RCWP Canada Monthly Review -- February 2018 1

  • Voices of Faith Conference at the Vatican and in your living room, Thursday, March 8, 2018
  • At-One-Ment, Not Atonement
  • RCWP Canada priests, associates and communities might ask themselves the same question Benedictine Oblates did
  • Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil elects first female bishop
  • Benedictine nun, physician and feminist theologian, Teresa Forcades from Catalonia, Spain talks about her social activism
  • Bishop for RCWP Canada Joins March For Women in Sudbury, ON
  • Book on Church of Antioch provides view to alternative versions of Catholicism
  • The sin of tradition
  • Feast of St. Brigid of Kildare
  • Four free pdf downloadable books
  • Francis, the comic strip
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Bishop for RCWP Canada Joins March For Women in Sudbury, ON

Marie Bouclin, RCWP Canada | January 20, 2018

It was a lovely, January thaw day for a walk. And so I joined about a hundred other people to walk from Bell Park, across the Peace bridge on Paris Street, to Van Horne Street, about a mile and a half, then back.

I was the second last woman to join in, and was immediately taken by the arm by a woman who said, "Hi, I'm an MP." Before I had a chance to say, "I'm a bishop", we were whisked aside by a photographer.

I recognized absolutely nobody I knew until the end of the walk when I spotted France Gelinas, a local NDP provincial MP. I went to shake her hand because she has expressed to me in other circumstances that she knows what I'm up to and supports me 100%. Then I saw another woman politician I knew, Janet Gasparini. She said that though she was now retired, she came to support the younger women and their children. "I'm free to be cook, bottle-washer and occasionally baby-sit so our daughters and nieces and grand-daughters can change the world."

There were actually very few women my age walking, mostly young women carrying flags and placards or pushing strollers, walking with small children or a dog, often accompanied by a man. Everyone was friendly, cheerfully chatting as they side-stepped the many puddles. Passing motorists honked their horns, Paris street being one of the main arteries in Sudbury.

We may not get much publicity, but the solidarity was palpable. Oh, the MP at the beginning turned out to be Carol Hughes, deputy speaker of the House of Commons. She asked me who I was walking for. I said, "Oh, the half billion or so 'invisible' women in the Roman Catholic church." She got it. But actually I was praying for all the women I've met over the years who have been exploited, assaulted, harassed and dismissed by a member of the RC clergy.

Book on Church of Antioch provides view to alternative versions of Catholicism

Timothy Kelly, NCR | July 19, 2017

Though they live in the shadow of the nation's largest religion, thousands of practicing Catholics in the United States do not affiliate with Rome or the Orthodox churches. Instead, they participate in versions of Catholicism that offer clear alternatives to what they understand to be Roman Catholicism's too-liberal or too-conservative practices. Do these independent Catholic churches constitute viable options for those Catholics who seem increasingly disenchanted with the institutional church?

Julie Byrne, holder of a chair in Catholic Studies at Hofstra University, estimates that these "independent Catholics" may number about a million, or, she notes in other places, perhaps half that. Some of these belong to versions of Catholicism that are far more conservative than the Roman church, but others belong to the much more liberal bodies upon which Byrne focuses The Other Catholics.

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The sin of tradition

BenetVision - The Works of Joan Chittister | January 22, 2018

January 23 is the birth date of Venerable Mary Ward (1585-1645), founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her idea to found an order of women that was nonenclosed and free of Episcopal jurisdiction led to persecution and suppression by church authorities. The following is an excerpt from an article on Mary Ward by Joan Chittister that appeared in The Way:Summer 1985.

Mary Ward understood her opposition well. She knew that men considered them radicals, “new beginners of a course never thought of before.” And through it all she persisted. Through the local investigations and complaints, through the accusations and disapproval, through the examinations by the Congregation of Cardinals, through the suppression of the Order, through the house arrest in the convent of Angers. So strong was her faith that women, too, were created in the image of God and that women were no lesser creatures than men that she laid down her own life to release the lives and gifts of other women.
. . .

The answers given to women about the strictures on their gifts when all other answers, intellectual and biological and social, have been given the lie, has always been “tradition.” But the real issue for our time is why is this the tradition?

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Feast of St. Brigid of Kildare

Joan Chittister, Vision and Viewpoint | February 1, 2018

February 1st marks the feast of Brigid of Kildare, an early Irish saint and a patron of Ireland.

Brigid was born into slavery and, as a child, was known for her extreme charity to those in need, even giving the king’s jeweled sword to a beggar.

Brigid then became a nun—The Life of Brigid states that the bishop performing her consecration went into a trance and read the prayers that made her a bishop, too—and she brought monastic life to Ireland, founding the monastic city of Kildare.

She established a dual monastery for women and men, and is credited with many miracles, including turning water into beer, multiplying food, healing the sick, controlling the weather, and saving women in distress.

She is the patron of scholars, nuns, midwives, and children of abusive parents.

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Free pdf downloadable books:

195 Reasons Why Women Should Be Ordained

Women Priests -- Following the Call

My Journey From Silence To Solidarity

Catholic Women And Holy Orders: The Time Is Now

Voices of Faith Conference at the Vatican and in your living room, Thursday, March 8, 2018
Editor, RCWP Canada Monthly Review | February 1, 2018

According to their website, "On International Women’s Day 2018, March 8, 2018, Voices of Faith features at the heart of the Vatican young women (and men) who bring their faith, their questions, their hopes and dreams to the leaders of our church. "

Ahead of the Synod of Bishops on Youth in October 2018, Pope Francis has made it clear that he wants to listen to the voices of young people.

At the moment, the Voices of Faith website seems a bit ambiguous about whether the conference is live streamed, but the last four conferences were indeed live streamed.  So this year's conference is also.  Registering at their website is for obtaining a ticket and being present in person at the Vatican.

No doubt most will participate via live streaming on a computer, tablet or smart phone.  The editor of RCWP Canada Monthly Review has requested and received by email
clarification on live streaming, as follows:

Live Stream link
on March 8th

Women's ordination was a topic not allowed in the past four conferences.  There is a strong likelihood that ordination of women will be discussed this year, given the speakers involved who have spoken eloquently and forcefully about opening all ministries in the Church to women: Tina Beattie, Mary McAleese, and Zuzanna Radzik.  More information about each of these women is given below.  Also, Deb Rose-Milevec, Director of FutureChurch is now a board member of Voices of Faith.

The event will be managed by:  

Chantal Götz

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson
Mary McAleese

Tina Beattie

Other speakers include:

Nicole Sotelo (USA)
Ssenfuka Joanita Warry (Uganda)
Zuzanna Radzik (Poland)
Joana Gomes (Portugal)
Father Luke Hansen (USA)
Alina Oehler (Germany)
Audrey Dmello (India)
Elisa Orbananos Hernando (Spain)

For a report on last year's Voices of Faith Conference, by Kate McIlwee of Women's Ordination Conference, see:  “Stirring the Waters” and still thirsty — Voices of Faith 2017

At-One-Ment, Not Atonement

Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation | January 21, 2018
The common reading of the Bible is that Jesus “died for our sins”—either to pay a debt to the devil (common in the first millennium) or to pay a debt to God (proposed by Anselm of Canterbury, 1033-1109). Franciscan philosopher and theologian John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) agreed with neither of these understandings.

Duns Scotus was not guided by the Temple language of debt, atonement, or blood sacrifice (understandably used by the Gospel writers and by Paul). He was inspired by the cosmic hymns in the first chapters of Colossians and Ephesians and the Prologue to John’s Gospel (1:1-18) and gave a theological and philosophical base to St. Francis’ deep intuitions of God’s love. While the Church has not rejected the Franciscan position, it has been a minority view.

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RCWP Canada priests, associates and communities might ask themselves the same question Benedictine Oblates did

Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter | January 9, 2018

The question of the day is a simple one but potentially life-changing one: The question is, why would anyone even bother to get attached to a Benedictine monastery? What is the purpose of doing something like that?

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Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil elects first female bishop

Rosalind Hughes, Episcopal Cafe | January 23, 2018

The Convention of the Anglican Diocese of the Amazon made history in the life of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil over the weekend, electing the church’s first female bishop, the Revd Canon Marinez Bassotto.

According to its news agency, the election of Canon Bassotto takes place more than thirty years after the first ordinations of women in the IEAB in 1985. Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva sent a message from Africa, where he is travelling, describing winds of change blowing through the church, and commending the election as “a decisive step towards gender equality”.

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Benedictine nun, physician and feminist theologian, Teresa Forcades from Catalonia, Spain talks about her social activism

Nancy Fornasiero, UCObserver | October 2017
. . .

Q How do you reconcile being a feminist with your active role in the Catholic Church, an undeniably patriarchal institution?

A My foundational experience — whatever it was that happened to me — this is why I am where I am. It has nothing to do with the church being patriarchal or not. It’s simply about a human being who was touched by God.

If you were to ask me, “Are you sure it was God calling you?” I would say, “Yes, I am existentially sure.” But my intellect tells me I could be deceiving myself. It might have been a psychological need that just developed into this idea. Sometimes I imagine that when I go to the final judgment and I’m face to face with Jesus, he might say, “No, Teresa. It wasn’t me.” But I will tell him, “Okay. Fair enough. You know better, but I thought it was you. And that was enough for me to give my life to this.” I think he would like this answer.

Q I think he would too. But what about this question of patriarchy?

A I do call my church structurally misogynist. It’s not just a couple of priests here and there or a particular bunch of cardinals. The whole structure needs to be undone. Fully. Because it’s based on clericalism, and clericalism is based on ordination, and only males can be ordained and access the places where decisions are made. I find this completely sinful.

Q Are you optimistic that there could be changes to this structure in the future?

A I hope that eventually there will be, but I have no clue. I’ve studied theology and the history of the church — just when you think the Holy Spirit is going to break through, suddenly something happens and you find out — oh wait! Only a thousand more years. So who knows? Besides, this question is not what motivates me.

Q What does motivate you?

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I always enjoy receiving the Monthly Review though I don't always have time to read all the articles. In this Monthly Review (January 2018 2), I was particularly touched by Do You Love Me? A homily for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers).


Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | January 25, 2018
National Catholic Reporter

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