Friday, November 3, 2023

How About adding more women including women priests and LGBTQ as delegates in next year's Synod as a positive step to "walk the talk" of including the most marginalized in the Church? See article by Dan Horan in National Catholic Reporter

 My response: I appreciate this article by Daniel Horan in the National Catholic Reporter. I agree with Pope Francis that the ordained must reject clericalism and live according to Jesus' example of hospitality and accompaniment. Pope Francis could take a step forward for next year's Synod by adding more women -including Roman Catholic Women Priests- and LGBTQ as official delegates to create a better balance between laity and bishops and to "walk the talk" of listening to the most marginalized and excluded Catholics in our Church. Our voices were missing at the Synod this year.

I agree with Pope Francis that clericalism is a major problem in the institutional Church. This is why our mission in the  Roman Catholic Women Priests  Movement is to create a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals to serve the people of God especially those who are excluded from Eucharist and other sacraments. 

In our the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests'  governance model the entire community make decisions in a circular process of prayerful reflection, discernment, discussion and affirmation. This is also the model we use in our inclusive, egalitarian communities around the world.  

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Pope Francis stands at a round table with clerics and laypeople. Other round tables are visible throughout the hall.

Pope Francis prays with participants in the assembly of the Synod of Bishops before making a rare speech to the gathering Oct. 25 in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. (CNS/Vatican

Article in NCR:

Pope Francis reminds us — again — to reject clericalism

by Daniel P. Horan

Before the close of this year's synod session, Pope Francis restated what the church is at its core and, in doing so, denounced a church governed by clericalism.

November 2, 2023

Share on TwitterEmail to a friendPrint

"While coverage of the conclusion of the first in-person part of the church's synod on synodality is understandably garnering a lot of attention, especially as journalists and commentators begin to unpack the final synthesis document, I don't want to lose sight of a notable intervention (the term for a "short speech" at the synod) that Pope Francis delivered on Wednesday of last week (Oct. 25), days before the close of this year's session.

In his remarks, which were delivered in Spanish, the pope began by describing the church as "the faithful people of God, holy and sinful, a people convoked and called with the power of the beatitudes and of Matthew 25." This clear and simple, yet beautiful, statement follows from the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, which reminds all the faithful that the church is first and foremost the "people of God." The reference to this theme from Vatican II recurred throughout the synodal discussions, especially in the final week.

One of the reasons Pope Francis' opening ecclesiological statement is significant is that, by restating what the church is at its core, it sets the stage for him to denounce what we might call false descriptions or images of the church.

The primary target of Francis' denouncement is a church governed by clericalism. This should be no surprise to anybody who has followed the pope's ministry as bishop of Rome over the years. In fact, ten years ago to the month, I wrote a column that ran with the title, "Lead us not into clericalism." In that essay, I lifted up Pope Francis' criticism of merciless and self-centered clergy, noting that his focus on the need that "the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all," as he put it, was deeply in keeping with the vision of ministry articulated in the 13th century by his namesake St. Francis of Assisi.

Subsequently, the pope has named and called for the rejection of clericalism throughout his pontificate. One only has to read the numerous addresses to priests and bishops collected in the 2017 volume, With the Smell of the Sheep, to see how frequently the theme surfaces for Pope Francis.

I was delighted to see both the directness of his intervention and its consistency with his previous remarks. After emphasizing what Francis sees as the maternal dimensions and character of the church, which followed the reaffirmation of the universal dignity of all the baptized, the pope launches into his admonition: "When the ministers exceed their service and mistreat the people of God, they disfigure the face of the church with machismo and dictatorial attitudes."

What the pope is pointing to here is the all-too-common obsession some ordained ministers have with power and control, as well as the conflation of their personal identities with their ministerial offices. It's not unusual for some priests to refer to something they call "my priesthood," as if the reception of holy orders or the exercise of sacramental ministry was something magical, individually possessed and independent of the rest of the baptized.


As the renowned theologian and a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Susan K. Wood notes, there is a real change in the ordained priest, but it is primarily a change in relationships: to Christ, to the bishop, to other ordained presbyters and to the rest of the baptized. This sense of the centrality of relationship at the heart of the identity and theology of ministerial priesthood is also something theologian Richard Gaillardetz has highlighted, such as in his 2003 essay, "The Ecclesiological Foundations of Ministry Within an Ordered Communion."

