RCWP Canada Monthly Review -- September 15, 2018

  • Be Careful How You Live
  • Linda Spear vivait à Sutton depuis plusieurs années lorsqu’elle a été ordonnée prêtre, par l’entremise de l’association RCWP
  • Dancing My Life, Dancing My God
  • Binding The Strong Man
  • International Catholic Reform Network gather near Bratislava, Slovakia to hear from former Czechoslovak underground church
  • Eucharist is an encounter of the heart, knowing Presence through our available presence
  • Women and LGBTQ people must find solidarity in struggle for a just church
  • Comments to the Editor
  • To be church together
  • As a Catholic priest, I did the unspeakable. I called for the ordination of women in the church
  • Advocates of women priests cite scandals to make their case
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message
  • What the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and early church thought about God's gender
  • Soeur Nicole Jetté, féministe tant qu’il le faudra
  • Catholic Women Called - Jane Kryzanowski
  • Free pdf down loadable books
  • Ecclesiastical structures established during the Council of Trent still govern the church
  • Trinity School of Religion hosted the Wijngaards Institute panel discussion on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland
  • Why I'm not leaving the Catholic Church
  • New research shows that women’s ordination boosts trust and commitment among some worshippers
  • Francis, the comic strip

index site map advanced
search engine by freefind


RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

[An email message of clarification sent to an online news reporter]

Dear Chelsea,

Thank you for the spin-off article (CBC News, July 8, 2018) from Shauna Power's interview with me yesterday.  We appreciate the additional coverage for sure.

I'd like to make four observations mostly about the choice of words and phrases that limp or are inadequate in expressing the reality of our movement or my personal experience.  There may not be anything you can do, or care to do, with this article but perhaps they would be helpful to you in future efforts.  These comments are brief. I would be happy to discuss them in further detail should you wish.

I have copied the line and underlined the word/phrase that drew my attention.

1. Meet the Regina woman about to be ordained as bishop of a church that defies Catholic doctrine

Roman Catholic Womenpriests (preferably Women Priests) is a movement within the Roman Catholic Church not a separate church as this implies.  We love the Church, we are not defying it.   Our actions are contrary to a church rule, not doctrine.  Canon 1024 says only a male can be ordained.  This is a man made rule which can be changed.  Our actions are a call to do just that - to recognizes that men and women are created equal by God; that women receive the same baptism as men and the same call to be disciples of Jesus; that the call to ordination is from God and that God can and does call women to serve the church as priests.

To label women as “defiant” casts a negative light on a struggle for justice.  It makes us look evil.  Instead, we name the evils of sexism and misogyny that are behind the discrimination and the call for justice.

2. RCWP Canada is a grassroots women's ministry that ordains women priests on the basis that the Roman Catholic church currently discriminates against women.

Our ordination is based our call from God to serve God's people, especially those who are marginalized by church and society.  It is true the church discriminates against women and we object to that, but it is hardly the basis of our ministry. 

3. But her path to becoming the new Canadian bishop has been a long and emotional one because, for decades, she bottled up what she describes as a "calling by God" to become a priest.

The “because” here is not the bottling up, but the refusal of the church to acknowledge that God can and does call women to be priests, that my call is real, that my call is true.  This is not a pretend call as the “calling by God” in quotes implies. 

4. Kryzanowski was in elementary school the first time she discovered that the priesthood she coveted was unattainable to women within the traditional Roman Catholic church.

“Coveted” is an unfortunate word here because of its negative connotation as if the call to priesthood were some covert operation or an entitlement.  It was a dream, a hope, a desire. Yes, all of those.  But not a sense of entitlement or some evil motivation.

I trust this will be taken in the spirit intended, not a personal criticism of you or your work.  It would be gratifying to have journalists learn more about our movement and be professional advocates with us and for us. 

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

What the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and early church thought about God's gender -- a scholarly study with links to other sources

David Wheeler-Reed, Religion News Service |  Aug 3, 2018

Perhaps one of the most remarkable things ever said about God in the Hebrew Bible occurs in Exodus 3 when Moses first encounters the deity and asks for its name. In verse 14, God responds, “I am who I am,” which is simply a mixture of “to be” verbs in Hebrew without any specific reference to gender. If anything, the book of Exodus is clear that God is simply “being,” which echoes later Christian doctrine that God is spirit.

