November 15, 2018 ______________________________________________________________________________________

International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women - Voices of Faith event in Rome November 27th

Voices of Faith, | November 15, 2018

OVERCOMING SILENCE - Women's Voices in the Abuse Crisis is an event that will consist of three powerful story-tellers, each with her own personal experience of abuse in the Church and what they are doing to ensure change.

The second part of this event will be a panel discussion moderated by Robert Mickens, Editor of La Croix International. This panel will discuss and reflect on why women and girls experiences' seem to be systematically missing from debates about sexual abuse, which groups are especially vulnerable and how gender and power intersect to make women and girls invisible in this crisis. Most importantly the panel will discuss what mechanisms need to be put in place to address this to ensure abuse can never again be swept under the rug and covered up.

Live Streaming and archived videos will be made available.

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Catholic bishops end synod with controversy and compromise

Thomas Reese, | October 29, 2018

This article appears in the Synod on the Youth 2018 NCR feature series. View the full series.

For those looking for Pope Francis' synod of bishops on young people to settle the current divides in the Catholic Church between bishops and laity, conservatives and reformers, LGBT Catholics and those who regard that group as an oxymoron, the synod's final report is bound to disappoint.

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  • Catholic bishops end synod with controversy and compromise
  • Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, and Purgatory here on Earth
  • Parliament of the World's Religions illuminating, but those who needed it most weren't there
  • A woman of fire - St. Teresa of Ávila, Doctor of the Church
  • Catholic Women Called - Marion Flynn
  • Free access to on-line or pdf downloadable books and book-length articles
  • Homilies
  • Comments to the Editor
  • Prophetic Women
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message
  • Binding The Strong Man
  • Give Us This Day short videos on the lives of Oscar Romero, Dorthy Day and Thérèse Martin
  • "Knock, knock. Who's there? More than half the church!'
  • Why They Stay. Why They Can’t
  • Tech Tip
  • Francis, the comic strip
  • Links to related information

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RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

What is a Prophet?

In the last edition of The Review I wrote about the role of Priest. Following is a short reflection on the role of Prophet. We say we are baptized as priest, prophet, and king (or servant leader). Can you remember a single time that you were in fact told you are a prophet? It is a challenging questions at anytime. “What is a Prophet?”

In the Gospel of Mark (Chapter 6), the people of Jesus’ home place hear his preaching and take offence. “Who do you think you are?” Jesus speaks the familiar text: “A prophet is not without honour except in her/his native place and among kin and even in one's own house.” Mark's Jesus tells his disciples that rejection is part of following him. Earlier in the Gospel (Chapter 2), Jesus comes home and his family thinks he has lost his mind. Now he comes to his home town again with his disciples and is again rejected. Like Jesus, the prophet will know rejection. By strangers, yes; but even one’s own family and friends? Almost nothing feels worse. But it will happen.

Ezekiel recounts his own encounter with God and his call to be prophet; it is the work of the spirit of God, (thus, it is God’s initiative) causing one to stand strong, and to speak to those who are hard of face and obstinate of heart. Not a happy task. No wonder we don’t speak of it much. Paul, also, suffered rejection. He came to know that the power of God's word spoken through him was effective when he accepted his weakness. “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12-10)

So lets look at what it means to be a prophet? Walter Brueggemann (Prophetic Imagination, 2018 - 40th Anniv. edition) suggests that a prophet is one who nurtures, nourishes, and evokes a consciousness which is an alternative to the dominant culture around us. In other words, one who puts on the mind and heart of Christ. In Sirach (Chapter 17) we read, “God fashioned human beings ... and gave them a heart to think with.” As we are attuned to the Heart of Christ we become aware of injustice, often from our own experience, and are moved to speak out about it and dream of a better way and then do something to achieve the dream.

In first world North America, the dominant culture is one of power, prosperity, consumerism, and a growing public narcissism. This is not only true of business and government, but also the institutional churches which are largely enculturated to the ethos of society. It is the role of the prophet to engage in informed critique of the culture, the institutions, and the practices of abuse and oppression. The prophet names what is not of God or the model of Jesus to energize for the reign of God. The prophet points to a better way that is more in tune with the way of love and compassion, with a preferential option for the poor.

