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Holy Chaos -- Live with the compassion of Jesus
How quickly our world has changed! In the past two weeks the the COVID -19 virus has invaded North America. Before that is was a problem “over there” – in China, on cruise ships, then Italy and Europe. It has come to embrace the world wreaking havoc in many ways. The rapid spread of the virus and the death toll among the elderly and those with underlying conditions are cause for great concern. However, this need not paralyze us.
As people of faith we are challenged with the question of how do we respond to this new reality and live with the compassion of Jesus? We have a place in this beautiful image of Jesus wrapping the world in a blanket made of flags from countries around the world.
Discipleship calls us to be the hands and feet of Christ, even – especially - in places we may not want to go. Careful observation and prudent judgement are the foundation for responsible action. Remember the maxim: see, judge, act. In this light, we can reach out in the name of Christ without undue fear, knowing that is the Jesus way. This allows us to accept our vulnerability in order to meet the needs of others. We can take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones but still reach out in love to others in need. We can live in faith, not fear.
We are coming into Holy Week and the solemn commemoration of the climax of our faith – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Our experience this year will be different. Churches are closed and family gatherings limited. The COVID-19 virus has the grace to bring us into an awareness that in the “holy chaos” of life we are called to embrace our own suffering and that of others. The Cross of Christ reveals the Heart of God in solidarity with all of creation that suffers. It is the icon of the transformational power of unbounded love in which we share by our daily self-giving and surrender to the God of Everlasting Life. There is nothing – nothing - that can keep us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).
In solidarity and with blessing,
[Jane Kryzanowski, Regina, SK is bishop for RCWP Canada]
Marguerite Porete, though she wrote around 700 years ago, has a completely different way of looking at the nuptial metaphor
Sarah Fariash, womensordination.org | March 7, 2020
Marguerite Porete, 14th-century heretic and author of The Mirror of Simple Souls, lived a rather enigmatic life. Little is known about her except that she wrote a work that is dizzying in its refusal to abide by dualistic ways of knowing and that she was burned at the stake for it.
She refused to speak at her trials, neither defending nor recanting a work that in many ways prefigured the then considered orthodox work of St. John of the Cross two centuries later.
So what has a medieval heretic to say to modern day women fighting for equality in the Church? I think quite a lot.
CONTACT POPE FRANCIS
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E-mail using the following address will be sent to Pope Francis: firstname.lastname@example.org
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His Holiness, Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
[Thanks to New Ways Ministry for the above information]
General absolution allowed during coronavirus contagion
Joshua J. McElwee, ncronline.org | March 20, 2020
Addressing the difficulty Catholic priests globally are having in hearing confessions of individual persons affected by the highly contagious coronavirus, the Vatican made clear March 20th that it is acceptable for bishops to offer general absolution to groups of people as deemed necessary.
Rotterdam's Philharmonisch Orkest -- Ode to Joy to you from each of her or his own home
His vision is for the church to journey alongside the people and growing in a culture of encounter. The people have a right to hear the Gospel and the church should not become just another NGO. By the presence of her ministers and their service, the church will foster “a holiness born of encounter and engagement, contemplation and service, receptive solitude and life in community, and the struggle for justice.” (77)
What is of concern to us bishops is that while the Pope acknowledges the great work that women do in the Church to achieve this vision, his statement reinforces the tradition of the Church's designation of a “special” place for women, which suggests their role is in some way exceptional and set apart from or above and beyond the human norm. Yet, while women play such an important role, they are deemed inadequate to serve as priests or deacons to meet the “pressing need to provide the sacraments of the church to accompany God’s children, to heal and strengthen them." (84) The Church, which is to be a Mother called to show the people God’s mercy through the sacraments, denies that the maternal face of God can be shown through the sacramental ministry of such dedicated women.
