New Books -Women Priests

Support Women Priests this Christmas- Put Books Written by Women Priests and About Women Priests on Christmas List

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Books written by Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests:

Come By Here by Dr. Judy Lee, inspiring book about Pastor Judy's ministry to the homeless in the Ft. Myers, Florida area. The good news is that people are moving from homelessness and poverty to shelter and resources. Find out why? Hint: Communities of Faith are helping. So can you. (available online retailers including amazon)

The Life of the Spirit in the Convergent Points of Dreams, Spirituality and Psychology by Dr. Eleonora V. Marinaro whose work in psychology and in spirituality shows her how both subjects interface in the human psyche. Each discipline provides a method and a path for healing, wholeness and transformation. Her working model and theories are based on her own dream experiences and those of her private clients and dream groups. Her research reveals that dreams can describe and contribute to understanding the growth and healing process. Influenced by her study of Carl Jung, Dr. Marinaro says: “For Jung, it was not about religion, but about a personal spirituality and relationship with God. Jung saw dreams as the vehicle for spiritual experience and transformation.” Much like Dr. Marinaro herself does. Published by Outskirts Press. Purchase on or Barnes&

Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God-
A Roman Catholic Woman Priest Story by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, a woman priest's story, spirituality, and journey to partnership in a Christ-centered, Spirit- empowered community of equals. Roman Catholic Women Priests are rocking the Catholic Church to its foundations as they share women's experiences and claim women's spiritual power as spiritual equals. For some, like the Catholic hierarchy, women priests are a revolution. For millions of people, the time has come for a holy shakeup that will bring new life, creativity and justice to the church and beyond. Available at

Book About Women's Ordination written by Dr. Ida Raming/Germany

A History of Women's Ordination
"For decades, Professor Ida Raming has been one of the leaders in the forefront of the argument in favor of the ordination of women. First published by Scarecrow Press in 1976, Dr. Raming has recently republished her classic German study accompanied by an invaluable updated international bibliography as well as three recent articles that provide scholarly responses to the Vatican's position. This second edition provides an English translation of the new updated German edition. Also provided is an English translation of all the canonical sources quoted by Raming and a chronological bibliography on women's ordination from 1973 to the present."

Book - Early History of Women Priests Movement:
Women Find A Way: The Movement and Stories of Roman Catholic Womenpriests edited by
Elsie McGrath, Bridget Mary Meehan, and Ida Raming
Meet Roman Catholic Womenpriests who are shaping a more inclusive, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered Church of equals in the twenty-first century. All are welcome at the sacred Eucharistic table. Meet women bishops ordained in full apostolic succession who continue to carry on the work of ordaining others in the Roman Catholic Church. Meet women who are serving the People of God in many ways including house churches and parish communities, hospital and hospice chaplaincy, anointing of the sick and elderly, and ministering with the homeless. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are leading the Catholic Church into a new age in which the identity of priest reflects the experiences of women.
New Books About Women Priests:

Changing Church, Stories of Liberating Ministers
by Jann Aldredge-Clanton
"Meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles, these twelve diverse ministers are changing the church as they take prophetic stands on gender, race, interfaith cooperation, ecology, sexual orientation, economic opportunity and social justice isues. "

Called -Women Hear the Voice of the Divine
by Gretchen Kloten Minney
(WNN) U.S.: “Abundant evidence exists that many women were ordained and served as deacons and priests in the early church,” says practicing Roman Catholic Gretchen Kloten Minney, who is also a humanitarian and North American author of the new book, “Called – Women Hear the Voice of the Divine.”As the revolutions of the Arab Spring change the political landscape of the Middle East, another important transformative revolution is building inside one of our major world religions.What’s at stake? Modern day Roman Catholicism and its identity in priesthood.

Taken from Brigetmary'

Render Unto Rome
Comment: This book comes highly recommended.  It confirms much of what has been in the news, but offers details that give a picture of a hierarchy steeped in behaviors that are far from the ideals that mirror authentic Catholic teachings and practice.  This group sees themselves so far above us, they never have to explain themselves.  Diane Dougherty

Review of 'Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church' by Jason Berry

 Comment:  What does a church do when faced with potentially having to pay billions of dollars in damages to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of its clergy?

By Steve Fiffer
Special to Tribune Newspapers

What does a church do when faced with potentially having to pay billions of dollars in damages to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of its clergy? As Jason Berry documents so well in his compelling new book, "Render Unto Rome," the Catholic Church's initial response was to fight the charges.

Highly placed bishops and cardinals denied any knowledge of such abuse or claimed that proper procedures had been followed in sending known pedophiles from one parish to another, where they often committed the same vile acts. High-priced lawyers argued that even if such evils had taken place, the statute of limitations had passed and victims were not entitled to compensation. And perhaps worst of all, high-ranking church officials in the Vatican and the United States branded the accusers as liars.

Apologies were almost as hard to come by as restitution.

We know that ultimately such tactics failed miserably and that archdioceses across the country and around the world have either lost or settled lawsuits that might bankrupt a major corporation — over $700 million in damages in Los Angeles alone.

So how does an archdiocese pay for these damages and the hefty legal fees associated with them? Some archdioceses have actually filed for bankruptcy, while insurance payments and loans from banks with ties to the Vatican have helped others cover the costs. But, sadly, all too often the short answer has been on the backs of good, innocent parishioners.

According to Berry the church has shut down more than 1300 parishes in the U.S. since 1995. Some of these closings were legitimate due to declining attendance and other factors; however Berry's focus is on those churches with vibrant congregations, strong balance sheets, and, in many cases, parishioners themselves willing to raise the funds to meet any operating deficits.

Why were so many of these parishes targeted? According to this painstakingly researched book, it was because closing them would allow the church to sell off their real estate, much of which was extremely valuable. Whether the money reaped from such sales should "follow the parishioners" or go to the archdiocese to use as it pleased has, understandably, been the subject of much contention and even litigation.

This battle pitting observant Catholics against their local bishops and cardinals came to a head in the midst of the sex scandals plaguing the Church. Parishioners whose places of worship were to be shuttered and whose land holdings were to be sold argued that if closure was inevitable, sale proceeds should go to the congregations, not, as often appeared to be the case, to settle the lawsuits based on misdeeds that were none of their doing.

In "Render Unto Rome," Berry focuses his intelligent eye on two cities, Boston and Cleveland. In each of these locales, the architect of post-scandal downsizing was a less-than-likable bishop named Richard Lennon. Berry questions the bishop's reasoning and motives in closing over 60 parishes in Boston alone — where it just so happened that lawsuits and settlements from the infamous Cardinal Law era totaled over $150 million.

Berry knows the church landscape as well as any living investigative journalist. Almost 20 years ago, he documented the sex scandal in "Lead us Not into Temptation." And in 2004, along with the late Gerald Renner, he wrote the highly-regarded, "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of Pope John Paul II."

Berry knows how to find the story lines that humanize the stomach-turning behavior of the pedophiles, those who protected them, and those who sought to clean up the mess in less than savory ways. In "Render Unto Rome," Berry follows the fascinating Peter Borre, a Harvard-educated Boston businessman likened to Don Quixote. After his church, which catered to working class immigrants, was slated for closure, Borre embarked on an effort to keep it and other churches open using tactics ranging from civil disobedience to sophisticated appeals to the Vatican.

At one point Borre brought petitions bearing 3500 signatures to the chancery in Boston's Brighton neighborhood. "'We're not interested in petitions,' the priest uttered. Borre asked what they should do with the petitions. The cleric, whom he recognized as a chancery official, retorted, 'You should go f--- yourself,'" writes Berry.

With his business background, Borre became curious about church finances: "How did a 'land rich' church manage its assets?" Berry ably chronicles the history of local churches sending money to Rome and the lack of financial transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the Vatican and its archdioceses.

Most disturbing is the case of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the Mexican-born priest who founded the Legion of Christ. Numerous men, some of them now clergy, charged Maciel had sexually abused them when they were young. Berry follows the gifts that flowed from the cash-rich Legion to the powerful Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state from 1991 to 2006. With Sodano as his protector, Maciel enjoyed the support of Pope John Paul II. Condemnation and removal from duties came only after Pope Benedict XVI took power. At that time it was revealed that in addition to pedophilia, Maciel had fathered children with two women and had committed incest with one of his sons.

While Maciel is as close to evil as any character in this tawdry story, many of the other principals are more complex. So many of the cardinals and bishops took admirable positions in fighting for civil rights, world peace, and immigrant rights, that it is hard to imagine they could recycle known pedophiles throughout the system and play dumb when caught. Sadly, their allegiance to Rome seemed to trump those Rome was supposed to serve.

Chicago, which has not escaped the scandal, escapes Berry's focus…almost. He notes that three years after the Catholic Church adopted a youth protection charter in 2002, "Cardinal Francis George…put an accused pedophile back in ministry over warnings from his advisory board. The priest reoffended, went to jail, the archdiocese paid heavily to the victims —and Cardinal George was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops."

Steve Fiffer is the author of several books, including the memoir "Three Quarters, Two Dimes, and a Nickel."

The Pope's War  Mathew Fox
The following interview of Mathew Fox about his latest book, The Pope's War by  Candace Chellew-Hodge. offers insight into the political motivation of the Vatican to establish a "Catholic" identity the conforms to defined notions set from the 11th century and beyond.  Fox states that European theologians, as well as many others, believe the present Vatican is schismatic, because they are not adhering to the dictates of the Holy Spirit as expressed through Vatican II. The interview is clear and the book astounding.  For all interested in reform of Catholicism, it is a must read.

Pope Benedict’s War on the Church | Religion Dispatches

The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering Women at the Heart of Christianity   Cynthia Bourgeault

You Might Want to Meet this Author

I was privileged to spend a day of reflection with this author and about 300 women who explored her new book, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering Women at the Heart of Christianity.

The book advocates for recognition that Mary Magdalene is the Apostle of Apostles through a rigorous examination of scriptures.  She identifies this role through basic scriptural passages removed for centuries from Christian liturgical celebrations.  By adding references included in the Gospel of Magdela, Thomas and Philip made public in 1979, she solidifies Mary’s role in the formation of the Early Christian experience.

In describing the earliest experience of Christianity, she notes that communities were non-dualistic centered in Jesus as a cosmic servant and teacher.  As “The Single One”, she rejects the popular notion attributing celibacy to Jesus.  The true meaning can be found in experiencing how Jesus took many and made of them one in body, mind and spirit. In a true sense, Jesus commission each apostle to do the same.   

She writes that the experiences of the earliest communities were centered in a radical pluralism that projected an “imaginal reality”.  By being community, working in community, they received enlightenment from a reality more real than their own.  In doing so, there comes a time when a spiritual transmission took place.  There is an awakening, an Ah Ha moment when the truth of Christianity gets passed down through the ages.  In this “wake up” moment, she understands that there will be a return to the epicenter of both civility and creativity.  I believe with the failings of clerical leadership in our time, the RCWP movement is on the cusp of creating this shift.

For more information about the author and her school:

Aspen Wisdom School

Diane Dougherty 770-683-8101