Thursday, June 23, 2016

"A Church for Our Daughters Witness to U.S. Bishops Meeting

Last week, WOC and our friends in the church-justice movement gathered in Huntington Beach, CA to call on our church leaders to strike down every oppressive practice, teaching and law that assigns women and girls to a subordinate status and to work with us in building "A Church for Our Daughters."

Our events started with a beautiful, inclusive liturgy led by Rev. Jennifer O'Malley and WOC board members Rev. Jane Via and Merlyee Shelton. The next morning we marched carrying pink carnations, sang, and witnessed!  Once gathered outside of the U.S. bishops' meeting, activists gave testimonies and read the declaration from an oversized parchment paper.

With more than 4,000 signatures,
the declaration is a wide-ranging 15-point vision statement calling for radical inclusion, dignity and rights for all in the Roman Catholic church. Thank you to all those who already signed it!

Following our action, we attempted to deliver the declaration and invitations to dialogue to the bishops but were stopped by security despite our hotel reservations and assurances from a representative of the USCCB that they would meet us. Nevertheless, it was a peaceful and powerful witness which, as Rev. Nancy Corran wrote"disquieted the patriarchy, forcing them to respond to us, even if it was with silence and silencing."

A few members of our delegation were able to speak with some bishops personally, and were told that many bishops were aware of our campaign and expressed support. Next week, the USCCB offices will receive a special delivery with the petition and hundreds of handwritten invitations to dialogue. And a bouquet of pink flowers arrives tomorrow. 

A Church for Our Daughters organizers are collecting more signatures and planning further actions this Fall. We will continue to speak out until the Church becomes a truly just and equal place for women and girls. 

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