Friday, May 23, 2014

"Women's Ordination is about much more than women priests" by Jamie L. Manson/NCR
..."In his new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, former President Jimmy Carter explores the religious and cultural structures that have led discrimination, war, poverty and disease to fall disproportionately on women. He writes: "The most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls, largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare."The statistics about the disproportionate suffering endured by women globally are grim."

 In a recent essay in NCR's Global Sisters Report, St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson explained:
"Women, who form half of the world's population, work three-fourths of the world's working hours; receive one-tenth of the world's salary; own one percent of the world's land; form two-thirds of illiterate adults; and together with their dependent children form three-fourths of the world's starving people.
To make a bleak picture worse, women are subject to domestic violence at home and are raped, prostituted, trafficked into sexual slavery and murdered by men to a degree that is not reciprocal. Regarding education, employment and other social goods, men have advantages simply by being born male. ...
To point this out is not to make women into a class of victims but to underscore statistics that make clear the struggles women face in society because of their gender. In no country on earth are women and men yet treated in an equal manner befitting their human dignity."

..."The struggle over women's ordination isn't a culture war issue. It is a movement that shines light on the truth that the Roman Catholic church's denial of the full equality of women has global consequences. It seeks to dismantle the poverty, abuse and violence that are intricately tied to the systematic belief that women and men are not equal.
Women's ordination isn't simply about making women priests. It's about helping church leaders recognize that if they were to include women in their leadership as their equals, they could truly be a powerful force for economic and social justice for women and children throughout our world.'"

Ordination of 6 women in Cleveland comes 20 years after pope affirmed ban/ article in The Plain Dealer

By Tom Feran, The Plain Dealer The Plain Dealer  

mary-collingwood.jpgMary Collingwood 
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Six more women will claim ordination as Roman Catholic priests or deacons on Saturday, in a ceremony the church says has no validity and incurs automatic excommunication.
That judgment is not accepted by the sponsoring Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) or by the two Northeast Ohio women being ordained at 1 p.m. at Brecksville United Church of Christ.
"I don't accept the verdict that I am excommunicated," said Mary Collingwood of Boston Heights, who will be ordained a "servant priest," as she put it, by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota, Florida. "The men made that rule, and a man-made rule can be changed -- especially if it's unjust.
"I align myself with the belief that I am part of the people of God," she said, noting that saints from Joan of Arc to the Australian nun Mary MacKillop, canonized in 2010, once were declared excommunicated.
Susan Guzik of Eastlake, who will be ordained as a deacon, said it was hard to step away from the parish, St. Mary Magdalene in Willowick, where she has been a diocesan-certified lay minister, pastoral leader and parishioner for 60 years.
"But all my friends are still my friends," she said. "We're still Catholics. We believe we are the church. "There have been times I've wondered if I'm doing the right thing.
"I am doing the right thing...."
Saturday's ordination, at least the sixth in the United States this year, includes women from Canada and as far away as New Mexico. Collingwood said they are following conscience and being obedient to a higher authority.
"We're rising up and claiming our rightful role in the institution," she said. "I call it an awakening. It started about three years ago, but my whole life prepared me for that."
Collingwood, 61, the married mother of seven and a grandmother, has a master's degree in theology and taught high school and college theology. She is a past director of the Cleveland diocese's pro-life office.
"I have given 40 years of service to the institutional church," she said. "I realized I was being called to help change and reform the church.
"I want to die knowing my footprints were headed in the right direction."
Guzik, 78, the widowed mother of five, a grandmother and great-grandmother, said she will, like Collingwood, enjoy the support of her entire family at the ordination.
The support extends to pushing her to make her diaconate a transitional one. She hopes to be ordained a priest next year.
"At first I thought I was too old, but other people my age or older have inspired me." Having stepped away from her parish, she said her place will be "anywhere God is calling me."
Starting on June 7, one of those places will be Brecksville United Church of Christ, where Collingwood and Ann Klonowski, who was ordained last September, will say Mass weekly at 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Collingwood said it will be a community where "all are welcome at the table.
"The sacraments are not rewards," she said. "They are essential nourishment for people on the journey.
"There are so many people on the margin who don't have a spiritual home, and we will embrace them. Jesus excluded nobody."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Banning women from the Priesthood has no basis in the New Testament" from the International We Are Church/IMWAC

The International Movement We are Church (IMWAC) , on the 20th Anniversary of the Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul 2 , Ordinatio Sacerdotalis ,  entitled ’ Reserving Priestly  Ordination  to Men Only ‘  calls on Pope Francis to recognise  that this Magisterial teaching is not supported by the vast proportion of the Catholic Faithful and ought to be changed .
We believe that the call to  Priesthood is a Charism of God , based on  Baptism  and confining it to ‘men only’  limits the power of God . This continued ban on women from priestly ordination is an injustice in the Church which must  be confronted by the Catholic Faithful as a matter of conscience. Accordingly Canon Law 1024 which states that only a male can be validly ordained is an unjust law and should be withdrawn as a matter of urgency.
What Pope Francis wrote in his recent letter ‘ Evangelii Gaudium’ regarding the ordination of women -  ‘The reservation of the Priesthood to males , as a sign of Christ the spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist ,is not a question open to discussion’ - does not represent the Sensus Fidelium of the convictions of not only the Catholic faithful but of very many clergy and some hierarchy as well.
In this letter  Pope Francis is reiterating what Pope John Paul 2 wrote in his Apostolic letter 20 years ago  condemning women’s priestly ordination - ‘ we declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer Priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitely held by all the Church’s faithful – ‘ . Even at that time  this magisterial teaching banning women from Priestly Ordination was disputed  by Bishops and Faithful alike  within the Catholic Community .
In April 1976  the Pontifical Commission concluded unanimously  that ‘ It does not seem that the New Testament by itself alone will permit us to settle in any clear way and once and for all the problem of the possible  access of women to the Priesthood ‘ and by a significant majority it concluded that ‘The church could ordain women to the Priesthood without going against Christ’s wishes ‘.
This magisterium of these Biblical theologians has been rejected by successive Popes including Pope Francis . Equally the magisterium of the’ Sensus Fidelium’ has been rejected  by successive Popes.
It is now the right time that the Papal magisterium should allow free and open discussion of Women’s ordination within the Catholic Church without  fear of excommunication . It is also right that those within our Catholic Community who have been unjustly excommunicated because they publicly articulated that reserving priestly ordination to men only has no basis in scripture or human reason should be  fully accepted back within our Communion .
Banning women from Priestly Ordination is a continuing  injustice which has no basis in the New Testament , is  a continued stain on the fabric of the Catholic Communion and  most importantly the younger generation find this ban a stumbling block to their Faith in the Risen Lord’ stated Brendan Butler , spokesperson , We are Church Ireland  .
Further information  : Brendan Butler , We are Church Ireland , 0864054984

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Women Priests Movement Continues to Grow/ ARCWP Ordination in Cleveland on May 24th

Our women priest movement continues to grow -- with almost 200 women priests in 10 countries! This Saturday May 24th in Cleveland four women will be ordained priests and two as deacons. A local Wash., D.C. woman, Marianne Therese Smyth (240-444-0781) of Silver Spring, MD, will be ordained a priest. A description of her life's work and her statement about why she is becoming a priest follows. We are grateful that in his recent book President Jimmy Carter has made the connections between oppression of women within their religion and violence toward women and children (of all ages) in our world community. We invite you to join us at this ordination in Cleveland to learn more about our movement for justice for women in our Church and society. In solidarity with justice, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP media, 859-684-4247

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests to Ordain Six Women in Cleveland on May 24th – 20 years after John Paul II’s “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis”
On May 22, 1994, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter, “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” (“Priestly Ordination”) which reserved priesthood in the Catholic Church to men only.
"This teaching that 'women are not fully in the likeness of Jesus' -- qualifying, as it does, as a theological explanation -- is utterly and demonstrably heretical,” said Augustinian theologian John Shea in  his 2nd letter to U.S. bishops.
In his recent book, A Call to Action:  Women, Religion, Violence and Power, President Jimmy Carter, who supports women’s ordination and women’s equality in all religions, finds it “ironic” that women are welcomed into many professions “but are deprived of the right to serve Jesus Christ in positions of leadership” as they did in the early Christian churches.
Despite 20 years of blatant discrimination of women and denial of women’s basic human rights as spiritual equals before God, women priests are serving in priestly ministry. With almost 200 Roman Catholic Women Priests, a renewed priestly ministry is flowering in 10 countries. Catholics worldwide are ready for a new model of church led by women and men.
Release date:  May 12, 2014
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min. (media) 859-684-4247,
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004,
On Saturday, May 24, 2014, at 1p.m. four women will be ordained priests and two women will be ordained deacons in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota, FL. The ceremony will take place at Brecksville United Church of Christ, 23 Public Square, Brecksville, OH 44141. All are welcome. The balcony will be reserved as a photo-free zone. A reception will follow the ceremony in the church hall.
Media are invited to schedule interviews during the time leading up to the ordination and at 11 a.m. on May 24th at the church. Respectful filming/photo-taking during the ceremony is acceptable.
The ordinands are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in ministry.
To Be Ordained Priests:   
Mary Bergan Blanchard of Albuquerque,NM 505-857-9288, is a widow, mother, grandmother, teacher, writer and licensed counselor. Twenty of the 37 years she spent teaching were with the marginalized and the Early Childhood disadvantaged. After retiring in New Mexico, she served as a Mental Health Counselor in a Roman Catholic Church for 20 years.
“Until the Church recognizes that women are equal to men by allowing them to participate in the sacramental life of the Church, all women will remain second class citizens, subjects in a patriarchal society…a dark world indeed. Jesus has called us to be the Light of the World. I am becoming a priest because I believe it’s time to flick the switch.”
Mary Collingwood of Boston Heights, OH
216-408-4657, is a wife, mother and grandmother who, with her advanced degree in theology, has served for 40 years in church ministry and taught theology on the high school and college levels. In the parish she was Director of Religious Education, Coordinator for Marriage Preparation and Pastoral Minister. On the diocesan level she was an administrator and served on various boards and councils, an activist for church reform.
“Women are being called by the Holy Spirit to image the Divine Feminine through ordained priestly ministry thereby restoring the wholeness of God’s presence in our Church. Personally, this entails ordination and embracing circle leadership as an egalitarian model of decision-making within Roman Catholic communities. It is truly right and just for me to live this Spirit-led change in solidarity with the People of God by serving communities of faith while supporting my sisters in ordained ministry.”
Irene C. Scaramazza of Columbus, OH
614-357-0626, has advanced degrees in theology, pastoral counseling and family therapy. She is currently working as a hospice chaplain having completed her Provisional Board Chaplaincy Certification.
“I am being ordained a priest because God continues to call me to deeper union with Godself. That union is lived out in service to others. For me, ministry has always involved an immersing of myself in the life of the people I have been sent to serve and together discovering our Living God.”
Marianne Therese Smyth of Silver Spring, MD 240-444-0781, has worked nearly 35 years in Montgomery County Public Schools and 25 years as a para-educator with special needs students. She completed a theological certificate program and serves the Living Water Inclusive Community in Catonsville, MD and has a Masters of Education in counseling.
“I am becoming a priest because God asked. God’s inclusive love cannot be expressed or shared from a strictly male point of view. That was not the message of Jesus. My love is hospice ministry and I will be expanding into bereavement work and healing modalities such as Reiki.”
To Be Ordained Deacons:
Barbara Billey of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
519-735-3943, has been married for 32 years and has extensive experience in a variety of professional and volunteer capacities from wellness educator and health care administrator to retreat facilitator and dancer. She is currently a counselor and art therapist. She is engaged in theological study and has a particular interest in women’s spirituality and a passion for integrating sacred arts in liturgy.
Susan Marie Guzik of Eastlake, OH 440-477-5962, is a widow, mother and grandmother. After her theological studies, she received certification as a Lay Ecclesial Minister in the Diocese of Cleveland. She has volunteered in the Diocese as a pastoral minister and has been an active pastoral leader in her parish. For the past 15 years she has been part of the leadership team in the Stephen Ministry program at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Willowick, OH and for the past seven years served as their Director/Advisor.

Italian Women Appeal to Pope Francis to End Priests Celibacy Vow

"Catholic Women Priests Fighting for Right to Preach What they Practice" /CBS News

Celebrating the Women of the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community by Rev. Judy Lee ARCWP
In May flowers begin to bloom everywhere and even in Florida the season is festive as welcomed rain begins to fall and gentle breezes blow.
It is a month of expectation and renewal and a time for celebrations of Mother’s Day and Graduations. This year we have had much
to celebrate at our Good Shepherd Church.

This is Donnie and Lauretta celebrating each other for Mother’s Day
The month of May has been packed with wonderful celebrations in our Good Shepherd Church.  We have had Mother’s Day,  Graduation Day and Birthday Celebrations.
And we also had Rose and her much loved dog reunited as Rose moved into our Hospitality room at Joshua House on May 2nd.
Rose and Shinji on Move-in Day
Mother’s Day was a very special event honoring all of the women in the church. Each woman was given a personalized gift and Pearl Cudjoe made a wonderful meal that Linda Maybin helped her to serve.

Pearl and Linda are serving Robert and Lili with Jakeriya in the background. 
The congregation also presented Pastor Judy Beaumont and I with gifts for Mother’s Day.
Pearl Cudjoe and Marcella and Jakeriya present a gift to the surprise of the Pastors
On May 6th members of the Board also met to plan summer activities and we celebrated Doreen Sookdeo’s Birthday as well
Hank Tessandori, Evelyn Efaw, Stella  Odie Ali and Doreen Sookdeo with Pastor Judy Beaumont
On Sunday May 18th we celebrated the Birthday of our church Grandma, Mrs. Jolinda Harmon who has brought her daughter Linda and fourteen of her Grandchildren to attend Good Shepherd over the past five years.
Mrs. Jolinda Harmon in yellow with her Grand daughter Natasha Terrell whose Graduation on 5/17 we also celebrated.
Grandsons Ty Powell in front and  Keion Lewis beats drum in rear.
Pastor Judy Lee Blessing Grandma Harmon
Natasha Terrell graduated from Cypress Lake High School on Saturday 5/17/14.  She made all A’s in her Senior year. She has been accepted to three Colleges and , so far. plans to attend the University of South Florida,St. Pete Campus to study Nursing. She hopes to become a neonatal Nurse.  She was given gifts and a special blessing then a hearty round of applause.
We are so proud of Natasha!
Here Grandma Harmon and Natasha share a cake.

And later Lili brought her dog Spike and her new bike to visit us. She was in an accident with a car.  She was not hurt but her other bike was beyond repair. She depends on her bike to get to work. She was distraught, but her son Gaspare, now completely recovered from his surgery, helped her to get a gently used bike. His recovery and his assistance made for a very happy Mother’s Day for her.She also had her rear basket filled with her Thrift Store Treasures,  videos for our Good Shepherd children.

We are so happy to celebrate all of our Good Shepherd women and their families and to see joy replace sadness and struggles
as we become Church together!  May is a wonderful month for celebration! Thanks be to God!
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee,Pastor
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community

Monday, May 19, 2014

Female priests, bishops at work serving Catholics in the U.S. by Dolores Campbell, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
"A letter in the Cape Breton Post in Sydney, a lady from Glace Bay who accesses
it in Sarasota, Florida and viola – an email interview with Bishop Bridget Mary
Meehan, a bishop of  the association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) who
ministers at St. Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota,

Ordained a priest in 2006 in Pittsburgh, PA , one of eight priests and 4
deacons, Meehan made history as a member of the first group of women ordained in
the United States. She had served  for 15 years as a lay pastoral associate at
Fort Myer Chapel in Arlington, VA, doing much of what male priests did as part
of her ministry. After holding communion services and being approached by
members of the congregation thanking her “for the lovely Mass”, Meehan realized
that people were open to having a woman serve them as priest.

It was thanks to the RCWP that she finally realized her long-held hope of
ordination, having first felt the call when she was in grade 8 and visited the
Immaculate Heart of Mary novices, later becoming a Sister for Christian
Community. The community is an independent group of women who do not answer to
the Vatican. If they did answer to the Vatican, they would probably be part of
the Leadership Conference of Women Religious who have recently been admonished
by Rome for, among other things, their choice of speakers to their various
conferences. One writer referred to Rome's intervention as a “whack-a-nun”

Although women served as deacons and priests in the early church,  probably the
first modern-day  ordination of women took place in 2002 aboard a boat on the
Danube river by a consecrated bishop of the Catholic church, Meehan, who quotes
the old adage “in order to change an unjust law, we must break it”, herself was
ordained a bishop in 2009, one of five women in the first ordination of women as
bishops for the RCWP in the Unites States. She has gone on to ordain women, 13
in 2013, with three more to be ordained in various American cities this month. 
A recent count indicates there are 124 women priests. The Vatican has reacted,
of course, as one would expect, by excommunicating the women priests and bishops
as well as priests who have participated in these ordinations or in liturgies
celebrated by the women priests.

In the beginning, Meehan served a house community that soon outgrew her home,
but fortunately, they were able to rent space from St. Andrew United Church of
Christ in Sarasota where they hold a weekly Saturday liturgy and consider
themselves an “inclusive, egalitarian, empowered Catholic community”. As a
bishop, she doesn't serve a diocese but “diverse, independent” faith
communities, “sharing the same vision of Gospel equality that Jesus lived and
the early church practised in the first century”.  While Meehan disagrees with
the Catholic church on birth control, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, she
professes a love for her Catholic faith and insists that Roman Catholic Women
Priests are not leaving the church but are “leading the church into a new era of
justice and equality for women as equal images of God and equal partners in

Asked why she thinks women wish to be priests in a church that refuses them
ordination, Meehan is adamant that some women, like some men, believe they “are
called to serve the community of faith as liturgical, sacramental and spiritual
leaders” She believes that RCWP are “visible reminders that women are equal
images of God” and will cause the hierarchy to accept what many Catholics will
have accepted as they “embrace women priests”.  While she expresses love for
Pope Francis who preaches justice and equality, she isn't sure that he will
agree with ordaining women. Meehan hopes, however, that Pope Francis will
“affirm the priority of following one's conscience” and that he will move to
change or withdraw the “harsh punishments” that have been enacted against
members of RCWP.

While RCWP priests and bishops are not sought out by Catholic parishes, many
other faith leaders reach out to her with offers to hear more about the RCWP
movement. Members of the movement have diverse views but focus on “justice and
equality for all, especially those on the margins of church and society” and
that, according to Meehan, definitely includes women priests.

And while Meehan and her fellow priests and bishops carry out the work of
Christ, here in our diocese we hear there is no place in our church for “mature,
well-adjusted and faithful” women to serve the people of God. Meehan would agree
that the people of God deserve much better."

Boston Heights woman to be ordained as priest: Six women to be ordained at Brecksville United Church of Christ

by Tim Troglen |   Boston Heights -- On May 24 Mary Eileen Collingwood will take another step in her journey of faith and service to the Lord.

Collingwood, a deacon with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, will be one of six women ordained at 1 p.m. at Brecksville United Church of Christ, 23 Public Square....
Collingwood was ordained as a deacon with ARCWP June 22, 2013.
"As deacon, I have conducted prayer services, funeral services and anointed the sick," Collingwood said. "I have spent my deaconate time in service to others as [and were] needed."
Unlike some mainstream religious organizations, the association of women priests "welcomes all at the table," according to Collingwood.
"No one is ever excluded," she said. "We embrace the disenfranchised in our community - those who find no comfort in the Catholic parishes and live on the margins.
"All are the people of God," she said. "All are welcome at the table as equals."
Collingwood and her husband, Richard, have lived in Boston Heights since 2006 and have seven children. Collingwood has spent her life in church ministry, including graduating seminary with a degree in theology.
An "awakening" led Collingwood to the priesthood, she said.
"I realized that the most repressed people since the beginning of time have been women," Collingwood said. "And I really do love my church, to the point where I'm willing to step out of their roles and policies to live the change that really needs to happen today to bring women into equal positions. It really needs to be done to help make the Church whole."
The Roman Catholic Church is one of the last remaining institutions which does not allow women in roles traditionally filled by men, such as the priesthood, Collingwood said.
More than half the people in the world are women, Collingwood said.
"[But] our policies, both secular and religious, have been totally written by men," Collingwood said. "Women have had no input in our canon law or our pastoral teachings -- even the Bible was written by men..."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Resurrection Community Cincinnati OH Ordination of Paula Ivory Hoeffer

Paula's hands being anointed with oil and newly ordained deacon Kathleen Bean seated

Rev. Paula Ivory Hoeffer and her husband Ed 


ARCWP priests of Resurrection Community Deborah Meyers, Donna Rougeux, Janice Severe-Duszynska, Rosemarie Smead

Unidentified woman, RCWP Bishop Joan Houk, Mary Ellen Robertson, Beverly Bingle

RCWP priests Maria McClain, Ann Klonowski and Kathleen Bean before being ordained as a Deacon
ARCWP priest Donna Rougeux, ARCWP candidate Annie Watson and her husband UCC Rev. Jimmy Watson

RCWP priest Elsie McGrath, deacon Lil Lewis, and priest Mary Keldermans
Link to articles in media:
On Friday night, May 16,  our Resurrection Community in Cincinnati celebrated the ordination of Paula Hoeffer as priest and Kathleen Bean as deacon. The entire community and guests gathered to witness this joyful event as Paula is an original member of our community -- four years old this May. Presiding bishop was Joan Houk from Pittsburgh of the RCWP Great Waters Region accompanied by RCWP women priests who participated in the ordination. Dr. Debra Myers, who was ordained an ARCWP priest in Cincinnati last May, vested Paula along with Ed Hoeffer, Paula’s husband. ARCWP priests who serve the Resurrection community include Dr. Debra Myers of nearby Batavia, Rosemarie Smead of Louisville, Donna Rougeux of Danville, KY and Janice Sevre-Duszynska of Lexington who lived in Cincinnati from 2009-2011. The Resurrection Community rose up around Janice's priesthood. At Wednesday night’s monthly Eucharist at Resurrection Community, Janice led the community in blessing for Paula’s priestly ordination.
By Janice Severe-Duszynska