Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Former LCWR Leader: Pope Should Open Door to Women Priests"/ Sister Theresa Kane/ NCR/"Women's Ordination, a Matter of Justice"

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/former-lcwr-leader-pope-should-open-door-women-priests
Women's ordination, said Kane, "is a matter of justice."
"If there's any inequality there's always injustice, whether it's racial or cultural or religious or gender," she said. "Not only is it a social justice, I've always said it's a form of inequality which is a form of idolatry actually -- that we idolize the ideas, we idolize the traditions, we idolize the way it has been."
Referencing Pope Francis' remarks on the plane that women have a special role in the church akin to that of Mary's as the Queen of the Apostles, Kane said Catholic leaders sometimes put women on a pedestal but don't see them as equals.
"They continue to say Mary was so important, but we pedestalize her and we want to pedestalize women," said Kane. "We either pedestalize women or we condemn them. We never see them as equals, or we never have to look eye to eye and be equal with each other."
Kane said Pope Francis has to open the door to the question of women priests and to "bring the church into the 21st century for the very significant equality of women and men."
Bridget Mary's Response:
Right on, Sister Theresa Kane! Once again, you speak truth to the pope. I was present when you first raised this issue at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC when Pope John Paul 11 addressed women religious!

"What Pope Left Out About Women" by Alice Laffey/CNN/Bridget Mary's Response on Women Priests

 http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/31/opinion/laffey-women-pope/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
"When Pope Francis gave his now-famous, 80-minute interview on the plane back to Rome from Brazil, he was asked, not surprisingly, about the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church. He said that John Paul II had "closed the door" to the possibility of women priests, but he affirmed that the church lacked "a deep theology of women." His comments conveyed a deep respect for women.
Whatever Francis' own virtues, however, the church will continue to be accused of sexual discrimination, especially by many Americans and Europeans, as long as it denies the priesthood to women.
 
No matter what efforts Pope Francis makes with respect to women, if he refuses to move the ordination question forward, many, including Catholics, will consider his efforts toward women as insufficient or even hypocritical.
That John Paul II "closed the door" to women's ordination is undoubtedly true, but the door may not be closed for all time. After John Paul II's pronouncement against the ordination of women, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the country's leading professional society of Roman Catholic theologians, at its June 1997 meeting, endorsed a resolution indicating that there are "serious doubts regarding the nature of the authority of the teaching" that the church lacks the authority to ordain women to the priesthood and that the all-male priesthood is a truth that has been infallibly taught and that the faithful must accept..."
 
Bridget Mary's Response:
Pope John Paul 11 did not consult with the world's theologians and bishops when he proclaimed the definitive teaching banning women's ordination. We must keep in mind that the church is the"people of God, the community of faith" and definitive teaching must reflect the "sensus fidelium", rooted in the example and teaching of Jesus, the church's tradition and the lived experience of the church in our times. Of course, there are "serious doubts regarding the nature of the authority of the teaching" on the ban on women priests. Roman Catholic Women Priests are living a renewed priestly ministry in inclusive, egalitarian communities of faith. This is our "gift", our charism to our contemporary 21st century church.  The full equality of women in the church, including priestly ministry, is the voice of God in our times. Bridget Mary Meehan, http://www.arcwp.org
 
 


.

"What Makes Marriage Marriage" from article byThomas Finn/ shared by John Chuchman

For some 1,600 years,

before institutional religion co-opted it,

what made a marriage a true marriage was consent,

from which its three benefits flowed:

Love, Respect, Sacred Union, Children.



Whether a couple could have children was,

like sexual attraction,

nature's call,

not what makes marriage marriage.



Although same-sex couples can have a child by adoption

and nurture the child in a home characterized by mutual affection and respect,

they cannot beget a child of their own.



But, that same situation often is the case for an opposite-sex married couple

who adopt and nurture.



Neither couple can be said to contravene the law of nature by marrying.



Given the percentage of people for and against same-sex marriage,

more than 60 percent of our citizens,

including Catholics,

seem to agree with what our Western predecessors concluded

about what truly constitutes marriage,

whether for an opposite-sex or same-sex couple,

namely,


consent to a life together

of partners infused with affection and respect

constitutes true marriage,

from which social benefits flow.



