Saturday, February 11, 2017

"The Prayer of Jesus" for the 21st Century by Margaret Alderman

"The Prayer of Jesus for the 21st Century" 
by Margaret (Peggy) Alderman, ARCWP


Our Liberating Friend who gathers us
No matter what your name.

Your companionship of empowerment comes,
The deconstruction of the system will be done
With love and healing from within.

Give us this day silent space for you
And forgive the times we cause internal oppression of others
As we forgive those who are externally oppressive to us.

And lead us not into our egos
But help us find our unmet needs.

For you are power with love, 
the companionship of empowerment and our liberating friend 
Forever and ever.


Awoman.

Christina Moreira Vázquez, ARCWP, on Spanish Radio Today



Christina Moreira Vázquez, ARCWP, was interviewed today on Cadena Ser, a radio station in Spain. Christina spoke about the International Roman Catholic Women Priest's movement. 

To listen to Christina, click on link below and go to 35:15 for the beginning of her interview.


http://play.cadenaser.com/audio/cadenaser_avivirquesondosdias_20170211_100000_110000/

Grounded in Being by Lynn Kinlan


To be rooted is to take hold of earthen soil and mineral and be nourished in the Divine embrace of Creation. To be rooted means to be safe and restful, anticipating joyful prospects coming my way - inevitably, invariably, infinitely.

Settling in, secured and surrounded by indwelling Spirit. Ensconced but not entrenched. Rooted and grounded. Deeply loved and protected. In the silence, there is space and time enough to head for living water, and saving air, to ask and grasp and strain as part of all Creation.

There is no product in being rooted. No outcome, no efficiency, no task at hand. No 'shoulds’ or ‘wannabes’. Only peacefulness and hopefulness. And it is a very fine place to slip into and stay for a while. Here is the joy that precedes doing, the splendor of knowing, where Being is enough. Staying still, not as an end in itself but as a time for inhaling deeply, soaking up cooling water, being swept along by warm winds and firmly supported by fertile soil.

Lovingly grounded in Divine Hope, I acknowledge that as splendid as this safe and cozy moment is, tomorrow is to be made more splendid. There is a time to take flight and soar but it will wait. This patient and promising place, in this singular moment of creation is where I call my own. There I rest, rooted in place, grounded inside the Holy One.

(c) Lynn Kinlan 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

St. Catherine of Siena: "Cry [out] as if you have a million voices, it is silence that kills the world."

Catherine of Siena reminds us that our mission as Christians is not only to comfort the afflicted, but to afflict the comfortable for justice, human rights, peace and equality in our church and world today. 

 A fourteenth century mystic activist, Catherine became involved in some of the major political and ecclesiastical controversies of her time. This included feuds between the papacy and the city states, the return of the papacy to Rome, the reform of the Church and the great Schism. She was immersed in high stress conflicts and had a long to do list!


Statue of St. Catherine at Met, NY, photo by Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP


Many of us can identify with Catherine's over the top agenda.

 As I try to get some perspective on the hot button issues today, I think Catherine is a mentor. She went deep into her soul and, there found a passion for God that ignited her healing and prophetic ministry.

In my book, Praying with Visionary Women, I wrote:

"Today more than ever we need to live with integrity, integrating prayer and action in our lives so that we can be effective instruments of truth and justice in our world. Prayer grounds us in the immensity of God's love. As we experience being loved deeply, passionately, we  become on fire with love for others- family, friends, neighbors, strangers. We become mystic activists, like Catherine, speaking out, taking risks and doing whatever God calls us to do." (Meehan, Praying with Visionary Women, pp. 58-59)

I believe that our spiritual energy wells up from within, in the depths of infinite love, we are embraced and filled with every gift and blessing we need to be a reflection of God in our lives.

St. Paul reminds us that "we can do all things in God who strengthens us." Romans 8:28.

I/we pray: "In your love, O God, I/we have the power to do whatever you are calling me/us to do!"

The time to cry out for justice and equality with a million voices is now!

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Women Priests Were Warned , Were Given an Explanation, Nevertheless, Persisted


 Mitch McConnell's explanation for silencing Elizabeth Warren from the Senate floor:

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP, Walter Sandell, and Roy Bourgeois

Like Elizabeth Warren, women priests were warned, given an explanation for our excommunication by the Vatican, and, nevertheless, we have persisted. Since 2002, we have lived Gospel equality in grassroots, inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. Our call is to live this prophetic vision now as if it is a reality in our church.

We also make our voices heard for for human rights, non-violence, justice and equality for all people- especially for the poor and for those on the margins- including undocumented immigrants- in our country and in our world. Jesus calls us to love one another, to live compassion and to do justice. And, as Martin Luther King reminded us injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Therefore, we treat one another with mutual respect, as images of the Holy One, and do all we can to promote and live equality for all.

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Katy Zatsick ARCWP demonstrates for health care for all

It Seems To Me: What Young Women May Not Know" (Women's History) by Sharon Weeks

http://www.leadertelegram.com/Opinion/Commentary/2017/02/05/lt-div-class-libPageBodyLinebreak-gt-What-young-women-may-not-know-lt-div-gt.html

..."Women’s history has been basically excluded from the classroom text books in public schools. Many people are not aware that a select group of white men, a board of education in Texas, has been charged with the job of editing all of the history textbooks for decades. Their editing is final. (See Bill Moyers, “Messing with Textbooks,” June 2012)

That is the reason you probably didn’t know that in the 1870s women could not own property, could not sign contracts, could not vote, file law suits, nor have their own money. Under their father’s roof, he had control and that control was passed to her husband upon marriage. A woman running away from violent domestic abuse was hunted down by the law and returned to her husband as she was his property.
From the 1840s to 1920 women fought for the vote. The struggle to gain the right to vote began nearly 200 years ago. Attempts to vote in 1870 were turned away. The Supreme Court ruled against them in 1875. In 1916 Alice Paul formed the National Women’s Party. They marched. Over 200 supporters were arrested while picketing the White House. They were beaten with clubs and thrown in prison. Some went on hunger strikes and endured forced feedings. Forty prison guards wielding clubs went on a rampage against 33 women known as the “Night of Terror” on Nov. 15, 1917. (See HBO movie, “Iron Jawed Angels”).
In the 1960s women fought for birth control. It was illegal in many parts of the country then, you see. Margaret Sanger, a pioneer in the struggle for a woman’s right to birth control in an era “when it was illegal to discuss the topic,” was arrested many times for her publications and her New York City clinic.
Civil rights marches (1960s)
Again people were beaten, drowned and hanged. Because of the media, there was more attention and the marches for these rights were better known. After the Civil War, the 14th and 15th amendments adopted in 1868 and 1878 granted citizenship and suffrage to blacks, but not to women. A suffrage amendment to the federal Constitution was presented to Congress and repeatedly failed to pass.
1972: Title IX is a landmark federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Title IX is not just about sports and it protects all students; the federal government threatened to stop aid to all public schools that did not correct this.
1973: Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal and safe. Women stopped dying from abortions. The government is planning to stop funding for Planned Parenthood and tens of thousands of women will not only lose coverage for basic health care, but they will also no longer have access to birth control. That pretty much means there will be more unwanted pregnancies and if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, which seems likely with the appointment of a new Supreme Court judge by this administration, there will be more women dying from abortions again..."

Local Women Find Places for Leadership in Religion They’re cracking the stained glass ceiling, proving faith is genderless. BY LORA BILTON ENGLEHART

http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/February-2017/Local-Women-Find-Places-for-Leadership-in-Religion/


Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer co-preside at liturgy at
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Florida

Bridget Mary's Response:
Our church has a long way to go to break the stained glass ceiling!
Inspired by our sisters in main line congregations who have blazed a courageous path ahead of us, our international women priests movement began the long journey towards equality in the Roman Catholic Church with the ordination of seven women on the Danube in 2002.
Our women priests minister in alternative Catholic faith communities that welcome everyone to receive sacraments.  In 2017, there are approximately 235 ordained women in Europe, Canada, U.S., Latin America and Africa.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, www.romancatholicwomenpriestsusa.org


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Steve Bannon Aligns with Vatican Hardliners Who Oppose Pope Francis

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/02/08/514102356/steve-bannon-aligns-with-vatican-hardliners-who-oppose-pope-francis

Female leadership 'needed in the church' Australian Archbishop Coleridge said


"The Archbishop also said there was a need for more women to be making executive decisions at the top of the Catholic Church in Australia.
"If the Catholic Church says it cannot ordain women we are correspondingly obliged to explore ways in which women can exercise genuine responsibility in the decision-making processes at the highest level," Archbishop Coleridge said.
Catholics for Renewal president Mr Peter Johnstone said he believed one could argue women would have spoken up about allegations of abuse earlier."


"When you exclude the people who have had experience in bringing up children...you are not going to get it right," he said.

Katy Zatsick ARCWP Demonstrates in Tampa: Health Care is a Right for All

Katy Zatsick ARCWP at demonstration in Tampa, Florida to support improving the Affordable Care Act 

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 6th Sunday Ordinary Time, Feb. 12th, Beverly Bingle RCWP

Today’s readings ask us to read the signs of our times
just as our ancestors in faith had to do in their times.
When we think about at what’s going on these days in our country,
we have to ask, with Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”
What’s the evidence for that statement?
Is that an “alternative fact?”
Is that true or false?
Is that a lie?
_______________________________________
Sometime around 200 B.C. in Egypt
Shimon ben Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira
wrote the book we call Sirach.
The passage we heard today tells us
that we have the power to be faithful.
We are free to choose what is good.
No one, Sirach says, has permission to sin.
No one is given strength in order to tell lies.
_______________________________________
About 250 years later Paul writes to the Corinthians
about the wisdom of those who are spiritually mature.
He tells them that such maturity is not the wisdom of their time,
and points to the rulers “who are headed for destruction.”
_______________________________________
Then Matthew, in the year 85 in Syria,
has Jesus telling his disciples
that their sense of justice
has to go beyond the justice of the scholars
and the religious leaders.
Jesus tells them to be honest and forthright,
to say “Yes” when they mean “Yes”
and “No” when you mean “No.”
_______________________________________
The passage that follows today’s gospel
has Jesus telling his disciples to love their enemies,
which scholars agree was definitely spoken by Jesus.
They also agree that the pattern of today’s gospel passage
reflects Jesus’ message
in that he consistently called the disciples
to a higher standard than simply following the letter of the law.
He told them that they were to work at living the spirit of the law.
And the spirit of the law is love.
_______________________________________
We hear these scriptures today and ask:
what’s the message here for our world?
Pope Francis, a week ago Friday, named it plainly.
He said, “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian
and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help,
someone who is hungry or thirsty,
toss out someone who is in need of help.
“If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”
The Pope said that all nations must focus
on “service to the poorest, the sick,
and those who have abandoned their homelands
in search of a better future for themselves and their families.”
_______________________________________
Our U.S. bishops apply Jesus’ teaching
when they write about the need for embracing truth
in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.
The bishops tell us
that we have to be guided by our moral convictions,
not attachment to a political party or interest group.
They tell us that “We are called
to bring together our principles and our political choices,
our values and our votes,
to help build a civilization of truth and love.”
_______________________________________
When we look at our world today,
it’s obvious that we’re a long way
from a civilization of truth and love.
In too many ways, we’re a long way from civilization.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center,
in the days since the presidential election,
states across the country have seen increased incidents
of racist or anti-Semitic vandalism and violence,
many of which have drawn directly
on the rhetoric and proposals of Donald Trump.
We’ve seen the executive order
banning Muslims from traveling to our country.
We’ve seen hate crimes against Jews,
the killing of unarmed black people.
After the November election
New York saw more than double the hate crimes
against Muslim Americans
and a 67% increase in hate crimes against Jews,
African Americans, and LGBT individuals.
_______________________________________
We’ve seen it right here at home.
We saw the obscenity and the Swastika
painted on the home of American citizens of Arab descent.
There was the bomb threat at the Jewish Community Center.
Then Adrian Williams, an African American,
was subjected to racial insults
and then seriously injured by two whites
right in front of his own house over on Lagrange Street.
High school kids who are LGBT
suffer rape, physical violence, and bullying.
_______________________________________
The signs of our times are clear.
They call us here at Holy Spirit to continue
to welcome everyone to the table, no exceptions.
We are called to embrace everyone we meet wherever we go—
whether it’s the homeless at the soup kitchen
or the Gothic teen
or the close-minded racist.
We are called to befriend the remarried divorced couple,
the worker who lost his job,
and the student who doesn’t make it into college.
We are called to be generous
in our love for every one of God’s people.
_______________________________________
So we march for unity with the gays and the straights,
with the blacks and browns and tans
and yellows and reds and whites,
with the poor and the middle class and the wealthy.
We pray with the Muslims and the Jews
and the Sikhs and the Buddhists and the Quakers
and the atheists and agnostics.
We even march with other Christians.
To each and every one of them, our “yes” means “yes.”
_______________________________________
We reach out to the poor and the oppressed,
no matter their color or ancestry
or citizenship status or religion.
Our “yes” to them means “yes.”
We stand in solidarity with people targeted by hate.
Our “yes” to them means “yes.”
_______________________________________
And when we are told lies,
when we are told to hate,
whether it comes from a friend or a stranger
or the President of the United States, we say “no.”
Our “no” to them means “no.”
Amen!

-- 
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
(Washington Church)


Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

Despite Ban, These Orthodox Jewish Clergywomen Are Determined To Serve Not even a ban from the religious establishment will stop these women from fulfilling their calling.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/orthodox-women-clergy_us_5898a60be4b0c1284f2711e3

"The Orthodox Union, one of the largest networks of Orthodox Jewish synagogues in America, recently adopted a policy that bans women from serving as clergy. 
Opinions about whether women should be allowed to serve as clergy have caused some division within America’s Modern Orthodox Jewish community. The religious establishment, including the OU’s counterpart, the Rabbinical Council of America, is strongly opposed to women’s ordination. On the other hand, some OU synagogues have embraced the idea of women clergy.
The new policy attempts to clear up the confusion. But despite the enforcement of this glass ceiling, Orthodox women who have felt the pull to serve as spiritual leaders aren’t backing away from their calling. 
Rabba Sara Hurwitz is the co-founder and Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, an Orthodox Jewish seminary that ordains women as clergy. The school has graduated 14 female clergy and 28 others are currently students. Hurwitz told The Huffington Post that nine of the their graduates are currently employed in synagogues. She said students remain committed to “learning, teaching, being a pastoral presence for people in their time joy and vulnerability, and being a role model for others.”
“Their reaction [to the policy] is to keep marching forwards, fulfilling their passion to become clergy,” she wrote in an email..."

"The Ultraconservatives Accuse the Pope of Seeking the Female Priesthood" More Drama at the Vatican!

https://evangelizadorasdelosapostoles.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/los-ultraconservadores-acusan-al-papa-de-buscar-el-sacerdocio-femenino/

The reaction against Francisco has found a new front of attack.

The ultraconservatives accuse the Pope of seeking the female priesthood

Pope Francis presides over Wednesday's general audience in the Nervi classroom in the Vatican, today, February 8, 2017. (EFE / Claudio Peri)
 @MRetrivi)
Julio Algañaraz
Buoyed by the success of Donald Trump and the anti Francisco of his inner ideologue, the extremist Steve Bannon (member of the National Security Council), the ultra - conservative conspiracy against the Argentine Papa has found a new front of attack: the priesthood of the women.
Usual vehicle of the conspirators is the widely read site of Sandro Magister, a Vatican-based weekly newspaper "L'Espresso". Magister discovered an article in the latest issue of "Catholic Civilization", the historic Jesuit magazine texts are approved in advance by the Vatican Secretariat of State and now allegedly released the news-bomb. This text defends the priesthood of women and behind is the "imprimatur" of Jorge Bergoglio.

Donald Trump would visit the Pope in May



Magister published it today on his site and recalls that on November 1, answering a question on the return flight from Sweden to pay homage to Martin Luther, the Argentine pope stated that "on the ordination of women in the Church Catholic, the last clear word has been given by John Paul II ".
In 1994 Pope Karol Wojtyla published an apostolic letter on priestly ordinations in which he pointed out that Jesus chose only men for this ministry. "The Church has no authority whatsoever to any confer ordination on women priests. This sentence must be considered final by all the faithful of the Church. "
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, today Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, described the "infallible" character of Pope John Paul II's statement.

The Pope asks to move away from the "defamation" after the posters against him

Jorge Bergoglio has been clear. It will not change this issue. On August 2, 2016 the Argentine Pope created a commission to study the female diaconate and nothing else. But Sandro Magister maliciously remembers the "confidential relationship" between the Pontiff and the director of "Catholic Civilization," the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, whose deputy director is also the Italian Jesuit Giancarlo Pani.
Pani is the author of the article that according to Magister, to the rejoicing of the ultraconservatives, "shatters" the final non-final of John Paul II to the priesthood of women.
The key phrase, written by Father Pani, which would demonstrate a willingness to manipulate the "deposit of faith", states: "The dispute over women priests could be paralleled by other moments in the history of the Church. In any case, today the question of the female priesthood is clear: "auctoritates", that is, the official positions of the Magisterium, but so many Catholics struggle to understand the reasons for choices, rather than expressions of authority, seem to mean authoritarianism. "

Rome, papered with an unpublished poster sticker against Francisco

"There is a malaise who fails to understand how the exclusion of women from the ministry of the Church can coexist with the affirmation and enhancement of their dignity parity today" , adds the subirector of the historic Jesuit magazine.
"One can not always resort to the past," writes Father Pani, "as if only from the past come the indications to the Spirit. "" Today, too, the Lord guides the Church and suggests courageously taking on new perspectives. "
The conclusion of the article will fuel the alarms and the traditionalistic accusations of scandalous manipulation to promote the reopening of the subject of the female priesthood. The deputy director of "Catholic Civilization" points out that Pope Francis is the first "not limited to what is already known, but wants to penetrate a complex and current field so that the Spirit to guide the Church."

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Open Doors For Women Priests, "La Civilita Catholica"

http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2017/02/07/latest-from-santa-marta-open-doors-for-women-priests/?refresh_ce

The article in "La Civilta Catholica" offers hope that the Spirit is moving Pope Francis toward "new perspectives" on women priests. This is a very interesting article!
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Pope Francis embraces Swedish Archbishop Donna Vescovo

Latest From Santa Marta. Open Doors For Women Priests
"On August 2, 2016, Pope Francis instituted a commission to study the history of the female diaconate, for the purpose of its possible restoration. And some have seen this as a first step toward priesthood for women, in spite of the fact that Francis himself seems to have ruled it out absolutely, responding as follows to a question on the return flight from his journey to Sweden last November 1 (in the photo, his embrace with Swedish Lutheran archbishop Antje Jackelen):
"For the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last clear word was given by Saint John Paul II, and this holds."

But to read the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the question of women priests appears to be anything but closed. On the contrary, wide open.
“La Civiltà Cattolica” is not just any magazine. By statute, every line of it is printed after inspection by the Holy See. But in addition there is the very close confidential relationship between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the magazine’s editor, the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro.

Who in turn has his most trusted colleague in deputy editor Giancarlo Pani, he too a Jesuit like all the writers of the magazine.

So then, in the article with his byline that appears in the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” Fr. Pani calmly rips to shreds the “last clear word” - meaning the flat no - that John Paul II spoke against women’s priesthood.
To see how, all it takes is to reread this passage of the article, properly speaking dedicated to the question of women priests, but taking the cue from there to express hopes for women priests as well
*
ONE CANNOT SIMPLY RESORT TO THE PAST
by Giancarlo Pani, S.J.
[…] On Pentecost of 1994, Pope John Paul II summarized, in the apostolic letter “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” the outcome of a series of previous magisterial statements (including “Inter Insigniores”), concluding that Jesus has chosen only men for the priestly ministry. Therefore “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women. This judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.”

The statement was a clear word for those who maintained that the refusal of priestly ordination for women could be discussed. Nonetheless, […] some time later, following the problems raised not so much by the doctrine as by the force with which it was presented, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was presented with a question: can “ordinatio sacerdotalis” be “considered as belonging to the deposit of the faith?” The answer was “affirmative,” and the doctrine was described as “infallibiliter proposita,” meaning that “it must be held always, everywhere, and by all the faithful.”
Difficulties with the answer’s reception have created “tensions” in relations between magisterium and theology over the connected problems. These are pertinent to the fundamental theology on infallibility. It is the first time in history that the congregation explicitly appealed to the constitution “Lumen Gentium” no. 25, which proclaims the infallibility of a doctrine that is taught as definitively binding by the bishops dispersed throughout the world but in communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter.

Moreover, the question touches upon the theology of the sacraments, because it concerns the subject of the sacrament of Orders, which traditionally is indeed man, but this does not take into account the developments that the presence of woman in the family and in society has undergone in the 21st century. This is a matter of ecclesial dignity, responsibility, and participation.

The historical fact of the exclusion of woman from the priesthood because of the “impedimentum sexus” is undeniable. Nevertheless, already in 1948, and therefore well ahead of the disputes of the 1960’s, Fr. Congar pointed out that “the absence of a fact is not a decisive criterion for concluding prudently in every case that the Church cannot do it and will never do it.”

