Thursday, January 7, 2016

Council of the Baptized Launches 2016 "Open Forum" Series

Focus will be on the roles for women in the church

The Twin Cities-based Council of the Baptized launches its 2016 Open Forum series next Tuesday, January 12 with local church reformer Bob Wedl leading a presentation and discussion about ordaining women in the Roman Catholic Church. Wedl and other members of the Saint Joan of Arc Small Christian Community have been studying this issue for several years.

Council member Mary Beth Stein notes that a short document (reprinted below) will be the starting point for Tuesday's conversation which she says is all about "looking for ways to move forward toward the important goal of female ordination."

"The Council of the Baptized Open Forum is an opportunity for lay Catholics to voice their concerns of conscience," says Stein. "In 2016 we are focusing on concerns about the roles for women in our Church. Ordination is at the top of the list. We welcome local Catholics to join us as we explore this issue and seek ways to bring much needed reform to the Catholic Church."

The Council of the Baptized 2016 Open Forum starts next Tuesday, January 12, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, 55116 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. It continues on the second Tuesday of each month (except July).


Saint Joan of Arc Small Christian Community

On the Subject of the Ordination
of Women as Roman Catholic Priests

“Why Now . . . Why us”

The following are the beliefs of our St. Joan of Arc Small Christian Community regarding the issue of the ordination of women as priests in the Roman Catholic Church:

1. All men and women of the Catholic faith are worthy to serve as ministers of the faith . . . as priests. It is also necessary that they be theologically qualified.

2. The ordination of women is based first and foremost on the very foundation of what our faith professes. The teachings of the Catholic faith of Jesus Christ place great emphasis on equality of all of humanity, respect for each other, non-violence toward each other and above all, love of all of creation and of the creator. While the ordination of women is also clearly a women’s rights issue, it is the teaching of our faith that demands it. The primary purpose of the ministry is to assist people understand the message of Jesus Christ and practice that message of the faith in their daily lives. The willful and arrogant discrimination against half of humanity defiles the very teachings of the faith.

3. The gender of the ministry of the Catholic Church is not etched in the foundation of our faith. It is not a cornerstone of the teachings of Jesus Christ that only male beings are worthy of being ministers. This policy was enacted by the church hierarchy and is one which can and must be changed. Throughout the history of the hierarchical church, its policies and practices have undergone change and some of those changes have been adopted with utmost speed such as with Vatican II. We call for the same level of urgency to the issue of the ordination of women.

4. We believe many current male parish priests as well some bishops and cardinals in the church hierarchy want to openly embrace the inclusion of women to share in ministering to those of faith. We do ask these men to stand up in affirmation of their faith by embracing women’s ordination.

5. We are supporting and facilitating the dialogue within the faith communities to bring this issue to such a degree of significance that the Catholic Church will make the necessary changes so that the Catholic church becomes consistent with the teachings of the Catholic faith. We are not engaged in starting a new church outside of the Roman Catholic Church.

6. The actions of the Church hierarchy against Catholics who are women priests as well as those who support the ordination of women should be one of understanding and dialogue and not one of punishment.

7. We call on members of the community of faith everywhere to accept the responsibility to bring about the change necessary so that the policies of our church regarding women’s ordination become consistent with the teachings of our faith.

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