Reinforcing the theology of Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis assigns a complementary role to women when he writes, “God has shown God’s power and love through two human faces: Christ and Mary.” (101) By putting them side by side, he is suggesting that men are similar to the former (Christ) and, therefore, can be ordained, while women are similar to the latter (Mary), and, therefore, cannot be ordained. This takes away from the teaching that both woman and man are created in the image of God and thus both are, can and should be acting in persona Christi.
Fundamental to the Christian faith is the conviction that Christ adopted human nature inclusively, thus every human being, male and female, can be saved and is indeed divinized in Christ. Women and men are baptized into Christ is the same way to share in Christ’s own priestly, prophetic and servant ministry. The Letter to the Galatians 3:28 states clearly that in Christ there is no distinction – “neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free, for we are all one in Christ.”
Unfortunately, throughout the history of the church, men with power and authority have defined women as deficient to represent Christ because they do not possess the male physiology of Jesus. This is the thesis of the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacrdotalis (1994) which has been shown to contain many theological and historical mistakes. Failure to use historic critical exegesis of the Bible perpetuates such errors and dismisses the findings of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1976) that there is no scriptural basis for exclusion of women from ordination.
Roman Catholic Women Priests are called by God to live the fullness of their Baptism as priests and are ordained according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. We no longer abide by the unjust laws of the institution that denies the equality of women and men baptized in Christ. By our prophetic witness the ever renewing and reenergizing Spirit of God gives voice to women in order to bring the light of truth regarding their role in the church from the earliest days and to create ways to enrich the mission and ministry of the Church. Thus, we hope to meet “the pressing need to provide the sacraments of the church to accompany God’s children, to heal and strengthen them." (84) Only with equality and justice for women in the church throughout the world can the dream Pope Francis has for the church be realized: “Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the region, and giving the Church new faces with [local cultural] features.” (7)
The International Bishops of Roman Catholic Women Priests:
+Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop, RCWP Canada – Regina, Saskatchewan
+Jean Marie Marchant, Bishop, RCWP–USA Eastern Region – Framingham, Massachusetts
+Nancy L. Meyer, Bishop, RCWP-USA Midwest Region – Brownsburg, Indiana
+Suzanne Thiel, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region – Portland, Oregon
+Jane Via, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region - San Diego, California
+Patricia Fresen, Bishop, RCWP South Africa –Johannesburg
+Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Bishop, RCWP Europe - Pettenbach, Austria
+Ida Raming, Bishop, RCWP Europe—Stuttgart, Germany
+Marie Evans Bouclin, Bishop Emerita, RCWP Canada – Sudbury, Ontario
+Merlene Olivia Doko, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Western Region - Pismo Beach, California
+Andrea M. Johnson, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Eastern Region – Annapolis, Maryland
+Joan M. Houk, Bishop retired, RCWP-USA Great Waters Region – South Bend, Indiana
March 16, 2020
Contact: +Jane Kryzanowski – email@example.com
New German Bishops’ chair says place of women “most urgent question” for Church
Mada Jurado, novenanews.com | March 6, 2020
The new German Bishops’ chair has said the place of women in the Church is the “most urgent question” for the future of the institution.
Key points of the article:
– “We can’t wait any longer for women to have equal rights”
– “Complete and utter” support for ‘synodal path’ reforms
– Yet to win over abuse survivors, despite higher compensations
Featured homily source
Your readers may be interested in two recent posts to my blog, "What am I doing here?" about my experiences and reflections about being a member of a Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Edmonton. I have been reflecting on whether St Paul is a friend or enemy of women, especially in light of 1 Cor and Galatians. https://www.myrnakostash.com/blog/
Also the Orthodox Church has a hymn (troparion) dedicated to St Patrick - we do remember the undivided Church - commemorated March 30 (Old Calendar).
Holy Bishop Patrick,
Faithful shepherd of Christ's royal flock,
You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:
The mighty strength of the Trinity!
Now that you stand before the Savior,
Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!
[Myrna Kostash, Edmonton, AB]
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