Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Francis " I would love a church that is poor."

 
Rome disptachPope Francis says he chose his name because St. Francis "was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation."
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Roman Catholic Women Priests on Danube Ordained by Msgr Braschi who was ordained by Bishop Podesta, Friend of Pope Francis

http://www.womenpriests.org/called/forster3.asp
Read the original German here!
To the Press!!
Dear Madam/Sir,
During the past few days, the press agencies kof Germany and Austria have extensively covered the ordination of the bishop in the Alm Valley and the ordination of women priests that is planned for 29 June 2002. In that context especially the name of Monsignor Romulo Braschi has often been mentioned.
So far no media person has approached Braschi personally. I have done so this morning. This is the outcome: Monsignor Braschi has asked me to send you his position regarding the events, to clear his good reputation.
This is what I will now do.
Mgr. Braschi was born in Argentina in 1942. In 1966 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in Buenos Aires. He was a member of the Marian Catholic religious Congregation. At the university he obtained the doctor’s degree in theology.
The unrest that happened during the dictatorship in Argentina, during which the Roman Catholic Church did not act against the military dictatorship in Argentina, Romulo Braschi got involved with the Basic Communities in the Catholic Church. “Only in 2000 did the Catholic Church publicly acknowledge its omissions and complicity during the military dictatorship in Argentina”, excerpt from one of Mgr. Braschi’s writings. Braschi took the side of ordinary people against the dictatorship. This brought him in conflict with the position of the Catholic Church at the time.
In the context of these disturbances in Argentina, he committed himself personally to the needs and concerns of people, and cooperated with the Charismatic Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
Mgr. Romulo Braschi received his episcopal ordination from Bishop Roberto Padin. His apostolic succession has been proved to our group by professionally vetted documents going back to the 15th century.
Another Roman Catholic bishop, the retired Roman Catholic Bishop Geronimo Podesta, ordained Mgr. Romulo Braschi in the apostolic succession on 30 January 1999. Podesta was appointed Roman Catholic bishop through a papal decree. He educated Roman Catholic clergy, was president of the Bishops’ Conference and Cardinal elect. As a respected ecclesiastical dignitary he decided he could no longer agree with the sexual morality of the Catholic Church with all its errors (celibacy, contraception, paedophilia) and, being the internationally respected person he was, he acknowledged his wife. During the ordination Podesta expressly formulated this task: that Mgr. Braschi should commit himself to the ordination of women and should himself ordain women.
Mgr. Romulo Braschi has devoted his whole life to the charismatic help of people. He works both for the spiritual, as well as the physical, wellbeing of each individual. He helps especially the sick, on whom he imposes hands and to whom he imparts healing through God’s power.
Until now he has been very circumspect and responsible regarding his apostolic succession. So far he has only ordained one woman to be priest.
The problems which the press accuses him of, are due to the fact that he refuses to ordain just anyone who wishes ordination. All accusations against Mgr. Braschi come from a group in Switzerland who wanted to force Mgr. Braschi to ordain them. Mgr. Braschi emphatically denies all allegations made against him. Nothing of the things published is true. When the group wanted to force him to ordain them, Mgr. Braschi replied: “I will only ordain competent, trained, conscious men and women, not freaks”.
Mgr. Braschi is one of the bishops with whom we have made contact in the context of the ordination of women priests. Mgr. Braschi has invited each one of us, who would like to receive ordination, to a personal discussion, in which he interrogated us regarding motivation, fitness, education and pastoral approach. He has consulted the committee of examination, academic theologians and university professors, to test the suitability of the candidates.
On account of his Catholic apostolic succession, which Mgr. Romulo Braschi received from two sources and which has been professionally proved, he fulfils the conditions to impart a valid sacramental ordination. Just like Bishop Hickman and other bishops, he stays in close contact with the group that wishes to be ordained. He is in consultation with us on which bishop whould ordain the women, or whether the bishops should decide with the women which bishop should ordain each of the women. For the handing on of power through ordination is also a process of communication, and it makes a difference how it is conducted. Mgr. Braschi fulfils all the selection criteria of our group: he is educated, sensitive and truly christian. His life style is not a norm for us. The sexual morality of the Catholic Church has shown itself to be absurd. We are not prepared to go along any further with the limits imposed by the Roman Catholic Church on account of a particular style of life, namely celibate, married, etc.
The allegations which have been spread by the Archbishops in Munich (Cardinal Wetter) and Vienna, derive from a dubious source. None of these critical persons has thought it important to speak to Mgr. Romulo Braschi as a human being. None of the Cardinals and Bishops in function have taken the trouble check on Mgr. Braschi’s apostolic succession. Instead of this, an individual in our midst has been condemned in a slanderous and unchristian manner, a manner with no respect for the human person. The official Church has thereby disqualified itself.
As human beings, the least we should give each other is consideration, listening to what the other person says, respect, and regard for unbiassed information. In his press release of last Friday Cardinal Wetter does an injustice not only against the man Romulo Braschi, but also against the press whom he calls ‘hords of press people’, presenting them as idiots. He ignores in this way every form of civility and respect, and takes up the position of a dictatorial enemy of people, nor has he the slightest regard for his fellow brothers and sisters. How different were Jesus’ words: “Come to me all you who are tired and burdened ....”! The hierarchy in the Catholic Church of Austria should ask themselves how far they are working for people, or against them - as dictators.
Dr. Gisela Forster
Spokesperson of the group of women to be ordained

