Annette Esser, Germany
womensordinationworldwide.org

SUN OF JUSTICE, RISE UP IN OUR TIME.
SHINE INTO YOUR PEOPLE
THAT THE WORLD MAY HEAR YOU.
BE MERCIFUL, O GOD
.

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene (22 July) with the launch of Dr. Annette Esser’s beautiful original painting, "Longing for the Sun of Justice." The painting symbolizes women’s calling to priesthood, not granted by men in the church, but through Christ.

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On the Home Page


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Marie Bouclin celebrates ten years of blessings as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest

*Taproot, a Toronto alternative faith community

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Celebrate the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala!


* Vatican women’s council hopes to be ‘electric shock’ for global Church

* Due to the Catholic priest shortage, women stand at the altar in Portuguese churches

* Uphold a woman's right to contribute fully to society, pope says

* Incarnation instead of Atonement

* Archdiocese of Regina Theologians give balanced view of feminine and masculine images for God

* New Swedish cardinal suggests advisory group of women akin to the College of Cardinals

* Archdiocese of Regina Theologians give balanced view of feminine and masculine images for God

*
Zagano discusses women deacons on Salt+Light TV

* New way to donate to RCWP Canada -- via PayPal

* 195 Reasons why women should be ordained

* Messages to the Editor

* Continuing Features

* Francis, the comic strip

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Vatican women’s council hopes to be ‘electric shock’ for global Church

Claire Giangravè, CruxNow | June 24, 2017

The female advisory board of the Pontifical Council for Culture has big plans: By sending an “electric shock” within the Church, it hopes to spark thousands of similar councils around the globe in search of solutions that go beyond women priests.

If women were protons and men were electrons, the Vatican would be a pretty negatively charged electric field, meaning that men generally own the stage.

The female advisory board for the Pontifical Council for Culture wishes to change that, sending an “electric shock” that will open discussion on women’s roles in the Church.

“The Church is a male-dominated world, but the [wider] world in which it exists is both male and female,” Consuelo Corradi, vice rector for research and international relations at the LUMSA University of Rome, told Crux.
“The global church needs to enter a continued dialogue with women,” Corradi said.

That’s precisely what Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s formerly all-male Pontifical Council for Culture, tried to do by creating a permanent advisory board entirely comprised by women.

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Due to the Catholic priest shortage, women stand at the altar in Portuguese churches

Agence France Presse | April 11, 2017

In some villages of southwest Portugal, the Catholic priest shortage had led several women, simple believers, to celebrate the Sunday encounter themselves to facilitate the religious life of these communities that are aging but open to change.

In the tiny church of Carrapatelo, a village of fifty houses set on a hill that looks out over the vineyards of the Reguengos de Monsaraz region, Claudia Rocha (photo), dressed in black with sneakers, addresses a dozen faithful, mostly older women.

While her leather jacket and smartphone are waiting for her in the first pew, the 31-year-old woman easily handles this "Sunday assembly in the absence of a priest."

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Uphold a woman's right to contribute fully to society, pope says

Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service | June 9, 2017

The more women are involved in and contribute to communities, politics, economics and the church, the more positive changes will come about, Pope Francis said.

"Women are fully entitled to actively take part in all settings, and their rights must be affirmed and protected, including through legal instruments wherever it may prove necessary," he said.

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Incarnation instead of Atonement

Richard Rohr | Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Franciscan alternative orthodoxy emphasizes incarnation instead of redemption. For the Franciscans, Christmas is more significant than Easter. Christmas is already Easter! Since God became a human being, then it’s good to be human, and we’re already “saved.” Franciscans never believed in the sacrificial atonement theory because it wasn’t necessary. Christ was Plan A, not Plan B. Atonement implies that God had a plan, we messed it up, and then God had to come back in to mop-up our mistakes.

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Archdiocese of Regina Theologians give balanced view of feminine and masculine images for God

Editor, RCWP Canada Website | June 19, 2017

In a fast paced, lively, even jocular podcast, two archdiocesan theologians drew on scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to give a positive and balaced view of  the use of feminine and masculine images for God.  The only caution was to beware of the use of language in a political fashion to argue against another point of view. 

If anything, the one weakness of the presentation was that the presenters appeared to say it was okay to use both feminine and masculine images in private prayer, but they avoided any mention of a need for reforming the exclusive language used in public worship.  The "new" translation for the Mass comes to mind.

The podcast's theme was initiated by inquiries related to the appropriateness of the images for God as portayed in the movie, The Shack.  Theologians Brett Salkeld and Eric Gurash concluded that it was okay to portray God in both feminine and masculine images, keeping in mind that God is neither a woman nor a man, but that humans have a need to express their ideas about how they relate to God, even if these images are always inadeqate.

Listen to the podcast by clicking here.





New Swedish cardinal suggests advisory group of women akin to the College of Cardinals

Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter  |  Jun. 28, 2017

One of the five prelates Pope Francis just made a new cardinal of the Catholic Church has suggested the pope consider creating a special advisory body of women akin to the College of Cardinals to offer more opportunity for women's leadership in the church.
Stockholm Cardinal Anders Arborelius, whom Francis made Sweden's first cardinal in a consistory Wednesday, June 28, said he thinks "it's very important to find a broader way of involving women at various levels in the church."

"The role of women is very, very important in society, in economics, but in the church sometimes we are a bit behind," Arborelius said in a June 28 NCR interview. The new cardinal mentioned that Pope John Paul II had often sought counsel from Mother Teresa and Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare movement.

"Maybe it could be made more official," he suggested, adding: "We have a College of Cardinals, but we could have a college of women who could give advice to the pope."

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Continuing Features:


With appologies to Martin Luther

Click here for book-length pdf copy





       Series on Critical Thinking






Statement of RCWP Canada National Leadership Circle to Pope Francis' "Never, never . . . In that direction" assertion


Sara Butler, MSBT / Robert J. Egan, SJ Debate on the Ordination of Women



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



My Journey From Silence to Solidarity


This book available for free as a pdf file downloaded here.



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Marie Bouclin celebrates ten years of blessings as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest

Marie Bouclin, RCWP Canada | June 29, 2017

[In response to congratulatory messages and promises of prayer, Marie Bouclin, bishop for Canada within RCWP Canada wrote the following:]

Thank you for the prayers and good wishes on the occasion of my tenth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on May 27, 2017. We had a glorious celebration with about 50 people, including five RCWP Canada co-presiders at the Anglican church of the Ascension in Ottawa. The anniversary fell on the Feast of the Ascension, whereas the 2007 ordinations in Toronto, ON were celebrated on Pentecost Sunday. For those who were not yet part of our movement, I’d like to record the event as I remember it – with the help of the Rite of Ordination and the many cards and letters I received on that occasion.

The ordination celebration was attended by at least 200 people and was organized by a team headed by now ARCWP bishop Michele Birch Conery. At that time she was the only woman priest in Canada.  Bishop Patricia Fresen traveled from Germany to preside. We were in Westhill United church, whose pastor, Rev. Gretta Vosper, I had a chance to thank publicly when I introduced her at a conference in Victoria last January. It was an event neither of us has forgotten. Three of us being ordained to priesthood: Mary Ellen Robertson and Cheryl Bristol, RCWP USA and me. Monica Kilburn-Smith, Jim Lauder and Alice Iaquinta were ordained to the diaconate.  CORPUS Canada priest François Brassard served as our Master of Ceremonies. Outside, there were plain-clothes police officers posted to protect a Muslim woman and all those in attendance from fanatics.
 
We began with Alexandra Caverly-Lowery leading the opening procession with a liturgical dance. As one woman remarked, “As that woman waved her huge white banner, it was as if the Holy Spirit herself was blowing through the church.” Rosemary Ganley and Robert Bouclin proclaimed the First and Second Readings. We were graced with the participation of a Muslim woman of faith and feminist, and Johanna Manning, now an Anglican priest, who laid out the red prostration cloth. My dear friend, Anglican priest Lyn Fisher delivered the homily. My entire family, including then 18-month old grandson, Maxime, were in attendance, as were all eight members of my small faith community, Levain. 
 
I would like to share with you the following, taken from Rev. Lyn Fisher ’s homily:
 
“This is a momentous day for the whole church. We are all changed by this day – not just the Roman Catholic Church and your own community but the universal body of Christ. The following words are not mine but I say them here because they gather together many of the conversations we’ve had about the purpose and nature of Christian community. They are from Mary Grey.
 
" 'Transforming society in the name of the ethics of the kingdom through its witness to truth and justice is the most cherished part of the church’s mission, never totally lost sight of and always glimpsed in new forms… It is the role of the Spirit to discover the cracks in the culture and open up new possibilities to lead into a yet uncharted future. It can be no accident that from various Christian communities the search for prophetic leadership is becoming powerful, a leadership which is shared, which enables and empowers the gifts of others. It is no accident that the Spirit is creating a new vulnerability towards acknowledging the truth of others, particularly the truth of groups on the periphery.' ”
 
The entire liturgy was filmed by Vision TV. The documentary is entitled, “Ordination” and features, besides the ordinandae, Irene Deschenes, then director of the Canadian Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Irene had not set foot in a church for many years, having been abused by her parish priest as a child. It was fitting that she represent the many women who suffered violence at the hands of clergy with us who would be excommunicated for wanting to offer the church a new model of priestly service.
 
Then, on June 11, 2007, in the community centre of Cold Springs, ON, with the fledgling Christ the Servant community, I presided at my first public Mass. It was the Feast of Corpus Christi. The symbolism was not lost on those present. Are we not ordained, first and foremost, to ensure that the memory of Jesus is maintained alive through the Eucharist, “source and summit of the life of the church”?
 
The following year, 2008, on May 20, Monica Kilburn-Smith and Jim Lauder were ordained to the priesthood at St. Alban’s church in Victoria, BC .  Then, in 2009, Rose Mewhort and Kim Silvester were ordained to the diaconate. Attending was Dr. Linda Spear who later applied to our Program of Preparation. Rose and Kim were ordained as priests on April 17, 2010 in Centennial United Church, Victoria, BC. Later that same year, on October 9, Linda was ordained a priest by Bishop Andrea Johnson of RCWP USA Eastern Region, in Grace Anglican church, Sutton, QC. By this time, RCWP Canada had become two regions, East and West. The East had an unordained woman, Danielle Whissell, as its first Administrator.
 
In 2011, Patricia Fresen of Germany, our bishop at the time, felt that it was time Canada had its own bishop, and so a selection process began in March which resulted in my being elected bishop for Canada. My Episcopal ordination, presided over by bishop Patricia, was attended by five other bishops: Ida Raming and Gisela Forster of the “Danube Seven”, and Americans Joan Houk, Andrea Johnson and Regina Nicolosi.  Also attending were Michele Birch Conery and Rose Mewhort, priests, Roberta Fuller, deacon, and the adult members of my family. The event took place on October 9, 2011 in the Asemwald Ecumenical Chapel, near Stuttgart, Germany. Shortly after our return, on December 3, I presided at my first priestly ordination, that of Roberta Fuller, in the Christian Reform Church of Cobourg, Ontario. Roberta had been called to ordination by Christ the Servant Catholic Community, Cobourg, ON, which I had served as pastor from 2007 to 2009, and had been ordained to the diaconate earlier that year by Bishop Olivia Doko, in California.

 
On March 31, 2012 Ruth Wasylenko was ordained to the priesthood in her home in Sherwood Park, AB. She had founded Emmaus Inclusive Catholic Community. The music for the event was provided by two Anglican priests, Carol and Ray Canton, who would subsequently be welcomed into RCWP Canada as Catholic priests. On July 29 of that same year, Victoria Marie, who had been ordained a deacon the day before in the Catholic Worker House of Vancouver, was ordained a priest in Lakeview Multicultural United Church.
        
Late August 2013 found us gathered at King’s Fold Retreat outside Cochrane, Alberta for our first RCWP Canada retreat. In attendance were Rose Mewhort and Victoria Marie of British Columbia; Monica Kilburn-Smith, Ruth Wasylenko, Carol and Ray Canton of Alberta; Jane and Felix Kryzanowski of Saskatchewan; Kim Sylvester, Roberta Fuller, Danielle Whissell and me from Ontario. It was at this meeting that Felix became an associate of RCWP Canada, and so joined with Danielle Whissell of Sudbury and Karen Leedon of Vancouver, as permanent associates.

On October 5, 2013, at A Coruna, a city in northern Spain near Compostella, I ordained Christina Moreira to the diaconate. She later joined ARCWP and was ordained to the priesthood with them. On November 17, of that same year, Catherine O’Connor was ordained to the priesthood in Trinity United Church, Cobourg ON. Cathy, who had been preparing for the priesthood in the Anglican church, came back to her Catholic roots and began to search for a friendly church where Catholics could form a new worshipping community. She found just that at Roncesvalles United Church in Toronto, ON.
 
Saskatchewan’s first Catholic woman priest was Jane Kryzanowski, ordained in Sunset United Church, Regina, SK on July 11, 2015. In 2016, Pat Cook was called to the priesthood by the Church of the Beatitudes, and was ordained on January 31 in the sacred space of Roncesvalles United Church, Toronto, ON, where the community gathers. Later than same year, a "catacomb priest" was called by her small faith community and St. Brigid’s Catholic Community, and ordained in St. David’s United Church, Calgary, AB on August 25th.
 
