Nov 19, 2011

To Tip The Bushel of Oppression

Thanks to Bishop Richard Mickley and Fr. John Churchman of The Diocese of One Spirit for this beautiful Advent Ritual Prayer.  
An alternative Advent Ritual
Rather than lighting candles during Advent,
Let us instead overturn bushel baskets
To let our lights shine for all to see
Recognizing that those sitting atop our bushels,
Including Church hierarchy,
Will be upset when they are tipped
But that if enough of our lights are exposed,
We can cancel darkness forever,
Including that within the Church.
John Chuchman
Out from Under the Bushel
To Tip the Bushel of Oppression
to Let the Lights of Our God-Given Gifts Shine
for All to see
upsetting those seated atop,
We Pray.

For Women called to Full Church Ministry, including Priesthood
the bushel of being labeled not selected by Christ
be removed
so they may fulfill their call,
We Pray

For the Married, Divorced, and Remarried
the bushel of being labeled as living in sin
be removed
so they may be seen as fully sacramental,
We Pray.

For Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered
the bushel of being labeled intrinsically disordered
be removed
so they may be seen as equal to all others as in God's eyes,
We Pray.

For the Married Men called to Priesthood
the bushel of being labeled not capable
be removed
so they may fulfill their call,
We Pray.

For the Priests not called to Celibacy
the bushel of forced celibacy
be removed
so they may gain the intimacy they deserve and need,
We pray.

For those who are Not Catholic
the bushel of being labeled followers of a defective religion
be removed
so all may be welcome at all liturgies, rituals, and tables,
We Pray.

For the Laity who ARE Church
the bushel of being labeled less than the ordained
be removed
so they may BE Church fully,
We Pray

For All Those with Gifts Under a Bushel of Oppression
the bushels be removed,
no matter how high the hierarchy sitting atop
so the Lights of their Gifts may shine
for All,
We Pray.

To dare to dream, to make dreams reality,
We pray.

To believe in the power of the Holy Spirit
working within her daughters and sons to recreate, to re-inspire,
to regenerate the universal church,
We Pray.

With Love, John Chuchman
aka Bushel Tipper
This reflection is also published on John Chuchman's blog.

Nov 7, 2011


Thanks once again to Bridget Mary's Blog for this revolutionary news from Vienna. Lay Catholics will begin to celebrate the Eucharist on their own in priestless parishes. This is just the kind of prophetic act the Church needs in this time of crisis to highlight the fact that the hierarchy, who have become mere bureaucratic administrators of  Church 'buildings' and little more (except as signs of contradiction), do not possess some charismatic superiority, some special supernatural power,  that elevates them above the laity. It is this misinformed adulation and 'idolization' of hierarchical power that the community called Church needs to purge from its body, this powerful addiction to sacral power residing exclusively in specially blessed male leaders. This act, if carried out, has implications far more profound than simply providing a solution to the priest shortage. The very system of clericalism needs to go and nothing less than a shock of this magnitude will effect such a profound purification. Blessings upon the We Are Church group in Vienna.

VIENNA Mon Nov 7, 2011 

(Reuters) - "Dissident Austrian Catholics announced lay people will start celebrating Mass when a priest is unavailable, a clear call to disobedience just as the country's bishops hold their autumn conference.

A manifesto adopted by dozens of activists at the weekend said lay people will preach, consecrate and distribute communion in priestless parishes, said Hans Peter Hurka, head of the group We Are Church.

"Church law bans this. The question is, can Church law overrule the Bible? We are of the opinion, based on findings from the Second Vatican Council, that this (ban) is not possible," he said Monday...
Schoenborn, a former student and close associate of Pope Benedict, has ruled out sweeping changes demanded by dissident priests led by his former deputy, Rev. Helmut Schueller...The group, which claims to represent about 10 percent of the Austrian clergy, has challenged Church teaching on taboo topics such as priestly celibacy and women's ordination..."

"...A record 87,000 Austrians left the Church in 2010, many in reaction to sexual abuse scandals."
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Tom Heneghan)


Nov 5, 2011

Ricky Martin, father of twin boys, to Marry in Catholic Spain

And on a more cheerful note, pop singer Ricky Martin has just been granted Spanish citizenship, by means of a letter of naturalization, "issued in special circumstances because of his personal and professional links with Spain."  

Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Martin sought citizenship in order to marry boyfriend Carlos Gonzalez Abella, with whom he is bringing up his twin three-year-old sons.

Read the full story here at Pink News. 

Always nice to remember that Catholic Spain was the third country in the world to grant same sex marriages in 2005, helping to spark a world wide trend.

The sight of this high profile celebrity holding up his twin sons, Matteo and Valentino is also uplifting to the heart. Here are his comments on 'hands-on' parenting:

Discussing his hands-on parenting:

“I don’t have a nanny,” he says. “I’m doing this on my own because I don’t want to miss a moment. I have a personal assistant who helps me, someone who takes care of me while I’m taking care of them, but I’m the one who changes the diapers, the one that feeds them, the one that bathes them, the one that puts them to sleep. Then it starts all over again! I created structure for their eating and sleeping patterns — sometimes they cry at the same time, too. For any parent, the first couple of months tend to get a little bit intense. With twins, it’s double the love. But it also means I don’t get much sleep.”

What a wonderful comment, "With twins it's double the love," and what an inspiring role model for gay men everywhere.

“I’ve had many highlights in my life, but being a father has been the most amazing so far,” the singer shares. “I started this with a lot of love in my heart. I don’t think any other experience will ever get close.”
Read the full story here at PEOPLE. 

Ricky's comment about his soon-to-be husband, Carlos Gonzalez Abella:

My partner, my boyfriend is very sexy, very smart, very compassionate, but the most important thing [is] he loves my children. It’s very beautiful. Super cool. I am very happy.”

Nov 1, 2011

Police association calls for homophobic recording of Stuart Walker murder

In further developments in the Stuart Walker slaying, the UK Gay Police Association, an organization that specifically represents the needs and interests of lesbian and gay police employees in the United Kingdom, has called for the recording of the Stuart Walker murder as an explicit homophobic attack. Finally, some one has seen the light. I've been surprised at how few gay voices have picked up on this case, especially since the reticence of the police to name the attack as a hate crime only acts as a deterrent in preventing such evidence to surface - exactly the point of the UK Gay Police Association. A young eighteen year old neighbor boy has been arrested in connection with the case. The GPA was moved to make it's statement by evidence that Stuart Walker had been robbed and sexually assaulted before his death, then subjected to a ferocious beating before being set on fire. How could any impartial observer not view this as a hate crime?

Read the full story here at Pink News.