Promoting a renewed ordained ministry in a renewed Roman Catholic Church

March 15, 2019
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The Vatican Summit on Sex Abuse - Have the Bishops Learned Anything? -- No


Mary E. Hunt, rewire.news | February 27, 2019

The recently concluded Vatican summit on sexual abuse in the church was framed in the same old top-down way that's at the heart of the problem. Lay people, both women and men, experts in the law, psychology, and theology were excluded. What could be more wrong with this picture?

Roma locuta; causa finita est, attributed to Augustine, means: “Rome has spoken, the matter is closed.” So it is. Sordid details emerging of Australian Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on “multiple historical child sex offenses” are no great shock. They only confirm the general consensus that the recent Roman summit was a dismal failure of nerve and justice at a time when only nerve and justice will suffice.

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The Vatican Summit on Sex Abuse - Have the Bishops Learned Anything? -- Yes

By Austen Ivereigh, commonwealmagazine.org | February 25, 2019

The contrast was little short of amazing. On the one hand, you had the experience inside the synod hall by the end of last week’s Vatican abuse summit, with talk of a new resolve and clarity. On the other, you had the scorn from victims’ groups who saw only missed opportunities.

Nothing like this had ever been done before: to use a synodal process to effect a global institutional conversion aimed at overcoming mechanisms of denial and resistance. Inside, 190 church leaders were becoming crusaders against child abuse, a shift that was especially notable among the presidents of bishops’ conferences from Asia and Africa, some of whom began the February 21–24 meeting saying this wasn’t their problem. Yet outside, survivors’ spokespeople said the summit was just a wordy exercise for show, one that avoided the real task.

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Contents

  • International Women's Day
  • The Vatican Summit on Sex Abuse - Have the Bishops Learned Anything? -- No
  • The Vatican Summit on Sex Abuse - Have the Bishops Learned Anything? -- Yes
  • A pilgrim's progress
  • Comments to the Editor
  • Book Review:  I, the Woman, Planted the Tree: A Journey Through Dreams to the Feminine -- Pearl E. Gregor (Author)
  • Visitor Countries to The Review this week
  • Featured Link
  • Tech Tip
  • RCWP Canada now has authorization from Canada Revenue Agency for charitable status
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message
  • Confessions of a millennial, gay Catholic: being gay and Catholic
  • 'Vatican I (One, not Two)' examines pre-conciliar movements that threatened the church today
  • Why Celibacy Matters -- How the critique of Catholicism changes and yet remains the same
  • Tradition as a counter-argument does not convince German Bishop Feige: Ordination for women will come
  • Welcome to my world: Notes on the reception of Frédéric Martel's bombshell
  • Called to be a Priest -- Life of a woman from Baptism to Ordination
  • Francis Comic Strip
  • Form for Comments to the Editor
  • Links to RCWP Canada website and other progressive websites and blogs




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RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

God, you are my light, my salvation – whom shall I fear?


Each year during Lent we are called to give some extra attention to our life-long journey as disciples of Jesus which leads us into the fullness of God's love for us. As we attune ourselves to the Sacred Scriptures we hear the call to reconnect with the goodness instilled within us and to discover ways that we can live into persons of greater love. We do not journey alone but as part of God's creation. We travel with the companionship of people of faith around the world – sisters and brothers in the Risen Christ, the Light of the World.


The Second Sunday of Lent challenges us to see ourselves in the light of God. From the breath of creation God said, “Let there be light!” Light enables us to see things differently than we do in darkness. As the day dawns we can see objects, we can detect movement, we can see colour, we gain perspective of things in relation to other things as the fullness of daylight comes. And with the ability to see which light gives us, we loose our fear of “things that go bump in the night.” The light of God also enables us to see our attitudes and actions in different dimensions. As we allow the Light of God to shine upon us we can see ourselves as God sees us, and be seen as God sees us. And we do not need to be afraid because our God is all Goodness and Love.


In our first reading, Abraham is asked to look at the stars and see himself as one favoured by God with a destiny beyond his imagination. He dared to journey into the unknown and allow God to fulfil through him the promise of a great nation. We regard him as a great ancestor in faith. In Luke's account of the Transfiguration, three of the disciples who were leaders in the early church are given the opportunity to see Jesus in a different light from which they were accustomed. In radiant light and the appearance of Moses and Elijah, Jesus is presenting them with a future vision and inviting them to be part of his destiny. This is beyond their imagination and Peter proposes three tents to fix the moment rather than let it unfold into the unimaginable. Going down the mountain they found it hard to get their heads around what “rising from the dead” could mean. Only later, after the Resurrection, did they begin to understand.


As I allow myself to be drawn into these images of light and feel their energy surge in my soul I ask myself what of my original goodness can I connect with? Where can I allow myself to be challenged to go beyond where I am now to be a more faithful disciple of Jesus? How can I radiate the light of God's all-embracing love and be a bearer of the Good News? What fears do I have that are unfounded in the light of God's love for me?


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+ Jane

[Jane Kryzanowski, Regina, SK, is bishop for RCWP Canada]





Confessions of a millennial, gay Catholic: being gay and Catholic

Luke Gilmore, ignation.ca | February 23, 2019

Five words have made being gay and Catholic easier over the past five years. Those words are: Who am I to judge? But recently, that easy confidence I had seems to be wilting in face of comments made by clergymen from across the world and out of the lips of the man who uttered those five words.

If you have been following Catholic news lately, you would have heard that Pope Francis is concerned about having gay Catholics in the priesthood. This new statement, which you can find in the new papal book, follows similar statements made by other members of the clergy this autumn, especially in regards to the sex abuse crisis.

I know that in previous posts I have tackled this issue somewhat, but it seems that we still need to come back to it.

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'Vatican I (One, not Two)' examines pre-conciliar movements that threatened the church today


Michael Sean Winters, ncronline.org | March 1, 2019

Jesuit Fr. John O'Malley has delivered a much needed and very informative history, Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church. When we read the word "post-conciliar" we assume the writer means after Vatican II, but O'Malley's book shows the many ways in which the church we know is still very much shaped by the First, not only the Second, Vatican Council. Put differently, the modern church is still, in certain ways, the work of reactionaries.


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Why Celibacy Matters -- How the critique of Catholicism changes and yet remains the same

Ross Douthat, nytimes.com | Feb. 23, 2019

The rhetoric of anti-Catholicism, whether its sources are Protestant or secular, has always insisted that the church of Rome is the enemy of what you might call healthy sexuality. This rhetorical trope has persisted despite radical redefinitions of what healthy sexuality means; one sexual culture overthrows another, but Catholicism remains eternally condemned.

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Tradition as a counter-argument does not convince German Bishop Feige: Ordination for women will come

Catholic News Agency, katholisch.de | February 12, 2019

Magdeburg Bishop Gerhard Feige keeps open the question of a priestly ordination of women. "To reject this rigorously and to argue only with tradition is no longer convincing," said Feige on Tuesday in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA).

At the same time, he emphasized that at the moment he considers the possibility of consecrating women priests unlikely, since many Catholics would not support this and would break the unity of the Church. "On the other hand, this will come," added Feige. "Some time ago I would not have thought that way."

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Welcome to my world: Notes on the reception of Frédéric Martel's bombshell

James Alison, abc.net.au | February 23, 2019

So, the other shoe has finally dropped. The veil has been removed from what the French rather gloriously call a secret de Polichinelle ― an open secret: one that "everybody knows" but for which the evidence is both elusive and never really sought. The merely anecdotal is, at last, acquiring the contours of sociological visibility.

Frédéric Martel's book In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality and Hypocrisy is the first attempt of which I am aware at a properly researched answer to the question: "How and why is it that the principal institutional obstacle to LGBT rights at the worldwide level appears itself to be massively staffed by gay men?"

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Called to be a Priest -- Life of a woman from Baptism to Ordination

Bridget Mary Meehan, bridgetmarys.blogspot.com | December 26, 2018

One night as St. Teresa of Avila prayed, she heard laughter everywhere and God said to her, " enjoy me." Perhaps, this is the divine message to the hierarchy about women priests!
   

Like bright rays of sunlight streaming through fluffy white clouds, God's loving presence has illuminated my path from childhood days. When I reflect on my memories of an Irish childhood I realize that the Catholic Church is in my DNA.

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Visitor Countries to The Review this week







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A pilgrim's progress

Marie Bouclin, Special to The Review | March 15, 2019

Dear members and friends of RCWP Canada,

Some of you may be familiar with my "end of year" travelogue letters. Although this trip began as an admittedly privileged first-world holiday with Virginia (CNWE Ottawa) and Raymond in Italy, it truly turned into a pilgrimage. First because we visited an average of two churches a day and secondly because we walked between seven and ten miles every day. However, we did no fasting, far from it, and were lodged very comfortably. I'm sharing the experience because each and every one of you came to mind as we paused, often overwhelmed by the splendour of our surroundings, sometimes staying for Mass (most often with the priest facing the back wall), sometimes lighting a candle or simply taking time for reflection. The entire experience was a gift of affirmation, especially for those who believe God calls women to ordained ministry.

Some highlights:


MB photo          

The most outstanding was a visit to the basilica of Saint Praxedis. If you've read Dorothy Irvin's wonderful calendars on "ordained women in the Early Church", you will know about its breathtaking mosaics. As soon as the curator/custodian led us to his souvenir stall, I pointed to the picture of the "famous four" - Theodora Episcopa, Pudentia, Mary and Praxedis saying,"I want to see this."
                                                                                          
He was so excited by our enthusiasm that he lit up the side altar and began telling us in his broken English that we were in the oldest church in Rome, built on the home owned by Praxedis and Pudentia, daughters of senator Pudens mentioned in the Second Letter to Timothy (4:12). He also mentioned Petronilla, St. Peter's daughter.
                                                               
I felt the presence of our foremothers in the faith, founders of house churches. And there they were in all their glory! Praxedis is quite beautiful! It made me smile that, according to the "male-stream" book, Theodora was given the title "Episcopa" because she was the mother of Pope Pascal I of the fifth century. Dorothy Irvin would beg to differ. But what struck me in the mosaic is the equality in Christ of men and women. Paul and Peter come together, shoulder to shoulder with women, to Christ.


My attention was diverted by a groups of students and their young and handsome priest/seminarian (they all wear collars). I asked him about the women in the mosaics. He dismissed me with, "I have no idea". So, as they were leaving I spoke to some young women in his group, telling them my excitement as seeing with my own eyes, recorded for all time, that there were women deacons, priests and bishops in the Early Church. They were curious and attentive but were quickly called by "Father" to "come along".
Oh how I wished I'd brought my business card!

The next day we visited the Catacomb of Saint Domitilla.

Our guide, Laura, was excellent and it was there that I was able to see the fresco of Veneranda.
                                                     

MB photo    
 
Again an affirmation of ordained ministry. I told Laura that this was incontrovertible evidence that there were ordained women then and that there still are today. I suggested she google Ludmila Javarova and RCWP. She said she would, adding that it made her really sad that the hierarchy were so closed to women. What saddened me was that this
bright and literate woman, clearly versed in archaeology, had only heard the male-stream version of history.  I'd love to be a fly on the wall the next time she explains Veneranda and other frescoes in the Catacombs!


                         MB photo                  
                       
I should mention that we did stop in at the Vatican. Virginia had hoped to hand deliver to Francis' residence, Casa Santa Marta, an envelope of letters. Not possible, so we visited an exhibition of Russian art, including some very famous icons of the Trinity.
                                                              
Later in the week, we took the train to Assisi. We climbed the 90 steps (know that I'm prone to vertigo) after the very steep hill to the Basilica. At his tomb in the crypt, I asked Francis to be our guide as people who are in our day called to rebuild the Church, thinking to myself that he must have rolled over in his grave when they built such a huge church, however impressive, in his honour. That wasn't, in my opinion, what he heard Christ ask of him... Hoping to relay the same message to Santa Chiara, Albert and I climbed again for twenty minutes to attend Mass at the cathedral next to her convent. There were about twelve of us in a side chapel. No homily, just a time of reflection. On the way back down to our B&B, I suggested to Albert that the nuns' singing of Vespers in three monasteries of Poor Clares and one of Benedictines was a sign that Francis and Clare were with us "reformers".

The next day we went to ask Catherine of Sienna for her help in being heard by the Pope. We visited the very cold cathedral of San Domenico where her skull and right finger are displayed. Hopefully someone will catch the ear of the current Pontiff.

In Florence we prayed at the Basilica San Lorenzo but more interestingly, took in an exhibition called "Voices of Women", a tribute to women writers from Antiquity, beginning with Sappho, 200 BCE ending with French women of letters from the Renaissance. We also visited the Chapel of the Medici's which is a bit of a metaphor all its own. It has become a museum with works of art and sculpture by some of the world's greatest, but it is no longer a place of prayer and worship. Also, perhaps another metaphor, all the churches were cold and cavernous.

There were many other moments of affirmation, many interesting encounters, for instance telling a group of English students at Sant'Agnese in Agone, where we attended Mass on the feast of Saint Agnes, concelebrated by six (6) priests. Alas, no music, no singing. Again, wishing I had my card, I did tell them to google Roman Catholic Women Priests.

The day after we arrived home, I received a call from Jennifer Stark who followed me as Coordinator of WOW in 2006. She sends greetings to Danielle, especially, and Virginia and others she had met in Ottawa at the 2005 Conference. She thought we should adopt the following by-line when women inquire about ordination: "If God calls you, call me." Sounds perfect!

Hoping you are affirmed and uplifted in the struggle for equality as I hold you all in God's love, with a very grateful heart,

Marie

[Marie Bouclin, Sudbury, ON, is bishop-emerita, RCWP Canada]






In the article, "Prohibition on women priests could bring about 'slow death' of church," Sarah MacDonald asks the question: "What is the church afraid of?" In this case, by "church" I assume she means institution. I would like to offer one possible answer among many: The institution is afraid of losing its power.

Concerned Catholic, Regina, SK




Book Review:  I, the Woman, Planted the Tree: A Journey Through Dreams to the Feminine -- Pearl E. Gregor (Author)

Michael Kenyon, Special to The Review | March 15, 2019

An immersion experience for seekers, healers, and dreamers. This story is real, gut-wrenching and a timeless story of woman's search for the Divine Feminine. It is a birth, death and rebirth story for maiden, mother and Crone.

A surprising story of the desperation of and final release from seemingly endless depression, this book is for those who have found no relief either in talk therapy, the medical establishment, pharmaceuticals, or conventional religious and cultural institutions.

An immersion experience for seekers, healers and dreamers, this book is a journey into the dark feminine. This is a real, gut-wrenching and timeless story of woman's search for the Divine Feminine.

A surprising story of the desperation and final release from seemingly endless depression, this book is for those who have found no relief either in talk therapy, the medical establishment, pharmaceuticals, or conventional religious and cultural institutions. It will appeal to many resting in an uncomfortable church pew or those who have abandoned the pew but suffer with, flashbacks and the longing for communion with All.

No matter what gender, most people are living deep patriarchal consciousness with no awareness of its presence.

"A century ago Sigmund Freud said, 'Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.' Carl Jung agreed but was more subtle. 'The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the psyche.' Working deeply with dreams, he went on to describe the collective unconscious. Dreams have been noted and found important in every culture on this planet; babies dream; animals dream. Pearl Gregor had a dream in 1988 that changed her life. This is the story of the dreamer and the dreams. Pearl sets aside her skills learned as an educator and administrator to forge a brand new path into the dark forest with the light of dreams to guide her.

This book's main task is a plummeting within and a thorough examination of the plummeting and rising process. There's also an invitation to the reader to go on her own journey. This work is a revelation (of immanent and transcendent Being), a psychoanalysis and an extended meditation on being human. Oh, and it's a memoir."

[Michael Kenyon, author and poet, lives in British Columbia.  Book review used with permission.  The author, Pearl Gregor, lives at New Sarepta, AB.  Her book is available at Amazon.ca]






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Francis, the comic strip                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive                
by Pat Marrin | February 26, 2019
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission
                                                                                                       








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