|Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP Presided at Catholic Eucharist|
Women’s Ordination and Open Communion
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For several years, the celebration of Catholic Mass at the Des Moines
Catholic Worker has been a point of controversy with Bishop Pates and
others representing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des
Most recently, in May of this year, Bishop Pates wrote us a letter
stating that the “privilege” of having Mass at the Des Moines Catholic
Worker has been “revoked.” The reason for this is that, in December
2014, Reverend Janice Sevre-Duszynska, who is a woman priest,
celebrated a Roman Catholic Mass at the Des Moines Catholic Worker. It
is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that women may
not be priests.
In 2010, Bishop Pates also expressed concerns about the celebration of
Mass at the Des Moines Catholic Worker, chief among these being that
we invite everyone, including non-Catholics, to receive communion.
In response to the Bishop, we wish to let it be known that the Des
Moines Catholic Worker affirms the equality of all people, regardless
of gender, to be full members and disciples in any Church claiming to
follow Jesus; in the Roman Catholic Church this includes the
priesthood and other positions of leadership within the Church.
Likewise, we affirm that the Sacrament of Holy Communion should be
open to all who wish to participate, regardless of religious and
institutional affiliations. No one seeking reconciliation and love
should be denied the Eucharist. We believe that Jesus would not have
We welcome dialogue about these issues. For those who may be
interested, we have included below links to the letters we received
from Bishop Pates in 2010 and 2015, and the 2010 letter from a
Catholic Worker intern that initiated our dialogue with the Bishop
about our celebration of Mass at the Des Moines Catholic Worker.
May 5, 2015 letter from Bishop Pates to the Des Moines Catholic Worker
November 10, 2010 letter from Bishop Pates to the Des Moines Catholic Worker
August 28, 2010 letter from CW Intern to Bishop Pates
We also invite you to investigate the following links relevant to the
movement supporting women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church.
Previous National CW Listserve postings regarding this issue :
News Release: Catholic Diocese of D.M. Statement revoking "privilege
of celebrating the Roman Catholic Mass" at C.W. House" p. 2 Catholic
Mirror, Aug. 2015
"No Mass for Catholic group after woman performs service" by Kim
Norvell, DM Reg., Aug. 25, 2015
D.M. Bishop "revokes Mass privilege" at DMCW - IA Public Radio -
Interview with Bishop Richard Pates - Bp. of DM Diocese and Rev.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska (6 min)