Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Do You Choose Women and Their Rights, or Bishops and Their Wrongs?" My Response to Ad in New York Times

"Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" to be shown in Milwaukee on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM with Janice Sevre-Duszynska

Friends, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the few religious organization that does not recognize women as priest and ministers.  Find out what is happening on this front with the showing of the award winning film "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" with our Home town Roman Catholic woman priest.

Bob Graf

"Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" an award winning documentary on the ordination of women priests in the Roman Catholic Church will make its Milwaukee premier on Thursday, March 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee  1342 North Astor Street.  Janice Sevre-Duszynska , Milwaukee native and Roman Catholic woman priest featured in the film, will introduce the 58 min. film and be available to hear comments and answer questions. For more information contact:

Janice and Roy Bourgeois at SOA

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Sacred She" by Linda Longmire

 Hello to all of you outstanding women of courage,
Thank you deeply for your inspiring courage, love for God and humanity.I cannot thank you enough for your leadership and pioneering spirit.

I am a Catholic woman from Nova Scotia, Canada , a contemplative poet , and I have made a 2 and 1/2 minute video on you tube .I am reciting a new poem I wrote called Sacred She . I thought you may appreciate it.Feel free to share it as it is an important message.
God bless you, 

Linda Longmire

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Day, Another Catholic Assault on LGBT People and Allies by John Becker/ Huffington Post

"...The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported last week that Christian Brothers University has withdrawn its support for the seventh annual Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium, a conference founded to honor a late CBU professor of religion and peace studies by "bringing a noted scholar or peace activist each year to the Christian Brothers University campus to address social and moral issues related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching." Last week's cancellation came just two weeks before the scheduled start of the conference, forcing organizers to relocate to a nearby Congregational church.CBU's stated reason for the sudden move? This year's keynote speaker, Dr. Ada María Isasi-Díaz, gave a sermon at her nephew's 2009 wedding to his same-sex spouse in a Washington, D.C. Unitarian church.Dr. Isasi-Díaz co-authored the first book on Latina theology in English and is widely recognized as a pioneer of mujerista theology, a spirituality developed through the lens of the American Latina experience. She is Professor Emerita of Christian Social Ethics and Theology at New Jersey's Drew University and a contributor to Newsweek and The Washington Post. Dr. Isasi-Díaz noted that although she's had other speaking engagements at Catholic-affiliated institutions canceled at the last minute due to her outspoken support for women's ordination, "this is the first time I've been canceled because of the sermon at my nephew's wedding..."

International Women's Day: Women Are Dying Because of Denial of Human Rights

"Maternal deaths in developing countries are often the ultimate tragic outcome of the cumulative denial of women's human rights," noted the journal Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology.  "Women are not dying because of untreatable diseases.  They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving."  Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn, page 116

FutureChurch Statement on Vatican Decision to Overrule Suppression of 13 Cleveland Parishes

FutureChurch congratulates those courageous Cleveland Catholics whose love for their parish communities led them to appeal successfully to the Vatican who reversed decisions of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland to suppress their parishes and close their churches.
We call on the Cleveland Diocese to meet as soon as possible with parishioners from the 13 appealing parishes and develop a plan for restoring them to their parish homes.

This is a landmark decision. For the first time the Vatican has powerfully upheld the rights of Catholics to have an appropriate voice in determining the future of their parish by overruling a diocesan bishop’s decision to suppress 13 parishes.

FutureChurch offered guidance and contact with canon lawyers to Catholics from 20 parishes in Cleveland who downloaded a special “Canonical Appeals for Dummies” resource and other prayer, educational, and organizing materials from our website.  We are proud to have supported Cleveland Catholics discerning an appropriate response to Bishop Richard Lennon’s decision to close their vibrant parishes, in many cases against recommendations from his own staff and the Diocesan Priests’ Council.

For the past four years FutureChurch’s Save Our Parish Community initiative has been educating Catholics all over the US and worldwide about their right to appeal, as scores of dioceses closed hundreds of parishes, many because of the priest shortage.  We have worked closely with Peter Borré and Boston’s Council of Parishes to whom much credit for this landmark ruling belongs.

Last February our Save Our Parish Community initiative experienced its first resounding success when the Vatican supported parishioner appeals from thirteen parish churches from three dioceses [Allentown, PA (9) Springfield MA (3), and Buffalo (1)] and ruled that though the bishops decision to suppress the parish was upheld, the churches could not be sold or closed. FutureChurch supplied canonical and other resources to parishioners in all three of these dioceses.

About FutureChurch Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, FutureChurch is a national coalition of 3,500 parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work for changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership.

FutureChurch 17307 Madison Avenue - Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-228-0869 - - <>  

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.
                                                The Talmud

We love the Church...We’re working to make it better!
Christine Schenk csj
Executive Director
17307 Madison Ave
Lakewood, Oh 44107
216-228-4872 (fax)

This communication may contain privileged and/or confidential information. It is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of this information. If you received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety,whether electronic or hard copy.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.
                                                The Talmud

We love the Church...We’re working to make it better!

If Jesus Came Today to the Roman Catholic Church, Would He Cleanse the Temple Again?

If Jesus came today to the Roman Catholic Church, would he cleanse the Temple again? Would he be angry with the  bishops over their battle to be exempt from paying for contraception for women who work for Catholic universities and hospitals?  Would he tear up the new Roman missal that states that he died for the many, not for all? Would he lament the global sexual abuse cover-up and the shabby treatment of many survivors by the hierarchy? Would he protest the shuttering of parishes and schools? Would he be outraged at the treatment of gays and lesbians? Would Jesus stand in solidarity with women priests and their supporters who have been excommunicated and harshly punished by the hierarchy? Would he challenge Fr. Ed Doughterty, the Superior of Maryknoll,  for his cooperation with the Vatican in supporting the removal of Fr. Roy Bourgeois from the Order? Would Jesus call the people of God to rise up for all victims of injustice including those in the Roman Catholic Church? It is time to cleanse the Temple again!
John 2: 13-25

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Maryknoll Votes on Bourgeois' Dismissal from Order/NCR Article

Fr. Roy Bourgeois Celebrates Liturgy at Janice Sevre-Duszynska's ordination as a woman priest in Lexington, Kentucky on  Aug. 9, 2008

"The leadership of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers has voted on whether they will dismiss Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a longtime peace activist who has come under scrutiny for his support of women's ordination, from the order.

While the outcome and timing of the vote is unclear, the order's communications manager confirmed with NCR on Wednesday it had taken place."

"All these American bishops are speaking about freedom of conscience and exercise of religion," said Doyle. "But they will not respect one of their own people who wants to appeal to the same dynamic."
For his part, regardless of the uncertainties surrounding the dismissal vote, Bourgeois said the fact that several members of the council had apparently not endorsed his dismissal has given him a "glimmer of hope."
"I'm always talking about solidarity -- that we should be in solidarity with women called the priesthood -- and I felt it was a very good expression of solidarity with a member of the community," Bourgeois said. "To be very honest, I felt some joy and a glimmer of hope because I am fighting ... to stay in our community."
Citing the fact that he has spent 46 years with the order, 40 of those as a priest, Bourgeois said he was "grateful for the happiness, the meaning, and the hope that I found in my vocation as a priest and with my Maryknoll community."
"I just feel that I have a right like others to express openly disagreements about church teachings, without fear," he said. "Without being threatened with excommunication or the loss of one's pension."
[Joshua J. McElwee is an NCR staff writer. His email address is]

Or paste this link into your browser: 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Communion or Disunion? Sacraments do not “belong” to the clergy—and no one is excluded. By Mary E. Hunt

"It is evident in the  struggle over President Obama’s health care plan, where it is clear that the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops is but one of many Catholic voices in the public arena. Closer to home/Rome, people no longer consider it the purview of the clergy to judge who is part of the Catholic community and thus eligible for Communion, and who is not." 
Bridget Mary's Reflection
Right on, Mary Hunt! The Eucharist belongs to the Community of faith, not to the clergy or hierarchy of the church. Jesus invited all to the Banquet when he said "take and eat" - not just the rule-keepers, but all who are hungry for God's love, healing, joy and peace.
All are welcome at the Eucharistic Table because God's love knows no limits. Jesus made that clear by his life, death and resurrection. 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

The Roman Catholic Bishops: Are They Killing Their Church? by John Shelby Spong
..."Now this Church’s bishops have taken that battle to what seems to be both a political and a religious absurdity.  Though already given a “conscience” exemption of not being required to provide contraceptive coverage in the health care offered to employees of Catholic churches, they are now demanding the right to impose that teaching on employees of their Catholic universities, hospitals and charitable institutions. Those institutions, while Catholic sponsored, serve a diverse population and receive public state and federal money to carry out their work. They have many non-Catholic employees and many Catholic employees who do not want Catholic teaching imposed upon their own health care decisions. The bishops have gone on to argue that any business run by a Roman Catholic CEO should also have the right to opt out of the requirement to provide contraceptive care to their employees. If this principle of exemption for Catholics is allowed, where will it stop? Some religions practiced in America object to blood transfusions, others do not believe that any medical intervention should be allowed since sickness is thought of as punishment for sin and still others have in the past sought to be exempted from the law that requires only one partner in marriage.  Must the laws of America respect their consciences also?  When the public good and religious values have come into conflict in the past, the state has always protected its understanding of public good and the various religious bodies have had to accommodate that policy.  That is what it means to live in a multi-cultural state, where people enjoy freedom to worship as they wish, but where no religious system can impose any religious principle or practice on the entire nation. Are the Catholic Bishops and those politicians who want to dictate the details of health care that will be offered to employees of religiously affiliated institutions now find that this basic American premise is no longer acceptable?  That is a frightening change..."
READ whole essay at following link:

~John Shelby Spong

Monday, March 5, 2012

BC Won’t Renew Contract Of Controversial Professor/John Shea/ Time for Male Priests to Support Female Priests As Issue of Justice and Equality

By Monica Brady-Myerov 
"But after Father John Shea, a professor of pastoral care and counseling, asked church leaders for a theological explanation for why women are not being ordained to the priesthood of the Catholic church, he was let go. After nine years, Shea will leave his position at the end of this semester. He refused to comment. The school says, as a matter of policy, it does not discuss personnel decisions. But several of the BC students who are protesting the decision say there’s a climate of intolerance at the Jesuit university around openly discussing sensitive issues such as the ordination of women."

Suzanne Thiel is the president of an origination known as Roman Catholic Women Priests, and is one of approximately 100 women who have gone through ordination ceremonies and call themselves priests. Thiel said the Catholic public has accepted female ordination, but church officials won’t talk about it.
“I think we have plenty of male priests who are open to women balancing out the ministry but they just are afraid for all kinds of reasons,” Thiel said. “Probably their retirement, especially, and just their whole priesthood from being cut off, because that’s how this hierarchy has been functioning...”

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Kudos to Father John Shea for his courage to challenge the Catholic Church's discrimination policy on the ordination of women. As a prominent theologian, Shea knows that there is no credible reason for the Catholic Church not to accept women priests. In 1976,  the Vatican's own scholars, the Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded that there was nothing in scripture that would prohibit women's ordination. Jesus did not ordain anyone. The Twelve referred to the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jesus chose Mary of Magdala as the first witness to the Resurrection and entrusted the Good News at the Heart of Christianity to Mary, apostle to the apostles.  The Catholic Church cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame Jesus for it! 
The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland and Austria have taken a position in favor of women's ordination. Let us hope that more and more priests will rise up to speak truth to the Vatican on women's equality in the church including ordination like Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeous, Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada and now Fr. John Shea have done! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Women Triumph/Sexual Shaming Will Not Be Tolerated/ Mary Magdalene Was Apostle/Not Prostitute/Sandra Fluke Vs. Rush Limbaugh

"Mary Magdalene to Rush Limbaugh: Your apology is too little, too late "

By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

 " Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio talk show host, attempted to silence women’s voices in the public square through sexual shaming. The early church did the same thing to Mary Magdalene, sexually shaming her in the 6th century, mistakenly calling her a prostitute, and effectively undercutting her spiritual authority."

"But today, women are not Mary Magdalene, demeaned by church authority and made into the poster woman for the repentant prostitute. Today, women have fought back against Limbaugh’s sexual shaming and they are winning.... Limbaugh has been dropped by at least seven advertisers at last count." 

Bridget Mary's Reflection: Let's stand for justice rising up in all women everywhere who will no longer tolerate sexual shaming from anyone, including Rush Limbaugh. Let's stand for justice rising up in Roman Catholic Women Priests who are serving the people of God in inclusive, grassroots, Catholic communities! Check out Facebook and Twitter pages. Links are in article above. 

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

People of Faith Lobby Publix for Justice for Farm Workers/ You Can Make a Difference/

Dozens of tomato pickers and their supporters will -- starting tonight -- abstain from food until the solemn fast-breaking ceremony Saturday at Publix HQ in Lakeland.
For several years, Publix -- Florida's largest corporation, with $1.5 billion in profit last year -- has refused to even meet to discuss the possibility of implementing the groundbreaking Fair Food provisions in its tomato supply chain.  Worse, their PR team has consistently deflected the campaign by purposely misleading the public; a fantastic Tampa Bay Times editorial today flatly debunks Publix's responses as "disingenuous."  (Read it here.)
On the eve of the CIW's six-day fast, a deluge of inspirational words has been rolling in -- below is a small taste:
"Immokalee tomato pickers will, once again, teach Publix and actually all of us a vital lesson in courage, of how to transform inequality and upend injustice through the sacred power of non-violence."  -- Emmy Award-winning actor Martin Sheen
"Publix claims, in its corporate mission statement, to be 'Involved as Responsible Citizens in our Communities.' Now it has an opportunity to give real meaning to those words--by helping to end the exploitation of farm workers whose backbreaking labor fills the shelves at Publix supermarkets with good food. It's a disgrace that a Florida company refuses to take responsibility for abuses occurring within miles of its stores."  -- Best-selling author and producer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation; Food, Inc.)
“What I don’t like is the arrogance of their [Publix's] leadership and their unwillingness to even sit down and talk with the CIW... Theirs is a morally indefensible position and they can’t look the workers in the eye." -- the Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the World Council of Churches from North America
"On March 10th, 1968, my father broke bread with Cesar Chavez in Delano, California, as he ended his historic non-violent protest for farm labor justice. And so it is my great honor to commemorate that day with farmworkers from Immokalee and allies from around the country as they break their own fast outside Publix headquarters, the site where we rededicate ourselves to bringing dignity to US agriculture and real, lasting respect for human rights to our food system." -- Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
Please make plans to join farm-justice advocates from across the state on Saturday at noon in Lakeland when the CIW breaks their fast -- details here!
Jordan, Brigitte & Elena
Interfaith Action of SW Florida
239 986 9101 --
People of faith partnering with farmworkers to cultivate justice in the fields
  P.S.  Make a financial gift to advance our work for justice in Florida's tomato industry by clicking here -- thanks!  And please don't forget to buy tickets for our marvelous upcoming fundraiser, the Back to Beethoven concert in Naples on Sat, March 24th!

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
If you shop at Publix, visit store manager and speak up for justice for farm workers. It is time for Publix's leadership to do justice for farm workers. Sitting down and having a conversation with CIW is a first step! Join people of faith rising up for justice for farm workers. Jesus would!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Sarasota, Florida

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Archbishops of Dublin Challenges the Church/ Powerful Sixty Minutes Program on Sexual Abuse Scandal in Catholic Church in Ireland;cbsCarousel

"Simon: To what extent, archbishop, do you think this crisis in the church is due to the sexual scandals?

Martin: Oh, enormously."

Simon:There's overwhelming evidence that the Church hierarchy was not only aware of the sexual abuse, but did little about it. The Dublin Archdiocese knew who the predator priests were, even wrote reports about them but then locked up the files. Investigators on a state panel, the Murphy Commission, asked for the files, but the Church refused until Diarmuid Martin became archbishop.

Martin: I provided the Murphy Commission investigation into Dublin Diocese over 65,000 documents. And the material was there. It was in my archives.

The documents revealed that one priest admitted abusing over a hundred children. Another said he abused children twice a month for 25 years. Archbishop Martin believes thousands of children suffered similar fates.

Martin: Abuse isn't-- it isn't-- it isn't just the, you know, the actual sexual acts, which are horrendous, but sexual abuse of a child is-- it's a total abuse of power. It's actually saying to a child, "I control you." And that is saying to the child, "You're worthless."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
It was refreshing to see the Sixty Minutes interview with Archbishop Martin of Dublin. He states the truth. He turned over the damaging evidence, unlike the majority of his brother bishops. He is to be commended for breaking ranks with the hierarchy. 

The most powerful moment for me is when the Archbishop  broke down  as he described a meeting with 8 year old children in a chapel in Ireland. He asked to meet with the children so he could understand better he pain that a child of this age might suffer when raped by a priest in a chapel.

 When will Pope Benedict take responsibility for the global cover-up that he directed? Things are so bad that even a top Vatican official accuses the Vatican of mafia like silence in the global cover-up of sexual abuse. See Reuters story.( link is in this blog)
 Protecting the clerical, good old boys network is at the heart of this horrific story. Nothing short of a complete renewal of the church, including putting structures of accountability into place at every level of church life. This encompasses a renewed priestly renewed ministry and decision making roles for the community of faith, Catholics in the pews, in how their church is run. 

The good news is that the faith of the people lives on in holy women and men everywhere including leaders of the church, like Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin. Now, I wonder if some of these bishops, like Martin, will rise up and support women priests, even, dare I say, have the courage to ordain women priests-- now that's a holy shakeup that would be welcome in Ireland, the land of women leaders, like co-patron saint, Bishop Brigit of Kildare! The Association of Irish Priests are on the right track with their supportive statement on women priests. So are the Austrian and German priests and theologians! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP