When asked why she has chosen to be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest — thus breaking the Catholic Church's ban on the ordination of women and crossing the threshold of formal excommunication — Anne Tropeano's response is simple.
"God is asking me to do this," she says. "God is calling me to be ordained in the Roman Catholic tradition and to work for justice."
Tropeano, whose use of the moniker "Father Anne" has helped attract wide coverage of her coming Oct. 16 ordination ceremony from various secular media outlets, including The New Yorker magazine, portrays her choice as part of a long spiritual journey.
Read a book review of Jill Peterfeso's study of the womenpriests movement, which assesses the complicated interrogation of patriarchal inheritance, Catholic identity and feminism.
In a commentary for NCR, contributor David DeCosse writes about what wasn't said at the Sept. 8 homily by Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez to mark the 250th anniversary of the San Gabriel Mission. Tongva tribal members had begun the outdoor service with incense, flute and incantation, followed by Gomez speaking of his effort to imagine the choices faced by Junípero Serra and the Franciscans who founded the California missions.
"But it was as if the indigenous were accorded a ceremonial presence but not a substantial one," DeCosse writes. "Gomez finished musing on the hard choices of the missionaries and moved on. He made no mention of the choices faced by the indigenous in the time of Serra as they contemplated the offer of Christian faith conditioned by the coerced loss of their land, way of life and culture."
The celebration and homily also marked the beginning of the jubilee year in the Los Angeles Archdiocese of Los Angeles — set to go until September 2022 — which has the worthy goal, writes DeCosse, of renewing faith in a missionary spirit. "But it remains within the framework of personal piety alone, not historical redress," he says.
Antoine de Tarlé comments on the devastating report on 70 years of sexual abuse in the French church by at least 3,000 clerics and laypeople working for Catholic organizations.
A federal judge has sided with the far right-wing Catholic group Church Militant in its quest to overturn the city of Baltimore's cancellation of its planned protest during the U.S. bishops' meeting there this November.