RCWP Canada Monthly Review -- November 2017

  • Two Bishops ordained for RCWP USA Western Region
  • Homily for the installation of Roberta Fuller as pastor at St. Mary Magdalene the First Apostle Catholic Faith Community,  Pickering, Ontario 
  • Homily for the installation of Pat Cook as pastor at Church of the Beatitudes, Toronto, Ontario
  • Eucharist or Eucharistic -- Intentional Communities
  • New bishop in Austria favors women deacons and priests, and married priests
  • Conference weighs how 'Amoris Laetitia' rejects 'infantilization of laity'
  • Women's Ordination Conference celebrates in Rome
  • Christians in Quebec gather at the US border in solidarity with refugees
  • Women must be silent in church? Bible was doctored to read no women priests: scholar
  • Catholic Network for Women's Equality calls on Canadian Bishops to review Roman Missal English language translation in light of Pope Francis revision of Canon Law
  • New way to donate to RCWP Canada -- via PayPal
  • 195 Reasons why women should be ordained
  • Continuing Features
  • Francis, the comic strip
  • Search function
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Female envoys to Vatican say it’s past time for Church to empower women

Inés San Martín and Claire Giangravè, Crux | September 25, 2017

ROME - It sounds like a clichéd bar joke: “Three female ambassadors from three different parts of the world, one Catholic, one Orthodox and one Protestant, walk into the Vatican.”

In reality, however, there’s no punchline waiting to be delivered, only what some may consider a counterintuitive realization.
Three women who represent their countries to the Holy See, coming from different cultural, societal and religious backgrounds, all agree that despite the predominantly male hierarchy that prevails at the Vatican, they’re happy with the treatment and welcome they’ve received.
On the other hand, they also say, albeit in different ways, that on the question of female involvement in decision-making processes within the Catholic Church, it’s past time to get the ball rolling.

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Pope Francis and women: Reality is more important than ideas

Gudrun Sailer, Voices of Faith | October 16, 2017

Gudrun Sailer is a Vatican journalists with a deep interest in the topic of women at the Vatican. She is also a co-founder of a new association of women employees at the Vatican. Her most recent book titled „Keine Kirche ohne Frauen“ (No church without women), a compilation of everything Pope Francis said on the topic of women in Church and society, was published in 2016. So what is her interpretation of Pope Francis’ central ideas on the subject of women in the church?
Gudrun Sailer sees six central points that are important to consider when we want to learn about Pope Francis´ thinking on women. The following text is adapted from remarks that she delivered at a Symposium dedicated to women in the Church organized by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

1. The role of women in the church still falls short of what Jesus intended for them.

Francis is a “reality-based” pope. He brought with him to Rome his forty-four years of experience as a priest and twenty-one as a bishop in an emerging nation in which the church is alive, but not without its contradictions. He drew on that experience when, a few months after his election as Pope, he said to a group of Roman Catholic women who were by no means inclined to revolution: “I suffer—to tell you the truth—when I see in the Church or in Church organizations that the role of service, which we all have and should have—when a woman’s role of service slides into servidumbre [servitude].”1
In Pope Francis’s view the church today needs women in advisory capacities and often also as decision-makers. He calls for “studying criteria and new methods in order that women may not feel like guests, but full participants in the various spheres of society and Church life … . This challenge can no longer be deferred.”2

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Poverty, violence hinder progress for many women, girls, says nuncio

Catholic News Service | October 10, 2017

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, said more must be done to protect the dignity of women, while promoting their integral development and advancement within the family and society. The Vatican’s UN delegation, he said, “strongly supports the international community in its efforts to raise awareness and take concrete steps to prevent the abhorrent phenomenon of violence perpetrated against migrant women and girls.”

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Pope canonizes 35 new saints, including a ‘feminist’ priest

Inés San Martín, Crux | October 16, 2017

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 35 new Catholic saints, including a late 19th and early 20th century Spanish priest today regarded by many as a feminist, because he fought for equal educational opportunities for women and girls. Among the others, 33 were martyrs in either Brazil or Mexico, meaning people who paid the ultimate price for their faith.

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Continuing Features:

With appologies to Martin Luther

Click here for book-length pdf copy of 195 Reasons

       Series on Critical Thinking

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.

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Two Bishops ordained for RCWP USA Western Region

Marie Bouclin, RCWP Canada | October 1, 2017

 have just returned from California, and the Episcopal Ordination of Jane Via and Suzanne Thiel, two bishops for the Western Region of RCWP USA. We were graciously hosted at Villa Maria del Mar, a retreat house of the Sisters of the Holy Names, overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Santa Cruz, California. We arrived Friday at the Villa so that those who wished to participate in the Saturday morning retreat exercises could do so.

Saturday morning, each person in the circle of about 32 priests of the Western Region gave a one-minute answer to two questions: What do you expect from your new bishops? (They now have two bishops for their region which is large and has the largest number of RCWP priests.) Secondly, what do you wish for your retiring bishop? Some of their suggestions could be helpful in our own Canadian election process, especially when it comes time to decide what role the retired bishop can play.

Eleven ordaining bishops for celebration at Temple Beth El in Aptos, California

There were eleven ordaining bishops for the Sunday morning celebration at Temple Beth El in Aptos, California with principal ordaining bishop Merlene Olivia Doko, USA Western Region. They were, in the order they appear on the programme: Joan Houk, USA Great Waters; Andrea Johnson, USA East; Nancy Meyer, USA Midwest; Regina Nicolosi, USA West, retired; Sibyl Dana Reynolds, retired; Marie Bouclin, Canada; Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, WFRKK, Austria; Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP; Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP, and Michele Birch Conery, ARCWP.

The First Reading from 1 Samuel was proclaimed in English and in Hebrew by Rabbi Paula Marcus, whose community offered us their sacred space. She also sang the Responsorial Psalm (90). An Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister, Rev. Leslie Reambeault, proclaimed Romans 12:3-18 as a Second Reading. Olivia Doko preached on the Gospel of Mark (14:1, 3-9), inviting us to do beautiful things for Jesus.  All in attendance laid hands on the ordinandae. Members of Jane and Suzanne's families (husbands and sons) played an active role in both the Rite of Ordination and Eucharistic celebration, as well as hosting the reception afterwards. Truly a beautiful and inclusive celebration!

Homily for the installation of Roberta Fuller as pastor at St. Mary Magdalene the First Apostle Catholic Faith Community,  Pickering, Ontario

Marie Bouclin, Bishop, RCWP Canada | September 16, 2017

Mary Magdalene, First Apostle, patron of this community, is first and foremost your chosen model of discipleship. We revere her because she sought and received the healing touch of Jesus. She was a faithful follower of his teaching and supported him in his ministry. She was loyal to Jesus even in his darkest hours of suffering and death. She listened, deeply, and so Jesus shared with her the mystery of his resurrection. Clearly the beloved disciple, she is the archetype of mystical intimacy between the soul and the Divine.

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Homily for the installation of Pat Cook as pastor at Church of the Beatitudes, Toronto, Ontario

Marie Bouclin, Bishop, RCWP Canada | October 15, 2017

Some biblical texts are very difficult to preach on, and I must confess that the last part of today’s gospel leaves me wondering: is this some redactor’s add-on (it’s not in Luke’s version of the parable)? Did the Jesus I believe in – the Jesus who preaches a God of love, compassion, and forgiveness really speak such punitive words? I leave that particular debate to the Bible scholars, because I think the focus of today’s rich readings are on God’s lavish abundance and concern for all our needs.

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Eucharist or Eucharistic -- Intentional Communities

Karen Westerfield Tucker, Pray Tell Blog | October 4, 2017

The internet is abuzz with examples of Christian communities around the world engaging in this practice, from St. Lydia’s (affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) in Brooklyn, NY, the generally acknowledged founder of “dinner church” and the newer “waffle church” (http://stlydias.org/worship/), to more recent experiments (Catholic Intentional Communities). In most cases, these meal practices intentionally include the observance of the eucharist.

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New bishop in Austria favors women deacons and priests, and married priests

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, LaCroix | October 5, 2017
The newly appointed head of the Austrian Diocese of Innsbruck, Bishop-elect Herman Glettler, has surprised people by coming out in support of the ordination of women to the diaconate. He has also suggested that it’s not too far-fetched to think that women may even be admitted to the priesthood in the future. The 52-year-old priest, in a series of interviews following his September 27th appointment, further said he is also in favor of allowing married men to become priests and divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion.

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Conference weighs how 'Amoris Laetitia' rejects 'infantilization of laity'

Women's Ordination Conference celebrates in Rome

Kate McElwee, WOC | October 1, 2017

The "Little Flowers" of the Grassroots were in full bloom yesterday, witnessing around the world for women's ordination in honor of the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, who herself was called to the priesthood.

A 19th century French Carmelite nun and Doctor of the Church, St. Therese wrote in her journals and confided in her sister Celine of her deep desire to be a priest. She wrote: "I feel in me the vocation of priest."

For the first time, a five yard-long purple "Ordain Women" banner was placed on the Sant'Angelo bridge, just in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The banner stayed in place for nearly two hours before being removed by authorities.

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Christians in Quebec gather at the US border in solidarity with refugees

Linda Spear, RCWP Canada | October 15, 2017

Yesterday, a group of Christians celebrated Eucharist at the Havelock fairgrounds. The gathering was called Meeting Jesus at the Border. The Eucharist was presided over by Bishop Mary Gibson of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal and Bishop Bruce Myers of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec.

Bishop Bruce Myers, Anglican Diocese of Quebec and Bishop Mary Gibson, Anglican Diocese of Montreal, lead Meeting Jesus at the Border

Mary Jo Leddy, director of Romero House for refugees in Toronto and Father Jack Costello, SJ, were scheduled to speak to the gathering. Several other speakers connected with Action Refugees told the gathering about their work and their experiences. Eucharist was celebrated after which an icon of the Good Samaritan was planted at the border.

Havelock is a few kilometres from the Quebec/New York border.

Linda Spear (Priest of RCWP Canada), Jim (United Church Minister) and Rita Clare
, Meeting Jesus at the Border

Women must be silent in church? Bible was doctored to read no women priests: scholar

Olivia Rudgard, The Telegraph | September 22, 2017

A biblical passage used to prevent women from being ordained is not original and was inserted after initial publication, an academic insists.

The section of Corinthians that states women must remain silent in church has been used to justify restricting the priesthood to men.

But recent research has suggested that the passage was not written by the apostle Paul – as is widely believed – but was added later.

An academic claims to have discovered a key symbol that proves the passage is not authentic.

The fact is that no single surviving manuscript omits the two verses altogether
Research published in the journal New Testament Studies casts doubt on the text, 1 Corinthians 14:34, which says: “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.”

In the article, published by the Cambridge University Press last week, U.S. academic Dr Philip Barton Payne claims that a symbol next to the passage shows that the writer, known as “scribe B”, believed it was not part of the original but had been added later.

His analysis of the Codex Vaticanus, one of the oldest versions of the Greek Bible, identifies a symbol called a “distigme-obelos”, which appears next to the relevant passage.

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Catholic Network for Women's Equality calls on Canadian Bishops to review Roman Missal English language translation in light of Pope Francis revision of Canon Law

Mary Ellen, CNWE Website | September 30, 2017

On September 9, 2017 Pope Francis issued an Apostolic letter in the form of motu proprio (‘of his own initiative’) to revise Canon Law regarding the translation of the mass (liturgy) from Latin to the various languages of the world. This change gives national conferences of Catholic bishops the authority to revise translations used in their jurisdictions to ensure the “fully conscious and active participation” of the faithful.

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Another book for free download (pdf file):

The shoe factory -- a parable

Emil Kutarna, Regina | October 20, 2017

In a large city there was one shoe factory among many others. It boasted a long history of shoemaking. It made beautiful shoes and many people shopped there. To be a shoemaker was a privilege reserved to a select number of learned craftsmen. Only men worked at that factory and they were highly regarded by the customers.

Then came a time that sales plummeted. The factory made only men’s shoes and for years women wore them too. No one thought that there needed to be any other style. Then women began asking for their own style, but the management wouldn’t hear of it. There were complaints that the quality of service and repair was inferior and but their complaints were ignored.

To compound the problems, scandal hit the factory.

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Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | October 20, 2017
National Catholic Reporter

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