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Francis, the comic strip                                                         by Pat Marrin | June 1, 2016
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission

There is no more shame in a woman's wanting to use sacramental or spiritual power than there is shame in Pope Francis' own use of it

Jamie Manson  |  Aug. 17, 2016

In late June, on a flight back from Armenia, Pope Francis told a team of reporters that he was angry.
What made Francis angry wasn't the continued deaths of countless refugees, or the latest instance of environmental degradation or some grim statistics about rates of human trafficking. No, what angered him was the suggestion, by some in the media, that he had "opened the door to deaconesses," after his May 12 dialogue with the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).

"Really?" Francis said incredulously to the reporters aboard the plane, "I was a bit angry with the media because this is not saying the truth of the thing to the people." He explained that, after the UISG meeting, he asked the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Gerhard Müller) to compile a list of possible members of a commission to study the role of women deacons in the early church.

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Women church workers, leading the way towards equality, changing perceptions of women in ministry, are the prophets for our time

Nicole Sotelo  |  Aug. 18, 2016

With the Vatican's announcement of members for the women deacon commission, media have raised the question again of women's leadership in the church. Much like the "Rosie the Riveters" that the government ushered into the public workforce during World War II, the Vatican has also welcomed Catholic women to serve in limited church roles for the last half century. They work on the front lines of local parishes, some diocesan offices, and a smattering of support roles at the Vatican. In fact, women make up 80 percent of lay church workers in the United States.

Now that the Vatican welcomes women as church workers, why do Catholic officials balk at women's leadership in roles with significant decision-making authority, even when the decisions significantly affect women's lives? Part of the reason -- and the solution -- may rest in emerging research.

Research has shown a lingering gender bias against women who actively seek leadership. It turns out the bias is not just against women's leadership, in general. It rises when women step outside of their current, culturally prescribed gender roles and are perceived as desiring leadership.

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Des femmes au clergé

Marie-Ève Martel | 06 août 2016

Depuis quelques décennies, les femmes ont réussi à se tailler une place dans bon nombre de corps de métiers dits non traditionnels. Elles ont obtenu le droit de vote, puis, dans certains cas, l'équité salariale. Un plafond de verre persiste pourtant: l'Église. Mais cela pourrait changer. Mardi, le pape François a nommé une commission d'étude sur les femmes diacres. Certains y perçoivent une ouverture du Vatican à ordonner, un jour, une femme. Une revendication qui trouve écho ici, dans la région.

Une seule femme a officiellement demandé au diocèse de Saint-Hyacinthe d'être ordonnée diacre, nous confirme l'organisation. Il s'agit de la Sheffordoise Claire Bergeron, qui a formulé sa requête à la fin des années 1990.

Sa demande fut même acheminée au Vatican, lui dit-on.

Lire la suite

The Spirit, through sisters provides us with a powerful example of pastoral leadership.  Where are the Canadian and US Bishops in all this?

NCR Editorial Staff  |  Aug. 5, 2016

Catholics are well-acquainted with -- and NCR readers seem especially attuned to -- the adage that "the church thinks in centuries." The utterance is usually greeted with a knowing nod, eye-rolling or a sigh, depending on the topic at hand, because the usually unspoken understanding is "so don't expect anything to change in your lifetime."

Pope Francis' appointment Aug. 2 of the Study Commission on the Women's Diaconate stood that adage on its head. Francis created the commission, he said, "after intense prayer and mature reflection," but the idea was only presented to him in May.

Less than three months to put a papal commission together? That has to be a record. Let's hope it is a sign that Pope Francis is coming to a clearer understanding about the urgency with which the church must act to fully include women in all aspects of its life.

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Global sisters group thanks Francis for creating commission on women deacons

Joshua J. McElwee  |  Aug. 3, 2016

The main umbrella group of Catholic women religious around the world is expressing gratitude to Pope Francis for creating a commission to study the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the church, thanking him for responding to their call for the creation of such a group.

The International Union of Superiors General (UISG) had asked the pontiff to create a commission to study women deacons in a meeting in May between him and some 900 of their members, each the head of a female religious order around the world.

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Pope Francis Appoints Scholars to Commission to Study Diaconate for Women

Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100
Erin Saiz Hanna: USA (+1) 401-588-0457
For Immediate Release: 2 August 2016
Rome, Italy:  The Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) welcomes and is encouraged by Pope Francis' gender-balanced and lay-inclusive appointments to study women deacons in the early Church, including U.S. expert and 2015 Women's Ordination Worldwide presenter, Dr. Phyllis Zagano.
We pray that such a commission, similar to the Pontifical Biblical Commission of 1976 that concluded there is no scriptural barrier to women's priestly ordination, will inform a new reality for women in our Church: one that models equality and inclusion.

Only when women are equally included in all ordination rites -- as deacons, priests, and bishops -- and at all Church decision-making tables, can we begin to restore our Gospel values of equality and justice.


Women Priests -- Answering the Call


See preface from the book by Catherine Cavanagh -- click here

Editor's note:  The author has given permission to download for free the complete 48 page booklet and read on your computer or e-reader

Click here for pdf format of Women Priests -- Following the Call


On May 12, 2016 Pope Francis  announced that he will create a commission to study the possibility of restoring the tradition of ordaining women deacons in the Catholic Church.

Follow this special section to stay up to date and get insights and commentary on developments from many news sources.

Click here

Pope Francis' Homilies

Vatican newspaper monthly series on 'theology of women'

Sunday Homilies following the Revised Common Lectionary by Samantha Crossley

Sunday Homilies by Judy Lee, RCWP

RCWP Canada on facebook:


         Roy Bourgeois at Regina

 and Calgary

Joshua J. McElwee | August 2, 2016
Pope Francis has created a commission to study the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the Catholic church, following up on a promise made last May in what could be an historic move towards ending the global institution's practice of an all-male clergy.
. . .
Many church historians have said however that there is abundant evidence that women served as deacons in the early centuries of the church. The apostle Paul mentions such a woman, Phoebe, in his letter to the Romans.

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Articles, homilies, poetry, and reports submitted by and about members of RCWP Canada

Un prix cher payé

Linda Spear, RCWP Canada, Sutton, QC                    

Marie-Ève Martel | 05 août 2016

Contrairement à Mme Bergeron, une autre femme de la région a toutefois pu réaliser son rêve. En 2010, Linda Spear est devenue la première Québécoise et la sixième Canadienne à être ordonnée prêtre, malgré l'opposition de Rome. Une ordination qui a toutefois un prix cher payé pour celles qui osent défier l'Église.

«Nous sommes automatiquement excommuniées si on accepte l'ordination,
» explique-t-elle.  «Il y a certainement un double standard.»

«Je n'ai jamais entendu d'histoire de prêtre pédophile excommunié. C'est un drôle de message qu'on envoie...»

D'abord sceptique face à l'annonce du pape, qui avait déjà montré une certaine ouverture face à l'ordination des femmes, en mai dernier, la prêtresse se dit maintenant plutôt optimiste.

Lire la suite

Vancouver inclusive community sponsor meaningful events

RCWP Canada Editor | July 29, 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community Society members Jan, Vincent, and Victoria along with friends of OLGT Kevin and Peter, pictured below enjoyed the speakers and talented entertainers at the Aging With Pride event yesterday afternoon. 

On July 22nd, many who attended the liturgy and potluck for the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene expressed appreciation for the event.  A special thanks was expresed to Laura Tompkins whose painting of Saint Mary Magdalene was the key visual for the liturgical space.

An outdoor prayer and meditation event called Sacred Earth: Sacred Trust" action took place on June 12th.

This growing community is based in east Vancouver.  Their vision statement states that they are a community that is Christ-centred, egalitarian, inclusive, and compassionate.  Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community Society holds Sunday masses at 3 pm on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at The Listening Post – 382 Main St Vancouver BC (off East Hastings St.). They welcome anyone to join them.

Reverend Dr. Victoria Marie, an ordained priest of Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada is the leader of OLGT.  According to Society members her life experiences have made her adept at detecting the silent suffering of others. She realized that many of her brothers and sisters here in Vancouver felt abandoned by the Church and were hungering for a spiritual home. She had been denying the call to the priesthood because of fear of not being good enough and fear of being cast aside by the Church. But after some soul searching, discernment and lots of discussion with friends, she was ready to answer the call, which she did on July 29, 2012, her fourth anniversary of ordination being today.

For more information see:

Some thought on Bishop Spongs new book "Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy”

Emil Kutarna | August 19, 2016

Spong says that Jesus is not God.
 Does this mean that Christianity collapses like a house of cards? After almost two thousand years is it possible to be so mistaken about redemption?

For me personally does it mean the loss of my priesthood? That is huge. That hurts!  Does it mean that Jesus never did come down from heaven into my hands when I, Emil, carefully pronounced the holy words of consecration?  How proud my Polish mom and dad were to see their son up on the altar.

What about all the baptisms I performed? Were they a nice ceremony, but it never washed away Original Sin? What about all the confessions I heard and absolutions I gave? Perhaps they were psychologically healing, but was that it? Did God forgive their sins or not?

It pains me deeply to think that a large part of my life being a priest may have been a huge mistake. My only comforting thought is that it was an honest mistake. I was happy in my ignorance.

On the other hand, it also brought me much satisfaction to be able to be with people at important times in their lives. I was at their side to share their joys and sorrows. There were the happy marriages, and the tearful funerals, especially poignant at the burial of little children.

But where do I go from here?  To be honest if Jesus is not the God of my youth, then I have a new  appreciation of the man Jesus.  As God, I am not surprised at what Jesus did and said. Of course he could do miracles, multiply bread, walk on water, cure a blind man.  But if he is only human like you and me, then he must be a genius.  For me then, what he said is more wondrous than any miracle!

For Jesus to contradict the powerful religious leaders of his nation, must have taken a lot of Jewish chutzpa. As God that shouldn’t surprise anyone. But as a human to do what he did which cost him his life, that’s a matter for admiration, not adoration.

Concerning “Atonement Theology” Richard Rohr, OFM,  quotes Duns Scotus (d.1308):  “Jesus did not come to change the mind of  God about humanity, Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” And I say that makes more sense to me than the idea of Jesus dying to placate a stern God.

Bishop Spong says about Jesus:  I think that his humanity became so full and so complete that the meaning of God could find expression in him.  I think all human beings have that capacity.” This sure sounds like what the Franciscans and Eastern rites teach calling it “Divinization”.

So where can I go from here?  I don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” So I will try to adapt by trying to give new meanings to old practices.

I’ll still ‘go to Mass’ but the magic for me in the breaking of the bread and sharing of the cup in memory of Jesus will nudge me a little closer to loving my neighbor. And according to Jesus, this is how I show my love for Abba, my loving parent.

Emil Kutarna, Regina

Click here for more articles, homilies, poetry, and reports by and about members and friends of RCWP Canada

Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | August 18, 2016
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission

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