Friday, June 20, 2014

Argentine priests group faults U.S. court ruling on the country's debt

Religión Digital (English translation by Rebel Girl)
June 19, 2014

About the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States requiring Argentina to pay the "usurious and impossible" debt to the vulture funds, Curas en la Opción por los Pobres ["Priests in the Option for the Poor"] warns that this ruling pushes the country "to the point where it's no longer enough to meet the payments that were agreed upon with 92% of creditors. It's not enough for them. They want everything!"

"They also want our sovereignty, and as Christians and Argentinians we can't accept it," they stressed in a press release.

They also said that paying what the creditors are demanding "would jeopardize jobs, health, education and pensions."



Noting that "the serious problem here is not only the speculative greed of the vulture funds but that their actions have been perfectly legal," they added. "That something is legal does not necessarily imply that it is morally acceptable. It is not morally acceptable for a country to pay its debts with conditions that condemn it to bankruptcy and destitution."

The priests' group recalled that Pope Francis recently stated that "big world economies sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money," so that "it's impossible to go on tolerating financial markets determining the fate of the people."

"The basic problem is the liberal capitalist system that rewards speculators and condemns those who work, that puts in place immoral laws squeezed thoroughly by the usury experts," it added.

The Catholic priests argued that "what is at stake in this dramatic bid is who rules the world -- the countries and their democratic governments or the markets with their money?" So they denounced "this sin that cries to heaven knowing that it will make our people suffer, especially the poor, and so many who see in our country a mirror of their future."

They also supported "the decision of the Argentinian government to pay its debts without compromising the country's growth and the inclusion and expansion of rights for the poorest and weakest."

Finally, the group rejected "as out of place the brilliant advice of many journalists, politicians and economists complicit in this fraudulent debt from the '76 dictatorship until the end of the 90s" and said it hopes there will soon be "a word from our pastors, too long awaited, knowing that God has placed the life of His people on them."

Full text of the letter:

Against the brutal greed of foreign creditors

To public opinion and our communities:

With regard to the recent decision of the New York Court that forces our country to pay a debt -- one that had been restructured and begun to be paid off -- in a usurious and impossible way to the vulture funds, we Curas en la Opción por los Pobres want to say a word to our communities.

The so-called "vulture funds" didn't make any investments in our country, they have brought nothing to our soil, and they're demanding bonds they bought at a shabby price when the nation was already bankrupt. If Argentina were to pay in this way this debt that was incurred in earlier infamous times, it would jeopardize the jobs of our parents and brothers and sisters, the health of the most fragile populations, the level of education reached by our historically excluded children and youth, and the pensions of our grandparents who so concern our people. All that has been rightfully achieved with great effort in recent years would go up in smoke.

This ruling pushes us to the point where it's no longer enough to meet the payments that were agreed upon with 92% of creditors. It's not enough for them. They want everything! They also want our sovereignty, and as Christians and Argentinians we can't accept it.

It should be pointed out that the serious problem here is not only the speculative greed of the vulture funds but that their actions have been perfectly legal. That something is legal does not necessarily imply that it is morally acceptable. It is not morally acceptable for a country to pay its debts with conditions that condemn it to bankruptcy and destitution. As Pope Francis has specifically stated recently, "big world economies sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money," so that "it's impossible to go on tolerating financial markets determining the fate of the people." The basic problem is the liberal capitalist system that rewards speculators and condemns those who work, that puts in place immoral laws squeezed thoroughly by the usury experts.

We think that what is at stake in this dramatic bid is who rules the world -- the countries and their democratic governments or the markets with their money?

So we denounce this sin that cries to heaven knowing that it will make our people suffer, especially the poor, and so many who see in our country a mirror of their future.

We support the decision of the Argentinian government to pay its debts without compromising the country's growth and the inclusion and expansion of rights for the poorest and weakest.

We reject as out of place the brilliant advice of many journalists, politicians and economists complicit in this fraudulent debt from the '76 dictatorship until the end of the '90s.

And we look forward soon to a word from our pastors, too long awaited, knowing that God has placed the life of His people on them.

