Women Can Be Priests

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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/25 16:25:48 (permalink)
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Jesuits to women: 'we seek conversion.'
Text of documention on Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church and Civil Society
National Catholic Reporter
April 7, 1995
 
Introduction
 
The 33rd General Congregation made a brief mention of the "unjust treatment and exploitation of women." It was part of a list of injustices in a new context of needs and situations which Jesuits were called to address in the implementation of our mission. We wish to consider this question more specifically and substantially on this occasion. This is principally because, assisted by the general rise in consciousness concerning this issue, we are more aware than previously that it is indeed a central concern of any contemporary mission which seeks to integrate faith and justice. It has a universal dimension in that it involves men and women everywhere. To an increasing extent it cuts across barriers of class and culture. It is of personal concern to those who work with us in our mission, especially lay and religious women.
 
The situation
 
The dominance of men in their relationship with women has found expression in many ways. It has included discrimination against women in educational opportunities, the disproportionate burden they are called upon to bear in family life, paying them a lesser wage for the same, work, limiting their access to positions of influence when admitted to public life, and, sadly, and only too frequently, outright violence against the person of women. This violence still includes female circumcision, dowry deaths and the murder of unwanted infant girls in some parts of the world.
 
Women are commonly treated as objects in advertising and in the media. In extreme cases, for example in promoting international sex tourism, they are regarded as commodities to be trafficked.
 
This situation, however, has begun to change, chiefly because of the critical awakening and courageous protest of women themselves. But many men, too, have joined women in rejecting attitudes which offend against the dignity of men and women alike. Nonetheless, we still have with us the legacy of systematic discrimination against women. It is embedded within the economic, social, political, religious and even linguistic structures of our societies. It is often part of an even deeper cultural prejudice and stereotype. Many women, indeed, feel that men have been slow to recognize the full humanity of women. They often experience a defensive reaction from men when they draw attention to this blindness.
 
The prejudice against women, to be sure, assumes different forms in different cultures. Sensitivity is needed to avoid using any one, simple measurement of what counts as discrimination. But it is, nonetheless, a universal reality. Further, in many parts of the world, women who are already cruelly disadvantaged because of war, poverty, migration or race, often suffer a double disadvantage precisely because they are women. There is a "feminization of poverty" and a distinctive "feminine face of oppression."
 
The church speaks
 
Church social teaching, especially within the last 10 years, has reacted strongly against this continuing discrimination and prejudice. Through Pope John Paul II in particular, it has called upon all men and women of goodwill, especially Catholics, to make the essential equality of women a lived reality. This is a genuine "sign of the times." We need to join with interchurch and interreligious groups in order to advance this social transformation.
 
Church teaching certainly promotes the role of women within the family, but it also stresses the need for their contribution in the church and in public life. It draws upon the text of Genesis, which speaks of men and women created in the image of God (Gn 1:27) and the prophetic praxis of Jesus in his relationship with women. These sources call us to change our attitudes and work for a change of structures. The original plan of God was for a loving relationship of respect, mutuality and equality between men and women, and we are called to fulfill this plan. The tone of this ecclesial reflection on scripture makes it clear that there is an urgency in the challenge to translate theory into practice not only outside but also within the church itself.
 
Role and responsibility
 
The Society of Jesus accepts this challenge and our responsibility for doing what we can as men and as a male religious order. We do not pretend or claim to speak for women. However, we do speak out of what we have learned from women about ourselves and our relationship with them.
 
In making this response we are being faithful, in the changed consciousness of our times, to our mission: The service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement. We respond, too, out of the acknowledgment of our own limited but significant influence as Jesuits and as male religious within the church. We are conscious of the damage to the people of God brought about by the alienation of women in some cultures who no longer feel at home in the church and who are not able with integrity to transmit Catholic values to their families, friends and colleagues.
 
Conversion
 
In response, we Jesuits first ask God for the grace of conversion. We have been part of a civil and ecclesial tradition that has offended against women. And, like many men, we have a tendency to convince ourselves that there is no problem. However unwittingly, we have often been complicit in a form of clericalism which has reinforced male domination with an ostensibly divine sanction. By making this declaration we wish to react personally and collectively, and do what we can to change this regrettable situation.
 
Appreciation
 
We know that the nurturing of our own faith and much of our own ministry would be greatly diminished without the dedication, generosity and joy that women bring to the schools, parishes and other fields in which we labor together. This is particularly true of the work of lay and religious women among the urban and rural poor, often in extremely difficult and challenging situations. In addition, many religious congregations of women have adopted the Spiritual Exercises and the Constitutions as the basis for their own spirituality and governance, becoming an extended Ignatian family. Religious and laywomen have in recent years become expert in the Spiritual Exercises. As retreat directors, especially of the 19th Annotated Retreat, they have enriched the Ignatian tradition, and our own understanding of ourselves and of our ministry. Many women have helped to reshape our theological tradition in a way that has liberated both men and women. We wish to express our appreciation for this profound contribution of women, and hope that this mutuality in ministry might continue and flourish.
 
Ways forward
 
We wish to specify more concretely at least some ways in which we Jesuits may better respond to this challenge to our lives and mission. We do not presume that there is any one model of male/female relationship to be recommended, much less imposed, throughout the world or even within a given culture. Rather we note the need for a real delicacy in our response. We must be careful not to interfere in a way that alienates the culture, but rather we must endeavor to facilitate a more organic process of change. We should be particularly sensitive to adopt a pedagogy that does not drive a further wedge between men and women who in certain circumstances are already under great pressure from other divisive cultural or socioeconomic forces.
 
In the first instance, we invite all Jesuits to listen carefully and courageously to the experience of women. Many women feel that men simply do not listen to them. There is no substitute for such listening.
 
