"Excommunication's ' big gun' aimed at wrong target"
By Sr. Bridget Mary Meehan, Sfcc

It is ironic that the Vatican excommunicated the seven Roman Catholic women who were ordained to the priesthood in June near Passau, Germany on July 22nd, the feast day of St. Mary of Magdala, the "apostle to the apostles". Like Mary of Magdala, the newly ordained women are special messengers of good news that women and men are called by Christ to be disciples and equals in all church ministries. All four gospels confirm that Mary of Magdala was the first witness of the resurrection. She was chosen by Christ to proclaim the central mystery of Christianity to the male apostles.

The Vatican's excommunication of the seven ordained women reflects the curia's desperate fear of women as images of God, fully capable of representing Christ at the altar. This hierarchial, misogynist church seems willing to stop at nothing to keep women out of the priesthood including denying its own authentic church teaching reflected in Genesis 1:27 that women are created in the image and likeness of God and Galations 3:27-28 that says: "All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ." The Vatican's excommunications of the women priests show the hyprocrisy of church leaders.

If Cardinal Ratzinger aims the "big guns" of excommunication at anyone today, he should excommunicate the bishops who covered-up priest sex abuse of children, women, and nuns around the world. The Vatican has not fired or censured any of the bishops who kept sex -abuser priests working in parish ministry in the United States. This scandal has devastated the lives of thousands of innocent parishoners and destroyed the moral credibilty of the church. The newly ordained women priests are signs of hope for a renewed priestly ministry in the church. The Vatican is living a gospel of shame in our time. Cardinal Ratzinger punished courageous, prophetic women priests who have responded to Christ's call to serve the church at a time of a worldwide shortage of priests. Ask yourself does this punishment reflect the mind of Jesus?

In solidarity with the seven women let us express our outrage and condemn the Vatican's most recent act of oppression toward women. Let our motto be: Yes to women priests, No to pedophile priests.! Now is the moment for Catholics to stand up to the Vatican and call all Catholics to participate in an international boycott of money to the Vatican and to local dioceses until the people are treated as equals and partners in all ministries of the church. We the people are the church. The Spirit works through us, not just through church hierarchy. Let us share our passion for justice and accountability with our church leaders! Catholics who love the church are called to act now. Let us ask ourselves what would Jesus do to reform the church today, and then do it with deep love for the church we cherish! With God, all things are possible!