The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests joins millions of people across the globe in calling for an end to the Russian government's unprovoked assault against the Ukrainian people. We call for an immediate cease-fire and protection for all engaged in this tragic conflict. We also call for both sides to collaborate on a peaceful resolution that guarantees the sovereignty of the Ukrainian nation.
We offer our prayers and support to all whose lives have been torn apart by this humanitarian crisis.
Our hearts go out to all the victims of war, especially the children, elders and vulnerable Ukrainians, who have had to flee their homeland.
We pray for the people of Russia, who are suffering hardship as a result of economic sanctions, and who may soon be barred from leaving their country.
May world leaders continue to utilize every resource to support a just and lasting peace.
After our prayer-filled wait of many years, the Vatican is now including the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) on its website as a resource for the worldwide 2023 Synod. We are grateful for the support WOC has provided us over the years and we hope that the men at the Vatican and others will come to understand that like them, women are stirred by the Spirit and called to priesthood. With grace, may they realize that the Spirit speaks and works through everyone in all ways, regardless of gender. We thank our brothers at the Vatican for this positive step forward towards a more inclusive Church.
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Response to Pope Francis’s Failure to Revise Canon Law Equating Women’s Ordination with Clergy Sex Abuse
On June 1, 2021 Pope Francis shunned the Spirit’s lead to transform the centuries old patriarchal bias against Catholic women called to priestly ministry. He failed to revise Canon 1329 which equates women’s ordination with the grave crime of clerical sex abuse. This updated Canon continues to reserve the harshest punishment of excommunication for ordained women serving the people of God as liturgical presiders, pastoral ministers, spiritual counsellors, interfaith chaplains and social justice advocates. This misogynist man-made law is a degrading insult not only to women called to Holy Orders but to faithful Catholics everywhere.
The worldwide international Roman Catholic Women Priest Movement is supported by millions of our fellow Catholics who reject the Vatican’s continued discrimination against women from a hierarchical model. Rather, they embrace an inclusive, Christ-centered and Spirit-empowered model of Church as a community of equals where all are welcome to receive Eucharist and other sacraments, including the LGBTIQA, and divorced and remarried population.
Moreover, in recent years, some Catholics in priest-deprived areas have been calling women in their communities to be ordained as well as inviting women priests to serve as sacramental leaders to promote spiritual transformation, restorative justice and social change.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests claims our spiritual authority to ordain women as a prophetic act to lead the Church to live Gospel equality and justice now. We joyfully respond to the Spirit’s call to create new paths for spiritual renewal and structural transformation in our Church that affirm women as equal images of the Divine in our world.
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Responds to Pope Francis’ Letter , “Beloved Amazon”
February 13, 2020
ARCWP Responds to Pope Francis’ Letter , “Beloved Amazon”, Embrace Ordination of Women in Non-Clerical, Circular Model to Achieve the Full Equality of Women in a Global Church!
Pope Francis’ recent letter, Querida Amazonia (“Beloved Amazon”) fails to make the connections between destruction of the earth, poverty and women’s inequality in the Church. We cannot ignore that women’s equal status in sacramental ministry and decision-making in the Church is essential for the voice of God to rise up for justice on our earth now.
While Pope Francis makes the connection between ordination and clericalism, though well-meaning, he is operating out of a male, patriarchal model that diminishes women.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is part of a worldwide movement that ordains women to foster an inclusive church of equals in a non-clerical model of priestly ministry as a prophetic act of justice. We welcome all to the Eucharistic table including LGBTQI and divorced, and are living out a healthy liberated circular model of the sensus fidelium, the Spirit moving through the people of God.
With Mary Magdalene at the tomb, we are Easter Morning people proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel to a world immersed in the heavy chains of patriarchal domination of sexism, capitalism, militarism, and the degradation of our Holy Mother Earth. Embracing the ordination of women in a non-clerical circular model to achieve the full equality of women in a global Church is the only way forward.
RE: 6/18/19 Commentary: “How much corruption can we tolerate in the church before we leave?” by Donald Cozzens
This question can be countered with a more positive one: How much prophetic energy can be imagined by the People of God in order to reform the Church?
Prophets of old were called out from their very ordinary lives to proclaim by their words and actions the fundamental change of heart that must occur in order to realize our Creator’s vision that all may be one. And that prophetic calling set them apart from the current structures of their times.
The Roman Catholic Women Priest Movement has envisioned such a kinship. We love the church and are energized to witness to the prophetic changes that are needed to reform the church. This is a proactive approach, one rooted in a distinct calling requiring courageous action, clear vision, and holy contemplation.
We embrace circular leadership where no one has power over another. All decide on issues and policies that affect the membership. Bishops are elected to perform a function, not to establish lordship. Member-led inclusive faith communities are formed where the ordained serve the People of God. All are welcome to the Eucharistic Table, extending the practice from the Early Church to the present day.
Our calling is to live what we profess and envision—to live what the Spirit has empowered us to become. It is prophetic. As of old, future generations will reap the rewards.
Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP
From: The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Catholic Women Priests Offer Hope During the Sexual Abuse Crisis
February 6, 2019
As Pope Francis engages this February 21-24, 2019 in dealing with the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, we women priests continue to offer a renewed priestly ministry within a new structure of inclusive communities and a new way of being Church.
All are welcome to attend our worshiping communities and to receive Communion. Our new model of ministry can serve as a solution in dealing with the prevention of future sexual abuses. Women priests offer Roman Catholic worshiping communities that are led by the People of God.
We have over 15 years of experience offering a new kind of priesthood that is Roman Catholic, egalitarian, inclusive, evolving, and social justice driven. Our women-priest experiences offer meaningful inclusive liturgies (Masses) in small grassroots communities.
In addition, we preside at baptisms, weddings, and funeral ceremonies. We are engaged in raising social consciousness. We work with all those disenfranchised from the Roman Catholic Church, offering them faith communities, advocacy and spiritual direction.
To put it very simply, the sexual abuses that have taken place in the Roman Catholic Church and are still taking place would never have occurred to the degree they have if women had been involved in priestly ministry and equal leadership in the Church. It is long overdue that the male leadership of the Church acknowledge our wisdom as women priests who are already serving the People of God, and ask for our help to solve the mess into which they have gotten themselves.
Mary Eileen has provided the following response regarding the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s recent guideline on women seeking hysterectomies:
Once again, we confront the arrogance and self-righteousness of the patriarchal church’s position in this purported “ethical guideline” on boundary settings for hysterectomies!
It is entirely unbelievable to the feminine half of the human species that such a guideline could possibly be written without their consultation or consent. Yet sadly, this continues to be the modus operandi within the Roman Catholic hierarchical mindset.
Until churchmen experience an epiphany that opens their minds and hearts to inclusive and egalitarian regard for women, seeking their voice and experience of their feminine nature, being, and wisdom, I see nothing but a dead end on this worn out path these men continue to travel.
Mary Eileen Collingwood
Bishop, serving the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
While attending the Parliament for the World's Religions held in Toronto last month, I was fortunate to have Fred Stella, host of the radio program "Common Threads", approach me for an interview.
Common Threads is a co-production of WGVU Radio and The Interfaith Dialogue Association. Common Threads airs Sundays at 7:00am and 6:30pm on WGVU 88.5 Grand Rapids, 95.3 Muskegon.
You can listen to the full interview as broadcast at these links: Part 1, Part 2
Women priests in Brecksville offer alternative to traditional Roman Catholic Church
by Jacqueline Mitchell - published September 21, 2018
Located in a single room inside the Brecksville United Church of Christ, a group of women is challenging the way the Roman Catholic Church looks at priesthood.
“We’re more like prophetic witnesses in this time,” said the Rev. Mary Eileen Collingwood. “Even if the Vatican does not recognize us, we know that we’re preparing the way forward to open up an avenue for future generations. This is the alternative people have been waiting for.” continue reading
August 22, 2018
Press Release: Response to the Recent Reports of Clergy Child Sex Abuse and Cover up in the RCC:
From: Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP Bishop serving the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Women priests are needed as part of a systemic change in the Roman Catholic Church—building a structure that supports justice and equality.
Our voices need to be heard. We work within a model of circular governance as ordained members within our movement and within the liturgical communities we serve.
Catholics have deserved so much more for a long, long time! Following the prophetic witness of women priests, the church needs to form inclusive faith communities that thrive as all members are honored equally, treat others with compassion, and seek Gospel justice for all.
This crisis that has taken over the world stage is a clarion call for all Catholics to raise their hearts and voices in demanding new structures that place women and men in decision-making roles in our church. Those clerics that are responsible for covering up the sexual abuses of our children by the clergy, and those that engage in corroborative criminal behavior, must be removed now.
It is time for serious reform of these church structures that have protected bishops and the Vatican from accountability.
Accepting women priests and married men will counter the corrupt clerical model that has produced the present ecclesial environment which continues to tolerate cover-ups and pay-offs as the standard fare of conduct.
Pope Francis can name the cause of sexual abuse of children as coming from the evils of clericalism, but he falls short in dismantling that structure through a new model of priestly ministry that includes women.
A structure that includes women and men standing and working together as equals, seeking justice for all in a renewed model of priestly ministry will ultimately be the Church’s salvation.