More than anything else it will bring about change. Without listening, action in this area, no matter how well-intentioned, is likely to bypass the real concerns of women and to confirm male condescension and reinforce male dominance. Listening, in a spirit of partnership and equality, is the most practical response we can make, and is the foundation for our mutual partnership to reform unjust structures.
 
Second, we invite all Jesuits, as individuals and through their institutions, to align themselves in solidarity with women. The practical ways of doing this will vary from place to place and from culture to culture, but many examples come readily to mind:
  • Explicit teaching of the essential equality of women and men in Jesuit ministries, especially in schools and universities.
  • Support for liberation movements for women which oppose their exploitation and encourage their entry into political and social life.
  • Specific attention to the phenomenon of violence against women.
  • Appropriate presence of women in Jesuit ministries and institutions, not excluding the ministry of formation.
  • Genuine involvement of women in consultation and decision-making in our Jesuit ministries.
  • Respectful collaboration with our female colleagues in shared projects.
  • Use of appropriately inclusive language in speech and official documents.
  • Promotion of the education of women and, in particular, the elimination of all forms of illegitimate discrimination between boys and girls in the educational process.

Many of these, we are happy to say, are already being practiced in different parts of the world. We confirm their value and recommend a more universal implementation as appropriate.
 
It would be idle to pretend that all the answers to the issues surrounding a new, more just relationship between women and men have been found or are satisfactory to all. In particular, it may be anticipated that some other questions about the role of women in civil and ecclesial society will undoubtedly mature over time. Through committed and persevering research, through exposure to different cultures and through reflection on experience, Jesuits hope to participate in clarifying these questions and in advancing the underlying issues of justice. The change of sensibilities which this involves will inevitably have implications for church teaching and practice. In this context we ask Jesuits to live, as always, with the tension involved in being faithful to the teachings of the church and to the signs of the times.
 
Conclusion
 
The Society gives thanks for all that has already been achieved through the often costly struggle for a more just relationship between women and men. We thank women for the lead they have given and continue to give.
 
In particular, we thank women religious with whom we feel a special bond and who have been pioneers in so many ways in their unique contribution to the mission of faith and justice. We are grateful, too, for what the Society and individual Jesuits have contributed to this new relationship, which is a source of great enrichment for both men and women.
 
Above all we want to commit the Society in a more formal and explicit way to regard this solidarity with women as integral to our mission. In this way we hope that the whole Society will regard this work for reconciliation between women and men in all its forms as integral to its interpretation of Decree 4 of GC 32 for our times. We know that a reflective and sustained commitment to bring about this respectful reconciliation can flow only from our God of love and justice who reconciles all and promises a world in which "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28).
 
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_/ai_16820212
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/25 16:28:37 (permalink)
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On December 24 in 1865 - The Ku Klux Klan is founded as  a private social club by several US Civil War Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee. 
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/25 16:30:13 (permalink)
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Nativity by Dawn Eggenburger
http://www.ecva.org/exhibition/venite_adoremus/eggenberger_nativity.jpg
 
December 25 - Christ is born!
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/25 16:31:04 (permalink)
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Died this day December 25 in 795 - Pope Adrian I
 
Pope Adrian, or Hadrian I, was pope from February 9, 772 to December 25, 795. He was the son of Theodore, a Roman nobleman.

Soon after his accession, the territory ruled by the popes was invaded by Desideruius, king of the Lombards. Adrian found it necessary to invoke the aid of the Frankish king Charlemagne, who entered Italy with a large army, besieged Desiderius in his capital of Pavia, took that town, banished the Lombard king to France and, in an innovative gesture, took the title 'King of the Lombards' himself. The pope, whose expectations had been aroused, had to content himself with some additions to the duchy of Rome, and to the Exarchate of Ravenna, and the Pentapolis in the Marches, which consisted of the "five cities" on the Adriatic coast from Rimini to Ancona with the coastal plain as far as the mountains.



Charlemagne comes to the aid of Pope Adrian I
 
A mark of such newly settled conditions in the Duchy of Rome is the Domusculta Capracorum, the central villa on the Roman plan that Adrian assembled from a nucleus of his inherited estates and acquisitions from neighbors in the countryside north of Veii. The villa is documented in Liber Pontificalis but its site was not rediscovered until the 1960s, when excavations revealed the structures on a gently rounded hill that was only marginally capable of self-defense but fully self-sufficient, with its own grain mill, smithies and tile-kilns, for a mixed economy of grains and vineyards, olives, vegetable gardens and piggery. In the tenth century, villages were carved out of Adrian's Capracorum estate: Campagnano mentioned first in 1076, Formello mentioned in 1027, Mazzano in 945, and Stabia (modern Faleria) in 998.

In his contest with the Byzantine Empire and the Lombard dukes of Benevento, Adrian remained faithful to the Frankish alliance, and the friendly relations between pope and king were not disturbed by the difference which arose between them on the question of the veneration of images, to which Charlemagne and the bishops in France were strongly opposed, while Adrian favoured the views of the Eastern Church, and approved the decree of the second council of Nicaea (787), confirming the practice and excommunicating the iconoclasts. It was in connection with this controversy that the Libri Carolini were written, to which Adrian replied by letter, anathematizing all who refused to venerate the images of Jesus, or the Virgin Mary, or saints. Notwithstanding this, a synod, held at Frankfurt in 794, anew condemned the practice, and the dispute remained unsettled at Adrian's death.

In 787, he elevated the diocese of Lichfield in England to an archdiocese on request from the English bishops and King Offa of Mercia in order to balance the ecclesiastic power in that land between Kent and Mercia. He gave the Lichfield bishop Higbert the pallium in 788.