Prophets are not primarily lone, independent voices but rather individuals that emerge from communities suffering under the oppression of the dominant consciousness, and from those who have compassion for them.

All who are baptized in Christ are prophets. In community, with the vision and leadership of our pastors, we are all challenged to see the situations we need to speak to in our world about the evil that needs to be named and addressed. We need to ask “What can be done? How do we bring the word of God to the situation? Where is our prophetic voice?"


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


Radical Discipleship, | Ordinary Time, 2018, Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary

As we transition into the summer months of Ordinary Time, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Binding The Strong Man, Ched Myers’ extraordinary political reading of Mark’s Gospel

For each Sunday of Ordinary Time, RCWP Canada semi-Monthly Review  posts links to Myers' comments.]

Give Us This Day short videos on the lives of Oscar Romero and Dorthy Day and Thérèse Martin

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

"Knock, knock. Who's there? More than half the church!'

NCR Editorial Staff, | October 25, 2018

There is a sense of inevitability to the point behind the chant that grabbed global attention when it was shouted out during a peaceful protest at the Vatican Oct. 3 as bishops and cardinals made their way to the opening session of the Synod of Bishops on young people.

Organized by the Women's Ordination Conference, the protest highlighted the fact that no women were permitted to vote at the synod sessions.

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Why They Stay. Why They Can’t

Steven Lanoux, Special to The Review | October 25, 2018

This interactive article was published in today's electronic New York Times. 

I think we can identify with each of the ten individuals spotlighted in it.  There are those who stay and those who have left.  Some are angry, some not so much, but all are disgusted and saddened.  Some wait for change, others work for it.  All are shaken, but no one blames God and has abandoned Him.

They each are a piece of the puzzle.  But there are over a billion pieces in our Catholic puzzle, and right now, they do not all fit together to make one meaningful picture.  Therein lies the core challenge for the Church.

But back to basics. 

We were all taught in Catechism that "confession is good for the soul."  It is a requirement for Catholics to heal the broken relationship with God, to restore the state of grace in us.  We cannot obtain absolution and true forgiveness for our sins without it.  It's time for the clergy to step into the confessional.  Too bad for them that it is a public one.  But then, they have worked for centuries to hide what has been happening, so their penance cannot be concealed if the church is to heal.

For our confession to be valid, we must state and mean, "I will sin no more and avoid whatever leads me to sin."  So must the clergy do this.  And then the kicker--they have to prove it to us.  Over time...a long time.  We will not heal in a week.

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

Tech Tip

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Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, and Purgatory here on Earth

Steven Lanoux, Special to The Review | November 1, 2018

This is a bizarre time of the year [the beginning of November} for Catholics, when we experience conflicting cultural and emotional influences.

The temporal world demands we spend untold sums of treasure and time on costumes and candy and decorations then escort our children on their quest for sugar treats while it is still daylight to protect them from real ghouls and evil beasties who emerge under cover of darkness.  We inspect their harvest for razor blades or needles, and we toss out the healthy stuff because it is not sealed.  The real fear in Halloween is for the parents, not the kids.

At the same time, the spiritual world asks us to recognize that this is "All Hallow's Evening" when we should be praying for those who have preceded us in death.  The "Dia de Muertos" celebrations are more what the Church has in mind.  We follow with All Saints' Day, a holy day of obligation, and All Souls Day, no obligation but a strong recommendation to attend Mass to pray again for those who have gone over.

The temporal world ends Daylight Savings Time, gives us our additional hour of sleep on Sunday morning and changes the clock so we get up and go off to work in daylight.  And it takes back by our returning home in darkness, making the evening rush hour more dangerous and frightening and discouraging afternoon barbecues (for those of us fortunate enough to live in tropical climates).

The spiritual world asks us to pray for All Saints then All Souls on consecutive days, discriminating between "saints" who we believe are seeing the face of God in heaven and "souls" who have passed on to the afterlife but who have an indeterminate status--but who must need our prayers.  This is when the pulpits speak to us of heaven and hell and purgatory, the latter a  truly Catholic invention unsupported by anything other than Church dogma.  There are articles published about the relationship between these three "places", some simple and some so esoteric that the message is largely incomprehensible.

