News Item

My Friends,

I wanted to share with you this recent letter from the International Group of Roman Catholic Women Priests’ Bishops concerning the grand jury report from Pennsylvania concerning clergy sexual abuse of children. It is a strong letter that minces no words in naming the problem and the needed solutions. These women have shown great leadership through this statement and now it is time for the same leadership from the hierarchical church. I wholeheartedly support this letter. 

Let us all pray that they will remember why they were ordained in the first place and do the right thing! –Pastor Kathy


Roman Catholic Women Priests

Bishops Respond  to the

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Findings

26 August, 2018

We, the undersigned international circle of Bishops representing the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement, state the following:

  • We thank the Pennsylvania State’s Attorney for doing the work the Roman Catholic Bishops have failed to do and for disclosing the criminal conduct of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and an estimated thousand child victims.
  • We condemn the conduct of priest sex offenders.  We condemn the conduct of Bishops who conspired to cover up the criminal conduct of priest sex offenders and expanded the number of child victims by transferring offending clergy to new assignments.  We condemn the conduct of Bishops who failed to report clergy accused of sexual crimes to local law enforcement agencies for investigation and possible prosecution. We condemn the conduct of Bishops who themselves engaged in sex offenses with minor victims. We condemn the conduct of all clergy, priests and bishops, who engaged in the sexual harassment of adult women and/or men.
  • We believe the structure of priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church is bankrupt and corrupt and must be completely restructured.

We call upon the U.S. Bishops to tender their resignations as bishops subject to the acceptance or rejection of Pope Francis.

  • We call upon Pope Francis to establish a lay led ecumenical council to explore new structures for church leadership and church order, including:
  1. the ordination of married men, women, and people of all genders;
  2. the normalization of  LGBTQ relationships and same sex marriage;
  3. the establishment of a process for participation of local laity in the selection/election of their bishops;
  4. the establishment of lay representation by 2/3 in all ecumenical councils for purposes of developing and setting Roman Catholic theology, policy, self-understanding and practice.

We are aware that this sexual abuse crisis is a worldwide crisis, occurring on every continent where the Roman Catholic Church has a presence.  This crisis dramatically affects all of God’s people.

Healing and renewal in the Roman Catholic Church can only begin after a serious accounting of its hierarchy.  A recall of the current, collective leadership and a non-hierarchical restructuring of the Church is imperative in order to heal the grave wounds to the body of Christ and move the Church into the 21st century.

+Marie Evans Bouclin, (Sudbury, ON, Bishop Emerita, RCWP Canada)

+Merlene Olivia Doko, (Pismo Beach, CA, Bishop Emerita, RCWP USA)

+Patricia Fresen, (Stuttgart & Capetown, RCWP Germany and South Africa)

+Joan M. Clark Houk, (South Bend, IN, RCWP-USA, Great Waters Region)

+Andrea Michele Johnson, (Annapolis, MD, RCWP USA, Eastern Region)

+Jane Kryzanowski, (Regina, SK, RCWP, Canada)

+Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, (Pettenbach, RCWP Austria/ Europe)

+Nancy Louise Meyer, I(ndianapolis, IN, RCWP USA, Midwest Region)

+Ida Raming, (Stuttgart, RCWP Germany)

+Suzanne Avison Thiel, (Portland, OR, RCWP USA, Western Region)

+Jane Via, (San Diego, CA, RCWP USA, Western Region)


Andrea Johnson                                                Suzanne Thiel

410-626-7934                                                      503-784-3330                


News Item–Letter to the USCCB on Abuse

Dear Friends, 

Here is a letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops penned by the Roman Catholic Woman Priests organization on the issue of abuse–as your pastor, I added my name to the letter in the name of All Are One Roman Catholic church. 


“For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23)

There has been no historical moment more pivotal for the Catholic Church in the United States than today. The Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s report and allegations against Theodore McCarrick among other incidents irrefutably prove widespread, decades-long, systematic efforts to hide sexual abuse by clergy and religious.

In our work as theologians and pastoral ministers, we hear firsthand the anguished cries of God’s suffering people and witness the evils which plague our Church. Compelled by survivors’ accounts of life-destroying violence, we exercise our right and responsibility to speak out “on those things which concern the good of the Church” such that “the whole Church, strengthened by each one of its members, may more effectively fulfill its mission for the life of the world” (Lumen Gentium 37).

The establishment of justice in the Church requires more than apologies, investigations, and bureaucratic reforms now being proposed by the very episcopal institution responsible for this crisis. True justice and authentic reconciliation demands a sweeping and deep renewal among the People of God that arises from the prophetic teachings of Vatican II and proceeds through the pastoral vision of Pope Francis. Let us offer three points towards that end.

First, we disagree with the view held by some Catholics that sexual abuse and its cover up result from a failure to adhere to existing magisterial teachings on sexuality. Bishops must honestly confront the reality that many, if not most, of the current teachings on sexuality and gender are too often barriers to holiness. Damning words about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people, for example, perpetuate dated and disproven narratives that contribute to and reinforce prejudiced attitudes and unjust structures. Likewise, gay and bisexual clergy are not the cause of these problems. It is rather the inability to speak in honest and healthy ways about sexuality, coupled with homophobia, that fosters a culture of secrecy and silence where abuse goes unchecked.

Second, misguided teachings on sexuality and gender are only some of the rotten fruits exuding from a profoundly sick institution. Sanctioned patriarchy denies women’s dignity, rejects their gifts, and undergirds misguided approaches to sexuality and gender. Clericalism fortifies a corrupted hierarchy that affords clerics unbridled power while suppressing lay co-responsibility. Racism, ableism, colonialism, and other unjust power dynamics infect every crevice of this Church we love. Each of these rotten fruits is grounded in the failure to implement more boldly Vatican II’s teachings on Church structures, authority, and contemporary mission.

Third, it is past time to throw open the windows of the U.S. Church. To end cycles of sexual abuse and cover ups, and to restore faith in the Church, we, as loving critics and critical lovers of the People of God, offer the following suggestions to our bishops:

  • Submit a letter of resignation to Pope Francis immediately;
  • Demand the Vatican make available to U.S. civil authorities all relevant documents on sexual abuse by clergy and religious;
  • Establish truth and reconciliation commissions to address abuses and cover ups honestly and openly, and include survivors in leadership positions;
  • Publish a collective statement which both supports gay/bisexual priests and clearly articulates that homosexuality is not a cause of abuse and sexual violence;
  • Support civil government efforts to extend statutes of limitation;
  • Make public in each diocese the financial amount which has been paid out in settlements and legal costs related to sexual abuse;
  • Provide liturgies for healing which are developed and celebrated by lay ministers and leaders in collaboration with survivors;
  • Host listening sessions on topics including survivor justice, structural reform, and sexuality at the diocesan and parish levels which include the bishop and key pastoral leaders;
  • Engage Catholic voices and organizations which have a longstanding commitment to and specialization in church reform, accountability, and survivor support;
  • Convene theologians and canon lawyers to develop the theological tools necessary for a more thorough response to sexual abuse and for the Church’s renewal in the United States, which may include consideration of alternative parish and diocesan leadership models where women are in leadership positions;
  • Create policies to remove immediately all titles, honors, and memorials from bishops, clergy, and religious who have been credibly accused of being involved in abuse, sexual violence, and/or its cover up;
  • Invite consultative lay participation in the selection of bishops;
  • Ensure robust lay involvement and especially leadership throughout processes of creating justice, accountability, and reconciliation.

The challenges before the Catholic Church in the United States are not insurmountable, but overcoming them is not inevitable. Learning from history, we know that too many times the faithful have been silent about, indifferent to, and even complicit in humanity’s worst crimes. We must not repeat these failings today.

The time of necessary action is now and the task is urgent. We implore you, as siblings in Christ and as co-workers in the vineyard, to be accountable to and transparent with the entire People of God, to seek true renewal inspired by Vatican II that goes beyond cosmetic institutional reforms, and to follow Pope Francis in practicing a radical discipleship.

News Item–Prayer Vigil

Dear Friends,

Our Winona community will meet this Saturday afternoon to jointly pray and offer support to those concerned about the crisis on our southern border–see details below and come, be with your Winona friends and neighbors if you can!

Peace and love,

Pastor Kathy

News Item–More on our Church Article!

Dear Friends,

It would seem that the Spirit wants this news to be shared! Yesterday I heard from one of you that the article was picked up by the Associated Press (AP)– Minnesota Woman Marks Ten Years as a Priest. And then this morning I heard from a man who works with an organization entitled, Ordain Women Now! who has worked with a woman priest in Red Wing and some of the women priests in the Twin Cities area to offer seminars to educate people about the women priest movement. He told me that the St. Cloud Times also carried our story and that he would like to come here in the fall or early winter to do a similar seminar with Q and A.   He says everywhere they go the comment always is, “I just didn’t know about this!”–so maybe our article is helping!

I told him that I work with our Interfaith Group here in Winona and that we have been doing films to educate people about the wealth there is within each of the many religious traditions and that I was going to offer Pink Smoke Over the Vatican by Jules Hart at our next offerings. He told me that this film is part of what they use too! So, I will keep you posted on what comes next!

Pastor Kathy

News Item

Dear Friends,

I learned this morning from an RCWP (Roman Catholic Women Priests) friend this morning that our Winona story covering our ten year celebration was picked up and shared in the daily news feed of the National Catholic Reporter–below is the link:  Simply scroll down a bit and you will find it! Pretty exciting I think! –Pastor Kathy


Morning Briefing

NCR staff writer Brian Roewe was with the U.S. bishops’ conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this week. Some highlights from that meeting:

Some bishops had called for a completely fresh re-write of their quadrennial guide to participation in the poloitical process, to better reflect the current political climate. Most declined that challenge voting instead supplement rather than redraft and reissue Faithful Citizenship guide. (This article is a total update from the story we posted yeterday, so check it out. You might say that — unlike Faithful Citizenship — our story has been revised and reissued. 😉

Explore this NCR special report with recent articles on the topic of immigration and family separation.

The bishops began their spring assembly decrying Trump administration’s immigration policiesUS bishops condemn separating families at border

They also made incremental changes to the Dallas Charter, their guiding document on addressing sexual abuse of minors by clergy: Expanded background checks among changes to child protection charter

Michael Sean Winters wasn’t physcially in Florida, but he had his finger on the pulse of the meeting:

NCR has been following the immigration issue closely since before Donald Trump came to office. Here’s a round of our most recent reporting: Families Separated at the Border

Brownsville, Texas — Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children

Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stirred up some water when he write in L’Osservatore Romano last month reaffirming the Catholic Church’s ban on the ordination of women as priests, writing in a new article that the teaching has a “definitive character” and “is a truth belonging to the deposit of faith.” Reactions were swift to come, Advocates dismayed by reaffirming ban on women priests, with a great many finding Ladaria’s arguments not only unconvincing but frankly repetitive of views refuted many times over.

I dug into the NCR archives, and found a couple of gems from the U.S. bishops’ conference meeting, which I wrote about here: Ban on women priests didn’t seem settled teaching in 1992 Sr. Christine Schenk went a lot deeper than I did, digging into ancient texts and archeology. She found Vatican statements on women and ordinationahistorical and biblically naive. It is embarrassing. We’ve got more to come on this topic next week, so stay tuned.

Roman Catholic Woman Priest celebrates 10 years of ministry in Winona, Minnesota. “It’s really humbling when I think of the good things that have happened in these 10 years. It’s just a blessing.”

Dr. Gwen L. DuBois, president of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, says that\ North Korea shouldn’t have nukes — and neither should we

An interesting piece from Smithsonian magazine:The History of Black Catholics in America The Black Catholic Movement reinvigorated the church, with liturgical innovation, new preaching styles and activist scholarship.

Chilean Police Raid Offices Of Catholic Church In Sex Abuse Scandal

Is this true? The bishops want more control over your health care?

Have you been inspired by Pope Francis’ exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”) to join the journey of ‘small holiness’, NCR and Celebration have the resources to help:

  • Start your day inspired with daily Scripture reflections. Join NCR’s sister publication, Celebration, for Daily Bread, a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings.
  • Or reflect on Pencil Preaching by Pat Marrin. Every morning Pat Marrin breaks open the Word with a pencil sketch and a short meditation.

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