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* Why Pope Francis is right to revisit the new Mass
* The Eucharist Is Not a Sacrifice or a Magic Show, But a Shared Meal
* Fr. Tony Flannery celebrates Eucharist publically after still being under a five year ban by the Vanican

* Voices of Faith 2017 - from the heart of the Vatican
* Comments to the editor
* Continuing Features
* CBC-TV National Documentary
* CBC Radio Sudbury interview with Bishop Marie Bouclin
* Vancouver Ecumenical Prayer Service
* Francis, the comic strip
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Why Pope Francis is right to revisit the new Mass translation

Michael G. Ryan | January 27, 2017
Recent news out of Rome that Pope Francis has given his blessing to a commission to study “Liturgiam Authenticam,” the controversial 2001 document behind the English translation of the Roman Missal, was surely music to the ears of many who love the church’s liturgy and to just about everyone who loves the English language. Seven years ago, I did my best to see that the translation got a test run before being mandated for general use. But, as the saying goes, timing is everything. Had Francis been elected just a few years earlier, it is likely that “Liturgiam Authenticam” would have died in committee.

At this point, I am not sure who to feel sorrier for: those members of the International Committee for English in the Liturgy, who, back in 1998, offered a worthy translation—the fruit of 17 years painstaking labor—only to have it unceremoniously consigned to oblivion by Vatican officials, or the faithful of the English-speaking world who have had to struggle since 2011 with a wooden, woefully inadequate, theologically limited Missal that is low on poetry, if high on precision.

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Fr. Tony Flannery celebrates Eucharist publically after still being under a five year ban by the Vatican
Sarah Mac Donald  |  Jan. 25, 2017

DUBLIN -- Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery has said he is not anticipating any backlash from the Vatican over his celebration of a public Mass last Sunday in contravention of a ban on public ministry imposed on him by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
The 70-year-old Irish missioner described the liturgy, which was attended by up to 800 people, as "emotional and beautiful."

"I have celebrated many big Masses over the years, at missions and novenas, but nothing that touched me to the core like this one." He added that the occasion "would come close to being the loveliest day of my life."

Flannery, who is a co-founder of the reform-minded Association of Catholic Priests, said he was "not worried about excommunication" by the church and didn't "anticipate" any excommunication under Pope Francis and "even less so in the context of Pope Francis' visit to Ireland next year."

Referring to the "volume of support and encouragement from people" at the Mass and those who had contacted him by email, letter and telephone, the priest said that for church authorities to do anything to him now would be "shooting themselves in the foot."

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Voices of Faith 2017 - from the heart of the Vatican

Pope Francis called in his 1st January 2017 Peace Day statement for Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace. This year, we highlight the work of women from around the world who are promoting nonviolence and programs of peace.

At our annual event on March 8, 2017, Voices of Faith unites the Vatican with the international community and organisations around the globe to honour and acknowledge women who understand the need for dialogue, building bridges and collaboration across boundaries. It is their experience, as Pope Francis says, that peace in their hearts and in their families generates the desire for dialogue and cooperation. With our two Partners, the Jesuits Refugee Service andCaritas internationalis we serve as an instrument of hope and amplifier of the courage and creativity of women in education and social programs, especially in areas of marginalization and extreme poverty. 

In the footsteps of St. Catherine of Siena –a remarkable woman who worked tirelessly to make peace between the quarrelling Italian states- we encourage all of you to be part of a more peaceful and nonviolent world.

Chantal M. Götz - Managing Director Voices of Faith

    Comments to the Editor

During my studies of the Bible I came across the following and It brought to mind the arguments of the Church's objections to women priests.

This could be used in your answer to those who oppose your movement.

Jesus And the Traditions of The Elders

(Matthew 15:1-12)

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father and mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus, you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men’.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you not know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”


A concerned Catholic, New Brunswick

I watched ordination and interviews on
CBC TV.  It was very beautifully done and the hymn was uplifting.  Best wishes to all of you as you quietly carry on in your mission.

A concerned Catholic, British Columbia

Just watched The National. Thank you for openly being a champion for all Roman Catholic women.

A concerned Catholic, Alberta

Interesting that CBC in starting this new series to help mark the 150th birthday of Canada begins with this topic.  That in itself is a comment. 

What especially came through for me, in well-done, composed, clear, direct interviews is the authenticity in hearing and responding to a personal, genuine calling - all at a time in your lives (including Roy) when you might want just to take it easy!  All of you are in your elder, wisdom years.  The maturity of your lives speaks to the genuineness of what you are doing and saying. 

The intensity of the pain for all of you personally, and so many more -- this alone may well be the single biggest factor in eventually bringing about a change of heart and policy.  Such pain is a death that is paschal to the core, not terminal.  I don't know if women being ordained priests in the RC church will in itself advance a major historical change.  I am much more certain that the suffering and authenticity of so many will eventually bring about this major, major change. 

I especially could see that in Fr. Rosica's struggle when he was interviewed.  He both portrayed an official church that is less than credible, and his own discomfort with that church in this matter (and likely others).  He is one of the many male priests whom Roy mentioned who cannot speak their truth in this matter, lest they too get the letter from Rome.

