Saturday, September 7, 2013

Peace Vigil In Cincinnati Ohio

Janice, Mary, Carren, Donna, Lynda

ARCWP priests, Janice Sevre-Duszynska and Donna Rougeux participated in a fast, vigil, rally and march in Cincinnati to advocate against US military intervention in Syria. Members of the Resurrection Inclusive Community in Cincinnati also participated along with folks from other communities. The event was sponsored by the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center of Cincinnati.

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Stand in Solidarity with Pope Francis' Call for Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria

Halifax, Canada: "Prayer for Peace at Cathedral and Other Surprises

On Sept.7th, two Roman Catholic Women Priests, Katy Zatsick and Bridget Mary Meehan  and our friends Mary Al Gagnon, were vacationing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Theresa MacEachern and Ann Capstick, our hosts, joined us.
We decided to celebrate liturgy with Bishop Mancini at St. Mary's Cathedral.
Don't faint, we were not on the altar with him, but with the community in the pews!
We arrived one hour before the liturgy and took photos of the beautiful stained glass windows which portrays Mary, standing in "orans" position, which reminds us that Mary, Mother of Jesus, was the first priest since she was the first to say: "this is my body, this is my blood."
We also discovered a small chapel dedicated to Mary that had two lovely stained glass windows of Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church. She is the patron of women's ordination. St. Therese prayed that she would die at 24, the age priests are ordained so that she could celebrate Mass in heaven!

Bishop Anthony Mansini gave a homily on the need for wisdom in all relationships and in world relations. He critiqued dominator structures that are the source of much global violence.
Even though the bishop did not invite Katy or me to give our reflections in a dialogue homily,
we were impressed by that his prophetic stance and the welcoming spirit of the community.

At the recessional, when we looked turned around to leave, we discovered that
a dear friend of Katy's, Julia Jabre was sitting behind us. She exclaimed after recognizing Katy and me, "what are you two doing here with five men on the altar?" We responded that since we were on vacation and in Halifax, we decided to join the universal Church in prayer for peace in Syria. Normally, we celebrate our inclusive liturgies at Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. But, we must say we were pleasantly surprised by our worship with the Catholic community at St Mary's Cathedral Basilica in Nova Scotia.
Bridget Mary Meehan,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Join Pope Francis on Sept. 7th in a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria

Let us join with Pope Francis on Sept.7th in the worldwide day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria.
..."Simon's image of wrapping ourselves in prayer is a mighty powerful one. Some have questioned the call to prayer made by Pope Francis. "It's not a concrete solution," they say. And yet the world is uniting in prayer for peace in Syria.
War, by definition, divides and forces us to choose sides. Peace is a universal hunger that transcends denominations, religions, races, nations and cultures. Giorgio Bernardelli at the Vatican Insider writes how Francis' peace vigil for Syria has "swept away historical differences between Christians and brought Muslims closer together as well."
Wartime prayers
Wartime prayers
In every language spoken
For every family scattered and broken
Together, we pray ...:

Francisan Head Calls for Prayer and Fasting for Syria for Forseeable Future

13 Peace and Justice Anti-Nuclear Activists Sentenced

Goal to Oppose Strike Against Syria Bringing Together People Who Normally Have Opposing Views

Opposition to Syria

strike brings together

liberal Democrats,

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) waited for the laughter to die down.
At a town hall meeting with tea party supporters, somebody had asked Yoho about a rumor: Was it true that he — a conservative veterinarian in his first term who loudly opposes President Obama’s agenda and any compromise with the White House — was working together with Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Congress’s leading liberal loudmouth?
The laughter stopped.
“I wish I could tell you it wasn’t true,” Yoho recounted saying. “But it is true.” He recalled hearing gasps.
Today, Yoho and Grayson are among a group of unlikely allies in Congress: liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans, united by their opposition to a military strike against Syria. The Democrats in the group have lost faith in war. The Republicans have lost faith (or never had it) in Obama.
In this case — as Obama seeks approval for a limited kind of warmaking — their doubts have aligned. The result is an ad hoc coalition of Congress’s unwilling.
This odd bipartisan bloc most recently emerged in July, in support of an amendment to rein in National Security Agency spying. They lost that vote. But this one may be different. For now, this alliance of the far left and far right seems to be stronger than the coalition that actually supports a strike against Syria. Even though — in the House at least — their opposition includes the leaders of both parties.
“What you’re hitting on is this general consensus — across the political spectrum — that we just need to mind our own business. And that’s not a liberal or conservative concept. It’s just a universal law of life,” said Grayson, who has taken it upon himself to organize the effort to reject a military strike.
“We’re gonna win,” Grayson predicted. “Pretty sure.”
Converting Congress
What’s made the Yoho-Grayson coalition so much stronger now is their ability to win converts among the normally establishment figures from each side of the aisle.
Their strength is most obvious in the House (in the Senate, supporters are opponents of a strike are roughly equal, with the majority of the Senate still undecided). In the House, 103 members are believed to be solidly against a strike on Syria. And, at last count, about 100 others seemed to be leaning toward “no.”
That’s not quite a majority — in all, it’s 12 votes short of the 217 needed to defeat the resolution authorizing strikes. At last count, 142 Representatives were still undecided.
But it’s a whole lot more than the other side has mustered.
The members in favor of a military strike include the top two Republicans — House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) — as well as the top two Democrats, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Md.). But the list is not much longer: Just 20 other members are with them, according to the Post’s unofficial tally.
So this is a remarkable moment in American politics: a demonstration that the power of parties may be ebbing after a period of strong partisan discipline. A Republican speaker and a Democratic president are now united behind a common legislative goal.

