RSS

Tag Archives: Vatican

Aside
Roman Catholic Activists in Rome

Father Roy Bougeois poses with (l-r) Deacon Donna Rougeux, Priests Ree Hudson and Janice Sevre-Duszynska in front of the Vatican, October 17, 2011.

Some senior leaders are willing to pay an enormous price in order that women might follow their calling. Roy Bourgeois was excommunicated and expelled from the priesthood for consistly advocating the ordination of women.  It is ironic that the Catholic Church, the most patriarchal of all churches, finds no theological objections to women’s ordination, just that of tradition.

“It does not seem that the New Testament by itself alone will permit us to settle in a clear way and once and for all the problem of the possible accession of women to the presbyterate. Wikipedia

It would seem that this is also the case with the LCA, given that the CTICR comes to a similar position.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roy Bourgeois tells his story – N.Y.Times

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s time

The more Church leadership attempts to fix the situation of women’s ordination in the LCA the further the Church gets into trouble.

Popular sovereignty or the sovereignty of the people is the principle that the legitimacy of the state is created and sustained by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power.  Despite different systems of governance, most people would accept that ‘the will of the people’ is paramount, encapsulated by Abraham Lincoln in that significant Gettysburg Address, hoping “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

What is ‘the will or consent’ of the people of the LCA?  On the matter of women’s ordination we will never know.  In fact, we will never the will of the people on any matter, as we don’t have a structure, or the will, for conducting a nation-wide poll of membership.   As the LCA uses a synodical structure, the laity express their voice through congregational motions to General Convention and through elected delegates to General Convention.  While we might revisit the structure of governance within the LCA, such a constitutional change is a matter for another decade.

We have known since 2001 that Synod delegates are in favour of women’s ordination.  As very few young people become delegates or have the freedom to afford time off work and pay for travel and accommodation for the length of the Synod, it is a fair assumption that a larger proportion of membership are in favour of women’s ordination.  That vote was also affected by the President, when he gave serious warning to delegates to vote against the motion if they were at all concerned about schism.  In addition, the President decided that absentee votes would count against the motion, with no reference to the source of authority for this decision.  Even without the influence of the current President, it is presumed that the necessary 66% support would still not have been achieved (with an actual vote of 51%), however, if it was for example 58%, it would have been more obvious that this issue had to be treated with more tolerance and sobriety.

So, we have a situation where a majority of membership and the CTICR is in favour of women’s ordination (statements from 2000 and 2006), while we have a leadership, comprised of generally older and elderly men, who not only are against women’s ordination but obstruct it through a clamp-down on media and the regular creation of extra hurdles for the establishment of women’s ordination.  How long might be this situation be tolerated? How long until congregations begin to take their own initiatives?

Let’s revisit our opening definition of sovereignty: Popular sovereignty or the sovereignty of the people is the principle that the legitimacy of the state is created and sustained by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power.

In the LCA we have a situation where the will of the people and committees is minimised or discounted.  While leadership is entrusted by the Church to lead, if trust is broken by losing the consent of its people, the Church can choose to withdraw its trust.    While women’s ordination may need a two-thirds majority vote, the removal of Pr Semmler as President only requires a 50% vote.   This will free up Church media, allow the national conversation to continue, give back respect to CTICR and CSBQ, and also give back respect to women who experience the call to ordained ministry.

It’s time!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What if Jesus had a wife?

Jesus wife papyrus

Jesus wife papyrus

We in the LCA place great emphasis on scholarly reference to Scripture, so it is surprising that, amongst some, there is a resistance to the outcomes of scholarly research on Scripture.  Some weeks ago in the news was the announcement of a Coptic ancient papyrus that includes Jesus referring to “my wife”, with another section of the fragment, containing the phrase “she will be able to be my disciple”.  The Vatican declares it a fake (more a statement of faith than rigour of research) but what if it’s not?  Scholars are constantly researching those books that didn’t make it into the canon for clues to how we might interpret the Scriptures, so isn’t this new source at least worthy of consideration?

If we insist that Jesus was not married, why is that so important to us?  Would it rock our faith if it turned out to be true?  If perhaps Jesus was married would that change our theology?   What might it mean for how we viewed women in the church?   The whole of Christendom is influenced by Augustine and Aquinas who had a very limited understanding of gender, but what might their theology of gender have been if they knew that Jesus had a wife?  How would that have affected us?

Whether Jesus had a wife seems less than central to our Christian faith, but it would certainly give cause for reflection on our current relegation of women to the margins of the church.

__________

 Added 13th Nov – From the work of Karen King, a professor of divinity at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who presented the findings at the International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome. Reference

Portrait of Elizabeth Cady Stanton with her so...

Portrait of Elizabeth Cady Stanton with her sons Daniel and Henry, 1848.

Early Christians didn’t agree about whether they should marry or remain celibate, and the earliest claim Jesus didn’t marry is from 200 A.D., King said.

“One of the things we do know is that very rarely in ancient literature was the marital status of men discussed,” King said in a conference call with reporters. “Silence in marital status is normal.”

Only women were identified in terms of family relationships, as someone’s sister, mother, or wife, King said. The question of whether Jesus married came up later when people wanted to use him as a model for their lives, she said.

Added 13th Nov –  Further reference to Augustine’s understanding of gender – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

You may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded woman… I have been traveling over the old world during the last few years and have found new food for thought. What power is it that makes the Hindoo woman burn herself upon the funeral pyre of her husband? Her religion. What holds the Turkish woman in the harem? Her religion. By what power do the Mormons perpetuate their system of polygamy? By their religion/ Man, of himself, could not do this; but when he declares, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ of course he can do it. So long as ministers stand up and tell us Christ is the head of the church, so is man the head of woman, how are we to break the chains which have held women down through the ages? You Christian women look at the Hindoo, the Turkish, the Mormon women, and wonder how they can be held in such bondage…

Now I ask you if our religion teaches the dignity of woman? It teaches us the abominable idea of the sixth century–Augustine’s idea–that motherhood is a curse; that woman is the author of sin, and is most corrupt. Can we ever cultivate any proper sense of self-respect as long as women take such sentiments from the mouths of the priesthood? ―

 
16 Comments

Posted by on November 11, 2012 in sociology, theology, women's ordination

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Women as Priests – NYTimes.com

Andrea M. Johnson was ordained a Roman Catholic Womanpriest in 2007 and bishop in 2009. She has worked for many years as a religious educator at the adult and secondary levels. Her particular interest is ministry with marginalized and underserved Catholics.

Reposted from the New York Times.  Women as Priests – NYTimes.com.

REFORMERS within the Roman Catholic Church have been calling for the ordination of women as priests. The Vatican, however, refuses to consider the possibility and uses its power to silence those who speak out. Catholic clergy in Europe, Australia and the United States who have voiced public support for female ordination have been either dismissed or threatened with removal from administrative posts within the church. Read more and view the slide show of many Women Priests.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

News – Portland prayer vigil shows support for nuns who could break from Vatican

2 min video from TV news report

Catholic nuns in Portland, Maine, US, continue to struggle with the Pope’s criticism that they are not advocating the church’s teaching on abortion, gay marriage and women as priests.

They are meeting considering whether they will follow the Pope’s direction to reorganise or break away from the Pope’s teaching. As they have considerable support  this story will not go away for some time.

WGME 13 – News – Portland prayer vigil shows support for nuns who could break from Vatican.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 15, 2012 in politics, theology, women's ordination

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Congregations will eventually ordain women

In the LCA congregations will eventually begin to ordain women.

It is happening in the Catholic Church because congregations are despairing of any change through formal channels. In August Elaine Groppenbacher became the fourth female to be ordained a Catholic priest in the Phoenix area, USA.  When the Vatican increasingly loses respect and authority, congregations will increasingly risk being ejected from the fold to do what they think is right … and this is in a tradition where obedience has a high priority.

“We’re the Rosa Parks of the Catholic Church,” says Bridget Mary Meehan, a Womenpriests bishop and former nun. “We no longer accept second-class status in our own religion.” Read more.
The Vatican is in crisis.  It is facing a drop in membership despite Catholic policy against birth control, it is beginning to face the crimes of its clergy from the last few generations, (I shudder to think of the undisclosed crimes from the last two millenia) and very few Catholics have any respect for the Catholic decree prohibiting the use of contraception, which has led to a devastating surge of AIDS in Africa. In addition, a US CBS poll says that the majority of Catholics support women’s ordination.
There is panic in the Catholic camp for the Vatican is responding with inordinate force, denouncing  “female ordination a delictum gravius, or a grave crime, the same label it has given to pedophilia.”  Time Magazine 27th September 2010, pp 53-55 The Vatican declares that women who attempt to become priests, and the officiating bishops, will automatically be excommunicated from the church. Let’s be clear about this – women who wish to share the gospel through the ordained ministry are condemned with the same language as paedophile priests who use children for their own sexual gratification!  Such loss of perspective and such loss of focus indicates a blinkered urge to regain control of a diverse Church and an accompanying loss of pastoral care and vision.
It is clear where the Vatican’s priorities lie. The Times cites the case of Rev. Roy Bourgeois, who was excommunicated two months after he took part in a ceremony ordaining a woman. It took years after bishops’ requests, in many cases, to defrock pedophiles.

Women and men have waited generations for women’s ordaination in the LCA.  It is a certainty that congregations will eventually lose patience with the callous handling of this pivotal issue.  It is unlikely that the Church can remain intact through another General Synod without ordaining women.  I believe that General Convention 2012 will be a turning point.  No more will all congregations be content to trust in the process.  No more will they trust that women’s ordination ‘will soon happen’.  No more will they trust Church leadership. No more will they continue to tell the women in their midst to continue waiting.

Congregations will increasingly consider their options are as General Synod 2012 draws closer.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome.  We’d love to get your comment.

If you found this post useful, consider sharing and subscribing to this blog for free.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 5, 2010 in sociology, theology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: