Promoting a renewed ordained ministry in a renewed Roman Catholic Church

February 15, 2019

Worldwide Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement Sends Letter to Members of the Planning Committee for the Clerical Sex Abuse Summit Called by Pope Francis at Vatican on Feb. 21-24, 2019

25 January 2019

To Members of the Planning Committee for the Clerical Sex Abuse Conference called by Pope Francis:
Reverend Hans Zollner, Germany                 
Cardinal Blase Cupich, Chicago, U.S.A.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Mumbai, India
Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, Malta

The ongoing worldwide scandal of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up dramatically affects all of God's people. Sexual abuse of any kind is a crime which must be reported and dealt with by civil authorities so that justice can truly be served.  Healing the spiritual wounds suffered by victims of abuse requires that Church authorities listen with the heart of Christ if the Church is to heal this wound to the Body of Christ.  Pope Francis has responded by convening a meeting of the heads of bishops' national conferences in February. You are tasked with preparing for this meeting. We hope you will consider the following observations and recommendations.

Pope Francis has stated, “To say 'no' to abuse is to say an emphatic 'no' to all forms of clericalism.” (Letter to the People of God, par. 2.4)  We agree that clericalism is a key issue because it maintains the Church's clergy/lay structure, which is seriously flawed since it reserves decision-making to a small minority of unmarried men.  Unfortunately, they are more akin to a secular pyramidal corporation rather than a college of Apostles whose mission is to teach, govern and sanctify through sacrament and example, the whole People of God.  Real change against abuse must start with essential change to the Church's clergy/lay structure.  Two changes we consider essential to restore the credibility of the teaching authority of the Church are the inclusion of women in all ministries of the Church and the end to mandatory celibacy.

We speak as women who love the Church and have accepted, in prophetic obedience to the Holy Spirit, to exercise a leadership of service within Catholic faith communities, tending the broken souls of those wounded by the Church.  We minister to victims of clergy sexual harassment, exploitation and assault, and to their families. We also journey with offending priests to help them find forgiveness and healing.

The absence of women in positions of ecclesial authority denies the Church the wisdom and insight women bring to the processes of discernment and decision making.  Patriarchal gender stereotyping silences the voice of half of humanity. Women know from experience that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is a primary carrier of the global toxic virus of misogyny and the violence it engenders. The cure for that virus is equality: the inclusion of women in all ministries of the Church so that men and women are equal partners in gathering and shepherding God's people.

Further, if the Church would recognize the dual call to priesthood as well as marriage, the insights of family life would enrich the ministry of its priests as it does with its deacons. An end to mandatory celibacy would afford priests and bishops the emotional support and stability of family life (see Gen 2:18; I Tim 3:2-5) and would provide a role model for parishioners. This is not to say that we do not honour the charism of celibacy in those who receive it.

The members (women and men) of the international Roman Catholic Women Priests movement join their voices with all who hope that your meeting in Rome will produce the real changes necessary to restructure Church governance.  A conversion from clericalism and entitlement to service is imperative in order to heal the grave wounds to the Body of Christ and move the Church into the 21st century.

We earnestly pray that the Spirit will guide your deliberations and your decision making, to bring the Church out of the darkness into Christ's light, "for the Holy Spirit Itself is a burning and shining serenity, which cannot be nullified, and which enkindles ardent virtue so as to put all darkness to light" (St. Hildegard of Bingen).

Roman Catholic Women Priests:
+Marie Evans Bouclin, (Sudbury, ON, Bishop Emerita, RCWP Canada)
+Merlene Olivia Doko, (Pismo Beach, CA, Bishop Emerita, RCWP USA)
+Patricia Fresen, (Capetown, RCWP South Africa)
+Joan M. Clark Houk, (South Bend, IN, RCWP-USA, Great Waters Region)
+Andrea Michele Johnson, (Annapolis, MD, RCWP USA, Eastern Region)
+Jane Kryzanowski, (Regina, SK, RCWP, Canada)
+Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, (Pettenbach, RCWP Austria/ Europe)
+Nancy Louise Meyer, (Indianapolis, IN, RCWP USA, Midwest Region)
+Ida Raming, (Stuttgart, RCWP Germany)
+Sibyl Dana Reynolds, (Pebble Beach, CA, Bishop Emerita, RCWP USA)
+Suzanne Avison Thiel, (Portland, OR, RCWP USA, Western Region)
+Jane Via, (San Diego, CA, RCWP USA, Western Region)

