Saturday, May 14, 2011

Abundant life in Christ Leads to Contemplation of Feminine Face of God

In today's Good Shepherd Gospel, Jesus is saying to each of us: "I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly." Jesus is the source of our nourishment and it is through personal relationship with Jesus and through the community, the Body of Christ that we experience this fullness.

We can glimpse God's presence in a fuller way now as we explore the feminine awakening in which women and men from different religions and traditions are voicing their truth, claiming their inner authority, turning away from patriarchal values, embracing their spiritual experiences and advocating justice, equality and non-violence for all.

Inclusive language attempts to present a richer, deeper understanding of God, who is always more and beyong human comprehension. The impact of a fuller imaging of God and the naming of this experience empowers, transforms and heals both women and men. This reimagining heals the wounds inflicted on the people of God by overexposure to the distorted male-only God.

As theologian Elzabeth Johnson states that using exclusively male imagery for God reduces God to an idol, justifies patriarchy and implies that women are less like God. "if God is 'she' as well as he, and in face neither, a new possibility can be envisioned of a community that honors difference but allows women and men to share life in equal measure. " (Elizabeth Johnson, Quest for the Living God, pp. 100-101)

It is obvious that part of the reason, the institutional church has such a hostile view to women priests is that the hierarchy does not see women as capable of being "persona Christi", "in the person of Christ" ! Women priests remind us that all women are "persona Christi" by their baptism. (Gal. 3;28, In Christ, there is.... neither male and female... all are one.")

Gender equality is part of the fullness that Jesus promises us in today's Gospel. Since women are created in God's image, our faith communities need to contemplate the feminine face of God in both women and men to grow more whole and holy. Let us continue to live Gospel equality now, loving in the heart of God, and experience the abundant life Christ promised in our worship, community, and service.

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

"Head of Philly Priest Sex Abuse Review Panel Criticizes Her Church Leaders

"A nurse who has served eight years on the archdiocesan review board, Catanzaro was elaborating on a sharply critical article she wrote for the current issue of the Catholic biweekly Commonweal.
Only after a Philadelphia grand jury report in February excoriated both the board and hierarchy for shielding accused priests, she said, did the panel members discover that most cases had been kept from them."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
How can the Philadelphia Archdiocese justify withholding cases from its own Review Board? This action makes a mockery of the Charter to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse that the U.S. bishops adopted after their historic meeting in Dallas. How can a pro-life church not be pro-child? Catholics in Philadelphia should be outraged, hold their church leaders accountable and withhold financial contributions from the Archdiocese until there is genuine reform and transparency. It is time for a renewed priestly ministry including married priests and women priests in a people-empowered Catholic Church if the institutional church wants to move forward with genuine reforms.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Friday, May 13, 2011

Clips from Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgies Can be Viewed on Yidio/ Internet TV

You can now view clips from our Easter Vigil Celebration on Yidio -- Internet TV.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Sex Crimes and the Vatican/ Secret Document Swore All Parties to Secrecy Under Penalty of Excommunication
"Created in 1962, a now infamous document was issued in secret to bishops. Called Crimen Sollicitationis, it outlined procedures to be followed by bishops when dealing with allegations of child abuse, homosexuality and bestiality by members of the clergy. It swore all parties involved to secrecy on pain of excommunication from the Catholic Church. This document was reissued in 2001 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and sent to all bishops. Yet rather than ordering more openness and cooperation with the authorities as demanded by both law enforcers and the victims, he reiterated its policies and ensured that the Code of Silence be applied to all cases of child abuse involving a priest. Cardinal Ratzinger also instructed that all cases should now be referred to his office directly and that he would maintain ‘exclusive competence’ over the handling of allegations. This is the Catholic Church’s policy to this day and Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI. The policy laid out in the above document has led to systemic failure by the result that a significant number of priest have, in effect, been allowed to abuse again, and further children have been put at risk.As the documentary explores, Colm O’Gorman is the man responsible for breaking open decades of abuse by Catholic Priests in Ireland in the BAFTA award-winning BBC special Suing the Pope. He links international ‘systemic evidence’ to argue the Vatican has a policy to cover up the sexual abuse of thousands of children across the world."

May 13th Vigil for Women's Ordination in Boston/ A Sign of Hope as Young People Lead the Way

May 15th Vigil for Women's Ordination in Boston.
"My name is Emily Jendzejec and I am first year Master of Divinity student at Harvard Divinity School. I am also on the Call To Action young adult leadership team (CTA 20/30). I wanted to cordially invite you to an exciting upcoming event for the movement for Catholic women's ordination in Boston.
On Sunday, May 15th, 2011, from 10:30am -- 12pm, we will be gathering at the Boston Cathedral of the Holy Cross to hold a peaceful prayer vigil for women's ordination. May 15th is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations in the Catholic Church, and we will be standing in solidarity praying for vocations for all women and men, particularly for women's vocations to the priesthood. We would love for as many of you as are able to join us that day! There will be singing, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and maybe even some bagels! "
The address is:
Boston Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1040 Washington StreetSouth End, Boston, MA 02118

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
My prayers will be with you, and hope that you inspire many young people to come forward to support an inclusive priestly ministry, specifically young women who are called to a renewed priestly ministry. Women now have found a way with the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement!
I look forward to seeing the photos! I am happy to publish on my blog!
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Woman Bishop Talks Compassion, Rather than Ordination" by Jamie Manson/NCR/Feminine Love Births Creation/Hildegard/Meditation

Bishop Patricia addresses Mary Mother of Jesus
Inclusive Catholic Community on "Compassion" on April 9, 2011

"As the progressive Catholic world continues to lament the imminent expulsion of Fr. Roy Bourgeois from the Maryknoll community, Bishop Patricia Fresen stands as a quiet reminder that many Catholic women have already suffered a similar fate for publicly supporting women's ordination"...
..."Many of Fresen's thoughts were drawn from one of Hildegard of Bingen's icons, sometimes called "The Compassionate Person." ...In The Hidden History of Women's Ordination, scholar Gary Macy demonstrates that throughout the Middle Ages, popes and bishops referred to the commissioning of abbesses as an ordination. "Early abbesses were powerful and acted independently not only of the papacy, but also of the local bishop," writes Macy.
Hildegard's image shows a Christ figure in the center of an egg-colored mandala. The mandala is surrounded on four sides by sapphire blue, which is meant to evoke the sky and sea. Because of their vast, all-encompassing nature, the sky and sea are a perfect symbol for the compassion of God.... In this gesture, Hildegard's Christ figure reminds us that, like Jesus, our bodies are meant to radiate goodness and healing throughout our world..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Our community was deeply touched by Bishop Patricia's inspiring presentation. The power of compassion connects us to our fellow human beings on the planet and all beings in the cosmos. We are all one, loved and held in the dynamic, all-encompassing, overflowing love of the Holy One pulsing through all in the circle of life.
In 1991, in my book on feminine imagery of God, Exploring the Feminine Face of God, p. 67. I wrote a meditation based on this vision in Hildegard's Illuminations, entitled: "Feminine Love Births Creation"
" Hildegard describes God birthing creation and holding all of creation in perfect harmony and balance. Hildegard shared this vision of what she saw in a letter with Abbot Ebrach: "an extraordinary beautiful young woman... wearing shoes which seemed of purest gold whom the whole creation called Lady. The image spoke to a person pictured in sapphire blue and said: "Dominion is yours on the day of your power in the radiance of the saints. I have brought you forth from my own womb before the daystar."
According to Hildegard's vision, feminine love births creation.
"But why does the whole creation call this maiden 'Lady'?
Because "it was from her that all creation proceeded since love was the first.
She made everything." Love created humankind...Love was in eternity and it brought forth in the beginning all holiness, all creatures..."
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Prominent Theologian Hans Kung Says Only Radical Reforms Can Save the Catholic Church

May 07, 2011 by
Anli Serfontein
Munich, May 6 (ENInews)
"The Catholic Church is seriously, possibly terminally ill and only an honest diagnosis and radical therapy will cure it, one of the sharpest critics of Pope Benedict XVI, the Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Kung, has written.... In his new book, Can the Church be Saved, Kung argues that the malady of the church goes beyond recent sexual abuse scandals. According to him, the church's resistance to reform, its secrecy, lack of transparency and misogyny are at the heart of the problem. He said that the Catholic church in the United States has lost one-third of its membership."The American Catholic church never asked why," he said."Any other institution that has lost a third of its members would want to know why. He also said that eighty percent of German bishops would welcome reforms"...

Bridget Mary's Reflection;
I agree with Hans Kung and look forward to reading his new book.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Swiss Bishop Speaks Out for Women's Ordination/ Preparing the Way for Women Priests

These Easter Sunday words of a Swiss Catholic bishop suggest that the topic of women’s ordination won’t be going away anytime soon.
Markus Büchel calls for far-reaching reforms in the Catholic Church. The bishop of the diocese of St. Gallen [St. Gall] spoke out openly for women’s ordination. “We must search for steps that lead there,” he said. “I could imagine that women’s diaconate could be such a step.”
One has not been permitted to discuss women’s ordination for a good while. “We can’t afford this anymore.” Regarding priesthood for women, Büchel said, “We can pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to read the signs of the times.”
He made this explosive statement in the St. Galler Pfarreiblatt [St. Gall Parish Paper]. Sabine Rüthemann, media spokesperson for the diocese, confirmed: “The interview is authorized. What Bishop Büchel said is what he means.”
Der Sonntag.

