Friday, November 19, 2021

Women"s Ordination Witness for Full Equality of Women in Baltimore as U.S. Bishops Met and Backed Away from Their Threat to Weaponize Communion


Dear Bridget,

The Women's Ordination Conference and our partners in church reform gathered on Monday in Baltimore for a prayerful witness calling for "Bread, Not Stones," ahead of the US bishops' conference meeting where they were to vote on a controversial document on the Eucharist. Just about 50 of us where there, praying, marching, chanting, and singing, as the US Bishops met behind closed doors.

WOC led the way as we carried our message of inclusion to the hotel where the bishops were meeting, encountering aggressive hecklers along the way. We stood courageously and firmly in our faith that teaches us that it is wrong to weaponize the Eucharist, and that there were no orthodoxy tests at Jesus’ table.

You can watch the livestream of our peaceful witness here and hear the voices of leaders from WOC, DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry, Catholics for Choice, FutureChurch, and CTA, among others.

We know now that the bishops overwhelmingly approved a bland document on the mystery of the Eucharist that makes no mention of denying communion to pro-choice politicians, as was the fear. However, the damage, division, and disgust they were able to produce in the journey to this vote caused real harm.

But this comes to no surprise to us. We know that when men meet behind closed doors and attempt to make decisions about the life of the church without the presence, voices, and votes of women and lay people, they fail to model the inclusive message of the Gospel. Until women and non-binary people are equals at these decision-making tables, and at the altar, we have work to do.

And so we march on, prayerfully, peacefully, and prophetically, as the church who knows that God does not discriminate, and the Eucharist is food for the journey, not a prize for the perfect.

Thank you to all who held us in prayer as we witnessed in uncertain and divided times, and generously support WOC on this journey. Please consider making a gift to enable our work to continue with such strength!
At the table of justice,
Kate McElwee
Executive Director

Katie Lacz
Program Director

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