Soccer team / Women priests / Same goal?

Soccer team? Women priests? What goals could they possibly have in common?

But they do have goals in common. Both groups are claiming to be judged by a different standard than men. Gender equality is not only important to the Women’s Soccer Team, but is also one of the major objectives of the Women Priest Movement.

Five members of the US Women’s Soccer Team recently filed discrimination action against the US Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hope Solo, a star US team player, states, “I’ve been on this team for a decade and a half . . . and honestly, not much has changed. We continue to be told we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to play. In this day and age, it’s about equality. It’s about equal rights. It’s about equal pay. We’re pushing for that.”

And so are women priests pushing for gender equality. We wish to be accepted as ordained ministers of our Church. But, the Church will not allow it, because we are not men.

Many churches have welcomed women as ministers, rabbis, and deacons, but the Roman Catholic Church stands firm against it, stating that women may not be ordained (because they are not men) and they suffer excommunication if they do so.(Canon law1024, one of the 1752 Canon laws of the Church.)

There is no Scriptural evidence that women should not be ordained. In 1976, a report from the Pontifical Biblical Commission stating just that, was presented to the Vatican, but received little to no comment. However, there is a long history, submerged by the male priest population, that women priests were common in the early church.

How do they explain Paul, Galatians? “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.”

Male theologians know this, but men priests have been ousted from their religious communities for speaking up for ordaining women, or, for attending an ordination of a woman priest. Diocesan priests are required to obey their bishops, no matter what they personally think, and most would be penalized for speaking openly about the subject.

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have said the subject is closed, even for discussion. One may not even speak about it. And unfortunately, Pope Francis has yet to contradict them, although he has recently intimated that he might call a commission to discuss female deacons. We have petitioned the Pope to hear our pleas for acceptance by the church as validly ordained deacons and priests.

The facts totally ignored are the ramifications of this second class syndrome of women by, not only Christian churches, but most churches, which have had devastating social effects. The position of women in some third world countries is horrific as they are sex slaves, and treated with less respect than the animals.

Jimmy Carter’s recent book, A Call To Action, states, “the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts….” He blames inaccurate religious tenets. And he especially blames Christian churches.

All of these issues have become one burning issue. Gender equality has become a vocal problem in fields beyond religion and sports. Women seek their place in politics and the business world.

Uniting in our efforts hopefully will bring more attention and credence to our joint cause.Type your paragraph here.

                                      “I believe in the communion of saints.”

          We attest to this in the Apostle’s Creed, but do we believe these words, really? If so, why do we treat the spirits of our loved ones so shabbily?
         St. Therese of Lisieux, a doctor of the church, claimed that she would spend her days in heaven doing good on earth. That should tell us that, as a spirit, she believed she could come and go as she saw fit. Then why not my mother and dad, my husband and sister, and all my loved ones who have left me here, but might like to visit occasionally? Do we give credence to our connection to these saints…that we are in communion with them? Do we really believe that they can visit in ways beyond our comprehension? Do we invite them in? Have conversations? Put stock in unordinary signs? Keep our minds and doors open?
        November 1st and 2nd are the feasts of All Saints and of All Souls. Let’s think about our loved ones. They haven’t necessarily ‘faithfully departed’ at all.
        I wrote this piece on the Feast of St. Therese. When I finished it, I decided to tidy up my office, and I thought of the Little Flower. I never had had much devotion to her. Since I read that St. Teresa of Avila had called herself a woman of a few thousand words, I could see the resemblance, and adopted St. Teresa as my mentor. Among the bibelots on my file cabinet, is a relic of St. Irenaeus my sister had brought home for me from Rome. (When I was a religious sister, my name was Sister Mary Irene. My motto, inscribed in my ring, was from St. Irenaeus…“The glory of God is the living man”. In those days, man meant all human-kind.) I thought it was nice of her to give it to me, as it was mounted in a glass case, the center of a large hand-carved cross. Quite handsome. I picked it up and dusted it.
       There was a teeny piece of paper in it I had never read, and I decided to check and see how they spelled St. Irenaeus’ name. I found a magnifying glass, looked at it carefully and guess what?          It was a relic of. St. Therese of Jesus, the Little Flower! I called my sister immediately and she insisted that she bought a relic of St. Irenaeus in Rome, and that was it! All I can say is…
                                  "I BELIEVE IN THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS!“


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