Bridget Mary's Blog:

Hurray for Bishop Markus Buchel, another courageous bishop for speaking up for women's ordination. Last week Pope Benedict fired Bishop Morris, an Australian bishop who raised that possibility of married priests and women priests in a pastoral letter five years ago. Apparently some conservatives complained to the Vatican and there was no due process for Bishop Morris.What an injustice!

Let's hope that Bishop Buchel inspires other bishops to stand up to the Vatican's bullying! This could be the beginning of a spiritual revolution in the Catholic Church! It seems like women priests are the holy shakeup that is at the heart of a tsunami of change threatening the Vatican's staus quo! Every attempt to squash our movement has backfired and blessed us! None of the excommunications hurled our way has dampened enthusiasm among our supporters who are growing every day.

Today, I found out that our Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive liturgies for Easter have been put up on a popular internet station that advertises pop artists some of whom I never heard of!,+mother+of+jesus/16972

The call for the full equality of women in the church is the call of the Holy Spirit in our times. Catholics are already experiencing partnership and equality in women priests' inclusive communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. A new day of hope is dawning for the Catholic Church!

Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

"Presbyterians Set to Approve Gay Ministers" New York Times/Time for a Reality Check from Catholic Hierarchy
Presbyterians Set to Approve Gay Ministers
Published: May 10, 2011
If the vote goes as expected, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) would join other mainline Protestant churches (including The United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church) in dropping their prohibitions on gay clergy members.

Bridget Mary's Reflection;
Msgr. Donald Cozzens, a former rector of a Catholic seminary, points out that gay seminarians make up approximately 60% of the young men preparing for priesthood . (Sacred Silence) It is sad that the Roman Catholic hierarchy, like an ostrich who buries its head in the sand, appears to be in denial, continues to be homophobic and fails to recognize the gifts of gays, lesbians and transgendered who have been called by God and have served the church faithfully over the years, indeed, over the centuries. It is about time the Vatican acknowledges the reality and tells the truth. All God's children are beloved images of the divine in our midst. No orientation is defective and those who are called should be free to serve in ministry.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Must See You Tube Movie: "A World of Our Own" Featuring the Pope, Vatican and Roman Catholic Women Priests" Enjoy!!!

Vatican Bullying Will Not Stop Movement for Justice and Equality for Women in Catholic Church in Australia

Christopher Pearson
The Australian

May 07, 2011

"What are the likely repercussions for the Australian Catholic Church?
Morris's departure will further fortify the position of Cardinal George Pell and the more traditionally minded bishops.
The more realistic, liberal bishops are going to have to kiss goodbye to any lingering fantasies they clung to in the 90s of ordaining nuns, or at least keep them to themselves.
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I disagree with the author's analysis. While it is true that the pope's firing of Bishop Morris is meant to intimidate the bishops, priests, nuns and anyone under the control of the institutional church! However, it is also an opportunity to be prophetic witnesses for justice for women in the church, including the ordination of women in a renewed priestly ministry. It gives me great hope that there are courageous priests like Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who co-presided at Janice, Sevre-Duszynska's ordination as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest and bishops like Bishop Morris, who expressed an open attitude to solving the shortage of priests with married priests and women priests. It is also encouraging to hear public criticism of the Vatican's abuse of power from priests groups like the Australian Priests who challenged the Vatican in its removal of Bishop Morris. They are joining other reform minded Catholics who love the church enough to speak truth to power.
The Bible teaches that God is always on the side of the oppressed. And women are definitely excluded from equal status in the Catholic Church. Canon law prohibits women from official decision-making roles in the church. Only the ordained are allowed this function. In a world where women are heads of state and presidents of companies, Catholic women are not allowed to officate at the sacraments or preach at regular Sunday worship. Women are treated like second class members of their own church. But now there is hope. We have Roman Catholic Women Priests. And the Vatican , the gift that keeps on giving, is placing its finger in a dike. But the dam has broken and there is a river of hope and promise, spilling forth, women priests, renewing the church with deep love and faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus. Roman Catholic Women Priests are part of the movement for the full equality of women in the Catholic Church which is the voice of God in our time.
I believe the Spirit is a'moving and before long we will see Catholic communities in Australia calling women to be ordained as priests to serve the church there. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests stand in solidarity with the women called to priesthood in Australia and offer our prayerful support to Bishop Morris, who has inspired millions of Catholics, as he continues to stand in his truth. When the history of the church is written, Bishop Morris will be one of its heroes.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP