Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shocked-the Bishops discover once again, they are not a social or moral force for all Catholics

Comment:  How difficult it is for the Bishops to understand laity and clergy are and have been making decisions about "sexuality" that have nothing to do with their supposed "doctrine".   From 1968 to today, they seem consistently shocked that their "faithful" listen to their words and are  not putting them in practice.

The real question is "Have the Bishop's ever been a believable voice on this subject? Are they really moral, asking Catholics to accept all children as God's gifts when the recievers of those "gifts" fully understand they do not have the means to raise their children?  Catholics today are more educated, spiritual and aware of their social and moral responsibilities.  Perhaps the bishops should take time out to catch up......

Kudos to the LCWR.  They have a pulse on the many who struggle with this daily and the consequences of living in the Bishop's double bind.  It is refreshing to have their decision in print. 

“Once marginalized as a social force, the Catholic Church's position as a moral and social conscience for the country will quickly be diminished. Is this the intent of your membership?”


Friday, February 24, 2012

Women Priests: The Time Has Come


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Catholics Stand with Obama on Contraception Issue

Comment:  Once again, the bishops hold their heads in the sand.  Catholics make their own decisions about their families.....they know that in order to raise children for the 20+ years they will be together, they have to make reasoned decisions for the long term health of their families.  The poor face enormous struggles as more children enter their families....In the past, Catholic Schools added support by educating the thousands of children of the poor-raising generations from poverty to middle class from elementary schools to university education...today, Catholic Schools have outpriced the poor.... and serve those wealthy enough to afford it.   So in terms of raising the next generation from poverty to success, which is a gospel mandate, have the Bishop's laid out their plan?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Contraception Scam

Comment:  If 98% of Catholics ignore this issue-how is it a matter of Religious Freedom?  I say it is an exercise of hierarchical clericalism......Clerics need to understand they are being ignored.....or better yet-excommunicated by proclaiming this issue.....Yes, I do believe laity maintain their Catholic Faith and Traditions, and excommunicate certain clerics...this is one example of many.

A reformatted by John Chuchman,  and excerpted version of Gary Wills article in New York Review of Books
Pass it on!

The Phony Religious Freedom Argument

The bishops’ opposition to contraception
is not an argument for a “conscience exemption.”
 It is a way of imposing Catholic requirements on non-Catholics.
 This is religious dictatorship, not religious freedom.

Contraception is not even a religious matter.
Nowhere in Scripture or the Creed is it forbidden.
Catholic authorities themselves say it is a matter of “natural law,”
over which natural reason is the arbiter
and natural reason, even for Catholics, has long rejected the idea
that contraception is evil.

Contraception is legal, ordinary, and accepted even by most Catholics.
To say that others must accept what Catholics themselves do not
 is bad enough.
To say that President Obama is “trying to destroy the Catholic Church”
if he does not accept it is much, much worse.

To disagree with Catholic bishops is called “disrespectful,”
an offense against religious freedom.

The Phony Contraception Argument

The opposition to contraception has no scriptural basis.
The Bishops maintain that the natural purpose of sex is procreation,
and any use of it for other purposes is “unnatural.”
But a primary natural purpose
does not of necessity exclude ancillary advantages.
The purpose of eating is to sustain life,
but that does not make all eating that is not necessary to subsistence “unnatural.”
One can eat, beyond the bare minimum to exist,
to express fellowship, as one can have sex,
beyond the begetting of a child with each act,
to express love.

The Roman authorities would not have fallen for such a silly argument
but for a deep historical disrelish for sex itself.
Early Fathers and medieval theologians considered sex unworthy
when not actually sinful.
That is why virgin saints and celibate priests were prized above married couples.

Thomas Aquinas said that priests must not be married,
since “those in holy orders handle the sacred vessels and the sacrament itself, and therefore it is proper that they preserve, by abstinences,
a body undefiled.
Marriage, you see, makes for defilement.
 The ban on contraception is a hangover
from the period when the body itself was considered unclean.

