Call to Action 1998 Conference Detailed Agenda

Notes: This material was taken directly from the Call to Action website (URL: Key points are underlined and commentary is in [ brackets with this font ].

[Generally, one will notice the belittling of the male priesthood Catholic Hierarchy as established by Jesus Christ Himself though His Apostles. There is also demand for "democratically developed doctrine" (perhaps anarchic is a better word), hence a call to actively dissent from (disobey) the Catholic Hierarchy. One will further notice the constant push of "community" or "faith community" rather than the Church Triumphant (souls in Heaven), Church Suffering (souls in Purgatory), Church Militant (souls on earth), or Church as the Bride of Christ. Radical feminist themes abound throughout the agenda. The Catholic Church is rarely mentioned except in denigrating terms.]

Friday Seminars
Young Adult Retreat: ReCreating, ReMembering, ReNewing our Genesis Laurie Brink, OP and Lisa Lopez Williams, OP guide this experience of the Creation story and our prophetic call, with input, movement, ritual and silent reflection. Brink teaches biblical studies at Dominican U., River Forest, Ill. She is co-author of In This Place, a reflective look at the land of the Gospels for the liturgical seasons. With an MA in theology with emphasis on creative arts and dance, Williams works in vocation ministry for the Sinsinawa Dominicans. For 19-35 year olds. Fri., 10 AM - 3 PM

A Common Ground Dialogue on Abortion

Common Ground Network for Life and Choice in Washington, D.C. is represented by Mary Jacksteit, Director, and Adrienne Kaufmann, OSB, former co-director. They facilitate pro-life and pro-choice participants in a day of dialogue using CGNLC's conversation model. Aim is not to debate, but to increase understanding. Ground rules of respect and confidentiality help us speak our own values and beliefs concerning abortion. Participants must pre-register, and attend the entire session. You'll be contacted beforehand and asked where you stand on a continuum of pro-choice/pro-life viewpoints. Fri., 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM

[Abortion is formally condemned by the Catholic Church. Why does one need to increase understanding of the pro-death (abortion) side?]

Local Community and the Justice Agenda

Rosemary Luling Haughton and Nancy Schwoyer use lots of Scripture, exercises and interaction to show how small groups can make a difference in their social and political environment. They draw on their experience at Wellspring House in Gloucester, Mass. since 1981, where their small ecumenical community is at the center of pioneering work: a shelter for homeless families, education, low cost housing and economic development. Haughton is a theologian whose many books include The Transformation of Man and The Catholic Thing. Schwoyer is a veteran religious educator and pastoral minister who is now director of Wellspring House. Fri., 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Journaling as Spiritual Practice

Carol LaChapelle leads this workshop in journaling. She emphasizes journal writing as a spiritual practice, a way to explore and realize spiritual needs and desires. Bring writing materials and expect to try out several journaling techniques and exercises. LaChapelle has degrees in psychology and English, and has offered this workshop for the Young Adult Ministry of the Chicago archdiocese, and the ministry staffs of Loyola and De Paul Universities. Fri., 9 AM to 2 PM

Not for Women Only: Theologies and Liturgies of Women-Church

Mary Hunt and Diann Neu address forward-looking dimensions of the Women-Church movement. Catholic women, men and especially children, find new ways to pray, new concepts and images of the Divine, being created by base communities that are Church despite the Kyriarchy's reluctance to change. Workshop includes a feminist ritual, and time to set your own goals for being church in an increasingly globalized and interreligious world. Hunt, a theologian, and Neu, a liturgist and psychotherapist, are co-directors of WATER: Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual. Fri., 10 AM - 3 PM

["Concepts and images of the Divine" are actually God's revelation to mankind as discerned and taught through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, not developed through "base community" discussions. Of course, the "reluctant to change" comment implies that the "base community" has its own definitions and knows better than God's own Hierarchy. Women-Church is a radical feminist concept.]