The ignoring or forgetting of the inherently relational character of ordained ministry in the church, and the failure to recognize that the ordained are part of the baptized and not apart from it, leads to a deeply distorted sense of church and ministry.

Pope Francis, in his intervention last week, compared the result of this relational amnesia to something like a secular business or even supermarket. "Either the church is the faithful people of God on the way, holy and sinful, or it ends up being a business offering a variety of services." The desire to control these "services" — rather than the faithful administration of the sacraments on behalf of Christ — leads to a way of thinking and behaving that reduces the church to a "supermarket of salvation, and priests, mere employees of a multinational company."

The pope added, "This is the great defeat to which clericalism leads us with great sorrow and scandal (it is enough to go into the ecclesiastical tailor shops in Rome to see the scandal of young priests trying on cassocks and hats, or albs and lace robes)."

Religious habits, clerical collars and simple yet appropriate vestments are important and have their place. But the way that these distinctive and clearly distinguishing items are sometimes treated by those that the pope described in his intervention, calls to mind the admonition of Jesus Christ himself in the Gospel: "They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi" (Matthew 23:5-7).

What really matters? For some of the clergy, separateness and even a sense of superiority is what matters most. We can see this in the way in which some of the bishops at the synod expressed frustration at the presence and voting rights of those who are not bishops, especially lay women and men, at what is called a Synod of Bishops.

But as Pope Francis has consistently noted, the vocation of the ordained is not a call to specialness or power over others but, as Jesus repeatedly notes throughout the Gospels, an invitation to humility and service as one Christian among others. We clergy are meant to walk with and accompany our fellow Christians on our collective journey of faith, which is why the Second Vatican Council also refers to the church as a "pilgrim people."

The vocation of the ordained is not a call to specialness or power over others but, as Jesus repeatedly notes throughout the Gospels, an invitation to humility and service as one Christian among others.


One of the beautiful images that remains with me from this year's synodal gathering in Rome are the circular tables set up for discussion that included a range of people, genders, races and roles in the church — from the pope to a college student to a religious sister — all sitting together, all invited to speak and listen, all sharing one common baptism.

I hope that, moving forward, we can have a greater appreciation for what we share as siblings to one another in baptism, called by Christ and united in the Holy Spirit. And, especially for those of us who are ordained, may we continually recall the pope's direct warning: "Clericalism is a thorn, it is a scourge, it is a form of worldliness that defiles and damages the face of the Lord's bride [the church]; it enslaves the holy, faithful people of God."

This story appears in the Synod on Synodality feature series. View the full series.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Responds to Failure of Synod to Promote the Full Equality of Women in Ordained Ministries in the Church.


Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Press Release: November 2, 2023


Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Responds to Failure of Synod to Promote the Full Equality of Women in Ordained Ministries in the Church. 


The historic month-long Vatican meeting, known as a Synod of Bishops that permitted women to vote, ended without taking any positive steps on the hot button issues of women deacons and the LGBTQIA+ population. The final document affirmed the “urgent” need to give women decision-making power in the Church, and made yet another recommendation for further studies on women deacons. 

The discussion included the idea of establishing some form of reimagined permanent diaconate for women that did not focus on liturgical ministry but on service to the marginalized and poor. This is exactly what women do now! It fell short of granting them any liturgical sacramental role including preaching and presiding at baptisms or weddings which requires ordination. 


By our baptism In Christ, we are all equal. Therefore, all ministries, including ordination, must be open to those who are called and prepared to serve God’s people with loving compassion. A new reimagined model of ministry rooted in baptismal equality is needed.


Pope Francis said that he wants to hear all voices including the marginalized. This invitation should include Roman Catholic Women Priests who have been creating a Church for everyone for over 21 years. In our communities and ministries all are equal, all are welcome and all are invited to celebrate sacraments.  The Eucharistic table is open to everyone, no exceptions. This means women deacons and priests officiate at marriages of divorced and remarried Catholics, and within our LGBTQIA+ population.


In prophetic obedience to the Spirit and in apostolic succession, we move beyond talk into action by ordaining women and all genders to foster the full equality of women in all ministries in the Church.




Contact: Bridget Mary Meehan


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

My Response to Synod’s Failure to Move forward on Women Deacons

 I agree with Mary Mc Aleese’s analysis. She speaks truth to power.

My response to the Synod’s failure to take any positive steps on women deacons  is to continue to be a holy- shakeup maker With wonderful companions , we effect change from the inside edge of the Church among the most marginalized members of the baptized. 

In order to change an unjust law, one sometimes must break it. 

The people on the margins who love the sacraments and care about justice are the ones who call on us to serve them And these relationships and ministries are my deepest joy and the reason I am enthusiastic about living my vocation to ordained ministry now.

I am passionate about our prophetic movement that fosters the full inclusion and equality of women and all genders.  Women priests are in 12 countries and 34 states serving as deacons and priests preaching, baptizing , anointing and ordaining.

The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement ordains women called and qualified for public ministry now- not in 500 years ,when the Vatican finally decides.  Why? Because it is our Church, it belongs to the followers of Jesus- the people of God not to the hierarchy alone.  Women priests have been creating inclusive communities and fostering a church for everyone for 21 years! Everyone is welcome to celebrate sacraments- no exceptions.

We are not leaving the Church but leading a people- empowered Catholic Church into a new model of egalitarian community rooted in baptismal equality.

So, if you are a Catholic woman and you have discerned a call to serve in a new model of priestly ministry in a community of equals and are passionate about justice and equality  contact me Bridget Mary Meehan at


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

Interview with the bishop emeritus of Saltillo at the alternative Synod in Rome :Raúl Vera and Victorino Pérez

Raúl Vera and Victorino Pérez
Raúl Vera and Victorino Pérez

Raúl Vera: "By restricting priestly ordination to celibate men, we have kidnapped the Eucharist"

“We are here listening to the cry of the Spirit with women priests, LGTBI+ people and all those excluded”

"The Church has to advance much further on the path that the Council opened; then it did so with the so-called "separated brothers", and now it must do so with those who are different from what is established in the norms of the Church"

"It seems to me that we have kidnapped the Eucharist and we do not allow the people to access it, by restricting priestly ordination to celibate men"

On the occasion of the Shadow Synod, which I spoke about in previous posts on this blog, we were in Rome with Raúl Vera , bishop emeritus of Saltillo (Mexico). I had the opportunity of an interview (10/13/2023), in which he was accompanied by Emilie Smith , an Argentine-Canadian evangelical priest who is co-president with him of the International Christian Service of Solidarity with the peoples of Latin America “Óscar Romero”  (SICSAL ) and other members of this organization: the Australian living in Central America Sean O'Cleri and Teresa Subieta , current Bolivian ambassador to the Vatican.

Women’s Ordination Conference responds to final document of Pope Francis’ October 2023 Synod on Synodality


Joint Liturgy of the International Catholic Women’s Council and Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests on October 11, 2023 at Casa Bonus Pastor in Rome

My response: 

1. The Synod started a conversation with women in the room about  the “urgent “ need to expand women’s role in ministry.

2. The sidestepping of women in ordained ministries to a possible non-liturgical diaconal ministry is not new, it is what women in pastoral ministry already do in parishes around the world.

3. Expanding women’s role in a sacramental Church, must include liturgical ministries for deacons  because it is baptismal equality in Christ that opens all ministries, including a renewed  model of priestly ministry, to women and all genders .

Women priests are already here creating an inclusive church for everyone.

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

WOC responds to final document of Pope Francis' October 2023 Synod on Synodality 

For Immediate Release: October 28, 2023

Following the month-long 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican, the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) expresses its support for the ways in which the need for the greater participation of women in the pastoral life and governance of the church were outlined in the final document, released on October 28, 2023.  

However, at the same time, WOC is dismayed by the failure of the synod to take seriously the overwhelming calls to open all ordained ministries to women. The indication that the conversation on women in ordained ministries should be limited to the permanent diaconate or undefined “new ministries,” simply does not reflect the needs of the church today, nor the fullness of women’s vocations. 

While WOC celebrates the significant development of the Vatican’s decision-making process that allowed 54 women to vote for the first time alongside their male contemporaries, the document’s superficial treatment of the injustice of the inequality of more than half of the members of the church is cause for concern. On some level, the document seems to reflect a recognition of the wounds women have experienced at the hands of the church, but it falls short of engaging substantially with the healing of those wounds, opting instead to leave those issues to ever more studies and commissions. 

For the synodal process to retain any credibility, it will need to take seriously the full equality of women and LGBTQ+ people in every aspect of church life. A “listening church” that fails to be transformed by the fundamental exclusion of women and LGBTQ+ people fails to model the Gospel itself. 

Our ongoing witness, especially in the coming year, will be essential to ensuring women’s voices, experiences, and vocations are not further erased in the synodal process. If the synod assembly did not notice the urgent cries, prayers, and hopes of women, or is unwilling to take concrete steps to dismantle church structures and policies that oppress and diminish women, then the Women’s Ordination Conference and our supporters will simply need to make ourselves even more visible.

We will continue to work for accountability to the grassroots, and be an uncompromising voice for equitable inclusion of women at every level of the church. We have now seen women vote in the halls of the Vatican — there is no turning back.  


CONTACT: Kate McElwee, Executive Director, Women’s Ordination Conference

Exclusive: Cardinals Cupich, McElroy say 'impossible to go back' to synods without lay voters

Synodal delegates addressed International Council of Catholic Women in Rome in October 2023

My response:

Two ideas  pop out here from this interview with two prominent, progressive U.S. cardinals: the “urgent” need to expand women in leadership roles and a “reimagined “ diaconate that is not focused on liturgical functions but on service to the poor.

This would mean that -if approved -sacramental diaconal ministry such as preaching and officiating at baptisms, funerals and weddings- would not be part of the job description for women deacons. Yet these functions have been part of the diaconate ministry of  both transitional and permanent deacons for years. How is this expanding what women in ministry are already doing? Are the cardinals proposing changing the roles of deacons - both transitional and permanent?

 Now this will cause quite a sea change! All because  the topic of ordaining women to the diaconate is the hottest of hot potatoes at this Synod! And will continue to be because the full equality of women in all ministries in the church is the voice of Spirit calling for a holy shakeup in a more inclusive and just Church.

I do not see that how a reimagined diaconate would address the urgent need of expanding the leadership roles for women in sacramental ministry. 

Rather continuing to exclude women from liturgical leadership in presiding at sacraments would affirm their secondary status as less than equal to male deacons and bolster the misogynistic teaching that a priest must bear a physical resemblance to Christ. Now according to this proposal deacons - male and female would be reimagined in a way in which their ministry is not representative of their radical baptismal oneness and equality in Christ. 

Expanding women’s role in a sacramental Church, must include liturgical ministries for deacons  because it is baptismal equality in Christ that opens all ministries, including a renewed  model of priestly ministry, to women and all genders .

NCR Article:

“Synodal concluded that brings“But McElroy said that, of those propositions, "There's only one that's called urgent. And that is bringing women into greater roles of leadership at all levels of the church. Not a single one has the word urgent or any equivalent word except for that one."

Synod is a milestone in the reception of Vatican II

 My response: This process of consultation and conversation with the people of God is a major shift into post Vatican ll ecclesiology and a positive step forward and a sign of the Spirit moving in the global Church. However, the reality check is what practical steps will Pope Francis take to ensure that marginalized and excluded Catholic voices - such as Roman Catholic Women Priests - are heard in the coming year,  and are at the table in October. Francis keeps saying that all voices must be heard. Women Priests await an invitation! Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP


“The rebalancing of Roman Catholic ecclesiology in the past 150 years, from the First Vatican Council's assertion of papal primacy and infallibility in Pastor Aeternusto the Second Vatican Council's Lumen Gentium, is now complete. Primacy gave way to collegiality and now to a synodality involving the entire people of God.

Cardinals and bishops join Pope Francis as he presides over Mass, marking the end of the first session of the assembly of the synod of on synodality at the Vatican Oct. 29. (CNS/Lola Gomez)

Cardinals and bishops join Pope Francis as he presides over Mass, marking the end of the first session of the assembly of the synod of on synodality at the Vatican Oct. 29. (CNS/Lola Gomez)

“It is almost inconceivable to think that a future synod would be convoked with only bishops present. The commitment to continue this kind of synodal dialogue comes through every page of the report.

It was always inconceivable, and remains so, to think the synod would overthrow the hierarchic structure of the church. Yes, everyone going into the synodal process must surrender to the Holy Spirit, but a bishop surrenders as a bishop and a layperson as a layperson. The hierarchic structure of the church was balanced at Vatican II, it wasn't tossed out. 

What happened this month, finally, was the implementation of the ecclesiology of Lumen Gentium. The variety of ecclesiological images of the church contained in that document were manifested in this monthlong, consultative meeting that was itself the culmination of a consultative process that might have been the largest and widest in the history of the world. 

One synod delegate emailed me after the document was passed:

The intensive experience of synodal dialogue allowed us to encounter our global fellow pilgrims in profoundly affective collegiality, calling us to focus on the core realities of our faith, to wrestle intensively and creatively with the profound human and ecclesial dilemmas that confront us, often coming to "both/and" pathways for "either/or" solutions, seeking to proceed from the marriage of love and truth in all of its wrenching difficulty.

I will red-flag a concern here. "The exercise of co-responsibility is essential for synodality and is necessary at all levels of the Church," states the final report. "Every Christian is a mission in the world." The synodal process needs to make sure it is not hijacked by professional Catholics, those with the time, training and interest to exercise co-responsibility — people like you, dear reader, and me. As a class, we can become insufferable. The B+ Catholics, even the D+ Catholics, need to be engaged on their terms if this synodal process is to be small "c" Catholic. 

We can hope additional reporting will clarify how the synodal conversations were framed, and what tensions emerged not along ideological lines but along cultural and geographic ones.“

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Highlights of Programs of Women Priests at October Synod in Rome

 Video of Group Conversation on Oct. 29, 2023 on Highlights and Presentations

Living Gospel Inclusivity and Equality Now


Drawing by Gary Harness

Living Gospel Equality and Inclusivity Now- Bridget Mary Meehan

(Talk in Rome for Spirit Unbounded, Oct. 13, 2023)

This lovely drawing by artist Gary Harness of a woman priest walking on water is a powerful symbol for me.  Every day Roman Catholic Women Priests face the challenge of patriarchal resistance to co-create a new model of ministry that honors the gifts of all God’s people and to provide a place for everyone at the table especially the marginalized and excluded.  

According to the story of Jesus walking toward the disciples on a stormy sea, Peter responds to Jesus’ invitation to “come” by leaping out of the boat and walking on water. (MT: 14:22-32)

Like Peter responding to the Spirit’s call, Roman Catholic Women Priests are coming out of the patriarchal boat and challenging an exclusive male priesthood by ordaining women for public ministry in a companionship of equals. 

This prophetic call has placed us on the edge of the inside of the Church as we follow the teachings and example of Jesus that sets us free to love and to set others free from laws and structures that oppress.

 “Outside the camp”, writes Richard Rohr, “is a prophetic position on the edge of the inside, which is described by the early Israelites as “the tent of meeting outside the camp” (Exodus 33:7). Even though this tent is foldable, moveable, and disposable, it is still a meeting place for “the holy” which is always on the move and out in front of us. “

In this Synod, Pope Francis has called for “enlarging the tent,” to create a Church where all are welcome. 

This is what Roman Catholic Women Priests have been doing for 21 years

We foster radical hospitality in the community of the baptized by inviting everyone to celebrate sacraments including LGBTQ+, the divorced and remarried, and all who no longer feel at home in the Church. 

I first experienced my call to ordination when I was a pastoral associate at Ft. Myer Chapel in Arlington, Virginia in the 1980’s. At that time, there was a priest shortage, so my job description included everything except presiding at Mass and sacraments. Often, when I conducted a communion service in the absence of a Catholic priest, the people would express their gratitude for the “lovely Mass.” Even though I made it clear that this was a Communion Service, they often called it a Mass. So, it dawned on me- if only- I could be ordained they would easily accept me as their priest.  And that would happen only if I left my comfort zone and was ordained in another denomination. 

Then that call to Ordination finally came. In 2005 I was invited by a group of women from different faith traditions in our Florida community to lead discussions on women in the Bible. During one of these sessions, I shared with them that I was invited to attend the first North American ordinations of Roman Catholic Women Priests, on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The women were delighted and told me that not only should I attend, but that I should be ordained and that they wanted me to be their priest! One woman even donated her frequent flyer miles so I could fly free to Canada. 

I was inspired by the courage of the nine women who were ordained on the St. Lawrence River in the first North American Ordination of Roman Catholic women Priests. I knew then that it was time for me to jump out of the boat and prepare for Ordination. 

On July 31, 2006 I was ordained a priest by three women bishops, Patricia Fresen, Gisela Forster, and Ida Raming.  The ordination took place in Pittsburgh, on the river boat “Majestic.” As the bishops and over a hundred people laid hands on us, I felt Spirit’s presence moving through all of us like an electrical current in what I  call- a holy shakeup!

After returning to my home in Florida, I received a telephone call from Dick Fisher asking when I was going to schedule Mass. A few weeks later, six people gathered around my dining room table to celebrate our first house church liturgy. We named our community Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community (lovingly nicknamed MMOJ). 

