My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues
If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests.
Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.
I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry.
I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese.
My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government.
In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.
Anytime I think I have heard and seen everything possible from the Vatican, there continues to be an opportunity for shock and dismay. In the latest fiasco, the Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, declared that as International Women's Day is celebrated, women should give thanks for the washing machine. To quote: "This humble appliance has done more for the women's liberation movement than the contraceptive pill or working outside the home...."
When will the Vatican learn that women are now running corporations and governments around the world? In addition, we currently have a wonderful Secretary of State - namely, Hillary Clinton. Additionally, women have proven time and time again that they are fully capable of running parishes and have every right to expect Vatican approval for their ordination to the priesthood, if they are so called.
What follows is a video I made that criticizes the ridiculous 'washing machine' comment from the Vatican:
I am obviously delighted that during the course of a radio interview in Albany, Cardinal Edward M. Egan stated that an open discussion on the priestly celibacy issue would be a good idea. I wholeheartedly agree. I am, however, a little frustrated that Cardinal Egan did not make this announcement sooner.
It is indeed a shame that some members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy wait until their final days in office to state changes in policy that need to be considered. This is because they are afraid of being disciplined by the Vatican for having a difference of opinion from the pontiff. Once they near retirement, however, not much can happen to them of a disciplinary nature.
Cardinal Egan has been criticized in the past for not speaking out more forcefully on the sexual abuse crisis. He has also been criticized by many New York priests for not being accessible to them. However, I want to take this opportunity to at least thank him for being candid on the celibacy issue as he approaches retirement.
I continue to maintain that very few priests are called to a life of celibacy. They nevertheless pledge such a lifestyle, because they know it is the only way to gain entry to a clerical life. It is extremely important at this juncture to state that a mandatory celibacy policy in today's world makes little sense. Furthermore, I support a very credible argument that points to the fact that in many respects, the mandatory celibacy policy provides a convenient smokescreen for the sexual abuse crisis that is far from over. (Some convicted priests have later admitted to psychologists that they felt they could get away with their acts, due to the fact that there was a perception that no one would suspect a celibate priest of illegal/illicit sexual acts.)
The time for an honest and open discussion on the celibacy issue is at hand. My thanks to Cardinal Egan for his courageous statement on an Albany radio station.
What follows is a video I made in which I thank Cardinal Egan. You'll notice at the end of the video what can best be described as a newspaper headline of the future that announces the Vatican has abolished the policy of mandatory celibacy. (Let us hope this actually happens.)
I want to take this opportunity to thank Aisha Taylor, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, for her many months of dedicated leadership and hard work. I have long supported the ordination of women to the Roman Catholic priesthood, and Aisha has pushed this cause toward widespread support.
Aisha has recently announced that she will be stepping down as executive director of the WOC to pursue doctoral studies. As much as I will miss her presence in the forefront of the struggle for more inclusivity in the Roman Catholic Church, I also want to wish her well with her educational pursuits.
The Women's Ordination Conference has a full range of activities lined up, so I hope you will visit their website from time-to-time to stay udpated. Their web address is www.womensordination.org.
I will be continuing my role as national media liaison for CORPUS (www.corpus.org). I am very pleased that CORPUS will continue to send representatives to ordinations of women throughout the United States and the world, and I look forward to a continued struggle for a more inclusive church.
When we speak of the ordination of women, we must also give thanks to Phyllis Zagano of Hofstra University. She has done some magnificent work on the role women played in the early church, utilizing Romans 16:1-2 as a reference point (Phoebe as deacon).
What follows is a video tribute to both Aisha Taylor and Phyllis Zagano:
Thanks again to Aisha Taylor for all that she has done and continues to do for the Women's Ordination Conference.