There so much more to ponder, stimulated by the entire interview.

A Concerned Catholic, Saskatchewan

Our little town of Sutton had a spontaneous march at10AM today in solidarity with marches taking place all over the world, but especially in DC. We were between 80 and 100, not bad for a last minute effort. So many of us felt that we had to do something. Given that Sutton's population is 4000 permanent resident (8000 counting part-timers).

It's not a bad turnout. We were English and French, elderly, young, men, women and children and dogs. There were some speeches and then we walked in an orderly fashion up and down the Main Street. (We're Canadian, eh!) Cars honked and we got lots of thumbs-up. We're a ski resort and the tourists were happy to have chance to demonstrate.

Trump is succeeding in uniting people-against him. The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

Please feel free to share this.

Linda Spear, RCWP Canada East priest

Continuing Features:

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.

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Comments on any article on this web site may be addressed to the editor at:  RCWPCanada@outlook.com

The Eucharist Is Not a Sacrifice or a Magic Show, But a Shared Meal
Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog | January 11, 2017

My beloved eight-year-old granddaughter is getting ready to receive her First Holy Communion in May, and it’s got me worried. I mean her Sunday School teachers are filling her head with “Catholic” fundamentalist and literalist notions of Jesus’ “Real Presence” in the “Blessed Sacrament” that even St. Augustine rejected. In the 4th century he wrote: “Can Christ’s limbs be digested? Of course, not!”

Eventually, my granddaughter, I predict, will come to the same conclusion. And rather than see the beautiful symbolism of the Eucharist’s Shared Bread, she’ll probably follow the example of so many young people I know and reject the ideas of “Holy Sacrifice” and “Real Presence” as childhood fantasy akin to belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

To my mind, that’s tragic. That’s because it represents a rejection of Jesus’ insightful and salvific teaching about the unity of all creation. In an era of constant global war, that teaching is needed more than ever. It’s contained in the Master’s words, “This is my body . . . this is my blood . . . Do this in remembrance of me?”

Let me explain.

To begin with, according to contemporary historical theologians like Hans Kung, the Great Reformers of the 16th century had it right: The Eucharist of the early church was no sacrifice. It was a commemoration of “The Lord’s Supper.” The phrase however does not refer to “The Last Supper” alone. Instead it references all the meals Jesus shared with friends as he made meal-sharing rather than Temple sacrifice the center of his reform movement, From the wedding feast at Cana (JN2:1-12), through his feeding of 5000 (MK 6:31-44) and then of 4000 (MK 8: 1-9), through his supper at the Pharisee’s home (LK 7:36-50), and with the tax collector Zacchaeus (LK 19:1-10), through the Last Supper (MK 14:12-26), and Emmaus (LK 24:13-35), and his post-resurrection breakfast with his apostles (JN 21:12). Jesus treated shared meals as an anticipatory here-and-now experience of God’s Kingdom.

But why? What’s the connection between breaking bread together and the “salvation” Jesus offers? Think about it like this:

Besides being a prophet, Jesus was a mystic. Like all mystics, he taught the unity of all life.

“Salvation” is the realization of that unity. In fact, if we might sum up the central insight of the great spiritual masters and avatars down through the ages, it would be ALL LIFE IS ONE. That was Jesus’ fundamental teaching as well. It was something uneducated fishermen could grasp. It’s a teaching accessible to any child: All of us are sons (and daughters) of God just as Jesus was. Differences between us are only apparent. In the final analysis, THERE IS REALLY ONLY ONE OF US HERE. In a sense, then we are all Jesus. The Christ-Self (or Krishna-Self or Buddha-Self) is our True Self. God has only one Son and it is us. When we use violence against one another, we are attacking no one but ourselves. What we do to and for others we literally do to and for ourselves. That’s a profound teaching. It’s easy to grasp, but extremely difficult to live out.

Buddhists sometimes express this same insight in terms of waves on the ocean. In some sense, they say, human beings are like those waves which appear to be individual and identifiable as such. Like us, if they had consciousness, the waves might easily forget that they are part of an infinitely larger reality. Their amnesia would lead to great anxiety about the prospect of ceasing to be. They might even see other waves as competitors or enemies. However, recollection that they are really one with the ocean and all its waves would remove that anxiety. It would enable “individual” waves to relax into their unity with the ocean, their larger, more powerful Self. All competition, defensiveness, and individuality would then become meaningless.

Something similar happens to humans, Buddhist masters tell us, when we realize our unity with our True Self which is identical with the True Self of every other human being. In the light of that realization, all fear, defensiveness and violence melt away. We are saved from our own self-destructiveness.

Similarly, Buddhists use the imagery of the sun. As its individual beams pass through clouds, they might get the idea that they are individuals somehow separate from their source and from other sunbeams which (again) they might see as competitors or enemies. But all of that is illusory. All are really manifestations emanating from the same source. It’s like that with human beings too. To repeat: our individuality is only apparent. THERE IS REALLY ONLY ONE OF US HERE.

