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Colonization as Gendered Oppression -- The Context of Colonization for Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA People


For many of those who spoke about experiences of violence in their own lives or the lives of
their loved ones, an essential and ultimately empowering part of making meaning and of healing came with learning about the broader historical forces and policies that shaped their individual experiences.

For many people, the shame and secrecy that colonialism bred among Indigenous families meant that talking about their own personal histories never took place.

Even less wellknown or talked about is the way that these historical forces shaped the lives of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in distinct ways that ultimately are at the root of the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people today.

Read More of Chapter 4

  • Colonization as Gendered Oppression -- The Context of Colonization for Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA People
  • Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​What does LGBTQ2S+ stand for?
  • Will Church change for LGBTI+ people this century?
  • Responding responsibly as parents of transgender children
  • German Bishops’ head wants world synod on ordination of women, blessings for gay couples
  • The authors of Scripture would never have understood the logic that women could not be ordained
  • The truth about the derogatory phrase 'gender ideology'
  • Timeline of Catholic Women’s Ordination in the Context of Work by Women’s Ordination Worldwide
  • Comments to the Editor
  • It is time for the Pope to apologise for the patriarchal sexism that has excluded women
  • New Ways Ministry
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message:  Extravagant, crazy, wild inclusivity of our God
  • Celebrating the wholeness and holiness of the LGBTQI Catholic community -- The Rally for Equality
  • Homosexuality and the Bible
  • Relinquishing the patriarchy -- This is mostly a note to straight, cis men; but also includes trans men, queer men, and all who participate in masculinity
  • The pilgrimage of the transsexuals to the Black Madonna of Montevergine (Italy) -- Patron of LGBTQ people since medieval times
  • New in Homilies
  • Francis Comics
  • Comments to the Editor address and form
  • RCWP Canada Links
  • Related Links

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 RCWP Canada Bishop's Message
Extravagant, crazy, wild inclusivity of our God photo         
July 11th was exactly five years ago that I was ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest. In her homily that day, Bishop Marie Bouclin began by saying, “A seed is being sown today for what we pray will be a rich “harvest of justice.”

Our readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time could hardly be more appropriate to observe this occasion.

To summarize, the Gospel (Matthew 13:1-9) is a parable of Jesus, about the farmer sowing seed with mixed success. It gives partial insight into why not everyone in the community for which Matthew wrote understood and accepted the message of Jesus.

In the letter of Paul to the Romans (8.18-23) Paul has been making the case that Gentiles should be able to enjoy membership in the new people of God without having to keep the customary laws of the Jewish people. It was a tough sell. But Paul was so enthusiastic about God's new work in Christ that he saw it applied not just to human destiny but to all creation. He uses the powerful image of waiting that is part of birthing new life.

The first reading (Isaiah 55:10-11) relates to the time the Judeans, finally free from exile in Babylon, are struggling to return to their home land. They had only the promise of God's word to go on. God would bring them back. The prophet encourages them by comparing God's word to a powerful force well known to this desert people--rain and snow to water the earth and make it bloom and produce seed and food.

The experience of seeing a desert bloom after years of drought, let me tell you, is a sight to behold. It was one of the more memorable experiences of our travels in Arizona in 2005. After long periods of drought, the rains finally came in the winter months. When we were there in March, it was like driving through a field of gold. Golden poppies everywhere! God is faithful. Sometimes we must wait patiently that God’s promise will be fulfilled.

These readings show us how God acts – extravagant, crazy wild, throwing seed everywhere without regard for where it lands. This is a metaphor for a God with radical, all inclusive love – not just for the chosen few, the ones on the inside. Like the rain that falls, it comes down on everything in its path.

The exhortation in the Gospel to “listen’ recalls the Shema, the prayer from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, prayed by observant Jews three times daily, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength.” While this prayer underscores Israel’s unique relationship with God, in this Gospel pericope, Jesus widens the audience to whomever God now extends the graciousness that was formerly directed to Israel alone. Jesus extended the Shema prayer (Mt. 22.) when he speaks of the two great commandments. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength” and “your neighbour as yourself.” Shema means ‘to listen’, ‘to hear’, ‘to internalize’, ‘to understand’, ‘to respond’. With this understanding of Shema, the exhortation to “listen, really listen” would not have been lost on Matthew’s mostly Jewish community, as it struggled to be inclusive.

The exhortation to “listen, really listen” correlates with one of the essential values of Roman Catholic Women Priests -- that of prophetic obedience.

The verb that the Hebrew Scriptures use instead of ‘obey’ is Lishmoa, shema – listen, hear. In the Biblical context there are no Hebrew words that would be equivalent to the English words, “obedience” or “obey” as we generally understand them -- “follow the rules,” “do what you are told.” What God asks is that people listen, and listen deeply to what God says to the people and to be active shapers of [God's] word through that listening, interpreting, responding. That is Shema. That is obedience.

In the introduction, I mentioned Bishop Marie Bouclin's homily at my ordination. In addition to the reference to sowing seeds, she spoke of three gifts or seeds women priests bring to the church: maturity, prophetic obedience, and servant leadership. This is what she said about prophetic obedience.

“Roman Catholic Women Priests bring to the church [the gift of] prophetic obedience.  Prophets are people who stand up and speak out against unjust practices within their own institutions when others keep silent.  We stand up and speak out against the exclusion of women as full members of our church.  We choose to obey God rather than man-made unjust laws.  We denounce all forms of violence, especially violence against women and children.  From a place of relative powerlessness in a patriarchal church, we speak out for those who are even more powerless -- the victims of abuse, of violence, of senseless and needless poverty. We preach and strive to practice radical inclusivity and acceptance, not just tolerance and acceptance of differences. We signify this by welcoming everyone, as Jesus did, to our sacramental table.

"We answer the call to ordained ministry to keep alive the subversive memory of Jesus, his life and his teaching, through the celebration of the Church's sacraments, especially the Eucharist.  Prophetic obedience to the Holy Spirit requires tremendous inner freedom.”

Today I, you, we, Mary of Magdala Inclusive Catholic Community are trying to live the mandate to “listen”, to be prophetic disciples of Jesus -- even if it means going against the flow of culture, even Church culture, that is in conflict with the commands of our God. We can name some of the ways we live inclusivity as a community on this five-year anniversary. We recognize that all people are equally children of God and that no one should be marginalized, be without a job, be homeless, or be killed because of ethnic, racial or gender identity. We are engaging in consciousness raising about our privilege as white people. We are involved in actions that support implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report. We support the LGBTQ2SI community. We have connections with the Ahmadiyya Muslim women in Regina. We share the generous contributions that are made to the community with agencies that support asylum seekers, the homeless, shelters for abused women and their children, and the RCWP Canada movement.

While we celebrate what God has done for us, we are continually attentive to the seed of the Word of God thrown our way. We continue to ‘listen,’ ‘hear,’ ‘internalize,’ ‘understand’ and finally ‘respond’ to the message of inclusivity Jesus proclaims? In the words of our opening song of our liturgy, “Who Will Speak if We Don’t?

+ Jane

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

For an audio recording of the homily version of the above article, click here.

Celebrating the wholeness and holiness of the LGBTQI Catholic community -- The Rally for Equality

Marianne Duddy-Burke, | July 11, 2020

We’re mobilizing. We’re teaming up with GLAAD, Shelly’s Voice, PFLAG Indianapolis, the Ariadane Getty Foundation and many more to host the Rally For Equality.

Last month, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis launched a new policy against transgender and gender non-conforming students that will ban them from enrolling in more than 60 Indiana schools and enforce severe forms of discrimination against those already enrolled. We won’t stand by and let this happen. We must respond.

Read More and sign a petition

Homosexuality and the Bible

Walter Wink,

Sexual issues are tearing our churches apart today as never before. The issue of homosexuality threatens to fracture whole denominations, as the issue of slavery did a hundred and fifty years ago.

We naturally turn to the Bible for guidance, and find ourselves mired in interpretative quicksand. Is the Bible able to speak to our confusion on this issue?

Read More

Relinquishing the patriarchy -- This is mostly a note to straight, cis men; but also includes trans men, queer men, and all who participate in masculinity photo  
Adrienne Maree Brown, | May 28, 2019

If you see yourself in these words, this is a love note to you.

