Lay Network Update - January 2021
A New Year to Renew
Although we had a tumultuous start in this New Year, our democracy is still intact and now we have new leaders. Joe Biden was inaugurated President of the United States and Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman US Vice President. They will begin the arduous work of remembering, healing, uniting and renewing the face of America.
The Catholic Coalition for Church Reform has been working for renewal in the Church for over 12 years but clericalism always gets in the way. It is the mode that continues to cling to power and male dominance. The face of the Church is sagging and continues to suck the life out of other parts of the body. We need a spiritual face-lift to remove the lines of discrimination and give fresh hope to those who have been left out of decision-making positions and sacramental ministry because they are women. The fact that Mother Mary was first to present the body and blood of her son, Jesus, to the world, and Mary Magdalene - the first one commissioned to preach the Gospel (tell the others - the good news that he is risen) means little to "pampered princes" with a particular anatomy.
We know that there were women deacons in the early Jesus movement, but women are now denied this ministry. Tradition, scripture and the magisterium are valuable but if the ministerial doors of the Church are closed to over 50% of the church body, there is little room for the Holy Spirit to work. The misogyny continues and women are ignored or thrown a few crumbs (lectors and acolytes) to appease them. When the call to leadership or ordination comes, women are left with few options.
CCCR has been focusing on women's leadership and ordination for years, but this year we will become more active in our support for those who have courageously embraced their calling. We invite you to join us in reaching out to these women and their church communities.
Compassion of Christ Catholic Community is a member of our Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR). They have ordained Roman Catholic women priests who lead the community with sacraments and rituals. If anyone wants to attend Mass, contact
Charis Ecumenical Catholic Community is now home to Trish Vanni, an ordained priest, who followed her heart and said, "After working for decades on church renewal, I decided to live the change I want. I believe that is also true for Charis."
I watched Trish's ordination on line and was heart struck by the profound affirmation of the Charis community.
Holy Presence Catholic Community is the Old Catholic Church of the United States of America and presently has 2 women pastors who lead liturgies. You can find them on their website holypresence.org. Events include the Mass, evening prayers and the rosary. Zoom services available if you contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future Church https://www.futurechurch.org/
The institutional Catholic Church can try to stay in a culture of yesteryears but evolution is inevitable. We saw what happens when a culture insists on going backwards in our country. America has changed and evolved to include many cultures and women now join men in top leadership positions. The institutional Catholic Church has had opportunities to change, but has chosen to remain shuttered within a stagnant house and locked in by heavy misogynistic doors. When women have a calling to the diaconate or priesthood and find they are not welcome, they will seek another door. As People of God, we will persist and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will work to embrace the whole body of Christ and together we will renew the face of our Church.
Nancy Gotto - Board Member
Still living in joyful hope,