60 Minutes Targets LCWR and Vatican Mandate

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/60-minutes-targets-lcwr-and-vatican-mandate

Friday, March 15, 2013

Open Letter from Clelia Luro de Podestá to Pope Benedict XVI/Bergoglio Was Present when Podesta Was Dying/

The letter was to Benedict XVI and was probably never answered. But when Podesta was dying, Bergoglio was there for him and his wife.  Pastoral practice always trumps rules
 
Open Letter from Clelia Luro de Podestá to Pope Benedict XVI
 
The original Spanish versionof this letter can be found on Clelia's Web site. Clelia Luro de Podestá (now 85) with her late husband, Argentinian Bishop Jerónimo Podestá, is a founding member of the Latin American Federation of Married Priests
 
Rome
June 27, 2011

TO: Benedict XVI

Father:

I'm here in Rome. I wanted to bring a book with me to present it here and then I will go to Madrid.

Jerónimo's life was always a life commited to the truth and the defense of human rights that were so damaged in our beloved country.

He was exiled because of a death threat from AAA -- Alianza Anticomunista Argentina. He had to live in Lima, Peru for six years.

He never wanted to resign from his priesthood nor from his consecration as bishop. He chose to go as Saint Pauldid to the Gentiles. His diocese was the diaspora, that of all those who in order to be faithful to their consciences, resolved to consecrate their lives as couples. Many were suspended, but none excommunicated. All are waiting and being faithful to the Roman Tree and to their original vocation, helping men and women in the world, taking up their struggles in the political, social and religious arenas.

For 34 years, I have kept his words that today are a digitized archive within the Archivo de la Memoria in Argentina. Through his writings I have managed to finalize a posthumous autobiography through which one can know his life commitment as a priest, as a bishop, and as a man among others, until his final years. Always faithful to his consecration as bishop from which he never wanted to resign, except that he was carrying a canonical disciplinary sanction on his shoulders because Rome is still not open to what will come one day evangelically, that is, optional celibacy.

There are thousands who would fill St. Peter's Square today with their wives and children, but the Pope still can't see them.

I believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit until the end of time, and this is why my hope is not tested.

I don't just want to talk to you about celibacy, which I respect when it is truly lived out.

I just want these words to get into your hands and tell you that today's world needs the integration of man and woman as it came from God's hands. United in love and commitment to a life together, woman with the baptismal priesthood, together with man.

In the book you will find the story of a brother bishop like you, who always felt collegiality deeply.

There are so many things I would want to say to you if we were face to face and both before God, that I am leaving in His hands what my words aren't able to tell you.

Our marriage was blessed by Dom Helder Cámara. You will find that in the pages of this book.

I only went into the Holy See in 1967 when I was called by Paul VI but he got sick when I arrived in Rome, and I was received for more than an hour by Cardinal Benelli who was able to listen to me as a priest and not as a functionary.

