A better way

on behalf of the children

and the facts of their lives

A broken social system is not a suitable environment in which to raise children

A healthy and well adjusted child requires a healthy and well adjusted environment in which to grow

There are no better educated minds in regards the prevention and survival of sexual abuse than those who have both prevented and survived.

MBS :: USA Underground worship


Underground worship

NEW YORK — Ten years ago, James Callan’s world turned upside down. He had been a priest for 22 years at Corpus Christi Church in Rochester, N.Y., but was ousted for supporting gay unions, female priests and communion for non-Catholics. Two months later, the newly conservative diocese demanded that Mary Ramerman, then associate pastor of the church, step down from the altar because she was a woman. After refusing, she was fired. The following Sunday, 1,200 people came to church to protest.

Together, they decided to break away from the traditional rigid structure and form Spiritus Christi, an "underground church" that follows the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, but is not restricted by the demands of Rome. They are part of a new form of worship, where women are free to take leadership roles, married men can be priests,and many support gay unions as well as communion for non-Catholics.These underground churches, or gatherings of people who have broken away from the Catholic Church to form their own independent churches,believe in an inclusive, progressive environment for worship. Some rent church space from other denominations, but most gather for services in people’s homes.

"Up until now, it was love it or leave it," said Kathleen Kautzer, a sociologist at Regis College who studies the movement. "Now there’s a third way. You can remain connected, you can work for change in the church, but you can practice Catholicism on your own terms."

Though officially unrecognized, there are now around 300 to 400 such churches, at least half of which have started in the last decade by Catholics disenchanted by the growing conservative nature of the church, said Kautzer. That number continues to grow.

Spiritus Christi now has a following of 1,500 people, up from 1,100 when it started in 1999. The church, which now has satellite churches in Rochester, Buffalo and Elmira, N.Y., is the largest underground church in the country. After Ramerman was ordained, "there’s been a flood of ordination of women, and some men" who are married, Callan said. Now, there are national organizations of female priests and married priests. Callan describes it as "a transformation of the church from below rather than from above."

Though it is no secret that more people have been shying away from traditional religion, a March 2008 Pew survey on religion and public life found that "Catholicism has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes." Although 31 per cent of the Americans surveyed were raised in the Catholic faith, only 24 per cent described themselves as Catholic.

A number of factors are driving this trend. Though the church began to liberalize in the 1960s under Pope John XXIII, every pope since has moved toward a more conservative ideology. The current pope, Benedict XVI, is the most conservative of all, showing no flexibility regarding celibacy, homosexuality and bans on the ordination of women

Sexual abuse scandals, which came to light in 2002, are also feeding this move. According to a March 2008 report commissioned by the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, nearly 14,000 molestation claims have been filed against the Catholic clergy since 1950, resulting in a total payout of $2.3 billion. In 2007 alone, total abuse related costs exceeded $615 million. These payouts, as well as the declining attendance at Mass, caused many parishes throughout the country to close.

Disgusted by the scandals in the church, some Catholics began searching for new ways to express their beliefs while retaining their Catholic identity. Out of this environment, a new movement was born.

Just outside of Chicago, Mary Nichols-Schleitwiler, 63, and her husband Paul, decided seven years ago to form an underground church with nearly 75 other Catholics. Every month, they take turns hosting services in their homes, sometimes gathering around the dining room table, other times congregating in living rooms. Every service culminates in a big potluck feast, and an evening discussion.

Though they begin each service with the same prayers heard in traditional churches, they change all the language to be gender neutral. When they gathered in January, they incorporated passages from Martin Luther King Jr., and when they celebrated the feast of Mary Magdalene in July, they used it as an opportunity to celebrate Middle Eastern women.

Born a Catholic, Schleitwiler attended traditional churches her whole life, but was increasingly frustrated by its growing conservatism. In 1994, her former pastor asked her to participate in a ministry training program that typically culminates in ordination.Because she was a woman, she was allowed to complete only two of the four years of training. Instead of ordination, she received a certificate.

