African Jesuit Fr. Orobator quests for women's inclusion in church structures

Joshua J. McElwee  |  Dec. 19, 2016

When theologians or others raise concerns about the exclusion of women from decision-making roles in the Catholic church, critics often say such concerns only come from a certain subset of the Western faith community. They say those in places like Africa, where the church is burgeoning, have other worries.
Yet one of the most trenchant voices in recent years for the full inclusion of women in Catholic ministry has been a Nigerian Jesuit theologian and priest. In 2012, for example, he came to the premier annual theological conference in the U.S. with an unsparing message.

Discrimination against women within the Catholic community is so manifest, said the priest, that the church "totters on the brink of compromising its self-identity as the basic sacrament of salvation."

Read More

Statement of RCWP Canada National Leadership Circle to Pope Francis' "Never, never . . . In that direction" assertion

Sara Butler, MSBT / Robert J. Egan, SJ Debate on the Ordination of Women

Women Priests -- Answering the Call


See preface from the book by Catherine Cavanagh -- click here

Editor's note:  The author has given permission to download for free the complete 48 page booklet and read on your computer or e-reader

Click here for pdf format of Women Priests -- Following the Call

My Journey From Silence to Solidarity

This book available for free as a pdf file downloaded here.


On May 12, 2016 Pope Francis  announced that he will create a commission to study the possibility of restoring the tradition of ordaining women deacons in the Catholic Church.

Follow this special section to stay up to date and get insights and commentary on developments from many news sources.

  Information on how to donate to RCWP Canada

RCWP Canada on facebook:

index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind

Comments on any article on this web site may be addressed to the editor at:

Christmas:  Jesus is for real   

“The Virgin Mary had a baby boy and they say that His name is Jesus!”

The time is upon us when songs like this will soon fill the air, once more proclaiming  ‘Peace on earth ' while the struggles continue.

Mary muses, “Where have the years gone?  Allow me to climb off my pedestal and reminisce with you awhile.”

It seems like only yesterday that I was fifteen and fighting a ‘flu bug’. Mornings were the worst and upchucking in an out-house was no pleasant way to start the day. After two weeks of no improvement I had to break the news that no mother wants to hear from her single, teen-age daughter: “Mom, I think I’m pregnant!”

You’ve heard many stories about how this came to be….some claim mythical, some claim metaphorical, some claim fact. And so it would be pointless for me to divulge family information for even then some would accept it and others not. Let it suffice to say that indeed I was pregnant….and single, not an acceptable situation in that day and time. Stoning would have been my demise had it not been for Joe….good, kind, compassionate, loyal and loving Joe. Oh yes, we were engaged to be married, but considering the events that resulted in my pregnancy, I never dreamed that he would honour that commitment. Yet he did.

It wasn’t an easy gestational journey. It took time and prayer to deal with all the emotional stuff around the baby’s conception. The morning sickness continued for months, and try riding a donkey when you’re full term and feel ready to explode!

I spent a lot of time reflecting, trying to make sense out of this strange twist in my life. Bit by bit I came to see that God was calling me to something much bigger than I could have ever imagined or understood. I had to learn to trust the unknown. And by the way, at that point I still didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl. Amniocentesis had not yet been developed!  And the stories hadn’t yet been written!

Those nativity settings are so peaceful and serene, but let me tell you, my labour was hard…..40 hours! (Just kidding; I knew that number would grab your attention!) No picnic, nonetheless, but finally  that ‘sweet little Jesus boy’ was born, weighing in at 7 lb. even! (another good Biblical number!) 

I had become the mother of a beautiful baby boy.

He was wrinkled and red and cried like every other child who makes the journey from womb to the world. Eighty or ninety years later when the stories would be written they left this and a whole lot out. So I’ll fill you in on just a little.

My baby boy started sleeping through the night at three months for which I was very grateful. He took his first step and spoke his first word at 14 months; you guessed it…Abba.

He was a good natured little fellow and  acquired friends easily. That may have been because he made such an effort to include everyone in the activities or games, even if it meant stretching or changing the rules a bit to do so. He liked to be outdoors whenever possible, even sleeping under the stars when he grew older. He loved to read and especially enjoyed the Torah. He once mentioned that he wished I had named him Micah. (His least favourite book was Leviticus!)

He did well in his studies but found math tedious…sometimes getting only a C grade. He thought people make too much about numbers and can get trapped by  them. It’s hard to live in the moment when one is concerned about how long? how much? how many?

Spending time in the temple was a special highlight…learning from and listening to the elders. Of course, you know that story…how we lost him…….and Joe and I with no way to text or call!

He and his cousin John were close friends as well. Both seemed to have an uncanny pre-occupation with achieving God’s dream for the world…and each had a following of folks dedicated to the same cause.

The rest is history..we all know how that part of the story ends….martyrdom for the cause of justice, equality and inclusivity.  My son was faithful to his mission.

But back to the beginning… the pedestal. I really would like to know who put me up there in the first place.  I’ve heard something about it being because of my ‘Yes’ to God.

My ‘yes’  was to birthing Jesus into this world. Countless others say ‘yes’ to God’s Spirit every day and continue to bring His presence and message of hope to their little corner of the world.  Some, like my Boy, have given their lives for the 'cause'. Some women (and men) are having their ‘yes-es’ squelched and threatened by the very powers  Jesus spoke against.

And you wonder: “Will we ever really get it? Will we ever have peace ?”

I don’t know if we will ever have the absence of conflict, but I do believe that all our ‘yes-es' together are making a difference.  I’m willing to walk with you.

If you ever need to chat about this further you can always find me by the pedestal, at the base…….. just a little to the left!

- Mary, Mother of Jesus
(through the Spirit led imagination of Jacklynne Guimond, Fort Frances, ON)

Another voice in the wilderness

Matthew -- Attributed to Mary Mother of Jesus -- Adapted from The Message

I’m bursting with God-news;
    I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
    I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
    the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
God's mercy flows in wave after wave
    on those who are in awe before God.
God bared God's arm and showed God's strength,
    scattered the bluffing braggarts.
God knocked tyrants off their high horses,
    pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
    the callous rich were left out in the cold.
God embraced God's chosen child, Israel;
    God remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what God promised,
    beginning with Abraham and Sarah right up to now.

Shaping the Conversation on Pope Francis and Who Can be Priests

DignityUSA's response to the Vatican's December 8, 2016 document "The Gift of the Priestly Vocation," which reiterated 2005 exclusions of gay men from seminaries, has been picked up by media outlets from the National Catholic Reporter to Breitbart News. The Advocate also featured an op ed from DignityUSA entitled "What Can Queer People Expect from Pope Francis? Not Much." Read it here. Below are links to some of the outlets that amplified our perspective on this very problematic document.

Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | December 13, 2016
National Catholic Reporter

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

Home| About Us | Contact Us | ©2016 RCWP Canada