The temporal world has given us a caravan of refugees headed our way, illegal immigrants hiding in plain sight in our communities and hoping for citizenship, plus a generation of DACA young adults with incredible talent and promise and indeterminate futures because politicians will not do the right thing out of selfish fears over re-election.  Do we need any better example of purgatory?  It is a "place," and it is here on earth.

The spiritual world teaches us to pray for the souls in purgatory, that they need our help, that they cannot pray for themselves--but they can and do pray for us so that we may in turn help them. 

The spiritual world does NOT teach us that God sends militant angels to keep these souls out of heaven.  There is no heavenly concertina wire or chain link fencing or armed riverine patrol craft to keep them in their place.

The spiritual world teaches us that the choirs of angels and the saints who have gone before us sing hymns of praise and welcome for these souls as they ascend to share in the presence of God.

What a lovely example for the temporal world.

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

Parliament of the World's Religions illuminating, but those who needed it most weren't there

Will Pearson, | November 2018

For one week, thousands of faithful people from all over the world have gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to learn from one another, worship together, and celebrate their shared relationship with the sacred. They represent dozens of different faith and spiritual traditions, and the convention centre looks kaleidoscopic as adherents shuffle between workshops, lectures and other sessions wearing a diverse array of religious garments.

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A woman of fire - St. Teresa of Ávila, Doctor of the Church

Joan Chittister, Benetvision | October 15, 2018

To be a woman is not easy in any period of history. The world is a male preserve, and women, it has apparently been decreed by someone, somewhere for his own convenience, are to be its caretakers, not its pioneers. To be a strong and idealistic woman is even worse. The problem is that caretaking is not usually the gift of dreamers who have an urge to change things, but if the dreamers are women, it is even worse.

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Catholic Women Called - Marion Flynn

Catholic Women Called, Youtube video

Marion Flynn shares how her call to priesthood has allowed her to be a companion to young people, no matter how complicated their journeys.

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


Editor, The Review | November 1, 2010

The following list of live links will take you to a wealth of homily material for preachers or long-suffering lay-faithful.  All homilists follow the Revised Common Lectionary.

These links are brought forward and will remain here on this page of The Review for a few issues, but now or later can be accessed by clicking on the permanent link Homilies at the bottom of this page.

Sunday Homilies by Judy Lee, RCWP-USA

Sunday Homilies following the Revised Common Lectionary by Samantha Crossley

Pope Francis' Homilies

Very nice list of homily helps. I do believe you are doing a great service.  Do you have any way to know the number of people using the postings?  Keep up the pioneering work. 

[David Jackson, Edinburg, TX, Coordinator of St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen at San Juan, TX and member of Call to Action Rio Grande Valley]

Editor's note:  Usually within a week after publishing a new issue of The Review, the website counter registers 100 accesses.

Wow! The website gets better and better every month.  My only problem is that I spend so much time reading ALL the articles that I’m late for lunch!
Hey, Anonymous liked my little article.
Great job, as usual.

[Emil Kutarna, Regina, SK]

Prophetic Women

J. A. Dick
,  |
October 27, 2018

Sometimes we need to change the conversation, shifting from wayward bishops and abusive clergy. They will get what they deserve. We need to speak as well about positive issues and movements in today’s church. Life goes on and there are indeed signs of new life.

Right now I look to courageous women for signs of new life. This week’s editorial from the National Catholic Reporter says it well: “Sidelined for too long, women aren't going away. Perhaps the utter scandal to which an all-male clerical culture has subjected the church will finally force a change.”

For me one of the most encouraging movements in contemporary church ministry is the prophetic “Roman Catholic Womenpriests” movement: RCWP. Prophetic movements always shake-up institutional managers; and sometimes that is a good thing. The prophetic leaders of course, especially those who condone women’s ordination, often incur excommunication…..In every institution it often takes time for top management to acknowledge and appreciate the change makers. The historical Jesus discovered this in his early thirties.

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