Saturday, July 13, 2013

Religious Leaders/Citizens Demand Nuclear Weapons Free World/ Janice Sevre-Duszynska Joins Jesuits, Franciscans in Witness

PeaceWorks, Kansas City

4509 Walnut, KC MO 64111, 816-561-1181; Facebook at PeaceWorksKC


For immediate release: July 5, 2013

Contacts: Henry Stoever, 913-375-0045; Ann Suellentrop, 913-271-7925


Civil resistance at KC nuclear-weapons-parts plant July 13:

Citizens demand, “Open the door to a nuclear-weapons-free world!”


On Saturday, July 13, members of local peace, health and environmental groups will call for “Opening the Door” to freedom from nuclear weapons at Kansas City’s new nuclear-weapons-parts plant, located across the highway from the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base. 


Coinciding with Nuclear Abolition Week July 6-13,1 activists will cross the new plant’s property line, resisting the 85 percent of non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons that will be made or procured there. About a dozen protesters will step through a symbolic door “to a nuclear-weapons-free future” at the entrance to the new Kansas City Plant, called the Nuclear Security Campus.  Resisters include several Catholic priests—long-time Plowshares anti-nuclear activist Fr. Carl Kabat of St. Louis, his superior Fr. Bill Antone of Chicago, Fr. Bill Bichsel of Tacoma, WA, Fr. Jerry Zawada of Chicago, and woman priest Janice Sevre-Duzinska—along with Des Moines Catholic Workers, KC-area Catholic Workers and PeaceWorks-KC members.  The new plant, located at 14510 Botts Road, near Mo. Hwy. 150, will take over production next year from the old, highly contaminated KC Plant at Bannister Federal Complex at Bannister and Troost.


Participants in the events will begin Friday, July 12, at 3 pm with nonviolence training and a festival of hope until 8 pm2 at Linwood United Church, 3151 Olive, KC, MO.


Recent developments give encouragement to the activists:

--On March 4-5, representatives from 127 countries (not the U.S.) convened in Oslo, Norway, to consider the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. “This movement to abolish nuclear weapons, led by Norway and Switzerland, is growing and strengthening, even though countries with nuclear weapons are trying to kill it,” says Steve Leeper, former chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.

--In May, a new United Nations working group began meeting in Geneva to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons.  

--On June 19, President Obama in Berlin urged negotiations with Russia to reduce deployed, strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third further than required in the New START treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). 

--On June 24, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the U.S. to take the lead in global elimination of nuclear weapons and in redirection of military spending to domestic needs. 


The current KC Plant, operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technologies (FM&T), produces and procures 85percent of non-nuclear components for U.S. nuclear warheads.  It is operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency of the Department of Energy (DOE).  The KC Plant relies on Life Extension Program (LEP) work, a program touted to extend the “life” or time that a weapon can safely and reliably remain in the stockpile.3 However, LEPs are voracious spenders of federal funds.  So, on June 27, the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee reported that it cut funding for one of the most expensive LEPs, NNSA’s B61 nuclear bomb LEP.


“So-called ‘Life’ Extension Program costs are astronomical,”4 said Ann Suellentrop, a mother-baby nurse with Physicians for Social Responsibility-KC.  “Billions upon billions of our tax dollars are slated to be wasted on these outdated, unbelievably catastrophic weapons that we fervently hope are never, ever used.  What insanity!  We all have human rights, and the right to life is No. 1!  Just think what pressing human needs we could use these funds for: housing, education, health care, infrastructure and useful, sustainable jobs!”


Reflecting on the July 13 line-crossing, attorney Henry Stoever, chair of the PeaceWorks-KC Board, said, “Those crossing the line are saying our government has already far crossed the line. It continues to build weapons of mass destruction while the world is crying for reduction and disarmament of WMDs. We are complicit if we do not take strong action against this new plant and seek its conversion to life-giving, not life-threatening, products.”


4 Source:  See p. 189 (chapter 8, figures 8-1 and 8-2).

New Cincinnati Westside Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy with newly ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest Debra Meyers, ARCWP

Bridget Mary presents newly ordained priest, Debra Meyers to Assembly
New Cincinnati Westside Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy

The first Wednesday every month from 7-8pm

Presider: Debra Meyers, ARCWP priest

Location: Our Lady of Peace, 119 Wocher Avenue off of River Road in Cincinnati

Accessibility: There are three steps with a railing to get into the church.

Additional Parking: Morton Salt Co. permits overflow parking in their lot located a block down the street.

For more information or if you would like to serve on the planning committee, please contact Debra Meyers at

Anyone interested in serving on planning committees for new communities on the eastside and in northern Kentucky that would meet during the third or fourth weeks of each month should contact Debra.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Contraception, the Philippines, and Pope Francis' Passion for the Poor

By Jamie L. Manson
After 18 months of contentious debate, the controversy over access to contraception in the United States seems to be arriving at a peaceful resolution. On Tuesday, the Catholic Health Association (CHA) announced its approval of an accommodation in the Obama administration's mandate that all health care plans cover contraception services.
Read More Or paste this link into your browser:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"'Enquirer' Takes Questionable Approach to Covering Meyers' Ordination"

"Thirty-nine years ago, Enquirer editors agreed to cover a global story that still reverberates through some of Christianity’s oldest denominations: the acrimonious debate over whether women may be priests.
That 1974 event was the ordination of the first female priests in the Episcopal Church. They were rebels as were the three traditionally consecrated bishops who ordained them.
None of the women was from the Tristate. The event was in Philadelphia. It was a big deal and the Enquirer covered it, irrespective of the divisive local and national furor.
Those 11 women’s ordinations were valid but illicit. Valid because the bishops had the power to do so. Illicit because the women and bishops violated canon law.
I was the Enquirer’s religion reporter. My editors knew a story when they saw it and that valid-but-illicit flavor added zest to the event and coverage.
It was a great story, not least because of the joy of the women being ordained. Their ceremony effectively opened the Episcopal priesthood to women; the denomination removed gender as a disqualification two years later and regularized the Philadelphia 11’s illicit ordinations in 1977.
With renewed dissent, the first female Episcopal bishop was consecrated in 1989. Today’s presiding bishop is Katharine Jefferts Schori.
All of which raises disturbing questions about the Enquirer’s confused response to the invitation to cover the ordination of Debra Meyers by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
It would have been the first known local ordination of a female Catholic priest.
The Enquirer refused to cover Meyers’ordination on May 25. Management’s reasoning was captured by Janice Sevre-Duszynska, an ordained American member of the association and a contributor to Article 25, our local human rights newspaper. In March, I wrote how Italian police interrupted Sevre-Duszynska’s standing protest against the Vatican practice of an all-male priesthood.
Home again in Kentucky, she invited coverage of Meyers’ ordination ceremony at St. John’s Unitarian Church in Clifton. In an email exchange with the Enquirer, an aide to editor Carolyn Washburn told Sevre-Duszynska that when the aide asked about coverage, “I was told no, as you admit in your email that your ordinations are considered illegal.”
Women’s ordination is no more “illegal” than abortion or artificial contraception under Catholic canon law but the Enquirerreports extensively about those and distinguishes between the demands of canon and civil law.
Granted, Sevre-Duszynska’s press release said, “Our ordinations are valid but considered illegal,”but she obviously meant illegal under Roman Catholic canon law.
So that’s where this gets disturbing. No answer makes sense if we’re talking about rational news judgment.
Is it possible that senior Enquirer editors couldn’t distinguish between canon law and civil law? Roman Catholic canon law allows only male priests. Civil law says nothing about what’s licit or illicit in Roman Catholic ordinations.
If editors failed to ask reporter Julie Irwin Zimmerman — who writes knowledgeably about religion and covered it for the Enquirer years ago — that was a serious oversight. She could have explained these distinctions and, possibly, affected the decision to ignore Meyers’ordination.
Scarier than an ignorant inability to distinguish canon from civil law is the possibility that the Enquirer knowingly subjects its news judgment to religious law, Catholic (canon), Jewish (halakhah) or Islamic (sharia).
It would have been better if Enquirer editors said they’d ignore NKU history professor Meyers’ ordination at St. John’s to avoid offending more traditional Catholic readers.
Then this affair goes from disturbing to weird. Although the Enquirer said it would not cover an “illegal” event, a reporter for related weekly Clermont County Community Press reported Meyers’ ordination and posted it days later on the Enquirer’s Her story included a sympathetic interview with newly ordained Meyers. The headline was “Batavia woman fights to change Catholic Church.”
For context, Community Press reporter Roxanna Swift quoted Dan Andriacco, communications director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. “From our point of view as Roman Catholics, it (ordination) didn’t really take place,” Andriacco told her. Ordination can only be conferred by the proper authority, he said, and the proper authority would be a bishop. Because the Vatican does not recognize women as bishops, Meyers’ ordination is illegal and invalid, Andriacco said.
Youtube has video of Meyers’ ordination. Local coverage — beyond Clermont County Community Press — was scarce.Article 25 and WNKU reported Meyers’ ordination. CityBeatinterviewed Meyers before the ceremony. "

