RCWP Bishops' Statements

Below you will find statements that the Bishops' of Roman Catholic WomenPriests (RCWP) have made on various issues. 

  • Statement on the care of creation

    We, the undersigned Roman Catholic Women Bishops of North America, express our support for international efforts to care for creation, to protect the environment and reduce the causes of climate change.

     

    • We support the youth of the world like Greta Thunberg who are speaking out, challenging our leaders to take seriously the science of climate change and to take action now for the sake of the future. 

    • We support the United Nations in calling leaders of nations to adopt concrete and realistic action plans that will reduce carbon emissions over the next decade and for the future. 

    • We support Pope Francis in his call to protect the Amazon region as one of the great lungs of the planet and to address the needs of the indigenous people who are most severely affected by those who promote the exploitation of the natural resources of the region.


    We call on all people of good will to learn about the environmental crisis we face and to adopt as a spiritual practice some effort to reduce one's personal carbon footprint as part of a global effort to care for our common home.


     


    In Christ,


    +Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop, RCWP Canada – Regina, Saskatchewan photina61@gmail.com  

    +Suzanne Thiel, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region – Portland, Oregon

    +Nancy L. Meyer, Bishop, RCWP-USA Mid-West Region – Brownsburg, Indiana

    +Jane Via, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region – San Diego, California

    +Jean Marchant, Bishop, RCWP–USA Eastern Region – Framingham, Massachusetts

    +Andrea M. Johnson, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Eastern Region – Annapolis, Maryland

    +Merlene Olivia Doko, Bishop Emerita – RCWP-USA

    +Sibyl Dana Reynolds, Bishop Emerita – RCWP-USA

    +Joan M. Houk, Bishop retired, RCWP-USA – South Bend, Indiana

    +Marie Evans Bouclin, Bishop Emerita – RCWP Canada – Sudbury, Ontario


    Background

    Throughout the world communities of faith observe the Season of Creation annually from Sept. 1 to October 6.  This observance originated in 1989 when the Patriarch of Constantinople, Demitrios I, decreed the first day of September as a day of special reverence and prayer for the Safeguarding of Creation.  In 2008 the World Council of Churches began promoting The Season of Creation and since then it has expanded throughout the world.  In 2015 Pope Francis issued the Encyclical Letter,

    Laudato Si, which has drawn even more attention to care for creation and earth as our common home.  

     

    Youth around the world, through Global Climate Strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg of Sweden, are adding energy to the Season of Creation by drawing attention to the urgency to listen to the science of climate change and to urge civic leaders to take action now for the sake of the future of our planet and all creatures. 

     

    Greta Thunberg brings this sense of urgency to the UN Climate Action Summit, September 23, 2019.  UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

     

    The Vatican Synod on the Amazon being held October 6-26, 2019 in Rome draws special attention to the moral responsibility of the church to protect the Amazon region as one of the great lungs of the planet and to address the needs of the indigenous people who are most severely affected by those who promote the exploitation of the natural resources of the region.

     

    Call to Action

    We call on all people of good will to learn about the environmental crisis we face and to adopt as a spiritual practice some effort to reduce one's carbon footprint:

    Refuse – make the choice not to generate waste in the first place

    Reduce – make decisions that decrease the amount of waste produced

    Reuse/repair – expand the shelf-lives of products; repair and reuse items

    Replace – next time consider the recycled and green option

    Recycle – reclaim the raw materials

     

    Resources

    https://seasonofcreation.org/

    https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg

    https://globalclimatestrike.net

    https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/un-climate-summit-2019.shtml

    https://catholicclimatemovement.global/amazon-synod/

     

    Further Information

    Roman Catholic Womenpriests USA: romancatholicwomenpriests.org

    Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada:  rcwpcanada.x10.mx


     

  • Statement on the treatment of CHildren on the U.s. border

    THE INTERNATIONAL BISHOPS CIRCLE, MADE UP OF ACTIVE WOMAN BISHOPS AND BISHOPS EMERITA, SIGNED THE STATEMENT BELOW REGARDING TREATMENT OF CHILDREN AT INTERNATIONAL BORDERS OF THE UNITED STATES.


    We, the undersigned Bishops of the International Circle of Roman Catholic Women Bishops express our anguish, sadness and incredulity at the current treatment of children at international borders of the United States. We speak out against any failure to provide adequate water, food, clothing, bedding and shelter to migrant children, against the separation of children from their parent/s, against the housing of children behind bars in facilities that are often former prisons, and against any failure to provide adequate care and supervision for these children. We see the treatment of children at international borders as a humanitarian crisis.



    As women of Christian faith, we take seriously Jesus' commandment to treat all people as we wish to be treated.