In his own down-to-earth way, Jesus expressed the same classic mystical insight not in terms of waves or sunbeams, but of bread. Human beings are like a loaf of bread, he taught. The loaf is made up of many grains, but each grain is part of the one loaf. Recognizing the loaf’s unity, then breaking it up, and consuming those morsels together is a powerful reminder that all of life — all of us – are really one. In a sense, that conscious act of eating a single loaf strengthens awareness of the unity that otherwise might go unnoticed and uncelebrated.

Paul took Jesus’ insight a step further. In his writings (the earliest we have in the New Testament) he identifies Christ as the True Self uniting us all. Our True Self is the Christ within. In other words, what Jesus called “the one loaf” Paul referred to as the one Body of Christ.

All of Jesus’ followers, the apostle taught, make up that body.

Evidently, the early church conflated Jesus’ insight with Paul’s. So their liturgies identified Jesus’ One Loaf image with Paul’s Body of Christ metaphor. In this way, the loaf of bread becomes the body of Christ. Jesus is thus presented as blessing a single loaf, breaking it up, and saying, “Take and eat. This is my body.”

And there’s more – the remembrance part of Jesus’ “words of institution.” They are connected with Paul’s teaching about “The Mystical Body of Christ.” His instruction (found in I COR: 12-12-27) is worth quoting at length:

“12 There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.

15 Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 16 And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? 18 God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? 20 As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.

21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. 23 The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. 24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.

27 You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”

Here it’s easy to see the beauty of Paul’s image. We are all members of Christ’s body (Paul’s fundamental metaphor for that human unity insight I explained). As individual members, we each have our functions – as eye, ear, nose, foot, or private parts. However, the fact that we live separately can lead us to forget that we are all members of the same body. So it helps to RE-MEMBER ourselves occasionally – to symbolically bring our separate members together. That’s what “re-membering” means in this context.  That’s what the Eucharist is: an occasion for getting ourselves together – for recalling that we are the way Christ lives and works in the world today.

In the final analysis, that’s the meaning of Jesus’ injunction: “Do this to RE-MEMBER me.  And then afterwards – as a re-membered Christ, act together as I would.”

Do you see how rich, how poetic, how complex and mysterious all of that is – ocean waves, sunbeams, bread, Christ’s body, re-membering?

It’s powerful. The Eucharist is not a magic show. It’s a meal where the many and separate members of Christ’s body are re-membered so they might subsequently act in a concerted way in imitation of Christ.

That’s why it’s important to recover and make apparent the table fellowship character of The Lord’s Supper. It is not a Jewish or Roman sacrifice; it is a shared meal.

My granddaughter and the world she’ll inherit need everything that signifies. The Eucharist is not childish fantasy. It’s a counter-cultural challenge to our era’s individualism, ethnocentrism, and perpetual war.

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog | January 11, 2017
(Permission received to print the above article in its entirety.)

'I have to do this': Why some Catholic women are defying Church rules and becoming priests

CBC-TV National Documentary

Article and Video

Nick Purdon and Leonardo Palleja, January 11, 2017

The curtains are drawn as Marie Bouclin transforms the wooden coffee table in her modest living room in Sudbury, Ont., into an altar, lighting candles and filling a chalice with red wine.

A dozen of her parishioners sit in a semicircle around her. One woman is so worried she might be identified, she asks CBC to blur her face in any photos.

Bouclin, one of only two Canadian bishops in a small movement of Roman Catholic women being ordained outside the official Church, leads the room in a service that goes against 2,000 years of Catholic tradition and doctrine.

"In the early Church, people gathered in their homes," Bouclin says. "Who can say that what we're doing is not valid? Sometimes, we have to obey God and not men. And as much as some Catholics don't want to hear this, the Pope is not God."

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Video of Documentary:  Click here

CBC Radio Sudbury interview with Bishop Marie Bouclin

CBC Sudbury Radio, January 12, 2017

The priest is a lot like any religious leader in the Catholic church. The only difference is she's a woman. Marie Bouclin of Sudbury, ON spoke on radio to a genuinely interested and engaged CBC interviewer, inviting of her personal story.  She was able to present the wider contemporary and historical context of the RCWP Canada movement.

Click here to listen to the radio interview.

Downtown Eastside Vancouver Ecumenical Prayer Service held for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Editor | January 23, 2017

Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community and a member of RCWP Canada based a prayer service for Christian unity on the material from the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement (Graymoor, Garrison, NY).

Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community the 2017 Week of Christian Unity Ecumenical Prayer Service on January 21st included Fr. Garry Laboucane of St. Paul's Roman Catholic parish the host for the celebration, Pat McSherry, Heather and Brian of St. James Anglican Church, Rev. Barry Morris of the Longhouse United Church all who conducted liturgical roles, and members of Jacob's Well, Vineyard, Servants and Servant Partners.  Sarah Bjorknas of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community was the music technician.

Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | January 24, 2017
National Catholic Reporter

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