WOW e-news #14
from all of us at WOW to you and yours

Judith Mehr - Omran, Angels Are Here!

Judith writes, “I saw that photo of the little boy in the ambulance seat who had just been pulled out of the rubble of a bombed building in Aleppo, Syria. I really wanted to comfort that boy so I thought of angels coming to attend to him.”

The staging of her painting is related to Rublev’s famous Icon of the Trinity. As one person pointed out, “The dynamism of the Hope/Joy angel is intriguing, standing apart from the staid Russian-Byzantine pose of the side angels.”

The writing around the halos: ‘joy, peace, hope’ in Arabic, English and Latin.
At the top: “Peace be upon you” in Arabic.

Judith lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Jamie Manson asks Is Pope Francis campaigning for married priests?
Did The Woman Say

Did the woman say
When she held him for the first time
in the dark dank of a stable,
After the pain and the bleeding and the crying,
“This is my body, this is my blood?”
Did the woman say,
When she held him for the last time in the
dark rain on a hilltop,
After the pain and the bleeding and the dying,
“This is my body, this is my blood?
Well that she said it to him then,
For dry old men,
Brocaded robes belying barrenness,
Ordain that she not say it for him now.

Frances Croake Frank


Advent appeal to Pope Francis on Women's Ordination from John J. Shea O.S.A.
16 December 2016

Dear Pope Francis,

I hope you are well and that you receive this letter. I pray for you in this Advent season, and I am inspired by your obvious concern for the poor and the marginalized in our world and in our church.

Enclosed again are two letters about the ordination of women: the first is sent to each member of the Council of Cardinals; the second is a letter for background that I mailed to all the ordinaries of the United States at the beginning of Lent in 2014.

When you talk about the need for honest dialogue on the issues that we face as a church, I am somewhat heartened. You keep insisting: “dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.” In fact, you say: “dialogue fearlessly.”

Unfortunately, however, there is not now, nor has there been, any fearless—let alone gender inclusive—dialogue on the ordination of women, although this is arguably the most crucial issue in the church.

Can the sea-changing collaboration of bishops and theologians at the time of Vatican II serve as a model for what needs to happen today? Can you empower that kind of thoroughgoing collaboration as part of your concern for honest dialogue in the church?

How can our church become whole if women are “not fully in the likeness of Jesus”? Whatever the Vatican reforms—ecclesia semper reformanda—they are only window dressing until the wholeness of women—body and soul—is theologically and competently addressed.

Is it wrong in this Advent season to hope that the structures of the church—defended so often as indubitable yet mired so inordinately in patriarchal privilege—can be seriously addressed?

Pope Francis, will the day come when the church’s care and justice for women reflect the mercy that is the cornerstone of your papacy?


John J. Shea, O.S.A. Copy: Members of the Council of Cardinals

See also John J. Shea's Advent Appeal to Cardinals

African Jesuit Fr. Orobator quests for women's inclusion in church structures

Joshua McElwee's article for NCR
Responses to Pope Francis Interview on the Plane back from Sweden

WOW: Pope Francis confirms he has a blind spot regarding women
WOC: Patriarchy will not have the last word

CWO: On Pope Francis’ remarks about 1994 apostolic declaration ‘On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone’: Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

RCWP: Women Priests: Please tell Francis we are already here

Vice News (WOW, CWO, WOC mentioned): Francis, the "cool Pope" says there will never be women priests 

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Peter Tatchell (centre) Albert Medal 2016 winner and WOW supporter
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Faith and Freedom

Teresa Forcades, Spanish Benedictine nun, theologian, physician and political activist, is one of Europe’s leading radical thinkers. Marrying her Catholic faith with a passion for social justice, she came to prominence for her eloquent condemnation of the abuses of some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. She has gone on to found a leading Catalonian anti-capitalist independence movement and is one of the leading voices in the world today against the injustices of capitalism and the patriarchy of modern society and of her own church.

In Faith and Freedom, her first book written in English, she skilfully weaves together her personal experiences with a reflection on morality, religion and politics to give a trenchant account of how the Christian faith can be a dynamic force for radical change. Placing herself in a powerful tradition of Catholic social doctrine and Liberation Theology, she applies her perspective to the issues most precious to her: freedom and love, social justice and political engagement, public health, feminism, faith and forgiveness.

Structured around the five canonical hours that give its peculiar rhythm to the monastic day, this book is a thoughtful and bold polemic against the exploitation and injustice of the status quo. Its call for liberty, love and justice will resonate with anyone disaffected with a savage and destructive political and economic system that marginalises and murders the poor and undermines the very fabric of social life.

Women making news
This is Theresa Kachindamoto, a female chief in Malawi, who has broken up 850 child marriages and sent girls back to school
Read more


WOW Prayer

O Holy One, You who are Creator of all,
who made humanity in Your image

Saviour of all, who called women and men
to witness Your ministry, death and resurrection,

Inspirer of all who seek and serve,

We thank You for the women You have blessed with Your call
to celebrate the Eucharist,
to minister alongside their brothers in a renewed Roman Catholic Church.

We pray that the Church will soon welcome and nourish to the full
the gifts of women as priests, prophets and leaders,
knowing, as Mary of Nazareth knew,
that with You all things are possible.


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