Friday, May 24, 2024

Women at the Altar by Jane Varner Malhotra, Commomweal

"Until women are at the table in large numbers, the Church can’t begin to fully hear the cries of the poor, the young, the disabled, the abused, and the marginalized whom the Church claims to prioritize. As creators who have the potential to give birth, women are agents of the sacred, with unique experiences and perspectives that must be shared in order to know a fuller picture of the divine. We, too, reveal God’s image...

How long must women wait to be on this altar, O God?” I sighed and wandered away. A few minutes later, I looked back: lo and behold, a woman stood on that altar. An elderly sister in her habit, she held a spray bottle and rag and was wiping down the table. I shook my head and chuckled—God has a wicked sense of humor! And then I realized, God’s not joking."Women have been at this altar all along, God was saying. You are my daughters, my queens, my caretakers, my coworkers, my companions. Soon women will be fully restored to our God-given leadership roles in places of worship, including this one, with all the challenges and blessings that will bring.

Not long after I returned home, the Vatican’s synthesis document was released. It described the working questions, reflections, and findings for this closing year of the Synod on Synodality. I noted the first two words in Italian and refer to it that way. Care sorelle (“Dear sisters”) offers some useful thoughts, but continues to fall short where women are concerned. Until we are welcomed by the Church fully into every role that God calls us to—including bishops, deacons, priests, and pope—this “hot-button issue” of inclusive ordination should not only be on the table but at the altar. It is indeed sacred to polish the chalice and ring the bells. But, assembly of women, shall we consider sharing all our gifts again in the co-responsibility of Christ?"

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Despite pope’s clear ‘no’ on CBS, promoters of women deacons hold out hope

Pope Francis has said in a Church for everyone, all voices must be heard. So now is the time for Francis to have a conversation with women who are called to ordained ministry including Discerning Deacons and Roman Catholic Women Priests. Bridget Mary Meehan

Women hold banners, in background is the Castel Sant'Angelo

Dozens of women march to the Vatican, Oct. 6, 2023, calling for female ordination. (RNS/Tom Reese)

National CATHOLIC Reporter 


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Despite what appeared to be a rigid no from Pope Francis to the idea of ordaining Catholic women deacons during the pontiff’s interview with CBS News on Monday (May 20), Catholic advocates for the prospect of women deacons in the church remain hopeful.

In the interview, which took place April 24, Francis told CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell that he was not open to the possibility of ordaining women deacons.

When O’Donnell asked Francis, "For a little girl growing up Catholic today, will she ever have the opportunity to be a deacon and participate as a clergy member in the church?" Francis responded, "No."

"Women have always had, I would say, the function of deaconesses without being deacons, right? Women are of great service as women, not as ministers, as ministers in this regard, within the holy orders," said Francis, referring to the sacrament of ordination.

Those who have been working to see women deacons become a reality expressed surprise and dismay at the interview, given the pope’s past statements and the evolution of the issue under his pontificate from a wish to a matter of study.

McElwee stands at lectern, as seated assembly listens in ornate audience room.

Women’s Ordination Conference Executive Director Kate McElwee, left, addresses conference members during the “Let Her Voice Carry” vigil in the Basilica of St. Praxedis in Rome, Oct. 3, 2023. (AP/Gregorio Borgia)

"I was quite devastated to see his response," said Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which, unlike several other groups pushing for female deacons, also advocates for women’s ordination as priests and bishops. McElwee said that while Francis has previously had a "closed door" stance on women’s ordination to the priesthood, it was a surprise to see the pope extend that to the diaconate.

"It’s a very sad day when a powerful man like a pope tells a young girl that they can’t, or will never be equal in their own church and will never be able to follow their call from God," McElwee said, adding that the names of women and girls who have experienced a vocation to ordained ministry flashed through her mind when the pope made his reply.

Women who say they have had a call to the diaconate have said that the exclusion of women from ordained ministry has caused them deep pain.

Tricia Bruce, a sociologist and author of "Called to Contribute," a study of Catholic women and the diaconate, said that in the interviews she conducted, "deeply committed Catholic women who wish to serve the church in their fullest capacity and yet feel and hear this continual message of the door being closed and not being able to respond to that sense of call and vocation" described their lament and pain.

Bruce, who emphasizes that she is a sociologist who studies Catholics’ attitudes, not an advocate, said her study found that young women in ministry expressed "optimism and revival and hope and deep faith that the church will come to acknowledge and see as equal women’s gift in the church." Older women, however, felt "sadness and disappointment because they, as younger women, held on to that same hope."

Francis has entertained the question of women deacons for most of his pontificate. In 2016, in response to a challenge from a group of Catholic sisters meeting in Rome, he appointed a commission to study the history of women deacons. In April 2020, he set up a second commission focused on the possibility of restoring what advocates argue was an ancient role for women in the church.

In the weeks before Francis spoke to CBS, the Vatican announced that the issue of women deacons had been assigned to one of 10 study groups examining controversial issues that will report at the October 2024 meeting of the Synod on Synodality, and again in July 2025.

