Saturday, November 29, 2008

MOCEOP Statement of Solidarity with Fr. Roy Bourgeois

The Spanish married priests support organization, Movimiento por el Celibato Opcional (MOCEOP) has issued a statement of support for Fr. Roy Bourgeois. English translation by Rebel Girl.

We are convinced, as are many theologians, that prohibiting women's access to priestly ministry has no Biblical or theological basis. Moreover there is a lot of documentary and archaeological evidence that demonstrates the ministry of some women in the first Christian communities as priests and even as bishops, as in the case of "Teodora Episcopa".

This discrimination against women relative to the ordained ministry seems to us today to be unacceptable discrimination and it represents one more manifestation of the patriarchy that we should uproot from our Church and Christian communities. Today, we unite with all the voices in society and in the Church that are calling for equality between men and women on all levels and we believe that this is not the time to resolve differences between members of the Church through excommunication, but rather through communion, respect for diversity, and mutual dialog.

We think that the Church hierarchy should reconsider these intransigent and authoritarian positions, which belong to other eras than the times in which we live, and which we deem to be abusive and anti-Gospel.

At the same time we are asking for priestly ministry in the Church to be changed, so that it is no longer an autonomous class strata and a group of experts and specialists with personal power who usurp the community, the whole "priestly people." Jesus never wanted to organize a movement based on a priestly plan, much less a clerical one.

We also regret the condemnations of numerous theologians -- most recently the cases of Pagola and Ariel Álvarez, and we are also asking for a reconsideration of their records and an attitude of dialog with them since they are theologians who are doing a lot of good for thousands and thousands of Christians throughout the world through their efforts to bring the Bible and the figure of Jesus closer to humanity today. Those who wish to express their support for Father Roy Bourgeois can do it here: [Editor's Note: This excellent contemporary theological forum is in Spanish]. We believe that now is not the time for Inquisition and anathema, but for brotherhood, dialog and communion.

Juan Cejudo Caldelas.

Movimiento por el Celibato Opcional. Cádiz

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