QUOTE TO NOTE: Coming Back to Church

September 21, 2013

computer_key_Quotation_MarksKate Childs Graham, the co-president of Call to Action, spoke with MSNBC about Pope Francis’ recent interview. She echoed many of the commentators in welcoming his remarks, but added a new trend she is witnessing: people of all walks returning to the Church. Childs Graham told the television host:

Kate Childs-Graham

Kate Childs-Graham

“I experienced the interview through the Holy Trinity of the New York Times, Facebook, and Twitter…More inspiring than the Pope’s words as progressive as they were was the people on Facebook and Twitter, Catholics, non-Catholics, people who have felt marginalized by the Church, who have left the Church saying: ‘Yes, this is what we have been saying for years and it is finally being reflected by our leaders.’…

That said, Childs Graham ended by asking the question many Catholics have about the bishops in America:

 “The question is now we’ve got this CEO talking the talk, we’ve the worker bees, people in the pews, who’ve been saying this for years. The question really lies in middle management, the bishops. What are they going to do with this information?…Are they going to find this new balance with me, Pope Francis, and progressive Catholics like us?”

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry


Comments on LCWR Action from National Catholic LGBT Organizations

April 22, 2012

Commentary on the Vatican’s attempt to control the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) continues to make headlines, as more Catholic religious leaders offer their thoughts on the April 18th announcement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Sister Jeannine Gramick

Two New Ways Ministry representatives and a DignityUSA representative have appeared in major media on the issue in the last few days.  Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL, New Ways Ministry co-founder, appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell show along with Jeff Stone, DignityUSA’s director of media relations.  In that interview, Sister Jeannine stated:

“We women come from a different conception of  ‘church’ from the Vatican.  We are following. . . the Second Vatican Council which was in the 1960’s talked about the ‘church’ as a community.  And in a community, people disagree. But in a totalitarian institution, there is no disagreement.  This is the clash that we are seeing.”

Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone commented:

“The highest law of the Catholic Church is the law of conscience.  Pope Benedict himself has spoken eloquently about it. Even if you find your conscience is in disagreement even with the words of the pope, you are obligated in your conscience to follow your conscience.”

You can watch the entire interview of these two leaders by clicking here.

In a Washington Post article entitled “American nuns stunned by Vatican accusation of ‘radical feminism,’ crackdown” Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, New Ways Ministry advisory board member and President of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, struck a similar note to Sister Jeannine, in noting that women and men in the Church have different approaches:

Sister Patricia McDermott

“McDermott said the connection between priests and nuns has been weakening. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she said, ‘the mutuality and respect was extraordinary, feeling we were all in this together.’

Today, she said, different approaches to a changing society and the role of the church means ‘that sense of hospitality, many of us would say, is growing dimmer.’ ”

Sister Julie Viera

In the same article, Sister Julie Viera, IHM, (who is not associated with either New Ways Ministry or DignityUSA) observed that though nuns take a vow of obedience, that vow is clearly defined:

“[O]ur vow of obedience applies to God . . . it doesn’t reside in a bishop, a body of bishops or even the pope. For us, that sense of obedience has to do with listening deeply to the call of the spirit.”

These commentators join a host of others, including Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, renwoned Catholic author, and Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of NETWORK, who have already criticized the Vatican’s directive.   You can read about Sister Joan’s comments here, and Sister Simone’s comments here and here.  For New Ways Ministry’s statement, click here.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


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