On behalf of the members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests:
+Olga Lucia Alvarez (Columbia, S.A., ARCWP)
+Michele Birch-Conery (Windsor, ON, ARCWP)
+Mary Eileen Collingwood (Hudson, OH, ARCWP)
+Bridget Mary Meehan (Sarasota, FL, ARCWP)

Jane Kryzanowski                                                      

Bridget Mary Meehan                                    

enclosed: A Litany For Renewal


Compassionate Holy One…

In our season of brokenness, you call us to walk a higher road:
--As we follow the Way of Jesus, guide us as a community of equals, to build a reconciled and renewed Church for today’s world.

In our season of brokenness, we seek healing for ourselves and those who cross our paths:
--As we follow the Way of Jesus, may we embody his teachings of merciful and unconditional love, forgiveness, and inclusivity.

In our season of brokenness, the fervent needs of our brothers and sisters are before us:
--As we follow the Way of Jesus, open our hearts and eyes to fully witness the depths of human suffering. Inspire our courage and fuel our spirits with the grace of acceptance to embrace diversity, use our voices for the voiceless, and speak truth to power.

In our season of brokenness, nature and all life upon this earth are in grave jeopardy:
--As we follow the Way of Jesus, we pray for your people, especially those in power, to cherish our natural resources and watch over your creatures. Help us to value and care for the vast interconnectedness and myriad threads within the fabric of your Creation.

Compassionate Holy One…

As we follow the Way of Jesus, make us hope-bringers, truth-tellers, and messengers of Peace.  Unite our hearts through our prayers, heal our brokenness, and inspire the co-creation of a vibrantly re-imagined and welcoming Church. Together, let us envision a blessed season of radiant wholeness...ablaze with Christ’s Love.

JBK Happy Color

  • Worldwide Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement Sends Letter to Members of the Planning Committee for the Clerical Sex Abuse Summit Called by Pope Francis at Vatican on Feb. 21-24, 2019
  • I got a glimpse of the future of women deacons, and it's troubling
  • The statement that makes me angry: “The question of women deacons has nothing to do with women priests."
  • Inclusiveness enhanced both organizational integrity and security in the US military; so, should work for the Catholic Church
  • Has RCWP Canada changed its focus?
  • Give Us This Day short videos on the lives of Oscar Romero, Dorthy Day,  Thérèse Martin, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Calcuta, Blessed Franz Jagerstatterr
  • New Reflections on Gospel Traditions: the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Thomas
  • Theologians in Germany call for celibacy rule to be relaxed Letter to Cardinal Reinhard Marx suggests Church should change with times as sex abuse scandal highlights ingrained problems
  • Why I left the United Church to become a Roman Catholic
  • German bishop says Catholic teaching on homosexuality should be rethought Excluding certain groups is an expression of prejudice and leads to discriminating against them
  • A Listening Church
  • New report warns against priests placing themselves above laity
  • Sri Lanka honors priest, Tissa Balasuriya, who fought for women's rights 
  • Memorial Service for Bishop Regina Nicolosi
  • Catholics Banding Together
  • Featured Link
  • Tech Tip
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message
  • Episcopal ordination videos
  • A Tribute to Sister Aldona Evazko, SCSL
  • Comments to the Editor 
  • Ivory Coast's first woman to receive a Doctorate in Theology
  • Free access to on-line or pdf downloadable books and book-length articles
  • Visitor Countries to The Review this week
  • Francis Comic Strip 
  • Form for Comments to the Editor
  • Links to RCWP Canada website and other progressive websites and blogs

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RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

Over the past months I have been asked to speak about Roman Catholic Women Priest. People want to know who we are, what we are about and how I became a priest. In the next few issues of The Review I will address these questions by sharing some of the notes from a recent public presentation I made. As with any of my messages, I welcome your comments and questions.

III.  Roman Catholic Women Priests, a Model of Renewed Priestly Ministry

The question is asked, “What's is RCWP about?”

