Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Priest as "Midwife of Grace"- Rebuilidng a Church of Justice and Compassion

Former Dominican Priest and author of dozens of books on spirituality, Matthew Fox, has a new blockbuster book out: Letters to Pope Francis,  Rebuilding a Church of Justice and Compassion which outlines a reform/renewal agenda for Pope Francis.
In the section on revisioning the sacrament of ordination and priesthood, he affirms that Jesus did not ordain anyone at the Last Supper and agrees with historians that the priesthood developed in the second century. 
He states; "I have proposed that the basic meaning of priesthood, its archetypal power is as a "midwife of grace" I propose that if anyone is doing good work among us,  work that qualifies as a midwife of grace, that person is a priest."
Albany Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy are April 7, 2014 liturgy .
Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP is one of the  presiders in this community. 
Matthew goes on to make the case that "such people need instruction in the experiences of grace...The need to get in touch with their mystical selves and prophetic dimensions of their work."
He challenges Pope Francis to get rid of seminaries, in his words, "do away with the  "hothouse atmosphere of make- believe clerical worlds."  "Let them learn of the mystical and prophetic paths, "Fox pleads, "elbow to elbow, and shoulder to shoulder with the artists, therapists, social workers, teachers activists and others who are learning it...And working with the poor and not just others involved in formal education. "
I highly recommend this book for folks interested in renewing and reforming the Roman Catholic Church. 
I believe that our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is offering a new paradigm that affirms a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals. We offer an inclusive sacramental ministry with the people of God. In our grassroots communities we are working to rebuild a church of justice and compassion where all are welcome and all celebrate the sacraments.  

One example, the community prays the Eucharistic Prayer and shares in the dialogue homilies. In my local Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, we have ordained and non-ordained co-presiders who function together in liturgical planning and leadership.  Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

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