Phyllis Zagano, a Religion News Service columnist and senior research associate at Hofstra University who served on the first commission on women deacons, expressed concern about the comment’s impact on the synod in an email. "Surely Pope Francis did not intend to shut down several decades of study and ignore the import of Spirit-led discernment, which he has been so keen to emphasize as the modus operandi of the Catholic Church," she wrote.

Casey Stanton, co-director of the advocacy group Discerning Deacons, also read the pope’s comments as at odds with the synod. "Our church is in the middle of this three-year consultative process that he initiated to try to help transform the culture of the church from kind of unilateral, top-down decision-making towards listening and co-responsibility," she said.

"If his mind is already made up, then what does that mean for the unfolding process?" Stanton asked.

But advocates for women deacons do not consider the conversation over. Bruce, who in February was appointed as a consultant to the Vatican’s General Secretariat of the Synod, agrees.

Bruce said that instead of "shutting down the conversation" of women deacons, the pope may be instead "naming a moment."

"His response to me strikes as one that honors the current form and structure of the church," Bruce said, adding, "I have a deep appreciation for Pope Francis’ willingness to engage in open conversation and communication."

Bruce said the synod cannot be pinned on "one moment or one person," but that it is an "ongoing project of discernment."

Deacon Federico Guillermo "Memo" Rodriguez, a facilitator of diaconate formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said he already sees women doing diaconal work. Catholic women’s desire to serve as ordained deacons "is not different from what men experience and discern themselves," he said.

Rodriguez, who is affiliated with Discerning Deacons, pointed out that the permanent diaconate — as opposed to the short-term status that is a step before becoming a priest — was only reinstated a little more than 50 years ago. "That’s virtually yesterday in church times, so the church is still rediscovering" who deacons are, he said.

Advocates for women deacons often point to St. Phoebe, mentioned in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, as biblical proof of female deacons in the early church.

Stanton speculated that the pope might be resisting the cause of women deacons as part of his fight against clericalism, the term for the idea that ordained clergy are superior to the laity, which Francis has called a "scourge on the church."

"We in Discerning Deacons share this profound sense that our baptism grounds us, and that is the root of our discipleship," she said, but she challenged the pope to listen to and believe women in the church. "We’re just actually asking for sacramental grace to strengthen us in hard ministry," said Stanton, who counts herself among women who feel a call to the diaconate.

"We’re trying to be ordained so we can go minister in the prison. We’re trying to be ordained so we can go visit folks, our parishioners in immigration detention centers. And you just actually need to be ordained to get on the visitation list," Stanton said.

Stanton, the mother of three, said that ordaining moms as deacons would serve as a hedge against clericalism. "Children keep you humble," she said.

"I wonder if Pope Francis has not yet had an encounter with women who sense a call, a real vocation to be ordained as deacons," Stanton added. Though known as a pastoral pope, Francis, surrounded by theological arguments, may not be "immersed in the pastoral reality."

McElwee similarly said that Francis’ "lack of pastoral care when it comes to women is always shocking." The Women’s Ordination Conference, she said, is advising "for Pope Francis to sit down and really listen to the stories of women who have sincerely discerned calls to ordination."

McElwee said she and her team were most immediately attending to the needs of members who feel disappointment, betrayal, anger and sadness, but they planned to continue their work.

"My hope really comes from the resolve and determination of women who sincerely discern a call to ordained ministry and against all odds, claim it, proclaim it, and hold onto it," McElwee said. "Bringing equality into the Catholic Church would just have such a huge effect around the world."

Rodriguez, a deacon at St. Paschal Baylon Catholic Church in Thousand Oaks, California, stressed that Francis’ comments were made in a news interview. "It’s not official church documents that the pope was issuing," he said. "It’s not immediately clear if this was his opinion, his teaching, his position. It needs clarification."

Rodriguez called on Catholics to continue to discern women’s calls to ministry while listening to Francis’ teaching authority, regardless of what answers are given about women deacons.

With the church, "a negative answer right now can be a negative answer for a long time, or it can be a negative answer until the right time comes, and that’s part of discerning," Rodgriguez said.

"The priority here is to serve the people of God in communion with the Catholic Church," he said.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

FutureChurch Disappointed by Pope Francis’ Dismissal of Historical Evidence, Global Call for Women Deacons


Contact: Russ Petrus, Executive Director |

In an April 2024 interview with Norah O’Donnell, which aired on CBS on May 20, Pope Francis rejected the possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate. Asked if a young girl growing up Catholic today could have to opportunity to “be a deacon or participate as a clergy member,” Francis’ one word answer was simply “No.” When O’Donnell followed up specifically about his previous openness to women deacons, Francis elaborated on the topic of sacramental ordination: "If it is deacons with Holy Orders, no. But women have always had, I would say, the function of deaconesses without being deacons, right?"

The comments represent Francis’ strongest public opposition to ordaining women deacons during his papacy. Pope Francis has previously signaled openness to it in interviews and by forming two commissions to study questions pertaining to women deacons. The fruits of those commissions have not been made publicly available. It was also recently reported that Salesian Sister Linda Porcher, who has helped organize sessions for Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinals to learn about women’s leadership and ministries, said he is “very much in favor” of a “female diaconate,” though it was unclear whether she meant an ordained diaconate. Porcher also indicated that Francis was looking to grant “some rights” to all the baptized that have previously been reserved for clerics.

FutureChurch is profoundly disappointed that Pope Francis’ response is an apparent dismissal of both the historical evidence and the global calls for restoring women deacons.

“Pope Francis is either unaware of or has chosen to ignore the significant historical and textual evidence that women not only served but were in fact ordained as deacons in our history,” said FutureChurch Executive Director, Russ Petrus. “Even still, as Francis admits, women continue to serve the ‘function’ of a deacon today. Who are we to deny them the sacramental grace of Holy Orders as they respond to their call and minister to the urgent needs around them? We should celebrate and support these women, including by ordaining them,” he continued.

A Synodal Church in Mission, the final synthesis of the October 2023 Synod Assembly, indicates that significant conversation regarding women deacons took place during the assembly (I.9.j). Moreover, synod delegates specifically call for continued theological and pastoral research and discernment and making the reports of previous study commissions available (I.9.n). In light of this interview, FutureChurch reaffirms and joins those calls.

“It would be a betrayal of his own vision for a synodal church for Pope Francis to silence the global conversation this way,” said Petrus. “But the Spirit will not be silenced. And neither will women and their allies – lay and cleric alike – who, led by the Spirit of Pentecost, which we just celebrated, will continue to call for women’s full equality and access to all seven Sacraments in our Church.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pope Francis Interview with Norah O'Donnell, My Thoughts- A Church for Everyone Must Include Women Deacons and Priests in Sacramental Ministries

 I think part of the issue is that  Pope Francis has never with any Roman Catholic Women Priests or heard our stories of call or inclusive ministries. His vision is a church for everyone which has been our 20 year plus mission on the margins. But a wider tent cannot happen without women in ordained ministries. Our movement is needed more than ever to make that happen and grow in the emerging church that we are called to lead!

I was touched by Pope Francis's warmth and pastoral response to Norah O'Donnell throughout the Sixty Minutes interview. 

On hot button issues such as  surrogacy, Pope Francis started his response by reiterating  Church's opposition. Then he acknowleged that he knew that Norah felt deeply for the suffering of these couples. He went on to give a pastoral response  saying something to the effect that while it is important to keep in mind the moral principles involved, couples with no other real option might make this choice.  On the issue of blessing gay unions, Pope Francis, made a major point that this was a spiritual blessing for the couples, not a  change in Church teaching that would allow gay marriage.  By this action, he has affirmed  LGBTQ+ persons as beloved people to be blessed and treated as equal members of the Church. It is a step in the right direction, but the medieval teaching forbidding gay unions and marriage must  change in order to move toward full equality and oneness in Christ. 

In response to women deacons, he spent time affirming the important role that women played in the Catholic faith and their importance in Jesus' life and ministry, but clearly made no wiggle room for women priests or even women deacons. He did not even allude to the fact that this topic is supposed to be under serious study after it was raised in the Synod in 2023 in Rome. 

I was disappointed by his response but I also felt that if he actually had a conversation with any of our close to 300 women deacons, priests and bishops, or the members of our emerging church faith communities, he might have understood that our work is  widening the tent and creating a more inclusive church where all are welcome to receive and celebrate sacraments. It is time for Francis to engage in a spirit-filled conversation with  women in ordained ministries in our Roman Catholic Women Priests International Movement. 

Maybe-just maybe,  if we had a sit-down with Pope Francis, while we'd disagree on  the teaching that prohibits women's ordination, there is  much we have in common- our love for the people of God especially those who are suffering in our world and on the periphery of society. We are on the same page on many of the topics he covered because social justice is integral to the Gospel of Jesus and all justice issues are connected including the topics he mentioned in his interview: peace, migrants, children, the climate...

Pope Francis's vision and our vision is the same:  the Church must be a welcoming place, a spiritual home for everyone- "todos, todos, todos!" But , a  Church for everyone must include women in all ministries including ordained  sacramental ministry. There are close to 300 in our Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement. We  have been serving God's people in the emerging Church for 20 years! 

I pray that Pope Francis will invite us to share our stories of call and ministry so that we too will be included in "todos, todos!"  Francis could take a first step by lifting excommunication against women priests and our supporters! May it be so as we journey together in loving oneness in Christ!

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

It is the Time of Women in the Renewed Roman Catholic Church By Mgtr. Blanca Azucena Caicedo Presbytera ARCWP

The Logos of Women

What could this new era of women be called: brilliant! Knowledge, wisdom, excellence, which for centuries have been denied to women, flourishes more and more demonstrating that their human capabilities are in no way less than those of their opposite gender .

The Roman Catholic Church, called to be the light of the world and salt of the Earth (cf. Mt. 5:14), is obliged from its very essence to bear witness to inclusion. In the current Church, continuing to foster unequal treatment between people due to gender, based on tradition and the discourse of the Fathers of the Church, is to refuse the new times of the spirit.

Stubbornness leaves the new lifeless. There will not be a real Catholic Church in the style of Jesus Christ, until there is gender equality among the human beings that make it up, with the same right in dignity, participation, decision, doctrinal construction, teaching, government of institutions, recognition of the diaconate and the priesthood, in turn, connection to the ministries and sacraments that derive from them. We have lived throughout 21st centuries in an unequal and unjust Roman Catholic Church.

The Logos 1 of Women

Also the argument, reflection, discourse, reasoning, instruction, and thinking of women must be doctrine of the Church, because they are possessors of the Spirit of God. Also in women the logos merges and is fertilized as a divine experience, in its beauty, mysticity, breath, strokes, fertility, contemplation... (cf. Lk. 26-38; Jn.20, 11-18). Feminine wisdom can also be a religious experience worth taking, explicitly expressed and lived with freedom in the maternal wombs of the Church and given birth in the spheres of government and in its hierarchical wombs, since it is maternal wisdom that weaves dignity, paths of life, of ethics, of morals, of evangelical values, prophetic denunciation, prayer, prophecy, solidarity, compassion, tenderness, welcome, charity, love, justice, kindness, intelligence, excellence, parrhesia, will, strength, irrigation, courage , wait, leadership, freedom, details, fidelity, stability, transparency, organization, listening, understanding, patience, determination, teachings, education, testimony, advice, science, piety, fear, improvement, sustainability, planning, good use of resources , creativity, joy, kindness, certainty, confidence, capacity, innovation, intuition, spontaneity, forgiveness, objectivity, smile, happiness, well-being, space, receptivity, capacity, foresight, seriousness, sincerity, tolerance, virtues, care,

1 When I talk about logos I am referring to the word, thought, reason, discourse, of women in the full sense of their Being: physical, intellect, emotion and spirit and their existence as a human being. The logos as the unity of women in their very existence in dignity. The logo is a whole, it is spoken even in silence, the gestures, each atom, each particle of our being speaks, produces information, transmits. Woman as a perfect creation of the Logos of God. The logos of women as the origin of a new era within the Church. Logos (in Greek λóγος -lógos-) is a Greek word that has several nuances of meaning: Logos is the word as meditated, reflected or reasoned. It can be translated in different ways: speech, word, reasoning, argumentation, discourse or instruction. It can also be understood as: "intelligence", "thought", "sense", the Greek word λóγος -lôgos- has been and is usually translated in Romance languages as Verb (from Latin: Verbum). Its root would probably be in the Indo-European leḡ, which has the sense of "collecting together", imposing a "criterion" on this collecting, therefore, it would derive, both in Greek and Latin, in the sense of collecting, discerning , select, choose.

Philosophical meaning.

Heraclitus is the first to theorize using this word in the 5th century BC. C. saying: "Not to me, but having listened to the logos, it is wise to say with him that everything is one." Taking the logos as the great unity of reality, perhaps the real, Heraclitus asks that we listen to it, that is, that we listen to the discourse of reality. Instead of listening to the speeches of men that are based on appearances, listen to the Logos of nature.

The being of Heraclitus, understood as logos, is the Intelligence that directs, orders and gives harmony to the evolution of the changes that occur in the war that generates existence itself. It is a substantial intelligence, present in all things. When an entity loses the meaning of its existence, it departs from the Logos. . Consulted on January 25, 2023.

beauty, maturity, flexibility and excellence in administration, philosophy and theology. Women also write paths of salvation guided by the spirit of God (cf. Lk. 26-38; Jn.20, 11-18).

For centuries, the logos of women has been waiting for seats in seminaries, in priestly assemblies, in episcopal conferences, in the councils of cardinals, in synods, in councils. Its voids speak because it means that the women are outside or inside in the service corridors, in the hustle and bustle of the house. Empty chairs in invisibility, but they exist and are empty. The feminine logo does not want to be a guest of passage or just a guest of honor and decoration. The logos of women is given to be heard, assumed with voice and vote as decision-making property in the fundamental questions of faith, of the exercise and care of the liturgy, of the custody of the history of salvation. It is enough that the feminine logos has to pass through the masculine and masculine sieve, so that it can be taken into account and assumed as ecclesial doctrine and interpreted as divine revelation.

The logos of women has its own identity, it is not about repeating schemes and fitting into patriarchal systems, supporting clericalism, machismo and misogyny, declaring themselves victim and guilty, purifying their lives, repeating rites. Women's celebrations must be different, they must embody the creativity, beauty, dynamism, breadth and inclusion of God, mother and father of humanity. Provide new air. The closeness of women to human realities inserts new ways of being and existing into the doctrinal veins; to evangelize and transform. The logos of women expands from its very core the experiences of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5). Women possess the strength of waiting and the courage of searching, they have the unbreakable will to go for the lost sheep (Lk. 15, 4-6), because they never give up their search. In the hands of women the logos become broken bread for humanity in

their different realities of pain, suffering, injustice, war, hunger, natural disasters, misery..., and collect the baskets that are left over (Mt. 14, 20) because they are provisional, they know their sons and daughters and the need of tomorrow.

Women have the right to preside over the Eucharistic Celebration and to propose their own speech within it.

Women have the right to preside over the Eucharistic celebration . To offer Christ the Lord himself and to incarnate Christ and Lord himself to give him to the world. He has the right to preside over the Eucharistic table, the only table that has been denied to him to prepare and serve with the premise of his impurity and theological, philosophical, ethical and moral incapacity. Parishes led by women are a burning stove, where you will always find welcome, service, affection, food and human warmth.

Women must Be from our own discourses, because we are the owners of our lives, of our spiritual experience; We have the right to reread and interpret the sacred scriptures from our own reality, exegesis, linguistic analysis, hermeneutics, philosophy, theology.

It must be taken into account that the Church's discourse with women has been marked over time by the line of violence and exclusion. The force of the Church's discourse produced by men has stripped our bodies and condemned our spirit (souls) for more than 21st centuries. It has not been a merciful, benevolent, equitable, egalitarian, fair speech. On the contrary, it has been a discourse transversalized by the veins of patriarchy, misogyny, condemnation, singling out, exclusion, putting women in a secondary role, not infrequently directly related to evil, to Satan. undervalued, prostituted, rejected, bewitched, burned, cursed,

cornered, isolated, blamed, condemned, demonized, locked up... a whole range of thousands of words, beliefs, exegesis, philosophies, theologies, interpretations can be found, read, throughout the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, exposed in the sermons given by the learned men, saints and doctors of the Church in the pulpits from the earliest times, sustained to this day by priests in different parts of the world, through daily homilies, practices of the sacraments and his parish work. The feminine logos becomes necessary in daily homilies, in parishes, in cathedrals, in basilicas, in the Vatican, in St. Peter's Basilica or perhaps in the Basilica of Mary Magdalene, in localities, in neighborhoods, on the sidewalks, in the homes, in the chaplaincies. We do not need men from the pulpit to tell us how we want to be and what to do, to blame us or excuse us, to take us to heaven or send us straight to hell. It cannot be that women in the Church continue to be interpreted only from the male perspective. We have the right to write our own reflection. We have the right to listen to our own homilies and to present our interpretation of the word of God in the daily life of local Churches.

We do not have to hide our Churches and our celebrations, for fear of exposing parishioners to the condemnation of expulsion and excommunication. It cannot continue that the reflections of women in the Roman Catholic Church must undergo the purification of male reflection in order for them to have value. Women's voices must be heard from their authenticity and feminine experience. No more male chaplaincies for nunneries, female religious communities of consecrated life, lay congregations, military institutions, monarchical institutions, institutional and parish chaplaincies, impregnated with clericalism, power, machismo, misogyny, exclusion. We must recognize female chaplaincies, that is part of liberation and

of inclusion. Enough of the hate speech, exclusion, violence generated from and in the Church. To deny the possibility to women is to renounce and reject the history of Salvation in the hands of Mary as mother of the Redeemer. It is to ignore his presence, to ignore his mission: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word" (Lk. 1, 38).

Women have the Right to be Administrators of the Temporal Property of the Church 2
The economy of the Roman Catholic Church is large. There is economic power behind the speech. Through the discourse of faith, the Church has created its economic empire. This is one of the fundamental obstacles that prevent the equal participation of women. I would dare to think that, in the dialogue of women's participation in the government structure of the Church, the hardest issue to overcome and that generates the most fear of the hierarchy is the economic issue. Without a doubt, above the philosophical-theological. The Church clings to tradition, but I believe that more than tradition it is to goods, to economic matters: gold, securities, currencies, works of art, real estate, architectural and monumental legacy, land, temples, priestly houses, curias. , everyday economy. It will be difficult to reach agreements due to the mysteries that surround ecclesiastical wealth. The economy and goods generate power, social position, name and prestige. The entire administration of the assets has been directed by men, which can generate uncertainty when it comes to having to share it with women in the administration. The Church generates a source of income through different means supported by the faithful aimed at, according to the Code of Canon Law (1254 § 2), the following: sustaining divine worship, sustaining

2 It is important to see the Code of Canon Law Book V. The temporal goods of the Church. (Canon 1254-1310)

honestly to the clergy and other ministers, and to carry out works of sacred apostolate and charity, especially with those in need. The economic power of the assets of the Roman Church spread throughout the world is calculated in billions of dollars, marked by the secrecy kept under 12 doors that prevent the value of the assets from being known, which for a little more than 2,000 years has accumulated the Holy Church. The sacredness of wealth is a tough wall to break through in the pursuit of equality for women. It is a cornerstone of ecclesiastical power in the hands of men.

Women Have the Right to Participate in an Ecclesiastical Legal Construction

It is necessary when talking about gender equality within the Roman Catholic Church, a legal construction from a gender perspective and for that, women must be included. The legal discourse sustained in the code of Canon Law for centuries has been drawn up with a solely and exclusively male perspective. Female experiences in the Church have been mediated by male structures and relationships, which, from the narratives, interpretations and meanings derived from the framework of the interpretation of biblical texts, the acquisition of cultural customs, philosophical and theological positions, among others, mainly in the first centuries, have sustained a discourse and the discourse has become the norm, in fact, the word of God. Therefore, a norm established by God. It is essential within this equality process to generate the construction of feminine identity in ecclesiastical legal discourse. Go from feminine non-Being (existence denied in participation) to feminine Being. It is necessary to generate a space for women's participation within the ecclesiastical legal system, to overcome the gaps that have existed during 21 centuries of institutionalized legal discrimination. Very important and solid steps must be taken in a new canonical legal construction that gives way to the participation of the