An epitaph written by Charlemagne in verse, in which he styles Adrian "father," is still to be seen at the door of the Vatican basilica. Adrian restored some of the ancient aqueducts of Rome, and rebuilt the churches of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, decorated by Greek monks fleeing from the iconoclastal persecutions, and of San Marco in Rome. At the time of his death, his was the longest papacy since Saint Peter, and it would remain so until he was surpassed by the 24-year papacy of Pius VI in the late eighteenth century. In fact, only three more popes (Pius IX, John Paul II and Leo XIII) have reigned longer since.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Adrian_I
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/25 18:12:16 (permalink)
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On this day December 25 in 800: In Rome, Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor.

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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 16:26:19 (permalink)
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On December 26 in 1862 - Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 16:39:45 (permalink)
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Died December 26 in 268 - Pope Dionysius
 
Pope Saint Dionysius was pope from July 22, 259 to December 26, 268. He may have been born in Greece, but this has not been verified.



Dionysius was elected pope in 259, after the martyrdom of
Sixtus II in 258. The Holy See had been vacant for nearly a year due to difficulty in electing a new pope during the violent persecution which Christians faced.
When the persecution had begun to subside, Dionysius was raised to the office of Bishop of Rome.
Emperor Valerian I, who had led the persecution, was captured and killed by the King of Persia in 260. The new emperor, Gallienus, issued an edict of toleration, bringing the persecution of Christians to an end and giving the Church legal status. The houses of worship, the cemeteries, and other property which had been confiscated by earlier edicts. To the new pope fell the task of reorganizing the Roman church, which had fallen into great disorder. On the protest of some of the faithful at Alexandria, he demanded from the Bishop of Alexandria, also called Dionysius, explanations concerning his doctrine regarding the relation of God to the Logos, which was satisfied.

Pope Dionysius sent large sums of money to the churches of
Cappadocia, which had been devastated by the marauding Goths, to rebuild and to ransom those held captive. He brought order to the Church and procured a peace after Emperor Gallienus issued an edict of toleration which was to last until 303. Dionysius is the first pope who is not listed as a martyr. He died on December 26, 268.

In art, he is portrayed in
papal vestments, along with a book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Dionysius
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 16:48:22 (permalink)
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Died December 26 in 418 - Pope Zosimus
 

Pope Zosimus
 
Pope Saint Zosimus was pope from March 18, 417 to December 26, 418.

He succeeded Innocent I, and was followed by Boniface I. Zosimus took a decided part in the protracted dispute in Gaul as to the jurisdiction of the see of Arles over that of Vienne, giving energetic decisions in favour of the former, but without settling the controversy. His fractious temper coloured all the controversies in which he took part, in Gaul, Africa and Italy, including Rome, where at his death the clergy were very much divided.

According to the Liber Pontificalis, Zosimus was a Greek and his father's name was Abram. Some scholars deduce from this that the family was of Jewish origin, but this cannot be certain.

Nothing is known of the life of Zosimus before his elevation to the papal see. His consecration as Bishop of Rome took place on March 18, 417. The festival was attended by Patroclus, Bishop of Arles, who had been raised to that see in place of Bishop Hero, who had been forcibly and unjustly removed by the imperial general Constantine. Patroclus gained the confidence of the new pope at once; as early as March 22 he received a papal letter which conferred upon him the rights of a metropolitan over all the bishops of the Gallic provinces of Viennensis and Narbonensis I and II. In addition he was made a kind of papal vicar for the whole of Gaul; no Gallic ecclesiastic being permitted to journey to Rome without bringing with him a certificate of identity from Patroclus.

In the year 400, Arles had been substituted for Trier as the residence of the chief government official of the civil Diocese of Gaul, the "Prefectus Praetorio Galliarum". Patroclus, who enjoyed the support of the commander Constantine, used this opportunity to procure for himself the position of supremacy above mentioned, by winning over Zosimus to his ideas. The bishops of Vienne, Narbonne, and Marseille regarded this elevation of the See of Arles as an infringement of their rights, and raised objections which occasioned several letters from Zosimus. The dispute, however, was not settled until the pontificate of Pope Leo I.

Confrontation with Pelagianism

Not long after the election of Zosimus the proponent of Pelagianism, Caelestius, who had been condemned by the preceding pope, Innocent I, came to Rome to justify himself before the new pope, having been expelled from Constantinople. In the summer of 417, Zosimus held a meeting of the Roman clergy in the Basilica of St. Clement before which Caelestius appeared. The propositions drawn up by the deacon Paulinus of Milan, on account of which Caelestius had been condemned at Carthage in 411, were laid before him. Caelestius refused to condemn these propositions, at the same time declaring in general that he accepted the doctrine expounded in the letters of Pope Innocent and making a confession of faith which was approved. The pope was won over by the shrewdly calculated conduct of Caelestius, and said that it was not certain whether the heretic had really maintained the false doctrine rejected by Innocent, and that therefore he considered the action of the African bishops against Caelestius too hasty. He wrote at once in this sense to the bishops of the African province, and called upon those who had anything to bring against Caelestius to appear at Rome within two months. Soon after this Zosimus received from Pelagius also an artfully expressed confession of faith, together with a new treatise by the heretic on free will. The pope held a new synod of the Roman clergy, before which both these writings were read. The skilfully chosen expressions of Pelagius concealed the heretical contents; the assembly held the statements to be orthodox, and Zosimus again wrote to the African bishops defending Pelagius and reproving his accusers, among whom were the Gallic bishops Hero and Lazarus. Archbishop Aurelius of Carthage quickly called a synod, which sent a letter to Zosimus in which it was proved that the pope had been deceived by the heretics. In his answer Zosimus declared that he had settled nothing definitely, and wished to settle nothing without consulting the African bishops. After the new synodal letter of the African council of May 1, 418 to the pope, and after the steps taken by the emperor Honorius against the Pelagians, Zosimus recognized the true character of the heretics. He now issued his Tractoria, in which Pelagianism and its authors were finally condemned.

