Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy led by Married Priest Couple Carol Ann and Lee Breyer, co-presiding

"Romero" Movie
Today Mary Mother of  Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota Florida celebrated a beautiful liturgy with a dialogue homily led by married priest couple, Carol Ann and Lee Breyer and afterwards, we viewed "Romero", the powerful movie about Archbishop Romero, the prophetic bishop who stood in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, and named economic injustice  as the issue that caused the violence and oppression in his native country, El Salvador. Many people are hoping that he will be declared as a saint officially by the church because he is already a "saint of the poor" in Latin America.  Perhaps, Pope Francis will do this soon. Bridget Mary Meehan,

Women Priests Bingle and Lee Dialogue on Christ the King-- Homilies
..."Rev. Bingle and I agree that Jesus is not a king of domination but a king of serving one another.  In the women priest movement we rarely use the word “Lord” because of the connotation of “lording it over” that goes with it and Jesus was never one to “lord it over” anyone, as. Rev. Bingle says he became upset with his disciples when they wanted power for him and for themselves.  He was not about power but he was about transformation of people and nations. That took a whole different kind of power. The power of radical love..."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Perfect Holiday Gift- Award-Winning Documentary: "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican"

Pink Smoke Over The Vatican,
The inspirational film that gives voice to a movement,
is now available with 5 subtitled languages:
German, French, Danish, Spanish and Italian!

Our Holiday Special includes free shipping to the U.S.

and Canada, and a free "The Women Are Coming"
Bumper Sticker with the purchase of a Pink Smoke DVD.

BUY the DVD NOW at  

Discounts offered for orders of 5 or more. Please contact 
me directly at

 Thanks for your support. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your
Pink Smoke family!

Jules Hart 
Pink Smoke Over The Vatican  

Filmmaker Jules Hart, Roy Bourgeois, and women priests Mary Collingwood and Rosemarie Smead  at the Nov. 2013 Call To Action Conference in Milwaukee, WI

 Also available at

Roman Catholic Women Priests Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell Lead Worship At Castle Ottis of Vilano Beach, Florida

"Castle Otttis of Vilano Beach will be hosting an interfaith worship service with open communion at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Presiding will be the Rev. Miriam Picconi and the Rev. Wanda Russell, from the Inclusive Catholic Ministries, Palm Coast.
The Inclusive Catholic Ministry “invites everyone to participate in God’s love” and strives to “offer what the people of God want and need.”
Picconi and Russell were ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a Spirit-led movement for Gospel equality, non-violence, justice and a people-empowered church."For information, contact Picconi at 502-320-6817 or via email

Women Priests 'Delighted' by Google,Vatican Catacombs Tour by Megan Fincher National Catholic Reporter/Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, Responds

"Thanks to collaboration between Google Street View and the Vatican, Rome's catacombs are now accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. However, the move has created controversy for what some say the catacombs hold.

..."A group of Catholics say people will certainly know more after taking the Google catacomb tour: They say the catacombs hold evidence of ancient women priests.
CNS/Max Rossi

"We are delighted that the Vatican has restored these frescoes of women priests celebrating Eucharist in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla's in Rome," Bridget Mary Meehan, a bishop ordained through the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

..."Now that anyone can tour the catacombs and see these frescoes via Google, members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests say they have let the media know they have written about and believe that two frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla provide evidence of an ancient tradition of women deacons, priests and even bishops.
Meehan wrote an article in 2008, "There Have Always Been Women Priests," for the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. In the article, Meehan describes ancient frescoes, including two in the Catacombs of Priscilla, portraying what she says are women in liturgical roles and vestments. 
The first Catacombs of Priscilla fresco Meehan mentions "depicts a woman deacon in the center vested in a dalmatic, her arms raised in the orans position for public worship."

In the same painting, Meehan says there is also "a woman being ordained a priest by a bishop seated in a chair. She is vested in an alb, chasuble, and amice, and holding a gospel scroll."
The third woman in the painting "is wearing the same robe as the bishop on the left and is sitting in the same type of chair," Meehan wrote.
In her article, Meehan also quotes archeologist and theologian Dorothy Irvin, who said she found another fresco in the Catacombs of Priscilla of women "conducting a Eucharistic banquet."
"This is a fairy tale, a legend," Fabrizio Bisconti, superintendent of religious heritage archeological sites owned by the Vatican, told Reuters. He said any talk of women in liturgical roles was "sensationalist and absolutely not reliable."
The Associated Press, however, wrote Tuesday that one of the Priscilla frescoes "features a group of women celebrating a banquet, said to be the banquet of the Eucharist," and the other "features a woman, dressed in a dalmatic -- a cassock-like robe -- with her hands up in the position used by priests for public worship..."
[Megan Fincher is a Bertelsen NCR intern. Her email address is]
Bridget Mary's Response;
I agree that the priesthood in the second century was not the same as the priesthood today. In Romans 16, St. Paul praises Deacon Phoebe and other women leaders of house churches.
Paul used "diakonos", deacon to describe Phoebe and Timothy. He also commended Phoebe as a overseer of the church and benefactor who had aided Paul.  In other words, Paul commended Phoebe as a major leader of a community equal to and independent of Paul. 

Scholars believe that  women leaders presided at the Eucharist in these communities and played a prominent role in the life and growth of the community. 
So, I would argue that the bishop in this frescoe is bestowing Orders and/or consecrating this woman for leadership in the church.  He is laying hands on her and she is dressed in liturgical attire. 
We know that the earliest understanding of ordination was a function in service of the community, and different groups like widows and later abbesses received Holy Orders. For the first twelve hundred years, there is no doubt, as historian Gary Macy, concludes that women were ordained to serve their local communities. Simply put, Holy Orders as we know it today developed over time.

 Thus, in the early Christianity there is no doubt that women were ordained, but that ordination had a different meaning than modern day Catholicism.  
There is no evidence that an ordained priest was required to preside at these early church Eucharistic liturgies. Scholars like Gary Wills in Why Priesthood, A Failed Tradition reminds us that there is no evidence that the apostles were ordained or that they ordained priests or bishops.  

 The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests are following the example of Jesus who called both women and men as disciples and treated them as equals. We are  faithfully reclaiming the early tradition of women and men celebrating Eucharist as they did in the house churches praised by St. Paul in Romans 16.  Ordination today is a justice issue for women in the Roman Catholic Church. We are ordaining women in the same way as men so that justice and equality will become a reality in our church today. Our vision is to promote justice for all, justice for the poor and marginalized, justice for women, and justice for women in an inclusive, egalitarian church rooted in Jesus's vision and the early church's example--- where everybody is welcome at the Eucaristic Banquet. 
Yes, we are delighted that the Vatican has made the connection of women's sacramental ministries in the early church. Women priests honor the holy women depicted in the catacombs as role models, foremothers in the faith.  As an international movement we are working to renew the church we love into a more open, inclusive, community where all are welcome to receive sacraments, not only those who obey the rules. The full equalityof women in the voice of God in our time, and it is now a reality!  Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Church of England synod vote 'paves way' for Female Bishops"/Another Step Forward for Justice for Women in the Church

"The Church of England's ruling body has voted in favour of proposals which could allow the ordination of women bishops next year.
Members of the general synod passed a motion with a majority of 378 to eight, with 25 abstentions.
It paves the way for endorsement of women bishops alongside a "declaration" by bishops setting out guidance for parishes which reject female ministry.
The package also includes the creation of an ombudsman to rule on disputes.

Start Quote

We need to agree to work together until the end”
Dr John SentamuArchbishop of York
It could see traditionalist clergy who oppose women bishops and refuse to co-operate with the ombudsman's inquiries facing disciplinary proceedings.
The vote comes after the synod failed to agree on the legislation by just six votes almost exactly a year ago.
At the time, the synod's general secretary William Fittall described the collapse of the legislation as a "train crash" and Prime Minister David Cameron said that the church "needed to get on with it".
But the new package received widespread support on Wednesday and could see a final approval of women bishops in July next year.
'Work together'
In response to news of the vote, the prime minister suggested that women bishops could be fast-tracked into the House of Lords, where senior bishops traditionally sit.
Mr Cameron said he would work with the church to see women bishops in Parliament "as soon as possible".
Theologian Vicky Beeching said the vote was ''really encouraging'' for supporters of women bishops
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions he said: "I strongly support women bishops and I hope the Church of England takes this key step to ensure its place as a modern church, in touch with our society."
Following the vote, the Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, described the passing of the motion as "nothing short of miraculous".
But the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Dr John Sentamu, urged caution against premature celebration, warning: "We should not open the champagne bottles or whatever drink we regard as celebratory because we need to agree to work together until the end."
'Not over'
Susie Leafe, a member of the steering committee whose members voted to abstain and the director of Reform, a conservative evangelical group, said she could not vote in favour of the motion.
"We claim that this package is designed to enable all to flourish, yet I and my church can only flourish when we deny our theological convictions and accept a woman as our chief pastor," she said.
Fellow committee member the Rev Rod Thomas - chairman of Reform and a prominent opponent of women bishops - voted in favour of the revised proposals, but warned he "could not say" he would vote for final approval of the package "if major concerns remain".
The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, warned against "complacency" and said there was "a lot of work still to be done".
"People will have voted in favour of this to continue the process who may or may not vote in favour of the package at the end of the day. So it is not over and that is a reality," he said.
Further votes on approval for the draft legislation are due to take place in the general synod on Wednesday afternoon."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vatican Unveils Frescoes of Women Priests in St. Priscilla's Catacomb in Rome/A Gift to the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement

We are delighted that the Vatican has restored these frescoes of women priests celebrating Eucharist in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla's in Rome. Who says that the Spirit is not working in our church to promote justice rising up for women in the Catholic Church. Wonders will never cease- once in awhile, the Vatican blows you away with a brilliant surprise and a gift to the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement!
Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests,
A fresco adorns the Catacombs of Priscilla, a labyrinthine cemetery... ((AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia))

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Vatican Unveils New Frescoes in Top Catacomb" Stunning Frescoes of Women Priests

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

A fresco adorns the Catacombs of Priscilla, a labyrinthine cemetery... ((AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia))

ROME—"The Vatican on Tuesday unveiled newly restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla, known for housing the earliest known image of the Madonna with Child—and frescoes said by some to show women priests in the early Christian church.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, presided over the opening of the "Cubicle of Lazzaro," a tiny burial chamber featuring 4th century images of biblical scenes, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and one of the early Romans buried there in bunk-bed-like stacks as was common in antiquity.
The labyrinthine cemetery complex stretching for kilometers (miles) underneath northern Rome is known as the "Queen of the catacombs" because it features burial chambers of popes and a tiny, delicate fresco of the Madonna nursing Jesus dating from around 230-240 A.D., the earliest known image of the Madonna and Child.
More controversially, the catacomb tour features two scenes said by proponents of the women's ordination movement to show women priests: One in the ochre-hued Greek Chapel features a group of women celebrating a banquet, said to be the banquet of the Eucharist. Another fresco in a richly decorated burial chamber features a woman, dressed in a dalmatic—a cassock-like robe—with her hands up in the position used by priests for public worship.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, which includes women who have been excommunicated by the Vatican for participating in purported ordination ceremonies, holds the images up as evidence that there were women priests in the early Christian church—and that therefore there should be women priests today.
But Fabrizio Bisconti, the superintendent of the Vatican's sacred archaeology commission, said such a reading of the frescoes was pure "fable, a legend." Even though the catacombs' official guide says there is "a clear reference to the banquet of the Holy Eucharist" in the fresco, Bisconti said the scene of the banquet wasn't a Eucharistic banquet but a funeral banquet. He said that even though women were present they weren't celebrating Mass.
Bisconti said the other fresco of the woman with her hands up in prayer was just that—a woman praying.
"These are readings of the past that are a bit sensationalistic but aren't trustworthy," he said.
Asked about the scenes, Ravasi professed ignorance and referred comment to Bisconti.
The Vatican has restricted the priesthood for men, arguing that Jesus chose only men as his apostles.
The Priscilla catacombs are being featured in a novel blending of antiquity and modern-technology: For the first time, Google Maps has gone into the Roman catacombs, providing a virtual tour of the Priscilla complex available to anyone who can't visit the real thing."
Follow Nicole Winfield at

Wow! Kudos to the the Vatican for Restoring the frescoes of women priests! 

Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

"Torn Bread" Receiving Communion from a Woman's Hands

Podcast Interview with Debra Meyers, First Female Catholic Priest in Cincinnati

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scottish Congregation Unite in Protest at Suspension of Parish Priest Monday 18 November 2013 The furious congregation of a church has walked out in protest after the suspension of their parish priest.

Why Bishops Religious Arguments Enda Fail

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sarasota, Fl. Celebrates Eucharist, Reclaims Early Church EgalitarianTradition

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Eucharist at St. Andrew UCC Church in Sarasota, Florida
Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Community is a Christ-centered community of equals. Our liturgy reflects an adaptation  of earliest Christianity where the community gathered to celebrate the liturgy in the homes.  Scholars , like Gary Wills, report that there is no evidence in the New Testament that the official presiders at these sacred meals were ordained.  In our community, we have presiders and co-presiders, ordained and non-ordained in liturgical leadership.  Thus, we are reclaiming the earliest tradition of our church. 

Prominent theologian Edward Schillebeeckx said that in the early church the emphasis was on Christ's presence in the community, not in the consecrated bread and wine. In the Middle Ages, the emphasis shifted to the "consecrated elements." 

St. Augustine taught that the community was transformed into Christ in the agape meal.  "When you say "Amen" to what you are, your saying it affirms it. You hear the "Body of Christ" and you answer "Amen" and you must be the Body of Christ to make the "Amen" take effect." ( Sermon 272 cited in Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant, p. 134.) 

In his article in CORPUS Reports "Discussion in the New Cosmology" Richard Scainte notes that Schillebeecks "points out that the Church has disconnected the right to celebrate the  Eucharist from the community of Christians by connecting it to a magical power of a Bishop to ordain" (Schillebeecks, 1981). Schillebeecks reminded us in his writings that the Council of Chalcedon taught that a candidate for ordination should be chosen by the local community. Hence, one could conclude that inclusive Catholic communities, like Mary Mother of Jesus Community, are reclaiming the earliest model of Eucharistic celebrations as "agape meals " that Paul describes in Romans 16 when he praised the women leaders of the house churches where the community gathered for worship and mutual support. 

Scainte concludes "Instead of a patriarchal God "up there" who intevenes when called upon, our creative Evolutionary Spirit influences every occasion of our experience by the lure toward new co-creative possibilities. It is the work of the Spirit co-creating with the gathered community... If participants want to understand the Eucharist as sacrament, they should understand themselves first as the Body of Christ. " (Fox, 2002, Rank, 1975, Winter, 2009)
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community prays Eucharistic prayer around the altar at St. Andrew UCC Church in Sarasota, Florida.
So our inclusive, egalitarian Catholic communities have come full circle, returning to early Christianity's emphasis on the Spirit moving in the gathered assembly, the Body of Christ celebrating the memory and teachings of Jesus at the sacred meal.  (CORPUS REPORTS, pp. 16-17)
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Liturgies on Sat. 4:00 PM at St. Andrew UCC, Sarasota, Florida

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Life In Between No More and Not Yet" by Richard S. Vosko
..."However, there are other facets of life that we can control somewhat. If it seems almost impossible for us to stop wars, poverty and the purposeful abuse of humans, what can we do? Act with kindness toward others. Greet strangers stranded in the cold. Volunteer with institutions and organizations to serve people in need. Do not put off saying, “I love you.”
There are at least two ways to interpret this gospel. A traditional way is to say life as we know it must end before eternal life can begin. Jesus used the Temple as an example of how earthly things do not last forever. That great architectural symbol of religion and power was destroyed. Jesus said he would rise up again as a new temple. Our life in Christ is that hallowed place. We are temples of a holy spirit.
Another way to understand eternal life is to act as if we are already participating in it. In this sense we do not imagine the end of time as a catastrophic event but an ever evolving transformation of life. That is why we Christians are hopeful. And, with all people who act with faith and charity, we work hard to bring about some happiness in this life for ourselves and others. This task may take some time to achieve. In fact, it may take “forever!”
Our eucharistic liturgy is a foretaste of eternal happiness. Here in this place we imagine and celebrate life that is more just, where all people, created in the likeness of God, are treated as such. If we allow it to do so, this liturgy will have an effect on the way we think and behave in our lives.
So, these readings today are not so much about the end of time as much as they are about what we are doing while we wait. They are calling us to live in a Christian way — humbly, simply, peacefully."