Grupo de Curas en la Opción por los Pobres
June 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stagnating

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
June 22, 2014

John 6:51-58

Pope Francis has been repeating that fear, doubt, and lack of boldness can block at its roots the impulse to renewal that the Church needs today. In his exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, he even says that if we remain paralyzed by fear, we may once again "become mere onlookers as the Church gradually stagnates."

His words make us think. What can we see among us? Are we mobilizing to revive the faith of our Christian communities or are we still settled in that "fruitless stagnation" Francis is talking about? How can we find the strength to react?

One of the great contributions of the Council was promoting the movement from the "Mass" understood as an individual obligation to fulfill a sacred precept to the "Eucharist" experienced as a joyful celebration of the whole community to nourish its faith, grow in brotherhood, and rekindle its hope in Christ.

Certainly, we have made great strides over the years. Long past are those Latin Masses in which the priest "said" Mass and Christian people came to "hear" the Mass and "attend" the celebration. But are we not celebrating the Eucharist in a routine and boring way?

There is one undeniable fact. People are moving away unstoppably from Sunday practice because they don't find in our celebrations the atmosphere, clear language, expressive rites and stimulating welcome they need to feed their weak and wavering faith.

Surely, all of us -- pastors and believers -- have to ask what we're doing so that the Eucharist might be, as the Council wished, "the source and summit of Christian life." But is the good will of the parishes or the isolated creativity of some enough without other renewal yardsticks?

The Lord's Supper is too important for us to let it go on "being missed," as "onlookers" upon "fruitless stagnation." Isn't the Eucharist the center of Christian life? How can the hierarchy stay so quiet and still? Why don't we believers show our concern and grief more strongly?

The problem is serious. Should we go on "mired" in a kind of Eucharistic celebration that holds so little attraction for men and women today? Is the liturgy that we've been repeating for centuries the one that can best help us make current Jesus' memorable supper where the core of our faith is wonderfully concentrated?

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Roman Catholic woman bishop for Midwest Region of RCWP

On June 22, 2014, Rev. Nancy L. Meyer (photo) of Brownsburg, Indiana, will become the latest RCWP bishop. Rev. Meyer, who was ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest in 2010, was elected by the members of the Midwest Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests to succeed Bishop Regina Nicolosi who is retiring. Seven bishops will perform the ceremony, which will take place at Calvary United Methodist Church in Brownsburg, including Bishop Regina who will preside, with four other bishops from the United States, one from Canada and one from Austria.

According to her biography on the RCWP Midwest Region website, Bishop-elect Meyer, who was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, holds a Masters in Spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a BS in Biology from Marian (College) University. She has a certificate from Washington Theological Union in Theological Studies and a certificate in Pastoral Family Life from the College of Mt. St. Joseph. She was ordained a deacon in August, 2009, and a priest in May, 2010. Prior to becoming a Roman Catholic woman priest, Meyer was a pastoral associate at the Catholic Community of St. Christopher in Indianapolis, working with RCIA, marriage preparation, women's spirituality, outreach and with refugees especially those from Sudan. As a Sister of St. Francis, she taught in the secondary schools and was vocation director, postulant director and associate vocation director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Meyer facilitates a home church community and is a member of the program coordinator team for the Midwest Region. You can read some of her homilies on the St. Mary of Magdala Catholic Community website.

Marguerite Porete

By José Arregi (English translation by Rebel Girl)
El blog de José Arregi
June 10, 2014

On Sunday June 1st, I recalled with emotion the memory of Saint Marguerite Porete, a holy woman whom no pope has beatified or canonized yet. We know almost nothing of her life but what little we know reveals an extraordinary woman, at a crucial time in Europe in which the hierarchy of the Catholic Church failed to understand the signs of the times and ended up losing the path of God and the world, which it has not yet rediscovered. Marguerite Porete found it and followed it to the end, despite everything, with great determination and fortitude.

The crusades against Islam were yielding to the crusade against heretics. Emperors with aspirations to papacy and popes with imperial aspirations fought among each other, each one clinging more to power and the past. Groups and movements towards returning to the Gospel of Jesus proliferated -- poor men and women, itinerants and brothers, non-canonical and outside monastery walls. A mystical women's theology in the vernacular made its way against male clerical scholastic theology, which was written in Latin: Hildegard of Bingen, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Beatrice of Nazareth, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich, Angela of Foligno, Marguerite d'Oingt...

In the cities of Holland, Germany and Flanders, the "Beguines" multiplied, women who wanted to live a deep spiritual life that was both contemplative and active outside the established framework of religious life, free from walled convents and rules approved by male clerical authority. The Council of Vienne condemned the movement in 1312.

Marguerite Porete belonged to that movement. A native of the Hainaut region (Belgium), she was a woman of deep mystical experience, vast theological education, and brilliant literary gifts. She wrote a book in Old French titled The Mirror of Simple Souls, in the form of a dialogue between Lady Soul, Lady Love (God) and Reason, and other personifications such as "Holy Spirit" and "Saint Church the Small" (the hierarchical Church). It captivated many people, men and women, whether simple or educated.

It was theology in the feminine, taught by a woman. And she taught -- what boldness and danger! -- a mystical path to radical freedom, "the just freedom of pure Love." She taught that every human being can love Love to the point of not wanting anything more than God's love, to the point of "being of God and in God", being one with God, to the point of being "less than nothing" in order to be nothing less than God. She taught that "Love and these Souls are one and the same thing and not two, since that would imply discord, but they are a single thing and so they are concord." She taught that for those who have reached this stripped down plenitude, all forms are excessive -- morality and laws, dogmas and theology. Everything we think about is excessive, and even "the Gospels and Scriptures" to the extent they are texts and word, are unnecessary.

Those of us who still haven't reached this complete nakedness, says Lady Soul, continue to seek God "in the monasteries through prayers, in created paradises, in the words of men and in the Scriptures," or we think that God "is found subject to His sacraments and His works." On the other hand, the Soul that only loves, says Love, "is free, more free, very free, sublimely free at its root, in its trunk, in all its branches and in all the fruits of its branches." It no longer "seeks God through penance, or through any sacrament of the Holy Church, or through thoughts, words, or deeds." And, "if it doesn't want to, it doesn't answer to anyone who isn't of its lineage." How risky!

In 3006, the book was condemned and burned in the public square of Valenciennes in Marguerite's presence, and she was prohibited from preaching or writing her ideas under penalty of excommunication. She continued teaching what she had experienced and making copies of the book, the mirror of her soul. In 3008, she was arrested. She refused to appear before the General Inquisitor or take the oath of rigor or answer any charges. The Inquisitor excommunicated her and jailed her until she made a retraction. She didn't make a retraction.

On Monday, June 1, 1310, she was burned alive in a bonfire in front of the Paris city hall. "And then the country of freedom appeared," as she had written in her book.

Thought is no longer of worth to me,
nor work, nor speech.
Love draws me so high
(thought is no longer of worth to me)
with her divine gaze,
that I have no intent.
Thought is no longer of worth to me,
nor work nor speech...

Lover, you have grasped me in your love,
to give me your great treasure,
that is, the gift of your own self,
which is divine goodness.
heart cannot express this,
but willing pure nothingness purifies [the heart],
which makes me climb so high,
by union in concordance,
which I ought never to reveal...

Truth declares to my heart
that I am loved by One alone,
and she says that it is without return
that He has given me His love.
This gift kills my thought
by the delight of His love,
which delight lifts me and transforms me throughout union
Into eternal joy of the being of divine Love...

And Divine Love tells me that she has entered within me,
and so she can do whatever she wills,
such strength she has given me,
from One Lover whom I possess in love
to whom I am betrothed,
who wills that He loves,
and for this I will love Him...

I have said that I will love Him.
I lie, for I am not.
it is He alone who loves me:
He is, and I am not;
and nothing more is necessary to me
than what he wills,
and that He is worthy.
He is fullness,
and by this am I impregnated.
This is the divine seed and Loyal Love...


(excerpts from Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls, ch. 122)