As I record these memories this June 29, 2017, we celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Danube Seven. I had the immense privilege of witnessing that event in 2002 as a representative of Canada’s Catholic Network for Women’s Equality. Three years later, in 2005, on the St. Lawrence, Michele Birch Conery was ordained as Canada’s first woman priest. We now count eighteen Canadian priests in two streams, RCWP Canada and ARCWP. One of our number, Ruthie Wasylenko is serving from her eternal home. She went to her glory on Easter Sunday, 2017.  May she send many more workers to God’s Canadian vineyard.
 
For the innumerable blessings of these past ten years, the privilege of serving as deacon, priest and bishop, and for the many wonderful women and men without whom there would be no RCWP Canada, I am truly grateful.





Taproot, a Toronto alternative faith community

Marie Cerny | June 27, 2017

[In response to a request from the editor, Marie Cerny wrote the following:]

I have been thinking of writing something, but I am not sure if Taproot is suitable for the RCWP website.  [Editor's note: Yes it is suitable.  The RCWP Canada website promotes small faith communities.]  As much as I believe that the RC Institution has to change—in many ways -- and include women priests in order to remain relevant, Taproot is an alternative community self-organized by lay people.

The founders of our small group came historically from some painful experiences of a dictatorial hierarchical system. We are an egalitarian bunch, careful about concentration of power. In our liturgies, we try to avoid patriarchal God-language.  

Aside from our history, we also have some members who are educated in theology, Scripture and liturgical leadership. Most of us are up-to-date in reading contemporary spiritual literature. Other members have learned, over time, to prepare and lead liturgies. The volunteers take turns. As I see it, we are lucky to have enough internal resources. (Not all Catholics have such opportunities; for such communities a “good” priest  could be an important resource person and facilitator.)

In the liturgies, sitting in a circle, we started with a somewhat structured, sort of  “Mass” format, but this changed over the years. Now, we always have a Gospel reading, shared reflection and we "break bread”; otherwise leaders are free to use any material that they find relevant.

Taproot Faith Community website:http://www.taprootfaithcommunity.ca/

The following is an older article published in Catholic New Times, as well as on the Taproot web page:  Click here.  At the bottom of the webpage are two samples of our liturgies.





Celebrate the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala!

Join thousands of Catholics across the U.S. and worldwide as we celebrate the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala.





Zagano discusses women deacons on Salt+Light TV

Shireen Korkzan, National Catholic Reporter  |  Jun. 30, 2017

Phyllis Zagano, a columnist for NCR and an academic who serves on a Vatican commission studying the possibility of women in the permanent diaconate, was featured in two recent programs on Canada's Salt+Light Television.

Zagano appeared in a June 18 episode of Salt+Light's ongoing "Witness" series to discuss the origins of women deacons in the Catholic Church and referred to the story of Phoebe delivering Paul's letter to the Romans. In Romans 16:1, Paul calls Phoebe a deacon of the church in Cenchreae, a village in the ancient Greek municipality of Corinth.

Zagano also discussed roles women deacons have had in Catholic Church history, including, but not limited to, ministering to the poor and to women.

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    Comments to the Editor

Some say that we need to get rid of the ordained priesthood and have deacons run our parishes. I disagree. I believe in the sacraments. I do believe that ordination and Holy Orders are real but being abused in our church. 

We teach that because Christ blew on the apostles and disciples he ordained them. Women were present in that room too because they were among the disciples. Praying over and laying hands on people before they begin mission was done by the apostles to likely countless people, male and female, since the apostles praised even women who led churches in their homes.

I believe when God calls someone to lead a flock, and if that person receives proper training and shows forth a genuine love for God and the people, that God has gifted that person for that task much like a doctor is gifted to heal. Bishops praying over them for their mission in life and consecrating them before the people is good and a real spiritual event.

Our problem is we have turned ordination into a segregation weapon against women. The permanent diaconate should end – it’s unnecessary, and can become a real impediment for lay people who desire more active roles, especially in liturgy.  I truly believe it is wise to end any ministry which stifles parishes rather than builds them up. 

Nora Bolcon, Pawtucket, RI




Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God -- Jimmy Carter article still circulating on the Internet six year later

Jimmy Carter | July 19, 2017

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

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Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | July 6, 2017
National Catholic Reporter

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