    We call upon Christians worldwide to consider this humanitarian issue, regardless of their position on international migration, and to take action consistent with their conscience on behalf of children being held at all international borders throughout the globe.



    In Christ,


    + Marie Evans Bouclin, Bishop Emerita, Canada

    + Merlene Olivia Doko, Bishop Emerita, U.S.

    +Patricia Fresen, Bishop, South Africa

    + Joan Houk, Bishop Emerita, U.S.

    + Andrea Johnson, Bishop Emerita, U.S.

    + Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop, Canada

    + Jean Marie Marchant, Bishop, U.S.

    + Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Bishop, Austria

    + Nancy Meyer, Bishop, U.S.

    + Ida Raming, Bishop, Germany

    + Sibyl Dana Reynolds, Bishop Emerita, U.S.

    + Suzanne Thiel, Bishop, U.S.

    + Jane Via, Bishop, U.S.


  • Response to pope Francis' "Querida Amazonia"

    Recently, Pope Francis issued his Apostolic Exhortation, Querida Amazonia. This document accompanied the final report on the Synod on the Amazonian Region, thereby endorsing the report and, in effect, making it a part of the magisterium. Both documents speak eloquently about concern for the environment and the people of the Amazon Region.


    Pope Francis sets forth his dreams in four areas: social, cultural, ecological and ecclesial. The dream for the church is: “Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features.” (7) 


    His vision is for the church to journey alongside the people and growing in a culture of encounter. The people have a right to hear the Gospel and the church should not become just another NGO. By the presence of her ministers and their service, the church will foster “a holiness born of encounter and engagement, contemplation and service, receptive solitude and life in community, and the struggle for justice.” (77) 


    What is of concern to us bishops is that while the Pope acknowledges the great work that women do in the Church to achieve this vision, his statement reinforces the tradition of the Church's designation of a “special” place for women, which suggests their role is in some way exceptional and set apart from or above and beyond the human norm. Yet, while women play such an important role, they are deemed inadequate to serve as priests or deacons to meet the “pressing

    need to provide the sacraments of the church to accompany God’s children, to heal and strengthen them." (84) The Church, which is to be a Mother called to show the people God’s mercy through the sacraments, denies that the maternal face of God can be shown through the

    sacramental ministry of such dedicated women.


    Reinforcing the theology of Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis assigns a complementary role to women when he writes, “God has shown God’s power and love through two human faces: Christ and Mary.” (101) By putting them side by side, he is suggesting that men are similar to the

    former (Christ) and, therefore, can be ordained, while women are similar to the latter (Mary), and, therefore, cannot be ordained. This takes away from the teaching that both woman and man are created in the image of God and thus both are, can and should be acting in persona Christi.  


    Fundamental to the Christian faith is the conviction that Christ adopted human nature inclusively, thus every human being, male and female, can be saved and is indeed divinized in Christ. Women and men are baptized into Christ is the same way to share in Christ’s own priestly, prophetic and servant ministry. The Letter to the Galatians 3:28 states clearly that in Christ there is no distinction – “neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free, for we are all one in Christ.”


    Unfortunately, throughout the history of the church, men with power and authority have defined women as deficient to represent Christ because they do not possess the male physiology of Jesus. This is the thesis of the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacrdotalis (1994) which has been shown to contain many theological and historical mistakes. Failure to use historic critical exegesis of the Bible perpetuates such errors and dismisses the findings of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1976) that there is no scriptural basis for exclusion of women from ordination.


    Roman Catholic Women Priests are called by God to live the fullness of their Baptism as priests and are ordained according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. We no longer abide by the unjust laws of the institution that denies the equality of women and men baptized in  Christ. By our prophetic witness the ever renewing and reenergizing Spirit of God gives voice to women in order to bring the light of truth regarding their role in the church from the earliest days and to create ways to enrich the mission and ministry of the Church. Thus, we hope to meet “the pressing need to provide the sacraments of the church to accompany God’s children, to heal and strengthen them." (84) Only with equality and justice for women in the church throughout the world can the dream Pope Francis has for the church be realized: “Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the region, and giving the Church new faces with [local cultural] features.” (7)



    The International Bishops of Roman Catholic Women Priests:

    +Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop, RCWP Canada – Regina, Saskatchewan

    +Jean Marie Marchant, Bishop, RCWP–USA Eastern Region – Framingham, Massachusetts

    +Nancy L. Meyer, Bishop, RCWP-USA Midwest Region – Brownsburg, Indiana

    +Suzanne Thiel, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region – Portland, Oregon

    +Jane Via, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region - San Diego, California

    +Patricia Fresen, Bishop, RCWP South Africa –Johannesburg

    +Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Bishop, RCWP Europe - Pettenbach, Austria

    +Ida Raming, Bishop, RCWP Europe—Stuttgart, Germany

    +Marie Evans Bouclin, Bishop Emerita, RCWP Canada – Sudbury, Ontario

    +Merlene Olivia Doko, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Western Region - Pismo Beach, California

    +Andrea M. Johnson, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Eastern Region – Annapolis, Maryland

    +Joan M. Houk, Bishop retired, RCWP-USA Great Waters Region – South Bend, Indiana


    March 16, 2020

    Contact: +Jane Kryzanowski – photina61@gmail.com

  • RCWP - USA Western Region Statement Against racial violence

    June 3, 2020

    Statement Against Racial Violence

    We, the Roman Catholic Womenpriests and supporters of the Western Region of the USA, mourn the lives lost to racial violence and condemn systems of oppression.  We grieve with George Floyd’s family, Ahmaud Arbery’s family, Breonna Taylor’s family, and all families who have lost loved ones to senseless and racist acts. 

    Our hearts are in solidarity with those who experience the continuing effects of widespread historical systemic racism.  We condemn racism in the United States, and in particular, the escalation of racial violence we have recently witnessed.  We affirm that Black Lives Matter.  White Catholics must stand in solidarity with the black community so that not one more person is murdered because of the color of their skin.   

    With grieving, yet hopeful hearts, we renew our personal commitments in both prayer and action.  We commit to the work that must be done to make the Gospel Justice a reality.  We call on our local and national leaders to stand with the oppressed and assure justice for all people of color by changing the systems that allow racist structures to continue.  We demand concrete actions to put an end to the deeply rooted and deadly sin of racism in this country. 

    Come Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth.

    The Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA Western Region

  • Statement of solidarity and commitment on black  lives matter

    Statement of Solidarity and Commitment

    June 7, 2020

     

    Feast of the Holy Trinity

     

    We, the undersigned International Bishops of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, express our anguish over the murder of George Floyd by police officers in the U.S.  We decry the failure of other officers to intervene.  We grieve this tragic, unnecessary death and all unjust deaths of African Americans,  people of color and indigenous peoples.

    We acknowledge the systemic racism throughout the world which is the legacy of colonialism and slavery.  We acknowledge that all white people, regardless of life circumstances, are recipients of white privilege and entitlement in virtually every aspect of life.[1]

    We soundly reject the assumption that white people’s lives matter more than the lives of people of color.  We affirm unconditionally that Black Lives Matter equally.

    We are grateful to all those who participate in peaceful protest around the world to call for change, despite pandemic conditions. We are grateful to the law enforcement officers who participate in peaceful protests and make public acts of solidarity with victims of racism.  We are appalled by the lack of leadership at the highest levels of our governments that continues the plague of systemic racism.

    Jesus of Nazareth reached out to the religious and political leaders of his time in service to their needs and in protest of unjust practices.  He reached out to individuals who were victims of racism, sexism, poverty and lack of access to health care. 

    As Christian leaders, we commit to educating ourselves and those we serve about our complicity in racism and all forms of discrimination.  We commit ourselves to speak out against racial violence and all dimensions of racism in our various countries.  We commit to the task of dismantling racism in ourselves and in the communities we serve.  We invite all followers of Jesus to actively participate in these efforts.

     

    +Jean Marie Marchant, Bishop, RCWP–USA Eastern Region – Boston, Massachusetts

    +Nancy L. Meyer, Bishop, RCWP-USA Midwest Region – Brownsburg, Indiana

    +Suzanne Thiel, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region – Portland, Oregon

    +Jane Via, Bishop, RCWP-USA Western Region - San Diego, California

    +Patricia Fresen, RCWP South Africa –Johannesburg, South Africa

    +Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop, RCWP Canada – Regina, Saskatchewan

    +Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Bishop, RCWP Europe - Pettenbach, Austria

    +Ida Raming, Bishop, RCWP Europe—Stuttgart, Germany

    +Marie Evans Bouclin, Bishop Emerita, RCWP Canada – Sudbury, Ontario

    +Merlene Olivia Doko, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Western Region - Pismo Beach, California

    +Andrea M. Johnson, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA Eastern Region – Annapolis, Maryland

    +Joan M. Houk, Bishop retired, RCWP-USA Great Waters Region – South Bend, Indiana

    Mary Keldermans, Bishop-elect, RCWP-USA Great Waters Region – Springfield, Illinois

     

    ________________________________________

    [1] See the article of African American theologian Brian Massengale, S.J.  https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/assumptions-white-privilege-and-what-we-can-do-about-it)