Theological University of Chur
Benk, Andreas, Pedagogical University of Swabian-Gmünd
Bieberstein, Klaus, University of Bamberg
Bieberstein, Sabine, Catholic University of Eichstätt
Biesinger, Albert, University of Tubingen
Bischof, Franz Xaver, University of Munich
Blasberg-Kuhnke, Martina, University of Osnabruck
Böhnke, Michael, University of Wuppertal
Bopp, Karl SDB, Philosophical-Theological University of Benediktbeuern
Bremer, Thomas, University of Münster
Brosseder, Johannes, University of Cologne
Broer, Ingo, University of Siegen
Bucher, Anton A., University of Salzburg
Collet, Giancarlo, University of Munster
Dautzenberg, Gerhard, University of Giessen
Demel, Sabine, University of Regensburg
Droesser, Gerhard, University of Wurzburg
Eckholt, Margit, University of Osnabruck
Emunds, Bernhard, Philotophical-Theological University of St. Georgen
Ernst, Stephan, University of Wurzburg
Feiter, Reinhard, University of Munster
Franz, Albert, University of Dresden
Frevel, Christian, University of Bochum5
Fröhling, Edward SAC, Philisophical-Theological University of Vallendar
Fuchs, Ottmar, University of Tubingen
Fürst, Alfons, University of Munster
Gabriel, Karl, University Munster
Garhammer, Erich, University of Wurzburg
Göllner, Reinhard, University of Bochum
Görtz, Heinz-Jürgen, University of Hannover
Goertz, Stephan, University of Mainz
Grümme, Bernhard, Pedagogical University of Ludwigsburg
Häfner, Gerd, University of Munich
Haker, Hille, University of Frankfurt am Main / Chicago
Hartmann, Richard, Theology Department of Fulda
Heimbach-Steins, Marianne, University of Munster
Heinz, Hanspeter, University of Augsburg
Hemel, Ulrich, University of Regensburg
Hengsbach, Friedhelm SJ, Philisophical-Theological University of St. Georgen
Hilberath, Bernd-Jochen, University of Tubingen
Hilpert, Konrad, University of Munich
Höfer, Rudolf, University of Graz
Höhn, Hans-Joachim, University of Cologne
Hoffmann, Johannes, University of Frankfurt am Main
Hoffmann, Paul, University of Bamberg
Holderegger, Adrian, University of Freiburg(Switzerland)
Holzem, Andreas, University of Tubingen6
Hünermann, Peter, University of Tubingen
Jäggle, Martin, University of Vienna
Jorissen, Hans, University of Bonn
Kampling, Rainer, University of Berlin
Karrer, Leo, University of Freiburg (Switzerland)
Kern, Walter, Pedagogical University of Ludwigsburg
Kessler, Hans, University of Frankfurt am Main
Kienzler, Klaus, University of Augsburg
Kirchschläger, Walter, University of Lucerne
Knobloch, Stefan, OFMCap, University of Mainz
Könemann, Judith, University of Munster
Kohler-Spiegel, Helga, Pedagogical University of Feldkirch/Vorarlberg
Kos, Elmar, University of Vechta
Kraus, Georg, University of Bamberg
Kruip, Gerhard, University of Mainz
Kügler, Joachim, University of Bamberg
Kuhnke, Ulrich, University of Osnabruck
Kuld, Lothar, Pedagogical University of Weingarten
Ladenhauf, Karl-Heinz, University of Graz
Lang, Bernhard, University of Paderborn
Langer, Wolfgang, Perchtolsdorf
Lesch, Karl Josef, University of Vechta
Loretan, Adrian, University of Lucerne
Lüdicke, Klaus, University of Munster7
Ludwig, Heiner, University of Darmstadt
Lutterbach, Hubertus, University of Duisburg-Essen
Maier, Joachim, Schriesheim
Meier, Johannes, University of Mainz
Mennekes, Friedhelm SJ, Cologne
Merks, Karl-Wilhelm, Bonn
Mette, Norbert, Technical University of Dortmund
Michel, Andreas, University of Cologne
Mieth, Dietmar, Universities of Erfurt and Tubingen
Missala, Heinrich, University of Duisburg-Essen
Möhring-Hesse, Matthias, University of Vechta
Mooney, Hilary, Pedagogical University of Weingarten
Müller, Klaus, University of Munster
Müllner, Ilse, University of Cassel
Nauer, Doris, Philisophical-Theological University of Vallendar
Neuner, Peter, University of Munich
Niederschlag, Heribert SAC, Philisophicl-Theological University Vallendar
Odenthal, Andreas, University of Tubingen
Ollig, Hans-Ludwig SJ, Philosophical-Theological University of St. Georgen
Pellegrini, Silvia, University of Vechta
Pemsel-Maier, Sabine, Pedagogical University of Karlsruhe
Pesch, Otto Hermann, University of Hamburg
Pock, Johann, University of Vienna
Poplutz, Uta, University of Wuppertal8
Porzelt, Burkard, University of Regensburg
Raske, Michael, University of Frankfurt am Main
Richter, Klemens, University of Munster
Roebben, Bert, University Dortmund
Rotter, Hans, University of Innsbruck
Sauer, Ralph, University of Vechta
Schäper, Sabine, Catholic Polytechnic University of Munster
Schmälzle, Udo, University of Munster
Schmidt, Thomas M., University of Frankfurt am Main
Schmiedl, Joachim, Philisophical-Theological University of Vallendar
Schockenhoff, Eberhard, University of Freiburg
Scholl, Norbert, Pedagogical University of Heidelberg
Schulz, Ehrenfried, University of Munich
Schreiber, Stefan, University of Augsburg
Schreijaeck, Thomas, University of Frankfurt am Main
Schüller, Thomas, University of Munster
Schüngel-Straumann, Helen, University of Cassel / Basel
Seeliger, Hans-Reinhard, University of Tubingen
Siller, Hermann Pius, University of Frankfurt am Main
Simon, Werner, University of Mainz
Spiegel, Egon, University of Vechta
Steinkamp, Hermann, University of Munster
Steins, Georg, University of Osnabruck
Stosch, Klaus von, University of Paderborn9
Striet, Magnus, University of Freiburg
Strotmann, Angelika, University of Paderborn
Theobald, Michael, University of Tubingen
Trautmann, Franz, Pedagogical University of Swabian-Gmünd
Trautmann, Maria, Catholic University of Eichstätt
Trocholepczy, Bernd, University of Frankfurt am Main
Vogt, Markus, University of Munich
Wacker, Marie-Theres, University of Munster
Wahl, Heribert, University of Trier
Walter, Peter, University of Freiburg
Weirer, Wolfgang, University of Graz
Wendel, Saskia, University of Cologne
Wenzel, Knut, University of Frankfurt am Main
Werbick, Jürgen, University of Munster
Willers, Ulrich, Catholic University of Eichstätt
Ziebertz, Hans-Georg, University of Wurzburg
Zwick, Reinhold, University of Munster
-- Mary Ann M. SchoettlyRCWP-USA--

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Docile Tradition Protects the Church/Catholic Revolt in Philadelphia/Called to Share a Church Worthy of Young

By John P. McNamee

"But my lament is not about the Quakers or WASPs. It's for the local Catholic Church in the face of new and terrible revelations of pedophilia, denial, and concealment. A monsignor hangs out to dry, but the fault is more extensive and pervasive. "
"Let's look at Boston Catholics' response to the pedophilia crisis in that archdiocese. ..Members of a vociferous lay Catholic caucus called Voice of the Faithful argue that canon law gives them "the right and even at times the duty" to make their opinions known. They demanded a voice in the Boston crisis, and they were so insistent on their basic rights of free assembly and speech that churches simply had to allow their gatherings and hear them out. "
"The Philadelphia Catholic hierarchy, by contrast, has discouraged and even forbidden local Voice of the Faithful members from gaining access to church buildings. Given that the scandals are now causing massive disaffection here, shouldn't local church officials stop impeding the participation of any of the faithful?..."
"And then there's Chicago. Always more outspoken than other Catholic communities, Chicago's has its own theological journal and an independent priests' council. Years ago, a new Chicago archbishop was publicly rebuking local pastors for minor infractions during his pastoral visits, until 300 of the city's priests wrote an open letter complaining about his micromanagement. Three hundred. "
"In Philadelphia, not three of us priests would lodge such a complaint. And our In recent weeks, though, we've seen uprisings of ordinary people in countries ruled with a hard line and a heavy hand. Perhaps that should give me hope."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Oppression of the people by the monarchy- whether it be dictators or bishops or the Vatican -will no longer be tolerated by an enlightened, empowered people who know that they are images of God . The oppression of God's people and injustice toward the marginalized and poor will not prevail- whether dressed in secular or religious garb. The Bible is clearly on the side of the oppressed, the poor, the little ones.

Young people all over the world have given their lives for the freedom and human rights of their people. Their witness reminds us that God is calling us now
not to greed,over-consumption, andconsumerism, but to loving and serving our sisters and brothers who are marginalized and poor.
The young are the face of God in our midst.
We give thanks for their prophetic witness! May we offer
a church that is worthy of them!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP