Cardinal Policarpo summoned to Vatican for his statements on the ordination of women priests

The Lisbon patriarch, José da Cruz Policarpo, who during a recent interview stated that “no fundamental obstacle” exists, from a “theological stand point,” to the ordination of women priests had an exchange with the Papal Secretary of State Bertone, after he received a letter from the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, cardinal William Levada, who invited him to clarify his position.

This is according an article by António Marujo published by the Portuguese newspaper Publico. The Vatican Insider has also written about it, reporting the clarification published by the Portuguese cardinal.

It has just been confirmed that the seventy-five year old patriarch of Lisbon, will be serving another two years as leader of the diocese in the Portuguese capital. During a long interview with the monthly publication “OA”, the Portuguese Law Society magazine, discussing the topic of women priests, states that “John Paul II at one point seemed to have settled the controversy.” Reference is made to the apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis (1994), one of the shortest documents written by Wojtyla, with which the Pope, after the Anglican Communion’s decision to open the ordination of women, confirmed that the Catholic Church would have never done it.

“I believe,” cardinal Policarpo said, “that the issue cannot be settled in these terms. From a theological stand point there is no fundamental obstacle (to women priests, Ed.); there is this tradition, let’s call it that way; it was never done any other way.”

In response to the interviewer’s question, intrigued by the cardinal’s statement that no theological reasons exist against the ordination of women, Policarpo answered, “I do not think there is any fundamental obstacle. It is the fundamental equality right of all members of the Church. The problem is rooted in a very strong tradition, which originates from Jesus and the ease with which the reformed Churches allowed women to become priests.”

A few days after, the cardinal disclosed a letter in which he clarified his thoughts, stating that he never “systematically analyzed the matter.” “Reactions to this interview forced me to ponder on the matter with more attention and I realized that, by not paying due attention to the statements of the teachings of the Church on the matter, I helped trigger these reactions.” Policarpo then added, “It would be painful for me if my words were to create confusion in our obedience to the Church and to the words of our Holy Father.”

Now, the Portuguese daily paper reveals a behind the scenes description of what happened over the past weeks, stating that the Lisbon patriarch was summoned by the Papal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. The conversation took place in Castel Gandolfo in the first half of July, while the Portuguese cardinal was in Rome to participate to a plenary session of the newly formed Papal Council for the new evangelization. Publico writes that Policarpo was treated with extreme kindness “because the Vatican was afraid he would react negatively to a strong reprimand.”

On July 2, a few days before the meeting with Bertone, Policarpo had received, through a papal nuncio in Lisbon, a letter by cardinal William Levada, prefect of the former Holy Office. According to a testimony obtained by Publico, the letter apparently had him very worried. For this reason, on 6 July, the patriarch wrote a clarification statement. The Portuguese daily paper, however, highlights that this was not the first time Policarpo had made statements of this kind about women priests: however, it was the first time that his words had been reported by the international press.

António Marujo’s article provides several of the cardinal’s statements as examples. In 1999, a year after his appointment as Lisbon patriarch of the diocesan center, Policarpo led people to believe that the matter of women priests had not been settled at all and that what was needed, was a period of maturing of the communities and the Church, since today the idea of “women carrying out duties that were unthinkable thirty years ago is now accepted within the Church.”

On May 2003, in Vienna, the cardinal responded in a similar fashion to a question during a press conference in which mention was made to a letter sent by Pope John Paul II in 1994 and the Congregation’s subsequent clarification of the Doctrine of the Faith. Policarpo explained that in his opinion the matter “is not settled that way; from a theological point of view, there is no fundamental obstacle; there is this tradition, let’s call it that way… it was never done any other way”. In that same interview, the Lisbon patriarch stated that at the present time it was not appropriate to raise the issue because it would have triggered “a series of reactions,” but he concluded saying that “If God wishes it to happen, and if it God’s plan, it will happen.”

The document of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to which reference is made, was the answer to a doubt published by the former Holy Office (at the time led by cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who had archbishop Tarcisio Bertone as his right hand). It asked if “the doctrine, according to which, the Church cannot ordain women priests, as proposed in the apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis” had to be “deemed definitive” and “part of the deposit of faith.” The answer, approved by Pope Wojtyla, was “affirmative.” The Congregation at the time explained that “this doctrine requires a permanent confirmation because, based God’s Word, written and constantly kept and applied in the Tradition of the Church since its origins, it was infallibly proposed by the ordinary and universal teachings of the Church” and thus, “it must be followed always, everywhere and by every faithful person, since it belongs to the deposit of faith.”

http://tinyurl.com/3rgnfl4

Order Dismisses a Priest Trying to Ordain Women

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, who refused to renounce his increasingly public campaign to see women ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church, has been notified of his dismissal by his religious order, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

A letter to Father Bourgeois, signed by the superior general and the general secretary of the Maryknoll order in the United States, said the dismissal was necessary because of his “defiant stance” in opposition to church teaching.

“Your numerous public statements and appearances in support of the women’s priests movement continues to create in the minds of many faithful the view that your position is acceptable to our Church,” the letter said, adding that Father Bourgeois had caused the church “grave scandal.”

Father Bourgeois has gone further than any other priest in good standing to ally himself publicly with the growing women’s ordination movement. The group Roman Catholic Womenpriests claims to have ordained 120 women as priests and 10 as bishops in the last few years. The Vatican regards the ceremonies as illicit and invalid. Father Bourgeois participated in one such ceremony in 2008, and since then has given speeches around the country in support of female priests.

“They want two words: I recant,” Father Bourgeois said. “And they can’t get that out of me. For me, the real scandal is the message we are sending to women: you’re not equal, you cannot be priests, you’re not worthy.”

The case now moves to the Vatican for his formal removal from the priesthood, or laicization. Father Bourgeois said he had hired the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer known for testifying as an expert witness on behalf of victims suing the church in clergy sexual abuse cases, to represent him at the Vatican.

The order’s move, while expected, nevertheless surprised Father Bourgeois and some of his supporters who had hoped that the Maryknolls, often in the forefront of liberal causes, would stand with their fellow priest. More than 200 priests signed a petition to the Maryknolls saying that they supported his right to follow his conscience.

“I’m disappointed,” said Sister Beth Rindler, a coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuns, a small group that has long called for women’s ordination. “I thought that with the support that Father Roy’s been receiving, maybe they would yield. It seems to me that the church is trying to teach that women are subservient to men, and I’m just surprised that they hold onto that.”

http://tinyurl.com/3q67skj

Priests’ letter supports Bourgeois

A group of “priests in good standing within the Roman Catholic church” wrote to Maryknoll superiors last month to support the priesthood of Fr. Roy Bourgeois “and his right to speak from his conscience.”

The letter bore the signatures of 157 priests.

Bourgeois, 73, has been threatened with dismissal from Maryknoll, a New York-based missionary order, for his public support of women’s ordination and participation in such events.

“The priests felt the need to stand in support of, not only Fr. Bourgeois, but their own right to speak from their conscience,” the July 21 letter said.

The letter is addressed to Fr. Edward Dougherty, superior general of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

“While we understand the difficulty of your position we hope that seeing support of ordained priests in good standing will help you come to a fair and just conclusion,” the letter said.

The letter does not specifically address the issue of women’s ordination, only that the signees support the right to speak from conscience. The letter and the signatures have not been made public, but NCR obtained a copy of the letter with the names.

The letter is “an attempt to let the superior general of Maryknoll and Vatican officials know that priests in the United States really support Fr. Roy Bourgeois and feel that his right to speak from his conscience is certainly something that is justified,” said the spokesman for the statement, Fr. Fred Daley of Syracuse, N.Y.

There is “certainly a concern, too, that we’re moving into a situation where it’s a church of fear rather than a church of love,” Daley said. The signees were a mix of diocesan priests and order priests, he said.

Maryknoll’s spokesman, Mike Virgintino, confirmed to NCR that the order had received the letter and that it “acknowledges” the right of Bourgeois and anyone in the Catholic church to present their views and speak from their conscience on any issues.

He said that this is an ongoing situation between Bourgeois and the church, not between Bourgeois and Maryknoll.

Daley said that the letter was addressed to Dougherty because as the superior general of Maryknoll he is the one who will be doing the removing.

Other letters in support of Bourgeois have been sent to Maryknoll or the Vatican, but no letter or statement has had so many priests sign onto it.

“It’s sad that someone who has given [his] whole life to the church and has witnessed for peace and accompanied the poor is being treated in such an embarrassingly scandalous way,” said Daley, a friend of Bourgeois.

According to Daley, in early July a group of concerned priests began talking about a way to support Bourgeois and the idea of a letter emerged.

The group approached Call to Action, a Chicago-based church-reform organization, for help in reaching out to other priests. Bourgeois was notified of the letter while it was being created, Daley said.

In other parts of the world, priests have been banding together as a united front for the rights of Catholics.

The National Council of Priests of Australia has defended ousted Toowoomba Bishop William Morris.

In Ireland, the Association of Catholic Priests formed last year to represent Irish clergy and promote a reform agenda, including a reevaluation of the church’s teaching on sexuality and the inclusion of women at every level within the church.

And last month in Austria, 300 priests signed a letter calling for reform, including ordaining woman and married priests.

In March, Dougherty and Maryknoll secretary general Fr. Edward McGovern wrote Bourgeois telling him that he had 15 days to “publicly recant” his support of women’s ordination or face dismissal from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

After 15 days, a second letter would be sent, and if Bourgeois did not recant after that, Maryknoll would send his dismissal records to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “for confirmation with a request for laicization.”

Bourgeois responded in a letter dated April 8, stating that he could not recant without betraying his conscience.

To date, Bourgeois has not received the second letter from Maryknoll.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter to Bourgeois in 2008 ordering him to stop his public support of women’s ordination and not to participate in events related to it, but Bourgeois did not adhere to those demands.

Bourgeois is also the founder of SOA Watch, an organization seeking to close down the former School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, a U.S. Army school that trains soldiers and military personnel from Latin America.

http://tinyurl.com/3mbvhyx

A Frock Does Not a Priest Make

Roy Bourgeois is a former missionary, a Nobel Prize nominee, a Vietnam vet with a Purple Heart and a Maryknoll priest, who founded and now presides over SOA Watch, a grassroots organization that is seeking to close down the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

WHINSEC (formerly “School of the Americas”) is an academy for torture whose alumni include Manuel Noriega; many of Augusto Pinochet’s generals; the leaders of the 2009 military coup in Honduras; and Roberto d’Aubuisson, the commander of El Salvador’s notorious death squads — the same death squads that executed tens of thousands of Salvadoran civilians, including three nuns and the church worker they raped before murdering. (Two of the nuns were friends of Father Bourgeois.) That same year, SOA-trained assassins murdered Archbishop Romero. The name of the school has changed but the work of father Bourgeois and others continues to be consecrated to putting WHINSEC/SOA, which continues to train assassins, out of business.

Roy Bourgeois made the front page of this past Saturday’s New York Times, and I was glad for the good news at hand: 157 priests signed a statement in support of Father Roy Bourgeois, whom the Vatican has begun to defrock. The 157 have not necessarily signed on in favor of women’s ordination — but rather to protest the punishment of a priest for speaking out on a matter of conscience.

The Vatican began its crusade to defrock Father Bourgeois in November of 2008 with the threat of excommunication. (Read Bourgeois’s response.) In April of this year, Father Bourgeois received his first “canonical warning,” which was signed by Rev. Edward M. Dougherty, the Superior General of the Maryknoll order. The Maryknoll have a tradition of taking the Christ-like part of the priest’s vocation seriously; therefore, we can assume that Vatican made Father Dougherty an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Usually (and especially in recent years), when we hear about the defrocking of a Roman Catholic priest, an accusation of sexual misconduct is involved. Not so in this case. Had Father Bourgeois raped an altar boy, he would not now be hanging on to his frock by a thread.

Father Bourgeois has been ordered by the Vatican to recant — to formally, publicly, withdraw — his support for women’s ordination. If he refuses to cave, Bourgeois will be laicized by Ratzinger & Co. Father Bourgeois’s transgression, as the Vatican sees it, is not merely that he is a proponent of women’s ordination, but that he has been present at the ordination rites and liturgies.

According to the New York Times, Father Bourgeois explained why he cannot recant in an interview this past week:

“I see this very clearly as an issue of sexism, and like racism, it’s a sin. … It cannot be justified, no matter how hard we priests and church leaders, beginning with the pope, might try to justify the exclusion of women as equals. It is not the way of God. It is the way of men.”
I have been following (and writing about) the persecution of Father Bourgeois for a while, and it seems to me that the Vatican’s determination to crack down on priests who support the ordination of women, when seen alongside its (relative) indifference to the plight of adults who were raped as children by Catholic clerics, is self-serving and twisted. Even the Knights of Columbus set are beginning to be troubled by this bizarre juxtaposition, and that more and more Catholics are beginning to see the pontiff and his team as a gang of mean, power-drunk perverts who aren’t all that interested in God.

Sure, there are ultra-conservative, lockstep Roman Catholics who take a strict construction approach to embracing dogma and doctrine. They’d follow the Borgia pope to the letter, too. But most Catholics are not that, and even the most conservative of us — because we tend to agree that the current Vatican teaching which upholds the obligation of Catholics to discern is correct — are, to some degree, pick-and-choose Catholics.

Even Catholics who oppose the ordination of women are beginning to notice that there’s something not quite right about defrocking a missionary veteran with a Purple Heart as hundreds of bishops who pimped out children continue to minister amok, frocks intact.

The July 23 Times piece quotes Christopher Ruddy, an associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, as saying the following:
“I don’t think anything will come of it…”

Ruddy goes on to explain that church teaching on the “nonordination of women” may come under the heading of “infallible teaching.”
Maybe Professor Ruddy is right about the infallible teaching aspect. But I think a lot has already “come of it.” More than 150 signatures is something. These priests have publicly confirmed what people in parishes all over the world know: that there is widespread support among practicing Catholics for the ordination of women.

I sat beside a friend who is a Catholic priest this past weekend at a dinner party. We were talking about women’s ordination. One of his remarks should shed a particular light: “[The Vatican] won’t even talk about it.”

We have all experienced some version of this kind of refusal to talk in our personal lives. An argument transpires. Logic falters, stubbornness sets it, fear of losing the argument takes over and the one losing the debate walks away.

That the Vatican won’t ordain women might possibly be a matter of infallible doctrine. The refusal to engage, however, is not. The refusal to even engage is a sign of weakness. The refusal to engage is evidence of bigotry and fear.

The argument against women’s ordination is a lousy one. Arbitrary and flimsy, it’s a variation on “because we said so.” The prohibition is a man-made “law” grounded in medieval, temporal politics. It’s man-made policy based on broad interpretations and misinterpretations of select, ancient, translated, retranslated and mistranslated texts. The argument against women’s ordination is fueled by greed and a juvenile fear of the power, strength and sexuality of women.

In street terms: the pontiff and his boys — they got nothin’.

The pontiff can take his shot at Bourgeois, but he won’t land a punch.

According to the Vatican’s own doctrine, it is God who turns men into priests. “Defrocking” Father Roy Bourgeois will not render Father Bourgeois any less a priest. The dress does not make the man a priest.

So Ratzinger and his boys in lace will just have to be satisfied with the hope they might yet rob a 72-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee of his medical insurance and modest retirement plan.

And they probably will be because that’s who they are.

http://tinyurl.com/3q5unzs

Following God’s Calling, Not Man’s

Historically, a number of brave women have established themselves as a catalyst for change, dedicating their lives to a cause that becomes so compelling that they’re willing to risk everything they know to achieve their goal.

One such woman is Lexington resident and peace activist Janice Sevre-Duszynska. As a member of the Roman Catholic Women Priests, she and others like her relentlessly challenge the church’s dogma including their right to be ordained as priests. Her story and those of many other determined women have been featured in Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, a documentary that played at the Esquire Theatre earlier this month.

Although Sevre-Duszynska remains committed to her quest for reform, the bigger question remains: Will members of a church steeped in tradition and conservative values ever recognize women as priests?

The calling to join the priesthood emerged around the time of her first communion, Sevre-Duszynska says. Growing up in a predominantly Polish-Catholic neighborhood in Milwaukee, she says at age 10 she was ask to help tidy the sanctuary (the part of the church where the altar is located). While cleaning, she says she lived her dream by pretending to celebrate mass as a priest.

