Women Religious Rebelling aganist Vatican Oversight
#1
http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2009...-with.html
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#2
Good may be they can all be layasized and stop bringing scandal to the Church. .
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#3
The crack in the American Church is now officially a fissure and still growing. This is terribly sad, I was taught by Sisters of Providence in the 50"s .In my mind's eye when Sisters are mentioned, or incorrectly as American's say Nuns, I can only think of them, they were magnificent teachers and holy women, with hearts as big as all of outdoors.
tim
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#4
Pumps at the pulpit: Women spiritual leaders reshape the divine and the day-to-day, but some find their rise to the top stops at the stained-glass ceiling

http://www.womenspress.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=802&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=233&S=1

Kelly Westhoff

Grasping the divine

For centuries, Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons said, religion has taught that the spiritual resides in the heavens. Yet if we accept this as true, she said, that means the spiritual is out of mortal human reach. As a minister, she strives to bring her congregation's search for the divine back down to Earth, encouraging her congregation "to reclaim the physical world­to make the spiritual tangible."

"The holy," she said, "is here­here on Earth. You can touch it. Sexuality is holy. Birth is holy. The acts that tie us to the physical, bind us to the spiritual. They are holy."

If what we can touch is holy, then living spiritually is something you can do everyday, she added. "Go out and put this to practice," she explained. "Live as if your relationships are holy. Live as if the Earth is holy. Live as if your life is holy."

Our imagery of the divine has been masculine for so long, said Gibbons­describing a white-haired, white-bearded God­but the Earth has long been viewed as a female force. So if the Earth is both female and holy, then doesn't that mean the holy is female? she asked.

Adopting this premise, the Unitarian-Universalist church published a hymnal in 1992 written by ministers and members that use inclusive language and nature imagery. Inclusive language is highly encouraged in all of the church's documents and doctrines.

Combined, these actions and beliefs continue to make the Unitarian-Universalist denomination a swelling home for women clergy. "The number of women preparing for and entering our ministry is about equal to men," Gibbons said with a smile. "We're not 50 percent yet, but we will be. Soon."

"We joke, all of us women pastors," she continued, "that someday our sons will come to the realization that men can be ministers."



Kendyl Gibbons likes to get all dressed up on Sunday mornings. She selects a skirt with care, slips into pantyhose and chooses a pair of sturdy, respectable heels. She checks her blond bob and is off. She has someplace important to be: church.

Gibbons' Sunday morning routine is more than a weekly date with the divine‹it is a date with the roughly 520 members of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Minneapolis, a liberal, humanist congregation tucked behind the Walker Art Center on a residential street where Reverend Dr. Kendyl Gibbons is the senior minister. Each week she delivers a homily without donning a standard clergy robe. "I wear a skirt and heels in the pulpit," she said. "It's about who I am. My authority is not dependant on me de-feminizing myself."

Those are feisty words for a minister, but Rev. Gibbons doesn't shy away from calling herself a feminist. Perhaps it is because she is a part of a trend-setting organization. Her congregation is part of the larger, nationwide Unitarian Universalist Association, a denomination with roots in the Protestant tradition. It was a New England Universalist church that ordained the country's first female minister. "We've been ordaining women since 1863," Gibbons proclaimed. "Women ministers are not a novelty to us. The Unitarian Universalists have been a place that the modern feminist spirit has found a home."

In fact, so many women have found a home in the Unitarian Universalist Association that in 1994, 30 percent of its ordained ministers were female, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. That was and continues to be a higher percentage than any other mainstream Protestant denomination in the country. The same numbers from 1994, the largest study ever on women clergy in America, revealed the United Methodist Church actually claimed the highest number of women clergy, but because it was a larger denomination than the Unitarian Universalists, women clergy constituted just 15 percent of the ordained ministers.

According to a U.S. Census report from February, 56,000 women are working as clergy in the U.S. Yet churches are fraught with all the equity issues found in the greater society they serve. The female pastor of a small town congregation may want to take on greater responsibility or a position in a larger community, but large, urban congregations usually employ an entire staff of clergy. Just like in the business world, reaching senior pastor requires putting in your time and paying your dues in lesser positions. Because many traditions have only begun ordaining women in the past half century, female ministers are still working their way up the clergy ladder. Unfortunately, many women clergy find they are bumping into what they call the stained-glass ceiling.

Despite that, women continue to enter seminary school. According to the most recent statistics compiled by the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada, the number of women entering seminary school has risen every year since 1999. In 2003, 20,199 women were enrolled in divinity schools across the U.S.; women made up 33 percent of the seminary student body. As these women graduate and take on roles within their religious traditions, how are they changing the role of religion in our lives? Does worship look different with a woman behind the pulpit? We asked three women religious leaders to tell us how.

Their answers are about more than a pair of pumps. Instead, they seem to be about finding balance­between male and female, between career and family and between the celestial and the tangible.



Leadership should be shared

On the other side of town, and on the stricter side of the church, Sister Susan Hames wants Catholic women to realize they can take on leadership roles within a church that continues to deny them ordination.

Sister Susan is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul Province, an order of nuns. She is also the director of campus ministries at the College of St. Catherine. Active in each of these roles, Sister Susan possesses a unique vantage point among Catholic women: each week she participates in religious services led by men and religious services led by women.

"I live in a community where women are leading each other in prayer because we are a commu-nity of women," she explained. "Women lead. We celebrate Christ as light. This is different from what you'd find in many parishes. We welcome men, but leadership rotates among our community of women."

"In services led by women," Sister Susan continued, "language is more inclusive. You hear stories that reflect women's stories, hymns that are more inclusive. Women create situations where we can see each other and everyone is on the same level. Spaces are not reserved for only one person."

Because Sister Susan knows what it looks and feels like to participate in a worship service led by women, she serves as a role model and teacher for many young Catholic women at St. Kate's. "We have a priest that presides as our chaplain over our celebrations at the college," she explained, "but whenever possible, women lead and interact with the man. For example, in our Ash Wednesday services, a female student leads. Wherever a priest isn't necessary, we make sure we fill in."

St. Kate's, Sister Susan pointed out, encourages women greeters, readers and cantors. Female students help in college communion services and offer reflections. "We are trying to encourage women leaders in church and society," Sister Susan said. "We'd like to see women's gifts fully utilized in the church. We're not trying to do in the priesthood as we know it, but we are working for change. Women have gifts for faith and ministry. We don't have to look like Christ to minister. When we were baptized, we were baptized in the image of Christ. He is inside us. We are all the image of Christ."

"Young women make up the worshiping community but they haven't been prepared for leadership. We prepare them to do that," she continued. "Young women see themselves offering reflections. You know the process of preparing a reflection‹what did you see, what did you do, what did you learn‹it's only a few steps away from delivering a homily."

Sister Susan counts herself lucky to have experienced worship services led by women, but she doesn't count on seeing ordained Catholic women in her lifetime. "The worldwide church changes slowly," she admitted. "It takes a long time to move out of one way of thinking. But we women need to do all we can. We women are immersed in the world. We aren't off on our own. Leadership is, should be, shared and we need to be conscious of that."



Awomen instead of amen

Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, senior rabbi at Temple Israel, a Reform synagogue in Minneapolis, is conscious of shared leadership. In fact, shared leadership is just one of the ideas she credits women for bringing to the rabbinate since the first female was ordained in the Reform tradition in the early 1970s. "I abide by the basic belief that men and women are different," she explained. "What women have brought into the rabbinate since 1972 is a return to healing, a return to spirituality, and the idea that leadership is a collaboration. They have brought a collaborate style of leading."

Temple Israel is a large Jewish community of some 2,000 families. With that many members, the congregation needs three rabbis to keep up with the workload, but Rabbi Zimmerman doesn't flaunt her title as senior rabbi. "Nobody should be in the back," she said. "With a collaborative style of leadership, with valuing differences, no one just assumes leadership."

"It has to do with how you define success," she added. For her, success is not solely defined by her career. She guards her day off; it's a day she reserves for home and family. When her father needed medical help this past fall, she took a week off to help him, and she did it without batting an eye or worrying over the course the temple would take.

"If a staff member needs to be away, we fill in," she explained. "Everyone's sanity and peace in their own lives allows them to carry on here. We have to care for ourselves. This is a demanding enough job, and in some ways I feel that's part of my role here, to care for the staff and make sure they are taking care of themselves."

"Women rabbis, I think, are trying to affect change, affect healing, affect balance," Zimmerman added. "Healing doesn't mean a cure. It's about centering and finding a psychological balance."

Within the rabbinate, a balance in leadership between men and women needed to happen in its own time, Zimmerman stressed, and not be forced. That way, when change comes, she said, "the kind of women who bubble up are ready to take those top roles. And those women don't let the title define them, they begin to redefine the title. It takes time, patience, understanding. But it must happen on its own. That way it becomes a real part of the system."

"Did I ever imagine myself as senior rabbi?" she asked. "Never! And that's what makes it all the sweeter. When I first became a rabbi, I was always the first woman in that position. But the women ordained today are following women."

And as more women join the rabbinate, there has been a return to a multitude of female voices in the Torah that have long been brushed aside. Zimmerman pointed to Tzipporah, the first woman to circumcise her son, and Yael, a female warrior, as examples of ancient women that young Jewish students, both boys and girls, learn about today. "Those voices," Zimmerman said, "have now become the norm."

Strong, leading Jewish women have so much become the norm that a couple years ago, a young girl asked Zimmerman a question she had never been asked before: "Why do we say "amen' and not "awomen'?"
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#5
(11-26-2009, 07:09 AM)Unum Sint Wrote: Good may be they can all be layasized and stop bringing scandal to the Church. .

This is nitpicky on my part, but religious are still laymen unless they are brothers who also happen to be in holy orders. Sisters can be expelled or their orders suppressed, but not laicized.
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#6
(11-26-2009, 06:43 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote:
(11-26-2009, 07:09 AM)Unum Sint Wrote: Good may be they can all be layasized and stop bringing scandal to the Church. .

This is nitpicky on my part, but religious are still laymen unless they are brothers who also happen to be in holy orders. Sisters can be expelled or their orders suppressed, but not laicized.

people criticise nit-picking, but left un-picked, nits breed lice. nitpicking is a viable preventative measure against louse infestation.
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#7
Big woop their all a bunch of geriatric dissidents they need to be surpressed. If I were Pope I would issue a moto proprio requiring all Sister and Nuns to wear the habit best way to root out the dissenters, those that refuse get kicked out on the street. That would leave mostly the young ladies who wear the habit already as nuns and sisters. Of course there'd be a lot of homeless dissident old hags wandering around.
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#8
(11-27-2009, 12:02 AM)Baskerville Wrote: Big woop their all a bunch of geriatric dissidents they need to be surpressed. If I were Pope I would issue a moto proprio requiring all Sister and Nuns to wear the habit best way to root out the dissenters, those that refuse get kicked out on the street. That would leave mostly the young ladies who wear the habit already as nuns and sisters. Of course there'd be a lot of homeless dissident old hags wandering around.

Charity in all things Baskerville. YOur last sentence was rather unneccessary. Please pray for them and do not let your anger get the better of you. I have the same problem. Anger harms your spiritual life, it does no help it. Remember that. ;) :)
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#9
˙˙˙˙lɹɐʞ `unɟ ou s,ʇɐɥʇ ʇnq
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