Patriarchy (the system of society/government in which men hold the power and women are excluded from it) is collapsing, and it’s time for you, too, to give it up, to get yourself out.

Read More

The pilgrimage of the transsexuals to the Black Madonna of Montevergine (Italy) -- Patron of LGBTQ people since medieval times

Cameron Doody, | July 13, 2020

Every year thousands of devotees visit the shrine of Montevergine in the Italian region of Campania (Italy). Among them, many transsexuals who feel welcome in front of “Mamma Schiavona” (Slave Mama or Slavic Mama). “Even if we are daughters of an ancient cultural tradition, discrimination against us is still deeply rooted.”

Read More

New in Homilies

Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression
​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What does LGBTQ2S+ stand for? | 2020 Government of Alberta

Gender means social and cultural expectations of roles and how we present ourselves in society.

For most people, their gender matches up with the cultural expectations of the sex they were given at birth (cisgender). Others may self-identify as being transgender, agender or gender nonbinary.

Read More

Will Church change for LGBTI+ people this century?

Virginia Saldanha, | July 04, 2020

The month of June, the Pride Month, has just passed. Since India decriminalized homosexuality two years ago, LGBTI+ people in India have found the freedom to be who God created them to be.

Even though Indian and Catholic culture are highly influenced by an anthropology that is gender binary and frowns on LGBTI+ people, young members of the community participate in Gay Pride celebrations with abandon. But sadly, many have not yet come out to their parents about their sexuality because of the homophobic attitudes nurtured by religion and culture.

Read More

Responding responsibly as parents of transgender children

Colt St. Amand, Luisa Derouen, | July 7, 2020

"When I was contemplating coming out as transgender to my Catholic parents, I was paralyzed with fear. My mom, a physician and cradle Catholic, affirmed that although she didn't understand, she knew I was a good person and that God knew me and loved me more than anyone. My dad, a psychologist and Catholic convert, took longer, but assured me that no matter what, we would get through this together." —Dr. Colt St. Amand

Read More

German Bishops’ head wants world synod on ordination of women, blessings for gay couples

Cameron Doody, | May 28, 2020

The German Bishops’ head has said he will seek a world synod on issues such as the ordination of women and blessings for gay couples.
Key points
– “Whatever arises synodalically must also be answered synodalically”
– Demand for women priests “is there, in the middle of the Church”
– Gay Catholics “suffer” from lack of Church recognition of their relationships

Read More

The authors of Scripture would never have understood the logic that women could not be ordained

Roger Vermalen Karban, | April 27, 2017

One of the Catholic Church’s traditional arguments against the priestly ordination of women revolves around Jesus of Nazareth being a man.

According to this “official” line of reasoning, the priest must be “another Christ,” a male other Christ. Such an individual must have a “natural resemblance” to the first Christ. By definition, a female can’t fill that role.

The authors of the Christian Scriptures would never have understood that logic.

Read More of this reflection by Roger Karban linked in the May 1, 2017 issue of The Review

[Roger Vermalen Karban a priest of Belleville, Illinois and pastor-emeritus of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Renault, Ill and an eminent Scripture Scholar died July 10, 2020.  Roger was known personally by the editor of The Review and by the Bishop for RCWP Canada.  His homilies are linked in The Review on the Homilies page under "fosil".]

The truth about the derogatory phrase 'gender ideology' photo  
Daniel P. Horan, | June 24, 2020

Often over the course of two millennia, when church teaching has come up against developments about the human person and in the natural sciences, there have been those who rallied to decry such humanistic advances as "heretical," "threatening," "unfounded," or "against the natural law." History has witnessed this in terms of the Catholic Church's resistance to recognizing the full humanity of Indigenous people, to rejecting the abject immorality of chattel slavery, and to embracing the universal human right of religious liberty, just to name three examples of the church's institutional sinfulness and its slow course to correction.

Today we are seeing a similar dynamic play out in real time as it deleteriously affects LGBTQ people in the church and broader society. The phrase "gender ideology" has become a rallying cry for such discrimination and defense of inexcusably outdated anthropological foundations. In certain Catholic contexts, recourse to "gender ideology" is placed in opposition to what is presented as a static, universal, Aristotelian-Thomistic anthropology, which is understood to be immutable and divinely revealed.

However . . .

Timeline of Catholic Women’s Ordination in the Context of Work by Women’s Ordination Worldwide

Timeline 11
  • 2013: Thanks to collaboration between Google and the Vatican, frescoes in the ancient Priscilla’s Catacombs are now accessible to anyone online. This is significant since the frescoes include depictions of women performing sacramental ministry in the early Church. 

  • 2013: In his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis challenges global leaders to act against poverty and inequality. He says, ‘We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.’ Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) applauds the message as a breath of fresh air, but points out troubling aspects about the document’s context on women and equation of priesthood with pursuit of power. WOW reminds the Pope of his own words that the Church should not be afraid to reexamine customs – even those with deep historical roots – when they no longer serve as a means of communicating the Gospel. ‘A male only priesthood does not communicate Gospel. It jars against the message that there is neither male nor female in Christ. It jars against the proof of women's leadership in the early Church.’ Pope Francis: Priesthood is a Call to Services and Women Are Called - November 27, 2013

  • 2014: Longtime peace and human rights activist, Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada is removed from public ministry for con-celebrating Mass with a Roman Catholic Womanpriest in 2011.

  • 2014 Lent: In the first of a series of letters, Augustinian priest John J. Shea writes to the College of Cardinals and specifically Cardinal O’Malley to provide a credible, non-heretical theological explanation of why women are not ordained in the church. Shea reminds O’Malley that:

    • this is something he can do as part of his teaching responsibility as a bishop and as part of his caring and justice;

    • the teaching that excludes women has no credibility.

    Shea says he is not challenging the teaching but instead the lack of credible explanation for the teaching.
    Shortly after his first letter is mailed, Shea receives a second canonical warning from his provincial, Fr. Anthony Genovese who says that his continued public challenges to a church teaching that is closed for debate ‘could result in serious consequences beyond my control.’ The first warning arrived a year earlier after Shea had written to Genovese informing him he intended to step aside from the priesthood until ordination is opened to women.

  • 2014: Women’s Ordination Worldwide marks the 20th anniversary of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis also known as ‘the Papal No’ with a press conference in Rome and a delivery of thousands of letters from faithful Catholics to Pope Francis via the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking that both the ban on dialogue and exclusion of women be lifted. WOW’s press release calling on Pope Francis to stop making Jesus a partner in gender discrimination is here: Pope Francis, It’s Time to Talk: WOW Calls for Dialogue and the End of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis- May 22, 2014

  • 2015: The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture’s Plenary Assembly about Women’s Cultures releases its Working Document for the gathering set to begin on February 4, 2015. Remarkably (or not), the document says there will be no discussion on women’s ordination because ‘[ordination] is not something that women want.’ In a response called Sexism Is The Original Sin Women’s Ordination Worldwide points out that this is a falsehood and that:

    • the Vatican’s refusal to dialogue shows contempt for the faithful and demonstrates that as a leadership, the male hierarchy is out of touch with the people it is called to serve.

    • Many qualified women, with the support of their communities, discern vocations to priesthood, and yet the hierarchy is comfortable in rejecting the obvious: God does not discriminate.

  • 2015: Women’s Ordination Worldwide hosts its third international conference, this time in Philadelphia, USA. The conference happens days before Pope Francis’s first visit to the USA. The theme of the conference, Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice, links the exclusion of women from priesthood to the greater inequalities and injustices experienced by women worldwide. WOW urges Pope Francis to recognize that by maintaining false teaching to keep women excluded from priesthood, the Vatican legitimizes prejudice throughout the world. Pope Francis's integrity as a faith leader is compromised by his refusal to recognize women as fully human and able to discern their own vocations. His mission must include freeing the Church from the sin of sexism. WOW’s media advisory about the event is here: 500 Advocates for Women’s Ordination Gather Days Before Pope Francis’ Arrival in USA- September 18, 2015

  • 2015: In an op-ed published in the New York Times just days before Pope Francis’s visit to the USA, Bishop Emeritus Francis A. Quinn (bishop of Sacramento 1980 to 1994) expresses support for women’s ordination. Quinn admits he has had ‘personal ideas’ about the ordination of women for decades, but in the past he ‘would never preach about it or say it publicly,’ since Pope John Paul II had taken it ‘off the table.’ In an interview with America on Sept. 16, he says that Pope Francis has made it clear that bishops should not censor their opinions based on what they think the pope wants to hear. ‘So I figured: Well, O.K.,’ Quinn explains.

  • 2015: Two days after appearing at WOW’s Philadelphia conference, Precious Blood Fr. Jack McClure is told he can no longer celebrate Mass at Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco.

  • 2015: Women’s Ordination Worldwide applauds statements made by Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher to the exclusively male voting body at the Vatican's Synod on the Family suggesting an emergence of a discussion about including women in the ordained permanent diaconate. Durocher highlights the relationship between the ‘degradation’ of women in Church and society and violence against women around the world. In it’s press statement Response on Women Deacons Discussed at Vatican Synod on the Family — October 6, 2015, WOW calls on ‘Church leaders to state clearly that domination over women is never acceptable, and until women are empowered as equals our Church perpetuates an inequality contrary to the Gospel. We pray that women's voices will not only be heard in forthcoming discussions, but given an equal vote.’ (Women cannot vote in Synods.) WOW also calls for restoration of the ordained women’s diaconate.

  • 2015: Women’s Ordination Worldwide stands in solidarity with twelve Irish priests who publicly sign their names to a statement calling for open discussion on the need for equality for women in all aspects of Church life, including ministry. Calling the situation ‘damaging,’ ‘alienating’ and ‘scandalizing,’ the priests stress that the policy of discrimination against women upheld by the Catholic Church ‘encourages’ and ‘reinforces’ abuse and violence against women around the world. ‘We believe that we can no longer remain silent because to do so colludes with the systemic oppression of women within the Catholic Church.’ Women’s Ordination Worldwide issues a press release in response: Women’s Ordination Advocates Support Irish Priests’ Statement on Women: Call for Greater Moral Courage of Catholic Hierarchy to Join Grassroots

[This is the eleventh excerpt of a timeline we are serializing here.  For the full timeline, see the Women's Ordination Worldwide website.]

Comments to the Editor

I came across this statement in a February interview with Richard Rohr conducted by The New Yorker magazine.  It fits where CTA is going so perfectly that I feel obliged to share it with you, "The Core."

" adherence to traditional religions dwindles, social action will become a more relevant form of spiritual practice."

We know that our activities with immigrants and refugees has a "be Jesus" spirituality to it.  But so does the "Black Lives Matter" effort, the COVID volunteers harvesting and distributing food for those out of work, the first responders working with desperation and doggedness to save lives.

God works in mysterious ways, but He works through many more of us than we give Him credit for.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay at home!

[Steven Lanoux, Brownsville, TX]

It is time for the Pope to apologise for the patriarchal sexism that has excluded women

Luis T. Gutiérrez, | July 8, 2020

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, the infamous 1994 apostolic letter by Pope St. John Paul II on “reserving priestly ordination to men alone,” was a brutal abuse of religious authority.

Climaxing 2000 years of ecclesiastical marginalization of women as inferior to men, it implies that apostolic succession is contingent on masculinity by absurdly arguing that such is the plan Christ had for the Church when he chose twelve male apostles to represent the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel.

While undoubtedly well-intentioned for some reason that is hard to fathom, this act of pontifical fundamentalism has eroded the credibility of the Catholic Church at a time when clerical sexual abuse can no longer be hidden and the patriarchal age is coming to an end.

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New Ways Ministry

New Ways Ministry educates and advocates for justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger church and civil communities.

Through research, publication and education about sexual orientation and gender identity, we foster dialogue among groups and individuals, identify and combat personal and structural homophobia and transphobia, work for changes in attitudes and promote the acceptance of LGBT people as full and equal members of church and society.

New Ways Ministry is a member of Equally Blessed, a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for LGBT people both in the Church and in civil society.

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                                                                                       JBK Happy Colou  

Francis Comic Strip Archive
Francis, the comic strip 
by Pat Marrin July 16, 2020
National Catholic Reporter

Used with permission

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