Shortly after this Zosimus became involved in a dispute with the African bishops in regard to the right of appeal to the Roman See clerics who had been condemned by their bishops. When the priest Apiarius of Sicca had been excommunicated by his bishop on account of his crimes, he appealed directly to the pope, without regard to the regular course of appeal in Africa which was exactly prescribed. The pope at once accepted the appeal, and sent legates with letters to Africa to investigate the matter. A wiser course would have been to have first referred Apiarius to the ordinary course of appeal in Africa itself. Zosimus next made the further mistake of basing his action on a reputed canon of the First Council of Nicaea, which was in reality a canon of the Council of Sardica. In the Roman manuscripts the canons of Sardica followed those of Nicaea immediately, without an independent title, while the African manuscripts contained only the genuine canons of Nicaea, so that the canon appealed to by Zosimus was not contained in the African copies of the Nicene canons. Thus a serious disagreement arose over this appeal, which continued after the death of Zosimus.

Besides the writings of the pope already mentioned, there are extant other letters to the bishops of the Byzantine province in Africa, in regard to a deposed bishop, and to the bishops of Gaul and Spain in respect to Priscillianism and ordination to the different grades of the clergy. The Liber Pontificalis attributes to Zosimus a decree on the wearing of the maniple by deacons and on the dedication of Easter candles in the country parishes; also a decree forbidding clerics to visit taverns. Zosimus was buried in the sepulchral Church of St. Laurence in Agro Verano.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Zosimus
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 17:26:54 (permalink)
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On this day December 27 in 537 - The Hagia Sophia is completed.

Hagia Sophia (Greek: "Holy Wisdom",  Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.



History

First church 


Stone remains of the basilica ordered
by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

Nothing remains of the first church that was built on this location, known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia".
 
As often happened in those days, the site was selected because there had been a pagan temple there. The church was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed and next to the smaller church Hagia Eirene, finished first and acting as cathedral until the Hagia Sophia was completed. The Hagia Sophia was inaugurated by Constantius II on 15 February 360. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

This church was chronicled by Socrates of Constantinople (380-440), who claimed that it was built by Constantine the Great. It was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. This first church was then already claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments.

The appellation "Megálē Ekklēsíā" continued to be used for a long time, only to be replaced by the name "Hagia Sophia" after the conquest of Byzantium in 1453.



Remains of the previous church

Second church

The patriarch of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the Emperor Arcadius and was sent into exile on June 20, 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down. A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on October 10, 405. The fire that started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt resulted in the destruction of the (second) Hagia Sophia that burned down to the ground on 13-14 January 532.

Several marble blocks of this second church have survived to our date, and are displayed in the garden of the current (third) church. These marble slabs were excavated in the western courtyard by A.M. Schneider in 1935. They were part of a monumental front entrance.

Third church
 

Photomontage of the Hagia Sophia during Byzantine times

On February 23, 532, only a few days after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I took the decision to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

Justinian chose the physicist Isidore of Miletus and the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects.
Anthemius, however, died within the first year. The construction is described by the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (De Aedificiis). The emperor had material brought over from all over the empire, such as Hellenistic columns from the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Large stones were brought from far-away quarries: porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed during this construction. This new church was immediately recognized as a major work of architecture, demonstrating the creative insights of the architects. They may have used the theories of Heron of Alexandria to be able to construct a huge dome over such a large open space. The emperor, together with the patriarch Eutychius, inaugurated the new basilica on December 27, 537 with much pomp and circumstance. The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565-578).

Earthquakes in August 553 and on December 14, 557 caused cracks in the main dome and the eastern half-dome to appear. The main dome collapsed completely during an earthquake on May 7, 558, destroying the ambon, the altar and the ciborium over it. The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isodorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus. This time he used lighter materials and elevated the dome by 6.25 meters, thus giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters. 

This reconstruction, giving the church its present sixth century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed an extant, long epic poem, known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica, presided over by Patriarch Eutychius, on December 23, 562.

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as crowning ceremonies. The basilica also offered asylum to wrongdoers. Foreign visitors were deeply impressed.

In 726 the Emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the worship of images (iconoclasm), ordering the army to destroy all icons. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797-802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829-842) was strongly influenced by the Islamic art, forbidding graven images. He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

The basilica suffered damage, first by a great fire in 859, and again by an earthquake on January 8, 869 that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church to be repaired.

After the great earthquake of October 25, 989, which ruined the great dome of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Agine, to repair the dome. His main repairs were to the western arch and a portion of the dome. The extent of the church's destruction meant that reconstruction lasted six years. The church was re-opened on May 13, 994.

In his book De Ceremoniis aulae Byzantinae (Book of Ceremonies), emperor Constantine VII (913-919) wrote about all the details of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.


Tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice
who commanded the Sack of Constantinople
in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

At the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated. The Byzantine Greek historian Niketas Choniates described the capture of Constantinople. Many relics from the church, such as a stone from the tomb of Jesus, the Virgin Mary's milk, the shroud of Jesus, and bones of several saints, were sent to churches in the West and can be seen now in various museums in the West. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on May 16, 1204 in the Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261. However, restoration carried out during the period 1847-1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave. It is more likely a symbolic burial site to keep alive his memory.

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. The four buttresses in the west were probably built during this time. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church. After new cracks had developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, several parts of the building collapsed on May 19, 1346. After that, the church remained closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by the architects Astras and Peralta.

Mosque

Immediately after the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque. At that time, the church was very dilapidated. Several of its doors had fallen off. This condition was described by several Western visitors, such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti. The sultan Mehmed II ordered the immediate cleanup of the church and its conversion to a mosque. The next sultan Bayezid II built a new minaret, replacing the one built by his father.

In the sixteenth century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566) brought back two colossal candles from his conquest of Hungary.


Hagia Sophia and Minarets

They were placed on both sides of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566-1577), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers. In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's loge, and the mausoleum of Selim II to the southeast of the building (then a mosque) in 1577. The mausoleums of Murad III and Mehmed III were built next to it in the 1600s.

Later additions were the sultan's gallery, a minbar decorated with marble, a dais for a sermon and a loggia for a muezzin.

The sultan Murad III (1574-1595) had two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.

Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), a soup kitchen (for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a fountain for ritual ablutions (Şadirvan), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's gallery and a new mihrab were built inside.


View of one of the wooden discs inside the Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) from the first floor

The most famous restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were cleaned. The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks were hung on columns. They were inscribed with the names of Allah, the prophet Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Mohammed: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker İzzed Effendi (1801-1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's gallery in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. Outside the Hagia Sophia, a timekeeper's building and a new medrese were built. The minarets were altered so that they were of equal height. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on July 13, 1849.

Museum
 
In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering the mosaics was painstakingly removed by expert restorers.




 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 17:29:58 (permalink)
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On this day December 27 in 1831Charles Darwin embarks on his voyage  to the Pacific Ocean aboard the HMS Beagle.  His discoveries during the voyage helped him formulate his theories on evolution.


Charles Darwin, the young explorer
 

Charles Darwin  as an older man
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 17:33:16 (permalink)
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On this day December 27 in 1978 - Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 19:04:23 (permalink)
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Born this day December 27 in 1717:  Pope Pius VI (d. 1799)

Pope Pius VI (1717-1799), born Giovanni Angelo Braschi, Pope from 1775 to 1799, was born at Cesena.


Pope Pius VI
Papacy 1775-1799
 
After completing his studies in the Jesuit college of Cesena and receiving his doctorate of law (1734), Braschi continued his studies at the University of Ferrara, where he became the private secretary of Tommaso Cardinal Ruffo, papal legate, in whose bishopric of Ostia and Velletri he held the post of auditore until 1753. His skill in the conduct of a mission to the court of Naples won him the esteem of Pope Benedict XIV (1740–58), who appointed him one of his secretaries, 1753, and canon of St Peter's.

In 1758, putting an end to an engagement to be married (Pastor 1952) he was ordained priest, and in 1766 appointed treasurer of the camera apostolica by Pope Clement XIII (1758–69). Those who suffered under his conscientious economies cunningly convinced Pope Clement XIV (1769–74) to make him cardinal-priest of Sant' Onofrio on April 26, 1773 – a promotion which rendered him, for a time, innocuous. In the four months' conclave which followed the death of Clement XIV (1774), Spain, France and Portugal at length dropped their objection to Braschi, who was after all one of the more moderate opponents of the anti-Jesuit policy of the previous Pope, and he was elected to the vacant see on February 15, 1775, taking the name of Pius VI.


Coat of Arms of Pius VI

His earlier acts gave fair promise of liberal rule and reform in the corrupt administration of the Papal States. Though usually benevolent, Pius VI sometimes showed discrimination. He made his uncle Giovanni Carlo Banda, bishop of Imola since 1752, and a member of the curia, cardinal in the consistory of May 29, 1775, but did not proffer any other members of his family. He reprimanded prince Potenziani, the governor of Rome, for failing to adequately deal with corruption in the city, appointed a council of cardinals to remedy the state of the finances and relieve the pressure of imposts, called to account Nicolò Bischi for the spending of funds intended for the purchase of grain, reduced the annual disbursements by denying pensions to many prominent people, and adopted a reward system to encourage agriculture.



The circumstances of Pius VI's election as a compromise candidate, involved him in difficulties from the outset of his pontificate. He had received the support of the ministers of the Catholic crowns and the anti-Jesuit party upon a tacit understanding that he would continue the action of Clement XIV, by whose brief Dominus ac redemptor (1773), the Society of Jesus had been pronounced dissolved. On the other hand, the zelanti – the pro-Jesuit party among the cardinals – believed him secretly sympathetic towards the Jesuits, and expected some reparation for the alleged wrongs they suffered under the previous reign. As a result of these complications Pius VI was led into a series of half measures which gave little satisfaction to either party: although it is perhaps largely due to him that the Order was able to escape dissolution in White Russia and Silesia.  At only one juncture did he ever seriously consider its universal re-establishment, namely in 1792, as a bulwark against the ideas of the French Revolution (1789).

Besides facing dissatisfaction with this temporizing policy, Pius VI met with practical protests tending to the limitation of papal authority. Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim, writing under the pseudonym "Febronius", the chief German literary exponent of Gallican ideas of national Catholic Churches, was himself induced (not without scandal) publicly to retract his positions; but they were adopted in Austria nevertheless. There the social and ecclesiastical reforms in the spirit of the Enlightenment, which had been undertaken by Emperor Joseph II (1765–90) and his minister Kaunitz touched the supremacy of Rome so nearly that in the hope of staying them Pius VI adopted the exceptional course of visiting Vienna in person. He left Rome on February 27, 1782, and, though magnificently received by the Emperor, his mission proved a fiasco; he was, however, able a few years later to curb those German archbishops who, in 1786 at a congress at Ems, had shown a tendency towards independence.

