Friday, August 19, 2011

Grassroots Resistance to New Roman Missal/ Bishops' "Double-Speak" Over New Missal/Article in The Tablet

"A grassroots resistance seems to be growing
among ordinary Catholics who are deeply concerned
at the impact this new translation will have on their
Sunday Mass. ...The flagrant misuse of power involved in the new
translation of the Roman Missal is not just about its
pastorally disastrous kind of language. It is also about
the serious disregard for Vatican II's teaching on
collegiality in the process leading up to the New
Missal... This new Missal has provoked widespread dismay
and disquiet, especially among many clergy, fearful
of its negative impact on parishioners. For instance,
in January of this year the eminent US liturgical scholar,
Anthony Ruff OSB, withdrew from a commission given
him by the US bishops to help prepare people for the
new translation of the Roman Missal in dioceses
across the US. In his letter of withdrawal he wrote:
" involvement in that process, as well as my
observation of the Holy See's handling of scandal,
has gradually opened my eyes to the deep problems
in the structures of authority of our Church. The
forthcoming Missal is but a part of a larger pattern
of top-down impositions by a central authority that
does not consider itself accountable to the larger
Church. When I think of how secretive the translation
process was, how little consultation was done with
priests or laity ... "



"On 3 February the

Irish Association of Catholic Priests (ACP)

issued a press release entitled "New Translation of the
Missal Unacceptable". They described the texts as
"archaic, elitist and obscure and not in keeping with
the natural rhythm, cadence and syntax of the
English language" and say: "from the few available
samples of the new texts, it is clear that the style
of English used throughout the Mass will be so
convoluted that it will be difficult to read the prayers
in public." Moreover, they continue: "It is ironic that
this Latinised, stilted English is being imposed on
Irish people who are so blessed with world-renowned
poets, playwrights, and novelists." They ask the
bishops to follow the German bishops, who have
objected to similar texts being imposed on them
and urge them to defer the Missal's introduction for
five years to give them time to "engage with Irish
Catholics with a view to developing a new set of texts
that will adequately reflect the literary genius and
spiritual needs of our Church community in these
modern times".
Two years earlier, an article appeared in America
(14 December 2009) entitled
What If We Said, 'Wait'?
The case for a grass-roots review of the new Roman
Missal, by Fr Michael G. Ryan. He spoke out of his
experience as pastor of St James' Cathedral, Seattle,
since 1988 and board member of the national
Cathedral Ministry Conference. He tells of the
reactions of "disbelief and indignation" of his friends
to some of the translations; and of "audible laughter
in the room" at a diocesan seminar for priests and
lay-leaders. ..He also notes that when the new translations were
mistakenly introduced ahead of time in South Africa
they "were met almost uniformly with opposition
bordering on outrage". Fr Ryan makes a gentle
"What if?" challenge to his fellow priests:
"What if we, the parish priests of this country who
will be charged with the implementation, were to
find our voice and tell our bishops that we want to
help them avert an almost certain fiasco? What if
we told them that we think it unwise to implement
these changes until our people have been
consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their
intelligence and their baptismal birthright? What if
we just said, "Wait, not until our people are ready
for the new translations, but until the translations
are ready for our people?...."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pope Arrives in Spain Amid Censorship Controversy: Word Youth Day 4: Condoms for Life Campaign

For Immediate Release
18 August 2011
Media Contact:Adrianne Burke+1 202 986 6093

Pope Arrives in Spain Amid Censorship Controversy
International Youth Coalition Seconds Archbishop’s Affirmation of Freedom of Expression
The World Youth Day 4
All coalition welcomed the remarks from Archbishop Braulio Rodriguez of Toledo, Spain, who pointed out that the Catholic World Youth Day celebration is taking place in a country where freedom of expression is protected.“Spain’s openness to freedom of expression is something Catholics for Choice took for granted when we arranged, months in advance, for the display of our Condoms4Life ads in Madrid’s transit system to coincide with World Youth Day,” said Marissa Valeri, a lead organizer of the coalition. “We were surprised, then, when the message ‘Good Catholics Use Condoms’ was deemed too offensive for Madrilenos.
In reality, the best interests of the public was not the issue. Instead, it was a move made by ultraconservatives to stifle the many diverse voices of Catholics at World Youth Day, which should be a place where, as Archbishop Rodriguez affirmed, ‘we can all say what we want to say.’The municipal authorities did a disservice to all visitors and to all Spaniards by stepping between the life-giving message that condoms save lives, on the one hand, and the individual’s right to make up his or her mind about that message, on the other.”
Condoms are apparently not the only topic that is too hot to handle in Madrid this August. Patrons at the Madrid public library have allegedly complained they were unable to access Web sites providing information on protests being organized against World Youth Day.One of the hallmarks of the Catholic tradition is unity in diversity. Like the World Youth Day 4
All coalition, the event itself is made up of participants from all over the world, people who may speak different languages and come from different cultures, but who find kinship on the level of faith. The church hierarchy obviously feels that Spain’s respect for freedom of expression gives them room to express their viewpoint—Archbishop Rodriguez even decries those who think that certain points of view are “more right than others.” Spain’s civic freedoms should be able to include the voices of the Catholic people—including those who support the use of condoms—as well as the perspectives of non-Catholics. Otherwise, the “world” part of World Youth Day goes missing, and those from a tiny, easily ruffled minority within the Catholic hierarchy and the Spanish authorities are the only ones celebrating.Luckily, diversity is not so easily squelched—the Condoms4Life message has been making headlines all week (see the blog
for a roundup of coverage), and pilgrims have encountered stickers and projections on walls around the city.Read the original press release
Read this press release
on the Catholics for Choice website.###Condoms4Life
( is an unprecedented worldwide public education effort to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms. The campaign was launched at World AIDS Day 2001 with billboards and ads in subways and newspapers saying, “Banning Condoms Kills.” According to its own figures, the Catholic church provides as much as one quarter of all care to people living with HIV and AIDS. The pope has recognized the value of condoms in the fight against HIV transmission. However, a few vocal, ultraconservative members of the Catholic hierarchy have tried to rewrite the pope’s words, and with them the truth about condom use by Catholics and in healthcare delivery by Catholic organizations across the globe. With this new ad campaign Catholics for Choice stands by the pope’s statements on condoms as an HIV prevention method that saves lives.
Catholics for Choice
shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Misguided Roman Missal" Gets Poor Reviews/ Coming Soon- Inclusive Worship Aides from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Don't fret about new Misguided Roman Missal!
Use new worship aides from ARCWP.
Information of our website in Sept. on how to order!
Are you or is your community at their wits end with this new "Misguided Roman Missal" that is coming out in Advent 2011? Then ,do something about it.
1.Use inclusive worship aides for your liturgy.
2. Check out this excellent website on "Misguided Roman Missal. "

Out of Love for the Church…
"Our Mission
To educate people about the problems with both the process and the product of the 2011 Roman Missal
To call for its immediate withdrawal and/or revision
To call for reconsideration of the 1998 Sacramentary (Missal). "
"Out of Love for the Church…
…we are deeply concerned with the New Missal Translation emanating from Rome.…we believe it is poorly translated, indeed, at times, mistranslated, difficult to speak, let alone comprehend.
…we are deeply concerned with the process resulting in the 2011 Missal Translation.…we believe the process circumvented collaboration and consultation with liturgists, linguists, scripture scholars and theologians and is simply being imposed without regard for the People of God.
…we are deeply concerned with the return to authoritarianism and clericalism implied in the words of the new translation.…we believe the hierarchy has lost sight of who we are as the people of God, who, like them, are called to discipleship... "

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Showing of "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" in Lexington, Kentucky/Documentary Producer of Award Winning Film, Jules Hart Spoke

(Left to right) Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP
Jules Hart, film maker,
Donna Rougeux, ARCWP at showing of Pink Smoke
Over the Vatican in Lexington, KY.

Jules Hart and Janice Sevre-Duszynska
at showing of "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican"
in Lexington

Last night about 13 people gathered for supper at my home here in Lexington. They included Jules Hart, the California film maker, and her brother from southern Indiana.

Kay Akers also came all the way from California for this event! With us were two folks from our Cincinnaticommunity, a freelance reporter and longtime friends/supporters of women priests from Lexington.We sat on the deck decorated with flowers from my English cottage garden and "talked shop": what's happening with Roy Bourgeois, the church, local, national and international, and our women's ordination movement.

What a joyful and spirited gathering!We had pulled pork, shrimp soaked in my sister's "Polish brine recipe," fruit salad and delicious "smacznego" potluck that everyone brought. My sister had left on Monday after caring for me during the first two weeks after my surgery.

Donna, who has been a God-send, had been over almost every day helping me get the house in order since I couldn't lift anything. She has walked the diaconate journey by setting up the "Pink Smoke" showing and in her concern and journeywith me. Her husband, Jerry, and his technical expertise, made sure everything went A-Okay with the film showing.

About 50 interfaith folks came to watch "Pink Smoke" in Lexington. They, too, were an enthusiastic audience. Afterwards, Judy introduced me and I Jules and we answered questions from the audience.

I introduced Donna Rougeux and people clapped when they heard she was going to be ordained in September!

For me it was a returning to the church where my ordination took place and where Roy's public stand for women priests took root. Now, three years later from Aug. 9, 2008, the grassroots has risen to support Roy and justice for women in our church!

After we spoke with folks who viewed "Pink Smoke," Donna, her husband Jerry, Kay, Jules and her brother and I returned to my home to celebrate and champagne toast "nazdrowie" to Jules for her tenaciousness and courage in producing the documentary about the struggle for justice for women in our church." We ate Kentucky Derby pie with ice cream and a slice of key lime on the side for dessert.

From Kay Akers, WOC woman from Los Angeles:"Even though I have been to debuts of Pink Smoke 7 or 8 times now, I can never pass up a chance to attend one more. Not only do I get something out of each viewing but the energy in the room is like an adrenalin high. I leave feeling energized, at peace and full of hope for the future. The same way when I am able to attend a liturgy presided over by a woman priest."
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

"The Rebel Feminist Priest" by George Fish

The Vatican has nearly kicked Roy Bourgeois out of the priesthood for supporting women's ordination.
By George Fish
August 16, 2011
..."Although Bourgeois is considered excommunicated latae senteniae, i.e., upon commission of the deed, for participating in the ordination ceremony of Sevre- Duszynska, the Vatican did not move to formally excommunicate him and the matter remained in limbo from late 2008 on. But things escalated this year after Bourgeois spoke in February on a panel at Barnard College in conjunction with the showing of the award-winning documentary on women's ordination, Pink Smoke over the Vatican. "
"Bourgeois has repeatedly charged the Church with sexism for refusing to recognize women's ordination to the priesthood, which he considers a "call from God...The First Canonical Warning informed Bourgeois that he had 15 days to publicly recant his support for women's ordination or he would be laicized--i.e., stripped of all his priestly powers and entitlements, including his pension as a Maryknoll priest for 39 years." (A Maryknoll spokesman said in August, however, that Bourgeois would not lose his pension.)
"Bourgeois answered Maryknoll's first letter on April 8, 2011, and the second letter on August 8, 2011. In both, he reiterated his support for women's ordination; his belief that since God made men and women equal in worth and dignity; and that the church was being arrogant and sexist. In his April letter, he stated in regard to the shortage of priests in the Church and the sexual abuse scandal, "For years we have been praying for more vocations to the priesthood. Our prayers have been answered. God is sending us women priests. Half the population are women. If we are to have a vibrant and healthy Church, we need the wisdom, experiences and voices of women in the priesthood..."
"The Catholic priesthood, Bourgeois says, is an "old boys' club" that wishes to hold onto its power, privileges and prerogatives. He believes that had there been women priests, the priest-pedophilia scandal would not have erupted because such predatory deeds would not have been tolerated..."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catholic Social Teaching on Economic Justice For All/ Option for the Poor is Biblical and Good Policy

August 16th, 2011 by Andy Alexander, S.J.

"It will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven."“Who then can be saved?”Jesus looked at them and said,“For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19"
"It seems to me that we tend to forget that Jesus warned us about the dangers of being rich. Much of the world doesn't know the gospel or has forgotten his words about it being as hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as it is for "a camel to pass through the eye of a needle." Upon really hearing this gospel, all of us are one with his first disciples is immediately asking him, "Then tell us, just WHO can be saved?" Of course, the consolation is that what Jesus really wants us to know is that "for God all things are possible..."
..."What's wrong with being rich? Experience shows us that the more we have, the more energy it takes to maintain the wealth we have. And, it inevitably happens that the more we have, the more we want. And, sadly, the more we have, the more it seems we think we deserve what we have. Of course, there are outstanding exceptions. There are wealthy people who are incredibly generous and who work hard for the benefit of others. Unfortunately, that isn't the way it always works. I find myself most challenged by how Jesus asks us, later in Matthew's gospel,
Chapter 25:41-46, to live. It is our mission to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless and care for the sick and imprisioned. That is how we will be judged. It is stunning to me sometimes to realize that much of what I think is important, much of what troubles me, much of what takes up so much of my time, has nothing to do with caring for "the least" of Jesus' brothers and sisters. Too often the "riches" of talents and energies and our place in the world so insulate us from the day to day life and struggle of the poor that we can be seduced into the path that leads to pride, rather than the holy and simplifying path that leads to humility."

Social Justice Teaching of Church in Economic Pastoral:

"There is an outstanding summary of Catholic Social Teaching for our day - well worth reading in its entirety, as a meditation, with amazing relevance for the challenges of today. It is the great economic pastoral, written by the U.S. Catholic Bishops 25 years ago this year. I conclude with just two paragraphs from it. It is challenging and can call us to great conversion. "

16. "All members of society have a special obligation to the poor and vulnerable. From the Scriptures and church teaching, we learn that the justice of a society is tested by the treatment of the poor. The justice that was the sign of God's covenant with Israel was measured by how the poor and unprotected -- the widow, the orphan, and the stranger -- were treated. The kingdom that Jesus proclaimed in his word and ministry excludes no one. Throughout Israel's history and in early Christianity, the poor are agents of God's transforming power. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, therefore he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor" (Lk. 4:18). This was Jesus' first public utterance. Jesus takes the side of those most in need. In the Last Judgment, so dramatically described in St. Matthew's Gospel, we are told that we will be judged according to how we respond to the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger. As followers of Christ, we are challenged to make a fundamental "option for the poor" -- to speak for the voiceless, to defend the defenseless, to assess life styles, policies, and social institutions in terms of their impact on the poor. This "option for the poor" does not mean pitting one group against another, but rather, strengthening the whole community by assisting those who are the most vulnerable. As Christians, we are called to respond to the needs of all our brothers and sisters, but those with the greatest needs require the greatest response."
202. d. "The tax system should be continually evaluated in terms of its impact on the poor. This evaluation should be guided by three principles. First, the tax system should raise adequate revenues to pay for the public needs of society, especially to meet the basic needs of the poor. Secondly, the tax system should be structured according to the principle of progressivity, so that those with relatively greater financial resources pay a higher rate of taxation. The inclusion of such a principle in tax policies is an important means of reducing the severe inequalities of income and wealth in the nation. Action should be taken to reduce or offset a disproportionate burden on those with lower incomes. Thirdly, families below the official poverty line should not be required to pay income taxes. Such families are, by definition, without sufficient resources to purchase basic necessities of life. They should not be forced to bear the additional burden of paying income taxes [60].
"Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. EconomyU.S. Catholic Bishops, 1986
Bridget Mary's Reflection.
Justice is a constitutive dimension of the Gospel. Indeed as Jesuit Andy Alexander points out the Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that God's option for the poor is the heart of religion: "Justice is the sign of God's covenant." Jesus makes his choice for the poor and the marginalized in the Gospels, and makes it clear that we will be will be judged on how we live justice- how we treat the poor and those on the margins of church and society. We are all called to live the option for the poor in every area of our lives and in all our structures and policies as a nation. As people of faith, we need to challenge our politicans to make policies and laws that protect the poor and vulnerable in our society. The super rich, as Warren Buffet rightly pointed out, do not need to be coddled by more tax breaks. Instead we need to make justice for all, including the poor and marginalized, a religious belief that informs our national policy. Then with God's help and our hard work, the poor and most vulnerable will be treated as beloved sisters and brothers and be given the protection and opportunities that they deserve. Then justice will flourish in our hearts and in our land!
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Maryknoll blocks Peaceful Protesters from Public Mass" by Anne Dowling

August 14, 2011—Torrential rain did not discourage twenty peaceful protesters from holding a vigil at the gates of Maryknoll Headquarters in Ossining, NY this morning, nor did the heavy presense of local police and private security forces dampen their spirits. They came from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Syracuse, Binghamton, Scranton, Westchester and the Bronx to call attention to the dismissal of a beloved priest from the Maryknoll Order.

On August 8th, Father Roy Bourgeois was given 15 days to recant his public support of Women's Ordination or be dismissed from Maryknoll. In an official “Canonical Warning” Father Bourgeois was accused of bringing “grave scandal” to the Maryknoll order. Meanwhile, studies show a majority of Catholics approve of allowing women to be priests. Many view it in a practical sense – it would help to alleviate the priest shortage. Father Roy’s supporters ask, how can an organization that promotes peace and justice worldwide turn its back on a member who is the epitome of everything Maryknoll stands for? Father Edward Dougherty, Superior General of the Maryknoll Order, has received a deluge of letters in support of Father Bourgeois. Many are withholding donations to Maryknoll.

The plan was to gather near the Maryknoll Chapel before a 10:30 Mass and invite those entering the chapel to sign a petition supporting Father Roy. They never gained entrance to the grounds of Maryknoll. The entire campus was on lock down with police cars blocking every entrance. Some were told the 10:30 Mass, (confirmed over the phone on Friday to be open to the public), was a private affair. Others were told the 10:30 Mass had been switched to 9:00 am.

The rain continued to drench the peaceful protesters as they assembled in front of the Maryknoll Gate displaying signs such as:”Father Roy is following his Conscience”, “Don’t Excommunicate Roy Bourgeois”, “Women-the answer to our prayers.” After standing vigil for 2 hours, one protestor walked over to the police and security guards and said,” I have an important question.” The men all jumped to attention. She asked, “Is there a diner nearby?” With relief they gave directions to a local eatery.

This same protestor said, “it's a sad day when Maryknoll, known for its good work in the poorest parts of the world, turns people away from attending Mass.” This group of activists says it is determined to give Maryknoll another opportunity to be hospitable soon. Perhaps the sun will be shining.
Anne Dowling

"Bishop in Missouri Waited Months to Report Priest, Stirring Parishioners’ Rage" by Laurie Goodstein/NY Times

..."But a painfully fresh case is devastating Catholics in Kansas City, Mo., where a priest, who was arrested in May, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of taking indecent photographs of young girls, most recently during an Easter egg hunt just four months ago.
Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
has acknowledged that he knew of the existence of photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May.
...“All these parishioners just feel so betrayed, because we knew nothing,” said Thu Meng, whose daughter attended the preschool in Father Ratigan’s last parish. “And we were welcoming this guy into our homes, asking him to come bless this or that. They saw all these signs, and they didn’t do anything.”
The case has generated fury at a bishop who was already a polarizing figure in his diocese, and there are widespread calls for him to resign or even to be prosecuted. Parishioners started a
Facebook page called “Bishop Finn Must Go” and are circulating a petition. An editorial in The Kansas City Star in June calling for the bishop to step down concluded that prosecutors must “actively pursue all relevant criminal charges” against everyone involved. "

"The Search for the Historical Paul: What Paul Thought About Women" by John Dominic Crossan/ Huffington Post

"On the mid-Aegean coast of Turkey, half-way up the northern slope of the Bülbüldag and high above the excavations of ancient Ephesus, is a long, narrow shrine-cave. ..Three characters are identified by name on that fresco. Paul is seated in the middle addressing Thecla to viewer left. She is a virgin -- hence unveiled -- but house-bound -- hence nubile. An elegantly veiled matron, her mother Theoclia, is to viewer right. Both the right hands of Paul and of Theoclia are raised in identical authoritative teaching gestures. Since Paul lacks any halo, my inexpert opinion would date that fresco to the 400s. "

"Patriarchy. One controversy is represented by Theoclia to Paul's left. As noted above, her right hand was originally raised in a teaching gesture every bit as authoritative as that of Paul. But it was later both gouged out and burned off. Furthermore, since only her eyes are obliterated, that erasure was not just general iconoclasm but individual assault. She is represented, in other words, as a woman teaching with authority whose image is then effaced with prejudice. This is simply a visual image of that reactionary post-Pauline and anti-Pauline command that "no woman [is] to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent" (1 Timothy 2:12). "

"That is not, of course, the view of the historical Paul whose letter to the Christian communities of Rome was delivered -- that is, read and explained -- by a woman named Phoebe, an administrator of a house-church near Corinth (Romans 16:1-2). Neither is it the position of the historical Paul who described the woman Junia as "prominent among the apostles" (Romans 16:7) -- an "apostle" is somebody "sent" by God with authority to found new Christian communities. .."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/13/11- Five “Dougherty’s” - In News This Week by Diane Dougherty

Diane Doughterty, Bridget Mary Meehan,

Janice Sevre-Duszynska (left to right)


Five “Dougherty’s” have been in the news this week, three for criminal behavior and two for questionable behavior. All have challenged existing social systems. The first three are siblings in their 20’s. Society will try the young adults in a court of law for “…. attempted murder of a police officer in two Colorado counties, ….and for shooting at police in Florida, and robbing a bank in Georgia.”

The other two are committed to Catholicism and are causing tension and stress on that system as it exists today. One is following questionable external authority,- the other says she is following a long standing internal authority. Both stand on opposite ends of a balance, but will cause others to place their existing systems out of whack. One is following orders from a hierarchy above them; the other is following a well formed conscience that challenges that hierarchy and the pseudo-authority it promotes. Both have deep-seated beliefs that they are acting in good faith. Both have had their names splashed over the globe.

Edward Dougherty is the general superior of the Maryknoll’s, a global religious and missionary community grounded in gospel mandates committed to promote Catholic Social teaching. He is following the Vatican requests by delivering a second canonical warning to one of his brothers, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who advocates for Women’s Ordination. Fr. Roy has refused to recant, forcing Dougherty to give his brother notice that he must get off the gospel tightrope and join the hierarchical status quo. Bourgeois says he is following his informed conscience. If God calls women and they respond, how can the hierarchy say they can’t? The hierarchy is not God. I wonder if Ed feels the Vatican pressure is adding to the community’s mission of being a visible gospel witness of Christ’s mandate to live justly? Or, does he really understand he is being put in that schizophrenic double bind, suspended in the “damned if I act and damned if I don’t “ mode. To me, the very request is an act of psychological terrorism.

Diane Dougherty, that is me, stands with her brother Roy and a growing number of women who belong to the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. We have defied the Vatican’s unjust social teaching and followed the gospel mandate to work toward justice and equality for all within the institution. Sexism and its practices are not part of the gospel mandate-it is just that simple.

In this time, in this age, we stand together making a wedge in the oppressive psychological chain that has caused women of the past to bend and tow under the hierarchy’s thumb.I believe a broad range of Catholics are making a shift unprecedented in any age of human history, and “The Dougherty’s”, whose religious call and passion have stood as candle bearers of the gospel could be the primary cause that shifts the minds and hearts of a broad range of people. Because we do not know our future, we can only ask the question-which Dougherty will prevail-Ed Dougherty, who is following orders that will lead a religious populace to believe God cannot and will not call women to serve; or, Diane Dougherty, who moved 23 years through the Catholic population as a Sister, 23 years in the service of Catholics as committed lay ecclesial minister and now as an ordained deacon?

Roy Bourgeois is a guiding light for Catholics. He is a prophet, like John, bearing witness to a new order. He has seen clearly that God does call women, and by their fruits, you shall know them. The Dougherty’s have thrust the Catholic population in a “Catholic vice” of sorts, as the Vatican turns the screws. The unimagined psychological tension is hurtful for all who refuse to go elsewhere.

It is said the largest religion in America is the Catholic Diaspra, the 33 million Catholics who no longer practice religion, but claim Catholicism as their own. The Pope is satisfied that Catholicism will become smaller and purer. For my part, this translation means it will maintain sexist practices as intrinsic to Catholic Social Teaching.

Clear thinkers, clear prayers, clear people of God will know this is false teaching. A growing number of us will stand firm, choosing the tension and not backing off. By standing firm, all the baptized will eventually be challenged to make their own shift. Only time will tell which Dougherty will tip the balance.

Author: Diane Dougherty

Letter to Fr. Dougherty, Maryknoll Superior General from John Quinn/Support of Fr. Roy Bourgeois

Fr. Ed
I am deeply sorry and angry at your decision to issue the second canonical warning to Fr. Roy Bourgeois MM. I am disappointed that you and the Maryknoll General Council did not exhibit the courage shown by others in leadership positions in men and women's religious orders, especially with regard to the punitive directives that have come from Rome during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the CDF under Cardinal Ratzinger. This direction is now continuing under Pope Benedict XVI.
I am a mere stripling of 69, born in Liverpool and baptised Catholic (of the Liverpool Irish as well as the Roman Catholic variety) in St. James, Bootle.
In your letter to Fr. Bourgeois you state that his activities " present a clear act of disobedience of the explicit instructions of your superiors and the warnings from the Holy See." I suspect Fr. Bourgeois would agree with that assessment and I would applaud him for that disobedience. How much of our history is the tale of men and women who chose the path of disobedience to fallible human authorities, even of the papal variety, and obedience to a well-formed conscience. How much of our history is the tale of men and women who challenged the status quo and the oft-repeated statement that we have always done it this way. Many of those men and women were also accused and threatened with disloyalty, with defiance, with causing confusion in the "minds of the many faithful", with "obstinate disobedience", with "grave scandal" are now celebrated in the Sacramentary/Roman Missal whilst their accusers have disappeared.
You state very easily that Fr. Bourgeois directly opposes "the definitive letter of John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" (not as your letter states "Ordination Sacerdotalis") and the CDF statement about this letter. You state this in a manner in which, unfortunately, too many Catholic priests
have made similar statements about many things with the understanding that the statement is followed by a period and not by questions or clarifications. In 2012 you may not have yet understood (after all you did spend a decade in Rome isolated from the ordinary peasants of the real world) that Roma can locuta but that does not mean that the causa is finita. I suspect you are aware of the number of theologians and canon lawyers(and of an increasing number of the hierarchy) and of the quality of these men and women who offer arguments in opposition to the creeping infallibility claimed over the last thirty plus years by JPII and Benedict.
You speak of "Grave Scandal given to the people of God." I am one of those, although resident in Canada, and the grave scandal that effects me is not initiated by Fr. Bourgeois but by popes, cardinals, bishops, religious superiors etc who quote from 4th, 5th and 6th century councils but ignore the work of our great 20th century council and ignore the theologians of the 20th and 21st centuries. With all due respect I believe the late Canadian Jesuit, David Stanley had more to offer the Catholic Church on the role of women than Augustine. I use Fr. Stanley as an example not as a lone voice. The scandal you speak of in your letter to Fr. Bourgeois is better described as "of the small minded" rather than as grave.
Let me finish by sharing a piece, published yesterday, by Leonardo Boff.
There is great disappointment with the institutional Catholic Church. A double emigration is happening: one is exterior, persons who simply leave the Church, and the other is interior, those who remain in the Church but who no longer feel that she is their spiritual home. They continue believing, in spite of the Church.
It's not for nothing. The present pope has taken some radical initiatives that have divided the ecclesiastic body. He chose a path of confrontation with two important episcopacies, the German and the French, when he introduced the Latin Mass. He articulated an obscure reconciliation with the Church of the followers of Lebfrevre; gutted the principal renewal institutions of Vatican Council II, especially ecumenism, absurdly denying the title of «Church» to those Churches that are not Catholic or Orthodox. When he was a Cardinal he was gravely permissive with pedophiles, and his concern with AIDS borders the inhumane.
The present Catholic Church is submerged in a rigorous winter. The social base that supports the antiquated model of the present pope is comprised of conservative groups, more interested in the media, in the logic of the market, than in proposing an adequate response to the present grave problems. They offer a «lexotan-Christianity» good for pacifying anxious consciences, but alienated from the suffering humanity.
It is urgent that we animate these Christians about to emigrate with what is essential in Christianity. It certainly is not the Church, that was never the object of the preaching of Jesus. He announced a dream, the Kingdom of God, in contraposition to the Kingdom of Caesar; the Kingdom of God that represents an absolute revolution in relationships, from the individual to the divine and the cosmic.
Christianity appeared in history primarily as a movement and as the way of Christ. It predates its grounding in the four Gospels and in the doctrines. The character of a spiritual path means a type of Christianity that has its own course. It generally lives on the edge and, at times, at a critical distance from the official institution. But it is born and nourished by the permanent fascination with the figure, and the liberating and spiritual message of Jesus of Nazareth. Initially deemed the «heresy of the Nazarenes» (Acts 24,5) or simply, a «heresy» (Acts 28,22) in the sense of a «very small group», Christianity was acquiring autonomy until its followers, according to The Acts of The Apostles (11,36), were called, «Christians».
The movement of Jesus is certainly the most vigorous force of Christianity, stronger than the Churches, because it is neither bounded by institutions, nor is it a prisoner of doctrines and dogmas. It is composed of all types of people, from the most varied cultures and traditions, even agnostics and atheists who let themselves be touched by the courageous figure of Jesus, by the dream he announced, a Kingdom of love and liberty, by his ethic of unconditional love, especially for the poor and the oppressed, and by the way he assumed the human drama, amidst humiliation, torture and his execution on the cross. Jesus offered an image of God so intimate and life-friendly that it is difficult to disregard, even by those who do not believe in God. Many people say, «if there is a God, it has to be like the God of Jesus».
This Christianity as a spiritual path is what really counts. However, from being a movement it soon became a religious institution, with several forms of organization. In its bosom were developed different interpretations of the figure of Jesus, that were transformed into doctrines, and gathered into the official Gospels. The Churches, when they assumed institutional character, established criteria of belonging and of exclusion, doctrines such as identity reference and their own rites of celebration. Sociology, and not theology, explains that phenomenon. The institution always exists in tension with the spiritual path. The ideal is that they develop together, but that is rare. The most important, in any case, is the spiritual path. This has a future and animates the meaning of life.
The problem of the Roman Catholic Church is her claim of being the only true one. The correct approach is for all the Churches to recognize each other, because they reveal different and complementary dimensions of the message of the Nazarene. What is important is for Christianity to maintain its character as a spiritual path. That can sustain so many Christian men and women in the face of the mediocrity and irrelevancy into which the present Catholic Church has fallen.
I find it interesting and disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising, that nowhere in your missive to Fr. Bourgeois does the name of the carpenter from Nazareth appear. Something to think about perhaps?
John Quinn

"Pope's Costly Spanish Visit Leaves Sour Taste" by Pinky Khoabane / South Africa Times

"The words "controversy" and "obsence opulence" have dogged the papacy since time immemorial.If it isn't the paedophile priest scandal; the matter of the Catholics whose gender denies them a shot at priesthood; the gays who are not recognised as worthy Catholics; the denial of the value of condoms in slowing the spread of the HIV/Aids virus, it is the dogmatic stance on birth control which has left many parents with children they can ill-afford.So why are we shocked that Pope Benedict's trip to Spain will cost between $72-million and $86-million, excluding his security?...Now, there will be those who are bound to accuse me of being too critical. They will come up with all sorts of excuses for this show of crass materialism in the face of escalating global poverty and a growing divide between the haves and the have-nots...But a closer look at the budget paints a picture of sheer opulence - a 200m-long stage, hundreds of water fountains, 20 giant screens and a giant metal tree at the aerodrome where the pope's final mass of the visit will be delivered.""... The pontiff's silence on a matter of expenditure of this magnitude in the face of so much suffering in the world not only goes against Christianity but also goes against his own views two years ago..."
"In his third encyclical, Pope Benedict reminded us that "charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine". ..."He bemoaned an economy that sought to promote profit as its exclusive goal and thus promoted a growing divide between the rich and the poor.He denounced the view that economics are free from the "influences of a moral character" and highlighted the growing claims to a "right to excess in the affluent societies, while food and water were lacking in certain underdeveloped regions".

Priest for Women’s Ordination Fights His Dismissal By LAURIE GOODSTEIN /NY Times/ Support Fr. Roy - Priest of the People!

A Roman Catholic priest who is campaigning to open the priesthood to women says he will contest a move by his religious order to dismiss him for his dissent. The priest, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, said he had retained the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer best known as a whistleblower in the priest sexual abuse scandal, to press the case with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Father Doyle said he would argue that Father Bourgeois had a right to follow his conscience, and that the prohibition on women’s ordination was not an infallible church teaching, despite Vatican declarations. A Maryknoll spokesman said its general council would decide the next step.

Bridget Mary's Reflection

Fr. Roy Bourgeois, priest of the people and prophet of courage, has challenged the Vatican's sexism, its failure to recognize women as equals in our church. What is the Vatican going to do now? Will the pope and bishops declare women's ordination an infallible teaching and in the process undermine their credibility even more? Will the Vatican deny a core church teaching- primacy of conscience?

In the end justice always triumphs.

Women priests are growing in numbers and support from the people and now more and more priests and bishops are jumping on board to support our movement in Ireland, Austria, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Portugal, Canada, South America, and the United States.

Let us pray that Fr. Roy Bourgeois's courageous witness may continue to inspire many more supporters, including his brother priests, to join the women priests movement for justice and equality in the Catholic Church!

Do I hear an Amen out there across the world?

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests