FEBRUARY 16, 2013
Asia’s leading “Catholic” news agency, UCAN, continues its campaign for women priests through an ecumenical woman theologian
Ordaining women is not a new idea. Adherence to this heresy is widespread in the Indian church. The first time that I wrote about it was in my 119-page April 2010 [updated April 2012] report
NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15-DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS-FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS
In that report, no. 15 of a series on a Bombay-archdiocese backed Hinduised “bible” with imprimatur, I documented that Fr. Subhash Anand [a diocesan priest based in St. Paul’s School, Udaipur] and others do not believe that the cultic priesthood was instituted by Jesus Christ and would like to see it scrapped altogether, ushering in a priesthood of believers, non-ordained persons, whereby the members of the congregation become co-celebrants at Holy Mass, having the authority and power to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This has long been proposed as a solution to the “shortage of priests”.
The other alternative of course is to ordain women, which Fr. Subhash Anand and other “theologians” such as Virginia Saldanha, Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, a coterie of feminist nuns and some religious brothers and priests are ferociously advocating. The first articles in the women priests series, published April/May 2012, are
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-ECCLESIA_OF_WOMEN_IN_ASIA_AND_CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE-FEMINIST_THEOLOGY_AND_THE_ORDINATION_OF_WOMEN_PRIESTS.doc
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS_INFILTRATES_THE_INDIAN_CHURCH-CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE.doc
Virginia Saldanha is on the board of the Union of Catholic Asian News [UCAN] and Astrid Lobo Gajiwala is on important Bombay archdiocesan executive bodies such as its weekly magazine The Examiner, etc.
Just three weeks ago, on January 24, I had published a report
WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS
on the “nexus” between UCAN and like-minded in the West, example the editor of and contributors to the National Catholic Reporter [NCR], and in India who clamour for ordaining women as priests. An honest, prophetic and bold U.S. Bishop, Robert Finn, recently declared that the NCR cannot licitly be called Catholic.
On February 13, 2013, in its inimitable style, UCAN reproduced a report, published only a few hours earlier by the liberal-left, New Age-promoting U.S. news web site and blog, The Huffington Post, with the headline, “One way to solve the priest shortage: do away with them“!
This was reported by me the same day in
UCAN WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH THE PRIESTHOOD
In concluding the last referred report, I posed two questions:
1. What is UCAN doing reproducing trash by a dissenting “Catholic” from a New Age blog?
2. When is an Indian bishop or the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India or the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences going to unequivocally condemn this anti-Catholic news agency that calls itself “Catholic”?
I had also asked rhetorically
What does [all] this, in conjunction with all of the other evidence compiled and presented by me, reveal about the true nature of UCAN?
Well, hardly a day later, UCAN was at it again, thus answering our question.
They make it plainly obvious that they have a dual agenda, eliminate the cultic priesthood/ordain women.
Here, UCAN becomes the conduit for a Hindu call to, among other things, ordain women!
New pope should encourage interfaith dialogue: Hindu group
UCAN copied the story from a secular news site within a few hours of its release!!!!!
See my report UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS
On the preceding page, the reader came across the acronym EWA*
in the title of one of my reports. EWA stands for Ecclesia of Women in Asia, the “Forum of Asian Catholic Women Theologians“, a group of women “theologians” whose primary agenda — as I have documented in my first two articles in the women priests series — is the ordination of women. *See also page 5
Another organisation with a similar agenda is EATWOT, the
Ecumenical Association for Third World Theologians.
The cover for EWA and EATWOT and all their deliberations, seminars, conferences and writings is either “gender studies” or concerns about gender violence, exploitation of women, empowerment of women, discrimination against women, “space for Catholic women to have their voices heard, thoughts and reflections articulated” [a favourite refrain], the use of gender-sensitive or inclusive language [in Scripture and the liturgy], the “‘searching’ and ‘finding’ of women’s identity“, and so on. But all of that is a smoke screen for their only true agenda: they want women to be ordained as priests.
Lizares-Bodegon has a page at EWA: http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/profile/SophieLizaresBodegon where she is seen in conversation with Astrid Lobo Gajiwala. See also http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/forum/topics/synthesis-of-ewa-iv-by-astrid?commentId=2228197%3AComment%3A5745 and http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/forum/topics/a-letter-from-judette?commentId=2228197%3AComment%3A5343.
Lizares-Bodegon, a Filipina,
is also a prominent EATWOT member.
I could not find any evidence that she is Catholic, but this is what my search turned up: she is heavily into ecumenical activity under Protestant auspices, and her name turns up around Catholic dissenters and prominent Catholic New Agers. A sampling:
I. From 1983-1996, she was Executive Director, Crossroads Publications Inc. Crossroads publishes books by
i) Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO, the founder of Centering Prayer, which is New Age
ii) Sr. Joan Chittister, a supporter of Call to Action which promotes women priests and feminist theology
iii) Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM,
who is known for his dissent from the teachings of the church. He is on record admitting that he does not adhere to Catholic teaching on contraception, the ordination of women, and homosexuality.
“radical feminist critique of Judeo-Christian “patriarchy” (including the Bible’s references to God in masculine terms), as well as his encouragement of the use of various pagan rituals in devotions he leads (e.g., the enneagram). He is also known for conducting spiritual retreats where men practice ritual nudism.”
II. From 2003-2008, she was Executive Secretary Asia, United Evangelical Mission (UEM), Germany
The United Evangelical Mission (UEM) is a missionary communion of Protestant/Evangelical churches
III. From 2000-2003, she was Member, UEM Council, Vice-Chair and eventually Chair of the Asia Regional Assembly and Asia Regional Board, Member, UEM Human Rights Commission
IV. During the same period, she was Lecturer, Union Theological Seminary.
The Union Theological Seminary is under the
and was famously a center of
liberal Christianity, in addition to “being the birthplace of the
Black Liberation Theology, Womanist Theology and Mujerista Theology movements“.
Some of Union‘s present faculty:
Paul F. Knitter, an ex-priest, now married, was known for his religious pluralism and anti-Catholic stand on abortion. Pope Benedict XVI had criticised his theology years ago, when he was still a Cardinal. The Pope also found Knitter to be New Age. Knitter is one of the theologians who vociferously opposed both Dominus Iesus as well as the Document on New Age.
ii) Daisy L. Machado, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of the History of Christianity; first U.S. Latina ordained in a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Some of Union‘s former faculty:
i) Fr. Raymond E. Brown, S.S.
(1928–1998), a theologian who denied the inerrancy of the whole of Scripture and cast doubt on the historical accuracy of numerous articles of the Catholic faith. Conservatives were angered at his questioning of whether the virginal conception of Jesus could be proven historically.
ii) Fr. Roger Haight SJ, a dissenting theologian who, in 2004, was banned
by the Holy See from teaching.
Lizares-Bodegon‘s theological positions are therefore tainted by Protestantism, liberalism and New Age.
But Lizares-Bodegon also writes regularly for UCAN. Here are 3 of her recent contributions in just 3 weeks:
1. Women’s ordination – the elephant in the room
Church must face up to the issue now
By Sophia Lizares Bodegon, January 25, 2013
To be expelled from friendship circles and driven away from the sources of life is a death sentence.
Few people know this better than India’s Dalits, or Untouchables, who are considered the most polluted and polluting of peoples. Almost 80 percent of Indian Christians have Dalit backgrounds. Many of them are martyrs for the faith, suffering expulsion from their villages. They may not buy food from the village shop, nor can they draw water from the village well.
But there is another looming issue of disunity.
The Catholic Church continues to disqualify half its membership from leadership because they are women and to expel members who challenge that policy.
In a time of prayer for Christian unity, it is an elephant in the room.
