Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Prayer Service in Support of Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois/Women Priests

Prayer Vigil in Support of Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois/ Women Priests
Columbus, Ohio: Tuesday: April 19, 2011

Introductory Prayer: Holy One: You have given us a prophet in our midst. A man who is willing to hear your word and follow his conscience. A man who has the courage to speak truth to power. A man willing to stand up for the Gospel equality that Jesus proclaims.
Our response will be: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That our brother priests in the Vatican roll away the stone from their hearts.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That our brother priests hear the Word and feel the Movement of the Spirit calling us
to a discipleship of equals.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That our brother priests hear the Spirit moving in our grassroots communities/church.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: To recognize that God calls men and women to the priesthood.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: In gratefulness for Roy’s support of women priests.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That the Maryknoll Order support Roy and the Spirit’s movement for women priests.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That all priests hear the Spirit and “Be Not Afraid.”
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That priests follow God’s law over the Pope’s and man made law.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That all of us People of God follow the primacy of our conscience,
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: For Roy’s family and their continued understanding and support of his actions.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: For our brother priests to support and speak out for women priests in our church.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: That we may all continue to be friends of God and prophets.
Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Please feel free to add your prayer and we will respond: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Prayer: Loving God, we thank you this Holy Week for your Son, the Christ, who continues to teach us Gospel love and equality. We thank you for giving us Roy as a prophet for the People of God to move us into a new era as we do the Work of Your Healing Hands bringing about the Kin-dom. May we see You in each of us as we support the rising up of prophetic women and men.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, RCWP,


"At Easter, Church Expels Women's Advocate, Keeps Pedophiles in the Fold" by Angela Bonavoglia/Huffingtonn Post

Fr. Roy joined women priests

at ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska

in Lexington Kentucky on Aug.9, 2008

..."And neither excommuniaton nor laicization has been threatened against any of the scores of Philadelphia priests who Cardinal Justin Rigali, under public pressure, was forced to relieve of duty, following the recent release of a second damning Grand Jury report. ... even after the diocesan authorities knew of the horrific allegations against them -- that they had repeatedly raped and sodomized children, turning one child into a sexual slave who they pimped out from priest to priest..."
"This same Rigali in 2006 castigated Eileen McCafferty DiFranco for daring to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest, accusing her of causing "confusion and discord," charging that if she celebrated a sacrament, she would "further exacerbate the public scandal." This was at the time of the first Grand Jury report, which described one of the most astounding histories of child sex abuse of any diocese in the country. The list of crimes by more than 60 priests included a teenage girl groped by her priest while she lay immobilized in traction and a boy who awoke intoxicated in a priest's bed to find the priest "sucking his penis while three other priests watched and masturbated."
"Bourgeois was incredibly engaging and moving on the Barnard panel, as he is in the film -- humble, deeply committed to women's rights in the Church, immovable in his position of support. But what struck me, what touched me most deeply was his concern, his wish and his deep disappointment that his fellow priests have refused to step forward and join him in this fight. They remain silent, despite knowing in their hearts how unjust and discriminatory is the Church's position, which flies in the face of church history, archaeological evidence and even a Pontifical Biblical Commission that found insufficient Scriptural grounds to exclude the possibility of women's ordination..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection

Angela Bonavoglia hit the nail on the head! The hierarchy's strong arm tactics in response to women priests and our supporters, including Fr. Roy Bourgeois, is a last ditch effort to resist the movement for the full equality of women in the church. It is is doomed to failure. The real scandal is the failure of the Vatican to make the structural changes that will address the pedophile crisis. The real scandal is the church's protection of pedophiles who have harmed raped, sodomized and sexually abused Catholic youth. Fr. Roy is a prophet leading the way toward justice for women in our church. While only a handful of priests are following his example in the United States, there are a few glimmers of hope that the tide is changing. The Irish Priests Association and German theologians have raised the issue of women's equality in the church. In South America, a priest, stood with us as we ordained the first women there. It is my hope that the example of Fr. Roy Bourgeois will inspire more priests to come forward and support Roman Catholic Women Priests. As Martin Luther King reminds us that injustice anywhere, threatens justice everywhere! Like Rosa Parks, who refused to sit in the back of the bus, Roman Catholic Women Priests are refusing second class status in our church. We are leading the way toward a new era of justice and equality for women in the church. This Easter, we celebrate the courage of the women who stood by Jesus during his sufferings and death, and were the first witnesses to the resurrection. We are following the path of Mary Magdala, the apostle to the apostles, who was called by the Risen Christ to go and tell the good news. So too, women priests are good news for the people of God who are ready for partnership and equality. Like the male disciples- locked up in fear-the hierarchy is afraid and resists, but a new Pentecost will come!
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Protest Held Outside Venice Catholic Church Support of Fr. Roy/Women Priests/ABC Coverage/April 19, 2011

Protest held outside Venice Catholic church

Josh Taylor/ABC Suncoast

"Holy Week in the Catholic Church was met with protests Tuesday in Venice in an effort to let women become priests. A group named "Call To Action" along with others held signs in a peaceful protest outside Epiphany Cathedral this morning. They greeted churchgoers and more than 200 priests from across the diocese who were celebrating Mass.Protesters are upset over the news a priest will be removed from the priesthood, because of his support for women becoming priests.That’s something protestors say will one day be accepted. “I think that female Roman Catholic priests are leading the way to a new renewed catholic church. The Vatican is kicking and screaming right now about us, but one day they too will recognize us as faithful witnesses to the gospel," says Bridget Mary Meehan."

A Vigil for Justice and Equality
Tuesday April 19, 2011
The Holy Week mass to bless the chrism oil for baptism, confirmation, and ordination was held today in the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida. As the procession of 200 priests, the bishop, and many other dignitaries prepared to enter the church, our vigil for justice and equality began.
Call to Action leaders requested quiet and peaceful vigils at chrism masses across the country to support Fr. Roy Bourgeois and the ordination of women. As a priest and member of the Maryknoll community for 44 years, Fr. Roy was threatened with expulsion from Maryknoll and laicization unless he recanted his support for women’s ordination. In his written response, Fr. Roy held fast to the primacy of conscience and his vision of women’s ordination as an issue of justice within the Church. Isn’t this how Jesus would deal with these issues today? The vigils were a way to support Fr. Roy who respectfully asked that his “fellow priests, bishops, Church leaders in the Vatican and Catholics in the pews speak out and affirm God’s call of women to the priesthood.”
Thirty-nine supporters of Fr. Roy and women’s ordination lined the sidewalks next to the cathedral. They represented the members of Southwest Florida Chapter of CTA, the newly-formed Peace River branch, the Venice Area Voice of the Faithful, and Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community. Vigil participants were an impressive group that included vested women priests and Bishop Bridget Mary, as well as individuals from West Palm Beach in Florida, Ontario in Canada, and snowbirds from many states.
The Diocese of Venice made certain that we were greeted by a Venice police captain and lieutenant. The police cars expanded to four when one of the vigil participants offered Fr. Roy’s letter to a staff person from the bishop’s office. He immediately informed us of the private property boundaries and his intention to enforce them. We remained quiet and respectful. Thus we were relegated to the sidewalk on one side of the cathedral. Our signs could be seen by the priests, but we were disappointed that we were not allowed close enough to give each one of them Fr. Roy’s letter. As the procession continued into the cathedral, many of the priests looked toward the vigil participants with varying positive and negative nonverbal communications. Most of the people attending the mass had the opportunity to talk to us and see our signs. Their responses were mostly indifferent. Several were curious or friendly.
Supporting Fr. Roy and women priests in this way was the first Call to Action for the new Peace River branch of the CTA Southwest Florida Chapter. We believe it was a great success. And it could not have been so without the members of CTA, Venice area VOTF, Mary Mother of Jesus, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, and each of the vigil participants. Thank you!

Signs included:
I support Fr. Roy and all priests
Justice for Fr. Roy and Catholic women
Father Roy: priest and prophet
Save our Church--Ordain women
Wome n are equal images of God
Support Fr. Roy & Justice in the Church of Jesus

Imogene Rigdon, Co-Chair CTA Peace River Florida
Branch of SW Florida Chapter

ABC News Atlanta Ordination of 4 more Roman Catholic Women Deacons in Sarasota, Florida Interviews plus raw footage

Interview with Bridget Mary/Raw footage
Interview with Diane Dougherty/Raw footage

Monday, April 18, 2011

ABC News Atlanta Covers Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Ordination of 4 Deacons in Sarasota, Florida on April 2, 2011

ATLANTA -- A Roman Catholic would recognize the sights, sounds and actions inside the Sarasota Church of Christ, but the Roman Catholic Church did not approve of what happened on a Saturday afternoon this month. Four women maintain they became deacons and eventually will become priests after a ceremony inside the central Florida church. One of them, Diane Dougherty, is a second-grade teacher from Newnan. The devout Irish Catholic said she first had the calling 44 years ago. “I always knew I had a calling and in my time the only way that calling could be expressed was through my sisters,” said

5 p.m.: Woman Hopes To Become 1st Female Priest From Ga. 6 p.m.: Ga. Woman Joins Movement To Become Catholic Priest READ: Statement From Archbishop Wilton Gregory "Dougherty followed that call for 23 years, then left the sisterhood, but still felt there was something more so she decided to become a priest. “Aren’t you afraid of excommunication?” asked Channel 2 Action News anchor Monica Pearson. “I believe that the law that has kept me and so many wonderful and brilliant women from priesthood is unjust,” responded Dougherty. brightcove.createExperiences(); The Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests organized the ordination into the diaconate. Bridget Mary Meehan is a bishop with the group but she doesn’t want to be called bishop. Meehan told Pearson, “We are trying to deconstruct the clerical hierarchal church.” “This is our Church, we belong to it, we are as Catholic as the pope is,” Meehan told Pearson. The issue of women’s ordination has been the subject of fierce debate. The Vatican recently condemned the action as a grave sin, on par with the sexual abuse of children. The Archdiocese of Atlanta declined requests for an interview..."

Call Maryknoll and Express Your Support of Fr. Roy and Women Priests

"Maryknoll leadership needs to hear your support of Fr. Roy and women's ordination today! Join the national call-in day by dialing 914.941.7590 and tell Maryknoll "I support women's ordination and Fr. Roy. I hope Maryknoll will, too!" Fr. Roy has given nearly 40 years of his life to Maryknoll as a priest and prophetic leader for justice in Central and South America. He should not be removed from the priesthood because of his beliefs in women's equality! It is heartbreaking to see the reports this weekend that Rome has only sanctioned but not removed a pedophile bishop but church officials want to remove a priest who support's women's equality as priests." Jim Fitzgerald/Call to Action

Bridget Mary's Reflection: Support Fr. Roy and call Maryknoll today-914.941.7590. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests call on the Maryknoll Order to resist Vatican oppression and support Fr. Roy in his call for justice for women in the Catholic Church. It is time for Catholics to challenge the Vatican who keeps pedophile bishops and priests and excommunicates women priests and our supporters. This is the real scandal- an outrageous abuse of power- by the hierarchy! Fr. Roy is a prophet who is leading the way toward justice and equality for women in the church. How can Maryknoll go along with this spiritual charade?

Local Catholics in Florida Join Protest Vigils Across the Country to Support Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Women Priests

On a sunny morning on April 19th, at 10 am, an enthusiastic gathering of Catholics held a Protest Vigil before the Chrism Mass in front of Epiphany Cathedral in Venice Florida in support of a well-known Maryknoll priest, Roy Bourgeois for his support of women women priests in the Catholic Church. This prayerful vigil was scheduled to concide with the Chrism Mass where the male priests gather with the bishop who blesses the oil for use during sacramental celebrations. Michael and Imogene Rigdon from the new chapter of Call to Action Peace River and Ellen McNally from Call to Action Southwest Florida organized the Vigil.Roman Catholic Women Priests, Katy Zatsick and Bridget Mary Meehan dressed in their albs and stoles, joined the assembly waving signs and banners that expressed solidarity with Fr. Roy and women priests. Protest Vigils were scheduled across the U.S. in front of Cathdrals in a dozen dioceses.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been threatened with dismissal from the Maryknoll Order. This vigil come in response to news last week that Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest and founder of the School of the Americas Watch, refused to recant his views on women’s equality in the church and will be removed from the priesthood.

A recent New York Times poll shows 60% of Catholics in the United States support women's ordination as priests and the Pew Forum in Religion and Public Life shows that 39% of people who leave Catholicism do so over the way the Church treats women.

The Vatican is putting pressure on Maryknoll to laicize Fr. Roy to intimidate other priests ,who support women priests, from going public. At the end of the day, this is all about power and control. And this tactic is backfiring! More and more people are supporting our movement.

Yesterday I received a letter from Kelly, a woman who has ten children. She is leaving the institutional church because of the sexual abuse scandal and the hierarchy's treatment of women. When she heard about women priests, she contacted me and asked if there are any women priests in her area. Fortunately, there is a woman priest community not far away from her.

For Catholics who are heart sick with the institutional Church's treatment of women as second class citizens, women priests offer hope. We share women's experiences and claim women's power as spiritual equals. This is helping to heal centuries of misogny. Women priests are visible reminders that women are equal images of God, and therefore worthy to preside at the altar. This is the Vatican's deepest fear, -women as equal images of God- but with God's grace, our presence in communities of faith are helping to transform our beloved church into a more open, transparent, inclusive, community of Christ's love with us.

Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP