Saturday, June 16, 2012


Pittsburgh Friends of Women’s Ordination
Historic Ordination of twelve Catholic Women on July 21, 2006
Contact: Joan Clark Houk FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Cell Phone: 724-612-3842

In July of 2006 twelve women were ordained in the Roman Catholic Church illegally, but validly, on the riverboat Majestic on Pittsburgh’s three rivers. This was the first such ordination in the USA for a movement that started in Europe four years earlier. The public is invited to celebrate the sixth anniversary with a showing of award winning documentary, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, at Hollywood Theater, 1449 Potomac Avenue, Pittsburgh 15216, June 29th at 7:30 p.m. Producer Jules Hart and Bishop Joan Clark Houk look forward to a lively discussion following the film.
Joan Clark Houk, a Pittsburgh native, was ordained a priest in the 2006 Pittsburgh Ordination. Following election she was ordained Bishop for the Great Waters Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP-USA) in April 2009. Bishop Houk recently stated, “Although I affirm dialogue and collaboration as a model for each of us in renewing the Roman Catholic Church, there is another time honored model, which RCWP USA is following. It comes into play when all other means have been exhausted. The unjust law excluding women from ordination must be broken in order to change it. This is an honorable and historic model for change.”
July is being called women’s ordination month in honor of the part Pittsburgh has played in bringing the Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement to the United States. Other activities are planned, and more are in the planning stage. (See
More information about Roman Catholic Womenpriests can be found on their web site: “The rejection of women’s ordination by the Vatican is clearly based on antifeminist, theologically unfounded arguments. In answer to this we are seeing an increasing wave of resistance among Catholic women and within church reform movements, as they demand equal rights for women and justice within the Roman Catholic Church.” Rev. Dr. Ida Raming, ordained a priest in the first ordination of RCWP on June 29, 2002 on the Danube River; Representative of the German Section of the international RCWP Movement. 

Cardinal Levada Interview with John Allen of NCR/ Vatican is from Mars/ Nuns/LCWR from Venus/Two Incompatible Views of "Church"/ Medieval and Patriarchal vs. Collaborative and Egalitarian

John Allen's Introduction:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Christian Brother and Former St. Mary's President Calls for Women’s Ordination, "Flying in the Face of Tradition"

Review  by  James Martin, S.J. in America

"Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, a Christian Brother for 40 years and the president of St. Mary’s University in Minnesota for 20, has written a new book in which he calls for, among other things, the ordination of women as part of an overall metanoia (change in consciousness) that must, he argues, be brought about in the church. “Is the institutional church dying?” he asks. “Yes, fortunately.”
“It is fortunate because this death can be the occasions for a metanoia in the church,” he writes in Flying in the Face of Tradition: Listening to the Lived Experience of the Faithful (Acta). “Sexual abuse, corruption, authoritarianism, lack of transparency, and cover-ups have all been collapsing into and on top of the institutional church….The 'tipping point' has been reached, and the moral authority, honor and respect that the institutional church once elicited from most peoples and secular institutions around the globe no longer exists.”
Brother DeThomasis, now 70, views this as a positive spiritual development. “However, if there is metanoia and transformation within, then there will and can be a 'resurrection' for the institutional church." His brief book (102 pages) touches upon what he calls the “subversion” of Vatican II, the proper use of tradition and what is bound to be the most controversial topic: the ordination of women. “After listening to the arguments put forth by the institutional church that Jesus would demand anything other than the full complete and total equality of all persons in his church and finding those arguments completely unpersuasive and often silly," he writes, "we the faithful believe that the ordination of women not only should take place, but must take place soon."
What is perhaps most surprising about this book is that Brother DeThomasis writes from within the heart of the institutional church, as a member a large religious order, after many years in a leadership role (he served as president of St. Mary's from 1984 to 2005) and still in active ministry: he runs the Christian Brother Investment Services, and lives in Rome. (Acta is also a well-known Catholic publisher, which publishes books and offers parish resources on church history, religious education and prayer. One of its authors last fall was Pope Benedict XVI.)"

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
More evidence of my premise that a spiritual uprising is rocking the Catholic Church. I am very happy that Brother supports women's ordination and soon. We already have Roman Catholic Women Priests. I fully agree that the total equality of all is a major issue that the church must address. It is the elephant in the living room with LCWR too!
 You go Brother De Thomasis! Another must read book, Flying in the Face of Tradition! All you need is the Inquisition men in Rome, your neighbors, to condemn it! Thanks to James Martin for bringing it to our attention. One of my books, A Promise of Presence was published by ACTA too!
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

"Vatican Report Critical of Culture and Ethos of Irish College in Rome"

"A REPORT carried out by the Archbishop of New York for Pope Benedict XVI, which expressed concern about “the atmosphere, structure, staffing and guiding philosophy” of the Irish College in Rome, contained “significant errors of fact”, Ireland’s four Catholic archbishops have said.
Pope Benedict announced an apostolic visitation of some dioceses, as well as seminaries and religious congregations in 2010. The visitation to the Irish College in Rome last year was led by then Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who has since become a cardinal.
A copy of the unpublished visitation report, which was presented to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, has been seen by The Irish Times.
It has called for “substantial reform” at the college.
The four archbishops, who were the college’s trustees, were criticised in the report as seeming to be “disengaged from college governance, with meetings, minutes, agenda and direct supervision irregular . . . The general rule of governance is ‘Let’s keep doing what we have been for the last 35 years’,” it said.
The Irish archbishops say they “made a detailed and considered response to the Holy See”.
Cardinal Dolan was assisted in the visitation report by the then Archbishop of Baltimore in the US and now Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Msgr Francis Kelly of the Northern American College in Rome and others.
The college, which was founded in 1628, educates students for the priesthood and is a popular wedding venue for Irish couples who wish to get married in Rome."

Link to Petition/ Support of Affordable Contraception

New priests' Group Hopes to Preserve Vision of Vatican II By MICHELLE BEARDEN | The Tampa Tribune

"...This week, about 240 priests from around the country are meeting at Saint Leo University in St. Leo for the inaugural assembly of the newly formed Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. Among its goals: To be a "voice of hope" and to "celebrate and implement the visionary concepts of Vatican Council II."

The Rev. David Cooper, a Milwaukee pastor and board chairman, says keeping the spirit of what was intended by the council — which opened in October 1962 and concluded in December 1965 — is urgent, given the direction the church seems to be taking.

"We're not positioning ourselves to be a controversial voice, but a collaborative one," he says. "With fewer priests and smaller dioceses spread out, you can feel isolated. This gives us a place to gather and share our concerns and goals."

Just having a collective voice is a new step for Catholic clergy. This is the first-ever national group of priests, which Cooper calls "long overdue." Catholic bishops, lawyers and even musicians have their own free associations, yet clergy only had representation through priests' senates and councils. This organization is for individuals, and includes both diocesan priests and members of religious orders.

Response has been swift and encouraging, Cooper says.

When the organizing committee first met in August near Chicago, it recorded 27 members. It has since grown to 640, Cooper says. With about 40,000 priests in the United States, he says the association needs at least 10 percent participation to be viable — about 4,000 members.

With Vatican II at the half-century mark, the association will concentrate on examining each of the documents released by the council and how the changes have fared. The first will be the liturgy, which recently went through some revisions in November when the Vatican instituted a new translation of the Roman Missal. It was the first major change in the Mass ritual since the early 1970s.

Reaction to the changes — which included different English-language responses meant to conform more closely to the official Latin text in a dozen sections of the Mass — has been more tepid than enthusiastic. Some critics have called the wording "old-school" and cumbersome, while supporters like the traditional aspects.

Cooper would like to hear what Catholics in the pews and priests in the trenches have to say about it. So the association will adopt a resolution asking that the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University do a nationwide survey on the reception of the new missal.

Besides providing a forum for priests and serving as a "spiritual and psychological advocate," the association also intends to support female church colleagues, some of whom are now under scrutiny by Rome.

This week, representatives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious met with Vatican officials to discuss the growing tension between the two sides. Church hierarchy has accused American nuns of flouting core doctrine and taking an overly liberal "feminist" bent, and said it will reform the group — which represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters — to adhere to church teachings.

The group is now effectively under Vatican receivership for the next five years. Rome's intention is to overhaul the group, rewrite its statutes and review its plans and programs.

The crackdown on the nuns has prompted an outpouring of support from laity and clergy, who have touted the good work the sisters do in education, health care and tending to the poor.

"This process hasn't been open or fair with the sisters," Ruggere says. "They've been wanting a two-way dialogue about this for some time. I think it's important we let them know we support their efforts in getting their voices heard...."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
This new group of U.S. priests is another positive step forward. I am sure the LCWR appreciates their solidarity!
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

"African Theologian Questions Church’s Exclusion of Women"/ NCR
ST. LOUIS -- "Problems of discrimination and exclusion are so manifest within the Catholic community today that the church “totters on the brink of compromising its self-identity as the basic sacrament of salvation,” a theologian told his peers here Friday.
Speaking frankly to some 300 colleagues assembled for an annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), Jesuit Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator said that of particular concern is the disregarded role of women in the church.
Saying that women are often the “face of redemption turned visibly” toward those the church serves, but are often “banished beyond the borders of relevance,” Orobator said the state of their participation in the church community leads to an uncomfortable question.
“As a church, so long as we surreptitiously but tenaciously rehearse the politics of discrimination and exclusion, we stand before God, as Cain was, befuddled by a question that we simply cannot wish away at the wave of a magisterial wand,” said Orobator.
“And the question is: ‘Church, where is your sister? Church where is your mother?’”
Orobator’s comments came in a plenary session Friday morning during the four-day CTSA convention. The 67th annual gathering of the group, the theme for this year’s event is “Sacrament/s and the Global Church....”

[Joshua J. McElwee is an NCR staff writer.]
More stories from the CTSA convention:
Copyright © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company
115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111

" (Nuns)Straying from Vatican Line" CNN/Amanpour
Are American nuns straying from church doctrine and promoting "radical feminists" themes, as alleged?
Interview with Joan Chitister.
Bridget Mary's Reflection
I was surprised that one of the Vatican's hot button issues here was not mentioned: women's ordination.
Amanpour should have asked Joan Chittister, do nuns support women's ordination?Answer yes, and many would choose to be ordained if they could do so!
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

"Nuns Speak Truth to Power" / Unlikely Warriors...Challenging Authority/You go, Sisters

Jennifer Granholm lauds the nuns campaigning against the Paul Ryan budget, and standing up against The Vatican, to stand for the disempowered and vulnerable. “Nuns have, thoughout history, gently cared for the poor, the sick, the homeless. But today, these sisters are pocketing their rosaries – for the moment – and pulling on their boxing gloves,” Granholm says. To the nuns: “On behalf of anyone who has ever wanted to speak truth to power, sisters, your example gives us courage.”

"Inclusive Worship Aids", New Catholic Liturgies by ARCWP is now available on Kindle for download to new media

Inclusive Worship Aids, a resource created by priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests contain a variety of Eucharistic liturgies. Some will be ideally suited for Advent/Lent, Easter/Pentecost, and Ordinary Time, while other celebrations like the liturgy of the Poor, the Marian liturgy, and the Women’s Empowerment liturgy can be used for anytime. It is our hope that this resource will be a blessing for all inclusive communities who worship in spirit and truth. The prayers and rituals can easily be adapted to the specific needs of any group. You have our permission to fit our resource to your needs. It is our hope that other pilgrims will experience the blazing fire of Spirit's outpouring as they enter into the celebration of new life. We truly believe that in God and in the Christ we live and move and have our being. As we take our place around the banquet table of Christ’s love, we invite all to the tent and pray that all may be one. The moment has arrived and the celebration has begun!

"Vatican Tries to Rewrite Nuns"," Inquisition Guys are not going to stop Nuns on the Bus!"/Funny Video/ A Must Watch!

The Last Word | Aired on June 13, 2012

Vatican tries to rewrite nuns

The Vatican is taking some hard lines against American nuns it views as too progressive in their thinking. In the Rewrite, Lawrence O'Donnell explains why the nuns - and even Stephen Colbert - are right and the Vatican is wrong.

Share This:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homily by Janice Sevre-Duszynska/ Donna Rougeux Co-Celebrates First Mass on June 13th at Resurrection Community in Cincinnati, Ohio

First Reading: Joel 2:23, 24, 26 -- 3:2
Second Reading: Ephesians 3:14 – 21
Gospel: Luke 13: 10 -- 17

Over the past two years of this grassroots community we have heard homilies about the naming of injustice and the spiritual empowerment of bent-over women and men in our church and world. Today we have used the same Gospel and readings as we did for Donna’s ordination Mass. In Saturday’s ordination homily, Bridget Mary Meehan spoke of the “spiritual uprising” happening within our Church. 

In the Gospel when the synagogue leader expressed outrage that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, Jesus called the religious leaders, hypocrites, and pointed out that this healing was for a daughter of Abraham and Sarah, who had suffered for 18 years. The messages for us today are that: 1) Jesus treated women as equals. 2) People have priority over rules and regulations. 3) Sexism is sinful and should always be challenged. 4) Our Compassionate God lifts up all who are bent over by the burden of patriarchy.

We are learning to stand up straight.
As I read this Gospel and focused on the bent – over woman, three contemplative stories surfaced: One of an experience from Monday night, one that Donna had shared with me, and one that took place many years ago.
On Monday night, we took a drive to my son and daughter-in-law’s house near the Kentucky River. We were taking in the beauty of the countryside, the rolling hills, horse farms, vineyards,  and the ducks, rabbits, and variety of birds on my son’s farm. We headed down to the ferry by the river and sat on the bench and watched the ducks and talked more. We looked at metal markers showing how far the river had risen. As we headed back to the car, we noticed a van parked next to it – which we hadn’t heard drive up.

In the front seat I could see a young woman bent-over the steering wheel and as I approached the car, I could see that she was sobbing.  I touched her wrist, and as I could feel her receptivity, I spoke to her softly, asking if there was anything I could do. It ended up that she followed us home. She shared her pain and little by little some funny stories, including what kind of a crazy woman was she that she was following these three women home that she had just met. But actually, she had been praying, asking God to please help her and when we identified ourselves as priests – she knew that God had answered her prayers.
She was barefooted and I brought her some flip-flops. She gave the indication she was really hungry when I asked her if she’d like something to eat. She talked and the more she talked the more she began to laugh and sit up straight and asked to come back.

The second story relating to today’s Gospel comes from a neighbor friend of Donna’s who had a daughter who was two years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia.  She was in and out of treatment until the age of 10. That’s when it returned full force.  She and her parents knew it was terminal. Like any mother it was devastating to think her child was going to die. Over time her mother noticed that her daughter would occasionally stare off into the distance. It was like she was transfixed with a smile on her face, wonderfully content.  After each of these episodes, she told her mom that she saw “the kids” and they made her very happy.

And, the kids were telling her, “They want me to go with them.” One day she told her mom the names of the kids that she saw and heard.  They were all children who had passed away. The mother and daughter knew one of them: Jarred. He and the little girl had both been in treatment together. Before he died, Jarred created the Joy Cart at the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington so that kids undergoing treatment would have toys to play with during their hospital stay.  When the little girl’s mother saw that her daughter was happy, she was able to sit up straight. The same with the little girl who had been bent over with concerns about the future. When she saw the children, she sat up straight, no longer fearing what was next.

The final story is about my Grandpa and the vision he saw when he was a young man bent over with loneliness. He told me the story two weeks before he died.

My grandpa’s parents came from Poznan, Poland. They worked in the coalmines in Pennsylvania and bought a farm in Pulaski, Wisconsin.  They died before my grandpa was 10 from what today we call black lung disease. He was put in an orphanage. When he was 17, he fell in love with my grandma, but her Dad said he would have to save $5,000 before he would allow him to marry her.

Grandpa rode the rails to the Dakotas to get work in the wheat fields. There he was alone for days at a time, cutting wheat.  He felt so isolated and alone and he missed and longed for Anna, my grandma. One day while he was threshing the wheat, he said he heard this strange swishing sound. He turned around and there she was:

An angel! An angel with wings! And she looked at him with eyes that filled him with comfort and protection and hope for a life with my grandma.  Bent over no more with loneliness, he stood up straight with a heart full of dreams for the future.

We’ll close remembering the words of the prophet Joel:

"After that, I will pour out my Spirit on all humankind:

Your daughters and sons will prophesy,

Your elders will have prophetic dreams,

And your young people will see visions.

In those days, I will pour out my Spirit

even on those in servitude,

women and men alike."

ARCWP Deacon Diane in Photo on New York Times today: Bishops Defend Fight Against Obama’s Policy on Birth Control Coverage" by Laurie Goodstein

(Photo of Deacon Diane Dougherty, ARCWP holding sign "Bishops- Please choose inclusion": T. Lynne Pixley for The New York Times)
Nun Justice members protested Wednesday at an Atlanta hotel where the bishops were meeting.

Catholic Nuns Group and Vatican Remain at Odds" By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

...On Tuesday, the LCWR's president, Sister Pat Farrell, and executive director, Sister Janet Mock, met in Rome with Sartain and Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the guardian of who and what is truly Catholic.
"It was an open meeting, and we were able to directly express our concerns to Cardinal Levada and Archbishop Sartain," Farrell said in a statement afterward, the Associated Press reported.
The Vatican issued a statement saying that although the meeting was cordial, "the LCWR must promote church unity by stressing core church teachings," the AP said. The LCWR sisters were more focused on social justice efforts than on backing the bishops in their push against abortion and gay marriage, the report said.
"Neither side is prepared to budge," says John Allen, a Vatican specialist for National Catholic Reporter and CNN.
This is not just about the Vatican vs. the nuns, Allen says. It's about "what it means to be Catholic in the 21st century."
It will be August, after weeks of consultation and prayer, before the LCWR decides what to do, a spokeswoman, Sister Anne Marie Sanders, said last week....
...The LCWR's choices are to accept the bishops' supervision or to pull out, order by order. The consequences of that would be to lose their "canonical recognition" — papal approval under church law.
That would have financial and religious consequences, raising such questions such as who owns their property. It would jeopardize their tax-exempt status, even their right to call themselves Catholic sisters. It also would take the LCWR out of the halls of influence.
Sister Theresa Kane told the National Catholic Reporter that the Vatican has been after the LCWR ever since she shocked Pope John Paul II in 1979 by telling him women deserved to be in "all ministries" of the church. Her public challenge to the pontiff came days after he reiterated that the priesthood was solely for men.
Sister Ilia Delio, a scientist and a theologian at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., sees something "very simple" behind this contemporary conflict. "It's God! God is always creating anew."
Delio predicts the LCWR "will not give in. We are not doing anything wrong. … It's the Spirit at work in our lives."
Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair led a "doctrinal assessment" of the LCWR, which was the basis of the Vatican's takeover decision. He pinpointed moments viewed as defiance of Catholic doctrine. He focused particularly on a 2007 speech by Sister Laurie Brink, then the LCWR president, in which she appeared to praise a "post-Christian" congregation that left the institutional church.
Theologian George Weigel, a Roman Catholic who is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, agrees with Blair. He says, "It's not about power. It's not about misogyny. It's about doctrine. … Church-attending Catholics would find it difficult to accept the idea that religious life can be 'post-Christian.' "
Weigel says the LCWR "only exists because the Holy See says it exists. The question of who decides what it is or is not is up to the church. There's not a lot of room for to-ing and fro-ing."

Bridget Mary's Reflection
The church is the people of God, not the hierarchy alone. The Vatican is NOT the church, nor should it be the one to decide the LCWR status. It is your decision and you can decide to declare your emancipation: Like the great civil rights movement you can proclaim your liberation: "Free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last" No more male domination, patriarchal oppression or clerical control!
Sisters, the ball is in your court! Now the possibility of nun priests is on the horizon. Just think what a blessing it would be for our church ! In many ways, you will  be able to pursue justice in other arenas as well such as public advocacy of hot button issues such as women's health care and  gay marriage. 
The recent hostile take over by the Vatican of the LCWR is an example of Vatican abuse of women, some have called a "war on the nuns". It should be deliberately renounced by the entire Catholic community. Once again the Spirit of God is leading and nuns are living a a new paradigm of religious life which has become a threat to the hierarchy.
 As I have said a number of times, it is time to shake the dust off your feet, Sisters, and  continue your witness to Christ's compassion in our world. I rejoice that a new day of liberation is dawning for nuns in the church, and the LCWR is leading the way!
Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc, arcwp

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Radical Feminist Nuns/Simone Campbell/ Colbert Nation/ Hilarious!

Get Your Free Sticker to Support the Sisters

ARCWP- Ordination of Donna Rougeux as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest on June 9, 2012 in Lexington, KY./Slideshow/Youtube Movie
YouTube Movie of Slideshow: We are called

"Gay Catholic Priest on Same-Sex Marriage" by James Martin, S. J. in America, June 12, 2012

"There are many celibate gay Catholic priests in the church today. (And let me emphasize, since that last statement is usually misunderstood, I'm speaking about celibate gay priests. These are validly ordained homosexual men who lead celibate lives.) What is exceedingly rare is the Catholic priest who speaks publicly about his own homosexuality. (There are only a handful in this country who have done so.) An article in America in 2000 examines this phenomenon, and lists some of the reasons why Catholic priests remain silent about this aspect of their lives--even as they lead celibate lives.

Even rarer is the openly gay Catholic priest who speaks about issues related to homosexuality and homosexual activity. That is why this ten-minute speech by Robert Pierson, O.S.B., a member of the Benedictine community at Collegeville, MN (and listed as a priest in good standing in the 2011 Official Catholic Directory) is so unusual. Father Pierson, who had worked in campus ministry at St. John's University and is currently the director of the Spiritual Life Program at St. John's Abbey, speaks of his own homosexuality, his experience in ministering to gay and lesbian students, and then describes why he bas concluded that a Minnesota Catholic may vote "no" on a proposed state amendment that would prevent same-sex marriages. In 2005, Father Pierson had resigned from his post as director of campus ministry after the Vatican officially barred men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from ordination, and because of broader issues in the church's teaching. "Because I can no longer honestly represent, explain and defend the church's teaching on homosexuality, I feel I must resign," he said at the time.

Needless to say, his comments on same-sex marriage are in direct opposition to the U.S. Catholic bishops, including Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who has vigorously supported the amendment (that is, opposing same-sex marriage) and asked parishioners in his archdiocese to recite a "A Prayer for Marriage" as part of the Prayers of the Faithful (petitionary prayers) at Masses. The bishops could not be clearer in their opposition, which rests primarily on the Christian tradition of marriage as between a man and a woman (as well as on the church's opposition to homosexual activity). Father Pierson's appeal is primarily to freedom of conscience, and on that topic he quotes both the Catechism and Pope Benedict XVI. "Our Holy Father taught in 1967 that we must obey our own conscience, even if it pu
ts us at odds with the Pope. I doubt that he knew that he was going to be Pope when he said that.""
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Another example of the spiritual uprising that is taking place in the Catholic Church. in our midst! Bravo to Father Robert Pierson for speaking truth to power and sharing the liberating good news of freedom of conscience. Yes, many of us,  including your sisters in the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement, are like you,  living prophetic obedience even when it puts us at odds with the Pope! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

Pax Christi Statement of Support for LCWR

"Nuns Take on Vatican"/Link to CNN Interview with John Allen who Interviewed Cardinal Levada after "dialogue" with LCWR
John Allen's Report:
Issues  were not resolved in "open dialogue", "No wiggle room on matters of substance"
Cordial atmosphere but neither side budged. 
Cardinal Levada believes that LCWR has deviated on same sex marriage, women's ordination as priests and cannot represent church as an official pontifical entity.
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Time for LCWR/Nuns to declare freedom and live Vatican II vision that the people of God are the church, not the hierarchy alone. It is time for the nuns to shake the dust from their feet and continue to follow Jesus example of justice and equality. Catholics and non-Catholics stand in solidarity with the nuns who serve the poor and marginalized today, and that is the bottom line faith and teaching of the church, not the man-made rules of the hierarchy. I pray that we soon will have nun priests ordained in public! What a blessing they would be to our church! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

Internationl Movement of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Germany/ 10th Anniversary of Danube Seven Ordination
Katholikentag in Mannheim from 16th to 19th May.

Catholic Day 2012 in Manaheim, Germany

"A daring new departure"
- This motto we let the occasion of the Catholic Conference to be creative ...

And ... we were present with multiple offers on the spot. (including street theater)
In addition to two information booths and handing out our new flyer we made due contributions to the "conversation at Jacob's Well" and numerous radio and newspaper interviews, the Fim "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" or selbstgetexteten theater and lyric attention to our international movement.

Our little contribution to mark the 10th anniversary of the "Danube Seven"!
The pictures, videos and newspaper articles can be found under the heading "Catholic".

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vatican Official Warns of 'Dialogue of the Deaf' with LCWR by John L Allen Jr on Jun. 12, 2012/National Catholic Reporter/Cardinal Levada's Real Agenda Revealed/ Now Nuns Decide

ROME -- "In the wake of Tuesday's meeting with representatives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican official responsible for a recent crackdown said he still believes the relationship can work, but also warned of a possible "dialogue of the deaf," reflected in what he sees as a lack of movement on the Vatican's concerns.
Cardinal William Levada is seen in a 2009 file photo. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, floated the possibility that should the LCWR not accept the reforms outlined in an April 18 assessment, the result could be decertifying it in favor of a new organization for women's religious leaders in America more faithful to church teaching.
Levada strongly rejected charges that the move against the LCWR is based on "unsubstantiated accusations" or lacks transparency, both complaints leveled in an LCWR statement issued last week.
"In reality, this is not a surprise," he said, insisting that the process began four years ago and that its results are based not on secret accusations but "what happens in their assemblies, what's on their website, what they do or don't do."
Levada also denied press reports that retired Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston helped instigate the move against LCWR, saying, "He's not involved in this."
Levada made the comments in an interview with NCR held shortly after the meeting between officials of his office and Sr. Pat Farrell, president of the LCWR, along with Sr. Janet Mock, the group's executive director.
The LCWR is the largest umbrella group for the leaders of women's religious orders in the United States.
Capping a four-year review, in April, Levada's office issued a stinging eight-page assessment of LCWR, citing "serious doctrinal problems" and "doctrinal confusion," including alleged "silence" on abortion and other pro-life concerns, a policy of "corporate dissent" on matters such as women priests and homosexuality, and the inroads of "certain radical feminist themes."

In his NCR interview, Levada said he believes the breach between Rome and the LCWR can be repaired.

"I believe it can work," he said. "That's my hope and prayer."
At the same time, Levada described the risk of a "dialogue of the deaf," saying the Vatican has been in talks with LCWR for four years, but along the way the group has made choices that, in Levada's eyes, signal it's not taking their concerns to heart.
Specifically, Levada cited publication of an interview with Fr. Charles Curran, a moral theologian censured by the Vatican in the 1980s for his views on sexual morality, in a recent issue of the group's Occasional Papers as well as decisions to invite Barbara Marx Hubbard, often described as a "New Age leader," to address the upcoming August assembly meeting and to bestow an award on Immaculate Heart Sr. Sandra Schneiders, another theologian sometimes critical of Vatican policy.
Levada acknowledged he had given LCWR the go-ahead to proceed with its August assembly, but said he wasn't aware at the time of the choice of speakers or honorees, and that "I wish they hadn't made these choices."
"Too many people crossing the LCWR screen, who are supposedly representing the Catholic church, aren't representing the church with any reasonable sense of product identity," Levada said.
Levada said while church officials cannot force LCWR to change course, if things come to an impasse, they can withdraw official recognition.
"What we can do, and what we'd have to do, is to say to them, 'We will substitute a functioning group for yours,' " he said.
Levada said he doesn't yet know what such a "functioning group" might look like, except it should be a conference "that would focus on the priorities of religious life, the life of holiness, which is the fundamental call of all of us in the church."
While there is already a rival umbrella group in the United States known as the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, broadly seen as a more traditional alternative to LCWR, Levada said "it could very well be" that a new group would have to be created to absorb the official role of LCWR. He stressed he hopes things don't come to that.
"We would like to see an effective and strong LCWR," he said.
Levada also acknowledged that the Vatican cannot block the LCWR on its own from withdrawing from the official orbit and re-incorporating under civil law, but said that should the group make that choice, "the Holy See isn't going to give patronage to it."
In the short term, Levada said he would take as evidence that things are moving in the right direction if LCWR enters into "a sincere, cordial and open dialogue" with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, tapped by the Vatican to oversee the reform envisioned in the doctrinal assessment.
To date, Levada said, that hasn't happened.
On other points, Levada denied that the move against LCWR was motivated by a desire to assert control over property and other assets of women's orders in America and rejected suggestions that the aim of the overhaul is to bring LCWR under the permanent control of the American bishops.
Rather than "conspiracy theories," Levada said, the focus should be on the substantive issues in the Vatican critique.
"The church is a broad umbrella, and it doesn't quickly exclude people, even people who disagree on one point or the other," he said. "But ultimately, this is about a group that represents the church doing so in a way that is accountable to the teaching and tradition of the church."

Bridget Mary's Blog:
Well thank you Cardinal Levada for revealing your true agenda in the "dialogue of the deaf".  Obviously it is your way or the highway! Either the nuns obey or they will lose so-called official recognition as a Pontifical entity. 
The hidden agenda is , if the LCWR does not tow the line on the hot button issues such as women priests and "other certain radical feminist themes", the Vatican plans to replace it with the more  compliant Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. My guess is this was the plan all along and the trumped up Vatican investigation of the LCWR provided the fuel for the hostile take-over!
I think the LCWR (and all progressive nuns' orders) should put their property and other financial assets in independent 501-c-3's and lead the way to Vatican 111. They certainly have the support of Catholics and non-Catholics in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  In order to be true to the teaching of Jesus who treated women as disciples and equals, they will not be able to continue as a pontifical entity because the real issue is a reversal of Vatican II for the nuns and submission to the Fathers' control. (including speakers for the annual LCWR conference. So they don't like the New Age speaker. I guess women priests, like me, are off any future  speakers list!!)
Cardinal Levada, ( can you imagine Cardinal Law could have been behind this slap down of the progressive nuns?) and other Vatican leaders cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it. They cannot assert that this is what it means to be accountable to the teaching and tradition of the church. 
Jesus chose women as leaders. The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary, not to Peter, and called her to be the apostle to the apostles. Paul affirmed Junia as an apostle who was his mentor and teacher in Romans 16.   Women were leaders in early church and they were ordained for the first eleven hundred years of our church tradition. 
The LCWR stands for justice and equality for women in the church and they are not going to deny our Catholic tradition of Gospel equality. They are not going to obey on issues that violate their consciences, no more than any Catholic should. The sooner that women's religious orders shake the Vatican dust off their feet and realize that the hierarchy and women religious live in two different ecclesial worlds, for the most part, the better off the Catholic Community will be. Pontifical approval of religious orders and at this stage of the LCWR is an albatross that needs to be cut lose!
Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc
I am a Sister for Christian Community (independent, ecclesial community of Sisters)

Justice Vigils for LCWR Unite the Church Reform Movement

Monday, June 11, 2012

Roman Catholic Women Priests and "a new spiritual uprising" by Bridget Mary Meehan in National Catholic Reporter

Roman Catholic Women Priests and "a new spiritual uprising"

Bridget Mary Meehan, a Sister for Christian Community and an ordained Roman Catholic priest, has sent the following reflection to NCR for publication:

“A New Spiritual Uprising”
By Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan
A new spiritual uprising is rocking the Catholic Church today.
At the Vatican we see the “Monsignors’ Mutiny,” a tale of betrayal, corruption and power struggles that has the potential of becoming a blockbuster movie that could rival The Da Vinci Code. One Italian paper even suggested that an unnamed laywoman had secretly ordered the butler to leak the secret documents, which is referred to as “Vatileaks.” But the Vatican, of course, denies it all...
In May 2012, hundreds of Irish priests called for an end to mandatory celibacy and for women’s ordination in an unprecedented challenge to the Vatican.
Like the woman in Luke’s Gospel whom Jesus declared free after being bent over for eighteen years, the Spirit is a-movin’ in the courageous nuns. In response to the Vatican’s rebuke of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for their support of women’s ordination, homosexuality and contraception, the sisters are planning a bus trip to nine states to showcase their ministry to the poor and disenfranchised. Thousands of Catholics have attended prayer vigils and signed petitions in solidarity with the sisters in the Nun Justice Project.
One day, I pray that we will have nun priests!
On June 6th, seven Franciscan (OFM) provinces in the United States released a statement expressing their solidarity with the LCWR and critiquing the Vatican's doctrinal assessment of the sisters as "excessive." Let us rejoice that the fathers and brothers are rising up for justice for their sisters.
The Spirit is a-movin’ in the women priests movement as we live Gospel equality now and ordain women like Donna Rougeux. Donna was recently ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in the second ordination of a woman priest in Lexington, Ky., in the Unitarian Universalist Church. Together with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, the first woman ordained here four years ago, Donna is standing up in solidarity with all who are oppressed and marginalized for justice. As a woman priest, she is leading - not leaving - the Catholic Church into a new era of inclusivity, partnership, equality and openness, where all are welcome to receive sacraments. Everyone belongs at the banquet table of God’s boundless, abundant love. As the Irish writer James Joyce reminded us in Finnegan’s Wake, being Catholic means “here comes everybody.”

In Luke 13:10-13, when the synagogue leader expressed outrage that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, Jesus called the religious leaders hypocrites and pointed out that this healing was for a daughter of Abraham and Sarah, who had suffered for 18 years. So, there are several take-home messages here: 1) Jesus treated women as equals. 2) People have priority over rules and regulations. 3) Sexism is sinful and should always be challenged. 4) Our compassionate God lifts up all who are bent over by the burden of patriarchy.
The good news is that the spirit of God is renewing the church in a spiritual uprising in vibrant, grassroots communities where the liturgical presiders include women priests, married priests, celibate priests and other leaders. Amazing grace is at work in our midst! Three examples are here in Lexington, the newly named Resurrection Community in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Community of St. Peter in Cleveland, Ohio. I predict that in the next several years, hundreds of empowered ecclesial communities will rise up for justice and live the change they have dreamed of in our church! We are living witnesses to the transformation, that one day will be affirmed in Vatican III, a Council of the People of God. Joel describes this passionate, outpouring of divine love on humankind in these words: “Your daughters and sons will prophesy, your elders will have prophetic dreams and your young people will see visions. I will pour out my Spirit even on those in servitude, women and men alike.” (Joel 3:1)
The institutional church is trying to keep women bent over when it refuses to recognize their call to the priesthood. No longer will we tolerate the Vatican’s practice of sexism, which is rooted in the misogynist attitude of church fathers like Tertullian, who once said that women are the “gateway to the devil,” and Thomas Aquinas, who defined woman as a “defective male.”
In a modern-day Inquisition, the Girl Scouts are facing an official inquiry by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The problem is their association with groups like Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and the Sierra Club, because these organizations support contraception and family planning. We challenge the bishops for their unjust attack and stand in solidarity with the Girl Scouts for their program of empowerment of girls. Let us feast on Girl Scout cookies often!
If women priests were decision makers in our church, women’s health care, including contraception and universal health coverage, would be major justice issues. We believe women have the divinely human right to make reproductive decisions on their own behalf - without consulting male priests or bishops. Ninety-eight percent of sexually active Catholic women have used a method of contraception banned by the U.S. bishops.
A spiritual uprising in theology is evident today in the thinking of brilliant theologians like Elisabeth Johnson, author of Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God, and Sr. Margaret Farley, author of Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. Both books have been denounced by the hierarchy. After the pope censured Farley’s book, which is a contemporary ethical approach to same-sex relationships, masturbation, remarriage after divorce, it soared from obscurity to the top of’s best seller list - six years after it was published. In her book, Farley argues that same-sex marriage “can also be important in transforming the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization of gays and lesbians.” She wrote that “same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities.”
Women are silent and invisible and subordinate no more! We are speaking truth to power and the ministry of irritation is our forte!
Roman Catholic Women Priests Janice and Ree Hudson and Deacon Donna went to Rome last October to support Fr. Roy Bourgeois who four years ago stood here to witness for justice at Janice’s ordination. As you remember, that resulted in big trouble for Roy, which has played out like an ecclesiastical soap opera!
My favorite scene is the one where the Roman police are instructed not to arrest the women priests dressed in liturgical attire. The Italian police blocked Janice, Ree and Donna from entering the Vatican, but they did not haul them off to the police station like Fr. Roy and Erin Hanna of the Women’s Ordination Conference. Once again, as the world press recorded every minute of the drama, I was reminded that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving! Fr. Roy has recently published his story in a booklet entitled: “My Journey from Silence to Solidarity."
I believe that on a deep spiritual, mystical level women priests are beginning a healing process of centuries-old, deep misogyny in which spiritual power was invested exclusively in men. For some, like the Catholic hierarchy, women priests are a spiritual uprising. For millions of people the time has come for a holy shakeup that will bring new life, creativity and justice to the church and beyond.
Bridget Mary Meehan, a Sister for Christian Community, holds a Doctor of Ministry and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in Pittsburgh, Penn. on July 31, 2006. She was ordained a bishop on April 19, 2009. Meehan is currently dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Global Ministries University, and is the author of 20 books, including Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of GodThe Healing Power of Prayer and Praying with Women of the Bible. She presides at liturgies in Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida and celebrates liturgies with groups in Northern Virginia. She can be reached by email at, or by visiting the website of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests,