Saturday, February 25, 2012

Links to Stories on Vatican Mandated Apostolic Visitation of Nuns/Time to End Sexism in our Church
Bridget Mary's Reflection
Anyway, you slice it, the nuns won this one! Let's hope the Vatican learned not to harass the women religious!
Now it is time for the nuns to talk back and take action!
Nuns have served the church for many decades and some have been doing priestly ministry quietly in priestless parishes with their orders' approval. I hope that the religious orders in which women are called to priestly ministry will find a way to proceed. The women priests movement does catacomb ordinations for those under threat, but, the ideal of course is to celebrate the call of the community to serve as a priest with the community in an open, prophetic way. 
Sisters, it is time to cross the line of patriarchy's oppression, and join us in the prophetic journey to bring justice for women to our church in grassroots communities. We must be the change that we have dreamed of now.  
Jesus set the pace. He called women as well men to follow him and treated them as equals and partners. In Luke 8, we read there were many women disciples! Jesus entrusted the most important message of Christianity to a woman apostle, Mary of Magdala, the apostle to the apostles! The  Catholic Church should follow the example of Jesus. The Vatican cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it.  Sexism is a sin and must not be tolerated. The renewal of our church is in the hands of the people of God, which includes, of course, the nuns! This is a call to action!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Friday, February 24, 2012

An opportunity whose time has come" by Dorothy Pedtke,0,4049026.story

"...At the Saturday presentation, several women who had long felt frustrated and put down when they spoke of feeling called to ordination were encouraged to speak of their own experience. Some had been insulted for their "presumption." At best they were just told "no!" Priests who are nice guys felt ashamed to speak so to these women, knowing no real cause for this treatment. Others are not so compassionate. Many of us at the talk had never thought much about the question, but on hearing about the experiences and the shattered feelings of the women who felt called, we began to see the injustice of the church's stance. Some attending who felt vocations heard for the first time that a few women have already been ordained. They were in tears with excitement. They don't feel they're defying the church. They feel called by God and frustrated at not being able to accept. Now they have hope...."

What an abortifacient is -- and what it isn't by Jamie L. Manson/NCR Online

"...The most important point that emerges from all of this research is that, so far, there is no scientific evidence that any FDA-approved contraception is capable of destroying an embryo. To say that any of these drugs are abortifacient is not only misleading, it does a profound disservice to women who find themselves in a situation where they might have to use one of these drugs or devices.According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey, an average of 207,754 sexual assaults is reported in this country every year. And according to a study at Princeton, more than 25,000 women become pregnant every year after being sexually assaulted.The CHA did a fine job of arguing why emergency contraception should be available to all victims of sexual assault, regardless of the hospital's Catholic affiliation...Regardless of the situation, it is for a woman to decide what is best for her health and well-being.As we saw last week in the all-male panel testifying before Congress about contraception and in the statements of the Rick Santorum and his financial backers, the culture of shaming women for taking control of their sexuality is still a powerful force in this country. And the desire by men to take control of women's bodies seems equally powerful..."[Jamie L. Manson received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. Her columns for NCR earned her a first prize Catholic Press Association award for Best Column/Regular Commentary in 2010.]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Misguided Missal" Learn What You Can Do

Lent: Pray, Fast and Give to Challenge Injustice  (Check out this great site, the following reflection is from Ash Wednesday entry there.) 
Joel (2:12-18) calls for a fast... Joel does not call individuals to repentance. He calls the whole community...
 When we look at Jesus’ life and his final days, one thing stands out. Jesus suffered the agony of capital punishment crucifixion because he challenged unjust structures—Roman occupation and priestly burdens upon his followers. Lent is then about following Jesus and challenging the unjust structures in our government and our church which hold us captive. John Dear offers ten principles of resistance to the vagaries of empire during Lent
... We are so often complicit in the injustices of empire that we do not even realize it. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving prepare us to challenge injustice wherever we may find it.
We sometimes restrict our concept of fasting to moderation in food and drink. Fasting refers to all consumption. Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” has morphed into “I consume therefore I am.” Merton railed against technology and commodification. He decried our focus on things and doing. He bemoaned conspicuous consumption. He reminds us that we are human beings. We ARE in the great I AM.
Isaiah expands the concept of fasting that is acceptable to God:
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the
homeless; Clothing the naked when
you see them, and not turning your
back on your own. (58:6-7)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Contraception Furor v. Catholic Realities The current flap over health care is about birth control, it is not about religious liberty, and it is not over. By Mary E. Hunt

  • "Not Religious Liberty, but Religious Influence
     The bishops’ issue is not religious liberty, but religious influence, namely, their own which is on the wane. The institutional Roman Catholic Church squandered the political clout it once enjoyed. Clergy sexual abuse cases and their cover-up by bishops are unspeakable crimes that cost more than just the billions of dollars spent to adjudicate cases and compensate victims. They cost credibility...The bishops remain dissatisfied with the Obama compromise and vow to fight on. Most Catholics are just glad that most women will have access to contraception, provided that the insurance companies step up to the plate. But the question that is far from settled in a democracy is how one huge religious group gets its many voices heard. Catholic voters will have a chance to express their commitment to women at the ballot box"

'Call to Disobedience': A Rift in the German-Speaking Catholic Church

A call by reform-minded Catholics in the German-speaking world for the
church to soften its stances on homosexuality, divorce and celibacy
among priests and to end its ban on women in the clergy is drawing loud
criticism from conservatives. They argue the group is threatening to
create a schism within the Catholic Church.

You can download the complete article over the Internet at the following

More about this issue

Assessing the Pope's Visit: Germany At Odds With Benedict XVI,1518,788388,00.html

The World From Berlin: 'The Pope Can't Neglect What's Happening in His
Own Church',1518,788048,00.html
Mission Clarity: Pope Benedict's Blunt New World,1518,788054,00.html

The Pope Comes Home: Benedict Criticizes Lack of Religiosity in Germany,1518,787791,00.html

Fighting the Dictatorship of Relativism: The Pope's Role in the New
Battle for Religion,1518,787808,00.html

Theologian Hans K√ľng on Pope Benedict: 'A Putinization of the Catholic

Disillusioned German Catholics: The Pope's Difficult Visit to His

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Santorum Exalts Inequality/ Op. Ed. New York Times/ Mentions Women Priests Hiring as Example of Employment Discrimination Issues

Then again, Santorum is becoming increasingly unhinged in his public comments. Last week, he said that the president was arguing that Catholics would have to “hire women priests to comply with employment discrimination issues. Also last week, he suggested that liberals and the president were leading religious people into oppression and even beheadings. I kid you not. Santorum said: “They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine.”
Bridget Mary's Reflection
It is hard to imagine that Rick Santorum is serious, but apparently he is. Yes, indeed, women priests would make a difference, a huge structural change in the Catholic Church that would be welcomed by millions of Catholics. It is true that gender inequality is at the heart of the institutional church's major issues. This is rooted in sexism and yes, results in discrimination against women in barring the doors to priestly ministry, However, the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement have found a way around the hierarchy and are now serving in grassroots communities in 8 countries.
Bridget Mary Meehan