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Showing posts from July, 2012

Bp. Patricia Fresen

Our womanpriest community, Mary Magdalen, First Apostle, yesterday welcomed Bishop Patricia Fresen from Germany, originally a Dominican nun in South Africa, now an ordained priest and bishop in our movement. We celebrated Mass, presided over by our pastor Mary Smith, who, as usual, delivered a homily that compares with the best researched homilies I have heard from theologians who teach in a school of theology.
After our liturgy and a snack, we listened to Fresen describe her dream of an inclusive non-hierarchical church without top-down power. There would be no popes and cardinals dictating commands and inciting fear by excommunicating those whose conscience directs them to disobey. Power would reside in the people, all the people. Leadership positions would circulate to prevent corruption and abuse.

In the discussion afterward, we heard about hopeful developments in our movement, but one young, idealistic theology student was troubled by our criticism of the present structure. Aren…

Bishops' campaign twists logic

Stories about what “the church” does, thinks, teaches usually refer to the hierarchy, but we all need to be reminded that Vatican II defined church as the whole community of people—we are the church. Catholic bishops who disapprove of contraception—including Benedict XVI—are out of step with the morality of the church as defined by Vatican II. Without question, the Catholic Church as a whole accepts contraception as a blessing, not a sin, because it prevents a variety of health problems for women and enormous financial stress for the poor.

When the Health and Human Services Department of the Obama administration ruled that religious organizations must offer contraceptives in the insurance packages of their employees, I rejoiced. Then the outcry from Catholics, even those who use birth control (Why??), followed by what I thought was brilliant—the administration saying that insurance companies will bear the cost (in the long run, no cost, because contraceptives save money). The bish…