Friday, December 6, 2013

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Will Ordain Five Women in Louisville, Kentucky on Dec 8, 2013/Vatican Unveils Restored Frescoes of Women Priests in St. Priscilla's Catacomb Link

Five Roman Catholic Women to Be Ordained in Louisville, Kentucky on Dec. 8 as Vatican Unveils Frescoes in St. Priscilla’s Catacomb with Evidence of Early Women Priests
(See “An invitation to Pope Francis” at end of press release).
While the Vatican denies priesthood to women, ancient catacombs reveal evidence of women priests, deacons and bishops.  Here is link to the discussion with an ARCWP woman priest and Greg Reynolds, the Australian priest who was recently excommunicated by the Vatican for his support of women priests and marriage equality.  For more than 35 years Catholic theologian, Dorothy Irvin, has been researching evidence of women priests in early Christianity. You can reach her at 612-387-3784.
From: The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)
Release date: Sunday, December 1, 2013
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min., (Media), 859-684-4247
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan,,
Celebration of Priestly Ordination for Mary Sue Barnett of Louisville, KY,, 502-296-8653
Celebration of Ordination to the Diaconate for:
Denise Menard Davis of Louisville, KY,, 502-552-8769
Ann Harrington of Greenville, North Carolina,, 252-758-5036
Betty H. Smith of Louisville, KY,, 502-333-0457
Mary Weber of Indianapolis, Indiana,,
On Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 3 p.m. Mary Sue Barnett will be ordained a priest and Denise Menard Davis, Ann Harrington, Betty H. Smith and Mary Weber will be ordained deacons. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, 318 W. Kentucky St., Louisville, KY 40203 (502-587-6935).  All are welcome.
Media are invited to interview the candidates, women priests and bishop at 1 p.m. at the church. Call Janice (859-684-4247) to schedule an interview. Respectful filming/photo-taking during the ceremony is acceptable.
The ordinands are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in ministry.
Mary Sue Barnett of Louisville is married to Richard and they have two sons. She mentors a young adult faith activist group called Revealing Sophia’s Truth and she is co-founding a Kentucky Coalition for the ratification of the United Nations human rights treaty for women (CEDAW).  “I long to embrace girls and women worldwide through the women priest movement that seeks to renew the institutional church. I want to bring hope and healing in a world where misogyny inflicts violence, “ she said.
Denise Menard Davis of Louisville, a wife, mother and grandmother, brings the experience of having taught and served high school and university students in Kentucky and California, gaining wisdom she now longs to share with others. In accepting this call, Denise seeks only to offer her fullest self to serving God’s creation.
Ann Harrington of Greenville, NC, has been married for 36 years and is a mother to four sons, a spiritual director and community builder. She feels called to minister to Catholics who have left the church but long for a connection to the Mass, sacraments, community and the social justice dimension of Catholicism.
Betty H. Smith, 79, of Louisville has taught in local Catholic elementary schools and served as principal at Mother of Good Counsel and St. Barnabas. She has four children, three stepchildren, 13 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, Dr. Amory C. Smith, is in a nursing home and Betty hopes to create support groups for families of residents in long-care facilities.
Mary Weber of Indianapolis is a wife, mother and grandmother who served as a pastoral associate, a social worker and hospital administrator. She envisions a church community of equals where all are truly welcomed at the table. She plans to minister with the sick, dying, and grieving as a volunteer chaplain at a nursing home.
On November 19th the Vatican unveiled restored frescoes in St. Priscilla’s Catacomb in Rome.  See:
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests calls on Pope Francis to embrace the full equality of women, including women priests.  We women priests ask Pope Francis and our brother priests at the Vatican to follow Jesus’ example of Gospel equality and the early church’s tradition of women in liturgical leadership as deacons, priests and bishops.
Says Catholic theologian Gary Macy in The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination:  “In Christianity, ordination was the process and the ceremony by which one moved to any new ministry (order) in the community. By this definition, women were in fact ordained into several ministries…References to the ordination of women exist in papal, episcopal and theological documents of the time, and the rites for these ordinations have survived.”
In calendars on “The Archaeology of Women’s Traditional Ministries in the Church,” Catholic theologian, Dorothy Irvin, gives evidence in frescoes, mosaic, tombstones and catacombs in Rome and around the Mediterranean of women deaconesses, priests and bishops in Early Christianity up until the 12th century.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests invites Pope Francis to pilgrimage through the ancient catacombs of Rome with Dorothy Irvin whose life work has been devoted to uncovering evidence of women’s leadership in early Christianity. Dorothy has a pontifical doctorate in Catholic theology from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, with specialization in Bible, ancient near eastern studies, and archaeology.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Woman Priest from South America Responds to Pope Francis: "The Denial of the Priesthood Is Questionable"

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea, Colombia,SA
by Olga Lucia Álvarez Benjumea, ARCWP Iglesia Descalza a voice from the margins of the Catholic Church "What do you expect from Pope Francis with respect to women in the priesthood? They asked me that question not long ago and I answered, "From Pope Francis as pope I expect nothing, much less dogmatic or doctrinal change. He is under the "sway" of the Curia. What Francis is doing is challenging us to live the Gospel incarnate in the People with the sons and daughters of God. That is enough. It is and has been what's most important in the history of Christianity and the Church. The proclamation of the Gospel is justice and equality. If the opposite is preached, proclaimed and done, injustice and oppression are gestated, there will be no change, no reform, and PEACE is aborted! The door of the Gospel remains open to all women and men of
good will!"

by Journeyman, Illinois, United States, Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Homily for Second Week of Advent by Co-Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP, Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Ft. Myers, Florida
“On that day,
A shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse;
From Jesse’s roots, a branch will blossom.
The Spirit of God will rest there…” (Is 11: 1-2a).
Have you ever felt like a tree cut down? Like a dead, sap bleeding, or dying stump instead of the flourishing tree you were before the axe of life’s events did its work? Do you know people who have been cut down before they could even grow? Or those who grew well until hard events cut them down? I know and serve such people and I know what it feels like to be a tree cut down. Poverty is a great axe that cuts new and older trees down without mercy. After almost thirty years of serving the homeless, I still wonder how anyone survives it. How physical survival is possible let alone emotional and spiritual survival. I have learned sadly that some do not survive. We have a Wall of Remembrance in our church where candle lights remind us of the lights that went out while homeless. But most do survive and I see those shoots coming forth and blossoming every day. It is a miracle of the spirit. Yet, if I do not speak and act prophetically, if we all do not cry out at the structures that continue to produce homelessness and act to remedy it, we are silently and tacitly in the tree cutting business.
 And I see the fruits of racism in the lives of all I serve, black, white, brown, yellow, poor or rich. Race still can put limits on growth, interactions, and opportunities despite the ultimate great success of the Civil Rights Movement. Whole peoples and nations, whole forests can be wantonly cut down by prejudice, discrimination, oppression and exploitation. The Jewish people were cut down again and again throughout history and yet they survive and Israel lives. The prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist would say-yes, yes, live on, but continue to ACT for Justice and peace.  Now, in Palestine, in the spirit of God, act now for justice, and peace.  
And let us act to accept and respect difference. Difference such as gayness or facing a host of other life challenges strikes blows to the young trees that can bend and break them.  Much of youth suicide is connected to being different and to being bullied about it one way or the other. I serve the “trees” cut down and I see the shoots coming forth and the fruits blossoming despite the stunting experiences endured. I rejoice at those shoots and tend them carefully. I know it in my people and I recognize it even as I know it in myself. I know it intimately, from growing up in relative poverty, from being a woman, from facing homophobia and heterosexism in its many subtle and not so subtle forms, from health challenges that change everything in one moment, from facing many losses, and from the aging process that keeps one humble.  
And so I look to the root of Jesse, to the shoot that came out of the cut off tree, from the stump itself and blossomed, died and literally rose to lead us as the people grafted into the tree of Jesse, the tree of life. I look to Jesus the Christ whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas, whose presence we welcome into our lives and see in every suffering and beautiful face, and who comes again in us as we are Christ to one another and who will come back again when the job of building the kin(g)dom of God is closer to completion. I look to this Christ to know that we can all grow back beautiful and strong from the stump of a tree. The Christ who grew from the tree of cut off and restored Israel, the Christ who grew from the wood of the Cross, who knew how to suffer with the suffering and how to bring rising to new life to each and every one of us.   I love this shoot sprouted from the cut off tree, from Jesse’s roots. I wait for the fullness of Christ dwelling among us. I stand with the rough clad John the Baptist in our Gospel for this day (Matt 3: 1-12) and baptize with water waiting with him for the coming of the baptism of fire and the passion for justice and peace into each life redeemed by baptism. Together we are waiting to see, watering, and nurturing the life inherent in the seed through baptism.  Sometimes with John and with Christ Christ we must even be abrasively prophetic to cut away the weeds that choke out the new life.
During Advent we wait for the coming of Christ even as the ancient prophets waited for and heralded the coming of the Messiah who would bring in the reign of God-when justice and peace would wed and love would be the rule. When “the lion would lay down with the lamb” when there would be no predators or oppressors and all would dwell together in a peaceable kin(g)dom, paradise regained where there would be justice and fairness, especially for the poor and disinherited (Is 11:1-10).  Isaiah wrote late in the seventh century when the Northern kingdom (the northern outskirts of Jerusalem) was annexed to Assyria and Judah lived uneasily in its shadow as a tributary. He longed for Israel (and the known world) to be a free and peaceable kingdom where the faithful could live a life of loving God and especially the poorest of their neighbors. It is said that prophets afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted. In this case Isaiah is both challenging and comforting the afflicted Jewish faithful who are oppressed and perhaps emerging and reuniting from exile. God will restore the remnant of Israel.  Yet the prophetic voice reaches beyond those times to the coming of the Messiah from the root of Jesse, the father of King David, the shepherd king of Israel. The writer of Matthew shows Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy.  Yeshua bar Joseph, Jesus son of Joseph, as his patriarchal lineage was then traced, was in the line of Jesse. The Epistle (Romans 15:4-9) also tells us that we are to accept one another as Christ has accepted us. Through Christ the Gentiles also have cause to “glorify God for showing mercy”, God’s praise spreads throughout the nations. How thankful we are.
 I love the words of John the Baptist- don’t just count on your religious connections “Give some evidence that you mean reform!” “Produce that fruit as evidence of your repentance”! (Matthew 3:8). Act, don’t just talk.   And what fruit is that? -It is the fruit of justice- preparing the way of our God is preparing the way of love-love of God, of neighbor and of justice and peace. The Psalm of the day,Psalm 72, is the hope of the poor- “For they will rescue the poor when they cry out, and the afflicted when they have no one to help them…the lives of the poor they will save”. (Psalm 72:13-14). The TIB translation broadens the “king” to the leaders. Yes, God will raise leaders to save the poor, it is the job of the Christ and it is our job. To the extent we leave it undone we need to repent and to do it!   Pope Francis was caught sneaking out at night to give food to the poor-we don’t even have to sneak! Amen.  
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee,ARCWP.
Co-Pastor Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
Fort Myers, Florida

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Book by Judy Lee, ARCWP, Now on Kindle and Nook

Does Pope Francis Sneak Out of Vatican to Comfort Homeless? May He Embrace All Who Are Marginalized

"A knowledgable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that "Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women."
Krajewski earlier said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me," and he merely smiled and ducked the question....

Bridget Mary's Blog
Pope Francis is living the Gospel of  Jesus of Nazareth. He comforts the homeless and challenges us to transform unjust economic structures that keep people in poverty.  The disparity between rich and poor is morally wrong.  Pope Francis reminds us that we must live the vision that we advocate. So too, may our blessed Pope see women in our church as beloved sisters and equals in all ministries including a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals that invites all to celebrate the sacraments at the Banquet Table, not just those who keep the rules of the Roman Catholic Church. Will Pope Francis see the face of Christ in everyone in the church and open the sacraments to those who are excluded, for example, the divorced and remarried and the many other groups that are marginalized in our church today? Let us pray that it may be so. Bridget Mary Meehan,,


Monday, December 2, 2013

"Controversy Racks Vatican Church"/Australian Television Program on Women Priests' Evidence in Catacombs
Australian Television Program with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP, guest,

"Jesus the Homeless Man", Sculpture/ May Pope Francis Recognize Face of Christ in Women Priests

Pope Francis' blessing this sculpture is a powerful sermon of his solidarity with the poor and his recognition of the face of Christ in all those who suffer from economic injustice and global inequality. I pray for the day that Pope Francis will recognize the face of Christ in Roman Catholic Women Priests. Bridget Mary Meehan,