Moreover, another theologian adds, the “consensus fidelium” of many centuries has been called into question in the 20th century above all on account of the profound sociocultural changes concerning woman. It would not make sense to maintain that the Church must change only because the times have changed, but it remains true that a doctrine proposed by the Church needs to be understood by the believing intelligence. The dispute over women priests could be set in parallel with other moments of Church history; in any case, today in the question of female priesthood the “auctoritates,” or official positions of the magisterium, are clear, but many Catholics have a hard time understanding the “rationes” of decisions that, more than expressions of authority, appear to signify authoritarianism. Today there is unease among those who fail to understand how the exclusion of woman from the Church’s ministry can coexist with the affirmation and appreciation of her equal dignity.” […]*

In the judgment of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” therefore, not only should the infallibility and definitiveness of John Paul II’s “no” to women priests be brought into doubt, but more important than this “no” are the “developments that the presence of woman in the family and society has undergone in the 21st century.”

"New Perspectives"
These developments - the reasoning of the magazine continues - now render incomprehensible the “rationes” for prohibitions “that, more than expressions of authority, appear to signify authoritarianism.”
“One cannot always resort to the past, as if only in the past are there indications of the Spirit. Today as well the Spirit is guiding the Church and suggesting the courageous assumption of new perspectives.”
And Francis is the first “not to limit himself to what is already known, but wants to delve into a complex and relevant field, so that it may be the Spirit who guides the Church,” concludes “La Civiltà Cattolica,” evidently with the pope’s imprimatur.


(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)

Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse by Brothers and Priests

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4450889/royal-commission-into-institutional-responses-to-child-sexual-abuse-day-two/


Dr Michelle Mulvihill is a psychologist and former nun, who grew up in a “very fervent” religious background. She worked with the St John of God order for a number of years to help them with child sexual abuse. We heard on Monday that the order has a staggering 40 per cent of its members as alleged perpetrators.
Mulvihill said “I resigned from that organisation (St John of God) because I could no longer deal with the corruption and systemic abuse that was my experience of what was happening inside that organisation. I could do no more.”
A second panelist is Professor Neil Ormerod, a professor of theology with the Australian Catholic University.
Ormerod has just told the commission that his wife told him that a priest at the centre of their community had “sexualised their relationship”.
Although she was not a child, she was a vulnerable adult at the time and the relationship was “quite exploitative”.
Professor Francis Moloney is a senior professorial fellow at Catholic Theological College, and author of a book on, and I quote, “the use of the expression the Son of Man in the fourth gospel. It’s found 13 times. Why?”
His book, The Son of Man, took him three years to write, sold out in the first two editions and is now in its third edition.
I found a lot of difficulty, and I can understand why my predecessor, who was quite introspective, had had his breakdown and eventually died. He found the whole thing overwhelming.- Salesian head Francis Moloney about child sexual abuse in the order.
“It’s been through three editions, all sold out. It has become a classic in the field,” Moloney said.
Moloney took over as provincial superior of the Salesians Australia in 2006 and “I found a great mess”.
Moloney: “I found a lot of difficulty, and I can understand why my predecessor, who was quite introspective, had had his breakdown and eventually died. He found the whole thing overwhelming.”
He said his predecessor found the “face-to-face encounters with the victims, which is always stressing, soul destroying, and he found that very hard to cope with”.
The “mess” he was referring to was child sexual abuse.
The second difficulty his predecessor couldn’t cope with was “you find people that you’ve lived with and known for 30 and 40 years have betrayed everything you stand for. He just couldn’t cope with it and he had a complete breakdown”.
Professor Moloney said it was quite a rapid process to dismiss a Brother within the Catholic Church. Although it involved the Vatican, a Brother could be dismissed within three or four weeks.
It was much more difficult to defrock an ordained priest.
Moloney: “The process is dismissal, which is the most vigorous way, which the Vatican has been very loath to allow. They will go through a long, long process in order to get to this eventual dismissal.”
He has told the royal commission that the Salesians have never had many Brothers and priests in Australia, which is why the figures put in the royal commission on Monday were a concern and a surprise.
“It talks about 22.5 per cent allegations against Brother. We’ve only had about 25 Brothers since 1950 so that’s a high figure,” Professor Moloney said....