Walking the Talk: Just Treatment for Church Ministers

Explore justice, due process, collaboration, and compensation issues facing church employees, priests, lay ministers and volunteers. Learn about the progress being made to give church ministers voice in decisions that affect them, as well as the challenges we face. Bring your experience and wisdom to this interactive process with a panel of experts. Panelists: John Ayers, deacon and labor arbitrator; Sr. Louise Bond, director, National Association for Lay Ministry; Fr. Jim Coriden, canonist; Sr. Chris Schenk of the WICL project (see p. 6); Fr. Michael Tegeder, pastor, Our Lady of the Lake, Mound, Minn; Judith Walker, St. Francis Xavier Parish, New York City; speaker from LCWR's Benchmarks project; and others. Fri., 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM . Shorter version of the same program: Sat., 1:30 PM & 8 PM.

The Labyrinth: A Contemplative Journey

Jan Turala and Donna Steffen, SC give background on the labyrinth in history and prayer, then open the reflective experience. Walking the labyrinth, journaling and sharing combine with quiet and deep prayer. Turala is a veteran teacher and retreat leader. Steffen is a spiritual director and gives retreats through The Center Within, Cincinnati. Ohio. Bring a journal, dress comfortably, and plan to walk the labyrinth without shoes. Fri., 10 AM to 3 PM

From Patriarchy to Partnership

Nancy Westmeyer, OSF and Bishop Albert Ottenweller are moving beyond patriarchal ways to real partnership. Their workshop will help you on the same journey toward inner conversion and outer transformation of structures. Westmeyer is director of Vision Time, Toledo, Ohio, and Ottenweller, retired bishop of Steubenville, Ohio, is her associate. Together they help parishes and dioceses in leadership formation and community building. Fri., 9 AM - 2 PM

[A belittling of the Catholic Church Hierarchy.]

Focus Sessions and Presenters

All Saints Gospel Choir: A Performance

Formed a few years ago when three inner city Milwaukee parishes were forced to merge, the All Saints Gospel Choir (photo, page 7) is one of the few integrated Gospel choirs. It has established an extraordinary reputation, and has been invited to perform this summer in Limoges, France. Directing the choir is Arlene Skwierawski, a high school music teacher whose leadership enabled her youth choirs to tour the U.S. and Africa. Sat., 8 PM.

Mary Who? A Performance

Peri Aston performs her one-woman play about Mary Ward, the 17th century founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who opened religious schools for girls, was persecuted and imprisoned by the Vatican, but found her own freedom within the Catholic Church. Aston is a British actress/dramatist/writer who has created and performed several plays about women's spiritual journeys: "Joan of Arc" about women warriors, "Triple Image" about maiden, mother, crone; and most recently, "Magdalen's Retort," about Mary Magdalen. Since 1984 she has had many performance dates in the U.S. and England. Sat., 3 PM.

[Notice the slamming against the Vatican. Many great Saints were persecuted by their own clergy. Remember that everyone sins - only two people were exempt from sin (you should know who they are).]

Theological Reflections on the Way to Jubilee

Tissa Balasuriya, OMI, the Sri Lankan priest-theologian excommunicated by the Vatican in 1997 but reinstated last January, returns to CTA for the second straight year. In April in Sri Lanka he hosted theologians and social scientists from Asia and Africa in a consultation on Christianity and colonialism on the eve of the millennium. CTA staff participated. Based on that consultation, Fr. Tissa will invite the churches to demonstrate Jubilee "repentance" by leading a campaign for restitution to the colonized countries for what was taken from them, and for the churches to return to the values of Jesus. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[Excommunication requires a very serious offense against the teachings of the Church, but yet CTA encourages Tissa Balasuriya to "invite the churches to demonstrate Jubilee repentance." For details of his excommunication, see the Statement issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at URL:]

Doing the Entire Parish So People Connect Life and Faith

Art Baranowski looks at societal trends, and a new form of parish in which small communities are the building blocks. He cites real life parishes, and describes how ministry looks. Small group discussion fuels audience feedback. Baranowski is a Detroit priest, founder of the National Alliance of Parishes Restructuring into Communities, and author of Creating Small Church Communities: A Plan for Restructuring the Parish and Renewing Catholic Life. Sat., 10:45 AM and 3 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Renew 2000 Small Faith Communities in other words? Nowhere is mentioned the virtue of obedience to the Catholic Church hierarchy as established by Jesus Christ.]

Artfully Done

Beacon Street celebrates the Artful God with joy, laughter, wonder and awe that come from the Spirit. Bob Kloos and colleagues bring music and song, mime, puppetry, movement and story to this participative workshop. They also lead morning prayer, "She Is the Spirit of the Maker," trying to use words as inclusive as the Word made flesh. This wake-up call will engage every part of everyone present. Beacon Street is a 10-year old performing arts in ministry organization from Cleveland, convinced that the arts are graced and speak volumes. Workshop Sat., 1:30 PM. Prayer session Sat. and Sun., 7:45 AM.

[Inclusive language has been rejected by the Magisterium. The Word, Jesus Christ, was not an "inclusive being" but a real man as well as being our real God.]

Beyond Inclusive Language: Shaking Up Language Itself

Mary Catherine Bodden analyzes why language had made women unequal to men, since what is not named is not thought. Once aware of what language does, we can counter its effects, generate a Tradition ourselves, revisit both Scripture and theology, and reclaim our Language. With a Ph.D. in medieval studies, Bodden since 1984 has been a professor at Marquette U., where she has been honored as a University Distinguished Scholar. Her forthcoming book is Women and Language: Interrogating the Word. Sat., 1:30 and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[See comment above regarding inclusive language.]

A Silent War: The Effects of Sanctions against the People of Iraq

Bob Bossie, SCJ and Kathy Kelly in January 1996 helped start Voices in the Wilderness (VitW), a campaign to end the UN/US sanctions against Iraq. Both have traveled to Iraq several times each year since. They witnessed the bombardment of Iraq during the Gulf War as members of the Gulf Peace Team, yet believe the current economic warfare against Iraqi civilians is more lethal and devastating. They are threatened with 12 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines for carrying medicine to children and families in Iraq. Using slides and video, they'll describe what 13 VitW delegations have seen, and discuss the latest developments. Bossie is a Sacred Heart priest long active on the staff of Chicago's Eighth Day Center for Justice. Kelly is a teacher and Catholic Worker peace activist arrested 42 times for nonviolent action to resist injustice. Sat., 10:45 AM and 1:30 PM.

School of the Americas: School of Horror

Roy Bourgeois details what happens to the poor of Latin America because of SOA training of military personnel from that region. As national co-director of SOA Watch, he reflects on the national movement to close SOA at Fort Benning, Ga. A naval veteran of the Vietnam war and a Maryknoll priest who served in Bolivia, Bourgeois is serving a six-month term in federal prison until October as a repeat offender for his protests against SOA. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sat., 3 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

Jesus and Feminism

Sheila Briggs addresses a central theological and historical issue in today's Church from the standpoint of a feminist theologian and a person of color. She was part of a circle of eminent theologians who reflected upon the theme, "Discipleship of Equals," at the 20th anniversary of Women's Ordination Conference in Washington, D.C., in 1995, along with Elisabeth Schuumlssler Fiorenza, Diana Hayes, Mary Hunt and others. Briggs teaches theology at the University of Southern California. Her feminist theology research interests are early Christianity, 19th and 20th century theology, and modern liberation movements. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sat., 1:30 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[Women's ordination is not a teaching of Jesus Christ as handed down through His Apostles and has been definitively declared as such by Pope John Paul II. This is another radical feminist issue.]