After our local Bishop, Frank Dewane warned Catholics not to attend our Masses because they were not real Masses and did not count, our weekly gathering outgrew my mobile home. This growth led us to rent St. Andrew United Church of Christ in Sarasota for our Saturday evening liturgy. When the bishop threatened to excommunicate everyone who came to our first ordination over two hundred people filled the pews.   Every time the bishop criticized us or threatened excommunication, our community tripled in size! In my experience, hierarchical opposition to women priests sometimes has been the gift that keeps on giving! The call for the full equality of women and for gender justice is the voice of God in our times that no one can silence.

I am a member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, which is part of the international RCWP movement that began in 2002 with the ordination of seven women on the Danube. Our first women bishops were ordained by an anonymous Roman Catholic male bishop from a well- known line of apostolic succession. On April 19, 2009, I was ordained a bishop by women bishops who were ordained by Bishop X. 

Therefore, our ordinations are valid, but in violation of Church law. Canon 1024, states that only a baptized man can receive Holy Orders. 

In 2008, the Vatican issued a decree of automatic excommunication for the ordination of a woman. We reject this unjust punishment rooted in sexism. Women priests practice prophetic obedience to the Spirit by breaking an unjust man-made law in order to change it. We affirm the Church’s teaching of the primacy of conscience. Our movement offers a path toward gender justice and the healing of centuries-old misogyny in the institutional Church. 

We walk in the footsteps of heroic women saints like Hildegard of Bingen, Joan of Arc, Mother Theodore Guerin and Mother Mary Mackillop who followed their consciences and withstood hierarchical oppression including interdict, excommunication and death. 

Church leaders have reversed outdated teachings, unjust laws and harsh punishments in the past. Sometimes this happens when the person is safely dead! In Joan of Arc’s case, she was declared a saint after being burned at the stake. In our times, Pope Benedict canonized St. Hildegard of Bingen and the two formerly excommunicated nuns, Mother Theodore Guerin from the United States and Mother Mary MacKillop from Australia. Apparently, excommunication is not a barrier to sainthood! 

Women priests are renewing sacramental theology and liturgical rites by emphasizing a theology of blessing, accompaniment and community empowerment. We are turning the pyramid of hierarchical domination into open, participatory circles in which the community of believers makes decisions about ministries, spiritual programs, liturgical celebrations, and governance. 

For example, at our ordinations, after the bishop lays hands on the Ordinand, the entire community is invited to do so too. For me, the highlight of every ordination is watching the faces of people as they bless the newly ordained. In a people-empowered Church, the community is taking their rightful role in affirming the call to ordination in communities of equals. 

I will never forget seeing Marie weep after receiving communion in our house church. She said that after a hostile encounter with a priest years ago, she felt unworthy to receive the Eucharist in her parish community, but  now knew that she was accepted in a caring faith community. 

During COVID, my neighbor, Pearl, asked me to baptize her grandson, Champ, in her home. As we gathered around in a circle on her lanai, I began by affirming that Champ was loved by God from the first moment of his existence and now welcomed into the Christian community by his family and friends. I invited the baby’s mother to pour the water as I recited the words. Grandmother Pearl and the entire family participated in the anointing with oil.  

When people are sick and infirm, I gather with their family and friends in their own surrounding to celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick in a communal setting, inviting others to also anoint and pray together for healing and wholeness. 

When my friend, Jack Duffy, one of the founding members of MMOJ community was dying in July of this year, his adult children asked to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick with their Dad. As they said goodbye to Jack. I sat with the children and the dog on his bed, and cried with them. Before cremation, we gathered again to say a final farewell to his earthly remains and to affirm our eternal connection in the community of saints. 

One time I co-officiated with a Lutheran pastor at a Catholic Mass at a large wedding on Englewood Beach in Florida. Sheila, the bride, had been married three times and was not interested in jumping through the annulment hoops. Now in her seventies, she met Ed, the love of her life and wanted both the Lutheran minister and me to co-preside at a ecumenical liturgy that reflected both of their faith traditions.

In June of this year, I took care of my dear friend Peg in her home during the last two weeks of her life. Peg was a support member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests from the beginning days of the movement who made things run smoothly and efficiently.  She decided that she would like to be present at her own Celebration of Life. 

So, together, we planned a beautiful Eucharistic Liturgy and invited her friends, colleagues and women priests to participate on Zoom. We sang her favorite songs, viewed a special video called “Soul Sister” that I had created for her featuring photos from different times in her life. During the homily time, everyone was invited to share tender words of gratitude and love. We saw tearful faces and heard many wonderful heart-warming stories about Peg and the impact she had on so many lives. As I anointed her body, the entire gathering held out their hands in blessing.  When Peg held up the Cup at the Consecration, she embodied the love of the feminine divine embracing and connecting us spiritually forever.

Roman Catholic Women Priests are redefining the ancient tradition of Eucharistic table sharing that builds community wherever we are including cyberspace. Like Jesus’ followers in the first centuries, we are gathering together to break open our lives, to share bread and wine in memory of Jesus, to reconcile and heal each other, and to live the Christ-Presence in our lives.

Since COVID shuttered Churches, our community has become a Church without walls. Our weekly celebration of Eucharist occurs through a live online gathering in which the priest and online community participate in a shared homily and pray the words of consecration of the bread and wine that each member brings to the celebration. Then each member of the community receives Communion in their own home. 

In our Eucharistic gatherings there has been a growing awareness that the Real Presence of Christ is experienced not only in the bread and wine that we consecrate, but also in the words we say to each other when we receive Communion: “you are the Body of Christ,” or, “You are the face of God.” The experience of the Real Presence of Christ in us is drawing us more deeply into the Divine Mystery in which we live and move and have our being beyond anything we can describe or even imagine. 

Theologians today are reimagining the Eucharist as a profound act of cosmic love in which the whole expanding universe- all the stars, galaxies, black holes, and the entire planet- are present. 

In the encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis wrote: “In the Eucharist, the whole cosmos gives thanks to God. Indeed, the Eucharist is itself an act of cosmic love.” 

In this mystical vision of Eucharist, the Real Presence of Christ encompasses all people and all creation in an ever- expanding act of transforming love. 

The two-year Synod -that includes women as voting members for the first time- is a positive step forward for gender justice. I hope our brother, Francis’ call for an open dialogue with the marginalized includes Roman Catholic Women Priests. 

Here we are! We are ready! 

We come from the inside edge to share our lived experiences of widening the Church’s tent by providing a spiritual home where everyone is welcome, and where justice and equality for women is a lived reality!

Come join us on this exciting journey. Get out of the boat and walk on water with us!! 

New York Times

Bishop Theodora next to St. Praxedis , Mary of Nazareth, St. Prudential in St. Praxedis Church in Rome

I had a conversation with Bishop Raul Vera at the break time requesting a meeting with Pope Francis to share our stories and to lift all punishments against us. 

Bishop emeritus of Saltillo-Mexico Raul Vera was present for this presentation. I had a wonderful conversation with him about our movement.

Secretarial international pot la solidaridad con Los pueblos Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Secretary: Jacqueline Campbell 

This Program on Roman Catholic Women Priests was held at Casa Bonus Pastor, a Catholic Seminary in the Diocese in Rome on October 11, 2023

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM meet and greet, interviews with press

10:00  - Opening Prayer 

Holy One, you inspire women priests to create a church for everyone where all are welcome to celebrate sacraments. We pray that during this synodal dialog the Roman Catholic Church may truly expand the tent by promoting the full equality of women and all genders in ordained ministry. 

May we walk together in a spirit of hope to include all voices and foster your kindom of radical justice, loving inclusion and diversity. Amen.

Opening Song: Courageous Women by Jan Novotka

10:15 - Welcome and Video on Women Priests Redefining Ministry followed by questions and discussion (Bridget Mary Meehan)

10:45 - An Inclusive Catholic Community shares what it means to be church in the 21st Century (Mary Theresa Streck)

11:15  - Women priests in Europe - PowerPoint (Christine Moreira)

11:45 - Women priests in Latin America (Olga Lucia Alvarez)

12:00 - Questions and Open Discussion (Team)

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM – lunch, informal discussions and interviews with press.

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – repeat of morning program

4:00PM- 4:30PM - Time for Conversations and Interviews

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Joint Liturgy with the Catholic Women's Council on the theme of abuse of women in the Church: 'Lament, Resistance and Healing'

5:30 PM -  Women's Ordination Conference film, 'Women Talking,' will be screened, followed by a discussion.

6:30 PM -9:00 PM - dinner, informal discussions and interviews with press.

For more information contact:

Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan –

What's App: +1 703-505-0004

Rev. Dr. Mary Theresa Streck –

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests