Women Can Be Priests

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Sophie
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/28 20:17:02 (permalink)
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Galileo faces trial by the Inquisition
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/28 20:37:12 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

The seventeenth century astronomer Galileo was recently in the news because of remarks made by Pope Benedict. During events marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's earliest observations with the telescope, Benedict paid tribute to the scientist by praising his contributions to science.


Galileo

Galileo's 'lived' experience with the Vatican was a bumpy one. In using scientific methods to demonstrate that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around, Galileo directly challenged the church's view that the Earth was static and at the centre of the universe. Consequently, , in 1633 he found himself accused of heresy.  Forced to publicly recant his theories, Galileo lived the rest of his life under house arrest at his villa in the hills outside Florence.

In 1992 -- almost 300 years later-- Pope John Paul made an historic apology when he admitted the church's denunciation of Galileo's work had been a tragic error.

Pope Benedict, on the other hand, has been criticised in the past for appearing to condone the heresy verdict against Galileo.


Pope John Paul II


Pope Benedict XVI

His recent remarks prove that attitudes can change!  Thank goodness...  If they  can change about science, they can change about women, too. For more about Pope Benedict's remarks and the story about Galileo, click here: http://www.womenpriests.org/circles/fb.asp?m=29310  If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
post edited by Sophie - 2008/12/28 21:36:15
Sophie
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/28 22:26:22 (permalink)
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Died on this day December 28 in 1446 - Antipope Clement VIII
 
Clement VIII was one of the antipopes of the Avignon line, reigning from June 10, 1423 to July 26, 1429. He was born between 1369-1370, as Gil Sanchez Muñoz y Carbón, and died on December 28, 1446.
 
He was a friend and advisor of the future Avignon Pope Benedict XIII, and member of the Avignon curia. In 1396 he was an envoy to the Bishop of Valencia to get Spanish support. Benedict had appointed four cardinals, and on his death, three of them, on June 10, 1423, elected Sanchez Muñoz Pope. The fourth, Jean Carrier, absent at the time, declared the election invalid, and elected his own antipope in turn, who took the name Benedict XIV. Consequently Jean Carrier was excommunicated by Clement VIII.
 
Clement VIII's fate was bound up with the ambitions of Alfonso V of Aragon. Alfonso wished to negotiate for Naples, and so gave Clement support: his queen Maria of Castile, and the Aragonese bishops supported Martin. In the summer of 1423 Alfonso persuaded the Republic of Siena to acknowledge Clement VIII, thus securing recognition for the pope of the Avignon line in the very city, Pavia, which was part of the Republic of Siena, where the Roman pope Martin V had convened an ecumencial council of the Church.
 
However, when King Alfonso had achieved his political goals, he sent a delegation in 1428 (headed by Alfonso de Borgia, the future Callixtus III), to persuade Clement to recognise Martin. Clement's abdication on July 26, 1429 was confirmed in mid-August. Clement had to make a penitential submission in forma to Martin V, and when this was done Martin granted Sanchez Muñoz a bishopric. Sanchez Muñoz died on December 28, 1446.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope_Clement_VIII
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/28 23:14:18 (permalink)
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Died on this day December 28 in 1622 - Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva remembered for many things including his work with Saint Jane (Jeanne) Frances de Chantal in founding a woman's religious community independent of any men's community.


Saints Francis de Sales and
Jane Frances de Chantal
 
In early seventeenth century France, a widow and a bishop -- Jane de Chantal and Francis de Sales -- collaborated in founding the woman's congregation, the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.  The Order was founded in 1610. 
 
The Order was unique in several ways:

  • It was a community founded solely for women, rather that a women's branch of a men's community.
  • It was founded for women who at the time would have been considered unsuitable candidates for religious life.
  • The Visitation was to be a special niche in the Church for these women, a place for them to dispense their love of God and express it among themselves and in limited ministry to the poor and sick in the neighborhood.
  • It was also to provide a restful retreat haven for married women who needed to periodically refresh themselves from their household responsibilities.  This sort of ministry virtually unheard of in that day.
  • The community was originally designed as a simple congregation and not a formal religious order.
  • Instead of strict enclosure and lifelong vows, the Visitandines were subject to yearly renewable "simple" vows and available to move in and out of the confines of community as the need of neighbor or family necessitated.
Jane and Francis faced opposition in their effort to found the Order. Their vision for the community that it would be a group of women contemplatives engaged in active ministry and charitable work outside their convent was unconventional. Their proposal that there would be no cloister, and the nuns would be free to undertake spiritual and corporal works of mercy in the community challenged the thinking of some members of the hierarchy.  The proposal that women would be involved in active ministry ran against the traditional views of what religious women were to be at the time.  The traditional idea that nuns must be cloistered was too ingrained in the minds of members of the hierarchy to allow active ministry to happen. Jane and Francis proposed taking the practical Saint Martha as its patron but this was stopped by the local bishop.

Eventually, the Order was eventually established as a cloistered community following the Rule of St. Augustine.  The Order continues today.  Its members live a contemplative life, working for women with poor health and widows.  They also sometimes run schools.

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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/28 23:57:42 (permalink)
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On this day December 28 in 1970 -  Ludmila Javorova, a woman, answers God's call to priesthood and is ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Bishop Felix Davidek in the underground Church during the Communist occupation of Czechoslovakia.


Ludmila Javorova
 
The times in Czechoslovakia were dangerous for Catholics.  Facing fierce persecution, the Church moved 'underground.'  The fact that priests were targets for arrest, imprisonment and other forms of persecution meant that it became difficult if not impossible to deliver sacramental ministry to the Catholic faithful.  Appreciating that the status of a celibate man would draw attention and suspicion, courageous bishops responded creatively by ordaining women (Ludmila is one) and married men to serve as priests.
 
Though the ordinations of the married men have since been recognised by the Vatican, the work for recognition of the vocations and service of these courageous women continues to be a project in progress.
 
Click here to learn more about Ludmila and her story: 
Any questions, please let me know. 
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 00:02:46 (permalink)
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Letter from Ludmila Javorová to www.womenpriests.org
 

Ludmila Javorova
 
Brno
February 25, 2007

To the www.womenpriests.org network (*)
 
Dear Friends,

I take this occasion to express my personal thanks to you for your manifold services because of what you offer through your internet website. What you do is encouraging not just for me but especially for all those who sense the needs of our day. If the practice of Christianity is to be productive, it has to be built up from our Christian roots - something that cannot be done without your service. What I say applies to all Christians but, in my view, even more to women. From my own experience I can confirm that there exists a real hunger for the kind of information that opens to women insight into their own Christian history.

The bishop who ordained me, the deceased Bishop Davidek, often called attention to the fact that ‘society needs the ministry of women as a special tool for the sanctification of humankind’. He meant by this the priestly ministry of women. Women are permanently disenfranchised in this area and need help both on a human and a spiritual level. I am very grateful for your service.

May God accompany you with the fullness of her love, and give you the inspiration you need, together with all the gifts you need in order to perform your service.

Also in your personal life, may God’s grace constantly travel with you.

Ludmila Javorová
 
* The letter was carried to us by hand from Brno and delivered on 16 March 2007.
 
A photocopy of the letter written by Ludmila on her own typewriter follows.
 
 
Read also:
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 00:07:10 (permalink)
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Roman Catholic Church imports more priests
UPI.com
December 28, 2008

OWENSBORO, Ky., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic Church says one in six diocesan priests now serving in the United States is from another country.
 
An estimated 300 priests from abroad arrive annually to work in the United States while about one third of the men studying in Catholic seminaries in the United States are foreign-born, The New York Times reported Sunday.
"If we didn't get international priests, some of our guys would have had five parishes" to oversee, said the Rev. Darrell Venters, who in the last six years has brought 12 priests from Africa, Asia and Latin America to the Catholic Diocese of Owensboro, Ky.

The foreign priests often have little in common with parishioners, unlike priests in earlier times who came from Ireland, Italy and Poland and ministered to immigrant flocks in their native language, the Times reported.

Dioceses throughout the United States report the pool of priests is shrinking through retirements, deaths and some who were removed from ministry after accusations of sexual abuse against young people, the Times reported.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/12/28/Roman_Catholic_Church_imports_more_priests/UPI-54291230492109/
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 00:11:53 (permalink)
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Importing priests for U.S. Catholics
By Laurie Goodstein
International Herald Tribune
December 28, 2008
 
OWENSBORO, Kentucky: Sixteen of the Reverend Darrell Venters's fellow priests are running themselves ragged here, each serving three parishes simultaneously. One priest admits he stood at an altar once and forgot exactly which church he was in.

So Venters, lean and leathery as the Marlboro man, a cigarette in one hand and a cellphone with a ringtone like a churchbell in the other, spends most of his days recruiting priests from overseas to serve in the small towns, rolling hills and farmland that make up the Roman Catholic diocese of Owensboro.

 
The Rev. Titus Ahabyona, center, a priest from Uganda, at a retreat in Kentucky, which has several priests from abroad. (James Estrin/The New York Times)
 
He sorts through e-mail and letters from foreign priests soliciting jobs in America, many written in formal, stilted English. He is looking, he said, for something that shouts: "This priest is just meant for Kentucky!"

"If we didn't get international priests," he said, "some of our guys would have had five parishes. If one of our guys were to leave, or, God forbid, have a heart attack and die, we didn't have anyone to fill in."

In the last six years, he has brought 12 priests from Africa, Asia and Latin America who are serving in this diocese covering the western third of Kentucky, where a vast majority of residents are white. His experiences offer a close look at the church's drive to import foreign priests to compensate for a dearth of Americans, and the ways in which this trend is reshaping the Roman Catholic experience in America.

One of six diocesan priests now serving in the United States came from abroad, according to "International Priests in America," a large study published in 2006. About 300 international priests arrive to work here each year. Even in American seminaries, about one in three of those studying for the priesthood are foreign-born.

Venters has seen lows. Some foreign priests had to be sent home. One became romantically entangled with a female co-worker. One isolated himself in the rectory. Still another would not learn to drive. A priest from the Philippines left after two weeks because he could not stand the cold. A Peruvian priest was hostile toward Hispanics who were not from Peru.

"From a strictly personnel perspective," Venters said, "the international priests are easier to work with than the local priests. If they mess up, you just say, 'See you.' You withdraw your permission for them to stay."

But there have been victories as well, when Kentucky Catholics who once did not know Nigeria from Uganda opened their eyes to the conditions in the countries their foreign priests came from - even raising $6,000 to install wells in the home village of a Nigerian priest serving in Owensboro.

In earlier eras, the Catholic church in the United States depended on foreign priests from places like Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland and Belgium. But they had usually accompanied their immigrant flocks, and ministered to their own people in their native language.

Nowadays, however, the missionary priests have little in common with the Americans who often come to them for advice and solace in times of crisis. In Owensboro, it falls to Venters, who grew up on a farm in Illinois and has barely traveled outside the country, to find ways to bridge the often large cultural divides. One foreign priest had never seen a microwave. Another thought the frost on his car one morning was the work of vandals.

"There's this assumption that a priest is a priest," said Venters, who, as the vicar for clergy, is essentially the bishop's assistant on personnel issues. "On the church side of it, that's correct. We are a universal church and the rituals are the same, so he knows how to be a priest. The challenge is, he does not know how to be a priest in the United States."

To succeed, Venters has also had to learn to navigate the immigration system, which has become so restrictive since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that even priests with invitations to work have trouble getting into the country.

At one point, he sent so many FedEx letters to Nigeria that the Department of Homeland Security suspended his account until he proved he worked for a legitimate church.

In 2002, when Venters began his recruitment drive, he was looking at a diocese that, like many in the United States, had growing needs and fewer priests to serve them.

Hispanic Catholic immigrants were pouring into Kentucky, drawn by jobs in poultry plants and construction. The diocese estimates that its Catholic population of 60,000 includes 10,000 Spanish-speaking parishioners who arrived in the last 10 years.

But the pool of priests was shrinking, from retirements, deaths and a handful who were removed from the ministry after accusations of sexual abuse of young people. They were also growing elderly: Eight were older than 70.

Many dioceses faced with shortages were shutting or consolidating parishes, but that was not an option for Owensboro. "Because we're so rural," Venters said, "closing parishes doesn't make sense. Some of our counties just have one Catholic church."

At first, Venters felt discouraged by the stilted English and obsequious tone of the letters that foreign priests sent. Then an e-mail message caught his attention. The English was clear, the tone humble. "I welcome your assistance and advice," said the message from a Kenyan priest, Chrispin Oneko, who was serving five impoverished parishes in Jamaica.

Venters asked him for an "audition tape" of his preaching, and found the homily thoughtful - the accent pronounced, but clear enough. He invited the priest to fly to Owensboro to meet Bishop John McRaith.

The foreign priests in Owensboro earn the same amount as their American counterparts: a base salary of $1,350 a month, plus $60 for each year since ordination. (The pay scale varies among dioceses, and many pay foreign priests significantly less than Americans.) They can also earn as much as $130 a month in Mass intentions, or special requests, plus $50 for weddings and $25 for baptisms. For the African priests, it is a windfall.

Venters knows that many of the foreign priests send part of their income home, to help with school fees, food and medicine for their families. And yet, he said, he did not believe money, though a benefit, was the reason the priests were willing to come to America.

"A lot of them, they know we need priests," he said. "And after getting to know them, I believe they truly have a missionary spirit."

The notion of having to go out and recruit priests was foreign to Venters. He had converted to Catholicism as a young adult, had a college degree in agribusiness and was trying to figure out his next step when he heard a priest give a homily about being of service to others.

He phoned the Diocese of Owensboro and signed up for seminary. His class at St. Meinrad School of Theology had 48 students, and in 1989, he was one of seven new priests ordained by McRaith.

But within 10 years, the vocations dried up. It has been five years since a new priest was ordained in Owensboro. The next ordination, of two priests, is expected next year.

Most of the priests serving in Owensboro support Venters's recruiting drive, but some voice doubts. The Reverend Dennis Holly, with the Glenmary Home Missioners, an American order dedicated to serving regions that are not predominantly Catholic, like Western Kentucky, believes America is spending money to attract priests from countries that have even greater shortages.

"We experience the priest shortage, and rather than ask the question, 'Why do we have a priest shortage?' we just import some and act like we don't have a priest shortage," Holly said. "Until we face the issue of mandatory celibacy and the ordination of women, we can't deal with the lack of response to the invitation to priesthood."

But Venters is a pragmatist. Those were good questions, he said, "But, in the meantime, you have to respond to the needs of people."

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/28/americas/priest.php
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 00:51:15 (permalink)
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Dear friends,
 
Michael Paulson of The Boston Globe recently interviewed theologian, priest and commentator, Reverend Richard P. McBrien. McBrien has become a lightning rod for criticism because of his outspoken support for women's ordination and married priests and his willingness to sharply criticize bishops and popes. In fact, he has become persona non grata in some quarters.
 

Father Richard McBrien 
 
A copy of Paulson's interview is available here:  RE: Our Duty to Raise Loyal Questions .  Please enjoy.  If you have any questions, as always, let me know.
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:03:45 (permalink)
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Course opening January 5, 2009: A Prophetic Spirituality of Justice by Prof. Mary Grey 
 
 

This course focuses upon the integral role that "acting justly" plays in the self-understanding promoted by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith traditions. Guided by the feminist writing of Dr. Mary Grey, this course enables participants to rediscover the pivotal role that peace-making, doing justice, motherly compassion, respecting the earth, and sharing resources have with the prophetic spirituality of the Abrahamic faiths. 
 
Click here for more information: http://www.catherinecollege.net/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=429

Click here for registration.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:11:25 (permalink)
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Course Opening January 5, 2009: Women's Ministries according to the Christian Scriptures by Dr. John Wijngaards
 
 
 
In many major Christian Churches, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, women are still excluded from church leadership. This means that women:
  • cannot be deacons, priests, bishops or popes
  • cannot run a diocese or preside at the eucharist
  • cannot forgive sins through confession or the anointing of the sick,
    cannot impart authoritative teaching on faith or morals, etc.

The traditionalists claim that the exclusion of women from church leadership can be proved from the inspired scriptures. This course aims to show that they are wrong. Sacred Scripture does not ban women from church leadership; rather, it promotes it.
 
Click here for more information: http://www.catherinecollege.net/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=432
 
Click here for registration.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:16:42 (permalink)
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Course Opening January 5, 2009: Women in Islam with Professor Asma Barlas from Pakistan, Professor Leila Ahmed from Egypt, and Professor Karen Armstrong from the UK.
 

 
This course examines the sources (Quran and Hadith) and the practice of Islam with a special emphasis (a) upon how women have shaped and continue to shape Islam and (b) upon current issues wherein Muslim women are re-examining their traditions. This course takes non-Muslims into the heart of Islam and allows them to build bridges of solidarity with Muslim women. Muslims, meanwhile, will find a fresh ways of appreciating and evaluating their local Islamic traditions.

This course is built upon the insights of various Muslim scholars, notably,
Professor Asma Barlas from Pakistan, Professor Leila Ahmed from Egypt, and Professor Karen Armstrong from the UK.

Click here for more information: http://www.catherinecollege.net/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=433
 
Click here for registration.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:18:47 (permalink)
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For more information about the College, click here: Catherine of Siena Virtual College: Gender Studies 
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:41:13 (permalink)
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On this day December 29 in 1989 - Václav Havel is elected president of Czechoslovakia. He became the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.
 

Vaclav Havel
 
Havel's election followed an era of tumulutous occupation by Communists. 
 
Is there a connection to the case for women priests?  A persecuted Church meant that Czechoslovakian Catholics moved their practice of faith to an 'underground Church.'  Persecution of priests called for creative initiative on the part of Church leadership wanting to ensure provision of sacramental ministry to the faithful.  Creative?  Recognising that women and married men would not raise the suspicion of authorities, both women and married men were secretly ordained and with courage, ministered the sacraments to their people.
 
For more about the background of this story,  see here: http://www.womenpriests.org/circles/fb.asp?m=28430
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:42:11 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

History shows that it is frequently during times of social unrest and trial, women rise heroically to serve humanity in ways that the social conventions of 'ordinary' times would seemingly suggest are impossible.  It is often during times of upheaval that women have managed to forge ahead achieving new recognition and 'space' for participation in the public sphere of life.


Russian tank in Czechoslovakia

The times of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and communist take over were no different. Running parallel to the story of Vaclav Havel's heroism, and reverberating in our own Church history is the story of heroic Ludmila Javorova -- a woman -- who served as an ordained priest in the underground Church of communist oppressed Czechoslovakia in the 1970's.

Because religion offered possibilities for thought and activities independent of the state, it  was severely restricted and controlled during the occupation. Clergymen were required to be licensed. In attempting to manipulate the number and kind of clergy, the state even sponsored a pro-regime organization of Catholic priests, the Association of Catholic Clergy Pacem in Terris.

The oppression of the official ('above ground') Church had implications for the practice of the faith.  Felix Davidek, ordained a priest in 1946, recognized the danger of the communist takeover to people's spiritual, intellectual and physical lives. An 'underground' Church began to thrive. He acted immediately, organizing an underground university and seminary. Recognising that celibate male priests were at great risk (they were more easily identifiable) at considerable risk for arrest and imprisonment, with considerable courage, Davidek began to ordain women and married men as priests.  Given their gender/and or marital status, their status as Catholic priests would not be suspect.  Ludmila Javorova was one of the women who was ordained.  She, Davidek, and many other devoted Catholic men and women assumed personal risks to ensure the provision of pastoral care for their people.  Through their precedent setting contributions, assumption of risk and responsibility in answering God's call, their contributions make them agents for change in the campaign making way for women's ordination in the Catholic Church.


Soviet tanks remained in Czechoslovakia until 1991  


BBC World News  


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4171966.stm

While the Vatican has since recognised the married men who were ordained by Bishop Davidek,  and though Ludmila, laboured with them to sustain Catholic Christianity during communist-era persecutions, the Vatican still refuses to recognize her.  We work towards the day this will change! 

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Women Priests and Deacons during the Communist Era

The 1948 communist takeover of then Czechoslovakia brought vast social changes. It also brought heavy persecution to Catholics who constituted 66% of a population of 16 million. Thousands of people were imprisoned for practicing their religion. Despite the threat of imprisonment, believers nourished a vibrant faith in an underground church that paralleled the government-controlled parish structure.

Bishop Felix Davidek (1921-1988), a brilliant scholar, linguist and medical doctor, was consecrated with Vatican approval to serve the underground church. When a need for sacramental ministry for women in prison emerged as a serious concern, it was clear that a male priesthood could not answer it. Davidek called a secret Synod composed of bishops, priests and laity to consider the ordination of women.

After heated debate, the decision was made to proceed. On December 28, 1970, Davidek ordained the first woman priest, Ludmila Javorova, who served as Vicar General of the underground diocese for 20 years. In 1991, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk of Prague confirmed that up to five or six women were ordained as priests, but only Ludmila has come forward.

Following Vlk's disclosure, a Women's Ordination Conference delegation traveled to Czechoslovakia to find and meet Ludmila. At first, they were warily received, but after hours of deep exchange, were warmly welcomed by her and other representatives of the underground church who had suffered and lived in deep secrecy for so many years. On a second trip in 1996 a WOC delegation invited Ludmila to visit the United States to share her story and to hear stories of American women called to the priesthood.



Bishop Felix Davidek

Ludmila Javorova

Under the auspices of the Women's Ordination Conference, she paid a private two-week visit to the United States late in 1997. She was accompanied by three Slovak women, one of whom, Magdalena Zahorska, served as an ordained deacon in the underground church. Ludmila was able to share with Americans her story and the story of the underground church in Czechoslovakia.

Ludmila's story and that of her community is one of people being church under the most oppressive conditions. Felix Davidek, ordained a priest in 1946, was a man who recognized the danger of the communist takeover to people's spiritual, intellectual and physical lives. He acted immediately, organizing an underground university and seminary. When discovered, he was imprisoned in 1950 for fourteen years. Ludmila said that the very day he was released from prison, Davidek was busy rebuilding the system he had begun. Ludmila, a family friend since childhood, was asked to help make the necessary contacts and to assist in the rebirth of the persecuted church.

"It was an extraordinary time," Ludmila recalls. "You cannot understand. For us it was a question of survival. We feared the church would not survive."

Miraculously, Davidek and the underground church had access to the smuggled documents of Vatican Council II. They built a "church community for the future" as Ludmila put it. It is remarkable that a church under such persecution, which needed to have strict security, was so determined and able to implement a model of church that was open and inclusive. Broad consultation in Synod was the hallmark of the underground church's decision-making process!

Felix Davidek led the underground church from 1970 until 1988, the year of his death with Ludmila Javorova serving as his Vicar General during the same period. She was responsible for communication and keeping the community's records for posterity.

Davidek's death came just one year before the collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia. Bishop Jan Blaha took his place as head of the diocese. In 1990, the underground church surfaced. Ludmila felt responsible to communicate to Rome what had been happening during all those underground years. Bishop Blaha alone went to Rome, however, to report on everything.

Ludmila submitted a written report, including the information on all the ordinations, but never received a reply. Ultimately, the ordinations of the women and men were declared invalid by the Vatican and both were forbidden to function, though single men were allowed to be re-ordained and the married men to be re-ordained into the Eastern Rite where marriage is allowed. The women were given no such options. Ludmila accepts that she cannot function as a priest without the official church's mandate, but she clearly maintains the validity of her orders.

Ludmila has committed herself to writing her memoirs. She believes her story and the story of the underground church must be told for the good of all the church.
Sophie
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:43:39 (permalink)
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Ordained December 28 in 1970 -  Ludmila Javorova, a woman, answers God's call to priesthood and is ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Bishop Felix Davidek in the underground Church during the Communist occupation of Czechoslovakia.


Ludmila Javorova
 
The times in Czechoslovakia were dangerous for Catholics.  Facing fierce persecution, the Church moved 'underground.'  The fact that priests were targets for arrest, imprisonment and other forms of persecution meant that it became difficult if not impossible to deliver sacramental ministry to the Catholic faithful.  Appreciating that the status of a celibate man would draw attention and suspicion, courageous bishops responded creatively by ordaining women (Ludmila is one) and married men to serve as priests.
 
Though the ordinations of the married men have since been recognised by the Vatican, the work for recognition of the vocations and service of these courageous women continues to be a project in progress.
 
Click here to learn more about Ludmila and her story: 

Sophie
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 21:59:27 (permalink)
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On this day December 29 in 1996: The day Guatemala’s 36-year civil war ended.  Today, the signing of the peace accord is commemorated with vigils for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America. 


Mayan Women at Market  -   Panahachel, Guatemala.

During the Guatemalan Civil War, the government considered the message of Mary's Magnificat to be so subversive that it banned recitation of it.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.


For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.


For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.

And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.


He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.

He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.


Luke 1, 46-55
Sophie
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 22:23:41 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

Mary -- a model priest and the first priest after Christ -- throughout the centuries the faithful have had cherished a devotion to Mary as priest. Through their 'Catholic sense,' they have intuitively understood that she shares in Jesus’ priesthood more than any other person. Implicitly the devotion contains the strong but usually unspoken conviction that though a woman, Mary could easily have been ordained a priest -- just as much as any man. There were times throughout history that this conviction was expressed explicitly in the Church.

Dr. Wijngaards'* contends that throughout the centuries Catholics have known in their heart of hearts and to the marrow of their bones that women are equal before God and that there can be no fundamental objection to the ordination of women to priesthood. What is this inner conviction? The sensus fidelium -- the Christian sense of faith, the mind of the Church -- Ecclesiae Catholicae sensus -- or sometimes consensus Ecclesiae (remembering that in these last expressions ‘Church’ stands for the whole community of believers.) As we examine Church history -- our history as Christ’s believing community -- we discover underneath the cultural opposition to women priests a constant awareness running counter to the officially sanctioned social and cultural ideas. One way in which this sensus fidelium -- sense of the faithful -- expressed its conviction is through the age old acceptance of Mary as the most eminent of priests.

For the openner in this thread, I recommend Dr. Wijngaards' article The priesthood of Mary. Mindful of ecclesiastical amnesia, Dr. W takes us on a gentle stroll down history's lane. Along the way, he provides an overview of the latent Tradition of Mary as priest. We'll read Dr. Wijngaards thoughtful conclusion:

In our attic of forgotten treasures lies also the ancient conviction that Mary, priest without stain, supports priests in their ministry. Priests used to recommend themselves to her care, and to formulate, before each Mass, the intention of offering the Eucharist through Mary’s immaculate and priestly hands. St. Ignatius of Loyola had a vision in which he saw the Blessed Virgin assisting him especially at the moment of consecration. Priests hailed Mary as their ‘model’, ‘the first priest after Christ’. Have we become too macho to acknowledge a woman as our ‘model priest’? Tradition’s comment is, perhaps, best expressed in a fifteenth-century French painting that shows Mary standing at the altar and wearing priestly vestments, about to distribute Holy Communion. The Pope kneels before her. Should we see any significance in a frowning angel painted next to the Holy Father, who holds his precious tiara?

The link to the article is here: The priesthood of Mary. Please enjoy! If you have any questions, let me know!

with love and blessings,


~Sophie~
Sophie
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/29 22:26:49 (permalink)
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For more about Mary as Priest and the implications for women's ordination, see here:
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