In fact, the personal name of God, Yahweh, which is revealed to Moses in Exodus 3, is a remarkable combination of both female and male grammatical endings. The first part of God’s name in Hebrew, “Yah,” is feminine, and the last part, “weh,” is masculine. In light of Exodus 3, the feminist theologian Mary Daly asks, “Why must ‘God’ be a noun? Why not a verb – the most active and dynamic of all.”

Read More

Soeur Nicole Jetté, féministe tant qu’il le faudra.  Cette religieuse demandé qu’à sa mort, aucune célébration eucharistique ne soit donnée, à moins que celle-ci puisse être célébrée par une femme

Caroline Montpetit, Le Devoir | 1 août 2018

Lorsqu’elle nous reçoit chez elle, soeur Nicole Jetté porte un macaron sur lequel est inscrit : « Féministe tant qu’il le faudra ».

Elle ne pourrait mieux dire. Cette religieuse de la Congrégation des auxiliaires des âmes du purgatoire a en effet demandé qu’à sa mort, aucune célébration eucharistique ne soit donnée, à moins que celle-ci puisse être célébrée par une femme. Cela signifie que si, comme c’est le cas actuellement, le partage de l’eucharistie chrétienne reconnue par l’Église ne peut se donner que par un prêtre ordonné, une telle célébration n’aura pas lieu.

C’est sans doute sa façon à elle de militer pour une place plus équitable pour les femmes dans l’Église.

Il faut dire que soeur Jetté a l’habitude de défendre les marginalisés, avec une approche qui lui est toute personnelle.

Lire la suite

Catholic Women Called -Jane Kryzanowski

Catholic Women Called, Youtube video | July 27, 2018

Jane Kryzanowski, who was ordained the second bishop for Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada on July 21, 2018 shares how her call to priesthood is a deeply true and real invitation to be the person of Christ to people who are marginalized.

Jane Kryzanowski is bishop for RCWP Canada and  servant priest of Mary of Magdala Inclusive Catholic Community, Regina, SK.]

Free pdf downloadable books and book-length articles:

195 Reasons Why Women Should Be Ordained
       by Editor, RCWP Canada Monthly Review
Women Priests -- Answering the Call
      by Catherine Cavanaugh

Gaudete et Exsultate
     by Pope Francis

Why Women Should Be Priests
     by Roy Bourgeois

Ecclesiastical structures established during the Council of Trent still govern the church

Massimo Faggioli, commonwealmagazine.org | August 23, 2018

The approach taken by traditionalists, starting as it does with Vatican II, tends to ignore the long history of institutions that presided over the church’s failure to deal with clerical sex abuse. To understand their role in the current crisis, one must look at three key elements that made possible the “Catholic reform” that began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563), elements that Vatican II did not change as much as we tend to think: the formation of priests at seminaries, the diocesan structure based on parish priest and bishop, and the role of the laity.
. . .
This new phase of the clerical sex-abuse crisis is more a crisis of the Tridentine church than of the Vatican II Church, because the church in which that abuse took place is, in terms of its institutional structure, still essentially Tridentine.

Read More

Trinity School of Religion hosted the Wijngaards Institute panel discussion on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland

Editor, RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review | September 15, 2018

Catholic theologians and campaigners discussed the topics below and the people excluded from the World Meeting of the Families in Dublin on Monday, August 20, 2018 at Trinity School of Religion, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

The panel addressed the controversial teachings and practices that have gone unchanged and unchallenged, including:
  • the marginalization of women
  • the vilification of LGBT Catholics
  • the ongoing silencing of priests and theologians
  • the harm caused by the papal ban on contraception
  • the abuse scandal

The Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research is a think tank dedicated to academic research and education that examines and explores church teachings and aims to bring about reform from within the Catholic Church. The Institute coordinates reports by theologians and academics from all disciplines to question the church's teaching where it is based on prejudice and the misinterpretation of texts. We challenge church policy where it constitutes injustice and causes harm.

[Contact: www.wijngaardsinstitute.com or miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com]

Why I'm not leaving the Catholic Church

John Gehring, ncronline.org | Aug 24, 2018

My faith is more naturally compared to the complicated bonds of family and tribe. I've lost trust in some bishops and cardinals. I still believe in the people of God.

Read More

New research shows that women’s ordination boosts trust and commitment among some worshippers

Benjamin Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin, religionnews.com | June 29, 2018

Those who advocate for greater diversity in the leadership of religious congregations argue that diversity is important because it has an empowering effect on those who are traditionally underrepresented. The argument goes that when a religious leader shares an important group identity with worshippers, those worshippers will be more likely to believe that the leader is responsive to their needs. This, in turn, can result in higher motivation to be active in the life of their congregation.