Women Should Serve As Priests

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Continue Dialogue on Women Priests in Times Union/Albany, New York

Medieval thinking stands in way of women priests
Letter to the Editor Albany Times Union by Bob Corliss June 22, 2013
Mary Theresa Streck left backrow, Marianne Smyth, Mary Collingwood, Barbara Duff, Bridget Mary Meehan, Joleane Presley
Three cheers for Mary Theresa Streck ("'Joyous passage' also seeks change," June 2). She has lived her Roman Catholic faith for decades and is now heeding her call to the priesthood, despite the institutional church's ban on women priests.
Continue dialogue on women priests
Elizabeth Friday, July 9, 2013
With regard to "'Joyous passage' also seeks change," June 2, on Mary Theresa Streck's position relating to women seeking priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, I felt it was necessary to congratulate her on her courage to speak her opinion.
Letter: Calling woman a priest is inaccurate
Letter: Theology dictates no women priests

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sex Abuse Scandal Keeps Priests from Healthy Relationships with Young People"/ NCR

"I was wearing walking shorts and a sports shirt, so when the hospice nurse arrived at the house, I had to introduce myself: "I'm Gerry Kleba, the family priest." I'm not much into clericalism, so I don't use the title "Father." Within minutes, the mother of the family slipped away peacefully, as her children and I prayed, cried, talked, even laughed. I'd known the family for 40 years. The older children -- in their teens then -- had typed the parish bulletin on stencils, mimeographed and folded them on Saturday mornings at the rectory.
I had barely left the house, started my Prius and driven to the corner when I started to feel not only very sad, but very, very angry..."
Bridget Mary's Response:
How tragic and what a high price good priests like Gerry Kleba are paying for the sexual abuse scandal that bishops have covered up for decades, perhaps, centuries. Bridget Mary Meehan,

"Bishop Morlino's Focus on Doctrine, Not on Jesus"/ Male RC Bishop Should Apologize to Girls in his Diocese and Follow Jesus' Example of Gospel Equality
Regarding last Sunday's article, "Inspiring some, alienating others," it comes as no surprise to me that Bishop Robert Morlino has embraced the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest...
Now he cannot even accept the changes brought about by Vatican II, and wants to step further back in time. "Girls distract and intimidate boys" - what century are we in?
At this time in the history of the Catholic church, after the sex abuse scandals when it needs to show the good it can do, the love it can bring, Bishop Morlino manages only to show an ugly, controlling side in his leadership.
I disagree that people leaving the church because of Bishop Morlino need to do a gut check. Bishop Morlino is the one who needs a gut check by asking himself, "What would Jesus do?" I don't think Jesus turned his back on women, gays or those of a different race, and a leader in the Catholic church should not either.

Read more:

Bridget Mary's Response: I cannot believe Bishop Morlino expressed such blatant hostility toward girls. No wonder young women are fleeing the pews! This is embarassing even by institutional standards! Jesus had many female disciples and Mary of Magdala was the first witness to encounter the Risen Christ. Bishop Morlino and the Catholic hierarchy should follow Jesus' example of Gospel equality and repent of the sin of sexism. Bridget Mary Meehan,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP, Presides at Baptism

My grand niece, Caelon and My grand nephew, charlie and their Mummy, Marijke who is my new godcaughter! What a great day!
Dotty Shugrue in red stole presides at baptism

Few Wisconsin Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims Get Big Settlements by M. L. Johnson
An Associated Press analysis of documents released in July 2013 found most of the $30 million the archdiocese paid out through mid-2012 went to clergy sex abuse victim settlements and therapy, but the bulk of it went to just a few victims - while hundreds of others got no money at all. Most of the settlements made public were reached as part of a mediation program Dolan started in 2003.                  
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Clergy sex abuse victims have long accused the Archdiocese of Milwaukee of spending more money on lawyers to protect itself than to care for those who suffered at the hands of abusive priests. An Associated Press analysis of documents released this week found most of the $30 million the archdiocese paid out through mid-2012 went to victim settlements and therapy, but the bulk of it went to just a few victims - while hundreds of others got no money at all.
The archdiocese released the records as part of a deal with victims suing it for fraud in federal bankruptcy court. The documents cover 88 settlements worth at least $6.6 million and provide the first detailed look at which victims were paid, how much and when. Until this week, the archdiocese had only released annual totals.
The records support victims' longtime claim that Wisconsin for many years was among the more difficult states for them to get compensation. The main reason was a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in 1995 that made it nearly impossible to hold the church responsible for its priests' actions. The court said the church was protected from negligence lawsuits by the First Amendment. No longer afraid of litigation, the archdiocese established a no-settlement policy that lasted until the national clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002.
"It was an appalling decision," said Peter Isely, a longtime activist who now serves as the Midwest director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "Because (Milwaukee victims) were raped and sexually assaulted by a priest, unlike anywhere else in the country, they could not exercise their civil rights and file their case in court..."

Pope Francis Places Papal Hat on Girl's Head at Vatican

One gesture is worth a thousand words!
Bridget Mary Meehan

Hindus Urge Church of England to Approve Women Bishops

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged General Synod of Church of England to endorse introduction of women bishops in its debate and vote on the issue on Monday in University of York (United Kingdom).

It would be a “step in the right direction”, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed in a statement in Nevada (USA) today.

Rajan Zed suggested the Church to empower the women bishops with exactly equal roles as men bishops and without any limits or conditions. As women were equal partners in the society, they should be equal partners in Church also. Women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion, Zed added.

Quoting Hindu scriptures, Zed says: Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased.

Women now reportedly make up about a third of the Church's priests. Monday’s Synod agenda includes “Women in the episcopate – new legislative proposals”.

The General Synod, currently meeting July 5-9 in York, is the national assembly of the Church of England (headquartered in London whose tagline is "A Christian presence in every community"), which is recognized by law as the official church of England. About 1.7 million people take part in a Church of England service each month, about 12 million people visit its cathedrals annually and it has over 19,500 licensed ministers. Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, while Most Reverend Justin Welby is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

"The Church's Errant Shepherds"/New York Times/ by Frank Bruni
"BOSTON, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. The archdioceses change but the overarching story line doesn’t, and last week Milwaukee had a turn in the spotlight, with the release of roughly 6,000 pages of records detailing decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests there, a sweeping, searing encyclopedia of crime and insufficient punishment.
But the words I keep marveling at aren’t from that wretched trove. They’re from an open letter that Jerome Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee, wrote to Catholics just before the documents came out.
“Prepare to be shocked,” he said.
What a quaint warning, and what a clueless one.
Quaint because at this grim point in 2013, a quarter-century since child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church first captured serious public attention, few if any Catholics are still surprised by a priest’s predations.
Clueless because Listecki was referring to the rapes and molestations themselves, not to what has ultimately eroded many Catholics’ faith and what continues to be even more galling than the evil that a man — any man, including one in a cassock or collar — can do. I mean the evil that an entire institution can do, though it supposedly dedicates itself to good.
I mean the way that a religious organization can behave almost precisely as a corporation does, with fudged words, twisted logic and a transcendent instinct for self-protection that frequently trump the principled handling of a specific grievance or a particular victim.
The Milwaukee documents underscore this, especially in the person of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, previously the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009 and thus one of the characters in the story that the documents tell. Last week’s headlines rightly focused on his part, because he typifies the slippery ways of too many Catholic leaders.
The documents show that in 2007, as the Milwaukee archdiocese grappled with sex-abuse lawsuits and seemingly pondered bankruptcy, Dolan sought and got permission from the Vatican to transfer $57 million into a trust for Catholic cemetery maintenance, where it might be better protected, as he wrote, “from any legal claim and liability.” ...