RCWP Canada Monthly Review -- June 2018 

  • RCWP Canada prepares to ordain new bishop
  • Ascension is integral part of whole Paschal Mystery – the life, death, resurrection/ascension, and abiding presence of the Spirit -- and a connection to Mother's Day
  • Intentional Communities
  • The Criminalization of Reconciliation
  • New Liberal Catholic Church Bishop for Canada
  • Vatican case against women priests highly flawed
  • An Integral Anthropology for Integral Human Development
  • Half the Story:  Catholicism in the Modern World
  • A Wake-Up Call to Liberal Theologians:  Academic Theology Needs the Church
  • Vocation Sunday Vigils in Armagh, Ireland; Baltimore, US; Brussels, Belgium; Bristol, UK; London, UK
  • Susan Bell: ‘Profoundly honoured’ to be Niagara diocese’s first woman bishop
  • Melissa Skelton new metropolitan of B.C. and Yukon
  • Lutherans elect two African-American women bishops
  • Phyllis Tickle: Towering presence, prophetic vision
  • How to apologize like you mean it
  • Mary McAleese says it's 'pure codology' that women can't become priests
  • Sexism Can Kill Body and Spirit
  • What does it mean to be father to a son in the age of #MeToo?
  • Free pdf downloadable books
  • Francis, the comic strip

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RCWP Cananda prepares to ordain new bishop



Editor, RCWP Canada Monthly Review | June 1, 2018

On July 21, 2018, the eve of the feast of St. Mary of Magdala, Jane Kryzanowki of Regina will be ordained bishop for RCWP Canada, replacing Marie Bouclin of Sudbury who is retiring as bishop after serving for seven years.

The Spirit of God appears to be moving among the people of God, calling women to be priests. Marie and Jane are among women who have heard the call and responded. Small faith communities are coming together asking for the pastoral services of women. The merging of these two streams -- the call of the Spirit and the call of people -- is gaining momentum across Canada. Women priests are serving in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchwan, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

In conjuction with the episcopal ordination, the RCWP Canada community invites the public to a presentation by bishops from Canada, the United States, and Europe on the growth and development of the women's ordination movement. It will be held Friday evening, July 20, 2018, 7-9 pm, the EEEL Building, 750 Campus Drive NW, University of Calgary. (Use Parking - Lot 21), Calgary, Alberta.

The ordination itself is by invitation only, but anyone may obtain an invitation, which will give details of time, place and date, by writing to the invitation coordinator at rcwpcanada@outlook.com





Ascension is integral part of whole Paschal Mystery – the life, death, resurrection/ascension, and abiding presence of the Spirit -- and a connection to Mother's Day

Jane Kryznowski, Bishop-elect for RCWP Canada | June 1, 2018

This year we celebrated two significant things on the same day:  Ascension and Mother's Day, one sacred, the other secular.  There is an important connection between the two and a good opportunity to reflect on the Feminine Divine.

Mother's Day began in 1870 as an effort for peace and justice in the post-Civil War era in the United States as Mother's Day for Peace.  It was prompted by the devastation and loss of lives of husbands and sons to the horrors of war.  About the same time women were organizing to improve the plight of families in the mining communities of Appalachia. These movements came together and spawned other efforts toward justice for women and children:  the suffragette and temperance movements.  Even today we see efforts by women to effect change where injustice exists in society and even in the church.  The Roman Catholic Women Priest Movement of which we are a part is evidence of this.

The Ascension feast is an integral part of the whole Paschal Mystery – the life, death, resurrection/ascension, and abiding presence of the Spirit.  It focuses on the risen Jesus being taken up to heaven.  It brings some closure to the post-resurrection experience of the disciples.  When Jesus was put to death, they thought it was like anyone else.  Dead, buried, done.  But with Jesus, things were different.  He died as Jesus, the prophet of truth and justice, the bearer of good news of life everlasting; he was raised from death by God as the Cosmic Christ in whom all things are restored to original oneness from which it came.  Experiencing this transformation was challenging for the disciples and well it is for us. 

The account of the Ascension is an add-on in Mark's Gospel.  It seems that the disciples need physical connection with Jesus risen in order to come to an understanding that his abiding spirit-presence, which was promised to be for all time, was equally real as his physical presence.  For Mark, to see Jesus we need to go to where God calls. The short ending in which Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome are told to take the message of the resurrection to the other disciples includes the commission to tell them to go to Galilee, “There they will see me.” Galilee is the place of the first encounter and where we are called to return again and again to experience the fullness of life in Christ.

Our transformation into oneness in Christ is a dynamic process. a life-long, on-going spiral: Life-death-resurrection-ascension-spirit presence;  Life-death-resurrection-ascension-spirit presence.  We grow in the spiritual life as we do in the physical life.  As our mothers gave us physical birth, Jesus, through the paschal mystery gives us new life as sons and daughters of God.  A new life that grows richer and richer as we live into the fullness of the gifts of the Spirit. 

The call to live Gospel justice is what women heard and followed as they worked for peace following the Civil War and in the coal mining towns.  It is the same call that we hear today to act with justice.  Our mothers show us the way.

Mystical theologian, Julian of Norwich wrote of “Jesus is my mother”:

"It is a characteristic of God to overcome evil with good.  (This is the Paschal Mystery.) Jesus Christ, therefore, who himself over came evil with good, is our true Mother. We received our ‘Being’ from [God] - and this is where [God's] Maternity starts - and with it comes the gentle Protection and Guard of Love which will never ceases to surround us.

“Just as God is our Father, so God is also our Mother. . . I am the power and the Goodness of the Father, I am the Wisdom of the Mother, I am the Light and the Grace which is blessed love, I am the Trinity, I am the Unity, I am the supreme Goodness of all kind of things, I am the One who makes you love, I am the One who makes you desire, I am the never-ending fulfillment of all true desires . . .

“. . . God Almighty, who is ‘Being’, has always known us and loved us . . . wanted the Second Person to become our Mother, our Brother, our Saviour."  (From “Revelations of Divine Love” by Juliana of Norwich (1342-1416), (LIX, LXXXVI))

The Feminine Divine image of Mother Church giving us spiritual life echos a mother giving us physical life.  The waters of Baptism are the waters of new birth in Christ.  We are fed by Christ in the Eucharist.  We are forgiven by Christ in reconciliation.  We are tended by Christ in the sacrament of anointing.  Julian wrote, “We owe our being to [Christ]–and this is the essence of motherhood! –and all the delightful, loving protection which ever follows. God is as really our Mother as [God] is our Father. . . So Jesus is our true Mother by nature at our first creation, and he is our true Mother in grace by taking on our created nature.” (Chapter 59) 

Our mothers were/are the face of God to us; the spirit of the living God expressed in their love.  And so I want to share the following with you:  My mother is my priest . . .







Intentional Communities

Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation | Thursday, May 10, 2018
 
Jack Jezreel is the founder of JustFaith Ministries, an organization that offers resources to sustain people of faith “in their compassionate commitment to build a more just and peaceful world.” [1] Jezreel describes the need for and qualities of a healthy Christian community (which we might apply to other kinds of religious and non-religious communities):

Big-heartedness always draws close to the other, always draws the other close. Francis of Assisi, Benedict, Dorothy Day, Jean Vanier—like Jesus himself—draw people naturally into relationship. And the hunger of the human heart that God put in us is not just for casual and recreational relationships. We long for relationships of meaning. We long to be connected, for healing, for vocation, and for mission. . . .

The challenge before [Christians], again, is to claim our tradition. From the description in Acts of the early Christian community that “shared all things in common,” [Acts 4:32] to the early monastic families, to the development of the hundreds of [religious] communities around the world, to the Catholic Worker communities of the 20th and 21st century, intentional community is what we’re all about. Or at least it ought to be.





The Criminalization of Reconciliation
   
Victoria Marie, St. James Blog | May 2, 2018

Two streams of thought intertwined with my reflections on the non-violent direct action taken by several faith leaders on April 20th, 2018 at the east and west gates of Kinder Morgan’s Westbridge Marine Terminal.

The first is the current upside down political and social climate is not unique to our neighbours south of the border.  It appears that reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians and the Earth have become criminal offences.  When reconciliation becomes meaningful action, that is, goes beyond mere words.  It threatens the powers—and they react.  Injunctions against peaceful protest is the weapon of choice.  Violations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the U.S. Eagle Act[1] and the BC Wildlife Act are committed with impunity.

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Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie is pastor of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community Society and co-founder of the Vancouver Catholic Worker (Samaritan House).  She is also an RCWP Canada priest.





New Liberal Catholic Church Bishop for Canada

Editor, RCWP Canada | June 1, 2018

[Adapted from various sources.]

The care of the Canadian church province of the Liberal Catholic Church since 1977 by an American bishop ended on Saturday, May 19, 2018.  On that date Eric Archambault, priest of the LCC in Magog, QC was consecrated bishop.

Consecrating
bishops were Presiding Bishop Michael Warnon (USA), senior bishop Peter Baaij (Netherlands) and junior bishop David Carpenter (USA).  

Bishop Archambault holds the office of regional authority for the presiding bishop.  With this office, growth for the LCC in Canada will be facilitated since there will be an ordaning bishop nearby.

The consecration took place during a well-attended French-speaking Eucharist. Many traveled from different parts of Canada and the United States, and other countries to be present for this special event.


In a spirit of ecumenism, by special invitation, present were two members of RCWP Canada, Bishop Marie Bouclin of Sudbury, ON and a priest, Linda Spear of Sutton, QC.


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This Month's Special
An Integral Anthropology for Integral Human Development


Luis T. Gutiérrez, Mother Pelican | May 2018

Integral human development entails development of each person and of the whole person. As the patriarchal era passes away, we are hopefully on the threshold of a renewal of humanity. Beyond the patriarchal culture, such renewal must include a balancing of gender relations pursuant to integral human development.

All human beings share one and the same human nature. In the biophysical dimension, this fundamental unity is manifested as a somatic homogeneity that subsists in diversity at all levels, from XX/XY chromosomes to skin pigment, eye color, and all other human attributes. In the biopsychological dimension, every human being is a unique personal subject but all humans are Homo sapiens, endowed with reason and free will. In the biospiritual dimension, there is a universal need for relationality; while no human being can flourish in isolation, all humans can flourish in interpersonal relations.

Such is human nature in the flesh. We are bodies, but we are more than bodies. The body is a sacrament of the entire person, but is not the entire person. The body makes the entire person visible, and makes visible what is invisible but not any less real -- the inner self, the human spirit. In Christian terminology, every human being is integrally a body-person, or body-soul; unique and complete yet always needing to be in relation with others in order to flourish in all dimensions of life.


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Half the Story:  Catholicism in the Modern World

Peter Steinfels, Commonweal | May 9, 2018

It is a commonplace that the Second Vatican Council consolidated a radical revision in the Catholic Church’s stance toward the “modern world.” Images of battle gave way to ones of dialogue and common destiny. The church embraced “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties” of contemporary humanity. The church was embarked on the “same journey” and recognized the “good to be found in the social dynamism of today.”

How did this remarkable change come about? Well, there is a familiar story, to which I will shortly return. But that story, if James Chappel’s Catholic Modern is right, is at the very least incomplete, at the most in need of serious correction. And if Piotr H. Kosicki’s Catholics on the Barricades is right, that story needs serious expansion and, to complicate things, perhaps Chappel’s story also needs correction. These are young historians coming at old topics with fresh eyes and new perspectives.

The standard narrative of this great Catholic transformation goes something like this: first, the Enlightenment put the church under stress, then the French Revolution and Napoleonic era traumatized it. For more than a century, Catholicism suffered from institutional post-traumatic stress disorder, reliving revolutionary flashbacks and acting out accordingly.  Every few decades a cluster of dissatisfied believers would propose treatment; they were led by figures like Lamennais, Montalembert, Dollinger, Acton, Newman, Blondel, Sangnier, Sturzo, Maritain, proponents of the nouvelle théologie, and John Courtney Murray, SJ. One after another, they were slapped down by popes from Gregory XVI to Pius XII. 

Nonetheless, bit by bit, their message of qualified reconciliation with this or that aspect of modernity won support, reinforced by the practical concessions that popes and bishops had to make to the political realities in nations from Belgium to the United States.


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A Wake-Up Call to Liberal Theologians:  Academic Theology Needs the Church

Massimo Faggioli, Commonweal | May 16, 2018

The estrangement between academic theology and the institutional Church is one reason many younger Catholics are now turning to neo-traditionalist circles for instruction. A new generation is re-examining what’s happened in the church since the 1960s and reacting against the theology that came out of the Second Vatican Council. Some younger Catholics are also questioning the legitimacy of the secular, pluralistic state. This is why the concerns of academic theology are no longer merely academic.

Those who have contact with young Catholics—for example, college students—may have noticed that this theological anti-liberalism is not just coming from a few marginal intellectuals. Catholic anti-liberalism is part of a broader phenomenon, a new quest for Catholic identity that takes various forms. It may be expressed as an enthusiasm for the Tridentine Mass and a distaste for the Novus ordo. Or it may take the form of an interest in countercultural communities—in some version of the “Benedict Option.” But it can also take the form of a theo-political imagination that rejects liberal democracy in favor of a new Christendom. Mixed in with this ideal is often a suspicion of those who come from parts of the world where Christianity is not the predominant religion.


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Vocation Sunday Vigils in Armagh, Ireland; Baltimore, US; Brussels, Belgium; Bristol, UK; London, UK

Women's Ordination Worldwide | April 2018


For photos and stories about World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination, click here.





Susan Bell: ‘Profoundly honoured’ to be Niagara diocese’s first woman bishop

Joelle Kidd, Anglican Journal | March 5, 2018

Canon Susan Bell was elected coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Niagara Saturday, March 3. As coadjutor bishop, she will automatically become the 12th bishop of the diocese.

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Melissa Skelton new metropolitan of B.C. and Yukon

Tali Folkins, Anglican Journal | May 14, 2018

Melissa Skelton, bishop of the diocese of New Westminster, has been elected metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon, becoming the first woman in the Anglican Church of Canada to have the title “archbishop.”

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Lutherans elect two African-American women bishops

Mark A. Kellner, Religion News Service | May 7, 2018

A synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made history Saturday (May 5) by electing the denomination’s first female African-American bishop.  One day later, a synod 900 miles away elected the second.

First, delegates chose the Rev. Patricia A. Davenport for the office of bishop in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a synod that includes Philadelphia. Then on Sunday, delegates voted for the Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, a pastor in Beloit, Wis., to become bishop-elect for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

The votes mark an inclusive step forward for the “most white” of the nation’s mainline Protestant denominations, according to Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.


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Phyllis Tickle: Towering presence, prophetic vision

Henriette Thompson, Anglican Journal | May 16, 2018

Phyllis Tickle: A Life will appeal to those who admire the prodigious talents of the late Episcopalian author, poet, essayist and marketing force behind North American religious book publishing. It also offers a broad context of the emerging church movement circa 2005 in America and manifested in the U.K., Canada and elsewhere.

Biographer Jon M. Sweeney captures the essence of Phyllis’s gift as “the ability to prophetically see what was coming, and then explain it in attractive detail…she became a prognosticator and encourager to professionals who cared about religion…” within popular culture. There is much to care about as churches experience a decades-long decline in membership that prompts a need to rediscover their missional core.


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How to apologize like you mean it

Fiona Tapp, UCOBSERVER | May 2018

Public apologies are rife in the era of #MeToo. In an attempt to save their careers and reputations, accused celebrity figures appear to fall on their swords and offer loud apologies. However, these messages are usually vague, and some include language such as “I am sorry for any offence that my words or actions may have caused.” This type of language diverts attention away from the oppressor and makes the victim seem overly sensitive or defective for feeling wronged. They are classic examples of anti-apologies.

Rather follow these steps:

1. Take a moment
2. Keep it simple
3. Admit responsibility
4. Explain yourself
5. Make a promise
6. Keep communicating


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Mary McAleese says it's 'pure codology' that women can't become priests

Christopher Lamb, Mar 7, 2018

Mary McAleese, former president of Ireland addressed a press conference regarding her views on the decline of young people and women in the church. Young people and women are saying to our leaders ‘we demand more from you’

McAleese was speaking ahead of a conference in Rome about women’s roles in the Church.

Speaking to reporters, McAleese also raised the ban on women becoming priests.

“Pope Francis has said that the issue of women’s ordination isn’t up for discussion, that women are permanently excluded from priesthood.

“I believe that women should be ordained, I believe the theology on which that is based is pure codology. I’m not even going to be bothered arguing it. Sooner or later it’ll fall apart, fall asunder under its own dead weight.”

McAleese said she wished to “pose a much more profound question” instead.

“If you are going to exclude women in perpetuity from priesthood and if all decision-making, discernment and policy-making in the Church is going to continue to be filtered through the male priesthood, tell me how in justice and charity, but most importantly in equality, are you going to include the voices of women in the formation of the Catholic faith?

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[Editor's Note:  Definition of codology in Oxford English Dictionary: Foolish or untrue talk or writing; nonsense.]




Sexism Can Kill Body and Spirit

Mary E. Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual | April 24, 2018

Imagine my surprise when I read about the women who were shooed out of the sumo wrestling ring in Japan when they tried to save a man’s life. What sounds like “news of the weird” is a serious story about traditions and how harmful they can be. It made me think of Roman Catholicism’s ban on women priests and how deadly it is.
. . .
When I read the article, I was struck by the many parallels with the institutional Roman Catholic Church’s ban on the ordination of women. While some might argue that no one ever died because women were excluded from presiding at the Eucharist, I believe that the scandal of gender exclusion has ‘killed’ the spirits of many people.
. . .
To be clear, I have no great affection for sumo wrestling or for women ordained in the kyriarchal model of church and ministry. But what is shocking in both cases is how ‘tradition’ is misunderstood as ‘how we have always done it’ rather correctly understood from its Latin root ‘to give or deliver or hand over’, perhaps hand on what is most important, namely life in all its fullness. To let old prejudices snuff out life, physical or spiritual, is simply absurd, profoundly sad, and a colossal waste of life itself.

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What does it mean to be father to a son in the age of #MeToo?

Christian Mocek, National Catholic Reporter | May 17, 2018

What does it mean to be a father who raises a son in the age of #MeToo? What can a father do to ensure his son doesn't end up the perpetrator in a #MeToo story?

The answer to this question is personal for each father. But I do think there are universal things parents can teach, especially fathers to sons, about consent, responsibility and honoring the dignity of the other. In a culture where growing boys are bombarded with salacious advertising and easily accessible lewd material, and where dehumanizing banter is written off as locker room talk, the only choice is for fathers — and other male role models — to teach their sons to navigate these arenas with vulnerability, virtue andcourage.


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Vatican case against women priests highly flawed

John O'Loughlin Kennedy, The Irish Times | Apr 9, 2018

Perceptions have changed of women’s place in society. Accepted as being fully human and made in the image of God, a woman  can “icon” Christ as effectively as can any man.

The Vatican Curia can be counted on to ignore accusations of misogyny, however well-founded, They are trained (and oath-bound) to prioritise current church teaching above all.

As a result, it is the teaching itself that must be challenged. This is not difficult.

On the big issue, women’s exclusion from ordination, the teaching is of recent origin and is based on remarkably shoddy scholarship. The exclusion is long-established. The justifying doctrine is new.

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