 

In the Kingdom of Naples difficulties necessitating certain concessions in respect of feudal homage were raised by the liberal minister Tanucci, and more serious disagreements arose with Leopold II (1790–92), later emperor, and Scipione del Ricci, bishop of Pisotoia and Prato, upon the questions of reform in Tuscany. But Pius VI did not think fit to condemn the decrees of the synod of Pistoia (1786) till nearly eight years had elapsed.

At the outbreak of the French Revolution, Pius VI witnessed the suppression of the old Gallican Church, the confiscation of pontifical and ecclesiastical possessions in France, and an effigy of himself burnt by the Parisians at the Palais Royal. The murder of the republican agent Hugo Basseville in the streets of Rome (January 1793) gave new ground of offense; the papal curia was charged with complicity by the French Convention. Pius VI threw in his lot with the league against France, in the First Coalition.

In 1796 French Republican troops under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Italy, defeated the papal troops and occupied Ancona and Loreto. Pius VI sued for peace, which was granted at Tolentino on February 19, 1797; but on December 28 of that year, in a riot blamed by papal forces on some Italian and French revolutionists, the popular brigadier-general Mathurin-Léonard Duphot, who had gone to Rome with Joseph Bonaparte as part of the French embassy, was killed and a new pretext was furnished for invasion. General Berthier marched to Rome, entered it unopposed on February 10, 1798, and, proclaiming a Roman Republic, demanded of the Pope the renunciation of his temporal authority. Upon his refusal he was taken prisoner, and on February 20 was escorted from the Vatican to Siena, and thence to the Certosa near Florence. The French declaration of war against Tuscany led to his removal (he was escorted by the Spaniard Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador) by way of Parma, Piacenza, Turin and Grenoble to the citadel of Valence, the chief town of Drôme where he died six weeks after his arrival, on August 29, 1799, having then reigned longer than any Pope in historical times.


The deathbed of Pius VI in a popular engraving, after G. Beys, ca 1801

Pius VI's body was embalmed, but was not buried until January 30, 1800 after Napoleon saw political advantage to burying the deceased Pope in efforts to bring the Catholic Church back into France. His entourage insisted for some time that his last wishes were to be buried in Rome, then behind the Austrian lines. They also prevented a Constitutional bishop from presiding at the burial, as the laws of France then required, so no burial service was held. This recrudescence of the investiture conflict was settled by the Concordat of 1801. Pius VI's body was removed from Valence 24 December 1801 and buried at Rome 19 February 1802.

The name of Pius VI is associated with many and often unpopular attempts to revive the splendour of Pope Leo X (1513–21) in the promotion of art and public works; the words Munificentia Pii VI. P. M. graven in all parts of the city, giving rise amongst his impoverished subjects to such satire as the insertion of a minute loaf in the hands of Pasquin with that inscription beneath it. He is best remembered in connection with the establishment of the Museum of the Vatican, begun at his suggestion of his predecessor and with an impractical and expensive attempt to drain the Pontine Marshes, something later successfully achieved in the 1930s by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.


Pius VI elevated Romualdo Braschi-Onesti, the penultimate cardinal-nephew.

"Pius VI has been accused of having led a futile and immoral life, of having neglected his duties and of having been bad-tempered and even brutal with his attendants. Allowance of course must be made for enmity and exaggeration, but there can be no doubt that the Pope resorted to low and crooked means of obtaining money, both to meet the demands of his insatiable family and the cost of his own extravagance. As a monarch he was isolated and ignored. When the French Revolution broke out, the population of Avignon and of the Comtat Venaissin turned out the papal officials and declared themselves French citizens. News of this event was received in Paris with a great show of rejoicing and the Pope's effigy was publicly burned in the gardens of the Palais Royal to the accompaniment of ribald jokes and songs." 

Pope Pius VI in fiction
 
A long audience with Pius VI is one of the most extensive scenes in the Marquis de Sade's narrative Juliette, published in 1798. Juliette shows off her learning to the Pope (whom she most often addresses as "Braschi") with a verbal catalogue of alleged immoralities committed by his predecessors. The audience ends with an orgy.

As a means of humiliation, Sylvain Maréchal's play Le Judgment dernier des rois forces the character of the pope to marry after a global revolution has dethroned him and other monarchs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_VI
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 21:59:59 (permalink)
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Today December 27 is the feastday of John the Apostle and Evangelist
 
Saint John the Apostle (Greek Ιωάννης, see names of John) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Christian tradition identifies him as the author of several New Testament works: the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. Many modern scholars believe that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos refer to three separate individuals. This can be determined via new means of inquiry such as textual criticism. Certain lines of evidence suggest that John of Patmos wrote only Revelation, not the Gospel of John nor the Epistles of John. For one, the author of Revelation identifies himself as "John" several times, but the author of the Gospel of John never identifies himself directly.


St. John the Apostle by Hans Memling, c. 1468
(
The National Gallery, London)

For more, see here: RE: The Early Church
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 22:04:32 (permalink)
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Dear friends,
 
The women of the New Testament:  Why haven't we hear more about them? It is clear that women play significant roles in the Gospel of John. Their importance is evident through the number of times they appear and in the theological importance of their stories. For instance:
  • The opening miracle in Jesus' ministry occurs at a woman's initiative (The Wedding Feast at Cana: John 2,1-11).
  • Women are Jesus' main conversation partners in three stories that reveal His identity and vocation and the nature of faithful discipleship (The Samaritan Woman at the Well: John 4,4-42; The Woman Caught in Adultery: John 7,53-8,11; Martha of Bethany, John 11,1-44).
  • His passion is watched over by the women from its preparation (John 12,1-8) through to death (John 19,25-27) and resurrection (John 20,1-18).
  • In John's Gospel, men do not have a monopoly on witness and discipleship in John. Instead, John narrates a faith world that would not exist without women's participation in it. 

