CNWE DECRIES VATICAN DECISION TO DISMISS FR. ROY BOURGEOIS

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has dismissed and canonically stripped Fr. Roy Bourgeois (a Maryknoll priest for 40 years) of his status as a Catholic priest, because of his public support for the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church.

CNWE, a Canadian grassroots organization for women’s equality in both the church and the world, decries the Vatican’s decision based on three criteria:
i) the ‘primacy of place’ that following one’s informed conscience has in Catholic teaching,
ii) Fr. Roy’s work for justice and peace as a Maryknoll priest
iii) the hypocrisy inherent in the Vatican’s dismissal of Fr. Roy, when Catholic bishops who have covered up clergy sexual abuse remain in ‘good standing’ with the Vatican.

From years of work for justice and from conversations with women who felt called to serve the church in priesthood Fr. Roy Bourgeois determined that “when there is an injustice, silence is the voice of complicity.” Fr. Roy began to speak about his support for women’s ordination in the Catholic Church and attended the ordination of Roman Catholic WomenPriest Janice Sevre-Duszynska in August 2008. The Vatican responded by asking Fr. Roy to recant his support for women’s ordination or face excommunication. When Fr. Roy responded that it would go against his conscience to recant, he was dismissed and laicized (meaning that in the eyes of the hierarchy he is no longer a priest). In July 2010, the Vatican reinforced the prohibition against women’s ordination by labeling it a “grave crime” in the Catholic Church.

As a Maryknoll priest, Fr. Roy served the poor in Bolivia and El Salvador in the 1970’s. Since then, he has been instrumental in mobilizing a movement against the US School of the Americas that served to bolster dictatorships in Latin America through the use of military torture for political dissidents. Fr. Roy’s Christian zeal for justice has driven him to go where others fear to tread.

The greatest hypocrisy of this harsh ruling against Fr. Roy, is that, although the Vatican document also names clergy sexual abuse a “grave crime”, numerous Catholic bishops who covered up these crimes remain as Bishops in ‘good standing’ in the Church.

CNWE stands in solidarity with Fr. Roy as his conscience has led him to prophetically witness to the fundamental equality of all baptized women and men in the Catholic church.

For over thirty years members of the Catholic Network for Women’s Equality have shared a faithful commitment to social justice for all women. We celebrate the fact that we are part of a long history of women’s contributions to the Christian faith. Our movement embraces a broad range of Catholic women and men across Canada for whom an inclusive church that is accountable to all of its members is important. Our work for women’s equality in church and world is internationally respected and part of a network of pro-change Catholic movements around the globe. For further information, see www.cnwe.org or visit us on Facebook at “Catholic Network for Women’s Equality – Canada”.

November 28, 2012

Nourishing the Soul Online, Part 2

Part two of this series of annotated websites that can be used to support feminist spiritualities continues with highlights of more resources related to the ordination of women.  These too were compiled by Karen Leeden from beautiful British Columbia.

http://saintbrigids.org/
St. Brigid’s of Kildare is a great site regularly maintained for and by the supporters of this RCWP community in Alberta.  You can also opt to receive their newsletter via email.  Saint Brigid’s of Kildare Catholic Faith Community is a place of welcome, joy, support, exploration and love for those who desire to participate in the growth and renewal of the Roman Catholic church.

http://tepeyacvancouver.wordpress.com/about/
This is the website for an extremely new community developing in BC’s lower mainland.  Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin is a growing community based in east Vancouver. We anticipate the ordination of the first Roman Catholic WomanPriest for the area in late July and hope to gather together for worship at least once a month shortly thereafter.

http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.ca/
U.S. RCWP Bridget Mary Meehan’s personal blog has frequent updates of RCWP events and other relevant news items.  Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is her latest book, a memoir of sorts about her journey to priesthood: http://www.virtualbookworm.com/bookstore/product/woman_priest.html

http://dianedoughertysblog.blogspot.ca/
U.S. ARCWP Diane Dougherty’s blogspot also has frequent updates on ARCWP events and relevant news items.

http://www.waterwomensalliance.org/
WATER or the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual is an international community of justice-seeking people who promote the use of feminist religious values to make social change.  A feminist educational center and network of justice-seekers, WATER brings twenty-eight years of experience to programs and publications, liturgical planning and consultation, workshops and retreats, counseling and spiritual direction which have helped thousands of people create and sustain inclusive communities in society and religion.

http://www.corpus.org/
CORPUS is a faith community affirming an inclusive priesthood rooted in a  reformed and renewed Church.  CORPUS is celebrating thirty-eight years of service to the people of God.  One of the oldest reform groups in the Catholic Church, it is active in reform movements both in the U.S. and abroad. They are committed to working for a renewed priesthood of married and single men and women dedicated to serving God through the community of believers.

http://www.catherinecollege.net/
Catherine of Sienna College is promoting gender equality and empowering women for life and leadership through gender and women’s studies!

http://www.fsrinc.org/
Feminist Studies in Religion, Inc. (FSR, Inc.) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to foster feminist studies in religion in all of its variety and diversity.

