|“Do not be afraid”
Ilia Delio, christogenesis.org | April 13, 2020
is Risen from the dead! And who did Christ first appear to upon rising
from the dead, according to Matthew? Not to Peter or any of the twelve
apostles but to two women each with the name of Mary. Imagine that! The
greatest event in the history of the cosmos–a miraculous event that
defied the laws of nature–was first seen and bore witness to by women.
the Trinity form a commission and decide this was the safest route,
given the men disciples abandoned Jesus in his most needed hour (not to
mention Judas’ betrayal)? Or is it simply that the women believed and
trusted the message of the angel, “Do not be afraid,” while “the guards
were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.” Women steeped
in faith, attentive to what they heard, acted on the words spoken to
them and went out to preach the Good News to the disciples: “He has
been raised from the dead!”
Canada Bishop's Message
Sacred Triduum -- Suffering, the nature of true love
Coming to the end of
Lent and entering into Holy Week, I want to share a bit of how Cynthia
Bourgeault concludes a course on Mary of Magdala, looking at the place
of Mary in the Passion accounts and what they say.
A major development
in Cynthia Bourgeault's view is that Mary of Magdala is an archetype of
the transformative power of kenosis -- self-emptying love -- as
the presence of Mary in the anointing of Jesus for his burial and the
anointing of Jesus at the tomb as "bookends" to the Paschal Mystery.
Mary of Magdala is
recognized in the life of Mary of Bethany and as the Magdalene at
the foot of the cross and thereafter. In John's gospel, Mary of
Bethany annoints the feet of Jesus for his burial. This is a
"bookend" that is matched by Mary of Magdala going to the tomb to
annoint the body of Jesus on Easter morning.
In between the
"bookends" is Mary's faithful companionship with Jesus through the
crucifixion, death and burial. She is prominent among the women present
in the passion narratives. In John's Gospel, she stands at the foot of
the cross with Mother Mary and her sister. In Matthew's Gospel, Mary
Magdalene and another woman kept vigil at the tomb. In all the gospels,
she goes with haste to the tomb on the morning after the Sabbath to do
a proper anointing of the body.
More than any of the
male apostles, Mary Magdalene “gets it.” She understands Jesus and the
meaning of sacrificial love. The necessity of Jesus to suffer is not to
atone for the sins of humankind. The need to suffer is because this is
the nature of true love -- to give oneself freely for the good of the
other and to create wholeness from broken parts.
Kryzanowski, Regina, SK
is bishop for RCWP Canada]
for reckoning on abuse of Native American children at Catholic boarding
schools -- Currently United States has no commission like Canada’s
Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools
Lucy Grindon, ncronline.org | March 5, 2021
its attempts to address sex abuse crises, the Catholic Church has
issued apologies, conducted investigations and paid reparations, but
the Vatican has never publicly apologized for abuse inflicted on
Indigenous Americans at Catholic-run boarding schools in the United
States and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to
presenters at a Febrary 25th online panel event, "Native American
Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis," hosted by Fordham
University's Taking Responsibility project.
showed solidarity with suffering Iraqis but shocking disregard for
NCR Editorial Staff, ncronline.org
| March 10, 2021
By any measure, Pope Francis' March 5-8 trip to Iraq, the first of a
Catholic pope to that country, was historic. One need only glance at
the image of the pontiff standing among the sand-colored rubble of the
remains of the four churches in Mosul, so cruelly destroyed under the
brutal Islamic State regime, to grasp the significance.
Barron's 'beige Catholicism' erases years of racial, social justice
Weiss, ncronline.org | March
Robert Barron's recent piece detailing the "evangelical path" of his
organization Word on Fire has provoked heated debate over his use of
the term "beige Catholicism" to refer to the faith of liberal or
progressive Catholics. It's not the first time he's used the term. He
coined the phrase 25 years ago, to critique modern or liberal
Catholicism as "a faith that had become culturally accommodating,
hand-wringing, unsure of itself."
has long combated post-Vatican II trends that he sees as
anthropocentric rather than Christocentric. He connects these trends
with the loss of the beauty and splendor of the Catholic cultural
tradition. But he has now become concerned with what he sees as liberal
Catholicism's dangerous opposite extreme: the radical traditionalist
movement in the church.
Schönborn says Church cannot refuse blessing for gay couples
| March 25,2021
Austrian cardinal is the latest of more than a dozen German-speaking
bishops who have criticized the Vatican for trying to stop priests from
blessing same-sex unions
likes a contest -- Introducing Typo
The editor, Special to The Review | April 1,
In the interest of The Review becoming as perfect as
possible, technically that is, we are introducing Typo Tracker,
counting on the eagle eyes out there to identify typos, spelling
errors, grammatical errors, broken links, inconsistent formatting, or
any other technical glitches that shouldn't be there.
Disagreement with the content won't count for this contest.
Prizes, as yet
undetermined, will be awarded to the first person who identifies each
If this online
magazine becomes too proficient at avoiding typos, we may have to plant
In spite of the
date, this article is not a joke.
new commission on women, Jesuit Pope Francis, and Lucetta Scaraffia on
the ordination of women
Marie Bouclin, Special
to The Review, April 1, 2021
Women’s Day, the Society of Jesus announced the creation of a Commission on the Role
and Responsibilities of Women in the order. The commission
is the next step in the Jesuit's efforts more fully to include and
collaborate with women.
This is very
interesting indeed, given that Pope Francis is a Jesuit and will
undoubtedly be following their discussions.
I recall that the
Jesuits had decided in the seventies that Liberation Theology
coming out of Latin America and its option for the poor included ending
the oppression of women. But the Vatican clamped down on that. They
appointed bishops who supported the regimes that "disappeared" and
murdered many who worked to implement liberation theology. Many we know
by name and thousands we don’t.
a personal note, when I was ordained contra
legem, my Jesuit friends
were supportive and understood why we were going that route, especially
when I told one of them that, unless women answered the call to
priesthood, the Eucharist, the “fount and summit of the life of the
Church” and central to remembering Jesus, would be lost for lack of
community leadership (i.e. shortage of priests). He said he believed it
would be women who would “save Christianity” and knelt to ask for my
blessing. A moment I’ll never forget.
On another note,
recently I listened to an interview involving
Lucetta Scaraffia, the woman who resigned with her whole
team, as editor of Women Church World,
a supplement to the official L'Osservatore Romano.
She has been criticized because she did not support the ordination of
women. Her point was made when Pope Francis said, in creating yet
another commission on the ordination of women as deacons, that he does
not want to “clericalize” women. Scaraffia says that she does not
support ordination of women because that would just give the hierarchy
a further means of control over women. I think she is saying that
in the current context, if Canon 1024 of Church law were changed and
women were ordained legally, they would simply be co-opted into
perpetuating the clericalist model of priesthood. Scaraffia emphasized
her point that “the Church” does not listen to women, even her team of
women journalists/ historians/ theologians who were an “intellectual
powerhouse”! When her team denounced the sexual abuse of nuns
many of whom had been forced to have abortions (which bishops and
priests paid for), the Pope did nothing. Still hasn’t.
She does not mince words about the corruption in the Church hierarchy,
its “putrid” hypocrisy on the issue of abortion especially, and about
women generally. Her most recent book, Féministe et chrétienne,
is excellent. (Only available in Italian and French.) She said
Catholic women had to continue to “fight”, to continue doing what we
are doing – speaking out, renewing theology, living the Gospel of
justice and keeping an open-minded dialogue with “lay” (which I take to
mean unchurched or who have left the church) feminists who think
differently on a variety of important issues.
Bouclin, Sudbury, ON, is bishop emerita of RCWP Canada]
Canada Statement Regarding Church Blessing of Same-sex Unions
Roman Catholic Women
Priests Canada supports the Statement made by Catholic Network for
Women's Equality (CNWE) Church Blessing of Same-sex Unions.
We stand with gender diverse individuals as beloved children of the
Creator. Our communities are inclusive and welcoming to all.
We are here for anyone who is suffering needlessly because of recent
Vatican statements that denounce same-sex love as sinful and unworthy
of God’s blessing.
We are prepared to minister to the needs of anyone who desires to have
their love affirmed and blessed before God and the community of
Contact RCWP Canada
conversation about sex and gender has a pair of problems
Daniel Walden, commonwealmagazine.org | March 8,
is not unfair to say
that Catholic conversation about sex and gender
has a problem. More accurately, it has a pair of problems: one concerns
our ability to speak credibly to the non-Catholic public; the other
concerns our ability to speak productively to one another.
first problem is, I am sorry to say, largely our own doing. The Church
has the canonical structures to bring women into the uppermost ranks of
leadership without any alteration to our understanding of sacramental
theology, but has not used them. Gay men remain
officially barred from
seminaries by force of a document whose reasoning cannot withstand
thirty seconds’ thought.
public intellectuals and bishops routinely talk about “gender
ideology,” a term with no clear referent, in statements and interviews.
In short, we are not credible both because our institutions are
hypocritical and because we routinely spout nonsense in public—nonsense
that, unfortunately, also structures our internal conversations,
leading to the second part of the problem.
Reflections on the
by Susan Roll
Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter B, April 11, 2021
Acts 4: 32-35; Psalm 118; 1 John 5: 1-6; John 20: 19- 31.
I think most of
us have learned, or re-learned, a great deal about human touch in the
past thirteen months since the coronavirus pandemic shut down life as
we knew it. We have learned that touch can be dangerous, spreading
contagious sickness, leading to long-lasting suffering or even to an
anguished death while gasping desperately for air. On the other hand,
we become more aware of how life-giving the act of touch – appropriate
touch, a touch offered and accepted – can be for our mental health and
our sense of belonging to a human family. How often have you heard (or
said!) “I just want to hug my grandchildren!”
But in the
meantime—don’t touch. Don’t embrace. Don’t breathe, at least not on
other people. All of these stand in stark contrast to the profoundly
bodily beauty and intimacy of our Gospel readings last week and this
week, an intimacy that does not sicken, but heals.
Read More of this reflection
reflections by Susan Roll
Read More reflections and homilies by other authors
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priestly ordination now open to women
Peter Borowitz, Special to The
Review | April 1, 2021
In a last ditch
effort to meet the
deadline of the last day of March, International Women's Month, the
Vatican announce the abolition of Canon 1024.
presssure from various
women's groups across the world, 70% of the lay faithful, many priests,
and a few cardinals, the Vatican spokesman stated that it was finally a
favourable time to open priestly ordination to women.
In an attempt to
regrettable statements in the past, the spokesman stated that the
Vatican no longer believes that women theologians are merely
strawberries on a cake or future clerics in skirts.
of making an important announcement, the Vatican spokesman stated that
the church has always taught this.
what was meant by "this" the spokesman declined to answer.
whether Pope Francis had been consulted, why this announcement was
made a day before April 1st, and who was this masked Vatican spokesman.