 Rev. Donna Rougeux, ARCWP Responds:
An unusual phenomenon is emerging as people who have normally opposed each other are joining together in agreement to either oppose or advocate for a military strike against Syria. This is happening in congress with the democrats and republicans and it is happening with ARCWP and the Pope. Even though Pope Francis does not support the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church, ARCWP supports Pope Francis in his statements and actions to oppose the possible military strike on Syria. 

It seems that there is momentum building around those who oppose a military strike. The majority of people are saying to our President that we do not support this military action. Adding to the power behind this momentum is the unplanned and unexpected partnerships that are forming between people who are normally in opposite camps. Could this be the Holy Spirit leading us to our full humanity of being created in the image of God? If God is Love, is God calling us to solve our conflicts in peaceful ways?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pope Francis Challenges Possible US Military Action In Syria

 Pope Francis
On Syria: Abandon
'Futile Pursuit' Of
Military Solution
In the United States, the head of the U.S. bishops' conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, wrote a letter to members VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged the Group of 20 leaders on Thursday to abandon the "futile pursuit" of a military solution in Syria as the Vatican laid out its case for a negotiated settlement that guarantees rights for all Syrians, including minority Christians.
In a letter to the G-20 host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Francis lamented that "one-sided interests" had prevailed in Syria, preventing a diplomatic end to the conflict and allowing the continued "senseless massacre" of innocents.
"To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution," Francis wrote as the G-20 meeting got under way in St. Petersburg.
Francis has ratcheted up his call for peace in Syria amid threatened U.S.-led military strikes following an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus. But he has also been careful not to lay blame on any one side, exhorting world leaders instead to focus on the plight of Syrian civilians and the need to end the violence.
Francis will host a peace vigil in St. Peter's Square on Saturday, a test of whether his immense popular appeal will translate into popular support for his peace message. It's the first time any such peace rally has been held at the Vatican, though Holy See officials have stressed it's a religious event, not a political protest.
On Thursday, the Vatican summoned ambassadors accredited to the Holy See to outline its position on Syria, with Foreign Minister Archbishop Dominique Mamberti noting that the Aug. 21 attack had generated "horror and concern" around the world.
"Confronted with similar acts one cannot remain silent, and the Holy See hopes that the competent institutions make clear what happened and that those responsible face justice," Mamberti told the 71 ambassadors gathered.
He didn't refer explicitly to the threat of military strikes to punish the Syrian regime for the attack. But he said the main priority must be to stop the violence which he said risked involving other countries and creating "unforeseeable consequences in various parts of the world."
The Vatican, he said, wants a return to dialogue and for the country to not be split up along ethnic or religious lines.
Minorities, including Christians, must have their basic rights guaranteed, including their right to profess their religion, he said. And he called for the opposition to distance itself from extremists, isolate them "and openly and clearly oppose terrorism" – a reference to the al-Qaida-affiliated rebels fighting against the government.
The Assad family's four-decade iron rule over Syria long has rested on support from the country's ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, Shiite Muslims and Kurds. As a result, the Catholic Church has toed a careful line on Syria, staying largely silent at the start of the civil war even after the regime's brutal crackdown on dissent.
As the violence raged, Pope Benedict XVI and later Francis stepped up calls for dialogue. And amid the U.S. threat of military intervention, officials in the region and at the Vatican have warned that any outside military intervention will only exacerbate tensions, with Christians in the region bearing the brunt of the fallout.
On Wednesday, the superior general of Francis' Jesuit order, the Rev. Adolfo Nicolas, told a Catholic news agency that military action by the U.S. and France would be an "abuse of power."
"I cannot understand who gave the United States or France the right to act against a country in a way that will certainly increase the suffering of the citizens of that country, who, by the way, have already suffered beyond measure," he was quoted as saying in the interview, the text of which was released by a Vatican-affiliated spokesman.
of Congress urging them not to resort to military strikes. He cited bishops in the region as warning that any outside military intervention would be counterproductive, particularly given the lack of international consensus.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Colbert Report:

"The United States has no choice but to attack Syria because Dictator Bashar al-Assad is killing his own people with chemical weapons. Before he was just killing them with bullets. But, if America cared about shooting people, we'd be invading Chicago."

