Roman Catholic Women Priests

     August 15, 2019  

How much prophetic energy can be imagined by the People of God in order to reform the church?


Editor's note: 
The National Catholic Reporter published an article by Fr. Donald Cozzens that asked just how much corruption can we tolerate in the church before we leave. Below is a letter in response first published in the on-line issue of NCR by Bishop Mary Eileen Collingwood, a member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priest. It is published here in The Review in its entirety with the kind permission of the author.

This question can be countered with a more positive one: How much prophetic energy can be imagined by the People of God in order to reform the church?

Prophets of old were called out from their very ordinary lives to proclaim by their words and actions the fundamental change of heart that must occur in order to realize our creator's vision that all may be one. And that prophetic calling set them apart from the current structures of their times.
The Roman Catholic Women Priest Movement has envisioned such a kinship. We love the church and are energized to witness to the prophetic changes that are needed to reform the church. This is a proactive approach, one rooted in a distinct calling requiring courageous action, clear vision, and holy contemplation. We embrace circular leadership where no one has power over another. All decide on issues and policies that affect the membership. Bishops are elected to perform a function, not to establish lordship.  Member-led inclusive faith communities are formed where the ordained serve the People of God. All are welcome to the Eucharistic table, extending the practice from the early church to the present day.

Our calling is to live what we profess and envision — to live what the spirit has empowered us to become. It is prophetic. As of old, future generations will reap the rewards.

[Mary Eileen Collingwood, Hudson, OH is a bishop of  Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests]
FDK photo

Contents

  • How much prophetic energy can be imagined by the People of God in order to reform the church?
  • Lip service to those who have usurped power, or truth?
  • Church of England appoints its first black female bishop
  • The sainthood of John Henry Newman a chance for left-right unity in the Church
  • Confession: Hazardous and Myopic, linked to power in the Church in India and elsewhere
  • In Magdalene film, it's all about the relationship
  • The priesthood is being crucified on the cross of celibacy
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message:  Early Christian art portrays Mary, mother of Jesus, and other women serving as deacon, presbyter/priest, and bishop
  • Comments to the Editor
  • Are We Stuck or Liberated?
  • Francis Comics
  • Comments to the Editor Form
  • RCWP Canada Website Links
  • Related Links



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RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

Early Christian art portrays Mary, mother of Jesus, and other women serving as deacon, presbyter/priest, and bishop



Images from Kateusz, Ally. Mary and Early Christian Women. Springer International Publishing, Kindle Edition. Used under Creative Commons licence.

My latest summer reading has been Mary and Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership by Ally Kateusz. Her work draws heavily on archaeological research into the art and architecture of the early centuries of Christianity. She peels back layers of story telling that have covered over the depiction of women in leadership in the early church. Early Christian art portrays Mary, mother of Jesus, and other women serving as deacon, presbyter/priest, and bishop. It reveals new early Christian evidence that Mary was remembered as a powerful role model for women leaders―apostles, baptizers, and presiders at the ritual meal. (Mary and Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership by Ally Kateusz, Palgrave Macmillan; 2019).

These images give a new perspective to the Feasts of the Assumption which the Church celebrates on August 15th and the Queenship of Mary celebrated on August 22nd. Rather than a docile, hands-folded, pastel blue robed woman resting on white puffy clouds, Mary becomes a woman who is strong, with hands-extended, wearing bold colours and a pallium amidst the community, leading them in praise and worship. What an inspiring, relatable image for women called to serve as deacons, priests and bishops today!

As I read on, I was reminded of several other titles that explore ancient archaeology to give new insights into Christianity’s understanding of itself, especially the role of women as liturgical ministers. It is often said, "A picture is worth a thousand words." The portrait unveiled by women archaeologists suggest that women viewed themselves and/or their loved ones viewed them as persons of authority with religious influence. The realization that this early experience has been denied and suppressed by powerful church authorities in succeeding centuries is enough to make one weep. Thankfully, truth can never be fully suppressed and we are again coming to know the experiences of our early sisters in faith. If you like exploring historical roots, you may enjoy these titles.

Dorothy Irvin studied the archaeology of Women's traditional ministry in the Church in the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome. Her work, published at the turn of the 21st century, was ground-breaking. She used a series of self-published calendars, from 2003-20007, to give her findings an audience. Major publishing companies were not interested. Anyone who has one of Dorothy’s calendars has a treasure!

In their work, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, Rebecca Ann Parker and Rita Nakashima Brock present a survey of Christian imagery in early art and church architecture. It reveals a rich visual world filled with images of Christ as shepherd, guide and healer, of the earth as paradise once again and a place of egalitarian community life with shared leadership. (Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire by Rebecca Ann Parker and Rita Nakashima Brock, Beacon Press, May 1, 2009).

Christine Schenk explores visual imagery found on burial artifacts of prominent early Christian women in her work, Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity. An in-depth review of women's history in the first four centuries of Christianity provides important context and a fascinating picture emerges of women's authority in the early church, a picture either not available or sadly distorted in the written history. (Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity, by Christine Schenk, Fortress Press Dec 15, 2017).


+ Jane

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







Your newsletter was sent to me by a friend. I did not see a place to subscribe or must you be a member first? I would surely join; however, while I am a Roman Catholic "plus", I am a lay person. Can I still be a member of IAWM or RCWP and receive this newsletter?

[Carmel Stabley, Lancaster, PA, is Regional Representative Chairperson for The Labyrinth Society and a Veriditas Advanced – Certified Labyrinth Facilitator.]



Editor's note: 

Subscription is by way of placing your email address on our mailing list.  This will be done for anyone who asks.  This will enable you to receive an alert that a new issue of RCWP Canada's publication is available.  The current issue is always reached with this link: rcwpcanada.x10.mx.  For back issues click on this link: Archives, or at the top of this page, or use the Search function.

 

Regarding membership, for RCWP Canada, membership is for those who have a call to priesthood, and for those we call associates, who assist the organization in many ways without ordination.  There is more information for RCWP Canada membership at the website which can be reached directly at this link: 

http://rcwpcanada.x10.mx/content/ContactUs.html

 

For IAWM, please see the article in the July 15th issue of The Review, or contact this organization directly at:  

http://womenministers.org/site/welcome/





I appreciate Horan's comments (The Review, July 15, 2019) on the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education document, 'Male and Female He Created Them': Toward a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education. His analysis is spot on and his use of Tracy's work on dialogue is both informative and enlightening. Sadly but not surprisingly, this is the institution's traditional approach to ''dialogue" and is indicative of its addiction to power and control, and it will further alienate those who are in search for a truly catholic (universal, all-inclusive) church.

[Craig Van Parys, Regina, SK]







Lip service to those who have usurped power, or truth?

Steven Lanoux, Special to The Review | July 8, 2019


Steven Lanoux photo                          
                      
In the July 8th contemplation, Richard Rohr offers this observation.  It's no surprise, but it's well stated:

The priestly class invariably makes God less accessible instead
of more so, “neither entering yourselves nor letting others enter in,” as Jesus says (Matthew 23:13). For the sake of our own job security, the priestly message is often: “You can only come to God through us, by doing the right rituals, obeying the rules, and believing the right doctrines.” This is like telling God who God is allowed to love! The clergy and religious leaders, unintentionally perhaps, teach their disciples “learned helplessness.”

It's all about them, not us, and not God.  So is protecting the guilty such that it fosters more pain upon the innocent.  So is the call for us to confess to the bigger sinners while their sins remain concealed, unacknowledged, and un-repented.

As we see from other authors, this root cause of the evil in the Church has been recognized for centuries, and those who call for reform are subject to castigation and exile.

Wow, sounds kind like the Trump administration, too.

You know what?  The emperor really has no clothes!  Our choice is lip service to those who have usurped power or truth.

[Steve Lanoux, Brownsville, TX]




Church of England appoints its first black female bishop


                                                                                 Google free photo

Harriet Sherwood, theguardian.com | June 28, 2019

Rose Hudson-Wilkin, born in Jamaica, chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, will be consecrated in November as bishop of Dover.

Read More



The sainthood of John Henry Newman a chance for left-right unity in the Church


                                          Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

Charles Collins, cruxnow.com | July 5, 2019

This week’s announcement that Blessed John Henry Newman will be made a saint on October 13, 2019 was greeted with celebration from all corners.

Read More




Confession: Hazardous and Myopic, linked to power in the Church in India and elsewhere
   

pixabay.com photo                  

John Mohan Razu, academia.edu | July 7, 2019


It's all about confession and absolution that Pope Francis would like to keep as secrecy or in secrecy. My analysis questions the very purpose of confession and absolution because these two practices have helpted the bishops and priests by and large to abuse for a range of things.

Read More




In Magdalene film, it's all about the relationship

Christine Schenk, ncronline.org | July 17, 2019


Pixabay.com photo                            

Every July for the past 23 years I have joined in beautiful celebrations honoring St. Mary of Magdala. To prepare for her feast this year, I viewed director Garth Davis' "Mary Magdalene" film starring Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter.

Predictably, the movie attracted both praise and criticism. I loved John Anderson's positive summation in America: " 'Mary Magdalene' is in many ways an act of love, an effort to tell its story both freshly and honestly, with fidelity to Scripture." 

Read More




The priesthood is being crucified on the cross of celibacy


                                   pixabay.com photo

Peter Daly, ncronline.org | July 15, 2019
 
We cannot bring about real reform of the Roman Catholic priesthood unless we do away with mandatory celibacy for diocesan priests in the Latin rite.

Why would that improve the priesthood?

Read More





Are We Stuck or Liberated?


kutarna.net photo                            

Chris Kutarna, kutarna.net | July 11, 2019

I received an unexpected gift this week: a meteorite. It’s a rare and valuable, 4.6 billion-year-old piece of space metal that, way out there, was protected from the forces of erosion and tectonics that constantly recycle earthbound rocks.

It’s a piece of the infinite. Toying with it in my fingers, it’s hard not to look at life from a different perspective. Humanity is something temporary, and vulnerable to forces utterly beyond our control — things like earthquakes, and hurricanes, and solar flares and meteor strikes.

Is that perspective paralyzing—or liberating? As my father is fond of saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.”

Read More


[Dr. Chris Kutarna is a two-time Governor General's Medallist, a Sauvé Fellow and Commonwealth Scholar, and a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School with a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford. He is co-author of Age of Discovery: Navigating the Storms of Our Second Renaissance.  He lived in China for several years, speaks Mandarin, and remains a regular op-ed contributor to one of China's top-ranked news magazines. He lived in Australia and New Zealand for several years. Born in Regina, SK, he divides his time between Oxford, Beijing and Regina.

Permission was given by Dr. Kutarna to excerpt and link to his articles as they are relevant to The Review. All articles may be seen at kutarna.net]





Francis, the comic strip                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive                
by Pat Marrin | July 4, 2019
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission

To send a Comment to the Editor, please use this email address:  rcwpcanada@outlook.com or use the form below:

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