The Phony “Church Teaches” Argument

Catholics who do not accept the phony argument over contraception
are said to be “going against the teachings of their church.”
That is nonsense.
They are their church.
The Second Vatican Council defines the church as “the people of God.”

Thinking that the pope is the church
is a relic of the days when a monarch was said to be his realm.
Catholics have long realized that their own grasp of certain things,
especially sex, has a validity that is lost on the celibate male hierarchy.
This is particularly true where celibacy is concerned.

There was broad disagreement with Pius XI’s 1930 encyclical on the matter. Pope Paul VI set up a study group of loyal and devout Catholics,
lay and clerical, to make recommendations.
The group overwhelmingly voted to change the teaching of Pius XI.
But cardinals in the Roman Curia convinced Paul
that any change would suggest that the church’s teachings are not eternal .

When Paul reaffirmed the ban on birth control in Humanae Vitae (1968)
there was massive rejection of it.
Some left the church.
Some just ignored it.
Paradoxically, the document formed to convey the idea
that papal teaching is inerrant just convinced most people
that it can be loony.

The Phony “Undying Principle” Argument

Rick Santorum is a nice smiley fanatic.
He does not believe in evolution or global warming or women in the workplace.
He equates gay sex with bestiality.
He equates contraception with the guillotine.
Only a brain-dead party could think him a worthy presidential candidate.
Yet he is praised by television pundits, night and day, for being “sincere”
and “standing by what he believes.”
He is the principled alternative to the evil Moderation of Mitt Romney
and the evil Evil of Newt Gingrich.
He is presented as a model Catholic.
A young priest I saw on television, modeling himself on his hero Santorum, said,
 “I would rather die than give up my church’s principles.”
What we are seeing is not a defense of undying principle
but a stampede toward a temporarily exploitable lunacy.

Groups Condemn Appointment of Dolan

Comment:  This is a wonderful statement.  As a person, Archbishop Dolan deserves the respect his office offers him, however, in my view because his behavior and moral choices border on and may well be criminal, he needs to be treated as such and removed not promoted.  When the Vatican stacks its halls with clerics linked to criminal activity,  they vote in those who are likeminded promoting a culture of ill refute.....we should all be clear- this  practice is NOT "Catholic", it is clerical hierarchicalism.

The Clerical hierarchy has allowed itself to become a totalitarian political party that silences and eliminated reasoned voices (check Matthew Fox's list of 95), allows priests to embezzle, supports the rape our children by looking the other way and continues misogynist practices that mistreats women in every country on the planet.  We need to find a language to excise these practices from the authentic Catholic practices that bring people closer to God through full participation by all at every level within our local churches.

Diane Dougherty  2/18/12


Impunity at the top of the church


This writer makes a great point.  Other hierarchies can oust their totalitarian leaders but that has not happened since 1415 when Pope Gregory was given the boot....I love her last sentence, Pope Benedict has pre-deceased his church....most Catholics are shifting away from this present leadership...because it does not espouse to anything remotely "Catholic". 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Can the bishops speak credibly about a women's health issue?

On the contraception mandate: Can the bishops speak credibly about a women's health issue? by Bryan Cones- in US Catholic

By Bryan Cones - in US Catholic
..."The fact is, church teaching addresses women's bodies and their health care in profoundly intimate and different ways than it does the bodies of men. (One wonders how the conversation would be different if we were talking about prostate exams or erectile dysfunction.) It does not help the bishops' credibility that women have had no deliberative voice in the creation of church teaching on birth control, and since none of the bishops are married, they are not in the position to consider more than intellectually the economic, emotional, and psychological dimensions of an unplanned pregnancy.The fact remains that half of pregnancies in this country are unplanned, and half of those end in abortion. The emotional, psychological, economic, and moral costs of these pregnancies (and abortions) fall most heavily on the women affected, and I think it incumbent upon Christians to consider these women and their children--born and unborn--as we examine this moral issue.I do not see how preventing a woman from using a legal medical means to decide when or if she becomes pregnant impinges on my right to excercise my faith. Indeed, my hope that greater access to birth control would reduce the number of abortions more than makes up for any concerns I have about the legal complexities surrounding the mandate's effect on Catholic employers."
Recent Activity:
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WHO'S CONTROLLING WHOM?/Bishops at War About Women and Reproductive Capabilities

Church is not the victim here
By Katy Burns
..."Make no mistake. It is a war. And it's not a war about "religious freedom," as the crusading bishops and their conservative supporters, including a parade of pandering Republican presidential wanna-bes, would have you believe. It's a war about women and who will control their reproductive capabilities. It is a war about birth control, especially the relatively easy, inexpensive and effective birth control provided by the Pill, IUDs and other devices that have in the past 50 years revolutionized the world. For the first time in human history, women have been able to participate fully in the world in which they live. The results have been dramatic as women have moved in force into academe and into the workforce.This includes millions of Catholic women, in this country and elsewhere, despite the fact that their church holds that using artificial birth control of any kind whatsoever is a "grave" sin. Such liberation - particularly when some of those women start questioning their subservient role in the Church as well - doesn't sit well with many members of the Catholic hierarchy, an authoritative and autocratic bunch of celibate men who seem obsessed with controlling the reproductive lives of the rest of the world...."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Excellent analysis that leads to the heart of the problem- sexism and sad, but true, misogyny. Until we have women priests and a married priesthood in the institutional church, the Roman Catholic hierarchy will attempt to control women's sexuality as they have in the past. We have a prophetic movement of Roman Catholic Women Priests that is causing a holy shakeup in the Vatican now. We stand in solidarity with women worldwide in opposition to the U.S. bishops over this latest affront threatening contraceptive coverage as an issue of human rights and religious freedom for women worldwide. And the majority of Catholics affirm our position.
 Women of the U.S. and world are waking up to the bishops' debacle as a power and control grab by the institutional Roman Catholic Church! I agree that it is a war of the male hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church against contraceptives for women of the world.
Bridget Mary Meehan
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Friday, February 10, 2012

Press Release-ARCWP and the Bishop's stance on Contraception

Press Release: from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Release date: February 10, 2012

Media Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, rhythmsofthedance@msn.com, 859-684-4247
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.com, 703-505-0004
See www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org

 Who Better to Speak for Roman Catholic Women Than Women Priests and Women Themselves? 

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests support contraceptive coverage for women as an issue of conscience
and religious freedom.  We affirm the part of President Obama's plan that would require that insurance companies offer
contraceptive coverage at no cost. We look forward to the day when there is access to universal health coverage for all.

The U.S. bishops have no right to impose their dogma in the public sphere.

Who are they to take from women power over their own bodies?

Who are they to withhold from women their God-given authority to make their own choices, including reproductive choices?

We women priests of ARCWP stand in solidarity with Roman Catholic women and all women. We believe all women
have the divinely human right to make reproductive decisions on their own behalf -- without consulting male priests or bishops.

We know from Catholics for Choice that 98% of sexually active Catholic women use a method of contraception banned by the U.S. bishops.

We are also aware of our sisters who live in abject poverty in the U.S. and across the globe. Many of these women may have been denied access to affordable birth control by their governments. Others are forcibly denied the use of contraceptives by husbands or male partners who have no regard for their female partner's safety or volition.  Complicit in this suffering is the all-male boys' club at the Vatican and their male bishops throughout our world community who influence public policy at all levels including the United Nations, that affects women, their choices and their children.

We continue to pray for our spiritually bereft brother priests at the Vatican and U.S. bishops. The scandalous behavior of too many across our world community and their idolatry of male power and privilege is a sin against women and our our Loving God who calls both men and women to the priesthood.  

Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum who has a zero track record on women's rights, has said that ..."President Obama may force Roman Catholic churches to hire women priests."  Despite his facetious remark, women priests exist and their communities are growing. The Vatican is running scared. We celebrate Eucharist and speak out for the voiceless in the U.S. and in eight other countries. We remember what Jesus taught us and are consciously living out the Gospel mandate to empower and liberate.

"The Spirit blows where She will." 

The days of the Vatican's influence are numbered.