Saturday, June 9, 2018

We Are Church Ireland Is Launching this Petition to Pope Francis to CHANGE CHURCH LGBTQI LANGUAGE.

The We Are Church Ireland group, with Ursula Halligan, Padraig O Tuama, and David Norris, is organizing a number of events for lay LGBTQI+ Catholic Activism, and launching with this petition this week as preparation for the gathering of families and Pope's visit to Ireland. 

You can read more and sign the petition here:

Pope Francis has said about gay people 
"Who am I to judge?" 
But the Catholic Catechism still refers to LGBTQI as "objectively disordered."
Would Jesus use these words?
Pope Francis is to visit Ireland 25-26 August 2018 and we are calling on him to change church LGBTQI language.
Pádraig Ó Tuama, Ursula Halligan & David Norris
support this petition
We feel it is imperative for us to boldly speak out against Catholic Church officials' continued insistence on calling the LGBTQI community’s “inclinations” as “objectively disordered” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358), or even worse, “ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil” (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Person, 1986). The Catholic Church’s formal language to describe our LGBTQI sisters and brothers makes the institutional Church complicit in the marginalisation of LGBTQI people. Under the guise of religion and faith, the Church models intolerance, breeds prejudices, and attempts to justify discrimination. We call on the Church to formally change its language about the countless LGBTQI people whose lives benefit the church and who are impacted by such diminishing language.
Pádraig Ó Tuama Leader - The Corrymeela Community 
“As a gay Catholic, I do not recognise myself in the language used about me in the church’s documents or teachings. The gospels depict the dignity of humanity, especially those who were castigated or marginalised. The Church would be more faithful to its witness to use language that builds bridges rather than diminishes dignity.”
Ursula Halligan Journalist in Residence, DCU 
"Why does the hierarchical Catholic Church continue to use such horrible language in its catechism and official documents about LGBTQI people? If a business or company were to use such language, they would be publicly reprimanded and penalised by the state. The hierarchical church needs to wash its mouth out before speaking about LGBTQI people".
Senator David Norris 
As a believing and church going Christian I have to say that the history of the Christian churches in relation to gay people is a shocking record of criminality and brutality. At the instigation of the churches gay people have been routinely ostracised, tortured and murdered. It is unacceptable that there should be any continuation of the savage and insensitive language employed by some of the churches in dealing with gay people. It is salutary to remember that Jesus Christ not once mentions or condemns homosexuality.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, has lamented the “harsh words” that the Church used about gay and divorced people in the past, saying it left them feeling “branded”. [Flame 2 Youth Congress, Wembley, 2015]
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai: “Let us use gentler language, not judgmental language.” [Interview with New Ways Ministry, 19 October 2015]

"Advocates Dismayed by Reaffirming Ban on Women Priests", by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter, June 9, 2018

Bridget Mary MeehanTweet tex

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Janice Sevre-Duszynska is engaged by Italian police as she approaches the Vatican during a demonstration for women's ordination in 2011. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Advocates for the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church said they are "deeply dismayed" by a newspaper article penned by the Vatican's doctrinal chief that reaffirmed the church's ban on women priests as "definitive" and "a truth belonging to the deposit of faith."
"Archbishop [Luis] Ladaria's arguments are unconvincing and simply nothing new," said a statement from the Women's Ordination Conference, following the release of Ladaria's article. "How long can the Vatican hide behind its sexist arguments that because Jesus was a man, he intended only men to become priests?" the statement read.

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Writing for the May 30 issue of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that Jesus decided to reserve the sacrament of priestly ordination "to the twelve apostles, all men, who, in turn, communicated it to other men."
"The church has always recognized herself bound by this decision of the Lord, which excludes that the ministerial priesthood can be validly conferred on women," Ladaria writes.
Ladaria's article, "The definitive character of the doctrine of 'Ordinatio sacerdotalis,' " re-examines Pope John Paul II's 1994 apostolic letter that outlined the reasoning behind the ban on the priestly ordination of women.
The archbishop said he decided to write "in response to doubt" about John Paul's teaching, adding that expressing doubt about the barring of women from the priesthood "creates serious confusion among the faithful."
"The only 'serious confusion' among the faithful is just how long the Vatican will continue to parade indefensible arguments that attempt to limit the reaches of God's call," Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, told NCR.
According to British theologian John Wijngaards, "Yes, there is confusion among the faithful, but not because they doubt the validity of their inner sense of what is genuinely Christian and Catholic, but because the persons who are supposed to guide them keep ignoring their just concerns."
"Confusion is healthy if it leads to a process of honest reassessment," added Wijngaards, professor emeritus of Missionary Institute London and founder of the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

Archbishop Luis Ladaria (CNS/Paul Haring)
Statistics have shown that a majority of educated Catholics believe women should be ordained, he said. "Their belief stems not from theological studies but from their 'Catholic sense,' their considered judgment that Jesus, who always treated women like the men, would not ban women from ordination in our present world."
"This sensus fidei is at the foundation of the teaching authority of the whole church, a foundation hierarchical leaders should take note of in any magisterial decision," he said.
In his essay, Ladaria, who is to be made a cardinal by Pope Francis June 28, addresses the debate over the character of John Paul's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, especially the question of whether it is to be considered an infallible papal teaching.
Ladaria argues that although John Paul did not formally proclaim the teaching ex cathedra — as outlined by the First Vatican Council document Pastor Aeternus as part of the process of a pope declaring something infallibly — the pope "formally confirmed ... what the ordinary and universal magisterium considered throughout the history of the Church as belonging to the deposit of faith."
"To hold that it is not definitive, it is argued that it was not defined ex cathedra and that, then, a later decision by a future Pope or council could overturn it," he stated. "Sowing these doubts creates serious confusion among the faithful, not only about the Sacrament of Orders as part of the divine constitution of the Church, but also about the ability of the ordinary magisterium to teach Catholic doctrine in an infallible way."
Wijngaards told NCR: "As history shows, many popes have made statements they believed to be 'definite,' which have turned out to be flawed. The 'definitive' character of a papal statement does not only derive from the intention of the pope in question. It is intimately linked to its context."
According to Wijngaards, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis does not fulfill the five criteria of an infallible decision by the "ordinary and universal magisterium," as outlined by the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner.
"Ordinatio Sacerdotalis," he said, "first, was not a collegial exercise of the teaching authority. Second, the bishops of the world had not acted as judges. Third, they had not listened to the ordinary faithful. Fourth, the issue in question does not involve revealed faith or morals. Moreover, fifth, the bishops of the world had not wanted to impose a final judgment on the matter."
He continued, "The belief that only men can be priests because all the 12 apostles were men is scripturally unsound. The appeal to an 'unbroken tradition' of excluding women is as faulty as asserting that the world was created in six days because the fathers of the church, medieval theologians and all bishops thought so."
The statement from the Women's Ordination Conference also notes that even in his 1994 document John Paul acknowledged the question of women's ordination was "at the present time in some places … considered still open to debate."
"The continued presence of a strong movement clamoring for the ordination of women shows that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is far from definitively held as doctrine by the faithful of the Church," the statement said.
McElwee told NCR, "While the institutional church continues to reject and dismiss the priestly vocations of women, communities of Catholics recognize women's gifts and walk with them on a path of radical inclusion."
Among those walking "a path of radical inclusion," is Bridget Mary Meehan, one of four bishops in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests movement and pastor of the Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests claims about 250 priests worldwide.
"The Vatican's affirmation of its ban on women priests as 'definitive' teaching rests solely on patriarchal church authority," Meehan said. "In doing so, it denies the workings of the Spirit within the people of God."
"The Vatican's affirmation of its ban on women priests as 'definitive' teaching rests solely on patriarchal church authority. In doing so, it denies the workings of the Spirit within the people of God."
-- Bridget Mary Meehan
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in 2008, said, "Our movement is growing with enthusiasm among Catholics in grassroots communities, especially with marginalized LGBTI and divorced [Catholics], and all who seek a bigger table where God's beloved family gathers to celebrate sacraments and to serve their sisters and brothers in mutual love in a community of equals."
Both women priests noted that Ladaria's newspaper article coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issuing a general decree excommunicating the members of their movement and its supporters. The decree stated, "Both the person who attempts to confer holy orders upon a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive holy orders, incur the excommunication latae sententiae [automatically]." 
The decree doesn't mention the group or its members by name, but it followed a number of high-profile ordinations of women that year and the year before.
"Why [bring this up] now, 10 years later?" Meehan asked NCR. "What's up with that? Maybe they want us to issue a progress report."
Tell them, she said, "Yes, we keep growing and flourishing."
[Dennis Coday is NCR editor. His email address is Vatican correspondent Joshua J. McElwee contributed to this report.]
This story appeared in the June 15-28, 2018 print issue under the headline: Vatican's doctrinal prefect reaffirms ban on women priests .

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy- 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time, June 9, 2018- Co-Presiders Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Joan Meehan, Mindy Lou Simmons Music Minister

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Joan Meehan Co-Presiders at MMOJ Liturgy

Norman Rockwell

Liturgy to Celebrate "We are one spiritual family with all creation, new wine in new wineskins"

MIndy Lou Simmons, Music Minister

Opening Song: In the Name of All That Is

by Jan Novotka

In the name of all that is we come together.
In the name of the stars and galaxies;
in the name of the planets, moons and the sun;
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together.
In the name of the ocean and the sea;
in the name of the mountain, desert and plain;
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together.
In the name of the buffalo and bear;
in the name of the turtle, eagle and whale;
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together.
In the name of the cactus and the fern;
in the name of the flower, tree and the herb;
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together.
 In the name of the elements of life;
in the name of the soil, water and air;
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together.
In the name of the children of earth;
in the name of the Spirit breathing in all things;
in the name of all that is we come.

Presider:  In the name of God of heaven and Earth, and of Jesus our brother and of Spirit Sophia, our wisdom. we come together.   ALL:  Alleluia

Rite of Reconciliation and Healing:
Presider: We pause now to ask forgiveness for our failures to love one another and all beings on earth.

ALL:  Glory to God glory, O praise God alleluia, Glory to God glory, o praise the name of our God. (3 times)
Left to right: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Joan Meehan -Co-Presiders

Presider: O Holy One,You are the passionate presence of love from which life began on earth and continues to evolve in unending delight in daffodils and oak trees, sparkling oceans, and majestic mountains, strong bears and tiny kittens.  In the name of our Creator, who dances on moon beams, and leaps for joy across the heavens; we give thanks and praise.
All: Alleluia

Sally Brochu ARCWP proclaimed first reading

Readings: First Reading: We Who Are Alive Today by Jan Phillips

We who are alive today are the eyes and ears,
the hands and feet of the Creative Force.

We are Thought Incarnate, Word made Flesh, Love materialized.

We are the consciousness of the earth:
the universe knowing itself, seeing itself, singing to itself.

We are prophets of a new time, makers of a new myth,
where our Source dwells not on some heavenly throne
but in the very breath of living things: among us and within us.

We are made of heaven and earth, starlight and clay,
minerals and meteor dust.
We are the Infinite Wave transformed into finite particles,
spacetime compressed into the spec of a lifetime.

As the Cosmos multiplies and expands forever outward
so does it expand forever inward
evolving us into beings of higher consciousness.

We who are alive today came here with a purpose,
are in service to a mission: to extend mercy, to bring forth justice,
to re-member ourselves and converge as one.

We are creating tomorrow with our thoughts and words.
We are shaping ourselves and families, our communities and cities,
our cultures and civilizations by what we do and failed to do.

We are ascending into our potential, evolving into our God-ness,
co-creating the Whole that is the sum of our parts.

We who are alive today; let us sing out that the heaven we seek
is already around us, that wherever we look,
the Holy One is there, looking right back.

No matter what storms batter and buffet us, let us not lose heart,
for we are One with All and life holds us firmly in the palm of its hand.
The Word of Jan Phillips

Psalm 113: 1-9: God restores joy and gladness of heart.

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 16-5:1, 6:1-3
Janet Blakeley ARCWP proclaimed second reading

Gospel Acclamation:  ALLELUIA!    (sung)
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22, 3:31-35

Homily for 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time- Everyone is Family

Bridget Mary Meehan

I combined two passages in today’s Gospel proclamation:
In Mark 2 Jesus said: “new wine must be poured into new wineskins”
In Mark 3: Jesus said: ‘who is my mother? Who is my family? Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my sister, my brother, my mother.”

In his worldview, Jesus knew that beyond all our differences, family, race, gender, status, we are one divinely connected in God and to one another.
His words were not a put down of Mary or his brothers or sisters, but rather, a mind-blowing, expanded consciousness that in God’s family everyone belongs. We are one spiritual family.

This means that every person everywhere- including all created beings- are my sisters and brothers- even the sometimes doves who nest in my bay window.

This means that the children who are wrenched from their parents’ arms when they seek asylum at our borders are our family.

This means that hungry children in Sarasota County and the homeless I meet on a daily basis – Randall and Charlie- who do not have enough to eat and who suffer drug, alcohol and mental issues are our family.

Jesus’ message today is clear-  everyone is family, and that we need to treat them with the same love that we are called to show to our families of origin.

In his book, A Bigger Table, John Pavlovitz reminds us that we need to see the beauty within everyone. It is not our theologies, or doctrines, but our love that matters.  
He writes: “The idea of universal family or kinship is at the core of Christian faith too, of all, of all people made in the image of God, all creations of the same Creator, all equally flawed, all equally worthy of compassion. The beauty of the bigger table is that it creates proximity the way Jesus did. It destroys distance between people, and distance - whether real or imagined- is the enemy of relationship...Our labels are never large enough for unique image-bearers of God…and will always shortchange the beauty within them. We’ll also be satisfied viewing them from this safe distance of our self-righteousness and shouting through bullhorns or shaking tambourines.

Ouch! I can remember seeing a few of those demonstrations and counter demonstrations! And participating in a few such demonstrations!

 “The kind of intimacy shared by Jesus only comes through the redemptive relationship forged when we are willing to sit across from people who believe differently than we believe,” Pavlovitz writes, “willing to get close enough and stay long enough to see both their unique humanity and their inherent divinity. Jesus’ call to embrace love as theology isn’t merely a sugary surface platitude. It’s the most difficult, time- consuming work of reflecting Christ to the world around us.”
( A Bigger Table, pp. 120-121)

This can be a tall order on days that my homeless friend, is obviously drunk, speaking loudly and exhibiting obnoxious behavior at McDonald’s. Yikes!

My sisters and brothers, let’s be honest this is one of the major challenges we all face today in our present milieu.
But, I am hopeful because we are companions on this journey in this struggle together. We offer insight, good humor and perspective to each other – which I really appreciate.

Let’s affirm the ways that we are the face of God’s love to each other and to our sisters and brothers who seek an open table in the Catholic Church.

We are a warm hearted spiritual family who welcomes people to a bigger table. We offer hugs and kind words to each other and to the visitors who come through our doors. In our shared homilies, we listen to each other with mutual respect even if we don’t always agree.

As Bishop Michael Curry said at the royal wedding of Harry and Megan when love is the way we treat each other like family. “With love,” he said, “poverty will become history” and “the earth will become a sanctuary.” 

I may be an over the top optimist, but, I believe that we are new wine and what we are doing is being poured into new wineskins. The Spirit dwells in each of us and all of us- in our humanity and divinity-as we evolve- liberating, healing and transforming us one tiny step and one day at a time! 

As we continue to reach out to those who don’t share our beliefs or theology, we will live Jesus’ message in today’s Gospel that every person is a member of our family whom we are called to love as we love ourselves and as God loves us.


Shared Homily
Share an example on how we can share Christ’s love with those with whom we disagree. 

Profession of Faith: ALL:  We believe in God, the creator and lover of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who shows us how to live in the fullness of God’s love. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, who empowers us with spiritual gifts for loving service of our sisters and brothers. We believe in Shekinah, God’s dwelling among the people. We believe in Sophia, Holy Wisdom, leading us to justice, and equality.  We believe in Christ Sophia, nourishing us with abundant life as the Body of Christ at the table, on the table and around the table at the Banquet of love.

Presider:  Let us rejoice together in  the dance of creation.
That we may care for the cosmos in which the Holy One is revealed, we pray
Response: We will  pour new wine into new wineskins
Presider:  That those in leadership in our church may let go of fear of the new and wholeheartedly join in the dance, we pray
Response: We will pour new wine into new wineskins
R. Presider:  That theologians may have courage to respond to the rhythm of truth in spite of condemnation, we pray...
We pour new wine into new wineskins
Presider:  That the dead may dance forever in God's presence, we pray...
R. We pour new wine into new wineskins
(Other Intentions)

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. 
ALL:  Blessed be God for forever. 


Presidere The Holy One dwells within you.  ALL:  And loves through you.  
Presider:  Lift up your hearts. 
ALL:  We lift them up to the Great Spirit dwelling in all creation.
Presider: Let us give thanks that we are co-creators of a new heaven and earth
ALL:  It is right to proclaim our oneness with All.

Voice One:
God of amazing surprises, Creator of tiny bugs and awesome planets, Designer of earth's wonders, Giver of life and laughter, we praise your passionate love hidden, yet revealed, everywhere in the cosmos.

Voice Two:
Source of being, from the beginning, all creation joined in in the holy dance of life in your Divine Presence. In you, with you and through you, we jump for joy in an explosion of grace that resounds through the universe.

Sing: We are holy, holy. (Karen Drucker)

Voice Three:
We affirm the women and men through the ages who have danced Love's cosmic dream of communion with hearts ablaze. We pause now to remember those who have shown us how to step lightly on the path to holiness, pouring new wine into new wineskins. (Time for spontaneous remembrance)

Voice Four:
Heart of Love, we are grateful for this festive banquet that we share-  the Bread of Life and New Wine of Unending Delight- that nourishes us and makes us more deeply one as your beloved family.

(please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with his friends. At this meal, he took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take and eat.  Whenever you do this, you remember me
At the end of the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine, gave it to his friends and said:
 Take this, all of you, and drink of the everlasting covenant. Every time you do this, you remember me.

Let us proclaim the Sacred Mystery:
ALL: Your  love moves through us to make a more compassionate and just world.

Voice Five:
Although we come from diverse backgrounds, we are one body, for we all share in this one bread. And so, as we join with one another in the cosmic dance, Creator God, as we celebrate your holy presence in every living thing.

Voice 6:
Let us live as a new body, brought to birth by the Spirit of the Risen One in acts of forgiveness, healing, and justice. Let us support all who suffer and work for peace in lands torn by violence and hatred.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the resurrecting power of Divine Love forever evolving everywhere, all glory and praise is yours, O Gracious God, forever.

ALL:  Our Father and Mother…

.  Presider:  May the peace of Christ Sophia be always with you.  ALL: And also with you.  Presider:  Let us sing peace is flowing like a river as our prayer for peace among all God’s family.

ALL:   Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so.   Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will do so.  Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.
Presider:  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ! All are welcome. ALL:  Amen

Presider:  Creator of the cosmos, divine dancer, you have lifted us up and swung us around to see your beauty in nature's awesome gifts everywhere and in everyone. May we continue to move together to the divine rhythm of harmony and peace, dancing joyfully in love with all created beings forever. You guide us to new life and inspire our work and play with creativity and joyful enthusiasm. We are new wine in new wineskins!  ALL:  Amen

Presider:   Christ Sophia is within you  
ALL:  and within all people and all creation everywhere.

(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  May we go forth as dancing prophets and mystic visionaries of our cosmic communion with all life, in the Name of the Creator, in  the Name of our brother Jesus, and in the name of the Divine Spirit dancing with us  . Amen

Presider:   Go in the peace of Christ Sophia.  Let us live as new wine in new wineskins!  ALL:   Thanks be to God.

CONCLUDING HYMN : In the Name of All That Is- Jan Jan Novotka

Bridget Mary Meehan
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests