Saturday, April 8, 2017

ARCWP Ordains Silvia Brandon -Perez a Priest in Berkley, California on April 8, 2017, Presiding Bishop: Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP from Colombia, South America, See Photos and Video of historic ordination


Video clip(brief)

https://vimeo.com/212426523

Photo Album:
Getting Ready: Ordination of Sylvia Antonia Brandon Perez:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/54922368@N07/albums/72157682439321115

Catholic Ordination of Sylvia Antonia Brandon Perez:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/54922368@N07/albums/7215767907360603



The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests shares photos of this ordination which was conducted in Spanish and English. (www.arcwp.org)


From left to right: Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP, Olga Lucia Alvarez-Benjumea ARCWP, Silvia Brandon-Perez ARCWP,  Juanita Cordero RCWP at celebration of Ordination Liturgy in Berkley, California on April 8, 2017

Newly Ordained ARWP Priest, Silvia Brandon-Perez gives Communion to Community


Bishop Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP from Colombia, South America gives Communion to woman 


  
Olga Lucia Alvarez-Benjumea ARCWP presents newly ordained priest Silvia Brandon-Perez ARCWP to assembly at ion ordination in Berkley, California on April 8, 2017


Bishop Olga Lucia Alvarez-Benjumea ARCWP prays over Silvia Brandon -Perez ARCWP assisted  by Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP at ordination ceremony 


















































Activista por la paz y defensora de los pobres del área de la Bahía a ser ordenada presbítera católica romana el 8 de abril


De: La Asociación de Presbíteras Católicas Romanas (ARCWP por sus siglas en inglés)

Para publicación inmediata: April 3, 2017

Contacto: Janice Sevre Duszynska, DMin (Medios) 859-684-4247 rhythmsofthedance1@gmail.com

Silvia Brandon-Pérez, 510-294-5854 precisetranslations2008@gmail.com

Obispa Olga Lucía Álvarez de Colombia (en español solamente) olalbe@gmail.com (en San Francisco, del 6 al 10 de abril)

Obispa Bridget Mary Meehan (solo en inglés) 703-505-0004 sofiabmm@aol.com Ver: www.bridgetmarys.blogspot.com

El sábado, 8 de abril de 2017 a las 11 am, la Asociación de Presbíteras Católicas Romanas (ARCWP) ordenará a Silvia Brandon Pérez como presbítera. La obispa que presidirá será Olga Lucía Álvarez de Colombia. La ceremonia tendrá lugar en la Iglesia Presbiteriana de San Juan, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley, California 94705. Todos son bienvenidos.

Una abogada jubilada de 28 años, Silvia trabaja con los pobres y los desamparados en la inmigración, los derechos civiles, la discapacidad de la seguridad social y otros temas - a veces llevando a los necesitados a vivir a su propio hogar. La madre de cinco hijos nació en Cuba y vivió en Puerto Rico y la República Dominicana donde aprendió la teología de la liberación de un sacerdote y monjas dominicas. Lingüista y traductora en cinco idiomas, dice: "Como cantante, poeta y guerrera espiritual, encuentro eco en la teología de la liberación y el trabajo de hombres como Ernesto Cardenal de Nicaragua y Oscar Romero de El Salvador". Una miembro de la Coalición interreligiosa de inmigración del este de la Bahía, ella participa en vigilias afuera del centro de detención de West County, donde mantienen encerrados a los inmigrantes locales que tienen  audiencias pendientes para la deportación. Estuvo con Cindy Sheehan durante tres semanas fuera de la granja de Bush en Crawford, Texas, protestando contra la guerra iraquí y celebrando liturgias. Una activista de la Vigilia contra la Escuela de las Américas (SOA Watch), participó en la experiencia fronteriza de octubre en Nogales, Arizona y cantó, tocó su guitarra y dio la homilía en la liturgia de SOA Watch en Columbus, Georgia, aparte de servirles de intérprete a las víctimas de la tortura.

Silvia se pasó el día de acción de gracias y la navidad en Standing Rock, una experiencia que ella llama "transformadora". Como parte del Instituto Ecuménico por la Paz (EPI/CALC), el Viernes Santo participará una vez más en la vigilia interreligiosa  anual y acción directa en el laboratorio de Lawrence Livermore para protestar contra las armas nucleares.

"Mi trabajo en curso con las comunidades inmigrantes y sin hogar, mi trabajo de contra-reclutamiento con la AFSC, mi decisión de poner mi cuerpo en la línea en lo que recientemente escuché descrito como "obediencia divina" en lugar de desobediencia civil son parte del trabajo con el que me comprometo diariamente como presbítera, además de celebrar las liturgias y los sacramentos del pueblo latino".

La ordenación de Silvia Brandon Pérez es un acontecimiento revolucionario histórico para la comunidad latina en los Estados Unidos, ya que Silvia y su obispa ordenadora, Olga Lucía Álvarez de Colombia, son latinas las dos. La ordenación de Silvia es una celebración de la justicia y la igualdad de las mujeres en la Iglesia Católica.

El movimiento para la ordenación de la mujer en la Iglesia Católica comenzó en Alemania en el 2002 cuando siete mujeres fueron ordenadas en un barco en el Danubio por un obispo católico. En 2003, dos de las siete del Danubio fueron ordenadas obispas.

"Estamos llevando a la iglesia a una comunidad de fe más inclusiva donde todos sean bienvenidos a recibir los sacramentos", dijo Bridget Mary Meehan, una obispa de los Estados Unidos.

La ordenación de las mujeres como presbíteras católicas continúa sin cesar. Las presbíteras sirven en 65 iglesias inclusivas en los Estados Unidos. Alrededor de 250 mujeres en 13 países han sido ordenadas en todo el mundo.

"Le hacemos un llamado al Papa Francisco a que dialogue con nosotras pasando de la condena a la conversación con el Movimiento de Presbíteras Católicas Romanas", dijo la presbítera Janice Sevre-Duszynska que participó en la Misa del Jubileo de los Sacerdotes en la Plaza de San Pedro la primavera pasada con la presbítera Christina Moreira de España, miembros de la Conferencia de Ordenación de Mujeres y la Ordenación de Mujeres en todo el mundo.

La Asociación de Presbíteras Católicas Romanas está caminando en los pasos de Jesús hoy para capacitar a la gente contemporánea para que dejen fluir el espíritu de nuevo, por lo que los pobres serán alzados, los oprimidos liberados y el amor de Dios se manifestará en todas partes.

Las presbíteras son solidarias con todos los que buscan la justicia en el mundo.
Como la mujer cananea de los Evangelios que persiste y se resiste, negándose a aceptar el no como respuesta, seguiremos persistiendo y resistiendo, haciendo las conexiones entre la opresión de la mujer y la violencia hacia las mujeres en el mundo.

"Es por eso que estamos ordenando a Silvia Brandon Pérez hoy para comenzar ese viaje con nuestras hermanas y hermanos latinoamericanos para que la Iglesia Católica siga el ejemplo de Jesús en los Evangelios", dice en su homilía la Obispa Olga Lucía Álvarez de Colombia.

"Hoy nos alzamos por la justicia para los pobres. Hoy nos alzamos por la justicia para los marginados en todas partes. Hoy nos alzamos por la justicia en la iglesia católica.”


Al resistir la opresión, nos unimos en solidaridad con las mujeres mártires en la América Latina. Ellas son nuestras santas y modelos a seguir cuando decimos que 'sí' a la justicia para los marginados, 'sí' a la justicia para las mujeres y 'sí' a la justicia para las mujeres en la Iglesia Católica Romana.”