From an article by Thomas M. Finn, chancellor professor of religion (emeritus) at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

Friday, August 2, 2013

"THIRTY YEARS: WHAT WE'VE LEARNED AND WHAT I'VE LEARNED" by Thomas Doyle, J.C. D., C.A. D. C/Sexual Abuse Scandal in the Roman Catholic Church

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Special-message-from-ARCC---THIRTY-YEARS.html?soid=1106306587785&aid=Ljvs8_e1Qlg

"When I first became involved with the Gauthe case in 1984 I still believed in the Church.  I thought the institutional structure I was part of, and the People of God described by the Second Vatican Council, were one and the same.  In spite of already having served three years on the inside at the Vatican Embassy I still had some confidence in bishops and shared the hope with my colleagues at the time, Mike Peterson and Ray Mouton, that once the bishops became aware of how terrible sexual abuse of a child could be and the potential for scandal of epic proportions, they would quickly step up to the plate and do the right thing,
especially by the victims. "

"I was dead wrong.  Any lingering hopes I may have had were demolished by my
experiences in the years that followed.  I had no idea back then of the extent
of the problem but more important, and worse, I had no idea just how duplicitous and destructive the bishops could be. "


A lengthy and thoughtful article by Tom Doyle posted on the website of the Association of the Rights of Catholics in the Church.

For a comprehensive overview of the saga of dealing with clerical sex abuse of minors in the United States see Mortal Sins by Michael D’Antonio.

"Top Ten Ways Bradley Manning Changed the World" by Juan Cole


"This is Pope As Rock Star"/ "....if someone is a woman and she searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge"

 
"Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” When will he say, “If someone is a woman and she searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

Pat Noonan, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Thanks for Nothing ,Pope Francis" /The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/31/pope-francis-conservative-views-on-women

"Maverick Catholics hold out hope for female priests" by Dan Rodricks /Baltimore Sun

Women priests
Ann Penick and Marellen Mayers, two Maryland women who became Catholic priests in a maverick ordination in a Protestant church in Catonsville in 2011, spoke about Pope Francis' comments that women could not be priests. "I was very encouraged by what Pope Francis has said about the poor and the marginalized and by what he said about [gay and lesbian] people," Penick wrote in an email. "However, I was deeply saddened by what he said about the ordination of women." Mayers said she was not surprised, but she expressed hope the pope would "be a good listener" and become open to the idea of a more inclusive priesthood. (unknown, Baltimore Sun / June 5, 2011)



..."But while there are a lot of reasons for the exodus from the church, you certainly must include its doctrine of discrimination.
Who wants to be associated with a church that, in the 21st century, discriminates against its own members because of their sex or, in the case of gays and lesbians, their sexual identity?
Of course, women are allowed to be active in the life of the church — they serve as sisters, as Catholic school administrators; they run charitable missions, and they serve as diocesan and parish leaders.
But they don't get to do what men do. They don't get to be ordained and serve parishes as priests.
And what did the pope say on the flight back from Rio? He said the church needed to have a "deeper theology of women," and he spoke with great respect for their contributions to Catholic life.
But he said the door was closed to the priesthood.
So, for all the excitement Pope Francis has stirred, what we have so far — on an issue that has both philosophical and practical meaning for the future of the church — is the status quo.
Of course, there's a simple solution for those of us who have a problem with this: We could just become Episcopal.
But, not surprisingly, I got some pushback on that Wednesday when I presented the idea to Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference in Washington. Hanna and her sisters in the cause would rather fight than switch.
"How can we leave the church if we are the church?" she said. "Pope Francis declared the church had spoken and said no, but that's a false statement. Pope John Paul II may have said no, but we know from Vatican II that the church is not the hierarchy. The church is the people of the God, and the people support the ordination of women.
"While this is an unfortunate glimpse into what we can expect from this papacy in terms of women's ordination, I am not about to throw in the towel quite yet."
Two years ago, I attended the maverick ordination of four women as Catholic priests in a Protestant church in Catonsville. The ceremony, arranged by a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, was carried out in defiance of a Vatican decree that promised excommunication for violators. The presiding bishop, a woman, claimed clerical lineage — that is, "apostolic succession" — to a group of women who had been ordained in Europe in 2002 by three male bishops. That, in the minds of the participants, made the ordination legitimate.
Two of the women who took vows that day, Ann Penick and Marellen Mayers, were from Maryland. I contacted them both Wednesday.
"I was very encouraged by what Pope Francis has said about the poor and the marginalized and by what he said about [gay and lesbian] people," Penick wrote in an email. "However, I was deeply saddened by what he said about the ordination of women."
Mayers said she was not surprised, but she expressed hope the pope would "be a good listener" and become open to the idea of a more inclusive priesthood.
Prayer will help, Mayers and Penick said. But it might not be enough.
"The easiest route would be for the church hierarchy to open the doors and let both women and all married men discern their call to the priesthood," said Penick. "But I think, realistically, it's going to have to come from the other direction — we, the people, citizens of the church. A majority of Catholics support the ordination of women and married men [and] recognize that women are also created in God's image."
"This is our church, too," Hanna added. "Pope Francis said the door was closed, but the magical thing about doors is that when mighty wind comes along and slams your door shut, you just walk over and reopen it. That's how doors work, no? So maybe the official door to women's ordination won't open in this papacy, but I am certain it will open in my lifetime."
drodricks@baltsun.com"

