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  June 15, 2019  
Complex scheme, designed by Pope Francis, made fools of nuns to distract and frustrate laity who supported them

Nora Bolcon, Special to The Review | May 15, 2019

I guess I would call this submission a reaction to the female deacon article. (It is an inflammatory submission, intentionally - I believe it is high time we all got Mad!)

My stand is this - to women: Never ask any leadership body to give women less than equality because this is proof that even you don't value your own worth. Men never do this to themselves and women need to stop doing it. One cannot earn one's humanity, they are either born equally human to all others, or they are not, and treatment must reflect this truth.

Pentecost                                Trinity

JBK Happy Colour

  • Complex scheme, designed by Pope Francis, made fools of nuns to distract and frustrate laity who supported them
  • We will not stop pressing for change; for women deacons
  • Shades of "Theology of the body" -- SBC's #METOO problem isn't a rotten apple, it's a rotten theological tree
  • The rationality of the world: A philosophical reading of the Book of Job
  • Priests shouldn't say such things at funerals
  • The Case Against Rebuilding Notre Dame
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message:  Drawing upon the same Spirit given to the disciples in the upper room
  • Call to Action — the 'loyal left opposition' — reorganizes amid an uncertain future
  • St. Hildegard of Bingen latest 3-minute video: Blessed among us
  • Comments to the Editor
  • The church has picked up too much baggage over the centuries
  • Francis Comics
  • Comments to the Editor Form
  • RCWP Canada Website Links
  • Related Links

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RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

Drawing upon the same Spirit given to the disciples in the upper room

On the second Sunday of June 2019, the People of God celebrate the outpouring of the Spirit on those gathered in the upper room on that Pentecost Feast in Jerusalem following the Resurrection of Jesus. For them, together with all Jews, it was Shavot, a feast in remembrance of receiving the Torah as a guide for their new life in the land of promise, much as Passover was a remembrance of the deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

For the gathered disciples of Jesus, their celebration was marked with the Spirit of the Risen One coming upon them in wind and flame and filling them with with the abundance of gifts represented by the seven: knowledge, wisdom, understanding, courage, counsel, piety, wonder and awe.  They boldly proclaimed Christ Risen to all people of varied tongues, and all understood.

These gifts are ours, too.  We are to engage actively in life as it comes to us, drawing upon the same Spirit given to the disciples in the upper room.  With boldness and courage we must not be afraid to proclaim the message of the Gospel which Jesus preached. Our lives of love and service, rooted in contemplation and prayer, are to witness to the compassionate love and inclusion of God for all people, always, and everywhere, and forever.  No exceptions!

We celebrate the diversity and unity of all creation in the Cosmic Christ. The earth is filled with God's glory!

+ Jane

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

Call to Action — the 'loyal left opposition' — reorganizes amid an uncertain future

Heidi Schlumpf, ncronline.org | May 6, 2019

Editor's note: A three-part series on Call to Action, which has fought for reform in the church since the late 1970s and provided an important community for "Vatican II" Catholics during a rise of conservatism in the church hierarchy throughout the '80s and '90s.

Our first story takes a look at the challenges facing Call to Action, including an aging and declining membership and financial shortfalls. But a group of new, younger leaders are connecting with CTA through an innovative new program called Re/Generation, as our second story describes. These millennial Catholics may change the organization as they take over, however, and what such generational differences mean for the future of church reform is explored in our last story in the series.

Read More

St. Hildegard of Bingen
latest 3-minute video: Blessed among us

St. Hildegard of Bingen, renowned twelfth century abbess, had holy visions - even as a young child - that inspired her to see the cosmos and humanity as “living sparks” of God’s love. St. Hildegard of Bingen is the latest installment in Blessed Among Us Videos.  Streaming free online, these videos offer brief spiritual reflections on the lives of saints and other holy people based on the Blessed Among Us stories written by Robert Ellsberg for Give Us This Day.  Blessed Among Us videos are produced in cooperation with The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture.

Other videos depict the following:

Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Ignatius Loyola
Thea Bowman
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter
 St Teresa of Calcutta
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Oscar Romero
Dorothy Day

Click here to watch one or more videos

I’ve read the book, "Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Path" by Fr. James Mallon, referenced in the article, "The parish is dead, long live the parish!" in May 1st issue of The Review, and found him very clerical. He’s not happy about laypeople performing “priestly functions” like distributing communion.

He’s to be taken with a grain of salt. I did not appreciate his attitude about the “place” of laypeople.

[Linda Spear, Sutton, PQ is a priest member of RCWP Canada]

I would have liked to read more about the German women's call to strike. Perhaps a follow-up could be done letting us know if many women followed the call to strike and any other imformation that you can glean. I kept getting a pop-up the wouldn't let me read more than a few sentences so I don't know if there was more or not.

[Judith Pellerin, Regina, SK]

Editor's note: Some of our sources offer several articles for free, then ask you to subscribe for a fee.  Often more information can be acquired by conducting a general search on the Internet.

I wish to comment of Mary Hunt's article on Pope Francis and the ordination of women.

To quote an axiom from law, "Justice is truth in action," here are a few quotes from noted theologian Fr. Richard McBrien formerly of the University of Notre Dame:
1. Nothing in Sacred Scripture excludes the ordination of women.
2. The argument that Jesus ordained men only is false, as Jesus ordained no one to the priesthood.
3. The Canon Law Society of America and the Catholic Theological Society of America have both stated there is NO Scripture nor theological reason as to why women cannot be ordained.

Pope Francis says the "Church has spoken on this". This is not true. Some Popes have spoken on this (John Paul 11 and Benedict XVI). The Pope is NOT the Church. The People of God are the Church. WE ARE THE CHURCH!!! The hierarchy standing alone are NOT the Church.

Appropo to the ordination of women, here is a quote from Carl Jung: "Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking.

[Fred Williams, Calgary, AB]

I greatly appreciated the write-up on Margaret Dick. It was most appropriate, it honors her memory, and her life will continue to inspire. Thank you.

[Craig Van Parys
, Regina, SK]

The rationality of the world: A philosophical reading of the Book of Job

Susan Neiman, abc.net.au | April 29, 2019

I am a philosopher who believes that Western philosophy begins not with Plato, but elsewhere, and earlier, with the Book of Job. That is because I believe that the problem of evil is the central point where philosophy begins, and threatens to stop. The experience of inexplicable suffering and basest injustice forces us to ask whether our lives have meaning, or whether human existence may be deeply incomprehensible. And if that is the case, then the urge to philosophy can seem to be a simple mistake.

Put more optimistically: if the task of philosophy is to show how the world is, or can be made rational, then it must address the presence of evil in the world.

Read More of this 14-page scholarly article with pictures on the Book of Job

Priests shouldn't say such things at funerals

Jo McGowan, commonwealmagazine.org | May 6, 2019

“Many of you have probably never attended a Catholic Mass. Please do not come up for Communion. It is only for Catholics.”

Read More

The following, is from a comment I made on an 'America Magazine' article regarding the Pope telling the nuns, at the recent Superiors General meeting in Rome, that women cannot be ordained deacons because his research council had conflicting responses, and no clear unified conclusion to allow women deacons. (This submission describes what I believe was the final act, in a complex scheme, designed by Pope Francis, to make fools of the nuns in the U.S., and distract and frustrate many laity who supported them. It takes a piece of writing to describe the many twists, but I do believe it is an accurate rendition of reality.):

Comment: Last week Pope Francis made fools out of our U.S. nuns, and he fully intended to do this from the beginning of the discussion regarding women deacons. I, and many others saw this result coming from the start.

Let us go back in time a bit: Pope Francis supported an abusive, misogynistic investigation of our U.S. nuns that he did not officially end until April, 2015. However, before it ended, the issue had come to the point that many of the laity were supporting the nuns. So Pope Francis had to be careful how he treated the nuns, as there existed real concern, the majority of nuns in the U.S., even eighty percent, might break from the church. This could inflame the laity who supported the nun's cause for basic equality, and the liberty to govern themselves, with limited harassment, by our male clergy who are often quite conservative and heavy handed men.

In light of the climate, Pope Francis called some of the leading nuns to Rome, at the end of the U.S. Women's Religious Investigation, in 2016. This meeting, it became clear, Pope Francis, wanted the contents of kept secret, so that no laity could be told what was discussed, and during which he told them to keep quiet about what happened during the investigation, and about how badly they had been treated. The nuns did as told.

Now the question that remained, for the laity, is why are the nuns willing to shut up at this critical point and why won't they tell us laity what happened since we helped them? We find out the answer to this question, about 8 months to a year later, when "supposedly" to the Pope's total surprise, one of the nuns at the Superiors General meeting, in Rome, asks the pope why can't women be deacons?

Now, what the laity does not likely realize is that nothing happens, at these meetings, ever, that is not less choreographed, ahead of time, than a Broadway Musical. Which means this question was rehearsed to be asked, to the Pope, by this nun, before the meeting began, and he knew how he was going to answer it too. (This show is for the laity only).

This was likely the reward the nuns agreed to, in order to "keep quiet" approximately a year earlier. This privilege of getting credit for asking the question to Pope Francis, is what Pope Francis offered the nuns, and it may have gone something like this: If you nuns keep quiet about the abusive treatment during the investigation, I will give you the opportunity to save face with the laity, later on, next year, by making it look like you are standing up for women, by allowing you to ask for women deacons, at the next Superiors General Meeting. I will respond to that request that I am willing to have a study on the subject, and the laity will think you are courageous for asking me.

Now, the nuns probably thought Pope Francis was offering this because he was seriously considering allowing ordained women deacons anyway. However, if that were true, he would have set up a research committee right away and he didn't.

Instead, Pope Francis waited approximately two years to set up a research committee on women deacons. Also, if he meant to allow female deacon ordination, he would have filled the research committee with people who he believed could come to agreement on a "Yes" answer.

This however was not Pope Francis' plan, and likely never was, even from the meeting with the nun leadership, in 2016. Instead, Pope Francis set up the nuns. He got them to shut up, at a point in time, when their silence was pivotal, and made them wait for the laity to lose focus, or he hoped they would lose focus. Then after prompting continued from the laity, and seeing the laity still persevered on the subject of women deacons, he put together a knowingly polarized team to research the issue of female deacons so they would give contradicting results.

Pope Francis knew he could somewhat justify refusing female deacons based on the conflicting results from the committee. He also knew that he could be confident in his claim that history does not give us absolute proof, on the matter, so he could get away with not discounting those on the committee who rejected women deacons. Pope Francis hopes the laity does not realize it is impossible to absolutely prove anything from history, from two thousand years ago, especially given our own church leadership, throughout the ages, destroying much of its own documents, in efforts to hide practices it wanted to stop, like ordination of women priests, etc.

So after receiving the contradictory results from his hand picked committee on women deacon research, he states - Hey, it is not my fault women can't be deacons; it's the researchers who could not agree.

What he has not expressed to the laity, or the nuns is that he never needed the committee to agree women were ordained, in the past, as  deacons, priests, bishops, or popes, in order to ordain them now. Also, history does not preclude the possibility of women being in all of these ordained categories, in our church’s past.  A lack of concrete evidence proving something did happen does not equate to evidence that something did not happen.  Few things from 2000 years ago can be concretely proven, including the actual reality of Jesus Christ.  One must study the evidence that does exist surrounding these issues to discern what is possible and likely.  So history gives us plenty of evidence for the ordination of women, but history shouldn't be an absolute determinant in this regard.

If our church had to prove women were never ordained deacons, priests, bishops or made cardinals or popes, they couldn't. Even the Pope Joan story has some serious evidence it may indeed be true and that evidence exists even today. There have been murals and other writings that hint at women as both ordained priests and even bishops and then hidden by our church later on. There is quite good evidence of women as ordained deacons and doing the same ministries as men as deacons.

What Pope Francis has achieved that angers me most (given I care about the ordained priesthood for women, not the unnecessary permanent deaconate being given to women), is that he made fools out of both the laity and the nuns. This result of denying female deacon ordination, after coaxing the nuns to ask for it, should be considered, as perhaps, an intentional revenge play on the U.S. nuns for their promotion of progressive ideas and actions which he never liked in the first place, and never totally cleared them of in the investigation, and one of which he knew included desiring women priests.

If God never said women can't be ordained the same as men, and Jesus never taught this either, which is the case, then the default should be what did Jesus teach or command or REVEAL, on how we should treat women and all others. That default is in every Gospel, in one form or another, where Christ commands all of his disciples and apostles to treat all others the same as they wish to be treated - no exceptions are given to this command. Those who fail to follow it, or stand up for their brothers or sisters who are being kept from same treatment, are guilty of the grave sin of not loving their siblings in Christ. This sin is what Jesus considered the worst sin a person could commit, except not loving God first. In fact, in the Gospel of John, not loving your siblings in Christ, the same as self, is equated to not loving God because how can one love God but mistreat those God cares about?

So now Pope Francis goes around pretending to be a good guy who did his best for women when in fact he has made fools of our U.S. nuns, and all the laity who supported them, and their cause. Meanwhile, we lose more women continuously than protestant churches, and the misogyny, and its partnering pedophilia, teen sex abuse and sexual abuse of nuns, will just continue forward once the magnify glass dips, and everyone thinks the problems have gone away.

Sexism is sexual abuse and it damages people just like racism does. Shame on us for being fooled, and how sad these nuns appear, thanking the man who made a fool out of them, just for being allowed to sit next to him.

Are you angry yet? If not, maybe you should be!

I thank RCWP Canada for allowing opinions to be admitted and for a variety of vantage points to be expressed in The Review.

[Nora Bolcon, Pawtucket, R.I. is a frequent contributor to The Review.]

We will not stop pressing for change; for women deacons
Deborah Rose-Milavec
futurechurch.org | May 10, 2019

Yesterday, Pope Francis called for more study on the question of women deacons noting that he did not believe there was enough consensus whether women were actually ordained to the diaconate -- whether their rite was the same as the one used for male deacons.

We have already received notes of disappointment from Catholic women and men. If you are ready for women deacons in the Church, how could you not be disappointed by this equivocating?

I will not argue the evidence here. FutureChurch has been educating and advocating for women deacons for over 15 years. And Phyllis Zagano has done a beautiful job sorting out the history. Yes, women were ordained as deacons with the same rite as men in the early Church. The evidence is there for those who have eyes to see it.

Read More

Shades of "Theology of the body" -- SBC's #METOO problem isn't a rotten apple, it's a rotten theological tree

Dianna Anderson, religiondispatches.org | June 4, 2018

Paige Patterson is a prominent member of the SBC, working as president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, where he’s served for 15 years, until being removed from his position in May following the revelation that he had counseled women in his care to forgive their rapists and to stay with abusive husbands. (It should be noted, however, that Patterson leaves with a golden parachute that includes “compensation,” a title as president emeritus, and, according to the Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “the option of living as ‘theologian-in-residence’ at the seminary’s new Baptist Heritage Center.”)

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The church has picked up too much baggage over the centuries

Pat Perriello, ncronline.org | Apr 26, 2019 

It is difficult to discuss conditions in the institutional church today. I have been hesitant to even write about the challenges confronting the church because there is little that can be said in a positive vein.

There is the sex abuse crisis.

There is the cover-up by the hierarchy.

There is a dearth of forward-thinking ideas to remedy the crisis.

There is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI returning to the scene for what purpose remains unclear.

There is the increasing irrelevance of Pope Francis himself amid a significant loss of his credibility.

There is the hostility among traditionalists toward Francis, and a determination to return the church to pre-Vatican II status.

The church broke apart during the Reformation. The current plethora of Christian denominations is what we have to show for it. Is that where we are headed again? It is difficult to see how the problems and the divergence of positions can be reconciled.

In the words of a hymn that is seldom sung today: we need to "sing a new church into being."

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The Case Against Rebuilding Notre Dame

Jay Rubenstein, rewire.news | April 24, 2019

If we do rebuild it, will we keep the supersessionist imagery that was fundamental to medieval Christianity—and to anti-Semitism as well? At the very least, artists, architects, historians, theologians, and—yes—politicians ought to grapple with, rather than unthinkingly follow, the instincts of one deeply unpopular president.

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Francis, the comic strip                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive                
by Pat Marrin | May 7, 2019
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission

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