"Military Action in Syria would be "Abuse of Power" says Jesuit General

 "Military action in Syria would be \'an abuse of power\', says Jesuit General".
The Jesuit General has accused the United States and France of an "abuse of power", in considering military action in Syria and says the Jesuits fully support Pope Francis' call for a day of prayer and fasting in support of peace this Saturday. While he says he would not normally comment on international or political situations, Father General Adolfo Nicolás SJ says the current circumstances mean he cannot keep silent, stating: "I cannot understand who gave the United States or France the right to act against a country in a way that will certainly increase the suffering of the citizens of that country, who, by the way, have already suffered beyond measure."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...
Interview with Father General about Syria and peace
Q. The Holy Father has gone out of the way to speak for Peace in Syria, which is now under threat of a new attack by the United States and France. What do you think in this regard?
R. It is not customary for me to make comments on situations that have to do with international or political situations. But in the present case we are dealing with a Humanitarian situation that exceeds all the limits that would ordinarily keep me silent. I have to confess that I cannot understand who gave the United States or France the right to act against a Country in a way that will certainly increase the suffering of the citizens of that country, who, by the way, have already suffered beyond measure. Violence and violent action, like what is being planned, have to always be the last resort and administered in such a way that only the guilty are affected. In the case of a Country this is evidently impossible to control and, thus, it seems to me totally unjustified. We, Jesuits, support 100% the Holy Father and wish with all our hearts that the threatened attack on Syria does not take place.
Q. But, hasn´t the world a responsibility to do something against those who abuse power against their own people, like a Government using chemical weapons in a conflict?
R. We have right here three different problems that it is important to state clearly. The first is that all abuse of power is to be condemned and rejected. And, with all respect for the people of the United States, I think that a military intervention like the one being planned is itself an abuse of power. The US has to stop acting and reacting like the big boy of the neighborhood of the world. This leads inevitably to abuse, harassment and bullying of the weaker members of the community.
The second is that if there has been use of chemical weapons we still have to probe in a way that is clear to the whole world that one party in the conflict and not the other has used them. It is not enough that some members of the punishing Government make a statement of conviction. They have to convince the world, so that the world can trust in them. This confidence does not happen today, and many have already started speculation about the ulterior motives that the USA may have in the projected intervention.
And the third, that the means considered adequate to punish the abuse do not harm the very victims of the original abuse, once it has been proved to exist. Past experience teaches us that this is practically impossible (even if we call the victims "collateral damage") and the results increase the suffering of the ordinary innocent and poor people. We all know that the great concern of the Wise Elders and Religious Founders of all traditions and cultures was "how to reduce human suffering?" It is very worrying that in the name of justice we plan an attack that will increase the suffering of the victims.
Q. Aren´t you particularly harsh on the United States?
R. I do not think so. I have no prejudice regarding this great Country and I have a few American Jesuits working with me whose opinions and services I value very highly. I have never entertained any negative feelings against the United States, a Country that I admire on many counts, including commitment, spirituality and thought. What disturbs me most now is that precisely this country I respect so much is at the point of doing such a terrible mistake. And something similar goes for France. A Country that has been a real leader in esprit, intelligence, and that has made gigantic contributions to Civility and Culture is now tempted to bring us back to barbarism, in open contradiction of what France has been a symbol of for many past generations: That two such Countries would come together for such an outrageous measure is part of the world´s anger. We are not afraid of the attack; we are afraid of the barbarism to which we are being lead..."

Seven U.S. Dioceses Filed For Bankruptcy In Aftermath of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Diocese of Gallup, N.M., poised to file for bankruptcy protection

GALLUP, N.M. When James Wall was installed by the Vatican as bishop of the diocese of Gallup in 2009, he knew there were festering issues regarding allegations of priest sex abuse, but not to the extent that has brought the sprawling Southwestern diocese to the doors of U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
At Masses throughout the diocese over the weekend, parishioners were read a letter from Wall that said in the face of insurmountable lawsuits, the diocese intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Wall set no date for the court filing in his letter. He could not be reached for comment.
Seven other U.S. dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection in the aftermath of sexual abuse lawsuits.
"While some of the claims relate to times when the diocese had some insurance, many relate to times when the diocese does not appear to have had insurance or the insurance is limited and not likely to cover the damages for which the diocese might be found liable," Wall wrote. "Given the financial circumstances of the diocese, I have come to the conclusion that the only fair, equitable and merciful way to balance these obligations is by filing a Chapter 11 reorganization."
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Merritt Selleck, a parishioner at St. John Vianney Church, told Catholic News Service he was disappointed by the announcement but said it might be the right step to take.
"I don't think the bishop had much of choice given the number of lawsuits the diocese is facing," Selleck said.
The diocese of Gallup in northwestern New Mexico is the poorest diocese in the United States, said Fr. Tim Farrell, diocesan spokesman, and includes the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and parts of the Apache Reservations.
The strategy, Wall wrote in his letter, will give the diocese the opportunity to present a reorganization plan that provides for a fair and equitable way to compensate those who were sexually abused as children by church workers and ministers as well as anyone who has not yet come forward with allegations of abuse but may do so in the future.
"I firmly believe that the process of Chapter 11 is the best and only way that will allow us to work constructively with all those who suffered from the sexual abuse," Wall said.
Wall could not be reached for comment. It has not been released as to when the filing will occur or how much in damages the diocese is facing.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mary, Mother of Jesus/A Woman for All Ages

Praying and Fasting For Peace In Syria

Francis calls for

prayer and fasting

for peace in Syria

Thomas C. Fox  |  Sep. 1, 2013

Imploring peace in Syria, Pope Francis Sunday called upon peace makers around the world to fast and gather for prayer next Saturday, Sept. 7th.
He said prayer services will be conducted in St. Peter’s Square beginning at 7 PM and lasting to midnight.
“I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church Sept. 7th, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.”
“We will gather together in prayer, in a spirit of penitence, to ask from God this great gift [of peace] for the beloved Syrian nation and for all the situations of conflict and violence in the world, ” he said.
“Never again war!” said Francis. “We want a peaceful world.  We want to be men and women of peace.”
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Francis also issued a forceful condemnation of the use of chemical weapons. “There is the judgment of God, and also the judgment of history, upon our actions,” he said, “ [judgments] from which there is no escaping.” He called on all parties to conflicts to pursue negotiations, and urged the international community to take concrete steps to end conflicts, especially the war in Syria.
“Humanity needs to see gestures of peace,” said Pope Francis, “and to hear words of hope and of peace.”

Rand Paul Advocates That The House Will Vote Down Syria Authorization

Paul: '50/50'
chance that
House will vote
down Syria
A leading skeptic of U.S. intervention in conflicts abroad said Sunday that he believes there is only a "50/50" chance that the GOP-controlled House will vote to authorize the use of U.S military force in the Syria. 
"I think it's at least 50/50 whether the House will vote down involvement in the Syrian war," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said on NBC's Meet the Press. 
"I think the Senate will rubber stamp what [Obama] wants but I think the House will be a much closer vote," he added. "And there are a lot of questions we have to ask." 
Paul, a staunch defender of civil liberties who has battled against members of his own party over the government's use of drones and NSA data collection programs, said he believes it's a "mistake" to get involved in a civil war in Syria that could escalate "out of control." 
But he praised President Barack Obama's announcement Saturday that he will seek congressional authority for military intervention in the civil war-torn country. 
Other influential GOP leaders also indicated Sunday that Obama may lose the vote. 
"“I think it is going to be difficult to get the vote through in Congress, especially when there's going to be time over the next nine days for opposition to build up to it,” said New York Rep. Peter King on Fox News Sunday. King, who sharply criticized Obama on Friday for "abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief" for seeking congressional authorization, said Congress would "probably" reject authorization if the vote was held today.
Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also said he does not believe Congress will authorize the strike.  
But the Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee said he believes the authorization will ultimately pass. 
"I think at the end of the day, Congress will rise to the occasion,”  Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan said on CNN. “This is a national security issue. This isn’t about Barack Obama versus the Congress. This isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC's Meet the Press that he believes Congress will vote to authorize military action, but he would not say if the president will act regardless of the outcome of the debate on Capitol HIll.
"I said that the president has the authority to act, but the Congress is going to do what's right here," he said. 
Shortly after Kerry's appearance on the program, Paul shot back at Kerry, a decorated war veteran who became an outspoken critic of Vietnam War after serving in that conflict. 
"I see a young John Kerry who went to war, and I wish he remembered more of how awful war is and that it shouldn't be a desired outcome," Paul said.