May God enlighten the Pope so that as Jesus said, and this was also Bishop Jerónimo's motto, "That all may be one so that the world might believe." And how can the world believe if we are not united in Him?

God bless the Pope

Clelia Luro de Podestá.
 
 

Roman Catholic Woman Priest Presides at Liturgy on Day Pope Francis Was Elected/Let Justice Rise Up: Mass for Gender Justice in the Catholic Church


       Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a Roman Catholic Woman Priest,
 presided at a liturgy in Rome on March 13th, just hours before
Pope Francis was elected.  Here is the liturgy that the community shared.    
Liturgy: Let Justice Rise Up: Mass for Gender Justice in the Catholic Church
First Reading: Isaiah 58:6-8
This is the sort of fast that pleases me:
Remove the chains of injustice!
Undo the ropes of the yoke.
Let those who are oppressed go free,
And break every yoke you encounter!
Share your bread with those who are hungry and shelter homeless poor people.   Clothe those who are naked…
Do this and your light will shine like the dawn and your healing will break forth like lightning!
Your integrity will go before and the glory of God will be your rearguard.
The Word of God. Thanks be to God.
Psalm Response: Let justice roll like a river
Psalm 57: 7-10
My heart is ready, O God, My heart is ready.
I will sing and play for you… I will awaken the dawn
Response: Let justice roll like a river
I will thank you among the peoples, God
And sing of you among the nations.
Response, Let justice roll like a river
I will thank you among the peoples, God
and sing of you among the nations
Response: Let justice roll like a river
Second Reading: Galations 3:28
All of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ, in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus. The Word of God. Thanks be to God.
Gospel verse: Praise to you, O Jesus Christ, Lover of all ages. Praise to you Jesus Christ, Lover of all ages. (chanted or said)
Gospel:  John 20: 16-18
Jesus said to her, “Mary’
She turned to him and said, “Rabboni” which means Teacher.
Jesus then said, “Don’t hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to Abba God. Rather, go to the sisters and brothers and tell them, “ I am ascending to my Abba and to your Abba, my God and your God. “
Mary of Magdala went to the disciples, “ I have seen the Teacher!” she announced. Then she reported what he had said to her.
HOMILY:
The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala and commissioned her to be the apostle to the apostles. Now, what would she be doing and saying today?
 Like Jesus, her teacher, she would be challenging the religious and civil authorities for the empowerment of the marginalized, including women.  She would be calling out for Kindom justice and equality.  Kindom not Kingdom, not a hierarchy. K I N D O M means we’re related; in relationship; we’re all in this together, united in solidarity as the people of God.  
As the Conclave meets, where are the women ? Where are the married men? Where are the poor? Where are the children and the young people? Where are the many marginalized? 
 The Vatican gives flowers to women, but what women really want is full equality. Women priests are here!
Are the men at the Vatican so un-free --that they choose to ignore -- sinfully, THEY CHOOSE TO IGNORE the movement of the Spirit in the people of God? We pray for them. How can the Church speak about justice when the hierarchy does not practice what it preaches?
We say to our Brothers, OPEN not only the windows (Aggiornamento  Ah gee or na mento) as in Vatican II, OPEN THE DOORS OF THE CONCLAVE. LET THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN…
 
Let your sisters in…
 
The voice of God in our time IS the full equality of women AND men in church AND society, in our world that craves community, soulful connection to the Spirit found in one another!
 
Yes, it’s been 50 years, IT’S been HUNDREDS of years THE TIME for the leaders of our church, the Cardinals, to affirm women priests, married priests and ALL who are working to create a more inclusive church, a beloved community where Catholics are welcome to receive sacraments.
 
And the voice of the Spirit rising up from the grassroots people of God IS Being heard!
    Women priests are here!
 
Our first women bishops were ordained by a male bishop with apostolic succession. He told the women that he ordained them to promote justice in our church.
 
Those of us who have been working for years in the Women's Ordination movement, have said all along that once we women are ordained, AS WE ARE NOW, it was not just adding women and stirring. We have ALWAYS called for a renewed priesthood in a reformed Church. That means a community of equals where ALL share and express the gifts, the fruits of the Spirit, not just the priest. Our function as women priests is service NOT MORE POWER.
 