And so the question still question presses: Why haven't we heard more about women of the New Testament (or all of scripture for that matter)? In a commentary focused specifically on the Gospel of John, Father Felix Just, SJ, PhD, observes:

Due to cultural circumstances of the past, the Bible was written mostly by men about men. Most biblical interpretation over the centuries was also done by men for men.  As a result, women's perspectives (including stories about women and/or by women) have often been neglected.  

A careful reading of the Gospels, however, uncovers many more stories than we might think in which women play very significant roles. Recovering these stories is one of the most important tasks of "feminist hermeneutics," which everyone can do today, men as well as women.
He continues:

Although there are more Women in Luke's Gospel, the Gospel according to John contains several well-known stories involving prominent female characters, and most of these pericopes are found only in John.
A copy of Just's article is found here:

If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Rev. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
Loyola Institute for Spirituality

 
Soon after Just was born in Berlin, Germany, his family emigrated to Tucson, Arizona, where he graduated from Tucson High School and studied Mathematics at the University of Arizona (B.S. 1978; M.S. 1980).

He entered the
California Province of the Society of Jesus in 1980 and was ordained a priest in 1991. His Jesuit training included attending the Jesuit Novitiate in Santa Barbara, CA, studying at the Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich, Germany (Bakk.Phil. 1984), teaching mathematics and German at Jesuit High School in Sacramento, CA, and studying theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA (M.Div. 1990, S.T.L. 1994). Along the way he also had several shorter teaching stints and pastoral experiences in Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Guaymas, and Rome.

Fr. Just did his doctoral studies of the New Testament in the Dept. of Religious Studies at Yale University, New Haven, CT, culminating in a dissertation entitled, “The Social Role of Blind People and Attitudes toward the Blind in New Testament Times” (Ph.D. 1998). His other research interests include the Gospel and Letters of John, the Book of Revelation and Apocalyptic Literature, the Roman Catholic Liturgy, and the Lectionary for Mass.

He is currently an Associate Director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, CA, through which he offers and directs a variety of adult biblical education programs. Prior to moving to Orange County, he taught theology and religious studies at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), the University of San Francisco, and the University of Santa Clara. He was also the Director of the Center for Religion and Spirituality, a part of LMU Extension, and has worked extensively with the Campus Ministry program at Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles. He is an active member of the
Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature, and tries to keep up his working knowledge of several ancient and modern languages.

Fr. Just maintains a large internationally acclaimed website with a wide variety of biblical and liturgical materials (
http://catholic-resources.org). He frequently gives public lectures and workshops for parishes and dioceses on a wide variety of biblical, liturgical, spiritual, and theological topics. He enjoys hiking, camping, cycling, backpacking, and a broad range of popular and Christian music.
post edited by Sophie - 2008/12/28 16:51:52
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 22:13:57 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

In her article, Jesus and Women in the Gospel of John, author Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen begins:

Recently, the issue of “women in ministry” has had a high profile in many churches. There is agreement that women, like men, are called to minister within the church and to the world. The debate focuses on the nature of ministry and the forms of expression appropriate for women.
Heidebrecht Thiessen (HT) notes that though "the usual procedure is to anchor arguments concerning women in ministry in the Pauline epistles," because there is little concensus on the Pauline writings, she suggests we turn to the Gospels for guidance.  Heidebrecht Thiessen then proceeds to specifically examine the Gospel of John so as to discover Jesus’ understanding of the ministry of women. 

HT's observations are interesting.  For instance, we see that Jesus did not view women in terms of sexual temptation or sexual gratification (which is contrary to the writings of many of the early Church Fathers and medieval theologians!) And though "nowhere in John does Jesus explicitly teach about the roles and nature of women,"  Heidebrecht points out:

...we are left with an implicit commentary by John, who portrays women as active, innovative ministers of the Kingdom. We are given only indirectly Jesus’ attitude toward women, as revealed by his words and actions: the Johannine Jesus affirms them in roles that were unusual and often unacceptable within that culture. Jesus’ approach to women was in such contrast to that of his culture that we can assume a deliberate modelling of a new way of relating to women (Schneiders, 36). Surely such modelling is as valid as explicit teaching.  John’s story reveals a certain sensitivity and a deep respect for women which is evident in his selection and portrayal of incidents in Jesus’ life. The Johannine Jesus is not presented as seeking to modify the feminine role prevalent within Judaism; rather, Jesus seems to ignore it altogether as he calls women to public ministry and affirms them in the face of male opposition.
HT shows us a Jesus who treats women as unique and valuable individuals. He does not condescend to flatter them but instead demands just as much from women as from men. His approach to women is revolutionary considering the cultural norms of his day. She also observes that John does not describe women in relation to men but instead does the opposite. "Rather than viewing women in terms of their roles of wife, mother and housekeeper as was common within Jewish culture, the Johannine Jesus views them as individuals capable of making important decisions and commitments. Instead of seeing women primarily in terms of their sex or marital status, Jesus views them in terms of their relationship to God."

HT summarises that "while the Johannine Jesus does not give us explicit teaching on the subject, his words and actions imply several principles that governed his relations to women:

  • He treated women as people. He did not view women in terms of sexual temptation or sexual gratification. He neither avoided nor catered to them. He did not create new categories or rules for them as women but approached them as responsible and capable individuals.
  • Jesus allowed women to transcend their culturally defined roles. He did not assess their value according to their role of wife or mother but viewed them in relationship with himself.
  • Jesus encouraged women to serve him to the best of their ability. He did not specify areas of ministry for women and other areas of ministry for men. Rather, he affirmed women as they took initiative in the exercise of their particular ministry gifts.
  • Jesus’ approach to women appealed to the kingdom norm of equality in Christ. He was willing to challenge cultural norms in order to remain true to the higher kingdom vision."
And last but not least, HT poses questions about the implications of the Gospel of John for today's Church and women.  She asks: "How do we live out the principles Jesus models for us in the Gospel of John? We live in a society which is much different from that of Jesus. Or is it really that different?

  • Do we allow women in the church to be individuals as well as women? Do we avoid hiring women as part of pastoral teams because of the sexual temptation they may represent to the male members of the staff? Should we not rather call men to be responsible for their own sexual desires?
  • Do we in the church assess the value of women only in terms of their ability to function within the role of wife and mother? Why is it that most of the teaching in women’s groups addresses women as to their roles as wives and mothers, while men are much less frequently taught on their roles as husbands and fathers?
  • Do we in the church allow women to serve to the best of their ability? Do we tend to assume that all women have a domestic bent, an artistic eye and a “way with kids?” What do we do with a woman who exhibits special theological insight or has the gift of preaching? Do we equally affirm all women as they take initiative in exercising their unique gifts?
  • Do we appeal to the kingdom norm of equality in Christ or are we constrained by the limits of our own church subculture?
HT's conclusion challenges her readers:


Jesus was not afraid to defy cultural prohibitions when it came to relating to women. However, neither did Jesus fully implement his kingdom vision. While the Gospel writers present evidence of Jesus having followers who were women, the fact remains that Jesus did not choose to have women as part of his special group of twelve disciples. Does this then imply that women are forever barred from leadership roles within the church? I think not. Rather, I believe Geddert is correct when he states:

Jesus also lived in the real world, and though he prepared the soil for the full implementation of his kingdom vision, he did not himself institute all the radical changes that the implementation of that vision would entail (Geddert, 12).

Paul summarizes the kingdom vision of Jesus in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Jesus’ death brought with it equality for Jew and Gentile, but it was only with time and with extreme struggle and sacrifice on the church’s part that this part of the vision became a reality. It was also only centuries after Jesus’ life on earth that the practice of slavery was finally abolished, and yet we believe that the granting of equality to both Gentiles and slaves lies within the kingdom vision of Jesus.

The question we face today is that of the implementation of the final phrase in Paul’s summary of the kingdom vision—“in Christ there is neither male nor female.” Has the time come to allow that final phrase to become a reality within our present context? We cannot beg to refrain due to cultural considerations, for women in leadership has become acceptable in almost every sphere of our society except the church. Can it be that we have created our own church subculture that renders us incapable of implementing this part of the kingdom vision? Has not the time come to free ourselves from our self-imposed bondage and to allow the vision of Jesus to break through to our reality in all its fullness?

A copy of Hildebrecht Thiessen's article is available here:

If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 23:21:01 (permalink)
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The Samaritan Woman at the Well
by He Qi, China
http://www.heqiarts.com/gallery/gallery3/pages/6-SamaritanWomanAtTheWell.html
 
In the Gospel of John, women are Jesus' main conversation partners in three stories that reveal His identity and vocation and the nature of faithful discipleship.
 
Jesus's conversation with the Samaritan Woman at the Well: John 4,4-42 is his longest theological conversation recorded in scripture.
 
By way of contrast with Nicodemus and the Twelve Apostles, this woman shows great depth in understanding what he says. She responds by engaging in apostolic activity in her community.
 
The Samaritan Woman: An Early Apostle!
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 23:22:03 (permalink)
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Icons of Saint Anastasia
http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Anastasia.htm

THE GREAT VIRGIN-MARTYR ANASTASIA

 
Saint Anastasia
Feast day:  December 22 Eastern Orthodox 
              December 25, Roman Catholic
 
Saint Anastasia (Greek Ἀναστασία: "resurrection", often Ἁγία Ἀναστασία ἡ Φαρμακολύτρια, "St. Anastasia the Healer" ) was a Christian saint and martyr who died at Sirmium. Concerning Anastasia little is reliably known, save that she died in the persecutions of Diocletian.  Most stories about her date from several centuries after her death and make her variously a Roman or Sirmian native and a Roman citizen of
patrician rank. One legend makes her the daughter of a certain Praetextus and the pupil of Saint Chrysogonus.

Anastasia has long been venerated as a healer and exorcist. Her remains lie in the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar, Croatia. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasia_of_Sirmium
 
Learn more, click here: RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 23:22:26 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

As we remember the woman martyrs such as Saint Annastasia,  we have an opportunity to learn about the role they play in the case for women's ordination.

Through their presence as heroic martyrs for our faith, women no less than men have throughout Catholic history witnessed to their Christian faith unto death. According to ancient tradition, men or women on the way to martyrdom had the power to forgive sins.  They share in the power of the keys binding and loosing sins on behalf of Christ -- one of the sacramental ministries of a priest.

The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (3rd cent) states that any ‘confessor’ imprisoned for faith automatically attained the rank of presbyter (priest) in the Roman communities.

Sts. Irenaeus (2nd cent) and Cyprian (3rd cent) apply this ‘power of martyrdom’ equally to women confessors. Since women, too, shared in the power of the keys, binding and loosening on behalf of Christ, women, too belong in Holy Orders.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/27 23:25:54 (permalink)
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The Wedding Feast at Cana
http://www.wegm.com/coins/frescoes/images/cana.jpg
 
The opening miracle in Jesus' ministry occurs at a woman's initiative -- The Wedding Feast at Cana: John 2,1-11.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/28 20:13:52 (permalink)
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On this day December 28 in 1612 - Even though he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star, Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune.
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