Saturday, April 20, 2013

Books by Bridget Mary Meehan/Kindle/Amazon

"We Have a Pope: An Ex-Priest Speaks"
..."So with this strong prayer of gratitude for my life as a Jesuit, why did I leave?
The irony of my vocation is that with the very vision the Jesuits gave me and the motivation behind it, I could no longer limit my God, nor my 'self'. The Jesuits made me the fullest being I could have been, until my point of departure. I was approved by Father General Peter Hans Kolvenback in 1998 to profess solemn vows, but it was time to move on. Being a Jesuit meant being a Roman Catholic, and the limitations of a doctrinal, dogmatic church reached its threshold in my personal life.
My discovery of reality brought me to the fact that all aspects of the universe is dialectical, and therefore is masculine and feminine, having animus and anima. Living with merely a masculine understanding of priesthood and having "authority" only from a male perspective limited my God, my Self and, for me, my church. As a Roman Catholic priest, John Paul II forbade priests to even discuss women priesthood. In my vision and in my theology, God cannot be selective in the call to priesthood. We are all called to this vocation. I find it a travesty of justice that in my church women cannot be priests. As much as Catholic philosophy and theology speak of the equality of all humans, women are still second-class citizens. I could no longer actively minister in an institution which expected blind obedience to such a travesty. The world has seen what happens when those in authority passively sit back and do nothing.
Historically, Jesuits have regularly had their hands slapped by Rome for their theological and social positions. What happens when one speaks out with a new vision? The Jesuit, Roger Haight, SJ, who was my primary mentor in writing my new philosophy and theology has been silenced by Rome; he is not to teach at a Roman Catholic institution and has also been forbidden to teach at any protestant school of theology. It has been deemed that his Christology does not conform with formal Roman Catholic theology in light of the divinity of Jesus the Christ. Oh, how we limit God!
So my gratitude for my life as a Jesuit passes over to my love for the church. If a Jesuit vision could awaken me from my dogmatic slumber, my hope and prayer is that this same Jesuit vision of Pope Francis can awaken the Roman Catholic Church from its dogmatic slumber.
Blessings to Pope Francis, may you truly follow the ways of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, and Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscans, and be a true channel of peace, love, faith, hope, light, and joy in the world."
Martin J Schade is a lecturer in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the University of Technology, Jamaica, and is a former Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Editorial: Vatican, LCWR Approaching Critical Crossroads /National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

“A church that does not go out of itself, sooner or later, sickens from the stale air of closed rooms,” Pope Francis has written in a letter released Thursday to his fellow Argentine bishops. This is a similar message to the one he delivered to his fellow cardinals before the conclave, impressing them enough to elect him bishop of Rome
In his new note he went on to say in the process of “going out” the church always risks running into “accidents,” adding, “I prefer a thousand times over a church of accidents than a sick church.”
A church of accidents … a church willing to take risks on the edges … a church dedicated to service of the most needy … a church working on behalf of mercy, peace and justice…
This sounds a lot like the church U.S. Catholic sisters have been building in recent decades. Not only U.S. women religious, but also women religious around the world have been at this work. It is the women who have lived closest to the marginalized; it is the women who have worked on the “peripheries;” it is the women who have gone precisely where Francis is encouraging others to go.
And what has been their reward?
Have they been lifted up by others?
Have they been acclaimed by their church leadership?
No. Despite occasional laudatory words to the contrary, these faith-filled women have been too often demeaned and too often tarnished with accusations of alleged infidelity. The most ironic element in this sad story has been that these accusations have arisen out of the ranks of the very men who have inflicted great damage to the church by repeated patterns of sex abuse cover-up.
Christians have learned to expect persecution. Being voices for the poor, the marginalized, gays and lesbians, the uninsured or pregnant young mothers are rare undertakings. But the women religious have toiled endlessly to assist and represent these largely voiceless people.
While persecution comes with the territory of living and working in the “accidental” church, we don’t expect such attacks to come from our own clergy. Yet, too often they have.
Hiding behind highly exaggerated accusations of infidelity, certain bishops have revealed stunning ignorance. In the process they have abused their authority. It’s been the easier course.
The takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the result of an extended “doctrinal assessment,” knowledgeable Catholics understand has much less to do with core beliefs than with episcopal obedience.
Our women religious are among those who understand this firsthand. We have all come to see too many of our prelates feel uncomfortable around women. The result is they stay away from them. This results, over time, in more fear and almost certain misunderstandings. Only open, sustained discussions -- on equal footing -- can set a new course toward church health.
We need conversations in which Catholic women and men -- religious, clergy and laity -- can talk freely in a spirit of mutual support about their faith and church lives.
It would be a healing experience and needs to take place in dioceses across the country. This would be a step.
Our women are the most theologically educated in the history of the church. The differences between their thinking and our bishops’ thinking has less to do with faith and doctrine than church structure, and more to do with applications of church teachings and mission. There is plenty of core common ground.
The first step, however, is to recognize that women carry vital insights necessary to restoring health to the “sick” church of which Francis speaks. Without women participating as equals in engaged discussions there is little hope such health can be found.
Even more fundamentally, then, the Vatican/LCWR issue is really about whether the current male clerical decision-making system can sustain church life in the 21st century. Huge numbers have concluded it cannot. 
The Vatican’s current path, which excludes women religious from any semblance of self-determination, ostensibly in a spirit of mutual episcopal cooperation, threatens the continue life of the church. Moreover, it is an assault on all women. In turn, it is an assault on all Catholics.
We are fast approaching a perilous moment. This highly visible rift between the Vatican and Catholic sisters begs a question: Can our church sustain theologically literate women in its ranks? More widely, can it attract dedicated women of any stripe? We are losing these women faster than one can imagine. Ask almost any parent of a grown daughter.
The Vatican congregation’s doctrinal assessment of LCWR, apparently for now upheld by Francis, is, then, a blow to all who want to restore community and health to the church.
If the Vatican insists on carrying out its LCWR takeover, the group will have no choice but to end its canonical relationship with the institutional church. This is because the entire LCWR body almost unanimously voted last August to continue a dialogue with the bishops as long as the effort does not compromise LCWR integrity.
At issue is not obedience. It is rather the dignity of every person and the rights of every person in the church, stemming from his or her baptism.
We are coming perilously close to a point of rupture. Some, of course, would relish such a break. However, their satisfaction would be short lived. For such a break would send out a loud signal, one that would echo through history, that the most significant U.S. women religious body had concluded fidelity to conscience and fidelity to the values of the Gospels required separation. It would be a stunning blow to all Catholics.
LCWR, canonically or not, in reality or in spirit, will continue to serve our communities of women religious and, through them, the neediest of human beings.
Our women religious will remain Catholic to the core despite efforts by some to paint them otherwise. Indeed, they will have concluded church dedication to missionrequired separation.
Charges and counter-charges will ensue. But an honest evaluation would find that the women took action only following the deepest of soul searching in a spirit of community, dedication and love.
It would also find the final straw was not doctrinal. Instead, it was finally about faithfulness to the very Gospel ideals which Francis preaches each day. "


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Listen "To Believe", A Song by Jackie Evancho/ as Prayer of Comfort for all those who suffer

Pope Francis Reaffirms Censure of LCWR/ Women's Ordination Conference and Call to Action Respond

Erin Saiz Hanna:  202.675.1006

Nicole Sotelo: 773.404.0004 x285 

WASHINGTON D.C. - One year ago today, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing 80% of the 57,000 nuns in the

 United States, came under fire from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for their social justice ministries and not supporting the U.S. bishops' agenda of attacking expanded healthcare, women's ordination, and same-sex marriage.


LCWR described the assessment as "based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency," causing "pain and scandal in our church." 


On Monday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the censure.


"While Pope Francis presents a fresh face in Vatican City, breaking from papal tradition by washing the feet of two women on Holy Thursday, for example, without dismissing the mandate against the nuns such symbolism appears meaningless at best and hypocritical at worst," stated Erin Saiz Hanna, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project and Executive Director of the Women's Ordination Conference.


"Catholics around the country have been inspired by the faith and work of the sisters and will continue to support them; we urge Pope Francis to recognize their commitment and contributions and dismiss the mandate," said Jim FitzGerald, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Coalition and Executive Director of Call To Action. 


Last summer, nearly 70,000 Catholics signed a petition and hundreds organized vigils to rally around the sisters.


 "The pope intentionally chose St. Francis as his namesake," continued Hanna.  "St. Francis of Assisi's sacred friendship with St. Clare is well documented.  He wrote a promise of mutual respect for her and for the women who joined her community.  St. Francis worked collaboratively alongside his sisters rather than against them. We expect Pope Francis to do the same."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mary Hunt on Francis and American Nuns: Atoning for Centuries of Discrimination Will Take More Than Four Clean Female Feet/ Gender Equality and Women Priests


Mary Hunt on Francis and American Nuns: Atoning for Centuries of Discrimination Will Take More Than Four Clean Female Feet
Theologian Mary Hunt thinks the jury is still out on Pope Francis, though early impressions of his pontificate are positive on several fronts. She notes that she expects, however, more than friendly cosmetic changes:
Rather than washing feet, I suggest looking Catholic women in the eye and saying, “You are my sister, equal in every way to me,” and then changing structures accordingly. To atone for centuries of discrimination against women will take more than four clean female feet. I despair of those who say, “It is a start,” to which I respond, “Obviously, but how pitifully inadequate.”

And her conclusion:
I urge that if women are not welcomed into all forms of ministry, decision making, and administration of the Roman Catholic Church in the very near future—I mean a year, max two, not a lifetime—then the jury find this pope as guilty as the rest in the ‘disappearance’ of half of the Catholic community. Maybe we will be surprised, and I will be the first one to rejoice that my skepticism was unwarranted. 

Bridget Mary's Response:
I agree with Mary Hunt. I also believe that he should apologize to our Roman Catholic Women Priests International Movement for the Vatican's oppressive tactics and many punishments. And Pope Francis should affirm our movement as prophetic and life-giving to the church. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Did Pope Francis get enough information on the LCWR mandate? by Maureen Fiedler/NCR Today/April 16, 2013

"The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has posted a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in which Archbishop Gerhard Müller of the doctrinal congregation said he talked to Pope Francis about the LCWR mandate and claims the pope affirmed it. I am frankly very skeptical of that information. First, I doubt this issue is on the top of the new pope's agenda or that he had much knowledge of this when he was an archbishop in Argentina.

And what does "affirm" mean? Affirm what? Some general, vague report? Did Müller give him a full explanation, talk about the opposition to it among U.S. Catholics or give him an outline of the actions proposed? Did he talk about the accusation that says U.S. women religious spend too much time on social justice and not enough on other issues? I frankly doubt the new pope would "affirm" that.
Introducing NCR's first eBook: Best Catholic Spirituality Writing 2012
Did he even mention the questions raised by LCWR at the meeting several months ago? I doubt he gave both sides.
It could be a case of the "good 'ole boys" in the Curia wanting everything to remain the same and trying to make the new pope go along on an issue about which he knows little.
Two things: First, this is a wait-and-see situation. Second, LCWR would be well-advised to seek a private audience with Pope Francis to explain the full story."
Bridget Mary Meehan's Response
Amen, Sister Maureen Fiedler! Let's hope the Pope checks out the Curia report on LCWR. Let's hope that Pope Francis appoints a LCWR member to a major position in the Vatican as a sign of reconciliation and hope for the world's nuns!

Let us give thanks for God's boundless love

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing Kills 2, Injures Over 130
My prayers are with the families of the dead and the injured in this tragedy. May God comfort and strengthen all who have suffered harm and their families. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Vatican Reaffirms CDF's Doctrinal Assessment of LCWR/A Major Disappointment/Take Action to Support the Sisters

LCWR Statement on Meeting with CDF

On April 15, 2013 Sister Florence Deacon, OSF, LCWR president; Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, LCWR president-elect; and Sister Janet Mock, CSJ, LCWR executive director; met with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF); Archbishop Luis Ladaria, secretary of CDF; and other members of the CDF dicastery. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was also present.
The LCWR officers reviewed the activities of this past year since receiving the report of CDF’s doctrinal assessment of LCWR in April 2012.
In his opening remarks, Archbishop Müller informed the group that he had met with Pope Francis who "reaffirmed the findings of the assessment and the program of reform for this Conference of Major Superiors".
The conversation was open and frank. We pray that these conversations may bear fruit for the good of the Church.
Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM
Associate Director for Communications

Bridget Mary's Response
This is a big disappointment and a setback for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
It is time for the nuns to move ahead and declare independence from Vatican control. Below is a letter from the Women's Ordination Conference suggesting a letter writing campaign to proclaim our solidarity with the Sisters. It is a call to action for justice. 
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp

Dear Bridget,   

As you may have heard, almost exactly one year after the Vatican released its unjust mandate attacking the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Pope Francis has reaffirmed the critique, which found LCWR had "serious doctrinal problems," exposed "radical feminist themes," and needed to be reformed.

LCWR released a statement on Monday's meeting between their leadership and Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "We pray that these conversations may bear fruit for the good of the Church." 

We too pray for the good of the Church and ask that you make your support of the sisters heard. Consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspapers, and writing to the U.S. bishops who are involved in carrying out the mandate against the sisters. Download sample letters and talking points here. 
During this time of renewal in our Church, let us remind Pope Francis and the bishops that we stand with the sisters. Let us pray for constructive dialogue and respect.  





Kate Conmy

Membership Director



You Tube Associates Pope Francis' Easter Vigil and MMOJ Easter Vigil

                                         2:28:57 Easter Mass by vatican 26 views
  •  0:19 Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community/Easter Vigil/Woman Priest Katy Zatsick Leadsby Bridget Mary Meehan 14 views 
  • Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Easter Vigil is on same youtube page with Vatican Easter Vigil! See video bar on side of page.

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    Acts of the Apostles 5:27-32,40b-41 "We Must Obey God Rather Than Men"/Modern Version/Women Priests and Married Priests

    "When the head cardinal and the entire assembly of the Vatican Curia had brought together the women and married priests and made them stand before the Vatican assembly, the head cardinal questioned them saying: “We gave you strict orders, did we not , to stop raising the consciousness of the laity.  Yet you have filled the entire church with your teaching.  You claim the yeast of the Holy Spirit is acting like leaven among the People of God—calling all the baptized to be prophets, leaders in our communities and ministers in the universal priesthood.”  Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan and her apostles said in reply. “We must obey God and the Holy Spirit rather than men.

    Then the Vatican Curia ordered the women and married priests to stop speaking in the name of Sophia and then dismissed them.  So the women and married priests left the presence of the Vatican Curia, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of justice."
    (Anonymous Member of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community)