We are more than traditional concept of priest -- Not just insert women into existing Church structures (add women and stir). We are instruments of reform and renewal – Our Vision:  A renewed model of priesthood in a renewed RC Church.  We are about:
  • Re-imagine, re-structure, re-shape the priesthood and, therefore, the church
  • Shared sacramental and pastoral leadership vs. “empire of misogyny” - McAlesse
  • Rooted in Baptism, called by Holy Spirit to follow Jesus as model of empowerment, inclusivity and generous service – servant-leadership among the People of God.
  • Commitment to the adopt the mind and heart of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5-11), to think with the heart of Christ (Sirah) and act from it = LOVE.
  • To form/mould (knit together or knead) communities of equal companions (all persons: women & men regardless of race, ethnicity, gender orientation).  To mean what we say when we sing, “All Are Welcome”
  • To empower one another so that together we can explore and deepen our relationship with the Divine One.  (prayer and study together, support each other in life's questions and challenges)
  • To live the Gospel (social action) – address needs in our community and broader society:  Traditional works of mercy - but maybe with a new twist:
  • stand with the oppressed, (indigenous, LGBTQ+)
  • reach out to the broken-hearted, exploited, abused (victims of human trafficking, sexual violence and domestic abuse)
  • feed the hungry, shelter the homeless 
  • welcome refugees (sponsorship, companionship)
  • free the captives of all kind, (be present to alcohol and drug addicts, engage in prison ministry)
  • care for the sick and comfort those who mourn
      • The key issue is ministry.

J. A. Dick recently commented:
I prefer to speak about “ministry” and “ordained ministry.” (The only place where I still use the word “priest” is when writing about “women priests,” because I see that as a way of affirming that these Catholic women are indeed bonafide Catholic ordained ministers. The day will come, however, when we can drop the term “women priests” and recognize, acknowledge, and support women and men who are ordained ministers: married, single, gay, and straight.

Ministry is about service. It is not about power. Matthew 20 reminds us that Jesus did not come to be served but to serve…. Ordained ministers are called and appointed to be reliable Christian guides. They help us understand and live in the Spirit of Christ. Their ministerial words and actions are expressions of service: inviting conversion and building community, promoting acceptance and belonging, bringing healing and strengthening, and offering forgiveness and reconciliation.

Ministry is not about power over people. Institutional church leaders are not here to be served. They are called to serve and promote unity and collaboration. As brothers and sisters in the community of faith, we must also call them to that as well….

Core values (5):

  • equality – men & women created equal not one subservient or complimentary
  • rooted in creation -ADAM = humankind
  • vivified in Baptism and Confirmation – same sacrament for men and women
  • God calls – can and does call women – calls are real and true
  • women can equally represent Christ – neither male or female
  • justice – recognition of equality, renounce discrimination of any kind (VC II)
  • accountability & transparency
  • mutual accountability
  • welcome oversight and correction
  • no secrecy which breeds abuse and exploitation
      • collegiality vs hierarchy, clericalism
  • discipleship of equals
  • empowerment of communities
  • servant leadership
  • simplicity
  • prophetic obedience
  • “ob aure” to listen and hear the word of God (required deep prayer and contemplation)
  • read the signs of the times
  • courageously act with justice - “couer” French for heart.  To live from the heart.

Traditional and transgrssional

  • equal rites for equal rights – ordinations valid though not legal
  • Canon 849 baptism, not gender, gateway to sacraments vs. 1024 an unjust law that discriminates against women
  • Ordinations valid because women have been ordained in apostolic succession
  • Pilgrim people – The people of God have always been on a journey from wandering the desert to Egypt, then the Exodus and “promised land”, exile to Babylon and back again... on it goes.  
  •  Our migration – transitional from church of the priest to church of the people
  • out of our comfort zones to new vision
  • from imposed, infallible doctrine to living theology
  • understanding of God, Creator, Source of All Being
  • of who Jesus was and is, evolutionary consciousness, cosmic Christ
  • Eucharistic theology vs Sacrificial theology
  • dogma to dialogue
  • from church rules to Gospel values – rediscover the roots of Christianity
  • from exclusion to inclusion & integration – more than crumbs from the table; wholeness=holiness, mutuality/exclusiveness to inclusion
  • from male God language to gender inclusive, biblical images and metaphors
  • all are welcome – Open table, no judgement of people as “worthy”, only eligibility requirement is a hunger for God, and a desire for oneness.
  • ecumenical – more than one way to be a Christ-centered community

Vatican Reaction

  • extreme disapproval—excommunication of first priests, ignoring or avoiding ordinations, then blanket automatic excommunication “latae sententiae”
  • 2010 Norms of Serious Crimes names ordination of women alongside sexual abuse
  • Excommunication of male priests who are supportive of the ordination of women
  • Requirement for appointment as bishop, a candidate's promise of obedience to the pope requires that he must oppose the ordination of women
  • Efforts to say it's “infallible” doctrine the women cannot be ordained.
  • Ridicule and diminishment: “noisy women” Pope Benedict's personal secretary, Archbishop Gänswein;  “too emotional” “can't fix the roof” - Pope Benendict's theologian, Father Giertych.

Luigi Gioia (British Benedictine) on women's ordination: "One of the surest ways to know the question is still open is that the Vatican keeps saying that it is closed."

And so we carry on faithful to our call by God to be voices that challenge the embedded sins of patriarchy, misogyny and sexism.  

The final document of the Synod on Youth #13 states, “The Bible presents man and woman as equal partners before God (cf. Gen 5: 2): all domination and discrimination based on sex is an offence against human dignity.


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

Episcopal ordination videos

Editor, Special to The Review | February 1, 2019

The episcopal ordination of Bishop Jane Kryzanowski, July 21, 2018 and the public presentation that preceded it on July 20, were video recorded.  They are now available to the public on YouTube. 

The public presentation was a panel of Bishops Marie, Nancy and Jane V.  entitled "Noisy Women" or Faithful Servants?  There are three videos – one for each of three segments of the presentation:  
    Part 1 – Why I Am Still Roman Catholic
    Part 2 – Experiencing Migration from Exile to the Living Gospel
    Part 3.-  Favourite Gospel Passage That Gives Hope

There are four videos for the ordination, each corresponding to parts of the liturgy:
    Part 1 – Liturgy of the Word
    Part 2 – Liturgy of Ordination
    Part 3 – Liturgy of Eucharist
    Part 4 – Bishop Jane's comments and blessing

To view one or all videos click here: RCWP Canada YouTube Channel

A Tribute to Sister Aldona Evazko, SCSL

R. Roth, Special to The Review | February 15, 2019

“Happy is she who lives simply, loves deeply,
    for she has sincerity.

Happy is she who listens and hears and extends her hands,
    for she has understanding.

Happy is she who suffers with the very young, the very old and very lonely,
    for she has compassion.

Happy is she who greets the world with joy, laughter and anticipation,
    for she has courage.

Happy is she who lives not where she chooses, but where she is sent
    for she has freedom.

Happy is she who speaks gently, lives humbly,
    for she has dignity.

Happy is she who has compassion and courage, freedom and dignity, understanding, sincerity and awareness.

These words were given to Aldona Ewazko by her community on the celebration of her 76th birthday. They speak of the woman she was for them and for the world. Aldona’s breath became Spirit and she entered the Communion of Saints on December 21, 2018.

A woman of courage and determination, she was a life long learner and teacher.  She worked with junior and senior high school students as well as with seminarians and prisoners.   Aldona believed in justice and equality for all people but especially the vulnerable and marginalized. She championed the role of women as equal members of society and the Church. Aldona spent countless hours in the resettlement and mentoring of refugee women.

Her presence and encouragement helped others to recognize their gifts and the way they were called to serve the greater community. Aldona had the ability to meet people where they were and gently nudge them to grow in maturity, love and wider acceptance of others and themselves.

When diagnosed with cancer she chose to give away her dying and her death in the same manner as she had given her life for others.  Grace, kindness, love and dignity surrounded her on this journey.

Not only is she woman – she is blessing.

Click here for obituary

Excellent issue of The Review, as always. I was touched by Bishop Jane's eloquent and honest account of her call as it developed over her lifetime


Great copy; needs to be in print so can be passed around.  Jane keep up the good work you are doing, the Spirit is leading you.  All of you RCWP women are "of a future that is not your own" (Romero).  That future is for all the women who will follow you.
[Fred Williams, Calgary, AB]

I just want to say how great it is to watch the whole ordination ceremony via you-tube. I was there so it brings back wonderful memories. Thank you for all the work you do to put this monthly letter together. I haven't yet read all the articles but I did read Bishop Jane's story and it's so moving, so authentic and so loving. Please give her my best wishes. I remember her in my morning prayer time.

[Mary, a concerned Catholic living in St. Catharines, ON]

I listened tonight to Bishop Marie Bouclin, Bishop Jane Via and Nancy.  I will watch more of the series tomorrow and may catch it then. (
"Noisy Women" or Faithful Servants? -- pre-Episcopal Ordination public presentation, Calgary, July 20, 2018)

I was deeply struck by the Speak Out. The notion of Just a Bunch of Noisy Women! And the idea of radicalization. Where are we going? God does not take orders from popes, priest or any hierarchy!

I am a DNA Catholic. An in the Bones Catholic. I am no longer an institutional Catholic. I simply cannot bear to listen to another judgment homily or yet another rendering of the fallen woman.  It has taken me 30 years to actually write those words in public.

My story is the deep healing of clinical depression through meditation (evil), listening to my inner voice (evil) and working with dreams (also evil) ... Thankfully, although the words caused deep pain, I had the promise of healing. I had the support of parents who knew not where I was going. But also trusted that I was not lost.

[Pearl Gregor, New Sarepta, AB, is the author of  a series of three books, Dreams Along the Way. The first in the series, I, the Woman, Planted the Tree: A Journey through Dreams to the Feminine available on and  Her website is at]

Ivory Coast's first woman to receive a Doctorate in Theology

Lucie Sarr, | February 4, 2019
Notre Dame Sister Solange Sia received her doctorate at the Catholic University of West Africa in Abidjan.  A Doctor of Spiritual Theology and a lecturer in several Catholic universities in Ivory Coast, Sister Solange is the secretary of the Reflection and Production Cell of Ivory Coast Theologians (CEREPTI), an association established in 2013.

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Visitor Countries to The Review this week

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I got a glimpse of the future of women deacons, and it's troubling

Jamie Manson, | January 25, 2019

Last week, two members of the Pontifical Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women spoke publicly for the first time since their appointment.

The commission members were Phyllis Zagano, one of the world's leading experts on the history of women deacons (and an NCR columnist and a friend of mine), and Jesuit Fr. Bernard Pottier, a scholar in the early church, philosophy and psychology and a member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission.

As they offered their reflections during a panel discussion at Fordham University, several questions were answered: the commission's report is complete; it is on Pope Francis' desk; no one knows how, or if, or when the report will influence the pope's decision on whether the Roman Catholic Church should restore the diaconate for women.

But even with these new revelations, I came away from the event with even more questions, and some of them rather troubling. Though much was said that evening, just as telling was what was not said and what, apparently, could not be said.

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The statement that makes me angry: “The question of women deacons has nothing to do with women priests."

Regina Bannan, | February 2, 2019

Just about a year ago I wrote a post on deacons.  Maybe the discussion begins every January. Not bad, like a liturgical anniversary or a dedicated month: Deacon Sunday, Deacon Month. Then on to other things.

It was NOT in Deacon Month but in May 2016 that the leaders of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) asked the Pope Francis to consider women deacons. This apparently spontaneous request resulted in a commission to study the history of women deacons. A classic “assign it to a committee” or a genuine commitment? At least the nuns opened the discussion, and there are equal numbers of women and men on the panel, apparently a Vatican first.

This year two members of the commission kicked off Deacon Month when they spoke at Fordham University January 15. One way NOT to do a report that’s dead on arrival is to speak out, but oddly, they felt constrained about discussing the report itself, which they submitted to Francis just before the sex abuse scandal broke last summer. Theologian Phyllis Zagano and Jesuit Bernard Pottier talked about their research, which documented that women served as ordained deacons with varying duties at various times and places until about the twelfth century.

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Inclusiveness enhanced both organizational integrity and security in the US military; so, should work for the Catholic Church

Steven Lanoux, Special to The Review | February 15, 2019

NCR online contains an interesting article about women priests/deacons.  You will find no answers in it.

I find that the meat of not only the article but the entire subject lies in the questions stated by author Jamie Manson:

Will every woman deacon have to promise that she will never suggest that women should be priests? Will every woman deacon be expected to disassociate herself from the issue like this?

And if that is the case, doesn't it mean that women deacons who actually do support women priests will have to self-censor and keep their convictions hidden, as every male bishop, priest and deacon who secretly supports women priests is expected to do today? And if these women deacons don't keep silent, won't they face the same discipline, or coercions to recant, or threats of expulsion that male advocates for women priests do?

Pope Francis has repeatedly said that the issue of women priests has been decided and the door is closed. Why wouldn't women deacons be compelled to parrot that response or face the same consequences?

Will women deacons be put in the painful situation of having to silence other women who dare to press the issue of women priests?

As a former career Navy officer, I had to observe rules and standards of conduct mandated by the service and the government.  Any time I wore the uniform or stated that I was a "Commander in the US Navy," I was in an official status and was speaking on behalf of the Navy and the United States.  I was required to get approval for statements ahead of time or must regurgitate the official guidance that had been issued.  I was prohibited from participating in political events or any form of opposition to policy while in "an official status."

But I was (and am) a citizen of the United States, and I have First Amendment rights that cannot be taken away.  If I were not in uniform and did not identify myself as a Navy officer, I was free to write editorials, attend political rallies, support the candidate of my choice publicly, and so on.  I was simply "Joe Citizen" with the same rights (and responsibilities) as any other citizen. 

Of course, the Navy could command (and often did) my official service 7x24 for extended periods of time, and even when "off-duty" in mufti, I still had to be aware of my double-jeopardy status where I was subject not only to civil law but to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Yet I had freedoms.

Vatican control and authority over the clergy is 7x24, absolute, and appears to have few freedoms.  Priests cannot take off the collar or nuns the habit and be free to oppose policy or doctrine without penalty.  Of course, as with the abuse situation, the penalties are not always applied with rigor and propriety.

Unless the opposition threatens the authority and power of the clerical hierarchy.  Ahem, exclusively male clerical hierarchy.

Which women priests would do.  So that idea must be suppressed.

In the late 1970's, the US military recognized that the 50-year demographic projections did not show that the services would be able to attain their required end-strength in an all-volunteer force.  There were two options.  The first was to reinstate the draft.  That was politically unacceptable given the national hangover from Vietnam.  The other option was to open all ranks and operational specialties to females and gays.  After an extensive investigation into society as a whole, neither was found to be destabilizing or a threat to organizational integrity or security.  In fact, inclusiveness enhanced both, and we were able to project that retirees would be better able to adapt to civilian life after their service experience.  40 years later, that has been proven to be valid.

The Catholic Church cannot entice enough males for the priesthood.  Many reasons are given, with mandated celibacy and denial of one's innate human behaviors being higher on my list that that claimed by the Vatican.  The current scandal is not going to help, although the demonstration of tolerance and willingness to cover up misconduct may draw exactly the wrong kind of men to the priesthood (bet you never thought of the crisis as a recruiting tool!).

Guys, you gotta get over it!  Mary Magdalene was as much an apostle as any of the others.  Besides Jesus' beloved John, do you see any of those other males at the foot of the cross?  Why is she or any of the other devout females prevented from being a priest?  Is the faith, intelligence and holiness of Teresa of Avila or Joan of Arc or Catherine of Seville any less than Ignatius Loyola or Frances if Assisi?

Back to Genesis. God made man in his own image: male and female he made them.  "Man" is the collective for humans.  If all are in his image, why is only half allowed to be ordained into his service?  Ah, because MEN have extorted the power to exclude females and keep them in a subordinate status, second-class citizens (or lower since male children have a higher status than their mothers).

Cherry-picking the Bible again. 

Here's an idea:  Let's get Nancy Pelosi to represent the cause.  She's a Catholic woman and has a pretty good record in dealing with bullies.

[Steven Lanoux, Brownsville, TX, is a member of Call To Action-Rio Grande River]

Has RCWP Canada changed its focus?

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

I am wondering has RCWP Canada changed its focus over this last year and a half.  I thought the priority of RCWP Canada was to have women treated the same, and offered exact same roles and sacraments as men in Roman Catholicism and then also to fight for sexual equality in the world.

This heading, “Promoting a renewed ordained ministry in a renewed Roman Catholic Church", concerns me that RCWP Canada is maybe watering down its message a bit?  What is RCWP Canada's stand on allowing optional celibacy to men even if no women are yet ordained priests?  I would really like to know RCWP Canada’s definite stand on this subject, as optional celibacy can only equate to complete gender segregation and an extreme and further abuse of women in Roman Catholicism. 

With groups out there pushing gender segregation through optional celibacy and refusing to stand up for women to be equally ordained priests, I don’t assume groups that call themselves reformers or progressives are actually what they claim anymore.  Unfortunately, these faker groups are most often not progressive with their stand on women, and are often supporting attacks against women’s dignity in some way, while they tell women they will get to them later.

[Nora Bolcon, Pawtucket, RI]

Editor's note: Click here to read a related article by Nora Bolcon, plus a response by a reader of The Review.

Give Us This Day short videos on the lives of Oscar Romero, Dorthy Day,  Thérèse Martin, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Calcuta, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter

Give Us This Day and The Sheen Center For Thought & Culture come together to tell the story of ordinary men and women whose extraordinary lives inspire the moral imagination and give witness to the myriad ways of holiness.

The text for these short videos is taken from Blessed Among Us by Robert Ellsberg and drawn from the acclaimed column of the same name in Give Us This Day.

Watch videos

New Reflections on Gospel Traditions: the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Thomas

Elaine Pagels, | October 4, 2013

Dr. Elaine Pagels, one of the worlds foremost scholars of religion, speaks about her groundbreaking work on the Jesus of the canonical and non-canonical gospels.

Watch video

Theologians in Germany call for celibacy rule to be relaxed Letter to Cardinal Reinhard Marx suggests Church should change with times as sex abuse scandal highlights ingrained problems

La Croix International staff,
| February 4, 2019
A group of eight well-known theologians and Catholics have urged Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German Catholic Church, to reconsider celibacy rules for priests among other "courageous reforms."

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Why I left the United Church to become a Roman Catholic

Deirdre Pike, | January 2019

I have often said in a sing-songy way, “I left the church that would have ordained me and joined the church that seemed to disdain me.”

The truth is I didn’t intentionally leave the United Church when I officially became a Roman Catholic in 1978, at least not the way people leave their faith communities these days for their varied and mostly valid reasons.

Another truth is I didn’t know at the time that the Catholic Church wasn’t a big fan of women in leadership or LGBTQ2 inclusion. I also didn’t know it was covering up sexual abuse or that those three things would eventually matter so much to me.

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German bishop says Catholic teaching on homosexuality should be rethought Excluding certain groups is an expression of prejudice and leads to discriminating against them

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, | February 4, 2019
A Catholic bishop in Germany who once took a hardline stance against active homosexuals has called for a thorough reappraisal of Church teaching on sexuality, saying it has especially caused "suffering" and "psychologically unhealthy repression" among gay people.

"The question is whether specific tenets (einzelne Inhalte) of the Catholic theology of the body have possibly led to a disastrous tabooing of the phenomenon of human sexuality," said Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen. "This particularly applies to homosexuality because – according to this assumption — such a negative Church view (as that expressed in Church teaching) has promoted and encouraged a psychologically and institutionally unhealthy repression, or even denial, of this expression of sexuality," the 54-year-old bishop said.

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A Listening Church

Myroslaw Tataryn, go_rebuild_my_house | January 24, 2019

In the midst of crisis, the most common human reaction, understandably, is an impulse to DO SOMETHING.  As our Church reels from long overdue revelations of clerical sexual abuse and corruption, there is an overriding, incontrovertible need for action.

When one receives a diagnosis of a serious ailment, the response is often two-fold: amelioration of symptoms and attacking the underlying disease. The vile symptoms of this disease afflicting the Church are clear. Abuse in the Church must always be condemned and rooted out. But when abuse is aimed at the most innocent, the need to address the severity of the symptom predominates, occluding further action. However, this abuse must be addressed not only symptomatically but also causally. We must acknowledge and treat the underlying disease.

All forms of abuse are rooted in cultures of power and self-aggrandizement. Regretfully, our Church has persistently created and preserved hierarchies of power validated by spurious absolutist claims to superiority: male over female, those ordained over laity, etc.

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New report warns against priests placing themselves above laity

Peter Feuerherd, | February 5, 2019

First comes baptism, then comes holy orders, a Boston College report about forming new priests reminds seminary educators and others in a study released in December 2018. The paper, titled "To Serve the People of God: Renewing the Conversation on Priesthood and Ministry," argues that sacramental doctrine is a starting point in transforming seminary formation.

