OCT 26th 2019
Towards Wholeness: Re-envisioning the Priesthood
On 26th Oct in Salisbury, PARISHIONERS’ CALL brought together a number of parishioners, Kathleen Salmon of CWO, and Mike Kerrigan of Movement for a Married Clergy, together with Mary Ring from Women’s Ordination Worldwide, to discuss ways in which our Church can move forwards together towards wholeness. There was a lovely atmosphere together. We were so sorry that Sr Katrina Alton was unwell and unable to be there.
Mike Kerrigan has been calling for married clergy for decades, and he now welcomed this shared platform. He gave convincing statistics and evidence showing that although there is still little or no response from our bishops, Catholics are in favour of a ministry that reflects the families of most parishioners. Katharine Salmon from CWO, Catholic Women’s Ordination, spoke with clarity and compassion, making us realise how much our church has lost as she has gone with her ministry - of necessity - to the Church of England. And Mary Ring outlined how the German, Swiss and Austrian churches are taking matters into their own hands: “Why do you even need priests at all?” ask We are Church (Wir Sind Kirche) in Austria. As we know, Jesus never ordained anyone. We need to remind ourselves how simply the early Jesus followers carried out his teachings in the Acts of the Apostles.
We were also very interested to hear first-hand from Anne Martin who was present on the boat on the Danube where the original seven Roman Catholic Women Priests were ordained in 2001. Many Catholics have never heard about them, nor that they are all automatically excommunicated (it is worth noting that not even priest abusers are automatically excommunicated).
We completed the meeting by sending our petition to Pope Francis, supporting him in his campaign against clericalism, and asking for the sacramental ministry of women and men together. Please read our letter here.
OCT 5th 2019
WOMEN AT THE ALTAR? THE EVIDENCE!
Prize-winning art historian Dr Ally Katueusz held a packed room spellbound in October at Catholic Women’s Ordination in BIrmingham as she outlined how she had set out on her examination of the early artistic evidence of the development of Christian liturgy. She explained how she had set out on her research into early Christian ministry expecting to find the usual male priestly role-modelling.
To her surprise, she realised that what she was seeing in early Christian art was either gender-parallel worship, or all-women ministry. Because no liturgical documentation survives from the first seven centuries, her art-historian’s approach centres upon examining artefacts, which are less susceptible to destruction, and which are supported by other surviving documents.
Her research highlights the startling lack of early documentation of liturgies. Could evidence of women’s full participation, if not predominance in, early worship, have led to some powerful censoring or destruction of these documents? For this reason, she terms the artifacts she studies, “precious windows into the past.” Overlooked and often unnoticed, many of these early artworks depict women leaders, presiders, evangelists and celebrants alongside men, or independent of them. Where they have been noticed, they may have been defaced or covered over.
Pope Francis has called for the evidence of women’s ministry. Dr Kateusz’s book calls for the Church to explain why and how such evidence has been covered over, or even destroyed.
Watch her fascinating presentation here.
GIRLS AND WOMEN IN OUR CHURCH
Pam Perry was given a generous and thoughtful welcome when she spoke at the Catholic People’s Weeks Family Gathering in Malvern in August. Asked to talk about the place of women in the Roman Catholic Church, she began by pointing out how many women are already quietly in positions of usefulness and seniority, but asking what can be done to change the Church’s public attitude to women, to a married clergy, and to an inclusive priesthood. Women already fill 85% of the Church’s roles that don’t require ordination - what does that say to us?
You can see her talk here.
The conference decided unanimously to write to Pope Francis, asking for discussion at all levels about ministry: ordained and non-ordained, male and female, single and married, and about the role of laity in the Church.
MAY 12th 2019
Where Are The Women?
We were at Westminster Cathedral piazza, Birmingham's St.Chad's Cathedral piazza, and Clifton Cathedral Bristol piazza, asking Where are the Women?
Many people stopped to support us on Vocations Sunday, outside Westminster Cathedral and Clifton Cathedral, Bristol. Comments were 90% + in favour. “This is the way it has to go!” said many people. “It’ll come. It has to come.”
Our Call to Ministry
Bishop Emeritus Crispian Hollis and Canon Julie Bradley share our call to ministry with parishioners.
"Why have we never heard about Catholic women’s ordination?" people asked Bishop Crispian Hollis and Canon Julie Bradley at our meeting in October 2018. Discussion has been silenced in the Roman Catholic Church since 1994, but is now imperative. We need to explore how other churches and faiths share ministry, and how we can return more closely to the life and example of the women and men who walked with Jesus and shared his message. Join us in this journey!
Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: “Therefore... we are members one of another… which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes” says the Roman Catholic Catechism. At our inaugural meeting in January 2018 we discussed the vocation of all believers, questioning why the Church is full of Mum-and-Dad families, yet seems bound to a paternalistic and patriarchal model where women are voiceless and invisible. This never was practicable, nor was it just, and it is up to us to bring about change.
The Shared Vocation of All Believers
An ordained Catholic man and Canon Anne Long discuss the shared vocation of all believers with parishioners.
We deeply regret that we cannot at this time share the names of all our speakers.
We call NOW for a Roman Catholic Church where all may speak openly!