Threats of excommunication hang above the heads of clergy, particularly those who support the ordination of women as priests. During this week, Tony Flannery, a Redemptorist Irish priest who has been threatened with excommunication by the Vatican, broke his silence. In a widely-published statement, Flannery declared the centrality of being Catholic to his personal identity.
“No matter what sanctions the Vatican imposes on me I will continue, in whatever way I can, to try to bring about reform in the Church and to make it again a place where all who want to follow Christ will be welcome,” he said. Pointing out how Christ made friends with the outcasts of society, he vowed to continue to oppose “the current Vatican trend of creating a Church of condemnation rather than one of compassion.”
For Flannery, giving up the “freedom of thought, freedom of speech and most especially freedom of conscience is too high a price for me to pay to be allowed to minister in today’s Church.”
In November, the Vatican dismissed Roy Bourgeois, an American priest from the Maryknoll order, for supporting women’s ordinations.
Female theologians such as Elizabeth Johnson have similarly been sanctioned. A day before the Week of Prayer started on January 18, Sri Lankan theologian Tissa Balasuriya passed away. He too supported women’s ordination and is the only Asian to have been excommunicated.
Despite the threats, resolute conversations continue. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) in October, an international group of theologians presented “A Catholic Scholars Declaration,” with a blueprint for “a new system of authority, based on Gospel teaching and genuine co-responsibility as demanded by Vatican II.”
The declaration stressed “standards of openness, accountability and democracy achieved in modern society. Leadership should be seen to be honest and credible; inspired by humility and service; breathing concern for people rather than preoccupation with rules and discipline; radiating a Christ who makes us free; and listening to Christ’s Spirit who speaks and acts through each and every person.”
The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer came from Micah 6:6-8: What does God require of us?” This question refers not just to relationships outside the churches, but also to those within – and those who struggle to remain within.
Clearly, Lizares-Bodegon weighs in on the side of sanctioned and excommunicated priests and nuns.
In the following piece, she questions the “moral authority” of the Catholic Church, apparently forgetting — because of her evangelical exposure — that it is the only Church that derives it directly from Jesus Christ.
She uses the old stick of the cover up, by some bishops, of sexual abuse with which to beat the Church.
Lizares-Bodegon — and UCAN — might take a long, hard and close look at some of the Protestant churches with which she associates, after reading this. I quote a Jewish writer,
The press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.
Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic problem. Source: http://fratres.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/redemption-comes-through-the-jews-jewish-businessman-sam-miller-whaps-anti-catholic-bias-in-news-media-full-text/ By Sam Miller, June 24, 2008
2. Shining a light on the Church’s dark secrets
Without transparency, how can there be moral authority?
By Sophia Lizares Bodegon, February 8, 2013
In the following UCAN article, Lizares-Bodegon pontificates [pun intended] on the new Pope.
3. Not just a new pope, a new Church
The conclave offers an opportunity that must be seized
By Sophia Lizares Bodegon, February 15, 2013
In the Philippines, Asia’s first predominantly Christian country, the line between church and state is oftentimes thin. Thus when the pope abdicates and elections loom for his successor, parallels are quickly drawn. With inimitable Filipino humor, a columnist has asked his readers to “imagine a papal election, Philippine style,” a parody based on the irregularities of Philippine polls from the illegal display of campaign posters to faulty smoke machines that programmed out the wrong colored smoke.
Excitement heightens as it is touted that Antonio Luis Cardinal Tagle counts among the forerunners to succeed Benedict. Tagle would be “a new JP II – though an Asian version and a Filipino version,” says Catholic priest Eliseo Mercado. His preference for Tagle is founded on the hope the new cardinal would communicate that “we Filipinos have a great mission for the entire planet earth!”
Many doubt the youthful Tagle will make it, considering the byzantine Vatican structures and politics that led to the rise and resignation of the current pope. To them it is clear that it is more than just having a new pope, a heroic figure to lead the Church to glory. Embedded in the meron (spectator) culture, however, many Filipinos will be observing how the papabili weigh in on issues of gender and personal ethics such as contraception, sexual abuse, same gender marriage, women’s ordination and
[priestly] celibacy. The cohort that grew up during Vatican II are [sic] now in influential positions to authoritatively advocate for the fresh winds that blew through the Church. They will want to see a new agenda.
Theologian Percy Bacani calls for “a new and determined focus on the social traditions of the Church, if need be the mainstreaming of all the social encyclicals over rubrics and rituals and over the restoration of the bygone days of medieval liturgy and theology and thinking.” Aware of the changing demographic within Catholicism around the world, Bacani says it is “high time to open to the spirit and truly discern new ministries.” He also makes the point that “the call to become ministers beyond the traditional and pledging clerical class is NOT sustainable anymore.”
Flushed with the success of the One Billion Rising campaign, protesting over violence against women, Lilith Usog says “it is high time women’s full participation and leadership in the church be recognized. By full participation, I mean the recognition of women’s gifts as ministers, in education, pastoral work and rituals.”
The call for decentralization and participation resonates with a movement of 150 Catholic scholars across the globe who stress that that the role of the papacy needs to be clearly redefined “in line with Christ’s intentions.” In a declaration issued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, the scholars said that while the pope is “supreme pastor, unifier and prime witness to faith,” this authority must “never obscure, diminish or suppress the authentic authority directly given by Christ to all members of the people of God.”
It is more than just “high time.” For those seeking renewal in the Church, it is kairos, a turning point that must be seized if anything is to happen. Simmering beneath the surface is a call for Vatican III.
Bacani says “we need the incisive reflections from the local churches to contribute and enhance the participation of all, in searching for creative ways of being Church in the 21st century. We need to move away from a eurocentric church to a world church.”
These are the same people of God who were honed in the struggle against repression during the Philippines’ martial law years, when Basic Christian Communities were targeted in counter-insurgency campaigns. These are women whose words have fallen on deaf ears but nevertheless go on resolutely. These are people who use the word “glocal,” reflecting how global and local realities entwine.
The Church must seize the moment, remember who it is and whose it is. If it forgets, it can always refer back to its name – Catholic, Universal, Inclusive – the way God envisioned it to be, God’s reconciled people.
Some of the key words that I have coloured red are indicative of Lizares-Bodegon‘s only real concern – women priests. But naturally, she also dissents from Church teaching on contraception, same-sex marriage and priestly celibacy.
UCAN, a Trojan horse in the Church, especially since its Sep. 2008 take over by liberal Jesuit Fr. Michael Kelly, allies itself to work with liberal and dissenting groups world-wide, out to destroy the Catholic Church from within. Fr. Kelly also controls the now liberal Australia-based Church Resources, http://www.cathnews.com. Bangkok-based UCAN is aligned with anti-Catholic secular forces too, as shown in an earlier report.
In the immediately preceding report, we saw that UCAN was a conduit for a Hindu call to ordain women!
MORE ON THE EWA AND SOPHIA LIZARES-BODEGON
Click on the above link to view a photograph of
Sophia Lizares-Bodegon – with woman priests advocate
in the foreground
EWA 4 CONFERENCE, 26-29 AUGUST 2009, SALESIAN RETREAT HOUSE, HUA HIN, THAILAND
THEME: Practicing Peace: Towards an Asian Feminist Theology of Liberation
Below is a photograph taken at the “Mass”,
Sophie Lizares-Bodegon on September 1, 2009
A Hindu ritual, applying tilak/bindi on the forehead, is being performed by our EWA theologians.
BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON THE FOREHEAD-INDIAN OR HINDU?
EWA “liturgies” appear to be horrible, irreverent aberrations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with unique rubrics, inclusive language, OM chanting and “Shri Ram“s. See text and scandalous pictures, pages 13-15 of
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS
Categories: Ordination of Women Priests Movement in India