We Are Church groups throughout the world thank Pope Francis for his address, which they consider to be extremely important.
Here, courtesy of Zenit.org, is a translation of the Pope’s address Tuesday to participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements, organized and promoted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and with the Directors of several Movements.
He met with the group in the Old Hall of the Synod.
Again, good morning.
I am happy to be among you; moreover, I will share a confidence with you: this is the first time I have come down here; I had never come here before. As I was saying, I am very happy and I give you a warm welcome.
Thank you for accepting the invitation to discuss so many grave social problems that afflict the world today – you who suffer inequality and exclusion in your own flesh. Thank you to Cardinal Turkson for his hospitality. Thank you, Eminence, for your work and your words.
This meeting of Popular Movements is a sign, it is a great sign: you have come to put in the presence of God, of the Church, of peoples, a reality that is often silenced. The poor not only suffer injustice but they also struggle against it!
We thank Vatican News for this information
The World Meeting of Popular Movements has issued a statement at the beginning of their three day conference in Rome, which begins on Monday.
The culture of encounter at the service of poor people and poor nations
As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality (inequidad) is the root of social ills.1
The thinking of Pope Francis, and how he has constantly accompanied the excluded in their struggles and their efforts to organize, have inspired and motivated us to hold this World Meeting of Popular Movements. We wish to bring to God, to the Church and to the world the voice of the voiceless. Not so that they raise their voice no more, but because they are silenced by those who hold economic power. We wish to practice the culture of encounter in the service of poor persons, of poor peoples and of this poor Church for the poor which, together with the Holy Father, we all long for. We want to listen to one other, to judge and to act on the basis of the lived experience of those sectors most seriously assaulted in their dignity by social injustice, by an economy of exclusion and by an idolatrous system of money. Together we want to discuss the structural causes of so much inequality (inequidad) which robs us of work (labor), housing (domus) and land (terra), which generates violence and destroys nature. We also want to face the challenge Francis himself sets puts to us with courage and intelligence: to seek radical proposals to resolve the problems of the poor.
From Women's Ordination Conference (USA)
On Tuesday, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith told L'Osservatore Romano newspaper"above all we have to clarify that we are not misogynists, we don't want to gobble up a woman a day!"
The Vatican is not misogynistic???
We beg to differ. And we have proof.
Introducing our newest video project: Vatican: It's A Man's World. Throughout this video you will hear just a small sampling of misogynistic quotes from the hierarchy. Please watch, share, and help us raise awareness about sexism in the Roman Catholic Church.
What you have just heard are quotes from:
Pope Francis, July 20, 2013
Pope Francis, May 12, 2014
Canon Law 1024
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 2013
Signed by Pope Benedict XVI, Normae de gravioribus delictis 2010
Pope Francis, La Stampa December 14, 2013
Pope Francis, Big Open Heart to God September 30, 2013
Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, May 29, 2008
Pope Francis, On Heaven and Earth 2010
"It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Polydor Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Women's Ordination Conference
An English rendering of report 37719. ROME-ADISTA.
Last May the Bishop of Innsbruck, Manfred Scheuer, with the consent of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, excommunicated Gerd and Martha Heizer for celebrating the Eucharist in their own home without the presence of an Ordained Priest. (see Adista News nos 20,21 and 24/14. Martha, Chairperson of the International Movement We Are Church, and her husband have consistently said the excommunication was canonically incorrect.
Now, in support of their concern, Francesco Zanchini, former professor of Canon Law at the Faculty of Law in Teramo, publishes an authoritative and detailed essay in “Stato, Chiese e pluralismo confessionale”, the journal of the State University of Milan, http://www.statoechiese.it/images/stories/2014.7/zanchinim_o_roma.pdf
He reflects on Can. 1378 §2 in connection with the case against Martha Heizer and offers a documented analysis of the obvious illegality of the measure from a purely canonical point of view.
First of all, the Canon Lawyer writes, it should be pointed out that the bishop of Innsbruck, initially identified as the main person responsible for the canonical process against the Austrian couple, acted as a delegate of Rome and thus the responsibility for the excommunication lies with the highest Church authorities. It is the Vatican, therefore, that we have to judge over the declaration of excommunication latae sententiae against Martha Heizer for an alleged breach of Can. 1389 § 2. A charge of which Mrs Heizer can clearly be presumed innocent. The rule addresses those who “attempts the liturgical action of the Eucharistic sacrifice though not promoted to the sacerdotal order”. It has been a long tradition in the application of Canon Law that this would apply to a male, attired in liturgical vestments, proceeding to the altar with the presumed intention of confecting the Eucharist.
In accordance with this tradition, Martha Heizer never made an "attempt” to present herself as a Ministerial Priest so did not offend in this regard. Such intention cannot be ascribed to her. On the contrary she was celebrating with friends in her home in order to emphasize the need to revise the institution of the Ordained Ministry. Many believers, especially in Northern Europe, join her in the opinion that any Christian community is empowered by Jesus to share Bread and Wine in His memory. The absurdity of the accusation, as well as the nullifying the Dicastery’s statement about the latae sententiae excommunication of the victim of this monumental misunderstanding, makes further comment superfluous.
For completeness, Zanchini adds, however, it should be stressed that the rule under which it was decided to excommunicate Mrs Heizer and her husband stood in absolute continuity with the past; which increases one’s surprise at the incompetence of the staff of the Congregation in handling such matters while jealously claiming to offer the expertise that should be experienced.
Zanchini detects, for example as in the previous Code of Canon Law, promulgated in 1917 and in force until 1983, Can. 2322
“Ad ordinem sacerdotalem non promotus:
1.* Si Missae celebrationem simulaverit aut sacramentalem confessionem exceperit, excommunicationem ipso facto contrahit, speciali modo Sedi Apostolicae reservatam; et insuper laicus quidem privetur pensione aut munere, si quod habeat in Ecclesia, aliisque poenis pro gravitate culpae puniatur; clericus vero deponatur;”
Even going back to the sources of canonical tradition, "the situation remains constant" and the regulations always hit first, and with insistence, the figure of a deacon, a fortiori the altar subordinate to him (sub-deacon). The primary intent is to preserve the person (bishop or priest) destined to preside over the assembly of worship. Only later- emphasizes Zanchini- to this requirement was added another, however secondary and moralistic, to discredit the validity of an act committed by turpem dolum sacrilegum (filthy fraudulent impiety), that was not traceable in the term "simulation" in the code of 1917. That term, explains the Canon Lawyer, noted the peculiar evil of consistent offence, in accordance with the doctrine of the time, in which the parish community were present at an “idolatrous” ritual without being aware of it. They could not be held guilty.
For all these reasons Zanchini discounts "with absolute certainty any and all pre-sentencing statements, made recently by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against Mrs Martha Heizer." Heizer was not a Deacon; she was not pretending to be ordained and none of those present at the celebrations was ever mislead as to the meaning of the liturgies in which they participated.”
For Zanchini, then, on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now rests the obligation to restore the good reputation of the defendant(s), even to the extent of Can. 1390 § 2 (A person who offers an ecclesiastical superior any other calumnious denunciation of a delict or who otherwise injures the good reputation of another can be punished with a just penalty, not excluding a censure. §3. A calumniator can also be forced to make suitable reparation.). This also pertains because the Eucharist without priests is poised to become, in the current climate of Catholicism, a question stantis aut cadentis Ecclesiae (necessary for the Church to survive). And this is the lesson - continues Zanchini - which we can draw from the epilogue to this latest storm in a teacup, imposed by Card. Müller on our Christian patience.
Dr Martha Heizer and her husband, Gerd, will no longer be able to receive Communion at Mass in the Roman Catholic Church because they and their group celebrated the Eucharist together without a Ministerial Priest being present.
There are a variety of opinions within the We Are Church movement about this and so response has been left to individual national groups.
Statements by We Are Church groups
Wir sind Kirche Austria - Vertrauen für Martha Heizer grosse Richtungsdiskussion angesagt
Wir sind Kirche Deutschland - Zur Exkommunikation durch Bischof Scheuer
Wir sind Kirche Austria - Martha remains in the Chair
We Are Church Ireland - Support for Martha Heizer
0gså vi er kirken, Norway - Sad News
We Are Church - France - Soutien à Martha et Gert Heizer suite à la décision d’excommunication
Vi är kyrka - Sweden - FÖR VÄKS HEMSIDA
Katolsk Vision - Sweden - Excommunication clarifies the differences of opinion within Wir sind Kirche movements
Vi Er 0gså Kirken, Denmark - A commentary on excommunication of Martha Heizer
Nous Sommes aussi l'Eglise, France - La présidente du mouvement international Nous Sommes Eglise excommuniée
We Are Also Church, South Africa - Statement regarding the excommunication of Martha Heizer.
Statements and Comments by others
For All Eternity - Statement by Dr Thomas Plankensteiner, founding Chairman of We Are Church in Austria.
Commentary by Dr Paul Collins (Catholica)