Bridget Mary 'talks' with Benedict

by Dennis Coday

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A press release from the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests:

In his just-released book, Light of the World: "The Pope, the Church and the Sign of the Times," Pope Benedict XVI says ordaining women is not the church's choice to make. See: Pope: Church has 'no authority' to ordain women

In her just-released book, Living Gospel Equality Now, Loving in the Heart of God: A Roman Catholic Women Priest Story," Bridget Mary Meehan shares her journey to priesthood as a Roman Catholic woman. See: Living Gospel Equality Now

The following "press release" is an imagined dialogue between the Pope and Bridget Mary.

Pope Benedict: It's Jesus' fault. He didn't ordain women priests. Why blame me for everything?

Bridget Mary: Don't blame Jesus! He didn't ordain anyone -- male or female.

Pope Benedict: He had only male Apostles.

Bridget Mary: Come on, my brother. Jesus set the pace. He called women to be disciples and apostles. Mary of Magdala is called the "Apostle to the Apostles." She was the person closest to Jesus. Talk about a job description for an apostle! As the Risen Christ, he chose her to "go and tell" the male apostles the good news of the Resurrection. So God is not impotent before women! Neither is our church! Jesus provided an example for you to follow.

Pope Benedict: The church has no authority to ordain women.

Bridget Mary: There you go again...contradicting papal scholarship on Scripture. In 1976, the Vatican's own Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded that there is nothing in Scripture to prohibit women's ordination. For twelve hundred years, women were ordained in Christianity as deacons, priests and bishops! Did you page through Dorothy Irvin's calendars that were sent to you, the Cardinals and U.S. bishops? Archaeologist/theologian Dorothy Irvin studied atTubingen U. when you were there. She's found plenty of evidence in frescoes, tombstones, catacombs and mosaics that women were leaders of our church. It's all over Rome and the Mediterranean world. For Goodness sake, take a walk with your camera to St. Priscilla's Catacomb.

Pope Benedict: There were no priestesses in the community of Jesus Christ!

Bridget Mary: Benedict, Benedict. Open up your eyes to what's happening. Women priests are a sign of the times! People welcome us with open arms! You've lost the young who believe in gender equality. We are your spiritual equals. Made in the image of God. Empowered by a Spirit who doesn't quit...

Pope Benedict:
Why can't you be quiet! I excommunicated the first group of your women priests in 2002, those Danube Seven. Yes, we even sent them the official Vatican excommunication parchment. I've given instructions to bishops to excommunicate you wherever you women get ordained! And anyone who comes to your ordinations! Priests who support you! Wasn't it enough for me to issue delicta graviora? You and your women priests are in the same category of serious sin as pedophile priests!

Bridget Mary:
And you didn't excommunicate them! Pope Benedict, male church leaders before you excommunicated women whistleblowers: St. Joan of Arc, Mother Theodore Guerin, Mother Mary MacKillop. Today they're saints. I'm sending you two books: Living Gospel Equality Now and
Come By Here by woman priest Judy Lee who ministers and lives with the poor.

We continue to pray. You had a change of heart on condoms. We're praying for your change of heart on women priests.

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