 It has been ten years since seven women were ordained on the Danube in 2002. In 2006, 12 women were ordained in Pittsburgh in the first U.S. Ordinations. Now there are approximately 150 Women Priests in Europe, U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
 
In our women priest model of faith communities, all are welcome in a circle of equals. We are NOT a hierarchy. We do not want to repeat clericalism or dualism. Yet, it is very important that we claim justice for women priests; for feminine images of God; for women imaging the sacred, the imago dei, for the Gospels to be interpreted from our women's living and dying. From married men's living and dying. From the poor and marginalized's living and dying.
 
The Spirit calls out for the needs of the people –everywhere-- to be heard, rendered and made whole, just and healthy.
 
Women priests are ordained as we are in a transitional time. We must As a matter of justice claim for women our equal rights to be ordained. We do this   by contra legem (against the law). We are breaking an unjust law yet we remain within the Roman Catholic Church. The sacrament of Orders comes from our baptism, not gender.
 
We are worker priests who see our role as one of service and leadership, not of power over or exclusion. In our women priest communities as well as our faith communities our practice is shared decision-making in a “discipleship of equals.”
 
Along with the grassroots people of God we celebrate inclusive liturgies where all are welcome, where everyone participates and can feel a sense of belonging. We want and need to belong in communion, in community, as that is where we express our deepest needs, yearnings and longings. Here, our new model of church is rising up in Spirit. Little by little, the VOICES AND NEEDS of the people are being heard…
 
As we are ALL the Body of Christ, at our Eucharist celebrations, EVERYONE consecrates the Eucharist. EVERYONE preaches. EVERYONE blesses each other. EVERYONE writes inclusive liturgies which means they include feminine as well as masculine images of God. 
 
Women priests are visible reminders that women are equal images of God, and therefore worthy to preside at the altar.  We are living prophetic obedience to the Spirit by disobeying an unjust, man-made, canon law that discriminates against women in our church. Sexism, like racism, is a sin. Like Rosa Parks, whose refusal to sit in the back of the bus helped to ignite the civil rights movement, Women Priests are not leaving the church, but leading the Catholic Church into a new era of justice and equality. No punishment, including excommunication, can stop this movement of the Spirit. In fact, one could argue that Pope Benedict, who has canonized two excommunicated nuns, has made excommunication the new fast track to canonization!
 
In Austria, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Australia, and the U.S. priests, bishops and theologians have expressed support of women priests, married priests and inclusive faith communities of equals. They are following in the footsteps of recently excommunicated and dismissed Maryknoll priest of 40 years, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who has prophetically called for a dialogue on women priests in our church.
 
Says Fr. Roy Bourgeois: 
 
“Silence is the voice of complicity. Therefore, I call upon all Catholics, fellow priests, bishops, Pope Benedict XVI, our next pope and all Church leaders at the Vatican, to speak out loudly on this grave injustice of excluding women from the priesthood.
 
“Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was assassinated because of his defense of the oppressed. He said, ‘Let those who have a voice, speak out for the voiceless.’
 
“Our loving God has given us a voice. Let us speak clearly and boldly and walk in solidarity, as Jesus would, with the women in our Church who are being called by God to the priesthood.”

"Pope Could Bring Change" by Bridget Mary Meehan/Pope Opts for Simple Black Shoes, Ditches Fancy Red Loafers, Pays Own Hotel Bill, Shares a Minivan...

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130315/LETTERS/303159998/2163/OPINION?Title=Friday-s-letters

Pope could bring change
In response to your article on new pope, "Conservative, with eye to the poor":
Pope Francis has set a good example of simplicity, solidarity with the poor and ecological interests.
While I would like to see Pope Francis affirm women priests, he could take some steps forward for women's equality by hiring women for some of the top positions in the Vatican Curia to reform governance of the Catholic Church.
He could ask the bishops of the church to open more leadership positions to women in dioceses.
He could end the investigation of the nuns and offer the Church's gratitude to the sisters for years of loving labor to those on the margins.
We look forward to the birth of a new era that promotes the inclusion of the voices of women, the poor and others marginalized in our Church, including gays, lesbians and transgender. All belong to God's beloved family.
Bridget Mary Meehan
Sarasota

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2013/03/pope-francis-jennifer-lawrence-of-vatican-city

"The New York Times reported on his down-to-Earth-ness following Wednesday’s election, noting that Pope Francis insisted on paying his Vatican City hotel bill on Thursday (maybe God will reimburse?). Additionally, he opted for simple black shoes instead of Benedict’s flashy red loafers, shared a minivan with several cardinals on the way to dinner*, and, proving that he is not a central character from The Devil Wears Prada, allowed others to join him in the elevator—even though pontiffs usually “descend alone.” (*It is uncertain whether Francis called shotgun or elected to climb over fellow passengers for one of the less-favorable rear seats, but said information would be telling.) Channeling J. Law’s chatty sensibility, Francis’s first homily was “conversational . . . albeit dense in biblical allusions,” in the Times’s appraisal. Photographic evidence that he used the subway in Argentina further suggests that Pope Francis is modest, mass-transportation tolerant, and maybe just Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from the block.

More recently, Pope Francis suffered a vaguely embarrassing Jennifer Lawrence–like moment when he stumbled on the stairs during a meeting with the College of the Cardinals in the Vatican. After his black loafer apparently caught under his white vestments, similar to how Lawrence’s heel caught on her flowing pink Dior gown, Pope Francis tripped but caught himself before shaking the hand of Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals—who, for the sake of this Latin Oscars reenactment, assumes the role of Jean Dujardin. The humanizing moment (embedded below) has already spread its way across the Internet, being viewed by people who may not normally be interested in a foreign-language Catholic Church meeting. Viral Vatican success?"

"Pope Gives Me Hope Despite....'

http://godisnot3guyscom-jeanette.blogspot.com/2013/03/pope-gives-me-hope-despite.html

The Pope Francis I know by Margaret Hebblethwaite/ The Guardian




"There are two views on Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. The world has warmed to the first Latin American pope, whose election has cracked open the Eurocentrism of the Catholic church, and who came across on the balcony as so humble, so genuine, so holy. But that is not all that can be said.

In the last 10 years that I have been watching this Argentinian papabile, I have heard two opposite opinions. One sees him as humble, the other as authoritarian. One as progressive and open, the other as conservative and severe. When I met him in Buenos Aires in 2004, he told me he did not give interviews to the press. But he did agree to sit down in the pews with me after his Sunday mass and have a friendly conversation off the record. He came over as a man who was not only passionately committed to the gospel of poverty, but also highly intelligent and cultured.

We have been in touch a couple of times since, and when he was in Rome for the 2005 conclave, I dropped off a letter for him. He replied promptly by ringing up my hotel and giving me two excellent contacts: a well-informed Argentinian journalist in Rome, and his then press secretary, Guillermo Marcó.

As we were reminded on Thursday, Bergoglio's name had been connected with the dirty war in the 1970s in Argentina. Was this unjust? I am convinced by Marcó's assurance that it was a "very grave calumny". From 1973 to 1979, as Jesuit provincial, Bergoglio had a confrontation with a couple of priests, Orland Yorio and Francisco Jalics, who were living in a poor barrio and carrying out dangerous work against the military dictatorship. They felt betrayed by Bergoglio because instead of endorsing their work and protecting them, he demanded they leave the barrio. When they refused, they had to leave the Jesuit order. When they were later "disappeared" and tortured, it seemed to many that Bergoglio had been siding with the repression. It was the kind of complex situation that is capable of multiple interpretations, but it is far more likely Bergoglio was trying to save their lives.

When I spoke with fellow Jesuits from other countries about Bergoglio's prospects for becoming pope, I was taken aback by their dislike. He was harsh and disciplinarian, they said, and never went to visit his Jesuit brothers in the curia in Rome. According to Marcó, the alienation between Bergoglio and the Jesuits was a thorn in his side that he bore with silent patience.

Because of issues like this, and his confrontations with the Argentinian government on questions such as same-sex marriage, he has been classed as a conservative. But a different picture has been painted by one of Bergoglio's friends, a radical feminist and Catholic called Clelia Luro, who is about as far to the left on the ecclesial spectrum as you can go. She married a prominent and respected bishop, Jerónimo Podestá – one of the leaders of the progressive reforms that followed the second Vatican council – and was sometimes seen concelebrating mass with him, the kind of thing that makes a Catholic cleric's hair stand on end. But Bergoglio reacted differently.

Luro talked to me at length about her friend, of whom she has the highest opinion, and told me how she would write to him almost weekly, and he would always reply by ringing her up and having a short chat. When Podesta was dying, Bergoglio was the only Catholic cleric who went to visit him in hospital, and, when he died, the only one who showed public recognition of his great contribution to the Argentinian church.

Now he is pope, we can hope Francis may start not only with a new name but with a clean bill of moral health, and that the world can make its own judgment on what kind of man he is – not based on misunderstandings that come from painful and difficult moments in the past, but responding to his call from St Peter's balcony for "fraternity, love and trust among us". I believe he will not let us down, and will be a beacon of Franciscan poverty and simplicity in a Vatican that still operates like a medieval court."

 

 

Interview with Theologian Mary Hunt on Pope Francis and Argentina's Dirty War

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/6927/bergoglio_s__jesuitical__reaction_to_argentina_s_dirty_war/

Radio Station Interviews on Roman Catholic Women Priests with Bridget Mary Meehan on March 15, 2013

7:33 KTSA San Antonio
7:40 KEX  Portland
7:46 WGAN So. Portland
8:00 KROI Houston
8:10 WPRO Providence
8:15 KOMO Seattle
8:10WABC New York
8:50 KTRS St. Louis

What a joy to begin my day today by sharing with these cities the good news that women priests are here serving communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. The full equality of women in the church is the will of God in our time, and it should be one  of Pope Francis' top agendas.  Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com, 941-955-2313, 703-505-0004


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Woman Pope in a Discipleship of Equals?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/13/world/women-pope/index.html?iref=allsearch

"Note to Pope: Half of World's Poor are Women"/Full Equality of Women is Voice of God in our Time

..."let’s be clear: half of the world’s poor are women, and the Church’s effort to deprive the Catholic women among them of contraceptives, of the use of condoms that could protect them from HIV-AIDS, and of the ministry of women priests who would marry, absolve, and anoint them, is no service to them..... The new supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis I, has the opportunity to end another form of oppression, the second-class status of women in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis, bring down this wall!" Marian Ronan
http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/6920/note_to_the_new_pope__half_of_the_world_s_poor_are_women/Excellent article! One of the big challenges that  Pope Francis faces is the need to change the failed church teachings that cause poverty, disease, and death like the bans on contraception/condoms and that deny the full equality of women in ministry as priests.  Will Pope Francis tear down the wall of injustice and sexism in the Catholic Church? Let's hope that, like Francis, his mission will be to rebuild the church that treats women as beloved sisters and equal partners in church and society.   Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com, 941-955-2313


Pope Francis and Women Priests by Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp, www.arcwp.org


What we know about Pope Francis gives me hope that he is compassionate and open to the Spirit of God in the people of God. He invited the people to bless him and bent over to receive an outpouring of prayer and love, not only from people in Vatican Square, but from millions around the world. At this historic moment the priesthood of the people rooted in baptismal grace was palpable.

 What we know about Pope Francis gives me hope that his first response to people in painful situations will be compassion, not more canon laws. His openness to condoms to prevent infection and challenge to ultra conservatives to give communion to single Moms display Christ's tender care for those in need.

 His solidarity with the poor, specifically, his naming of social sin as a core issue in a world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. With Pope Francis, who as a church leader took the bus to work and lived in a small apartment, solidarity with the poor could become an important  priority for the hierarchy. 

Will more bishops move out of their mansions and follow his example anytime soon?
  
I hope that Pope Francis will recognize women and men as equal partners in the Gospel. Women's unequal status in the church is the "elephant in the church's living room" that needs to be addressed. He could appoint women to the top jobs in the curia and sweep away centuries of sexism in one big swoop!

Although, I wish that our new Pope would affirm women priests and ordain women immediately, I realize that this may be a step too far for any pope at this time, given the hostility of the hierarchy toward their sister priests.