Up until recently, however, no one had examined whether this is the case with women’s ordination in American congregations. In our new book, She Preached the Word: Women’s Ordination in Modern America (Oxford University Press), we directly tackle this question.

Read More


Be Careful How You Live:  To take Jesus into ourselves, is to take also Jesus’ love of God’s creation into ourselves and our actions should reflect our love

Victoria Marie, Wild Lectionary | August 16, 2018

There is a disconnect between my Roman Catholic tradition’s interpretation of today’s gospel (20th Sunday in Ordinary Time) and an interpretation that would be more indicative of the inclusive holistic teachings of Jesus. I think the second reading from Ephesians gives us an insight to the gospel, including today’s passage.

"Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:15-18)

So when Jesus says, those who eat his flesh and drink his blood have eternal life and that his flesh is true food and his blood is true drink,
 perhaps Jesus is saying if you internalize what I have taught you, you live in me and I live in you. Could it be that what we ritualize in our liturgies is meant to signify our commitment to drink in the teachings and practice the commandments that Jesus gave to us.

“Because the days are evil,” there are ample opportunities for us to practice the commandment to love our neighbour. Today, I want to bring attention to justice for our non-human neighbours. Any of us who have pets know, these animals are beloved members of our families. We need to extend that care and concern to all animals and creatures. Governments on both sides of the Canada/US border are bowing to the demands of money rather than the demands of environmental justice or the common good.

In the United States, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which has been in place for nearly fifty years, aims to protect species that are under serious threat from habitat loss, climate change, overhunting or other challenges. Under the ESA, species are scientifically evaluated to determine if they are in jeopardy, and, if so, “reasonable and prudent” measures are instituted to limit the causes of that jeopardy. Few of the protected species have been restored to a healthy status but 99% of species listed as endangered have been saved from extinction. “The [Trump] administration and the [U.S.] Congress want to change ESA rules so that political officials evaluate evidence, not scientists, and economic considerations are given greater weight in deciding whether to save a species.”

In Canada, the scales of justice are unbelievably skewed in favour of corporate impunity. Kinder Morgan, a Texas energy giant that specializes in owning and controlling oil and gas pipelines and terminals, was charged with 4 separate infractions of the Water Sustainability Act after illegally tampering with salmon spawning by placing snow fencing in salmon spawning streams. Kinder Morgan was recently cited several times by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for pile driving in Burrard Inlet at levels much louder than those permitted during construction and failing to report the violations as required at the time. Preservation of the acoustic environment has become critical for Southern resident orca whales. On the other hand, the Coast Protectors, who engage in non-violent civil disobedience protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project, now face up to $5,000 each in fines. It is a worrying time when a law-breaking corporation is fined $920 and an individual engaging in non-violent civil disobedience is fined $5,000.

You may ask, what has all this environmental and political stuff to do with the gospel when there’s so much injustice towards people happening? A lot, is the answer. First, species injustice is not seen as newsworthy because current news reporting tends to favour sensational news over important news.  Secondly, thank to social media, there is an awareness of abuses that are taking place against immigrants of colour, indigenous people and people of colour, in general. But most importantly, in the economy of the gospel, whatever we do to the least, we do to Christ himself. Jesus tells us that God cares about the ‘lilies of the field’ and the ‘birds of the air’. If these are important to God, they should be important to us. Please note, I’m not saying one is more important than the other. I’m saying God’s love makes us one—human, animal, plant, water, stone—all loved by God. Each one is a part of the whole that is Creation. Injustice towards one part impacts the whole.

To take Jesus into ourselves, is to take also Jesus’ love of God’s creation into ourselves and our actions should reflect our love. Wherever we see injustice, part of our Eucharistic living is to work to see that justice is restored or established. "This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." (John 6:58)  If we take in (eat) the Living Word of God and drink in the Spirit of Jesus teachings, we become part of the circle of love and life that abides with the Source of All being, the Eternal Word and the Holy Spirit.

[Victoria Marie is is co-founder of the Vancouver Catholic Worker, on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She is a priest, spiritual director, and pastor of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Roman Catholic Women Church Community and author of Transforming Addiction: The role of spirituality in learning recovery from addiction (Scholars Press, 2014). This reflection is a shared or dialogue homily where Vikki gives a short “homily starter” then those present offer their reflections. Vikki was arrested on May 18 in front of the Kinder Morgan tank facility and goes to trial in November.]