"Here we were coming into yet another millennium and they weren’t there yet," she said. "I had come to a place in my life where I could not accept anymore the idea that this church has no place for women in ministry."

Now, at her underground church, Schleitwiler has found comfort with her new surroundings. "It’s given me a voice," she said, "a voice I wouldn’t have in a traditional church. It’s given me the opportunity to hear the voices of other women." Instead of going to mass for an hour,greeting strangers and then going home, Schleitwiler describes her underground church as a "closely knit community without being a closed community."

Though Kautzer does not argue that underground churches will lead to greater numbers of practicing Catholics, she said they could potentially draw people back to Catholicism.

’I had come to a place in my life where I could not accept anymore the idea that this church has no place for women in ministry.’


On the sexual abuse, exploitation & deception of children

There is no excuse for sexual abuse according to our law and government except when the abuse has been carried out by Catholic clergy.

"This is a matter for the church and I respect the internal judgements of the church. I don’t stand outside the church and provide them with public lectures in terms of how they should behave..."

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia, 17 July 2008.


read more ... http://www.mybrokensociety.com?id=35

This is perhaps the most horrific act of abandonment perpetrated against the children of a specific religion by an Australian head of State and is recorded in our history for perpetuity as being made by Kevin Rudd on 17 July 2008, when he spoke in regards those affected by the sexual abuses carried out by Catholic clergy.http://www.pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2008/interview_0363.cfm

This is a deeply flawed and invalid response both morally and legally which includes all victims of clergy abuse being referred over to the leader of the Catholic Church or the respective leaders of other Churches or Religions when quite clearly sexual abuse by clergy is a phenomena found in many Churches and religions and it simply is not within the Prime Ministers realm to pass responsibility for those sexually abused by Catholic and non-Catholic clergy over to the Catholic church or anyone else.

read more ...

Is it any wonder our children are confused?

No wonder our children are confused - if we continually send confusing messages to our children then it is us who is acting irrationally when we demand the right to sanction them for acting in the same way we do, or in the same way our Government services do.

No amount of resources, education, laws, treatments or levels of incarceration and sanctions can educate a child to function both successfully and rationally in a society when the very society which is demanding that is unable itself to function at the levels demanded. There is no rational response to such an irrational situation.

Is it any wonder so many are confused?

Government and our religions are unable to provide and implement successful strategies in regards sexual abuses by clergy and other in the community.

Government and our religions repeatedly and stubbornly refuse to consult with the victims of these abuses by clergy and others in the community and their carers and advocates.

Is it any wonder so many are abused and re-abused?

How can they expect our children to act in a more adult and responsible manner, a manner which is above the examples set by our Governments and religious.

How irrational and foolish are we when we use sanctions against those who are unable to perform on demand at a higher level than those applying the sanctions.

Is it any wonder our children think we are foolhardy and stupid?

Of course we can always sanction our children severely for saying that we got it wrong. We can also sanction them for getting it wrong themselves in a confused world. Their need to survive and remain accepted as children will simply cause them to cede to those sanctions. This simply shows that if you beat a child hard enough and demand that he agree with you they must if they simply want to be loved by their parents and elders. If they want to ever experience the love of those who sanction they simply have no choice but to cede and conform to the power held over them - this use of power proves nothing other than acknowledging the fact that you can force someone into submission. It in no way proves your are on the right track.

Quite simply if these men genuinely had the ear of God as they say, it simply would not have taken 500 years as in the case of Mr Galilei and the shape of the earth, nor would it take very long to resolve the sexual abuse issue if they simply had 10 seconds with God.

It is clear that they simply do not have that line to Jesus Christ because quite simply if they did they would act differently.

Check these other related sites: City of Angels Lady | Molested Catholic | City of Angels Lady | September 1 2009 | TFYQA | My Broken Society