Priests in today's church need skills in forming communities and working with all the baptized faithful, particularly women, the study proposes.

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Sri Lanka honors priest, Tissa Balasuriya, who fought for women's rights 

Quintus Colombage, | January 26, 2019
Oblate of Mary Immaculate, Father Tissa Balasuriya established a small center to provide rudimentary schooling for young children.

He was an outspoken Catholic priest and activist who was excommunicated and later rehabilitated during the reign of Pope John Paul II.

Inspired by the lifelong efforts of an outspoken Catholic priest, social activists in Sri Lanka are continuing his mission to protect the downtrodden.

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Memorial Service for Bishop Regina Nicolosi

Jane Kryzanowski, Special to The Review | February 15, 2019

Bishop Regina Nicolosi

To Charles (Charlie), children: Eva, Claudia, Tom, Tina; grandchildren; friends

You ask that we share our connection with Regina. I never met Regina. One connection I can claim is that I come from the queen city of Canada, RejEEna, or as we say, RejEYEna, Saskatchewan. 

I am Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop for Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada.  My predecessor, Bishop Marie Bouclin, remembers Regina fondly and sends her special greetings of sympathy.  On behalf of all of the members of RCWP Canada I bring love and prayers as we stand in solidarity with you today as we remember and celebrate your beloved one – wife, mother, grandmother, friend.

As mentioned, I didn't know Regina personally.  But I feel that I do know her from what I have heard of her beautiful, courageous spirit.  

Throwing in a little Canadian bi-lingualism:  The word courage comes from the French courageux – meaning brave. Notice the root is couer – meaning heart.  Thus, in essence, to be courageous is more than just being brave; it is to act boldly - from the heart. 
We know Regina lived from the heart.  Love was the source and substance of what she did:  for you and your family. for all the people she ministered to, and for Roman Catholic Women Priests.  She was not afraid to speak truth, to act for justice, to love tenderly.  She had a love affair with her God and she lived from that deep and abundant source of life. 

Today I want us to remember her beautiful, courageous spirit and draw wisdom from her expansive and generous heart.

Love never dies.  Her love is spread on the wind and sea and will go deep into the earth of our being.  From generation to generation you, her family – children and grandchildren, will cherish her love and pass on the sacred memory of her life, her love and her legacy. She remains with all of us – for love never dies. 

[Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop for RCWP Canada, took part in the Memorial Service for Bishop Regina Nicolosi, which took place at Rancho Mission Viejo, California, February 10, 2019]

Catholics Banding Together

Women's Ordination Conference, | February 12, 2019

On February 23, 2019, as the meeting in Rome about clergy sexual abuse enters its last day, we invite you to wear a blue armband to the vigil Mass at your parish or faith community to prayerfully call for the inclusion and equitable representation of: 
  • survivors of sexual abuse and their families,
  • lay people, especially women,
  • groups and experts who work for survivor justice, and
  • women theologians
in these meetings and all conversations about reform, justice, and healing.

Wear a blue armband to the vigil Mass at your parish or faith community on Saturday, February 23, 2019.  Post a photo of you wearing your armband on Instagram or Twitter using #CatholicsBandingTogether, or email a photo of yourself wearing your armband to and we'll post it for you!

You can view all of the photos by visiting our Instagram page.

Why blue armbands? Watch this video:

Banding Together as the People of God

This initiative is a project of the NY Catholic Worker, Call To Action, FutureChurch and WOC. 

We are "banding together" to bear witness against a clerical system that continues to marginalize those who have been abused, harmed and silenced.  We stand in solidarity with survivors and their families, and join all those working for transparency, justice and wholeness in our Church and world.

Free access to on-line or 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

Women Priests - A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Declaration
      edited by Leonard Swidler and Arlene Swidler

Dancing My Life, Dancing My God 

      by Judith Pellerin

Binding The Strong Man, Ched Myers’ extraordinary political reading of Mark’s Gospel

An Empire of Misogyny?
by Tina Beattie

Pope Francis:  Fraternal and Spontaneous
       by Antonio Spadaro

Seeking Refuge

Theological Writings
       by Mary E. Hunt

Francis, the comic strip                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive                
by Pat Marrin | January 31, 2019
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission

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