'Exclusive World Premiere -Matt Maher and Audrey Assads : O Mercy Music Video by Kristen Whitney Daniels, National Catholic Reporter








The album is part of The Beatitudes Project, a venture from Stu Garrard, a musician, producer and author who is a Grammy nominee and Dove Award winner. Garrard started the project as a means "to be a reset button in a world plagued with violence and division," according to a press release from Hoganson Media Relations about the album.
In addition to Maher and Assad, the full-length album features other well-known Christian recording artists: Hillsong United, Amy Grant, John Mark McMillan, and Michael W. Smith.
"Oh Mercy," written by Garrard, Maher and Ian Cron, is inspired by Matthew 5, specifically, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." The song also "reflects on the ache for justice and wholeness; the wrestle with addiction and the longing for global and communal wrongs to be made right," according to the press release.

Garrard writes about this idea further in his book, Words From the Hill: An Invitation to the Unexpected, another part of The Beatitudes Project to be released April 18.
"I think what we've done is tried to combine the American dream with Christianity," Garrard writes in his book. "I'm not sure those two things mix well. We need to be set free from that. And maybe the way we get set free is to hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice, and let the ache disrupt us into action until we become part of the solution."
According to a news release about the Beatitudes Project, every song on the album, including "Oh Mercy," was inspired by real people "who personify the beatitudes today."
"Oh Mercy" finds its inspiration from Nashville's Thistle Farms, started by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest and one of CNN's Heroes of 2016. Thistle Farms aims to "heal, empower and employ women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction," according to its website.
The song speaks freely of forgiveness:
When you took your broken heart
and fed the world with it
You gave us all a brand new start
I can't get over it
and under my skin
forgiveness sets in
and your kindness leads me now.
edit_oh, mercy artwork.jpg
Lyrics and artwork for "Oh Mercy" (Courtesy of Hoganson Media Relations)

[Kristen Whitney Daniels is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is kdaniels@ncronline.org. Follow her on Twitter: @KWhitneyDaniels.]

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Vigil of Palm Sunday, April 8, 2017, Presiders: Lee Breyer and Kathryn Shea, ARCWP, Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons

Kathryn Shea ARCWP proclaimed Gospel at MMOJ on Vigil of Palm Sunday 

Lee Breyer shared homily starter on Palm Sunday at MMOJ
or
Add caption
Offertory: Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer Co-Preside at MMOJ liturgy on Palm Sunday
Elena Garcia ARCWP and Pat and Bob MacMillian bring up gifts
at Offertory

Lee and Kathryn: Co-Presiders at MMOJ liturgy, Palm Sunday

Theme: The Path and the Price


Welcome and Introduction &

Gathering Prayer

Presider: Let us pray as we come together to break bread and share the blessings we have received from our God through the example of Jesus on earth. Through the Holy Spirit, may we learn to love as he did; everyone he met. May we open our hearts to the planet on which we live, wherever we are – and the people we encounter, whoever they are – in this one world.

All: Amen.

All: This is the day that our God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Blessing of the Palms

Presider: Brothers and sisters, let us raise our hearts and minds to the mystery of our God, the one who is present in every one of us and in everything we do. And, today, we share the excitement of the people in the holy city of Jerusalem as they welcomed Jesus to be with them. And like them, we show our honor to him as they did…with our display of palms. And we now bless them …


(Please hold your palms at an angle towards the middle aisle.)

Presider: Almighty and ever-living God…we ask you to bless these palm branches and make them holy. May we, who today hold them high as we join with Jesus in his entry into the holy city of his day…may we celebrate with him his presence with us in our holy place. May we follow the example of his life, his dedication to his purpose, his love for his companions on his journey, and his acceptance of his destiny according to your design. Amen.


Opening Hymn: Hosanna to the Son of David #138

Opening Prayer
All: God of life, wholeness and holiness, you who direct all creation to its fulfillment in Jesus, the Christ – open our hearts to the message of the Gospel so that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice may guide our lives. Loving God, bless all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask this of you, our brother Jesus, and our sister Sophia. Amen.



Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness

Presider: Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. We ask you to send your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will and that we may be worthy to be called your blessed people.

All: Help us to prayerfully hear Wisdom’s messages, to faithfully understand them, and to continually receive the strength to follow them in all lives.


Presider: Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves, for others, and for our planet earth.

All: Help us to extend your forgiving presence in us to all those with whom we live, with no exceptions.


Presider: We join with you, Jesus the Christ, believing that the insight, direction, and strength of the Holy Spirit will lead us to deeper dedications to justice, equality, peace, and nonviolence. And together, as the family of God and sisters and brothers of one another, we pray:


All: (with an outstretched arm): God, the Father and Mother of mercy, through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, he bonded the world to you. He sent the Holy Spirit to move among us and all creation. May that Spirit give us the wisdom to love you – and the strength and compassion to love one another. Merciful God, teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive our failures to care for one another and for our planet Earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our brother and of the Holy Spirit, our healer and comforter. Amen.


Glory to God

All: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth. Creator God, heart of the universe, we thank you for the breath of the Spirit sustaining everything that exists, everywhere in the cosmos. Through the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, you gave us the grace to know that you are always among us – and that we can experience you in our brothers and sisters. We give you glory and praise through Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.


Liturgy of the Word

First reading: Psalms 2: 1-12 All: Thanks be to God.

Psalm 104: Responsorial: Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth. #806

Second reading: The Yes Above the No All: Glory and thanks to our Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia

Gospel: Luke 19:28-40


Shared Homily/Community Reflection


Discussion starter: The path, the price. Jerusalem, my destiny. Calculations and outcomes.



Profession of Faith

All: We believe in God, the Creator of the universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists, making everything, everywhere, sacred. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who leads us to the fullness of humanity. Through him, we become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives – and the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our spirits may grow weary in our journeys. We say: Amen to courage, to hope, and to truth. We say: Amen to the partnership and equality of all people of different genders, races, and faiths. We believe in a world of justice and peace for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this, we surely believe.



Prayers of the Community

Presider: We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We are always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for all of us. And so, we bring the needs of people – throughout the world – to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, respond: Compassionate God, hear our prayers.



Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask you to strengthen us in our caring for one another and in our works for justice, equality, and peace in a world without violence. As always, we make this prayer in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.



Offertory Procession “As We Gather at Your Table” #314, verses 1,2,3



Preparation of the Gifts

Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain that the earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

All: Blessed be God forever.



Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have made. It will become for us our spiritual drink.

All: Blessed be God forever.


Gathering of the Gifted

Presider: Jesus, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his family table. Everyone is welcome around the table of our God

ALL: Merciful God, we are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who proclaims your mercy to all those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. May we live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel, supported by the vision of Jesus and the wisdom of the Spirit. Amen.



Presider: God dwells in each one of us. All: Namaste!

Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.

All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.

Presider: Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at our family table.

All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all your creation.

Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.

All: We lift them up to the Holy One, living in us and loving through us.



Eucharistic Prayer



Voice 1: Ever present and always caring God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. In you we live and move and have our very being. Your Spirit dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with you. Your gift of the Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven. And so we join the angels and saints as we sing:



ALL: We are holy, holy, holy. (Karen Drucker)


Voice 2: We thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. You raised him up from among your people to baptize us in your Spirit. He was moved by his vision of your constant presence among us. He burned with insight and truth, revealing you in his life well lived. He showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may die.


Voice 3: When his time had come, Jesus suffered for the values he deeply believed and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. And then, as a model of this insight for the ages to come, he opened wide his arms and died. The Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, showed us that life is eternal and love is immortal. Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.



All: O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we gathered from the fields and placed on our table — this simple wheat and wine. May she have them become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.



(With an outstretched arm as we pray the consecration together. We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it. This bread is you; this bread is me. We are one body, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me. [Pause]



In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it. This wine is you; this wine is me. We are one blood, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me.



Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.



All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives in us and through us in the world today.



Voice 4: In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread and this saving cup. May all who share this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move freely in our lives as well.



Voice 5: God, remember your church throughout the world, help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere – especially those who live on the margins of church and society. Remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. We remember especially….(mention names, if you would like to).

All: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever. Amen (sung).



All: Our Father and Mother ……..Amen.



All: Lord God, we have prayed that your kindom may come among us. Open our ears to hear it, our hands to serve it, and our hearts to hold it. Amen.



The Sign of Peace



Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here and ….



All: … grant us your peace. O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. Amen.



Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and may we extend God’s peace to one another as we join hands and sing “Peace is flowing like a River”.



Litany for the Breaking of Bread



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for peace and justice. We will live justly.



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.



Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.


Pre-Communion Prayer



Presider: Lord God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters.



Men: We cannot eat this bread and forget those who are hungry. O God, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for your people.



Women: We cannot drink this wine and forget those who are thirsty. O God, the very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.



All: We cannot listen to your words of peace and not grieve for the world at war.



Communion Music: Instrumental

After Communion Hymn “Holy Darkness” #458 (vs. 1, 2, & 5)



Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion



Presider: Eternal God, may this Eucharist in which we always share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and our unity with one another. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, the Wisdom. All: Amen.



Community Prayers of Gratitude/Introductions/Announcements



Closing Prayer



All: May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dreams and see new visions.

May we all live and work for peace, justice, and non-violence in our hearts for ourselves and our brothers and sisters – whoever they are and wherever they are.

May we learn to bless, honor, and hold in reverence the Earth and one another. Amen.



Closing Community Blessing

Presider: Our prayer as we anticipate Easter is that we may recognize and actively acknowledge the presence of the sacred in all those places on this earth that we are reluctant to search or simply overlook: in the stables of our own lives; among the downtrodden who live on the edges of our society; in immigrants especially but also in people who are “different” from us. And we pray — (with an outstretched arm in blessing)



All: May we realize Emmanuel, God-in-us, and give generous expression to this wonderful gift that we all share. May our nurturing God bless us all gathered here and all those in our communities. We ask this in the name of the Creator, in the name of Mary’s child, and in the Name of our Wisdom as we minister to one another as the People of God. Amen.



Closing Community Commisioning and Hymn “Jerusalem, My Destiny”



Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let our service continue in all that we do.

ALL: Amen.



Jerusalem, My Destiny

Refrain:

I have fixed my eyes on your hills, Jerusalem, my Destiny! Though I cannot see the end for me, I cannot turn away. We have set our hearts for the way; this journey is our destiny. Let no one walk alone. The journey makes us one.


Verse: See, I leave the past behind; a new land calls to me. Here among you now I find
a glimpse of what might be. (Refrain)

Verse: To the tombs I went to mourn the hope I thought was gone, Here among you I awoke
to unexpected dawn. (Refrain)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Compassion Melts our Hearts for the Children of Syria's War


A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, after boats carrying Syrian refugees to the Greek island of Kos capsized near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, Sept. 2, 2015.
 DHA/AP

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/04/05/a-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-exposes-trumps-assad-problem/?utm_term=.f629577a3478

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/05/at-least-72-dead-in-suspected-chemical-attack-in-syria.html


..."Yet again, the world is watching gut-wrenching images emerge from the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Activists claim the Syrian government launched an airstrike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the country's northwestern Idlib province. Scores of civilians, including many women and children, were reportedly killed.

Video footage surfaced on social media of small, frantic children being hosed off by rescuers in the hopes of washing away whatever lethal chemical agent had hit them. Other gruesome reports showed corpses hastily wrapped in blankets, victims with foam coming out of their mouths and a chilling scene of lifeless boys, their torsos bare, eyes open and limbs contorted in shock."


Bridget Mary's Response:
As we viewed the horrific images of inncent children suffocating, convulsing and dying in Syria, our hearts melted with tenderness for them. As Caroline Meyers writes in Defy Gravity: " Wisdom allows you to melt into others, and the more you melt, the more compassion is awakened." 
I pray for a resolution that will bring lasting peace and justice to all the people of Syria and to all involved in the wars in the Middle East. 
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

UCC churches offer sanctuary from January immigration raids, Articles on Sanctuary Churches




Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pope Francis ' Response on Women, My Response



Bridget Mary's Response: There is an obvious disconnect in Pope Francis' mind because women are not treated as equals in the Catholic Church because of the ban on ordination. Until Pope Francis realizes that sexism is at the heart of the problem and opens the door officially to women priests, the church 's discrimination will continue to alienate millions of Catholics, specifically women. Our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement affirms a renewed priestly ministry in an non-clerical, egalitarian church. I agree with Pope Francis baptism makes us all equals in Christ and decision making should be open on all levels to women. However, according to Canon Law, decision making roles are linked to ordination, and the church prohibits ordination for women. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org


..."I thought about this advice when considering some of Pope Francis’s words about women. As many have noted, despite his stated intention of including and promoting women, the Pope has caused no little consternation by some of his remarks concerning them.


David Gibson, writing at Religion News Service in 2014, catalogued some of these troubling comments and observed: “When he speaks about women, Francis can sound a lot like the (almost) 78-year-old Argentine churchman that he is, using analogies that sound alternately condescending and impolitic, even if well-intentioned.”


Here are a few examples. After a round of new appointments to the International Theological Commission, it turned out that five of its thirty members are women. Pope Francis expressed pleasure at this increased number, but said it’s not enough. We need more women theologians. “They are the strawberries on the cake, but there is need for more.”


In an address to women in the consecrated life he said, of their commitment, “Let it be a fruitful chastity that generates sons and daughters in the church. . . The consecrated woman must be a mother and not an old maid (spinster).”


When Francis helpfully said “It is necessary to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church,” he also added “I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of ‘female machismo’” (in Italian, “machismo in gonnella” that is, “masculinity in a skirt”).


The pope often enough seems not to notice that certain images he uses can give offense





Francis has been known to sidestep uncomfortable questions with humor at the expense of women, which has made matters worse. For example, when asked if there was a bit of misogyny in the background of his references to women mainly as wives and mothers, he joked that “woman was taken from a rib.” When asked if he would make historic decisions, such as naming a woman head of a Vatican department, he deflected the question with a “funny” stereotype: “Well, pastors often wind up under the authority of their housekeepers.” Clearly, this evasion was not funny.


In more serious utterances too, the Pope often enough seems not to notice that certain images he uses can give offense. In his speech to the European Parliament, for example, he diagnosed “a general impression of weariness and aging.” But he didn’t speak of poor old granddad. Rather, he used the image of “a ‘grandmother’ no longer fertile and vibrant.” This image of a pathetic, worn out old woman “no longer fertile” evoked a firestorm of criticism in defense of, well, grandmothers. Grandmothers do most of the work of the church, some have indignantly pointed out, and besides, infertility does not mean a woman is not vibrant.


There are two general, underlying problems which cause women (and men) to bristle at such remarks. They are not particular to Pope Francis by any means, but when he says certain things, these problems rear their heads and questions about Francis’s intentions arise. What did he mean by that? Is this what he really thinks?


The first problem is the persistence of a narrow vision of women dominated by thoughts about their ability to bear children. Joanna Moorehead, commenting on the “no-longer-fertile grandmother” remark, wrote in the Guardian: “The value that has been put on women through the centuries of Catholic history, from the Virgin Mary onwards, has been one tied up with their ability to bear children; de-linking them from this one-dimensional view of what it means to be female is a move that is desperately needed in the Vatican.”


Melinda Henneberger at the Washington Post was similarly dismayed at the thought of nuns being advised not to become “old maids.” She wrote, “I am at a loss to see how this could be other than insulting to women who’ve already given up having families of their own to serve God.”


A too narrow focus on women’s child-bearing capacity as her source of identity and value is a problem that runs deep and is anchored by papal writings in modern times. It appears in the writings of Pius XII, and more recently in the writings of Pope Saint John Paul II. The discussion of women, from Pius on, has circled around the notion of maternity, even when the topic is not related to bearing children, but rather on how women bear themselves in the world. When the idea of a “feminine genius” comes up in Francis’s remarks, it generally means he is borrowing from the thought of John Paul II.


A narrow focus on women’s child-bearing capacity as her source of identity and value is a problem that runs deep





Francis, to his credit, says again and again that a “deeper theology of women” is needed. I take this to mean that at some level he knows that he doesn’t know what this “feminine genius” is—and nor does anybody else. Having a certain humility and realism—that is, a reflexive preference for evidence-based claims rather than deductions from a priori principles—Francis does not presume to have it all taped. He evidently feelsdeeply that women are important and he knows they are undervalued in the church. But when it comes to the point of saying why women are important and what is valuable about women, there is less clarity.


The second underlying problem implicit here is that women are not easily “defined” and perhaps should not be. Pope Francis is attempting to helpfully talk about “the role of women” or “the need for women” or “the place of women” in the church. Why do these efforts meet with such limited success? The reason, as I see it, is that a questionable assumption underlies the whole discussion: namely, women are somehow a mystery, a problem, an “issue.” Men, on the other hand, are merely people. We never talk about “the role of people in the church.” We never say “We need people in the church.” That would be ridiculous. Women, on the other hand, are treated essentially as a sub-species that needs to be accounted for somehow. Whether we do that by glowing reference to their “feminine genius” or cudgel our brains concerning why God created them, or struggle with the classic question of why God made man subject to woman (another mystery of gestation!) or why woman must be subject to man (St. Paul!)—woman remains a puzzle. She cannot just “be.” Her being itself is a problem. Most vexing of all, the attendant assumption is that we must look for solutions to the challenges she faces not by reference to her humanity, but by reference to a different standard: her womanhood.


Women are somehow a mystery, a problem, an ‘issue.’ Men, on the other hand, are merely people.





Some of Pope Francis’s statements seem like a direct expression of these deep problems. But are his thoughts concerning women held entirely captive to them? I do not think so. Other statements he has made show that his thinking goes beyond them. Francis has made significant statements about women that are deeply encouraging. Here are a few.


All talk of strawberries aside, we should not forget that Francis has said “We need more women theologians.” He has said it plainly: five out of thirty on the International Theological Commission is not enough. They remain a token few. It would be unfortunate to lose sight of the core of his statement because of negative reactions to the unfortunate metaphor he employed in making it. Francis is interested in the thinking of women, not only in their reproductive capacity.


Pope Francis has also said that “We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church” (Evangelii Gaudium 103). The word “incisive” is quite strong. Now, admittedly, I don’t see bishops rushing forth to make this imperative a reality. But his call for development in this area is definite and unmistakable.


Here is another Francis quote worth pondering: “Why is it taken for granted that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The discrepancy is a pure scandal.” He has also said that Catholics must “decisively support the right to equal pay for equal work.” This is a challenge to the whole church, especially the laity. Pope Francis’s words give support to positive action on this front.


Pope Francis never quotes St. Paul on how the husband is the head of the wife. Instead, he has said that the Christian faith tradition espouses “radical equality” between spouses. He has also connected marriage and family to economic justice. In order for families to thrive, he has said, we “must become more demanding” about achieving equality for women in the workplace.


Finally, Pope Francis has vigorously defended the emancipation of women, saying it is “not true” and an “insult” to suggest that women’s rights movements should take the blame for declining marriage rates. Doing so “is a form of chauvinism that always wants to control the woman.”


On the plane returning from World Youth Day in Rio, Francis made some comments about women that are suggestive of an unfinished agenda. He has since repeated some similar assertions in other settings. They are worth looking at in detail.


“The role of women in the church must not be limited to being mothers, workers, a limited role... No! It is something else,” Francis said. He struggled to express his thought. He praised the women of Paraguay who rebuilt their country after a devastating war that killed 90% of the population, as a secular example of the courage of women. Then he said, “All we say is: they can do this, they can do that, now they are altar servers, now they do the readings, they are in charge of Caritas. But there is more! .... profoundly more, even mystically more....” Finally, he ended with this statement: “Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests; how, this is something we have to try to explain better, because I believe that we lack a theological explanation of this.”


How might we read this quote from Pope Francis? Is the assertion that women “are more important than bishops and priests” just another attempt to put women on a pedestal without saying anything specific? Let’s read him with St. Ignatius’s injunction in mind.


The first thing to notice is that Francis is insisting on something. He is pushing against something he thinks is wrong. He is calling attention to the fact that women are not given their due, not given their rightful priority in the life of the church, whereas clergy are over-valued. Furthermore, Francis is saying it is not enough to “concede” minor positions to women that previously belonged exclusively to men; women must be valued in their own right. And, finally, when they are valued in their own right, and at their true worth, their value in the life of the church surpasses that of the male hierarchy.


I think Francis is expressing an intuition here, rather than a well-articulated position. His respect for women, like his reverence for Mary and the honor he accords to the church, is something which outruns his power to express it in words but it is nonetheless real and important. It is not something he has deduced from principles. Rather, for him it seems to be a truth apprehended in life and only later reflected upon. He is saying he honors women for their courage and worth. He is also asserting unapologetically—though surprisingly—that he holds them in higher esteem than he does bishops and priests.


In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis works out this idea further, although he still does not really crystalize the thought he struggled to express in the plane on the way home from Rio. He first acknowledges women as indispensable and says that men and women are equal in dignity, and women’s legitimate rights must be respected. He then distinguishes between dignity—which is something more fundamental and more important than things we do—and roles. “Our great dignity arises from baptism,” he says (EG 104). That dignity belongs to men and women alike.


On the other hand, he says, “When we speak of sacramental power, ‘we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness.’” (EG 104) The key to the ministerial priesthood, he asserts, is not the power of domination, but the power to administer the Eucharist. He ends by challenging pastors and theologians to recognize the implications of this statement, and to see “what this entails with regard to the possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church’s life.” The presumption he makes here is very clear: women can exercise decision-making authority despite the fact that they cannot administer Eucharist.


When ordination is rightly understood, according to Pope Francis, women’s gifts for leadership can be shared within the church. Women can engage in decision-making for the church. He seems to be saying that ordination is simply less important than baptism in the grand scheme of things. And in any clerically-dominated church, that is saying a mouthful—for women and for men.

"Circle Chant" by Linda Hirschhorn

https://youtu.be/6I-UiDzeexU

All Welcome to Women Priest's Community in Canada

http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/7224977-all-welcome-to-woman-priest-s-catholic-masses-in-pickering/

All welcome to woman priest's Catholic masses in Pickering

Rev. Roberta Fuller invites all in Durham to attend regular masses that will begin in June

DurhamRegion.com
PICKERING — Rev. Roberta Fuller stands at an altar at Dunbarton-Fairport United Church, the spot from which she will soon be performing Catholic mass on a regular basis.
The offer to hold services at the United Church in Pickering is one Fuller gladly took up, as the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize women as priests.
Fuller is one of 12 priests belonging to Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) Canada, and feels she’s been called into priesthood.
“I’ve always been a feminist,” she says. “I believe women’s rights are human rights. I wanted to reach out to people.”
The women priests movement began in 2002 when a bishop in good standing with the Catholic Church, anonymous and only known as “Bishop X,” began ordaining women in secret, first on the Danube River.
“These women were ordained by an active bishop which means they were officially ordained in apostolic succession,” says Fuller.