Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Who is a Saint?" by Patrick T. Reardon/Chciago Tribune,0,4823192.story
Who is a saint?
Why the Vatican should ordain women
By Patrick T. Reardon
May 22, 2011

"A year ago, a friend of mine, Janine Denomme, died of cancer. We were members of the St. Gertrude Roman Catholic parish in Edgewater. We served on the parish council together.

It was painful for me to learn that, a few days before she died, Janine was told that the archdiocese wouldn't permit her to be buried out of St. Gertrude. It was one more pain that was added on to the pain of her cancer and her imminent death.
Yet, Cardinal George's refusal to let Janine's funeral be held in St. Gertrude brought greater attention to her priesthood. Newspaper readers and those who heard about Janine in other ways found out that she was willing to pursue her vocation as a priest, even to the extent of being blocked from the religious home she loved...
But, maybe, in the end, the church will win. And the rest of society too.
Who is a saint? Is it Pope John Paul II, whose official sainthood process is on a fast track? Maybe. But I never had any dealings with him.
I knew Janine. I saw how she lived her life. And, yeah, I'd say she was a saint."

Patrick T. Reardon, a former scholar in residence at the Newberry Library, is the author of "Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Dads" and two other books of meditations.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Timothy Radcliffe Dropped as Speaker at Caritas Summit/ More Evidence of Power and Control Tactics of Vatican Against a Voice of Challenge

EXCLUSIVE Timothy Radcliffe dropped as speaker at Caritas summit
Robert Mickens in Rome - 20 May 2011 - The Tablet UK
"The Vatican has dropped Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, the internationally renowned former head of the Dominicans, from giving the keynote address at next week's Caritas Internationalis (CI) general assembly in Rome, The Tablet has learned.Fr Radcliffe was originally scheduled to deliver the opening address on Monday morning and speak about the theology that undergirds the work of Caritas. He had already prepared a 45-minute talk. Instead, that slot has been given to Capuchin Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, the charismatic preacher of the papal household, followed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. People associated with the Caritas confederation have been careful not to make too much of the Vatican's recent moves to gain greater control over the organisation, fearing that any protests would only make the situation worse."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Once again, the Vatican appears to be circling the wagons. They seem to be threatened by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, a prestigious, major Dominican theologian. Why?
I wonder what issues caused the Vatican to block Fr. Timothy Radcliff from speaking. Something is wrong with this picture!
Caritas officials should stand up to the Vatican and insist that Fr. Timothy speak at their conference. This incident reminds us that we must never submit to oppression. This should be the motto of all Catholics who love their church. Jesus died to liberate us all. Jesus never intended to leave behind an oppressive institution that dominated and controlled its followers. As Martin Luther King taught us injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Catholics wake up, reclaim your church as a community of believers who uphold the values of Jesus in the Gospel! Ask yourself, what would Jesus do, and do it!
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

“Injustice cannot come infallibly from a just God.” by Judith A. Cox

Bishop Theodora, St. Praxedis,
Mary, Mother of Jesus in
St. Praxedis Church in Rome
(left to right)

Ordination of Roman Catholic Women
Priests in Sarasota, Florida

Women’s Value as Catholic Priests
On this Easter weekend, thoughts go to Jesus and all that transpired throughout his death and resurrection. In Ann Gray’s letter to the editor of 4-21-11, she states that Jesus ordained the twelve male apostles at the Last Supper and that is her argument that women cannot be priests. The next few days of His life prove otherwise. The twelve male apostles were in hiding through His suffering and death. They abandoned him. Who were the faithful disciples who followed Him to the cross and were with him when he died? Mary, his mother and the first person to bring into being the body and blood of Christ and Mary, the Magdalene, were with him through it all. Jesus rewarded Mary, the Magdalene, by allowing her to be the first to know of His resurrection. He then sent her to announce it to the twelve male apostles still in hiding. She has been called Apostle to the Apostles.
Yes, Jesus was very unusual in his time to value women and take them into his ministry. He sent the Samaritan woman to preach to her neighbors and welcomed Mary and Martha to listen to his words.
The best case that could be made for women in the Catholic priesthood, was written by Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who has been threatened with eviction from his order and
excommunication from the Catholic Church because of his support of the Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement. He states the following:
(1) As Catholics, we believe that we were created in the image and likeness of God and that men and women are equal before God. Excluding women from the priesthood implies that men are superior to women.
(2) Catholic priests say that the call to be a priest is a gift and comes from God. How can we, as men, say: "Our call from God is authentic, but your call, as women, is not"? Who are we to reject God's call of women to the priesthood? I believe our Creator who is the Source of life and called forth the sun and stars is certainly capable of calling women to be priests.
(3) We are told that women cannot be priests because Jesus chose only men as apostles. As we know, Jesus did not ordain anyone. Jesus also chose a woman, Mary Magdalene, to be the first witness to His resurrection, which is at the core of our faith. Mary Magdalene became known as "the apostle to the apostles."
(4) A 1976 report by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the Vatican's top Scripture scholars, concluded that there is no valid case to be made against the ordination of women from the Scriptures. In the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian and other Christian churches, God's call of women to the priesthood is affirmed and women are ordained. Why not in the Catholic church?
(5) The Holy Scriptures remind us in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither male nor female. In Christ Jesus you are one." Furthermore, the Second Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution on The Church in the Modern World states: "Every type of discrimination ... based on sex. .. is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent.
His reasons are the best I have seen. If you agree with him, please write his superior
Rev. Edward Dougherty, M.M. Superior General Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers
P.O. Box 303 Maryknoll NY 10545 in support of his stand on women in the priesthood and his 44 years in the Maryknoll missions.
There are many groups who want the Catholic priesthood to be expanded for many different reasons. Hopefully, the faithful Catholic laity will demand that this happen and value the gifts that women have to give to the Catholic priesthood.

Judith A. Cox

"God Visits the Archdiocese of Philadelphia" by Eileen McCafferty Di Franco, RCWP

Eileen McCafferty Di Franco, RCWP, Presides at
St. Mary Magdala Community Liturgy on
Christmas Eve in Philadelphia area.

God walked up and down the streets of downtown Philadelphia mourning and weeping in its many vales of tears. The people most of the city tries to forget huddled together on the park benches as the wintry February wind howled between the gleaming skyscrapers. God looked up at the towers of Liberty 1 and Liberty II and sighed. Philadelphia had come a long way from the days when no building could stand taller than City Hall. It was a shame that except for Sister Mary Scullion and Project Home, the city fathers and mothers still couldn’t figure out what to do with the homeless.

God looked sadly at Her people waiting for their handouts of daily bread, right in the shadow of a church dedicated to Her. “And still my children cry,” She thought as she passed by the court building and the public library.

God was certainly well acquainted with the sin all around her. After all, She had given human beings free will. Sin was a natural outcome of Her choice to let people learn. She knew that people would lie, cheat, fornicate, avenge, fight, envy and lust. She forgave sin because it was part of the human condition. No human being could ever be perfect. The divine goal had always been wholeness rather than perfection.

God ran Her hands through Her curly black hair and wiped away Her tears. What had happened in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia took sin to new level. What really made Her angry, if She could be angry, and want to throw thunderbolts, if there were such things, was the idolatrous use of Her Holy Name to justify heinous sin. As the late February wind gathered into a full frontal attack, God shouted, “Thou SHALT NOT take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain,” at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The passers-by on 18th St. lifted up the heads they had bowed before the wind. What was that sound? When they saw a tall, well-dressed beautiful young woman with curly black hair and bright green eyes standing in the park, they resumed their walk. Thank God none of the park denizens was acting crazy today.

In his office, Cardinal Rigali heard the wind race around the corner of his office. Something in the wind made him get up and look out the window. A very tall woman with curly black hair caught his eye. He tried to move away from the window but stood transfixed by her eyes. His knees began to feel a bit weak. How could he see her eyes from this distance? And why was she waving at him?

His work beckoned. Several days before he learned that the city was going to try the former Vicar of the Clergy, the Very Reverend William Lynn for child endangerment. In His Eminence’s opinion, Msgr. Lynn had only done what he had been directed to do. A cardinal always knows what’s best for his diocese. The sacred and the profane world are so different and only he, Justin Rigali, can tell the difference between the two because his feet are planted so firmly in the former. All those people out there, eating, drinking, carousing in sin and using birth control - what could they know about the sacred work entrusted to him? What do they know about the sacred? He, the cardinal archbishop of Philadelphia had worked hard to do the Lord’s work to keep people steadfast in their faith and devoted to the church of Jesus Christ. His was the voice of authority. Only he could interpret the will and word of God. Jesus, Himself, had put bishops in charge of the church. The cardinal rested peacefully each night, assured in that knowledge.

Cardinal Rigali tried again to withdraw his eyes from the woman outside. His heart began beating fast as he head a female voice say quite clearly in his head, “Don’t kid yourself, my son. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no strange gods before me. Do not be an idolater. Cease and desist from taking My Name in vain.” To his amazement, he could see Her lips mouthing the words. The cardinal began to sweat.

The woman suddenly withdrew her eyes and the cardinal relaxed. He saw her approach the door to the archdiocesan office and smiled. The guards would stop her. He sat down, adjusted his pectoral cross and his red beanie, and began looking at the charges against his loyal deputy.

The door opened almost immediately. The cardinal’s eyes narrowed. He had told his secretary not to disturb him. His mouth opened to complain when he saw the tall woman in question entering his office.

The cardinal demanded, “Who let you in?” and reached for his phone.

“Don’t bother, Justin,” God said mildly. “The phone won’t work. And don’t be mad at your secretary. He didn’t see Me. No one did. No one but you.”

Justin began inching towards the door. This woman was insane. He was tired of those street people hanging around in the park.

God walked around to the chair Justin had just vacated, sat down, and crossed her long legs. She removed a white wool shawl from Her shoulders and took out her computer from her green bag. “Sit down,” She directed peremptorily, pointing to the visitor’s chair in front of his desk. “And stop staring at My arms. Mothers have the strongest arms in the world. The biggest hearts too. You should talk to women more often and stop worrying about them taking over things. It would stop you from saying some really stupid stuff about things you don’t remotely understand.”

Justin sat down and crossed his arms across his chest. If he made a scene, he’d have trouble explaining how this lovely young woman with bare arms came to visit him so secretly. God narrowed Her eyes as She stared at his broad red cummerbund and the red piping on his cassock. “You silly, pitiful men. You can’t imagine God as female. You really were expecting a God who looked and acted like you?” “Well,” She said, her voice rising, “Dream on!” Justin looked at the window as the wind seemed to roar again. “It wasn’t the wind,” God said calmly, as She downloaded the Grand Jury Report.

“Who are you?” he demanded. Justin was a man who gave orders. He could say to the Vicar of the Clergy, “Go cover up the sins of my brother priests and it would be done without question. He would say to his loyal men, “Keep those heretics away from communing with God,” and they would do so, even when their better instincts indicated otherwise. When some silly women from WOC asked, “What would Jesus do?” Justin could only laugh. He always did what Jesus would want him to do. Protect the church. Secure it from scandal. Eliminate dissenters. Reserve the Lord for the deserving. And he used priest underlings, wealthy patrons, lawyers, insurance agents, controllers, and public relations people to do his bidding, which after all, was really the Will of God.

God noted his thoughts and looked up from Her computer. In fact, She stood up and said. “I am the Lord thy God.” The cardinal’s mind recoiled in protest in spite of the vision of a woman clothed in the sun with a crown of stars on her head, Looking down from Her great height, She added, “ I shall be Who I shall be. I wish you guys would be more anal about that sort of translation and worry less about that consubstantial nonsense. Do you think complicated words can ever describe Me?”

Then God was back in her seat leaning towards Justin, Her chin in Her hand. Justin refused to look into Her eyes. “You know, Justin, men like you continue to amaze Me. I have given you visions, signs, indeed, even portents if you believe in prophecy, and yet you disbelieve. The message is so big, a runner would see it as My son Habbakuk wrote so many years ago. Yet, you destroy the prophets among you. Your idolatry blinds you. You refuse to see me so You cannot believe in Me. All you see is yourself. You are seeing the house that you think Justin built, the house you think Rome built. But he who loses his life will find it. Lose yourself in Me, Justin. Forget about who you think you are. Forget about who you think I AM. You have been blessed with a great gift, Justin, and yet you refuse to accept it.”

Justin sat still, his eyes staring straight in front of him, refusing to meet the eyes of God. He had worked really hard to get to this place. All those years in Rome, rubbing elbows and clinking wine glasses in the finest restaurants in town with the most powerful men in the world meant a great deal to him.

“Justin, my boy, I would not worry about all those clanging brass cymbals in Rome any more. The only power they have, as my son Tom McMahon said on a wonderful e-group to which you should subscribe because you might learn something about the church you lead, is the power to use something they call god as a threat. If you truly believed in Me, as my daughter Marguerite Sexton said when she sadly left the church, you would never, ever use ME, the Lord, thy God, as a weapon against your sisters and brothers.”

God shrugged at Justin’s flat affect and continued to read through the 2011 Grand Jury Report mumbling “Yuck” and “Gross.”

“You do this type of thing and then believe you speak for Me? Quite frankly Justin, I am suffering from what your psychologists call cognitive dissonance. You have major hissy fits over my sons Roy and Bill and my daughters, the priests and then you coddle criminals, sick men who did these things?” She pointed in disgust at the computer. “You, my son – and all your brothers- not only presume, you also engaged in some really bad judgment.”

God closed Her computer and put Her flash drive into Her purse. “Now, I’ve had more than enough of this stuff. You have screwed up big time being a shepherd. Few recognize your voice. You left your flock alone and instead protected the wolves whom you allowed to roam in your midst with impunity. It is always and everywhere My will and intention to protect the weak and the vulnerable. It is in doing this that you give Me glory and honor. Why do you think I told believers to see Me in all humanity?”

Justin remained unconvinced. This self-described God was a WOC plant. He knew these women well. They would do anything, even hire a master magician, to push their feminist agenda. All they wanted to do was destroy the church, which had grown up perfectly intact from the heads of the church, the apostles. The male, celibate clergy had served the world well these last centuries. It would not change any time soon, certainly not while he was in charge. The church as it now existed was the will of God. Case closed.

God looked sadly at the Cardinal Archbishop of Philadelphia. “ You are not in charge, son. I AM. If you were, as you claim, ontologically changed by Holy Orders, you would know Me and Mine. Instead, you know only you and yours. And so you will fail.” God stood up and prepared to leave.

Justin’s secretary walked into the office. “Your Eminence, I heard strange noises and thought…” The man closed his mouth and stood in stunned silence watching as God draped her white shawl over Her broad shoulders. “Your Eminence,” he fairly gasped, “Who is this woman? How did she get in here?”

“I AM,” She replied, “The Lord, thy God.” The vision of God filled the room with a great pulsating light that extinguished the winter darkness with each beat of God’s heart. The secretary got down on his knees and looked up at the divine as though through the clouds of heaven. The stars in Her crown twinkled in a bright sky. He could see the world at Her feet. “Now you can dismiss your servant,” he began, when the cardinal interrupted. “This is all a ploy, get off your knees, John. It’s those WOC women priests at it again.”

The secretary saw blood from the wounds in her hands drip onto her shawl. “No, no, no Your Eminence,’ he protested, “This is real. Look at Her hands! We have met the Lord! I must go and tell the others! It’s the Second Coming! Jesus has returned! Praise God!” Then remembering his sins, for they were many, John bowed his head and wept. “God, please forgive me,” he said over and over again, holding Her Hands and kissing them with great fervor. John felt Her grace, Her sweetness, and Her divine life flow through Her hands to him. He was forgiven.

God gently brought John to his feet and wiped the tears from his eyes with Her shawl. “Not just yet, John. Please keep this Good News to yourself for there is much business to conduct,” She said. “But I do want you to bring Anthony Bevilaqua to this office tomorrow at 9 A.M. You need to be here as well, John, my beloved, and you too Justin.”

“Obviously God,” Justin said archly , “You don’t know that Cardinal Bevilaqua is ill and suffering from dementia.”

“Obviously, Justin,” She replied, “I know that aside from a malformed moral compass, your predecessor is just fine, thank you.” We’ll talk tomorrow at nine sharp. Be there.”

Eileen McCafferty DiFranco
May 18, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

John Jay Report on Sexual Abuse in Catholic Church Fails to Deal with Systemic Cover-up by Bishops and Vatican

The John Jay Report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church could have been written by the U. S. Bishops and the Vatican. What a disappointment, and a waste of money! Let's not forget that the bishops' made a large financial contribution, and the report examined their data. Why in heavens name, did these investigators not do a more comprehensive investigation? There is evidence in court cases and research on fundamental issues, such as the clerical, male culture that could have been examined.
The report blames the pop culture, the permissive environment, of the 60's for the rape and cover up of sexual abuse of thousands of Catholic youth. Not long ago, the Vatican's exorcist blamed the devil roaming the halls of he Vatican for the sexual abuse scandal!
What these investigators leave out in this report is:
1) the bishops' role in the global cover-up
2) the Vatican's role in the global cover-up
3) the systemic causes including clericalism that preserved the bishops' power and failed to protect the victims.

Can we see an agenda here?!

Then to add insult to injury, the recent Vatican guidelines affirm the bishop's authority in all sexual abuse cases. The Vatican policy suggests that the bishop turn over credible cases to the police. Suggest! Did anyone ever hear of "obstruction of justice" Is the hierarchy of the Catholic Church above the law?
Would any other church get away with the coverup of criminal behavior?

Yet, why, is there not worldwide outrage when the Vatican comes out with such a reprehensible policy? The Vatican clearly states that it is the bishops who are responsible to decide which allegations are credible! Really! After spending 2 billion dollars in court cases and after thousands of priests were found guilty of raping, sodomizing, and/or sexually abusing minors and after a cover-up by bishops that extends around the globe, one would think the Vatican would offer mandates to the bishops, not suggestions that they report allegations to the police. One example, in the Philadelphia Archdiocese the Review Board did not even know about the allegations against some of the priests who were later suspended after the Grand Jury Report cited credible allegations of sexual abuse. Cardinal Rigali did not turn over all of the cases to his own Review Board. And the Vatican Policy supports Rigali's action! How tragic! It is obvious that the preservation of the hierarchy's power, not the protection of children from sexual abuse by the clergy, is the real issue! In some cases, like Cardinal Law, the Vatican has even rewarded bishops who covered up for abusive priests with top jobs in Rome.
Now the newly released official Vatican policy demonstrates that the Vatican refuses to make the major reforms that would create a more open, accountable, transparent church. The bishops are still in charge. They are only accountable to the Pope in this life. The foxes continue to guard the hen house.
Groups like Amnesty International, perhaps, the World Court, may be able to hold the institutional church accountable. The people of God, the court of public opinion, will continue to pray for and advocate for justice, truth telling, reconciliation and healing. Catholics who love their church will continue to speak truth to the hierarchy and call for reform. Some of us will work in grassroots communities, like the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, to bring about structural change by living Gospel equality and accountability now as we share the rich heritage of our faith in vibrant sacramental communities in which justice, compassion, and inclusiveness are hallmarks.
Here are quotes from some of the major media's coverage:
"The report's ultimate recommendation will sound familiar to anyone who has studied an institution in crisis: enact uniform policies that encourage transparency and accountability. But this is the American Catholic Church, in which each bishop runs his diocese largely free from scrutiny and oversight. Just last week, the head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese's in-house review board publicly complained that church leaders had been selective in handing over sex-abuse allegations rather than allowing the board to sift through every complaint. (Read about Pope Benedict XVI's daily life.)
Perhaps the best evidence that church reforms are still far off came on May 16 when the Vatican issued new guidelines for bishops to consult when dealing with sex-abuse cases. The guidelines are voluntary, meaning bishops will continue to have the final say over all matters within their individual dioceses. The bishop remains king, reporting only to the Pope and God." Read more:,8599,2072574,00.html#ixzz1Mqwy8rRk

As important as this report seems to be, more work and investigation is needed. In the Washington Post, the point is made that the organization is claiming it has done one of the most thorough studies any organization has done of itself. But it has not studied the organization failures. "
Priest sex abuse scandal was temporary problem, study finds

In The Washington Post
“This report misses the boat. What deserves the most scrutiny are not child sex crimes but continued clergy coverups of child sex crimes,” the advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Tuesday in a statement. Study blames culture of era for church’s abuse crisis.
Priests poorly trained, report to bishops says "
In online
“The study seems to focus on the offending priests in a way that minimizes the gravity of their crimes, and gives short shrift to the ‘other crime’ — the enabling, concealing, and fostering of abuse by the US bishops and the Vatican bureaucracy,’’ said Terence McKiernan of, in a statement on news reports concerning the leaked study last night."

Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vatican Put on List of Global Human Rights Abusers by Amnesty International

May 16, 7:17 AM EDT
Vatican suggests bishops report abuse to police
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
EXCERPT: On Friday, Amnesty International listed the Vatican in its annual report of global human rights abuses, citing revelations of clerical abuse around the world and the "enduring failure" of the church to address the crimes properly.
Vatican's role in sex abuse scandals

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Another example of the fox guarding the hen house! This is the problem! How can the bishops determine if an allegation is credible? Don't you need an investigation by police? Isn't that part of law enforcement's job. It is "important" to cooperate with law enforcement, but the Vatican should have made this mandatory!, These guidelines are not even a good PR effort on their part! I don't understand why the Vatican does not get it!

Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

"Papal Fantasy Romancing the Past"/ Progressive Bishops Considered More Dangerous Than Those Engaged in Sex Abuse

John Greenleaf writes in "Another Voice":

"Progressive bishops are seen as more dangerous than those engaged in sex abuse: As has been reported, the Vatican has taken decisive action against an “errant” Australian bishop, showing that it has a zero tolerance policy towards deviants. Bishop William Morris, who was forced to resign (for wanting to discuss married priests, women priests and an ecumenical understanding of holy orders) was not guilty of sexual abuse. On the contrary, the Toowoomba, Australia bishop has been a noted supporter of abuse victims in his diocese, and widely admired as a sensitive pastoral leader. At the same time, the Vatican has fast-tracked the beatification of John Paul II, the pope who denied that pedophilia was a problem in the church and gave great support to sexual abusers like his friend Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer of Vienna who abused 2,000 boys over several decades."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The Latin liturgies, meatless meals on Friday, and other pentitential practices will not heal the grievous wound in the heart of our church- the horrific global scandal that has not only devastated the lives of victims and their families, but also has betrayed the entire Catholic community and the result is loss of trust in the institutional church and its hierarchy. The fact that many bishops, including the Vatican were involved in a global shuffling of priests from parish to parish, from diocese to diocese and in some cases from country to country and ended up in the hands of both JPII and Benedict XVI. Both popes apologized for the travesty, but did not make the structural changes necessary to deal with the clericalism that protected the clergy, but not the children who were raped, sodomized, and sexually abused by the "Fathers" of their church!
Pope Benedict made a serious mistake by firing BishopWilliam Morris, who had a good track record of dealing compassionately with victims of sexual abuse and who considered married priests and women priests as a possible solution to the crisis of a priest shortage in his Australian diocese, His removal from office is another indication of how sick our institutional church is and how threatened the Vatican is by the mere words, "women priests".

Yet the fact remains that Roman Catholic Women Priests are faithful advocates of Gospel equality who are living prophetic obedience to God's call to serve the people of God in a a renewed priestly ministry. We minister in grassroots communities where all are welcome, including all who are on the margins of church and society.

In my view, this is the mandate of Jesus in the Gospel who embraced all.

Women priests are part of the grassroots reform and renewal that is on the ground now. I think Jesus, who had many women among his closest disciples, would feel rather comfortable in our inclusive communities.

Women Priests are part of the emerging Catholic Church, a new Pentecost that is taking root, in which a circle of beloved sisters and brothers come together to worship in inclusive communities and to live passionately the good news of God's love, compassion, justice and equality for all in our world.

Kudos to John Greenleaf for an excellent article in his blog: "Another Voice."
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"The Vatican Moves Further Latinward"/ How Long Before Vatican Promotes Inclusive Liturgies/Women Priests?

The Vatican Moves Further Latinward
: James Martin, S.J.
From Reuters: The Vatican issued an "instruction" to bishops as a follow-up to a 2007 papal decree authorizing the wider adoption of the Latin Mass, which was in universal use before the 1962-1965 Vatican Council introduced masses in local languages. The re-instatement of the Latin mass was one of the demands of ultra-traditionalists whose leaders were excommunicated in 1988, prompting the first schism in modern times. The pope, in a nod the traditionalists, satisfied many of them in 2007 when he allowed a wider use of the Latin mass, in which the priest faced east with his back to the faithful for most of the service. But some bishops around the world said privately it was a headache because of the scarcity of priests trained in Latin, and logistical problems inserting Latin mass in their schedule.

Bridget Mary's Reflection
If Pope Benedict can promote the old Latin Mass to keep the ultra traditionlists happy, (whose leaders were excommicated just 23 years ago), how long will it take the Vatican to promote inclusive language in liturgies that incorporate feminine images of God to make progressives in the church happy?
Even though the bishops are mumbling, even complaining about this latest mandate from the Vatican that gives them extra work and costs to train priests to say a proper Tridentine Mass facing East, I prefer to view this move backward to Medieval times as another example of the Vatican as the gift that keeps on giving! This demonstrates how quickly the institutional church can move backwards or forwards! Just imagine the joy of millions in the church, when (in less than 23 years perhaps) we move forward with a renewed priestly ministry in a people empowered church. Can't you just see a future pope standing in the midst of the crowd in St. Peter's Square. Cameras roll, crowds cheer as Pope X declares that as the church has always believed and taught, Jesus treated women and men as disciples and equals, Mary of Magdala was the first witness to encounter the Risen Christ and was known as the apostle to the apostles, many women presided at Eucharist in the house churches in apostolic times, thousands of women were ordained deacons in the east and faithful women served their communities as presbyters until the 12th century, the church today is returning to its ancient tradition of women priests and (drum roll, please) all the top jobs in the Vatican will now be open to women who will fill at least half of them. He will affirm the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement as a prophetic gift to the church and the change it has brought in grassroots communities of a more open, inclusive, people-empowered church. At this time, he will invite all to join hands and hearts in the following prayer of thanksgiving; "God, our Mother and Father, we pray that all people today will be blessed by the gifts of women and men, partners and equals, living Jesus' vision of Gospel equality, justice and non-violence in our time..."
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community: Mini-Retreat: A Reflection on Compassion at "Mercy on the Manatee" in Florida

Hildegard of Bingen's Mandala:
The Person in Sapphire Blue: Compassion

Katy Zatsick (right) hangs Mandela
on Wall of "Mercy on the Manatee"

Members of MMOJ gather for
Reflection on Compassion

On Sunday, May 15, 2011, members of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community gathered for a mini-retreat. We reflected on compassion and its meaning in our lives and ministries. We reviewed insights from Bishop Patricia Fresen's presenation on the power of compassion that connects all beings in the energy of the Holy One, and empowers us with overflowing love that pulses through all in the circle of life. We shared stories from our lives that illustrated how we grew in the awareness and practice of compassion in everyday life. We also celebrated a delicious brunch provided by our hosts, Carol Ann and Lee Breyer, who live in this awesome spot of beauty, their home on the Manatee River surrounded by stunning views of blue sky and water, " Mercy on the Manatee."
We concluded our time by hanging the framed mandala on the wall of Hildegard's vision of compassion, given by Bishop Patricia to our community. Then, Michael and Imogene Rigdon, Carol Ann and Lee Breyer, Sheila Carey and her friend Ed, Judy and Kevin Conolly and Shekila, bid farewell to snowbirds: Dick Fisher, Jack and Bridget Mary Meehan.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

(MMOJ Liturgies will continue at St. Andrew UCC in Sarasota, Florida on first Sat. of month from June-Oct. at 6PM) Weekly liturgies start in Nov. Check for more information)

Jack Meehan and Mindy Play "When Saints Go Marching In " at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy on May 14, 2011