"Pope Francis is lots of hope, very little change" by Jon O'Brien/Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/08/01/pope-francis-is-lots-of-hope-very-little-change/
..."Francis did state that he won’t judge gay people, but continues to deny them the right to express their love in the same way as do heterosexuals, with perpetual chastity seemingly the only sanctioned option for LGBT faithful. He also forgave the sins of gay clergy, knowing that the church would grind to a halt were he to make sexual orientation a litmus test for prospective priests and nuns.
But when Francis was asked about the role of women in church, and the possibility that one day the church could enjoy the gifts of ordained women, he insisted that door was closed.
The doors and windows in the Vatican have been closed for a very long time. The air is stale. Faithful Catholics pray for real transformation—perhaps through Pope Francis. Wherever change comes from, one thing is clear: the winds of change need to blow through the whole church, especially the Vatican. Those few acres in Rome are the epicenter of a conservative brand of Catholicism promoted by the hierarchy that has little to do with the way everyday Catholics live and believe. The Francis-dictated fashion for plain cassocks over splendid robes notwithstanding, Catholics want a change of heart from the entrenched leadership, a revolution that would earn rank-and-file Catholics’ vote for sainthood."
Jon O’Brien is the president of Catholics for Choice.

"Killing by Remote Control" by Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP

http://article25news.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/killing-by-remote-control/

Killing by Remote Control

In Uncategorized on 07/29/2013 at 9:53 pm
Image
In June, activists outside CIA headquarters protest drone warfare. Photo by Judith Kelly.
Drones don’t discriminate
By Janice Sevre-Duszynska
Imagine you’re grocery shopping with your children. You go through the checkout, get into your car and as you’re pulling out of the parking lot, you hear a terrifying whir followed by a frightening explosion. A drone operator at a U.S. Air Force base thousands of miles away has pressed the button on a drone “joystick.” At that moment, a Predator or Reaper drone in the sky unleashes a Hellfire missile on a car filled with people.
In your rear-view mirror, you see body parts flying through the air. Little of the car remains, and even less of those who had been inside. On a nearby telephone pole, you catch sight of pieces of human flesh.
If you are a Muslim in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, despite your instinct to survive, you might run to the site of the detonation to see if there were any survivors whom you might be able to help. Such a move might cost your life. The “double tap” tactic has been in use by the Obama administration. First responders to a drone attack are killed by a second attack. Targets include people going to funerals for the victims of an earlier drone attack.
The wrong gang
Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, spoke in Washington, D.C., last month after a visit to Yemen. The founder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange went to Yemen to support an end to drone strikes and to draw attention to President Obama’s promise to release the remaining Yemeni prisoners in Guantanamo. In May the U.S. government announced that four Americans were killed by U.S. drone strikes in Yemen.
To the people of Yemen, drones have become the signature of the United States and the Obama administration, according to Benjamin. She talked about a Yemeni man who lost his brother in a drone strike as he was driving along a road in tribal areas. Today he is caring for his dead brother’s three children.
“Normally, I’d be here to kill an American,” he said. “You’ve killed my brother. I am getting no justice. I know I’ll never get justice through my government, but I’ve heard stories about America and its rule of law and its pinnacle of justice. I am looking for you Americans to bring justice to my dead brother.”
Benjamin said some Yemeni women invited her into a room; once inside the room filled only with women, they lifted their veils and wept. The women said Yemeni families have a love-hate relationship with the United States. Teenagers sometimes get into the wrong gang, one woman told Benjamin.
“Here, it is Al-Qaeda,” the woman told Benjamin. “Their lives are destroyed and their families lives are destroyed by the Yemeni government, the U.S. and Al-Qaeda.”
The woman said any connection to Al-Qaeda – even something as simple as driving a truck to make much-needed money – would mark a person and his family for the rest of their lives.
“Even if they didn’t do anything, they were targeted,” she said. “Once you have the label of Al-Qaeda on you, you can’t get it off you. Once you come out of prison even, you can be targeted. There is so much gratuitous killing.”
She gave an example of a car full of teenagers going to a funeral for people killed by drones. Then a drone struck them.
“What happens is, if you want someone killed, in the tribal rule you could make up a story,” the woman said. “The Yemeni government lies and has us settle its revenges.”
“We can communicate with Al-Qaeda,” another woman told Benjamin. “There’s no way we can communicate with drones.”
The psychological battering from living under drones is intense. Parents keep their children from attending school, and adults are afraid to participate in gatherings for weddings, funerals, neighborhood parties, social or business gatherings.
Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan, published in 2012, is the result of a nine-month study by legal experts from Stanford and New York universities. The report quoted Firoz Ali Khan, a shopkeeper in the town of Miranshah, Pakistan.
“I have been seeing drones since the first one appeared about four to five years ago. … (We see drones) hovering. We don’t know when they will strike. … People are afraid of dying. … Children, women, they are all psychologically affected. They look at the sky to see if there are drones. … (They) make such a noise that everyone is scared,” Khan said.
The 146-page report includes 130 interviews. The authors rejected the notion that drone strikes make the United States safer, saying such thinking is “ambiguous at best.” The study dismissed the U.S. military’s contention that there is little “collateral damage,” concluding that barely 2 percent of the victims are militants. The study called upon the U.S. government to re-evaluate its drone program, saying it is setting precedents for extra-judicial killings outside U.S. and international law.
‘Pursue new campaigns’
“Today drones are used for both lethal and non-lethal purposes” Benjamin’s book says. “Outside the military, unmanned aircraft are being drafted for everything from tracking drug smugglers and monitoring the U.S.-Mexico border to engaging in search operations after earthquakes and spraying pesticides on crops. But the military is the driving force behind drones.”
Last August I was part of a group who participated in the August Desert Witness, sponsored by the peace group Nevada Desert Experience. We gathered in Las Vegas to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to remember the victims of U.S. drone strikes. Our witnessing including die-ins, protesting outside Creech Air Force Base and attending the 39th Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) Drone Convention.
With a media pass from the National Catholic Reporter, I was the only one of our group to get into the convention. Benjamin’s request for a room to discuss her book about drones had been turned down by the AUVSI. She and Franciscan Fr. Louis Vitale, 81, were escorted out by police when they tried to pick up their registrations. About 8,000 people from 40 different countries participated, and I was one of fewer than a dozen women. The convention included workshops and keynotes by members of the military, government and representatives from academia and business as well as 500 exhibitors. The majority of exhibits consisted of drones and related products, including surveillance equipment manufactured for use by the U.S. military and the military in other countries.
“Where does the military stand in terms of coming technology?” asked Lt. Col. Anthony S. Cruz, who works with Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the U.S. Army’s “Ground Team” experimentation division.
Cruz led the workshop, “Experimentation Support to Robotics Concepts and Capabilities, Developments: Building the Manned/Unmanned Air-Ground Team.” He immediately referred us to the Armed Forces Journal and a recent article, “The Robot General.”
“Guys,” he said, looking directly at me, the only woman in the room, “We’re all working on something the army doesn’t have now: the autonomy.”
Cruz continued:
* “Technology is moving faster than concepts, polices and requirements.
* “Autonomy is essential in realizing full potential for robots.
* “We are working with academia, companies, research, etc.
“Through experimentation we are trying to gain knowledge to reduce risk to soldiers and investments. … This concept is the starting point for the Army Capabilities Integration Center.”
Cruz then showed a map of U.S. Battle Labs. Among the many sites was Fort Benning, which houses the notorious School of the Americas.
“The ability to test systems in actual battle combat, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, won’t be there always,” he said. “(We need to) experiment with soldiers such as Fort Benning as soon as possible. Army needs to pursue new campaigns for manned and unmanned war fighters.
“What do we want robots to do? A robot needs to understand its context of its mission. We want to support robots to do more without direct human direction.”
Like a video game
In 2010 the International Committee for Robotic Arms Control met in Berlin. As Benjamin points out in her book, “The experts expressed serious concerns about the inability of automated robotic systems to discriminate between combatants and civilians, and that these new technologies could make it difficult to determine the moral and legal responsibility for any atrocities committed in war.”
Cruz then posed the questions, “Where will the next conflict take place? Where will unmanned systems be used for future conflicts?”
The screen displayed photos of the Pacific Ocean, jungle terrain and cities.
During the demonstrations I walked from table to table viewing some of the videos. The main subjects were military strategies, reconnaissance and the speed and accuracy of hitting targets.
I looked around the audience. Any of them could become the agents who purchase drones for their country’s military to attack and kill the very people sitting next to them. It was surreal.
Most of the vendor and manufacturer exhibitors were either entirely military-based or partnered with the military and police. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps had exhibits. So did weapons manufacturers such as General Atomics (maker of the Reaper and Predator drones), Northrop Grumman (maker of the Gray Eagle, known for its ‘lethal persistence’) and Boeing (maker of the Phantom Eye).
Other exhibitors were military bases such as Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and Edwards Air Force Base in California, which are trying to rent space to private companies to test and develop drones; and universities such as the University of North Dakota, touting training programs for drone operators. The keynote addresses focused on the non-military, civilian uses of drones.
During the evening I spoke at length about drones with my friend Fr. Louis, a former pilot in the U.S. Air Force and longtime peace activist.
In Southeast Asia in 2007, the drones themselves would be stationed in areas near combat, Louis said. They were remotely piloted from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas. The operation of drones has spread to many locations, yet Creech remains the command center. The size of the base has grown enormously in the past five years.
The drones are operated by a crew of two: The first is a skilled Air Force pilot. The second, called the sensor operator, is a junior airman “who has probably developed a lot of remote skills in video games featuring air combat,” Louis said.
“The advantage of the drone operation, in the eyes of the Air Force, the government and some of the public, is that none of the lives of the crew were at risk from combat,” Louis said. “Also, the claim by the Air Force was that the missions were far more accurate with all of the high-tech control and avoided ‘collateral damage’ (the deaths of innocent people). This has turned out not to be true. There have been a great number of civilian casualties.”
Many of the crews have been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Louis.
“We are greatly disturbed by the impact that it’s having on our own crew members, especially the young ones, the sensor operators,” he said.
The famed psychiatrist Robert J. Lifton has dubbed this experience “psychological numbness,” Louis said. The crew is unable to internalize the massive destruction to human life and the environment.
“This also is true of those who command these missions and of the American public,” Louis said. “We find it hard to imagine. We are therefore unable to make adequate moral decisions and thus are in severe danger of being involved in war crimes. As it is with our continual expansion of nuclear weapons, we must find ways to exercise our morality and bring an end to this horrible devastation to human lives and the world we live in.”
How long before the whirring sound makes our heads turn?
Janice Sevre-Duszynska is a peace activist and an ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"No Women Priests?" WOW Responds to Pope Francis

