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Who says Women Can’t Image Christ?

Jane Kryzanowski, Special to The Review | March 1, 2021

Book Essay

Ida Raming, 55 Years of Struggle for Women’s Ordination in the Catholic Church. 2020 English Translation: James A. Turner
LIT VERLAG GmbH & Co. KG Wien, Zweigniederlassung Zurich. 128 pp. $33.68 US.

In this accounting of her personal experience over fifty-five years, Ida Raming provides an insider’s view of the struggle for women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. It is a succinct chronological account of the struggle for gender justice in the church she deeply loves. This alone is enough to recommend it.

Citing the moving testimony by St. Theresa of Lisieux (1873-1897) of her call to priesthood, the author exposes the deep sense of call felt by many women. She traces the arduous journey of women to be recognized as equal members of the Roman Catholic Church, including recognition of the Divine and community calls to priestly ministry. The reader is led through the development of the women’s ordination movement from the time of the Second Vatican Council up to the present.

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) was a catalyst for the voice of women to be raised in a public forum and be heard, though by proxy, in the Council halls. Being among the women working in the background, the author outlines the role they played in getting the topic of women to be raised at all. They were dismayed at the tepid response by the Council Fathers and the resistance they faced.

Clearly, however, a nerve was touched.

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  RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

UN Commission on the Status of Women

March is International Women’s Month. In announcing its theme for International Women’s Day, March 8, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” the United Nations recognizes and celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women continues its work to promote  “Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”  Unfortunately the Vatican or Holy See, which has an immense position of power at the UN continues to be a hindrance in achieving UN objectives concerning women.  The Holy See is not a member state but uses its Permanent Observer status to wield undue influence. As an example, it has refused to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the fundamental “women’s treaty” in the UN.  The sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church around the world gives little credence to any moral authority the Vatican presumes to have, particularly at the Commission on the Status of Women.

In 2019 the Women’s Ordination Conference was granted consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). From this position WOC has a platform to influence decision-makers at the highest levels by delivering statements, participating in negotiations and meetings, and holding side events at the UN, such as at the Commission on the Status of Women meetings.  Catholic women are an essential voice at the table to challenge the ingrained complexity of patriarchy and the misogynistic and sexist views that do nothing to enhance the status of women.

The sixty-fifth session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 15 to 26 March 2021. In addition to the main session, side events and parallel sessions will take place to give voice to the perspectives of women and girls in all of their diversity so that they can be heard at all stages of pandemic response and recovery.  I am honoured to have been invited by the Baptist World Alliance Women to participate in a session exploring  new visions for women  leaders in faith communities in our COVID-19 – post-COVID-19 world. 

You are welcome to participate in this event as an observer.  The session is called "Beyond Stereotypes: Women as Full Participants as Leaders in Faith Communities".  In order to do so you must register soon with NGO CSW 65.  On the date and time of the session, you are required to access the session through your account. 

Full information on registering for a free account
and descriptions of all sessions

+ Jane

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

Comments to the Editor

I really like the Google statistics.  Seems to me in terms of the pace of the Catholic Church on many changes, there is indeed some progress being made toward Woman Priests.  Thanks for the documentation you provide on this subject and others. 

[David Jackson, Edinburg, TX]

For the first time I, a senior, decided to check out the youth page. What a delight! Really enjoyed reading the articles and watching the videos, and gaining a wee bit of insight into the "emerging adult" mind and heart. This will become part of my regular reading of The Review. Good job!

[Kathy Cameron, Regina, SK]

Catholic women pursue pro-life values at the border

Pauline Hovey, | February 18, 2021

While most young adults look to the entertainment industry for models to emulate, 23-year-old Elyse McMahon turns to a more idyllic model: the Beatitudes.

Gleaned from 16 years of Catholic education, she calls the Beatitudes her "guiding principles to live by." They form her decisions and led her to El Paso, Texas, where she's serving as a legal assistant for Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center during a yearlong internship with the Loretto Volunteer Program.

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Pope Francis beatifies suffragette and visits holocaust survivor

Elise Allen, | February 22, 2021

Days after Pope Francis appointed two women to major Vatican posts, he continued his female outreach by announcing the beatification of an Italian suffragette and by visiting an elderly Holocaust survivor.

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On Wednesday, March 10th at 2:00PM (EST) / 1:00PM (CST), please join us for a free webinar titled:  Opening Up Chaplaincy Notes: “Best” Practices and Research Opportunities

Click here to register

Self healing was the key to pursuing ministry in my senior years

Victoria Marie, | February 18, 2021

In the late 1940s and early 50s, downtown Brooklyn, New York was a diverse place. Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Portuguese and Irish Americans called our neighbourhood, now known as Cobble Hill, home.  All the families interacted like the proverbial village, looking out for one another. These families were my first introduction into the importance of self healing.

My Baptist grandmother from North Carolina and my Muslim step-grandfather from Borneo in Indonesia raised me. It wasn’t until I began school that the violence of racism and religious intolerance entered my world.

Today, I spent the day in silence wrestling with old wounds. In doing so, I found a way to write them to you by honoring my self healing path and also cleanse my heart of some of the anger that I’ve been holding in for so many years. Here’s my story:

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[The Reverend Dr. Victoria Marie was born (1945) and raised in Brooklyn, NY and has resided in Canada since 1965.  She is currently pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community in Vancouver, BC Canada and a member of RCWP Canada.  Victoria is author of Transforming Addiction: the role of spirituality in learning recovery from addictions, Saarbrücken: Scholar’s Press (2014)

International Women's Day - March 8, 2021

#ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
  So let's all choose to challenge.

How will you help forge a gender equal world?  Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8, yet the global campaign theme continues all year long to encourage action. The International Women's Day website is the go-to hub for everything IWD and provides detailed information, guidance and free resources.

There are many relationship opportunities and project collaborations available.

Support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

MCC Ottawa Office, | 2021

As people of faith, Mennonite Central Committee is committed to addressing the legacy of harm done to Indigenous Peoples by churches and governments, and to forging right relationships. MCC’s advocacy efforts arise out of our program work – more specifically, from the call of partners that we work with in Canada and around the world.

On December 3, the federal government introduced Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since that point, MCC staff have engaged in a consultation and learning process with partner and friend organizations around the content of C-15.  MCC recognizes the complexity of advocacy around Bill C-15 and respects the multiplicity of voices speaking into this proposed legislation. We take seriously our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, as well as our relationships  across Canada.

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Background Information on the UN Declaration

Resources for understanding the complexities of C-15

Canada's Senate passes amended version of assisted dying bill after days of debate -- Liberal government seeking to have MAID bill passed by February 26th

Joan Bryden, | February 17, 2021

Senators overwhelmingly approved Wednesday a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying — with amendments that would relax access even more than the government has proposed.

A revised version of Bill C-7 was passed in the Senate by a vote of 66-19, with three abstentions.

The bill is intended to extend eligibility for assisted dying to people whose natural deaths are not reasonably foreseeable, in compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling.

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We Can and Must do Much Better – Religious Leaders in Canada denounce Bill C-7, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)”

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, | October 14 2020

More than 50 religious leaders from across Canada released an open letter to all Canadians in opposition to Bill C-7 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).

This ecumenical and interfaith message is a response by religious leaders to the legislation introduced by the federal government on 5 October 2020 which seeks to expand the eligibility criteria for euthanasia and assisted suicide (euphemistically called “medical assistance in dying”) by removing the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” criterion currently in the Criminal Code, and by loosening some of the existing “safeguards” allowing patients whose death is “reasonably foreseeable” to waive final consent to receiving euthanasia by making an advance directive.

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2021 LA Religious Education Congress

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See RCWP Canada Youth page

Reflections on the Sunday Readings
by Susan Roll

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent B February 28, 2021

Genesis 22: 1-2,9a,10-13,15-18; Psalm 116; Romans 8: 31b-34; Mark 9: 2-10.*

Oh my. Where to even begin?

Let’s take Genesis 22 and begin by saying, What kind of a God demands sacrifice?

And more to the point, just what kind of a God demands that a father commit pre-meditated murder on a child, his own child, thinking that he is obeying a divine command? What kind of a father lies to his child to induce him to come along willingly on a journey, far from home, then goes through the motions of building an altar to sacrifice an animal -- and then suddenly betrays the child?

Take a moment to imagine that you are young Isaac. What happens in that terrifying moment when you realize that the father you love and trust is about to slash you to death and burn your body on a rock? What do you feel when he takes the knife? When he lays hold of the trapped ram and kills it instead of you? How do you feel returning home with your father? Do you trust him, that night, the next week, the next year? Do you have nightmares the rest of your life?

Now take a moment to imagine you are Sarah, who saw her husband and son off when they went away together to perform a religious ritual. Is the horror of discovering what happened even fathomable? Do you ever trust this man again? Do you even have a choice?

Ironically, this story is a cornerstone of both Jewish and Christian discourse urging complete faith in God. The readings used on the Sundays of Lent in Year B bring out different aspects of the covenant, the “holy agreement” as a colleague of mine calls it, between God and God’s chosen people. A covenant built on trust.

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Read More reflections by Susan Roll

Read other reflections and homilies

Francis, the comic strip            
by Pat Marrin |  Nov. 17, 2015
National Catholic Reporter
Used with permission

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