women in government bodies, and in the performance of mandated tasks and ministries.
The code of Canon Law includes the entire regulatory framework of the Church and is, in turn, binding for every believing community of the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, there is a chapter dedicated to the rights and obligations of Christians
 3 . The ecclesiastical legal norms from their beginnings to the present are flawed with the right to preserve patriarchy as a system of oppression, the way it maneuvers, through the narrative, the norms, the statements, the canons, the rituals, the categories that sustain that line through time. The ecclesiastical legal discourse accompanied by homiletic, catechetical, doctrinal, apostolic and pastoral discourses, among others, have been articulated for the creation of structures, imaginaries, and roles that have placed women within the project of the Church, in an inferior role, secondary, limited to certain activities typical of their condition as women, exalting through homilies and speeches what is the “will of God”, charity, salvation and inducing these interpretations to penal figures, legal rituals, categories, constructing an identity distorted feminine, transversalized by the stereotypes of patriarchalism, machismo and misogyny, varnishing the exercise of power, exclusion and violence that is exercised through the Code of Canon Law. This influence throughout history has marked, not only, the religious work within the Church, but it has had a great influence on the

different societies in the construction of their civil and criminal norms.
In these times it is important to build new religious societies from a joint vision. Women demand the right to construct our own religious and spiritual subjectivities in the legal norms of the religions to which

3 Code of Canon Law, Book II Of the people of God (Cann 204 -746), Part I Of the Christian faithful (Cann. 204-329), Title I Of the obligations and rights of all the faithful (Cann. 208-223 ).

we belong, in this case the Roman Catholic. Women, with their own experience of faith and interpretation of God from critical legal theory, are called to regulate ecclesiastical legal norms. The road is long, but it must be done. There is hope. The law is from below (earthly), it is created by men and belongs to men (cf. Jn. 3:31) and has not been a source of life for women within the Roman Catholic Church. We cannot give up, today more than ever we must demand presence in this field so that there is equity.

Link to Mary at the Last Supper where she was present

The Church disassociated Mary from the last supper where she was present. In justice with faith, the history of salvation, with God, with truth, with the dignity of the Virgin Mary and women, the Church must link Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the Last Supper. Mary is present at the climax of the life of Jesus and the Kerygma (announcement). It has only disappeared more for the Church's own convenience than by divine design of the story of the Last Supper. Mary is in the incarnation (Lk. 1, 26-38), it is her yes that begins the coming of Immanuel (Mt. 1,22-23). Mary present in her pregnancy (Lk. 1, 39-45); Birth (Lk. 2,8-14). Childhood (Lk. 2,22-38; Mt. 2, 13-23; Lk.2, 42). Preaching of Jesus (Juna 2, 1-13, Mc. 3, 31-35). Mary present on the way to Calvary (Lk. 23, 26-27). Mary present at the foot of the Cross (Jn. 19,25-27). Mary gathered with the apostles at Pentecost (Luke 1:12-14; 2:1).

Its presence is precisely hidden and made invisible in the text where the Church establishes itself to carry out the structure of the ecclesial hierarchy that establishes the Catholic priesthood. She who incarnated the Son of God in her womb, without the participation of man, is excluded, she is not “worthy” of offering the life of her Son in the Eucharist, due to the decision and participation of men. By eliminating his closeness, existence, his prominence that undoubtedly had him as

other women who were also there, not in an adjacent room or in the kitchen, but in the room where the others were, limits their participation, leadership, their greatness, their election by God, their contribution to the history of salvation and puts her below the trust and love that Jesus has for his disciples, something unlikely in reality, due to the relationship established between Jesus and her, in turn, between Jesus and the women, where many times he had questioned and broken the protocols of Jewish laws regarding the man-woman relationship in the religious sphere. It was not possible that this important moment for the life of Jesus and for his group of disciples, Jesus excluded Mary of Nazareth and gave her second-rate, inferior treatment. Maria is there. It is impossible to imagine her anywhere else due to Mary's firmness in wanting God's promises to be fully fulfilled, her affinity in the relationship established with Jesus and the work of the Kingdom. The commitment is mutual, it had already been made clear at the wedding at Cana (Jn. 2, 1-11). That the Son ate at the table with his friends, while Mary his mother on the kitchen floor, on the floor below, does not fit within the logic of Jesus of Nazareth, within the logic of God.

Mary more than anyone blessed the bread and broke it and gave it to the disciples in memory of her beloved Son. Mary is the Mother of the Church and she was the first priestess of her much-loved Son, she was the first to serve the Eucharistic table after the death of her Son. Before verifying whether deaconesses existed in the early days of the Church, Pope Francis must include Mary in the story of the Last Supper. It is a debt that the Roman Catholic Church owes to the Mother of God, its Mother. In it, women acquire their participation in the Ministerial and sacramental Priesthood of Christ.

It is a New Time for the Church

Today more than ever we must bring the fresh air of Jesus' words and launch them

so that they permeate the halls of the churches, the bowels of their ministers and the particles of the consciences of their faithful. Today it is necessary for Pope Francis and the other bishops, archbishops, cardinals in this synodal time that the Church is living, to set out like Nicodemus, but above all to listen to and live what Jesus says: “You must be born again.” ” (Jn. 3,7).

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. He went to see Jesus at night and said to him: "Rabbi, we know that you have come from God, as a teacher; for no one can do the signs that you do unless God is with him." Jesus answered, "I tell you, unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus asks him: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother's womb a second time and be born?" Jesus answered him: "I assure you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised that you are has said: "You must be born again"; the wind blows where it wants and you hear its noise, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. .

Anchoring in tradition and not allowing change is suspending the Word of God in time and not allowing it to circulate freely. The Church is stifling the creativity of the Gospel, it has trapped it. The Church remains anchored in an erroneous compliance with tradition and laws. In Jesus of Nazareth, in the Gospel, in the work of humanity today, there are many reasons to overcome this tradition and this law with regard to women. The radical and definitive refusal that the Church maintains of not giving access to women in the teaching profession and consecrated ministries corresponds to the definitive nature of the exclusion. In fact, if there are people excluded from the full participation of salvation, it is due to the

rejection of the Church and not of God's offer where there is space for everyone without distinction of race, culture, gender, social stratum, religion. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mt.24,35; cf. Mt, 5,18; Mc. 31,13; Lk. 21,33; Isaiah 55,11; Ps.89,34 ). God's word has not been fulfilled, but history will not end without that happening. As long as members of the human race are excluded from the full project of the Kingdom of God, the scriptures are unfinished. The hope of the Roman Catholic Church to continue relying on the law and its doctrines to uphold gender differences and their rights to full participation in the exercise and living of faith in equity as the perfect path to the kingdom of God, does not contain the The truth of the announcement of Jesus of Nazareth is disguised and manipulated, it is illusory. A new beginning is required, new Fathers and Mothers of the Church, for a new Church for new times. People capable of reading the signs of the times, being clear that: “the wind blows where it wants and you hear its noise, but you don't know where it comes from or where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

A new birth is necessary in the Church. A new birth of the Roman Catholic Church is what has been brewing for some decades now. There is hope, the creativity of the spirit cannot be overshadowed, the initiative of God and the impetus of women cannot be kept locked up.

We need more practicing Roman Catholic men and women willing to overcome the law, the dead norms, to lift our eyes on high and be born again from the source that emanates from God (cf. John 1:12-13, 3, 14) and be satisfied in its fullness “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today more than ever we need Roman Catholic Christians who are not legalistic, who allow themselves to be led by the Spirit of God, aware that the law and the rules of conduct have been replaced by Jesus of Nazareth, from whom all good comes, from whom life comes (John 3, 13-18), who has been lifted up on high (John 1, 17). Born believing men and women

of water and the Spirit, Born of God (cf. John 1:13). Being born again implies becoming independent from the past, beginning a new experience and a new life of faith. Write a new personal and community history of God's project, not continue in the same way, sustaining a past for many with superficial knowledge of the principles and practices of exclusive, patriarchal and misogynistic laws that do not bring us closer to God.

It must be taken into account that:
No one mends an old dress with a patch of new fabric, because the new patch shrinks, tears the old fabric and thus makes the tear larger. No one puts new wine into old wineskins, because the wineskins tear, the wine is thrown away, and the wineskins spoil. New wine is put into new wineskins and thus both things are preserved” (Mt. 9, 14-17).
Novelty refreshes structures and transforms societies for the good. Today

These are new times, new places, new circumstances for the Church that must hear the voice of God, asking for a space for those always excluded. The words of Jesus remain with their same essence over time and are announcement, preparation and realization. The time interval between the words spoken by Jesus and their full realization has marked thousands of generations and today is the “third day” (Cf. Gen. 1,3, 22,4, 34,25, 42,18; Hos. 6,2; Mt.16,21; Lk,13,32. This is understood as a space of place and time where the limitations indicated for women will be established and established for the Church as an experience. of communion. “I make all things new” (Revelation 21,5) “I make something new, Now it comes to pass; do you not perceive it? Even in the deserts I will make a way in the desolate places” (Is.43, 19).

God, the always faithful, will bring his project to a successful conclusion. We glimpse the star of Bethlehem that guides the Church towards change. The change of the Church is generated by God

and for “God there is nothing impossible” (Lk. 1, 37). God always intervenes in human history by proposing a change in relationship with him. A new Alliance where men and women are in equal mediation. It is necessary to renew history, renew consciences, imaginaries, structures. Reaching the day of the Messiah for women within the Church and generating a replacement of the temple, the law, the mediators, “the hour has come” (Jn. 16:21; 16:32), “Take courage! be afraid” (Jn. 6,20; 16,33; Mt. 14,27; Is. 41, 10). We need people full of humanity, sensitive to the experiences of divinity, capable of reading the signs of the times and generating new ecclesial societies of life.

"I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you; I will take away from you the heart of stone that you now have, and I will give you a sensitive heart. I will put my spirit in you, and I will make you keep my statutes, and obey and put put my precepts into practice." Ezekiel 36:26-27.

A Construction of Worship without the Limitations, Pretensions and Stereotypes of Gender and Specific Priestly Mediations

The discourse of inclusive construction where a space of equity for women is sought must occur from the discussion of humanity so as not to deepen gaps between men yes, women no, men no, women yes or reach totalitarian radicalisms. God was given a gender. To the extent that God was brought into the discussion from gender identity, he has been divided and each one has kept his part, making the man predominate in power, to the extent that he has kept his part, he has justified it, using for this the branches of knowledge that are at your disposal including the will of Divinity (God) itself.

Beautifully in movies that have to do with other worlds, the creatures there

existing when encountering the earth's population they refer to the community or people as humans. And that's what we are humans. It is to that ground where the discussion must be taken today, on the topic of celebration and participation in Roman Catholic religious worship. A celebration as humans without gender difference: man - woman, but an experience as humanity. Talk about human beings, categorize the human. The human community, the human person offering to their gods, worships their Divinity in unity of worship, through religion from the need for transcendence, as an expansion of its spiritual dimension, existing in the human being as part of the integrality of his being.

A humanized Church. A Church community of human believers without gender divisions. That would project the dream that there should not be priests to mediate the cult, but rather that each human from their relationship with the divinity would carry out their worship in the place of the privileged one, inside or outside the temples in the style of Jesus. Personify the cult, remove it from the manipulation of a few, take it to the sphere of the common, of the everyday. This is what Jesus does, taking the cult out of the temples, from religious manipulation, He lives it until it becomes the very temple where God lives, his being the cult itself. What's more, that would not be what he wanted to teach the apostles: “do this in memory of me.” Each person will be a place of worship and veneration of divinity, breaking with the corruption schemes of the temple and religious manipulation. Every home, every human being a temple to divinity within the Roman Catholic Church. I believe that this is what the kingdom of God wants to establish.

The basic and essential needs of humans are the same. When we talk about a contact between human persons and God, the prevention of whether the person who leads and presides is a man or a woman disappears. The gender identity disappears and the ritual acquires its essence because the central thing is the encounter with the Divinity to thank Him, ask Him,

offer or receive.
So being a church and being part of it is not because we are baptized, we are its

sons and “daughters” and we are recorded in their sacred books. We will be a community church because we fully experience faith and this implies decentralizing human worship. human to celebrate it not only spiritually but sacramentally in the physical, that is, each man and woman is a priest of the God of life. Vertical mediations disappear and circular mediations are strengthened, that is, everyone, at the same time, each one, each one is able to mediate (offer the Eucharistic sacrament) for others and for themselves, for themselves and carry out the encounter. between equals. The temples must be open so that every believing human being, who professes the same faith, can go and celebrate their worship, in turn, each person having the freedom to have their own worship space at home, in the houses of their acquaintances, in the workplace, in the middle of nature without the Eucharistic offering losing its value and deepest meaning. Space varies. There are many more spaces outside the temple, Jesus understands this perfectly

When the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed, Jesus sent Peter and John, saying to them: - Go make preparations so that we may eat the Passover. —Where do you want us to prepare it? -They Asked. “Look,” he answered, “as you enter the city, a man carrying a jug of water will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters, and say to the owner of the house: “The Master asks: Where is the room in which I am going to eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large and furnished room on the upper floor. Prepare dinner there. (Lk 22, 7-11).

It is enough to take a tour of the life of the Nazarene to find the freedom of places where he makes the experience of divine worship a reality (Cf. Mt. 14, 13-21; Mc. 6, 32-

44; Lk. 9,10-17; Jn 6 1-14; Lk. 24,13-35; Mt. 5; Lk. 19, 1-10...), for him, the temple is not essential for the encounter with the God of love that is present in the different human realities of daily life. In the logic of Jesus, the human being who encounters God and recognizes him as present in his own life story is qualified to break his bread and his wine as an offering to God and in the service of humanity.

Jesus was so aware of this possibility, that in the simplicity of life human beings would celebrate their God, that he took a fundamental element that humans experience: food. This sign is accessible to everyone, because it is a human need to feed and sees in food the greatest sign to link humanity with its God and, in turn, God is brought into the daily life of human beings. .

Then the community must come together among equals to share the experience of salvation of personal life and communally sing the song of thanksgiving of each and every one, each in the great assembly, where all its members are qualified to preside. the community celebration, where everyone is an offerer.
The sigh of God continues to exist because it is like the fire that advances underneath, supported by the slat and the terrestrial moss that becomes a layer over the earth. It is silent, there is no flame because it becomes an ember that spreads, devouring and advancing slowly but continuously.

God's time is perfect. Women's time is God's time


Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ARCWP (2002), About Us. .

Arcwp Santander, Inclusive Catholic Community María de Magdala

Code of Canon Law (1983). Book II Of the people of God (Cann 204 -746), Part I Of the Christian faithful (Cann. 204-329), Title I Of the obligations and rights of all the faithful (Cann. 208-223).

Code of Canon Law (1983). Book V. The temporal goods of the Church. (Canon 1254-1310). Rome.

Logos (2022/11/26), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Consulted on January 25, 2023.

Happy Pentecost 2024!

Art credit- Kelly Latimore icons

 The Spirit dwells within us and within all and is divine love outpouring in every moment - healing , inspiring, filling, comforting, liberating, empowering and transforming the world through diverse gifts in service to others! All who are baptized in Christ are spiritual equals called  to be priests, prophets and leaders - witnesses of divine compassion and doers of justice!

Women Leaders in Early Christianity