Saturday, March 26, 2016

Two Years Ago Today: Guest Writer from FutureChurch

From time to time, the Bear makes his blog available to guests representing other perspectives. Today's guest is Portia List, who recently attended the FutureChurch pilgrimage to Rome. (One time the Bear tried to get into the Pontifical Council on Pastoral Needs of Migrant and Itinerant People to raise concerns about treatment of ursine circus workers. They shot him with a tranquilizer dart and he spent the next five years in the Bioparc di Roma bear enclosure. Not that it wasn't great.) 

(Not the author, just a picture from the pilgrimage.)

Goddess Bless! Our 2014 "Back to the FutureChurch" Pilgrimage to Rome was great! From the outset, we wanted this pilgrimage to be different. Not the same old tiresome itinerary of churches and catacombs endorsed by the patriarchy. By the way: did you know one of the Pope's titles was actually Patriarch of the West until 2006? They weren't even trying to hide it! (Could it be that somebody is finally getting the message?)

Anyway, we wanted this pilgrimage to be about us, to "speak truth to power," as they say. We met with several dicasteries in the curia to tell them what Pope Francis meant when he called for a greater role for women. Of course he can't say the o-word in public yet. But we can, and we did, until we were red in the face!*

Everywhere we went they were literally speechless as we educated them about the leadership role of women since the time of Miriam, who led the people of The Divine out of Egypt. (Of course the patriarchy gave all the credit to her dim-witted, stammering, murderer brother Moses, but it's clear from the destroyed original texts who the real boss was!) We spoke to:

  • Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants. The staff member who deals with circus workers was in that day.
  • Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Topic: elimination of guns, especially assault rifles with magazines and those kind of shoulder things.
  • Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. I don't think they realized other denominations ordain women. Case closed!
  • The Congregation for the Clergy (!) The monsignor apologized numerous times for not answering any of our letters, emails, or faxes, but explained it had been really hectic, and I sort of get that. (What with blogging and my para-ministries I have forgotten to pay my electricity bill before. True story!) He actually accepted our petition with 231 signatures to permit non-celibate priests! Are we shaking things up, or what? (Inside joke I'll share here. We did not specify male priests. So, in a way, the Vatican has already accepted the idea of women priests!)

There were several others, but on to the Big News! We got a favorable story on official Vatican Radio! Do you think just anyone gets that sort of treatment? HEAR ME ROAR!

I want everyone to visit the FutureChurch website so you can see for yourself the kind of bold newold directions A Very Special Someone is endorsing. Because do you think we would get a favorable writeup from the official Vatican radio station if somebody didn't agree with us? ;-)

Sad to say, all was not respectful to women and LGBTQ persons. A peaceful candlelight femenstration in favor of women's ordination in St. Peter's Basilica was suppressed, supposedly over concern about "wax dripping on the floor." We can't help but wonder if the Pope had a candle if they would stop him.

Also, the Basilica of St. Clement has a fresco of St. Catherine debating theology. Yet the guidebook only shows part of the fresco -- the part that "happens" to have men in it. Coincidence? I dont think so. Another tragic example of how women are literally erased from Church history. And the few records of the earliest Christian women are literally buried in catacombs, far from the light of day.

Women are ignored and degraded by the Church, or, on the other hand, virginalized, idealized and pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die-ized. But real women are your mothers, your sisters, your wives and your lovers. Your grandmothers, your aunts, your cousins and neighbors. [Many additional examples edited for space reasons - Bear.] So why not your priests?

Anyway, that's all the space Mr. Bear will give me. Please support the ordination of women and all of our Vatican tacitly-approved initiatives!

*by "o-word" the Bear assumes the author is speaking of ordination


  1. Speaking for myself--a born and bred Californian girl (L.A. and San Francisco), hence a very open person, (and atheist most of my life) there is no way I would support women's ordination. A major factor is confession, I would drive to another state for reconciliation if the only 'priest' locally was a woman.

    As for including women in Church history, what other church has literally hundreds of women saints? And in virtually all religious buildings? (At minimum a statue of Mary!) Further, please don't blame just the Church for women not being written into much of its history--that is universal to all recorded history, religious or secular!

    Start your own Church. Please.

    1. True. I would likewise go a long way to avoid confessing to a woman.


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