However, our new pope could reach out and take some positive steps that would make a difference. Pope Francis could remove Roman Catholic Women Priests  from the category of most grievous crimes against our church. (on the same level as pedophiles according to canon law) He could  announce that those who ordain women or support women priests no longer incur excommunication.
How about a new beginning? He could dialogue with women priests and with our inclusive communities, including the male priests who in growing numbers in countries around the world support us.  Perhaps, Pope Francis will ordain women deacons as leaders of communities of faith like our Sister Phoebe in Romans 16.
 
 Who said prayers or dreams can't come true. Pope Francis is the first Latin American pope and millions today have seen their dreams come true! One day, our dreams for women priests in the Catholic Church will be officially sanctioned by a Pope. One day, we may  have a woman pope!
Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com
703-505-0004, 941-955-2313

left to right: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Bridget Mary Meehan, Lee Breyer, Michael Rigdon, Katy Zatsick

What We Know About Pope Francis

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/13/new-pope-thirteen-key-facts

What we know about Pope Francis

• He likes to travel by bus.

• He has lived for more than 50 years with one functioning lung. He had the other removed as a young man because of infection.

• He is the son of an Italian railway worker.

• He trained as a chemist.

• He is the first non-European pope in the modern era.

• He claims that adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children but believes that condoms "can be permissible" to prevent infection.

• In 2001 he washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice.

• He speaks fluent Italian, as well as Spanish and German.

• Until now he has been living in a small flat, eschewing a formal bishop's residence.

• He told Argentinians not to travel to Rome to celebrate if he was appointed but to give their money to the poor instead.

• He is believed to have been the runner-up in the last papal conclave in 2005.

• He has co-written a book, in Spanish, called Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (On Heaven and Earth). You can buy it on Kindle.

• Though conservative on church doctrine, he has criticised priests who refuse to baptise babies born to single mothers

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/cardinals-elect-pope-francis-i-former-cardinal-jorge-mario-bergoglio
Joshua  McElwee writes in National Catholic Reporter;
"Bergoglio has supported the social justice ethos of Latin American Catholicism, including a robust defense of the poor.
"We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least," Bergoglio said during a gathering of Latin American bishops in 2007. "The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers."

At the same time, he has generally tended to accent growth in personal holiness over efforts for structural reform.

Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children, earning a public rebuke from Argentina's President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Nevertheless, he has shown deep compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS; in 2001, he visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.
Bergoglio also won high marks for his compassionate response to the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires of a seven-story building housing the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association and the Delegation of the Argentine Jewish Association..."

Young Progressives Share First Impressions
http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/young-progressive-catholics-react-pope-francis-election

Bridget Mary's Response;
What we know about Pope Francis gives me cause for hope that he is compassionate and oriented to
the priesthood of the people who blessed him first. What we know about Pope Francis gives me hope that his first response to people in painful situations will be compassion, not more canon laws. His openness to condoms to prevent infection is one example and his challenge to ultra conservatives to give communion to single Moms is another positive sign that his bottom line is what would Jesus do?
I also see his solidarity with the poor and his naming social sin as a core issue in the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Social justice will again rise to the top of the institutional church's agenda.
I hope that he will be open to women's unequal status in the church as the elephant in the living room that he will address as Pope. Gender justice is an integral part of the social justice teaching of the church. Now more than ever, we need women as equals and partners in all areas of the church's life including the priesthood. A good first step is to life the automatic excommunication of Roman Catholic Women Priests.  Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com




Roman Catholic Women Priests Congratulate Pope Francis

Worldwide members of the international movement of Roman Catholic Women Priests send our heartfelt congratulations to Pope Francis.
 
We sincerely welcome him with our prayers and hopes for the future of the Roman Catholic Church. We look forward to the birth of a new era that promotes the inclusion of the voices of women, the poor and all others marginalized by society.
 
Our hope is for a vigorous renewal of pastoral Church leadership living the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.
 
We bless our new pope and pray with him. May God be with you, Pope Francis.
 
 
 
Visit our websites and support us in our continuing our work to support women called to be priests.  





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Read More:
 
 
International News 24h/7: Women in the Shadows in Vatican Conclave