Friday, August 16, 2013

Vatican Overseer Preaches to LCWR/Mary's Submission to God/ Joshua J. McElwee/NCR Today/ Ball is in Nuns' Court Now

"As U.S. Catholic sisters are meeting to discern their relationship with the church’s bishops, the archbishop given expansive oversight of them by the Vatican told their annual assembly Thursday the Virgin Mary teaches the faithful to hand themselves over “completely to the will of God.”
Mary teaches that it’s only in “submitting ourselves over to the one who made us … that we find fulfillment,” Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain told some 825 sisters during a homily Thursday morning, which was the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation for Catholics.
“She shows to us … what God himself desires to do in us all and through the church when we let the grace of God overtake us without placing an obstacle between ourself and that grace,” he continued.
Sartain’s homily came on the third day of the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which is meeting here through Friday.
LCWR, which represents about 80 percent of the some 57,000 U.S. sisters, is meeting 18 months after the Vatican issued a sharp critique of the group and ordered Sartain to exercise control over its statutes and programs.
Thursday’s Mass was a special occasion for Catholics, who are celebrating the solemnity of the feast of the Assumption, when it is taught that the Virgin Mary was assumed into Heaven.
Concelebrating at the sisters’ assembly with Sartain was Archbishop Carlo ViganĂ², the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the U.S. The two also celebrated Mass for the sisters together on Wednesday.
The archbishops celebrated Thursday without the aid of altar servers, wearing white vestments and small white mitres. Sisters led the singing and distributed communion.
Beginning his homily by mentioning how young children are “effortlessly” open to the world around them, Sartain said Mary “did not place any obstacles between herself and the grace of God” but “breathed in [the] gift of God’s loving care.”
“And, breathing it in, letting it overtake it completely, she placed herself without any hindrance at all into the hands of God,” Sartain told the sisters..."


The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) has elected Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, as the ELCA's first female Presiding Bishop.

..."At a news conference, Bishop Eaton elaborated on the need to recognize and heal divisions. Lutheran theology is filled with paradox, she said, so that it would be a truly Lutheran witness for people to agree to disagree after "maybe being a little bit molded by an unfortunately very fractious and divided civil discourse."
Asked about nascent discussions with new denominations that broke with the ELCA after 2009, she said it would take work on both sides "to come to a place where we can have an open and civil dialogue."
"The manner in which those denominations were formed has been extremely painful to our church. It will not be something that will be quickly forgotten," she said. "But we are supposed to love our enemies ... and since these are actually our brothers and sisters -- and families might be tougher than enemies -- we will do what we can through God's grace because that is the only way that is going to happen."
The Episcopal Church also has a female presiding bishop -- Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, elected in 2006 -- but that denomination is half the size of the ELCA. The second-largest Lutheran body in the United States, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, doesn't ordain women. The first female bishop in the ELCA -- and the second in the world -- was Bishop April Larson, elected in 1992.
Bishop Eaton thanked Bishop Larson for blazing the trail. When she was ordained in 1981, she said, she was usually the only woman at clergy gatherings where someone would say she wasn't "strident like other women."
Her reply was, "I don't have to be because they were the pioneers who made it possible for me."

Read more:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roy Bourgeois: "Vatican Expelled Me for a Grave Scandal -Endorsing Female Priests"/Salon

Fr. Roy with Women Priests, right to left, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, whose ordination Roy attended, Ree Hudson, Deacon Donna Rougeux, Erin Hanna, Coordinator of Women's Ordination Conference, Vatican in background
"On the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and said no. Pope John Paul II, in a definitive formulation, said that door is closed. –Pope Francis I, July 29, 2013
Boom. This is the same old same old theology—the Virgin Mary is more important than anyone else in the story, but living women cannot make ecclesial decisions, exercise sacramental ministry, or make ethical choices. Apparently, the question of women’s ordination is so yesterday in the Vatican Francis doesn’t think it needs to be revisited. –Mary Hunt, RD."

..."In 2000, I was invited to speak at a large religious conference in Rome about the SOA and U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. Hundreds of priests and nuns attended and were supportive of our efforts to close the SOA. The day before returning to the United States, I was invited by Vatican Radio to do a 15-minute live interview about the SOA and U.S. foreign policy.
With two minutes left and moved by the spirit, I recognized an opportunity to express my solidarity with women in the Church, so I said, “We have been discussing the injustice of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. As a Catholic priest, I want to say that there will never be justice in our Church until women can be ordained.”
I had about another minute remaining and wanted to say a little more about women priests, but the manager of Vatican Radio angrily came in, cut me off the air, and started playing church music. The interview was over—but I slept very well that night knowing I hadn’t let a sacred moment pass by in silence....
In asking these questions I saw clearly that our Church’s teaching that excludes women from ordination is rooted in sexism. Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard we may try to justify discrimination against others, in the end, it is never the way of our all-loving God who created us all equal.
It was after participating in the ordination of a woman in 2008 that I received a letter from the Vatican stating that I must recant my support for the ordination of women or I would be excommunicated, and that the ordination of women was a “grave scandal” in the Catholic Church. When most Catholics hear the word “scandal,” they think about the thousands of priests who sexually abused children and the many bishops who covered up their horrific crimes—not the ordination of women.
I wrote the Vatican saying that my conscience would not allow me to recant. I stated that our conscience is sacred because it always urges us to do what is right, what is just. In essence, I said, you are telling me to lie and tell you that I do not believe that God created men and women of equal worth and dignity and calls both to be priests. This I cannot do; therefore I will not recant.
I continued to follow my conscience and went about my ministry calling for the closing of the SOA and for the ordination of women. In October of 2011, I joined an international delegation of women’s ordination leaders going to the Vatican. We met with Church leaders, delivering a petition signed by 15,000 supporters of women’s ordination. We showed the documentary film Pink Smoke Over the Vatican at a nearby theater, and we maintained a vigil in St. Peter’s Square, holding banners that said: “ORDAIN CATHOLIC WOMEN” and “GOD IS CALLING WOMEN TO BE PRIESTS.” Three from our delegation were removed from St. Peter’s Square by Rome police; we were detained for three hours and our banners were confiscated. Once again, it was all about solidarity.
It was only when I began expressing my solidarity with women in the Church, that I recognized how deeply sexism and power permeate the priesthood. Somehow we have lost our way, forgotten the teachings of Jesus, and evolved into a very powerful and privileged clerical culture. It saddens me that so many of my fellow priests see women as a threat to their power. As men, we claim that we, and we alone, can interpret the Holy Scriptures and know the will of God. We profess that men and women are created in the image and likeness of God, but as men we have created God in our own image. And this God is very small, very male, and sees women as the lesser of men.
On November 19, 2012, I was notified by Maryknoll that the Vatican had expelled me from my Maryknoll community of 46 years and the priesthood. This is very difficult and painful. I’m aware, however, that the rejection I feel is but a glimpse and a fraction of the rejection women have experienced in the Catholic Church for centuries.
I notified the Vatican and the leaders of Maryknoll that they can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church. The demand for gender equality is rooted in God, justice, and dignity, and it will not go away.
As a Catholic priest for 40 years, my only regret is that it took me so long to confront the issue of male power and domination in our Church."

"The Moral Imperative of Activism" by Ray McGovern

"LCWR Keynote: Sisters Must Evolve Consider Universe Story" by Joshua J. McElwee/National Catholic Reporter

"The keynote address by Delio, who holds doctorates in pharmacology and theology and is known for her work on environmental issues, was titled: “Religious Life on the Edge of the Universe.”
Speaking in two sessions for more than a combined 2.5 hours -- and taking questions for another hour -- Delio first focused on the continuing human understanding of the history and function of the 13.8 billion-year-old universe before asking how the historical and mystical persons of Jesus Christ fit into those understandings.
“A dynamic universe provokes the idea and the understanding of a dynamic God,” Delio, the director of Catholic studies at Georgetown University, said. “This is not a stay-at-home God.”
“This is a God who is deeply immersed in a love affair with the beloved, the creation which flows out of his divine heart,” she continued. To say that God is love, she said is “to mean that God is eternally and dynamically in love.”
Drawing from her description of an evolutionary universe, Delio said there were four lessons she wanted to highlight for the sisters:
  • The universe is unfinished: “God is not finished creating … and therefore life is not behind us, it is ahead of us.”
  • Death is integral to life: “We are trying to hold on and grip and the tighter we grip the more we snuff out any life that’s there.”
  • People are not fixed essences but “dynamic becomings:” “What we become will depend on our participation.”
  • Live in an “open system:” “A closed system will wear down and wear out.”
Peppering her talk with references to theologians and scientists, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Galileo and Newton to Aquinas and Fr. Raimon Panikkar, Delio also told the sisters to consider Jesus as a “whole-maker” -- someone who “brings together what is fragmented and divided.”
“For too long we have had a sense of Catholic as sameness,” Delio said. “In the person of Jesus of Nazareth there is a new spirit -- a spirit of gathering. Jesus is constantly going out and gathering in.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Beautiful Wedding/Rev. Judy Beaumont, Roman Catholic Woman Priest Officiant

The view was breathtaking as Amanda and Andy exchanged their vows to love and cherish one another forever on a hilltop in the beautiful wine country of Virginia in the late afternoon of August eleventh 2013. The bluegreen mountains in the background framed the scene as many shades of green punctuated by the bright yellows and oranges of huge butterflies and the bride’s lovely shimmering dress with beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers on either side of the couple, formed the altar where they were wed. The butterflies ,a symbol of new and beautiful life, were all around. One elegant rust and orange butterfly settled on the bride’s side as she, aware only of her handsome groom, said her vows. His eyes intently rested on her. One had a glimpse of that first Garden where life and love were ignited.
Rev. Judith Beaumont began the ceremony in an unusual way, asking the families and friends gathered there to state their intentions with an “I do” to vows of supporting the couple in the ups and downs of married life. The large group gathered were joyful as they pledged their support and love. They were also asked to raise their hands in blessing the couple along with the priest.

The Gospel reading was from John 15:9-12 (Verse 12) ” And this is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you”. In the brief Homily Rev. Beaumont located the love of Andy and Amanda and their families and friends in the heart of God’s love for them as expressed in the life and example of Christ. The couple also chose Adam Sandler’s song about growing old together and Apache (Native American) and Jewish Wedding blessings as readings.
Their vows were moving and loving,truly sacramental. Toward the end of the ceremony Rev.Beaumont wrapped their joined hands in her wedding stole and united them with a blessing including God in their marriage and naming the many ways their hands would comfort and enable them to serve one another and God’s people as they have already been doing in their service to others.
After the ceremony many attending thanked Rev. Beaumont and remarked at the deep and sacramental meaning of the holy, beautiful, simple and inclusive ceremony. Those gathered were a very diverse group of all ages, races and religions, but most were Roman Catholic by birth. Some were practicing Catholics and some “fallen away” but all welcomed Rev. Beaumont warmly. Many who never even heard about the existence of women priests said that they were so pleased to experience the difference a woman priest can make and to know that church renewal has begun.


Reported by Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, ARCWP 8/13/13

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Church of Francis- 'Going back to the roots and walking slowly at the pace of the people' : An Interview with Paulo Suess

"Mission, participation, proximity to the poor, dialogue, structures at the service of the people of God -- these are the pastoral concepts being launched again by Pope Francis," the theologian states.

"Pope Francis' theology is missionary, pastoral and spiritual, guided by proximity to the poor at the various peripheries of the world -- geographical, social, cultural and existential peripheries," states Paulo Suess in an interview granted to IHU On-Line via e-mail. For him, Francis' most important speeches "are his gestures", so that "his trip to Lampedusa was more important than his encyclical Lumen Fidei...His methodology of seeing and discerning reality before making speeches and acting, could now be taken up again by the bishops' conferences all over the continent."

In the following interview, Suess assesses the speeches given by the Pope during his visit to Brazil and emphasizes that the message to the Brazilian bishops is "a retelling of the Aparecida document...Beginning with the story of the two disciples of Emmaus who are fleeing Jerusalem and the 'bareness' of God, Francis makes an interpretation of the Exodus from the Church, examines the reasons for it, to then give the message to the shepherds. 'Are we a Church that's capable of bringing the people who are fleeing back to Jerusalem, where are our roots are? Are we still able to speak of these roots in a way that will revive a sense of wonder at their beauty? What is more lofty than the love revealed in Jerusalem? Nothing is more lofty than the abasement of the Cross, since there we truly approach the height of love!'"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Organized Crime Implemented Globally by the Vatican/ Mind-blowing data


Deuteronomy meets Deadmau5 as church DJs seek exaltation/ Michelle Boorstein/Washington Post

By ,
"When you’re DJing a Baptist church service, is it more appropriate to mix electronic music by Daft Punk and Fatboy Slim as congregants are being ushered in or as they exit?
Such were the choreographic and theological questions at play Sunday at the 104-year-old high-steepled Church at Clarendon, which for the day replaced its usual eight-piece band and singers on the pulpit with an Atlanta wedding DJ who has hipster glasses, a table of music-mixing technology and a tendency to fist-pump while playing."
What do you think?

Vatican Religious Life Prelate Recognizes Gender Inequality Exists in Church
While I find it refreshing that  Cardinal Braz de Aviz's  admits that gender inequality exists in the church, I don't agree with his analysis that woman needs man to be complete or vice-versa.
It has been rare for any Vatican official to "own" the sexism that lies at the heart of  our institutional church which denies women the opportunity to serve as equal and mutual partners in all ministries of the church.
Women and men are each created in God's image and are spiritual equals. We do not "need" each other to be complete, rather we live in relationship to and work together as mutual partners with all created beings in the cosmic dance of creation, fully human, fully alive, and fully in love with all God's creation. Roman Catholic Women Priests are charting a new path toward justice and equality for women in the church. Bridget Mary Meehan,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Prayer Service for Leadershp Conference of Women Religious/ Walking in the Light of Christ/ Feast of St. Clare/Service from Future Church/CTA

Welcome by the Leader: As LCWR prepares to gather for their annual meeting, we also gather on this Feast of St. Clare in heartfelt support of so many vowed religious who have faithfully followed God’s call on their lives.  They and Clare serve as models of radical discipleship of Jesus, the Christ, the Light of our World.  While we may differ in the unique summons placed within each of us, we share a common Baptismal call to keep the Light of Christ burning in our world.

Background:   Born into a noble family in Assisi on July 16, 1194, Chiara (Clare) Offreduccio di Favarone made a leap of faith that broke new ground for women of all time.  Clare was named Chiara- meaning Light- And she would come to shed her light over the entire church.   Profoundly inspired by Francis, who became her mentor and spiritual partner, she abruptly left home at age 18 to follow his path of “holy poverty.”  It was Francis who led her into her first vows and urged her to become abbess of the cloistered monastery at the Church of San Damiano, the church he had rebuilt.   So it was that for 40 years she would lead the women who gathered around her- the Order of Poor Ladies - into radical Franciscan vows of poverty, obedience, and simplicity of life, always rooted in compassion.  She was the first woman to write the rules for her order, relying completely on donations for the sustenance of her sisters. For forty years she resisted attempts by the Vatican to impose a more traditional Benedictine rule that relied on dowries and benefices.  The traditional rule would automatically create a class system of “choir sisters” (those who could afford a dowry) and “lay sisters” (those who could not). Clare wanted all of her sisters to rely completely on the providence of God in mutual love and service to one another and to the Church.  Two days before her death, Pope Innocent IV finally granted Clare’s wish and her rule was accepted.  Canonization followed two years later.  Clare’s profound commitment to the poor, crucified Jesus, and the healing power of her prayer quickly became legendary.  (Future Church)

Ritual of Commitment

Presider: It was most likely our parents who first received the Light of Christ for us. They promised for us to keep that Light shining in our world.  Now it is our turn to respond to our baptismal summons.  God works uniquely in each of us.  Clare was summoned to a life of “holy poverty” within a vowed community.  We may not share this call; but we do share a summons to radical discipleship in Christ.  St. Clare now challenges us to listen deeply for Christ’s claim on our hearts and to respond from the depths of our very being, as she did.  Please take a moment to form your response and your commitment to Christ’s baptismal summons.  Then after we share the baptismal light I will invite everyone to follow my lead in naming that committed response, to the best of our understanding at this time. 


Sharing of the light: The greeters light their candles from the large candle and begin passing the light.  During this time, the assembly sings “Christ, Be Our Light,” verse 5 & refrain.

Naming our commitment:   As each person names their baptismal commitment the assembly responds with arms outstretched in blessing:    May Christ, Our Light, bless you.

Prayers of the Faithful 

Group 1:         Clare’s love for Christ impelled her to follow His footsteps boldly and to create a new religious life style for women.

Group 2:         Spirit of God, help us to trust our experience of You and bring this light into all corners of our Church and world.

Group 1:         Clare ran from home and security to live in Gospel freedom and radical trust.

Group 2:         Provident God, protect and guide those who flee situations which are a danger to body and spirit.
Group 1:         Clare was inspired and empowered by Francis to live the Gospel and became a creative co-worker, prophetic leader and spiritual friend interdependently with him.

Group 2:         Beloved God, inspire Pope Francis to inaugurate a newly collaborative, respectful relationship with women religious in the Church, just as St. Francis did with St. Clare.

Group 1:         Clare lived in a society shaped by violence, domination, and exclusion. In the compassionate Christ she found that we are all God’s beloved children.

Group 2:         Compassionate God, we are all precious in your sight.  Disarm hearts barricaded by bigotry and fear of those who are different.                                  

Group 1:         Having learned all things at the feet of the poor and humble Christ, Clare wrote letters of profound spiritual guidance to Agnes of Prague and other women founders.

Group 2:         In thanksgiving for many wise spiritual companions among women religious, we pray, O God, that you will continue to pour out on your Church the gifts of faith-sharing, spiritual companionship, inspired preaching and sound teaching.  Further, we pray that you will inspire Church leaders to extend preaching to gifted women, so that all may hear the Good News through the lens of female experience.

Group 1:         For forty-two years Clare resisted attempts by over solicitous Church leaders to dissuade her and “the Poor Ladies” from following Christ in “the privilege of living without privilege”.

Group 2:         Loving God, we entrust to Your compassion those whose service of the Gospel has resulted in disapproval by Church authorities.  Enlighten the hearts and minds of all concerned for the greater good of Your People.