Her ambitions almost drove her to step into the sanctuary as an ‘altar girl’ during a mass, a rite reserved only for young boys, but she stopped short fearing she would get her superior in trouble. Reading the gospels at a young age, Sevre-Duszynska realized Jesus also loved women and saw them as equals, not inferior members of the church. She pays homage to her mother for passing on the sense of liberation theology that caused her to question Catholic dogma and the role of women. After mass, Sevre-Duszynska’s mother would question the homily pointing out male priest’s disconnect to women lives as well as the real world.

“My mother was dropping this little seed in me, saying not only do they not have the lived experience of raising a family, they don’t know what is a woman’s lived experience,” she says. “My mother taught me what’s really important is my relationship to God and my relationship to others.”

Her desire lay dormant for many years until a series of events reshaped her life. In the 1980s, she and her family moved from Milwaukee to Lexington, Ky. A few years later, one of her two sons was killed in an automobile accident, and subsequently her marriage of nearly 25 years ended in divorce. Experiencing such devastating loss motivated her in more spiritual directions. In 1998, Sevre-Duszynska made national news when she interrupted an ordination ceremony at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington.

“I walked up there and said, ‘I am called upon by the holy spirit to present myself for ordination — my name is Janice, I ask this for myself and all women,’ and I prostrated myself on the alter like a male candidates for priest,” she says. “So, I’m down on the ground and Bishop Williams says, ‘Get back to your seat you’re disrupting the service.’ Well, I always say it wasn’t disrupting it was interrupting.”

In 2000, Sevre-Duszynska garnered media attention yet again during a U.S. bishop’s conference in Washington, D.C., where she made a public announcement during the gathering calling for the ordination of women priests. After organizers silenced her microphone, she refused to leave the meeting until police escorted her out of the hotel.

Two years later, Sevre-Duszynska was arrested and charged with trespass after she refused to leave a diaconate ordination in Atlanta where she and several others protested sexism in the church. In 2001, she hung a banner in Rome during a bishop meeting that called for the ordination of women priests in eight languages.

“I was known as the sign lady and the banner lady and I headed up the ministry of irritation,” she says.

Her journey began to see fruition in 2006, when she was ordained a deacon of the church by the order of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Pittsburgh. She continued her preparation by studying theology at Lexington Theological Seminary working toward her doctorate, adding to her master’s degree in theater from the University of Kentucky.

In 2008, Sevre-Duszynska was ordained a “womanpriest” by the order at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Lexington. With more than 150 people in attendance, she celebrated the joyous event with family, friends, fellow peace activists and supporters of the women’s ordination movement including three male priests in good standing.

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois delivered the homily, an act that would have lasting repercussions. After sending invitations to a number of male priests, Bourgeois called to tell her he would be proud to attend and deliver the homily.

“I said, ‘I know you know what you’re doing — but do you know what you’re doing?’ ” she says.

The two met as peace activists in their shared quest to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. — an organization accused of training paramilitary assassins for militant groups in South America. During a 2001 protest, Sevre-Duszynska crossed into the base, resulting in a sentence of three months in federal prison.

The School of the Americas, recently renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) is believed to be responsible for several deaths in El Salvador including those of Catholic priest and activist Oscar Romero, six Jesuit priests and four Catholic nuns, two of whom were members of the Maryknoll order. As a Catholic priest in the order of the Maryknolls, a division of the Catholic Church that helps poor and repressed people overseas, Bourgeois was friends with the two women.

“For the next year, I was full-time building a movement calling for the closing of School of the Americas and the training of all of these soldiers coming from El Salvador and all of these other countries, all paid for by our tax money,” Bourgeois says. “I was zigzagging all over the country talking about this injustice in El Salvador and the injustice in the school of the Americas and then I discovered an injustice much closer to home in my church.”

With a sincere ring in his voice, Bourgeois recalls how he wrestled with his conscience over his own beliefs. While away on missions, he met a number of women like Janice who received a calling from God to be priests. Until then, he never really questioned church tradition, but tells how he was unable to reconcile one question that continued to haunt him.

“As Catholics, we do profess that God created men and women of equal dignity — and as Catholic priests, we always say the call to be a priest comes from God,” he says. “So I began to ask a very important and basic question, ‘Who are we as man to reject God’s call of women? How can we as men say that our call from God is authentic but God’s call of women is not?’ ”

After returning home from Sevre-Duszynska’s ordination ceremony, Bourgeois received a call from Maryknoll headquarters requesting a meeting with the superior general and general council in order to explain his actions. Two months later, he received ‘the letter’ from the Vatican stating he had 30 days to recant his belief and public statements for the ordination of women or be excommunicated from the church.

During his visit to headquarters, Bourgeois says he posed the question to the Maryknoll council and other priests in the church; their response, he says, was silence. After crafting a lengthy and passionate letter to the Vatican, Bourgeois says he received the no response or even acknowledgment of its receipt.

By ultimately following his conscience, Bourgeois says he refused and continues to refuse to remain silent about the issue and gives talks around the country in support of ordaining women priests. As a result, two months ago — a little more than two years since he attended Sevre-Duszynska’s ordination — Bourgeois received another summons to Maryknoll headquarters in New York. Superiors ordered him to recant his statement within 15 days or receive expulsion from the Maryknolls, his family and community for more than 39 years.

Bourgeois says he visits the mailbox every day expecting the final letter. He likes to joke that his chances of winning the Georgia State Lottery are better than his chances of being allowed to remain in the order.

But a small glimmer of hope arrived recently in a copy of a letter sent to the Vatican. Bourgeois says it was signed by more than 100 priests in good standing supporting his position to honor his conscience. Bourgeois believes hope lies in sheer numbers, with more and more people in the church coming forward in support. Many of them have supported female ordination for some time but are afraid to come forward because of harsh repercussions. He particularly questions the church’s stand on excommunication for supporters of women priests in relation to some other scandals that rocked the church.

“How many priests has the Vatican kicked out or excommunicated for their crimes against children?” he says. “There’s none — not a single one. They have not excommunicated them or the bishops who have covered up the crimes. That continues to be a big issue in the Catholic Church.”

To date, the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement boasts 120 female priests with branches in in Eastern and Western Europe, Eastern and Western Canada and the United States, says womanpriest Bridget Mary Meehan. In addition, Meehan says she recently ordained the first woman in South America expanding the order to yet another continent. She explains the grassroots movement continues to play by church rules, a measure necessary to gain credibility.

She says of the seven womenpriests originally ordained on the Danube in 2002, two were later ordained secretly by a male bishop in good standing. As part of apostolic succession in the Catholic religion, the church only recognizes priests ordained by chosen bishops in good standing; an act that was completed under the veil of secrecy, but carried out nonetheless, Meehan says.

“That means they recognize apostolic succession and a male bishop would need to ordain us,” Meehan says. “We got that, and that’s the part that they hate. They take the movement seriously and they’ve done everything they could to punish us because they see it as a direct threat to the all-male, patriarchal dominant model. It’s a threat to the male authority power structure of the church.”

The movement includes more reforms than simply ordaining women, Meehan adds. The grassroots movement looks to reinvent the church into a more egalitarian, circular model where all members participate and feel empowered.

The group believes the Catholic Church in its current state bears little resemblance to the vision of Jesus. She tells of how in all four gospels, Jesus appears after his resurrection to Mary Magdelene, who is still widely believed to be the apostle to the apostles. When traditionalists question her right to be a priest, she counters with historic evidence of women priests in the church more than 1,200 years ago.

“Women priests are reclaiming our ancient tradition of women in ordained ministry,” Meehan says. “People who are guardians of the tradition and traditionalist Catholics should celebrate that women are taking their rightful place following the example of Jesus, who had male and female disciples — all they have to do is read the gospels.”

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, the award-winning documentary directed by Jules Hart, follows the lives of several women, including Sevre-Duszynska, and their quest for ordination.

With all the adversity these women face in the Catholic Church, the question arises why don’t women like Meehan and Sevre-Duszynska simply embrace another faith that ordains women as church leaders — why fight the fight?

For Sevre-Duszynska, she simply professes Catholicism to be her religion since birth and her religion of choice. Other churches have approached her, but she still feels connected to her roots. She says while reform needs to occur within the church, she can’t help but love the institution based on the gospels and filled with patron saints that has always been a part of her life.

“Why should I leave the richness and all of my experiences in the church that I worked to and was called upon to speak out and challenge it?” she asks. “I feel like a daughter of the church, why would I want to leave it?”

Complete Article HERE!