Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sign Petition for Gun Control as Response to Tragic killing of 28- 20 Kids in Connecticut

Dear friends across the US,

Our country is in shock at the tragedy in Connectictut. It's time we told the NRA ENOUGH! We won't stand for their opposition to sensible gun laws anymore. Sign the petition and send it to everyone:
Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. And now, 28 people dead in a school in Connecticut -- 20 of them kids. We sit, all across the country, in shock. How could this happen? There are no satisfying answers. But one thing we know is that it's outrageous that our country hasn't passed sensible gun control laws yet.

That's because, for decades, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has opposed any and every reasonable proposal to regulate guns. NRA head Wayne LaPierre has made it his personal mission to make it easier for Americans to be able to buy guns and to threaten every politician who stands in his way. ENOUGH. Let's tell the NRA we're done with their extremism and show our politicians the public is ready to stand with them against LaPierre.

Sign the petition now and send it to everyone -- when we hit 1 million we'll surround NRA headquarters and let them know this is the last tragedy of the NRA's reign:

President Obama says it's time to take "meaningful action" to make sure this tragedy never happens again. We need to hold him to that promise as his leadership is essential, but Congress writes the laws and until we free them from the grip of the NRA, it's hard to see them having the courage to act.

The NRA claims gun control rules violate gun owners' right to bear arms. The truth is, it’s a false debate. The Supreme Court has said that the right to bear arms is not absolute -- we can respect our constitutionally protected right to bear arms while also enacting strong gun control laws that keep our children safe. And laws are only getting more lax -- just two days ago a state legislature voted to allow gun owners to bring concealed weapons to school! While many argue it's not gun availability but mental illness that is responsible for tragedies like this, the truth is it's both, and we need to address both -- NOW.

After a string of mass shootings in Australia, the government enacted gun control rules in 1996. In the following decade, there was not a single mass shooting. And that evidence of gun control leading to less gun killings is consistent across the world.

Sign the urgent petition and send to everyone -- let's draw a line in the sand that finally stops the NRA. It's way past time we tackle gun control:

Let's start a real national conversation about the laws that could protect our communities and families from devastating tragedies like this. Our Avaaz community in the US is nearly one million-strong! If we all rally around this moment together and tell all our friends, we can make this happen.

With hope and determination,

Mia, Alice, Ricken, Dalia, Allison, David and the whole Avaaz team


Obama's cautious call may re-engage gun control debate (New York Times)

Nation reels from tragic shooting (New York Times)

NRA-led gun lobby wields powerful influence over ATF, U.S. politics (Washington Post)

Gun Control Legislation Report 2012 (Congressional Research Service)

Study: Australia's gun control laws

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States (Washington Post)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Bishop Morlino Cracks Dow on Madison Nuns"/Grand Inquisition of Nuns and Women Priests' Supporters Continues/ Part of Papal Crackdown

..."Brent King, a spokesman for the diocese, said three other potential parish guest speakers, all male, have been banned "in recent years." The women are not prohibited from attending Mass or, if Catholic, from receiving communion, King said. Asked whether they could contribute to parish life in other ways, such as reading Bible passages from the pulpit or chairing a church committee, King said that would be up to individual priests.
The action comes amid a papal crackdown on nuns. Earlier this year, the Vatican accused the most influential group of Catholic sisters in the U.S. of "serious doctrinal issues" for not following Rome's lead on topics such as the male-only priesthood and homosexuality.
Interfaith approach
Wisdom's Well was founded in Madison in 2006. The center has no physical facility but offers workshops and retreats on topics such as nonviolence, contemplative living and Christian meditation.
The center's website says it "serves to support those who desire to grow spiritually, seek inner wisdom, and yearn for a transformative spirituality." Its mission statement says the center is "grounded in the Christian tradition, while embracing the wisdom found in other religious traditions."
Along with the sisters, the third staff member is Beth O'Brien, a married mother of two and a religious layperson affiliated with the Benedictine community. She also is banned, as is Paula Hirschboeck, a philosophy professor at Edgewood College in Madison who helped found Wisdom's Well but is no longer on its staff.
The women declined comment, referring questions to the Dominicans of Sinsinawa Congregation, based in southwestern Wisconsin.
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
All God's people belong to God's family. Neither Bishop Morlino nor the Pope can put God in a box. The Spirit blows where She wills including in the wisdom of other religions' sacred stories! This recent Vatican crackdown against the nuns and women priests' supporters will alienate more and more Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Sadly, the institutional church is slamming the door on many faithful women like the nuns in this story who have devoted their lives to service of God's people. But, from another perspective, the Vatican and the bishops are the gifts that keep on giving as the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement continues to flourish

Read more:

Welcoming Pope’s Move to Twitter, Hindus Urge Step Towards Women Priests also

" Welcoming traditional Pope’s move towards a new digital arena of Twitter on December 12, Hindus have urged His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican to introduce real change by reconsidering favorably the ordination of women priests in Roman Catholic Church. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Pope’s embracing of new media initiative showed that the age-old institution was trying to catch up with 21st century and it was thus highly appropriate time for the Holy See to hold a referendum among its congregations worldwide to learn about the feelings of Catholics on the subject of ordination of women.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion. Rajan Zed further said that as women were equal partners in the society, so they should be equal partners in the religion also. He urged Vatican to be more kind to Roman Catholic women as exclusion of women from religious services, just because they were female, was very unfair and ungodly.Quoting Hindu scriptures, Zed says: Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God and religions should respect that, Zed stresses and adds that time has now come for the women priests and bishops.  

 Rajan Zed suggested that theologians and canonists of the Church needed to address women ordination issue urgently; re-evaluate Church doctrine, theology, male hierarchy and history; and give women a chance. Women should be ordained to priesthood and should perform the same functions as male priests. Treating women as not equal to men was clearly a case of discrimination promoting gender inequality. Church’s Cannon Law 1024 says—Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. Zed noted that there had been, however, some positive signs regarding status of women in Roman Catholic Church as Vatican invited women to participate in the Synod of Bishops in 2010 and 2008 and girls outnumbered boys for the first time at the altar servers gathering in Vatican in 2010, where about 60 percent of young pilgrims were reportedly female. Pope reportedly appointed record 29 women to participate in October Synod of Bishops on Evangelisation. Holy See being the largest religious organization in the world should show exemplary leadership in women equality to the rest of the planet, Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed argued that reprimanding of the US Catholic nuns’ group, Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), founded in 1956, by Vatican for reportedly raising the subject of ordination of women and other issues was unfortunate. Mission of LCWR, an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in USA, included “fostering dialogue and collaboration among religious congregations”, “developing models for initiating and strengthening relationships with groups concerned with the needs of society”, etc.

Roman Catholic Church, largest of the Christian denominations with about 1.2 billion adherents, is headed by Pope and headquartered in Vatican. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Media Stories about Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan Co-Presiding at Mass with Woman Priest Janice Sevre-Duszysnka, ARCWP/Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Catholic priest, 92, BANNED from Mass for flouting Pope's rule and performing ...

Daily Mail - ‎Dec 9, 2012‎

A 92-year-old Wisconsin Jesuit has become the latest Catholic priest to be punished by church authorities for celebrating Mass with a woman priest in violation of church rules. Father Bill Brennan, a Milwaukee-area peace activist who has done missionary ...

Priest stripped of duties for celebrating Mass with woman priest (blog) - ‎Dec 8, 2012‎
ago. Priest stripped of duties for celebrating Mass with woman priest. Bob Graf. Jesuit priest Bill Brennan, 92, was stripped of his priestly duties after he presided over a Eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest last month in Georgia. By Becky Bratu, NBC News ...

Father Bill Brennan Punished by Catholic Church for Performing Mass with ...

Opposing Views - ‎8 hours ago‎
Father Bill Brennan, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Jesuit, was recently punished by Catholic Church authorities for celebrating Mass last month with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, in violation of church rules.

Priest, 92, stripped of duties for holding Mass with woman priest - ‎Dec 9, 2012‎
Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Milwaukee-area Catholic Jesuit priest, was stripped of his priestly duties by church authorities after he held a Eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest in Georgia. According to NBC News, on November 17, Brennan performed a ...

Wisconsin priest banned from church for Mass with female priest

GlobalPost - ‎Dec 9, 2012‎
A priest, 92, is no longer allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments because he conducted Mass with a woman priest in violation of Church rules. Ellen ConnollyDecember 9, 2012 12:46. Priest pupnished. A 92-year-old Wisconsin Jesuit has become the ...

Jesuit sanctioned for Mass with woman priest

Monterey County Herald - ‎Dec 7, 2012‎
MILWAUKEE — A 92-year-old Wisconsin Jesuit is the latest American priest to be sanctioned for celebrating the Catholic Mass with a woman priest in violation of church teaching. The Rev. Bill Brennan, a longtime peace activist, has been ordered not to ...

Bishop Olmstead To Replace Bishop Tobin In Rome/Bad News for LCWR and Nuns? Good News for Women Priests?

If more nuns'orders decide that this latest hostile power play by the Vatican is the last straw,   we may see nuns ordained publically as priests sooner rather than later. This is the silver lining in today's announcement that Bishop Olmsted is replacing Bishop Tobin as the Vatican enforcer of its recent crackdown on the nuns who have faithfully and prophetically served our church for centuries. "The orthodox hurricane continues to swirl. It's now taken Phoenix's Olmstead and whirled him right to Rome where he will replace Archbishop Tobin as Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life. This move removes the LCWR's best friend and replaces him with another ladder climbing Grand Inquisitor. The following is the first paragraph of Vatican Insider's coverage of this impending move."
As a Sister for Christian Community, which is an independent group of prophetic women living the Gospel today, and as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, who serves my Sisters as bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, I say 'bring it on"! It is time for the Sisters to declare that they are "free at last" of Vatican control. They certainly have the support of the majority of U.S. Catholics, and they know it.
Now more and more renewal groups are supporting women's ordination including more than a thousand male priests in Austria, Ireland, Germany, and in many other places. Prophets like Maryknoll Roy Bourgeois, Franciscan Jerry Zawada and Jesuit Bill Brennan have co-presided at liturgy with Woman Priest, Janice Sevre-Duszynska. Catholics are now approaching a tipping point in a spiritual revolution that is birthing a more inclusive church where all are welcome to receive sacraments and all the baptized are equals.
Bridget Mary Meehan, sfcc, arcwp

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Congratulate Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland for Prophetic Stance in Support of Fr. Roy Bourgeois on the Ordination of Women as Priests

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests congratulate the ACP in Ireland for your solidarity and prophetic stand on the issue of ordination of women priests and for supporting Maryknoll Roy Bourgeois. We thank you for your courage to speak truth to power to the Vatican and CDF on this issue. You are reminding the People of God that primacy of conscience trumps obedience to the Vatican. We look forward to the day when prophetic male priests will be co-presiding with women priests in an inclusive Catholic Church with equality and justice for all.
Blessings and Godspeed,
Janice Sevre-Duszynska priest, (Media)
for the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Catholics in Switzerland May Vote to Abolish Celibacy and for Women's Ordination

"On Tuesday, November 27th, the synod of the Roman Catholic Church in Basel, Switzerland, recognized the validity of the "Initiative for Equality in the Church" which requires notably the abolition of priestly celibacy and the ordination of women. "We take the concerns of the initiative seriously, Christian Griss, the chairman of the synod, declared Thursday to the Basler Zeitung daily.

In the neighboring canton of Basel Land, a similar initiative has been launched and will be submitted to the synod when it meets in Liestal on Monday, December 3rd. But the executive of the Synod has already asked that it be considered valid.

Nearly 3000 signatures, including those of several theologians, were collected to support this "Initiative for Equality in the Church" launched jointly in the two half-cantons of Basel. If passed by the synod of Basel Land, it may be submitted to a popular vote before the summer of 2013, and if accepted, the cantonal ecclesiastical authorities would be required to commit to the abolition of priestly celibacy and the ordination of women.

The scope of this initiative is however limited to church civil law structures and will not effect the ecclesial level. However, its supporters hope to have a effective means of pressure against diocesan and Roman authorities.

In Switzerland, the Catholic Church is organized in a two-tier system: in addition to the canonical structures specific to the Catholic Church (dioceses, parishes), there is effectively a system of ecclesiastical corporations benefiting from a public law statute both at the cantonal and communal levels. These corporations, which are democratically elected, notably distribute the church taxes they receive, but do not have the right to modify the conditions of admission to Catholic ministries, which remains the responsibility of the Magisterium."

Text of the
Initiative for Equality in the Church (short version)

Father Bill Brennan, 92, Sanctioned For Celebrating Mass With Woman Priest