Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Occupy Our Hearts" by Jocelyn A. Sideco/ National Catholic Reporter/Occupy Wall Street Movement
Occupy our hearts
By Jocelyn A. Sideco
Created Oct 06, 2011
"...Recent days have proven that Wall Street and corporate greed have pushed Americans to their limit. And now, many are protesting saying, “We are the 99 percent who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent...
....Occupy Wall Street is for today’s generation what School of Americas was for folks 10 and 20 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I am not denying that School of the America’s is still a big issue. I would just suggest that there are formative first experiences we all have. And for the Millennials, Occupy Wall Street may be just that. For others, perhaps the Invisible Children ( [3]) campaign has moved them to act in an effort to improve the quality of life for all people.
In its third week, Occupy Wall St. called for a college walk-out and got thousands of people to protest. This exponential growth from the handful who pitched tents on Sept.17 tells us something: our quality of life is no longer acceptable.
This growing movement addresses a desire to build community and begs the question: how do we, as people of faith, approach the atrocities that affect us and others in a way that pleads for justice and stands with the least of these?
The United States Catholic Bishops published “Economic Justice for All: A Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy” in 1986. Now 25 years later, their message still rings clear:
“As Catholics, we are heirs of a long tradition of thought and action on the moral dimensions of economic activity. The life and words of Jesus and the teaching of his Church call us to serve those in need and to work actively for social and economic justice. As a community of believers, we know that our faith is tested by the quality of justice among us, that we can best measure our life together by how the poor and the vulnerable are treated. This is not a new concern for us. It is as old as the Hebrew prophets, as compelling as the Sermon on the Mount, and as current as the powerful voice of Pope John Paul II defending the dignity of the human person.” (#8)
The bishops continue to say,
"The needs of the poor take priority over the desires of the rich; the rights of workers over the maximization of profits; the preservation of the environment over uncontrolled industrial expansion; the production to meet social needs over production for military purposes". (#94)
Our community of faith calls us to internalize these words, values, and moral stance so that we can be a life-giving expression of God’s love and care to others today.
For me, I awoke to the needs of the poor when I crossed the line at Fort Benning. For others, they awoke when family members got laid off and could not pay medical bills. Let our hearts and minds be occupied with the needs of the least of these so that our faith can cross the line into acts of justice and solidarity with firmness, confidence, and compassion."
[Jocelyn A. Sideco is a founding member of Contemplatives in Action, an urban ministry and retreat experience that began as a response to the needs in post-Katrina New Orleans and now continues as an online ministry offering spirituality resources for those working for justice throughout the world. Visit [4] for more information.]

" You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church"

The study focused on young adults who were regular Christian churchgoers during their early teenage years, but became disconnected from church life after the age of 15. According to Barna, 59% of young Christians disengage either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life around this age. There was, predictably, no single reason for young adults’ disaffection with the churches where they grew up. But the study managed to isolate six main reasons why Millennials (age 18-29) tend to leave Christian churches as they grow up: a sense that young adults were receiving an unsatisfying or “shallow” version of Christianity, feelings that the church was overprotective, the perception of judgmental attitudes around sex and sexuality, churches’ unfriendliness to members grappling with doubt, the sense that Christianity was too exclusive, and finally, the tense relationship between Christianity and science...."

..."But buried within Barna’s category of “sex and sexuality” is something quite specific: churches’ stances on gay and lesbian issues. Research from earlier this summer reveals that nearly 7-in-10 (69%) Millennials agree that religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental about these issues. ..."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Video Interviews by Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Donna Rougeux, and Dorothy Irvin in England-Featuring Scholarship of Theologian John Wijngaards

Jackie, Dorothy, Donna, Janice,
John Wijngaards at "Housetop," John's Center for Womenpriests Ministry,in England ("What I tell you in darkness you must speak in the daylight, and what is whispered in your ear you must shout from the housetops." Matthew 10:27
In the background of the Housetop photo is the new Last Supper painting by Bogdhan Piasecki. It was commissioned in the 90s by the Irish women's ordination group, Brothers and Sisters in Christ (BASIC) after consultation with a Jewish Scholar about the Passover meal.)

(left to right )Janice Sevre Duszynska, Bridget Mary Meehan,
Donna Rougeux - Presentation of the Bible to Deacon Donna

Visit Women Priests Scholarly Web Site:

Interview with Theologian John Wijngaards 6-3,
50,000 women deacons ordained in East, published hundreds of scholarly
articles on women's ordination. (rooted in scripture, tradition, including Middle Ages)

Interview with Theologian John Wijngaards-5 Part 2

Interview with Theologian John Wijngaards -4-1
Interview with Theologian and Catholic Priest John Wijngaards who has specialized in Study of Women Priests. (In Celtic Church, there are definite traces of women's ministry, led tank was used to baptize people, women deacons baptized adult women catechumens. see pic. and listen to interview.)

French Priests from Diocese of Rouen Support Austrian Priests Petition for Reform/ Let's Affirm them as Priests of the People, Prophets for Justice

French Radio News (France Info) reporting on the support of French Priests from the diocese of Rouen for the Austrian Priests' petition:

Austrian Priests' call to disobedience endorsed by French Priests

October 7, 2011
France Info - 04:42

"Seventeen priests from the Rouen diocese in France have just signed the “Call to Disobedience” launched a few months ago by more than 200 Austrian priests. These men of the Church wish to see it evolve. Among other things, they are seeking the ordination of married men and women, communion for remarried divorcees, and greater integration of lay people into Catholic communities.

This movement started with the call to disobedience launched in June, which so far has been signed by several hundred Austrian priests.

As a group, the priests from Rouen who joined the movement, had issued a public call to French bishops earlier on regarding the desertion of the faithful who no longer recognize themselves in today's Church. This time they hope that the movement initiated by their Austrian counterparts will cause the Vatican to change things around.

In Austria, the mobilization of priests has bishops worried. Cardinal Archbishop Christoph Schönborn has not excluded the possibility of resorting to sanctions, stating, “A public call to insubordination upsets me deeply. Those who abandon the principle of obedience shatter unity.”
So far there has been no reaction from French bishops."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
These priests (from Austria, Germany, France, Ireland, Australia and elsewhere are speaking truth to power in the Catholic Church. They are truly following Jesus's mandate of Gospel equality. They are "priests of the people" and "prophets for justice."
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sign Petition To Support Sexual Abuse Survivors - Join in Rome on Oct. 29, 2011
Join Us Again In Rome on October 29th.

Its hard to believe that a year has past since our first historic Reformation Day Event in Rome.

Please Join us this year as we Celebrate the Survivor.
This years event is being sponsored by Survivors Voice Europe.
For a look at last years event, please click here
Survivors Day 2010
For information on this years event please click here Survivors Day 2011
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you there!.
Sincerely,Gary Bergeron & Bernie McDaid

Survivors Voice Inc

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hierarchy Criticised at Association of Catholic Priests Meeting in Ireland/ Advocate "Married Priests and Women Priests"/Irish Times/Patsy McGarry
The Irish Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Hierarchy criticised at priests' first agm
PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent
"THE FIRST annual general meeting of the Association of Catholic Priests was told last night that if people had a vote on such matters church leaders would be swept out of office.
If Irish Catholics had a democratic way of reflecting their feelings “church leaders would suffer a defeat as cataclysmic as that administered to Fianna Fáil in the recent general election”, Fr Kevin Hegarty said.
What was needed was a church which would open its doors to “married priests and women priests”. It would benefit from secular insights like, for example, on human intimacy and democracy, he said. It would work at developing a “healthy and holistic theology of sexuality”.
The Mayo priest said church leadership now seems divided and rudderless. Not since the 19th century “has there been such public disagreement among the bishops. Cardinal Cullen’s Tridentine temple has come tumbling down”.
Fr Hegarty is a priest of Killala diocese who serves in Carne parish on the Mullet peninsula. He was speaking at the gathering in the Green Isle Hotel on the Naas Road, Dublin, where the attendance was put at 300 – including some lay people who wished to give support.
There was “a torpidity about the Catholic Church in Ireland today. .."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Did you ever hear the old Irish joke that nothing good came out of Mayo? Obviously, not true!! Way to go, Fr. Kevin Hegarty, in speaking truth to power to the Irish hierarchy! Get ready for an invitation to the Vatican!
The Irish Priests Association are part of a growing number of priests who are advocating a renewed Catholic Church that treats women as equals and is open to women priests. They are in solidarity with 400 Austrian Priests, 250 German theologians, and 200 U.S. priests who support Maryknoll Roy Bourgeois' stance of primacy of conscience in his support of women priests. It appears obvious the Vatican is the emperor with no clothes on this issue! The church cannot claim to be a just church while treating women as second class citizens. Now, we are witnessing the disconnection and discontent with the institutional church's sexism among the male priests. Like the Wall Street demonstrations, maybe this will have a snowball effect and grow to a worldwide revolt against the Vatican's prohibition of women's ordination! We are experiencing a "holy shakeup" that may lead the church to affirm women priests in a renewed Roman Catholic Church in our life time.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

"Do I Really Want to Support and Be Associated with an Exclusive Organization?" by John Chuchman

Do I really want to support and be associated with
An Exclusive Organization

that discriminates against married men and women
called to priesthood,

that discriminates and demeans people
because of their sexual orientation,

that names other organizations with similar missions

that misuses our hard-earned donations,
channeling the monies to suit the needs
of its hierarchs,

that places conformity to its own made
rules and regulations
above Love and Compassion
practiced and preached by Jesus,

that places protection of the organization
above caring for the abused
by protecting the abusers
and perpetuating the abuse of children,

that refuses to address our needs
and the needs of our Children and Grandchildren
in today's real world,
and instead tries to drag us all
back into the middle ages,

that places prime emphasis on
worshiping Jesus
(which He never requested)
and not on emulating Jesus
(which He wished for us all,)

that thinks of religious education
solely for children,
lest adults truly understand the Faith
and see through religiosity,

that is run by its hierarchs
without any sense of
transparency and accountability,

that constantly strives to make us feel unworthy
(in order to control us)
rather than uplifting us
to free us,

that is totally un-Christlike,


that makes God male
in order to make males gods?

I don't think so.

What was I thinking!
(I guess I really wasn't.)

Thank God,
Jesus' life and message
had nothing to do with Church,
but everything to do with People,
Life, and Love.

Love, John Chuchman
Catholic by Baptism
which no cleric, Bishop, nor Pope can change

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Fear of Freedom" by Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea, ARCWP

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea

"The Truth will make vou free" John 8:32

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP

She was standing in the doorway of the exit from the women's prison, looking; spread out in front of her was the city, with its lights and colors. It was Christmas. Nobody was expecting her; they had just given her the ticket to freedom". She had no where to go. She had been deprived of liberty for 12 years... She had experienced all the unpleasantness that one lives through in a prison. The hardest -the marginalization, the rejection, the lack of affection. In a few short seconds everything passed like a movie through Rosa's brain.; nevertheless, she looks back, and sees the prison building, where she has lived all kinds of improprieties and feels like she wants to go back inside. Rosahas lost the sense of freedom; she is a wounded bird; they have clipped her wings; she has forgotten how to fly. Sheis afraid of Freedom! Where did her self-esteem go? Her dignity? Often she experienced profound depression; her tears have dried up; she looks lost. Her body trembles from headto foot; she has lost weight; she has lost stability. She spoke with the chaplain. She shared her tragedy and disgrace, the blows and injustices as well: "I'll seehow I can help you" was the response of God's representative. Once in a while she saw him around, but he never asked about her. Even the chaplain is afraid to speak out, he doesn't want to get involved; he cannot get past the threat of the loss of his official position. Many others like Rosa are living through the same situation. Depressed, paralyzed by anxiety, a psychiatrist is brought in to "help". Suddenly a cry is heard from the patio: "Come and get your meds!" There are many who approach the nurse, it's a wonder there aren't more. "Open and swallow," says the nurse. They must be taken in front of her, because the full prescription can't be administered. Those who dare, try to alleviate their aches and pains with 250 mg of Valproico or Valprosid. Rosa is about to leave; she is there at the door. She can't go back into the prison. Without knowing where to go, she begins to walk toward "the prison of freedom". A prison that doesn't welcome, give affection or security. It's the ooprison"of society, family and religion, which disdains, condemns, singles out, marginalizes her and receives her with hostility. Suddenly she remembers some friends who have already gotten out and with whom she once lived another reality; she begins to look for them on the street they mentioned and she heads there. What joy! She meets up with Laura and with Maria; at least she is acquainted with them and she has someone to talk to. They share what they have: "Come, you can rcst; tomorrow we'll keep talking" they said to her. Rosa, rested, her friends help her to summon the strength to confront the new prison''. She starts the battle to find housing and work to survive.... No vacancy ,No room, No job,, *Full up", No...No… Those of us who have traveled in the city of Medellin, prideo of Colombia have been able to see through the windows not only the beautiful city, the Festival of Flowers, but also many Rosas camped at the bank of the Medellin River, in the sewers, in improvised canopies beneath the mango trees... Without knowing their stories, we call them: delinquents, or rejects; don't mess with them; they are dangerous.... Thank God, today the Bordado a Mano (Hand-embroidered)Foundation exists, created by a woman who is an ex-convict and who like the hand of God has gone little by little searching out and rescuing her fellow former prisoners from the dregs, giving them the opportunity to recover their dignity and be witness to the Tenderness and Goodness of God, in the project of the Kingdom of God, which is coming to be Here and Now. *THE TAX COLLECTORS AND THE PROSTITUTES WILL GO AHEAD OF YOU II{TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD." Matthew 2l:28-31 Mother/Father God, your forgiveness, I dare to ask: when you say "The tax collectors and the prostitutes" (two words which include the least valued in this world) were you referring to these brothers and sisters of ours? I await your answer and I know that I already have it. Note: Out of respect for the suffering of these women, I have used fictitious names.

Link to "Heart of the Vision" Journey with Janice Sevre Duszynska, Donna Rougeux, Dorothy Irvin in England, Germany, Rome

(left to right:Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Jules Hart, and Donna Rougeux
at showing of "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" in Lexington Kentucky)

Blessing of Lexington Community on Janice and Donna:
Janice Sevre-Duszynska writes:"We'll meet Dorothy Irvin in London for the 100th anniversaryof ST. Joan's International Alliance. Then to Germany to visit Stuttgart and Hildegarde's place in Bingen. By train we'll travel to Bologna and then Rome where we'll meet Ree Hudson who will stay with us. In Rome we'll gather with Roy, CTA and WOC folks to do some good witnessing.We'd appreciate your prayers. I'll be videoing our journey. " Here is the link to my youtube station: Heart of the Vision.

The Rebel Feminist Priest: Fr. Roy Bourgeois

"No Justification for Ban on Women Priests and Deacons" by Dorothy Carter/
..."As to Shaughnessy's claim that excluding women is not sexist, I beg to disagree most strongly. In my life as a "cradle Catholic," I have heard many arguments against the ordination of women, and all of them ring hollow... According to the church, baptism opens up the other sacraments to Catholics. Yet one is excluded. At the base of the refusal to allow the ordination of women, there is without much doubt either a feeling that our souls are defective or that our baptism is of an inferior type.... "Read complete letter by Dorothy Carter of Lexington is a lifelong Catholic and a professor of humanities and foreign languages at Eastern Kentucky University.

Monday, October 3, 2011

U.S. Churches are "Smaller and Grayer"- Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2011

"In U.S. churches, attendance is down, and the average age of congregants is up.
The percentage of congregations with average weekend worship attendance of 100 or fewer inched up from 42% to 49% over the decade. More than a quarter of congregations had 50 or fewer people attending in 2010...The percentage of congregations with majorities of members from racial and ethnic groups, often including immigrants, grew from 23 percent to 30 percent over the decade. These congregations are disproportionately non-Christian or evangelical Protestant. They also tend to have younger members."

Letter to Editor by Janice Sevre-Duszynska:"Limited View of Priesthood Not Based on Scripture"

(left to right:Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Bridget Mary Meehan
at Ordination of Deacon Donna Rougeux )

"The Vatican (and representatives of the institutional church) is the gift that keeps on giving," says woman bishop, Bridget Mary Meehan.
In his recent op-ed, as a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington, Tom Shaughnessy validates her statement. As a woman priest who celebrates weekly Mass in Lexington, be assured there will be more folks at our inclusive liturgy because of what he has written.
Jesus was a revolutionary. The Last Supper was not an ordination. Jesus never ordained anyone. He calls us to a community of equals, with mutuality: a circle, not a hierarchy. He challenged the religious and civil authorities of his time to empower the marginalized, including women.
We're doing the same. Shaughnessy's straight-line Vatican theology is absurd and the church — the people of God — knows that.
In 1976, the Vatican requested its Pontifical Biblical Commission of 20 biblical scholars to explore the issue of women priests. They found no biblical obstacles to women's ordination. Scriptural and archaeological research give evidence of women's leadership in the early church as deacons, priests and even bishops.
The Christ within each of us is beyond gender. Women's rights are human rights. We are claiming the right to stand "in persona Christi" — in the person of Christ — as equals to men.
Who are Shaughnessy and his brother priests at the Vatican to say that God calls only men? Such thinking and behavior is a sin against women and our loving God.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska
Priest, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

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