Linda Spear vivait à Sutton depuis plusieurs années lorsqu’elle a été ordonnée prêtre, par l’entremise de l’association RCWP.   J’aime être une catholique parce que nous avons une tradition merveilleuse dans le domaine du travail de bienfaisance.

Caroline Montpetit, Le Devoir | 20 août 2018

À l’âge de quatre ans, Linda Spear rêvait d’être prêtre. Soixante-dix ans plus tard, elle a finalement réalisé son rêve, mais au prix de son excommunication de l’Église catholique.

Linda Spear, qui a été élevée à Winnipeg par une mère catholique et un père protestant, me reçoit dans la maison du Sutton où elle habite depuis plusieurs années.

Dans quelques jours, elle s’envolera pour l’Allemagne, où elle rejoindra plusieurs représentantes de l’association Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP), qui réunit plus de deux cents femmes prêtres partout dans le monde.

Lire la suite

Judith Pellerin's Dancing My Life, Dancing My God uses the metaphor of dance to describe how life can be lived joyously and with fulfillment.  The concept of dance as prayer, as communication between self and God, is introduced in an engaging and accepting way for those seeking to discover deeper meaning in their communion with the Divine. 
Balanceing information on the history of dance as Spirit-led communication with more personal anecdotes of the meaning of dance for people today, Dancing My Life, Dancing My God offers a starting place for discussion and discovery of dancing a Spirit-filled life.

[Judith Pellerin, Regina, SK. has given permission to serialize her book.  Click here to read up to and including Chapter 4.]


Radical Discipleship, radicaldiscipleship.net | Ordinary Time, 2018, Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary

As we transition into the summer months of Ordinary Time, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Binding The Strong Man, Ched Myers’ extraordinary political reading of Mark’s Gospel

For each Sunday of Ordinary Time, RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review  posts links to Myers' comments.]

International Catholic Reform Network gather near Bratislava, Slovakia to hear from former Czechoslovak underground church about positive resistance. Tribute paid to Bishop Felix Davidek who ordained married men and women

ICRN press release | June 16, 2018

Fifty Catholics from 18 countries and 4 continents gathered near Bratislava, Slovakia from June 11 – 15, 2018.  Formed as the International Catholic Reform Network (icrn.info) in 2013, the participants of this year’s conference learned from members of the former Czechoslovak Underground Church about positive resistance.

The group was inspired by the testimonials of the people who endured severe oppression under the communist regime of that time.

“We value the courageous acts of Bishop Davidek and others who recognized the pastoral need to bring the sacraments to communities of faith,” said Peter Krizan of the group ok21 – Society for Open Christianity for the 21st Century. “We need to endure and be vigilant, so that we do not miss 21st Century’s Pentecost,” Krizan added.

Read More

Eucharist is an encounter of the heart, knowing Presence through our available presence

Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation | July 24, 2018

All my life as a Catholic, I have held the orthodox belief that the “Real Presence” of Christ is communicated in the bread and wine of the sacred meal (rather shockingly taught by Jesus in John 6:35-58). This is not a magical idea, but simply the mystery of incarnation taken to its logical conclusion—from creation itself, uniquely to Jesus’ body, to the human Body of Christ that we all are, and then to the very elements from the earth and human hands like bread and wine to serve as food for the journey. Why believe the universal Presence is “Real” if it is not also real in one concrete ordinary spot? (We are meant to struggle with this realization, as we see in John 6:60-66.)

Read More

Women and LGBTQ people must find solidarity in struggle for a just church

Jamie Manson, ncronline.org | June 25, 2018

In June 2017, when Jesuit Fr. James Martin was promoting his then-newly published book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity, one of many interviews he offered was with Kaya Oakes, published on the website Religion Dispatches.

Oakes asked Martin whether he believed there is "a common struggle in the church between women and LGBT people." Martin said that while there is an "interesting parallel" between the issues, ultimately "that analogy fails, because LGBT people are the most marginalized people in the church today. And even though many women feel marginalized, you still have conferences at the Vatican on women, or Women's Day at the Vatican. You don't have an LGBT Day at the Vatican."

Read More


In gratitude for the two articles, "female disciples wiped from history" and "Roman burial art." (RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review, September 1, 2018) Both appear to be academically valid, validate women leadership, and demonstrate that history is almost always told by the vantage point of the "winners" - in this case, men. "The one who tells the story rules the people," and for too long, our hearts and minds have been ruled by a stultifying and limited patriarchal perspective. It's important to uncover women "Christian" history, as it has the potential to empower, inspire, broaden, embolden and align our spirits and our movement to Jesus of Nazareth's egalitarian and just vision for our world.

[Craig Van Parys, Regina, SK]

Thanks very much to the international bishops for their statement (RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review, September 1, 2018).
What I miss here, as in so much of the commentary, is a call to investigate the deeper causes of clergy sexual abuse of children and vulnerable persons.  I am convinced that some deep taproot underlies not only the systematic sexual abuse of persons considered weak or inferior, but also how women's bodies and women's moral agency in regard to their own bodies never entered into Catholic moral theology.  And then there's the powerful fear of women's bodies at the altar, touching holy things and speaking holy words.  Somehow it's all connected.  The abuse didn't just emerge from nowhere.
[Concerned Catholic, Ottawa, ON]

Great job on the news.  I noticed that the posts from Ched Myers will end at the 21st Sunday of Ordinary time.  Will you be able to post the links as Ordinary time continues? At first I thought that he was publishing excerpts from either BINDING THE STRONG MAN or SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN. But as I looked at a number of his postings, they seem to be originals (with many connections to the BINDING THE STRONG MAN). Keep up the good work.

[David Jackson, Edinburg, TX]

Editors note:  As far as we can tell, Ched Myers comments will continue for most of Ordinary Time.

The article concerning the removal of female disciples from Christianity (RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review, September 1, 2018) brought to my attention the biblical historians, Taylor and Bond. Their observations are fascinating and such research challenges long held beliefs. I was particularly impressed by the concept of "duo duo", whereby female and male disciples worked and travelled together spreading Jesus's word and healings. Fascinating stuff.

[Carol Cote, Ottawa ON]

The article by Wayne Holst and the RCWP Ordination (RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review, September 1, 2018) was so on target, and though I was present at the ordination, I could not have said it any better than this Lutheran Pastor. That is an open-minded Christian and one who is guided by the Holy Spirit.

[Fred Williams, Calgary AB]

To be church together

Joan Chittister, Benetvision | August 21, 2018

Joan Chittister began writing about the issue of sexual abuse in 2002. In light of the recent release of the Grand Jury Report on Sexual Abuse of Children within Six Dioceses of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, we have excerpted from two of her articles that dealt with the issue.

I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve been overlooking the real meaning, the ultimate impact, of two of the most powerful lines of scripture: “And a little child shall lead them” or, alternatively, “Let the little ones come unto me.” Pedophilia, the abuse of children, has finally unmasked for all to see the operational principles of an organization that has been able for years to ignore, reject-- even disdain--the cries of multiple other groups of the ignored and abused.

Read More

As a Catholic priest, I did the unspeakable. I called for the ordination of women in the church

Roy Bourgeois, triblive.com |  August 23, 2018

As a Catholic priest, I did the unspeakable. I called for the ordination of women in the church. The Vatican was swift in its response. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed me that I was “causing grave scandal” in the church and that I had 30 days to recant my public support for the ordination of women or I would be expelled from the priesthood.

I told the Vatican that this was not possible.

Read More

Advocates of women priests cite scandals to make their case

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS |  August 23, 2018 
Advocates of ordaining women as Roman Catholic priests are citing the church's unfolding sex abuse scandals as powerful arguments for their cause, while acknowledging the high unlikelihood of achieving their goal anytime soon.

Even with extensive grassroots support for letting women become priests, Pope Francis and the Vatican's male-dominated hierarchy have stressed repeatedly that a men-only priesthood is a divine mandate that cannot be changed

Read More


About Us  | HerstoryArchives | Member Reports | A/V | LiturgyPhoto Gallery |
Links| Book Reviews |
Ordinations | Eucharistic Communities
| Homilies | Francis Comic Strip Archive | Donate | Facebook | Contact Us 
Bible | Catechism of the Catholic Church | Code of Canon Law | Vatican II Documents | Vatican II Voice of the Church
Salt + Light Television | Sunday Liturgy Preparation | Daily Bread | National Catholic Reporter
| Mother Pelican |
Catholic Women Preach
Are you called to be a priest?

Home| About Us | Contact Us | ©2018 RCWP Canada