Let us know what your favourite bookmarks are in terms of women’s ordination.

Nourishing the Soul Online, Part 1

The Spring 2012 issue of The Seed Keepers focused on ways that online resources can be used to support pro-change Catholic and feminist spiritualities. We hope that the CNWE website is a resource that you will find useful in this regard. This is the first in a series of posts in which we will direct you towards websites that can be used to nurture spiritualities of inclusivity, promote institutional change, sustain ecological awareness, encourage social action and respect for religious diversity.

What follows is a list of websites where you can find information on Catholic women’s ordination. A short description of the site accompanies each link. This list was compiled by Karen Leeden, a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Certified Clinical Counsellor who works in the British Columbia school system counselling children and youth. She currently maintains the RCWP Facebook page.

http://www.womenpriests.org/index.asp
A really comprehensive site with information on the history of women religious in the Church and reasons for it today, as well as tons of other resources: “We raise awareness and facilitate informed discussion about women’s ordination. We promote the ordination of women as part of the life-giving mission Christ intended for his Church. We work for reform from the centre of the Church and within the parameters of canon law.

http://www.womensordination.org/
The Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) is the world’s oldest and largest organization working solely for the ordination of women as priests, deacons, and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic Church. To this end, we work to: renew church governance to be inclusive, accountable and transparent; bring about justice and equality for Catholic women; incorporate women-centered theologies into every-day Catholicism.

http://www.womensordinationworldwide.org/
The Women’s Ordination Worldwide site is under construction, but STILL has a comprehensive list of other resources and websites. WOW was founded in 1996 at the First European Women’s Synod in Gmunden, Austria. It is an ecumenical network of national and international groups whose primary mission at this time is the admission of Roman Catholic women to all ordained ministries. WOW is founded on the principle of equality and therefore opposes any discrimination. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. (Galatians 3.28). WOW affirms the God-given diversity of humanity and is committed to providing a model of collaborative, non-hierarchical leadership.

http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/
This is the main site for Roman Catholic Womenpriests or RCWP – but there are many “sub” RCWP associations in different areas. This one gives a good history of the RCWP movement in the U.S., but there is also a “regions” page, from which you can find other areas, including pages for RCWP Canada West and RCWP Canada East (but there is little on these pages at the moment, as much of the information sharing is currently done through email and our Facebook page).

http://arcwp.org/
The Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests is a U.S. subgroup of RCWP that has womenpriests in the States and South America. Though the RCWP mainpage has more of the history of RCWP, this page is more user friendly and is updated more frequently with many of the ongoings of ARCWP.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roman-Catholic-Womenpriests-Canada/152536224773932
So, this isn’t actually a webpage – BUT it sort of functions like one, and you don’t need a Facebook account to look around on it (you just won’t be able to post anything). It offers current news about RCWP Canada events as well as ongoing newsfeeds of related stories. You can check out some of the pictures from events of RCWP Canada as well. We also have a biographies page, a whom to contact page, and a related websites page (where we have a direct link to CNWE).

http://www.we-are-church.org.uk/hope/
We Are Church is UK-based website that offers information on the reasons for women’s ordination, as well as support for Vatican II.  It also presents updated related news stories.

http://www.ccc4vat2.org.uk/ccc/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=6
Catholics for a Changing Church (UK), earlier known as the Catholic Renewal Movement, began as a protest movement against Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical in 1968, in which artificial means of contraception were banned. Within months it became a pressure-group with the positive aim of furthering the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Marginalised after the 1980 National Pastoral Congress in Liverpool, it became  a think-tank or study-group. All along it has been a refuge and help-line for the oppressed, and a network for the like-minded. It has been a new way of being church – the People of God actively participating in the Church. It has been ‘the friends of Vatican 2’.

http://www.watac.net/
The story of Women and the Australian Church (WATAC) commenced in 1984 as a national project of the Religious women and men of Australia. While the WATAC organisation is Catholic by origin it is ecumenical by membership and has a commitment to working together with all churches and on an inter-faith basis.