Aug 072012

Two groups supporting a more active role for women in the Catholic Church are sponsoring a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, in support of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The 45-minute vigil will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 330 S.E. 11th Ave., in Portland.

One Spirit ~ One Call, a Portland area group that has held public prayer events in support of the gifts and talents of women that they say are untapped in the Catholic Church, and Call to Action Northwest Oregon, the regional chapter of a national group seeking reforms in the church, are sponsoring the prayer vigil.

They of course will be praying for the leadership of the LCWR to return to obedience. Well not really, but it’s a nice dream. No they are actually praying for the LCWR to stop inviting new-age non-Christian keynote speakers to their conferences like the one going on now.. Well not really. Maybe it is for the LCWR to help stop child sexual abuse under their aspices. Oh well three not really’s and I’m out.

“People assume that we are about the ordination of women,” says Marie Langenes, an organizer of “One Spirit — One Call” and a member of St. Andrew’s Parish in Northeast Portland. “We are about a broader range of issues.

People assume that they are only about one heterodox opinion, when really they have a broader range of heterodox opinions.

St. Francis of Assisi Portland, Ore

One thing that caught my eyes in this story and brought back a flood of memories is that this parish is the one I sang in for about a year. After my mother’s conversion to Catholicism she brought me to this parish and I endured it as a young atheist out of love for my mother and my love of singing. The pop/rock hymns were not objectionable to me since they had such a low theological content – if any. Plus when I joined the church’s small ensemble choir I loved the irony of being an atheist in the sanctuary. This was rather a hippy parish back then and it looks like things have not changed much.

I do remember the first time I heard the word “Catholicism.” I went to one class on the Catholic faith and this is where I first heard the word. It sounded very ominous to me which is why I still remember it, that and the fact that the priest pretty much explained away the miraculous to me. As an atheist I didn’t believe in miracles and yet it didn’t quite sit right with me that the priest didn’t either. I was not surprised to find out later that both of the parish priests had left the Church to get married.

Looking back it annoys me that my first contact with the Church had the catechetical content of a felt banner, though I probably wasn’t very open to the truth at that point. It just would have been nice to actually hear the truth.

  3 Responses to ““People assume that we are about the ordination of women””

  1. If the photo is anything to go by, looks like the parish is exactly the same, right down to the parishioners. ‘Mature hippy’ is such a difficult look to carry off.

  2. Actually yesterday I saw on another Blog WDTPRS by Father Z that there were Protesters from SNAP at one of their meeting places to press them on this very important issue of sex abuse which the LCWR refuses to publicly address even to SNAP. So it is not just priests but NUNS and brothers who committed abuse.

  3. I entered the Church through a Paulist-run parish. Having been Episcopalian for 13 yrs before this, I knew the basics of catholicism. . .and I was a good mainstream left-liberal. But even I was surprised when our Paulist associate pastor told the RCIA group that VC1 was basically a power-grab by the Pope b/c Italian troops were knocking on the Vatican’s door and nothing else happened at that Council. When I noted that papal infallibility was defined by that Council, Father said, “Oh that. Nobody believes that!”

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

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