WOMEN'S ORDINATION WORLDWIDE (WOW) PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

'No Women Priests?' WOW Responds to Pope Francis

July 30, 2013

Contact:

  • Miriam Duignan, WOW Leadership Circle (United Kingdom) t: 011.44.1923.77946; e: m_duignan@hotmail.com
  • Therese Koturbash, WOW Communications Coordinator (Canada)
    t: 001.204.648.5720: e: t.m.koturbash@gmail.com
  • Alicja Baranowska, WOW Communications Task Force (Belgium + Poland)


No Women Priests? WOW Responds to Pope Francis

On the question of 'women', WOW is alarmed by remarks made by Pope Francis during an interview with international journalists at the end of World Youth Days 2013. While saying that our Church ‘doesn't yet have a truly deep theology of women’, he also said that, on the question of the ordination of women, ‘the church has spoken and said no. John Paul II, in a definitive formulation, said that door is closed.'

The church has spoken? We remind Pope Francis that the church is made up of millions of women and men who have been officially forbidden by the Vatican from even discussing the question of women's ordination. Pope John Paul II may have spoken but he is not the Church. The ban on women priests may have been a definitive expression of prejudice but it was not an infallible ruling and it does not reflect the will or best interests of the people of the Church. Pope Francis recently called for an elimination of all forms of elitism and said that dialogue is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow. Yet in trying to close down the question of women’s ordination, Vatican leadership demonstrates how it clings to an elitist vision of an elevated and exclusively male priesthood that stifles growth. In the refusal to dialogue, we are also witnessing a leadership fearful of open examination of the exclusion of women due to the shameful fact that it is based on sexism alone.

No truly deep theology of women in the Church? Pope Francis himself has recognised that ‘women have a special mission in the Church as first witnesses of Christ's resurrection’ and there are hundreds of documents and studies available on women’s’ active involvement in the Church since the very beginning. We encourage Pope Francis to open his eyes to the plentiful theology available rather than focusing his energy on trying to limit women to non speaking support roles.

No women priests? Perhaps, Pope Francis, it is time to show some more courage. It is long since past time that the Vatican officially opens wide the doors to genuine dialogue on the question of women's ordination in our Church.

###




Founded in 1996, Women's Ordination Worldwide(WOW) is an international network of groups whose current mission is to see Catholic women admitted to all ordained ministries in the Church. WOW is founded on the gospel principle of equality and therefore opposes any discrimination. 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no long male and female for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28) WOW currently includes representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany Great Britain, Ireland, Malta, Poland, and the United States.

Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy,' guilty of five espionage charges /Raises Moral Issues of Role of Whistleblower during War/Age of Terrorism

Breaking: Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy,' guilty of five espionage charges --Manning found guilty of illegally leaking documents; found guilty of five espionage counts --Judge is the jury --Manning faces 154 years in prison --Press barred from courtroom 30 Jul 2013

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Calls for Open Dialogue with Pope Francis on Women Priests



 
 

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Calls for Open Dialogue with Pope Francis
Release date: July 30, 2013
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min. (Media) rhythmsofthedance@gmail.com, 859-684-4247
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests calls on Pope Francis to open a dialogue on women priests and gender equality, following the example of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. It is time for the full equality of women in the Catholic Church and for Pope Francis to drop “definitive” and discriminatory practices.
The good news is that justice is rising up among the people in many grassroots communities. A CBS Gallup poll cites that 70% of U.S. Catholics support women priests. Male priests’ organizations in Austria, Ireland, Germany and elsewhere are also expressing public support.
Our movement is living Gospel equality now in inclusive, sacramental ministries where all are welcome at the abundant table of God's overflowing love and tender compassion. We dedicate ourselves to prophetic obedience to the Spirit in loving service to God's people wherever we are to promote justice and equality for all especially those on the margins of society.
Jesus provided an example of Gospel equality by calling both women and men, and treating them as equals. The Vatican's own scholars, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, in 1976 concluded that there is nothing in Scripture to prevent women's ordination. In early Christianity, both women and men presided at Eucharist in house churches. Catholic scholars, like Gary Macy and Dorothy Irvin, conclude that women were ordained in the early centuries of our church’s history.
It is our hope and prayer that Pope Francis embraces women as beloved sisters and partners in the Gospel as Saint Francis embraced his mentor, Saint Clare.
=

Women's Ordination Conference/Response to Pope Francis' "No" to Women's Ordination

Media Release
For Immediate Release: July 29, 2013
Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna
+ 001 202.675.1006 (USA)
Statement from Executive Director, Erin Saiz Hanna
Washington, DC - "The Women's Ordination Conference is deeply discouraged to learn of Pope Francis' remarks regarding women's ordination.
In an interview given to reporters on July 28 en route to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis made it very clear that this papacy sees women as separate, but not equal to men, and will keep the door to women's ordination closed, citing Pope John Paul II as his reasoning.
Pope Francis' cop-out rationale illustrates a very selective theology: to blame a previous pope for his stance on women priests, and then in the very same interview contradict his predecessors by acknowledging an open understanding for gay priests.
Instead of looking to Pope John Paul II for the answer, Pope Francis could have looked to a variety of sources. He could have quoted the Vatican's own the Pontifical Biblical Commission that concluded in 1976 that there is no valid scriptural or theological reason for denying ordination to women. Pope Francis could have cited history that documents women's leadership in the early church, or acknowledge the great works Roman Catholic Womenpriests are doing today. He could have looked to Jesus who welcomed women as his equal.
Pope Francis stated that the "church has spoken and said no." The church was not Pope John II in 1994 when he forbade women's ordination nor is it Pope Francis today. The church is made up of the people of God and Pope Francis could have looked to the majority of Catholics who support the ordination of women, recognize that women are created in God's image, and strongly believe with God a door is always open."

"We Are Church Ireland" "disappointed" by Pope Francis' Statement on Women Priests

While ‘ We are Church Ireland ‘ is very supportive of Pope Francis’s pastoral approach as Bishop of Rome it is very disappointed with his words of 28th July 2013 at an mpromptu press conference en route from Rio to Rome, that the ‘door is closed ‘ on the ordination of women in the Catholic Church. He cited Pope John Paul 2 ‘s ban on women priests from 1994 but omitted to mention that the Vatican Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1976 could find no scriptural or theological basis against the exclusion of women from the priesthood.

Pope Francis has called for a ‘deeper theology of women ‘ but ‘what is needed is a renewed theology of sexuality and human rights within the Catholic Church which emphasises the equality and rights of all the people of God to participate in all ministries and positions of authority and service within the Catholic Church’ ,stated Brendan Butler, Spokesperson, We are Church Ireland . Further Information Brendan Butler 086 4054984


Pope Francis Calls for Inclusion of Gays in Society, Saying he has no right to judge, but slams door on justice and equality for women

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-first-press-conference-pope-francis-calls-for-inclusion-of-gays-in-society-saying-he-has-no-right-to-judge/2013/07/29/0d26789e-f87e-11e2-b018-5b8251f0c56e_story.html
Pope Francis has taken a positive step forward and reversed centuries of demonization. Yeah!
 Too bad, he affirmed John Paul's 11's teaching against women priests as "definitive."" This "definitive" teaching is discriminatory, and slams the door on justice and equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp, www.arcwp.org, sofiabmm@aol.com

Will Francis’ Statements on Women and Gays ‘Make a Mess’ Inside the Church? by Mary Hunt/Women Priests- Issue of Justice and Inclusion/Roman Catholic Women Priests Offer Model of Equality Now

Bridget Mary's Reflection
The real issue is the continued discrimination against women and their exclusion from decision making authority including a renewed priestly ministry in inclusive, communities of equals in the church. Neither Peter, Paul nor any of early apostles were ordained.  In the early centuries of the church's history women served leaders and presided at the Eucharistic Table in house churches. 
 Contemporary Canon law links decision-making with Holy Orders.  Pope Francis will have to change this church law to give women leadership positions.
In our age there is no excuse for excluding women from Holy Orders. Women are equal images of God, and should be leaders of sacramental worship, as well as decision makers in our church.
The reality is that the international Roman Catholic  Women Priests Movement are leading  inclusive, egalitarian communities now. The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time. Once again, Mary Hunt hits the nail on the head, plenary indulgence or not! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org


http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/7216/

...."In the same press conference, Francis is reported to have said:
A church without women would be like an apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles — the Church herself is feminine, the Spouse of Christ and a mother…The role of women doesn’t just end with being a mother and with housework. We don’t yet have a truly deep theology of women… We talk about whether they can be this or that, can they be altar boys, can they be lectors, about a woman as president of Caritas (Catholic charities). But we don’t have a deep theology of women in the church…On the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and said no. Pope John Paul II, in a definitive formulation, said that door is closed.
Boom. This is the same old same old theology—the Virgin Mary is more important than anyone else in the story, but living women cannot make ecclesial decisions, exercise sacramental ministry, or make ethical choices. Apparently, the question of women’s ordination is so yesterday in the Vatican Francis doesn’t think it needs to be revisited.
So much for democracy and making a mess (not to say “screwing up”) when it comes to internal church matters. I shudder to think what a “deep theology of women in the church” will look like, much less who will write it. So while I am delighted to see some small movement on the part of this pope on gay issues, I think it’s crucial that he not be given a pass on issues related to women. They are all of a piece.
Gender discrimination is at the heart of kyriarchy. No blithe generalizations about the wonders of women without concrete, structural changes that reflect those realities are acceptable. Women will not be trivialized, and we certainly will not stand by and watch men, including this pope, make excuses for why women cannot be full members of the church.
Furthermore, there’s no surprise in clergymen covering for one another, passing over just how gay things really are, whose youthful capers continue into late middle age, and the like. Few Jesuits would have the nerve to be anti-gay given the make-up of their congregation. I have seen and heard enough over the years from clergymen to recognize the patterns when I see them. Structural change or no change, gentlemen. Let the buyers beware.
The proof of whether this off the cuff press conference, following a well-staged week in Brazil, signals real change will unfold in the months ahead. Will there be stirrings of democracy, a Vatican spring complete with líos in every diocese capable of upending a kyriarchal church and letting a mature, diverse community emerge? Will women finally and definitively share power with men in a democratic church? Or, will there simply be a little tweaking of the rules to make sure that a few favored sons who happen to be gay can remain in power?
Once again, how women are treated, indeed what ministry, decision-making power, and moral authority women share, will answer the question. I will be watching live, plenary indulgence or not..."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pope Francis Closes Door On Women Priests/Definitive and Discriminatory Policy Continues/Roman Catholic Women Priests Are Leading the Way toward Gender Equality

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/07/29/pope-says-ban-on-women-priests-to-remain/2595365/
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/29/pope-says-catholic-ban-on-women-priests-definitive/
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Pope Francis sadly closed the door on women priests, declaring it was definitive teaching. While Pope John Paul 11 declared the ban of women in the priesthood definitive, some had hoped that Pope Francis would open the window to a new dialogue on women as equals in all areas of church ministry. Others have said women should be giving leadership roles in the church, but decision making roles in the church are tied to ordination in canon law. Women are and have been working in pastoral ministry. 80 percent of parish workers are women in the United States.  So what jobs, does Francis have in mind, the head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? Chancellors in dioceses around the world? Judges in the Sacred Rota, Vatican top court? Which top jobs in the Vatican are women going to fill?
Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org

Sunday, July 28, 2013

American Nuns and the Vatican/Sixty Minutes TV Link/ Prophetic Obedience is first to God, not the Vatican

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50142933n
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
As this program points out, one of the big issues is women priests. Nuns definitely want a place at the table and some are called to serve the people of God as priests. As Sister Pat Farrell said, nuns vow to obey God first! So do women priests, and that is why both nuns and women priests are in hot water with the Vatican.
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp. www.arcwp.org

Video of Fr. Schuller Addressing Reforms in Cleveland including Women Priests/Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShS3F_vvPxI

New Blog by Judy Lee, ARCWP, Reflections of a Woman Pastor, Priest and Human Being

http://judyabl.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/208/

Judy Lee, second from left, Judy Beaumont, third from right with members of Good Shepherd Community, Ft. Myers, Fl.


Members of Good Shepherd Community, Ft. Myers, Florida

"Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church" by Rachel Held Evans/Special to CNN/Excellent article

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/27/why-millennials-are-leaving-the-church/?hpt=hp_c3

"Armed with the latest surveys, along with personal testimonies from friends and readers, I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people...
What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance...
We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers...
We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.
You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.
Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus..."
Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.