Divorce and Remarriage: Nobody is Without a Solution

Barry Brunsman explores the primary cause of people leaving the Catholic Church, but finds solutions in our tradition. A Franciscan priest who gives retreats and is chaplain for the divorced/separated in the diocese of Oakland, Calif., Brunsman is a counselor with a doctorate in ministry and 30 years' experience facilitating groups for the divorced, single parents, the religiously estranged, victims of abuse, and the bereaved. His book, New Hope for Divorced Catholics, is in its 3rd edition. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM.

A Woman-Centered, Earth-Centered Ritual

Chicago Women-Church members facilitate this prayer experience. Themes of Halloween/All Saints/All Souls are incorporated. Other elements include purification, honoring the four directions, meditation, and group reflection and bread-sharing. Chicago Women-Church is a Sacred Circle, a spiritual community of women dedicated to the continual exploration of the feminine, thus affirming the feminine in one another. Sat. & Sun., 7:45 AM.

[Wicca, which is basically witchcraft, uses a women-centered and earth-centered belief system. Sacred Circles are witchcraft-based concepts. Today, Halloween has definitely taken a non-Christian turn.]

Women in Praise of the Sacred

Kathryn Anne Christian invites women to gather and sing, honoring the Sacred in their lives and celebrating their place as women in the Church. The guitarist/songwriter/recording artist will lead singing about Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Martha and Mary the friends of Jesus, and many more. Prayer session Sat. and Sun., 7:45 AM.

Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels: A Performance

CBDW (picture, page 6) is a professional company integrating dancers with and without disabilities. Innovative choreography by Sabatino Verlezza stresses the dancers' abilities, not their limitations, and dispels myths about what individuals with disabilities can achieve as artists. This award-winning performance with narration and audience interaction highlights diversity of dance and disability/accessibility issues. Sat., 3 PM.

Unspoken Stories: Imagining the Women in the Gospels

Kathy Coffey asks how it would affect our Christmas creche if our daughters played with women shepherds and magi as well as the traditional male figures. Drawing on her 1996 book, Hidden Women of the Gospels, she uses a midrash technique to discover many unsung women, from the mother of the man born blind to the woman who packed the lunch that fed 5,000, and the wives of Peter, Jairus, Pilate and Cleopas. A religious educator and mother of four, Coffey is editor ofLiving the Good News, co-edits the progressive Denver church newsletter, Leaven, teaches at Regis Jesuit U., and has won many awards from the Catholic Press Association. Sat., 1:30 and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Another way to incorporate radical feminism. Shepherds and Magi (Kings) were actually men, right?]

The Church and the Papacy in 2015

Paul Collins sees imagining the future as a key to realizing a vision. He sketches how diocese, papacy and Church might interrelate in the year 2015, with emphasis on a general council of the Roman Catholic Church that might lead to a truly ecumenical council of all the Christian churches. A Sacred Heart priest with a Ph.D. in history and a masters in theology from Harvard, Collins is known throughout Australia as a television commentator and newspaper columnist. He is under Vatican scrutiny for alleged errors in his 1997 book, Papal Power: A Proposal for Change in Catholicism's Third Millennium. He will also anchor the international church reform panel (page 2, with picture). Fri., 3:30 PM and Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[Ecumenism as taught by the Catholic Church is one of how to bring our separated brethren back to the Catholic Faith containing the fullness of Truth, rather than the compromise stance of watering down the Truth in the form of compromise to Protestant beliefs. Read Vatican II documents for real proof (rather than the so-called "spirit of Vatican II."]

Friendship and Intimacy: Word of God

Bernard J. Cooke and Pauline Turner explore the sacramental character of human friendship and intimacy, and the impact of this sacramentality on the relationship of friends to one another and between humans and God. Husband and wife, Cooke and Turner are both theologians teaching and working in lay ministry formation and small community development in San Antonio, Tex. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sun., 9 :45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

A Conversation about Women Eucharist

Sheila Durkin Dierks anchors a panel discussion about the history of women and Eucharist, sacramental theology, the lived experience in today's Church, and dreams for the future. Dierks is author of the 1998 book, Women Eucharist, and a founding member of Boulder (Colorado) WomenEucharist. Ruth Fitzpatrick, longtime national coordinator of the Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) until 1996, has a masters in theology. Bridget Mary Meehan, SFCC has a doctorate in ministry, authored 15 books including Exploring the Feminine Face of God, and hosts her own TV show, GODTALK, in suburban Washington, D.C. Beth Rindler, SFP has degrees in nursing and divinity, works with the mentally ill in inner city Detroit, and is co-chair of the National Coalition of American Nuns. Karen Schwarz is a feminist psychologist who coordinates San Francisco WOC/WomenChurch and is an organizer of "A Critical Mass: Women Celebrating Eucharist" in a public square in Oakland, Calif. Interactive panel moderated by Meehan with audience participation. Sat., 1:30 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM.

[The Eucharist is really and truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, Son of God. Jesus is fully a man (as well as being fully God). God has chosen to reveal Himself to us as Father. We do have the perfect woman available to us - the Blessed Virgin Mary - the Mother of God - who was graciously given to us by Jesus Christ hanging on the Cross. These are more radical feminist issues.]

Testament: A Life of Jesus. A Performance

Norman Dietz retells the life of Jesus as a new personal testament addressed to our times and culture. He created the one-man theatre piece to give modern audiences a chance to hear the whole story in one sitting, in language that conveys its dramatic power. The Des Moines Tribune found it "a Jesus of power, love, wonder and compassion, true to the Book, yet as modern as today's newspaper." A veteran New York actor/director of stage, radio and television, Dietz with his wife Sandra runs a combination theater and ice cream parlor in Orient, N.Y. on the eastern tip of Long Island. Fri., 11:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

The Catholic Lesbian and Gay Agenda -- What Do We Want?

Marianne Duddy and Robert F. Miailovich discuss where lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered persons now stand in their quest for equality in both Church and society. Spiritually motivated sexual minority persons have been marginalized in both realms. Topics will include Church teachings, marriage and domestic partner rights, sexual minority youth, job discrimination, ordination, civil rights activism, and emerging friendly Church ministries. Duddy is immediate past president, and Miailovich is current president, of Dignity/USA. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A. The Mystical Heart: Wisdom's Call to Wholeness and Integration. Edwina Gateley weaves her own poetry with the music of Kathryn Christian. She shares her struggles and joys in experiencing and articulating the mystical and contemplative dimension of being a voice for transformation in our world and Church. The creative presentation invites us to spiritual integration and wholeness, and a recognition of the power of the Holy Spirit -- Sophia Wisdom -- at the center of all our activity. An international lecturer and retreat leader, Gateley will publish her sixth book, The Mystical Heart, later this year. For more about Edwina, the recipient of CTA's 1998 Leadership Award, see page 1. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sat., 10:45 AM.

[The Catholic Church has always taught that gay and lesbian behavior is seriously sinful. Those actively practicing this lifestyle are in mortal sin and may not receive the Eucharist. As a reminder, unconfessed and unrepented sins of this nature will send you to hell. And, yes, hell does indeed exist. In fact, if you read the Book of Genesis in the Bible (chapters 18 and 19), you will find that God obliterated Sodom and Gomorrah for this very behavior. "Sophia Wisdom" is New Age teaching.]

A Meditation Concert of Chant by Hildegard von Bingen

Norma Gentile sings songs by the 12th century abbess and mystic, marking the transition from Halloween into Samhain, the sanctity of the Earth, the Life force of the Feminine, and the role of the Masculine in the season. She invites the audience to sit or lie down, to meditate, and to sing or hum background harmonies. Gentile is a professional singer and an auric healer with a Masters in voice performance from the University of Michigan. She has founded early music ensembles in Spain and the U.S. In concerts, workshops and recordings, her passion is to bring music from inaudible realms into the physical world for healing purposes. She will also lead two prayer sessions. Her recent recording of Hildegard's chants is Unfurling Love's Creation. Sat., 8 PM. Prayer sessions Sat., 12:30 PM and Sun., 7:45 AM.

[More Wicca/witchcraft with feminist earth-centered beliefs. St. Hildegard is indeed a canonized saint, although not for "Samhain" teachings, but rather for adherence to God's Will, having taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. That obedience word is not one to be found in the vocabulary of dissenting and anarchy-oriented Call to Action followers.]

Pro-Feminist Men: Healing from the Disease that is Patriarchy

David Gentry-Akin sees patriarchy not only oppressing women but harming men by teaching them to value separation and domination over connection and mutuality. Only the pro-feminist branch of the men's movement can advance both justice to women and healing for men. He values what feminism offers men as well as women; alternative ways of seeing our relationship to one another, the Earth, and God. Part of the pro-feminist men's movement since the early 1980s, Gentry-Akin earned his doctorate in theology at Louvain (Belgium) and teaches humanities and religious studies at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. Sat., 3 PM & 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[More denigration of the male priesthood Catholic Church hierarchy that Jesus Christ Himself established through His Apostles. Another example of the radical feminist agenda.]

Intersexuality: Challenge to Genesis, Challenge to Feminism

Christine Gudorf observes how medical and social science have deconstructed the concept of human sexual dimorphism (humans exclusively divided into males and females), but the churches have yet to deal with the theological and ethical implications. She sketches the data, then suggests some possible responses and their problems. Gudorf is professor of religious studies at Florida International University in Miami, and has taught at Xavier (Ohio), Temple and Seattle Universities. Her 1994 book is Body, Sex and Pleasure: Reconstructing Christian Sexual Ethics. She is co-author of the forthcoming book, Crosscultural Ethics: A Casebook in World Religions. Fri., 3:30 PM and Sat., 10:45 AM and 1:30 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[God created men and women - humans didn't divide themselves. Apparently Gudorf doesn't like the Catholic teaching on "sexual ethics."]

When You Educate a Woman...

Diana Hayes looks at the role of African American women in expanding the dialogue of feminist and black theologians. What does womanist theology have to say in the 21st century? Hayes teaches theology at Georgetown U. An attorney, she earned both a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree at Catholic U. of Louvain (Belgium), the first African American woman to do so. Her recent book is And Still We Rise: An Introduction to Black Liberation Theology. Sat., 10:45 AM & 3 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[More radical feminism. Also, Liberation Theology has been condemned by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as it incorporates aspects of another condemned teaching of Marxism (atheistic communism). See the URL:]

Moving Into the Mystery

Joan Horgan guides us via the arts -- movement, drawing and writing -- to expand our awareness of our relationship with God, ourselves and our world. Horgan gives retreats and creates Advent and Lent/Easter programs for the diocese of Albany, NY, where she is a campus minister at the College of St. Rose. Prayer session Sat. and Sun., 7:45 AM.

We Are the Circle: Celebrating the Feminine in Song and Ritual

Julie Howard uses her own music, plus movement, story, symbol and sharing, in an experiential prayer time to touch the Divine within, realize our giftedness and our call to service and community. We Are the Circle is also the title of Julie's book. Prayer session Sat. & Sun., 7:45 AM.

"Do This In Memory of Me": Revisiting the Command of Jesus

Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ discusses the Eucharist, beginning with Jesus' command and asking: What is the "this"? What did Jesus ask us to do? How? With whom? Why? Returning to the source may shed light on current issues and practice. Hughes is professor of liturgy at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, past president of the North American Academy of Liturgy, and a 19 year veteran on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Her monograph on "Lay Presiding: The Art of Leading Prayer" led to research, funded by the Lilly Endowment, on Sunday Worship in the Absence of a Priest. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sat., 3 PM: Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[The Catholic Church has detailed answers to the underlined questions. How about reading your Catechism of the Catholic Church for answers?]

The Death Penalty: Not in My Name!

Marietta Jaeger abhors the killing on our streets, but also the killing in prison death chambers, in our name and with our tax dollars. She shares her personal journey through the kidnap/murder of her child in a state that executes people. Mother of five, grandmother of seven, Jaeger received the 1997 Abolitionist of the Year Award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. She belongs to the Detroit Peace Community, and is a founding and active board member/speaker for Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing, a national group of murder victims' family members who tour the nation speaking against the death penalty. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW!)

Andrea M. Johnson reports on the growth and development of the worldwide movement for women's ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. She gives international data on dialogues with local hierarchies, women in pastoral ministry and their conditions, priest shortages and popular awareness. WOW coordinator pro tem, she will report the latest from the WOW steering committee meeting (London, Oct. 16-18) and invites feedback from participants. With a masters degree and wide experience in international relations, Johnson since 1996 has been national coordinator of the Women's Ordination Conference in the U.S., with offices in Virginia. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM.

[The question of women's Ordination has already been answered definitively.]

A Vision for the 21st Century Church: An End to Idolatry

Theresa Kane, RSM, analyzes the concept and history of idolatry, so significant for issues of community and sacrament in the Church. Through present-day idolatry, women are excluded from full sacramental life and from adult decision-making. This prevents the fullness of Church as sacrament and community. Kane has been in leadership positions for the Sisters of Mercy for two decades. She has been president of the congregation, and president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sat., 3 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[Another viewpoint of radical feminism. The Sacraments in the Catholic Church are well defined - there are seven of them - and are not idolatrous. Read your Catechism of the Catholic Church for answers. This also appears as a claim that a male-only priesthood as established by Jesus Christ is idolatrous.]

David Kauffman in Concert: A Performance

David Kauffman, playing guitar and piano, sings his own songs, woven around CTA's theme, including songs written for the movie, "Dead Man Walking." He invites audience participation on certain tunes. He also leads a morning prayer in song, "A Moment for the Shepherd." Kauffman has been in full time music ministry since 1989. He has three albums, and has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and France. He hails from San Antonio, Tex. Performance: Sat., 8 PM. Prayer session Sat., 7:45 AM.

When Silence Is No Longer Golden: Speaking Up Responsibly

Sheila Rauch Kennedy draws on her book, Shattered Faith: A Woman's Struggle to Stop the Catholic Church from Annulling Her Marriage. Former wife of Congressman Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts, Rauch Kennedy recounts why she has opposed his quest for an annulment, and why many other spouses feel the same way. Herself an Episcopalian, she tells of the growing movement to reform the annulment process in the Roman Church. She plans to allow generous time for questions and feedback. Kennedy is a housing and community development consultant who lives with her two sons in Cambridge, Mass. Fri., 3:30 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Why would as Episcopalian, whose faith is already a splinter from its remote root to Catholicism, be speaking about a process as defined by the Catholic Church? FYI, the Episcopalian church was founded by Samuel Seabury in the 17th century as an offshoot of the Church of England in the American Colonies.]

Men, in God's Image (for men only* )

Joseph Kilikevice, OP leads a participatory workshop for men to affirm one another in a circle of mutual respect, claiming a place of honor in seeking equality together with women. As sons of God, men stand unashamed, no exception to the amazing gift of diversity throughout God's creation. Kilikevice, founding director of SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality, Oak Park, Ill., had led interfaith retreats in the creation spirituality tradition since 1980. He is also a Mentor-Teacher for the Dances of Universal Peace, which he will lead as morning prayer (Fri. & Sat., 7:45 AM). Workshop: Sat., 10:45 AM. Participative.

Women, in God's Image (for women only*)

Judith Kubish offers a sharing space to honor the diversity of woman-spirit and the strength of the circle of women. Mother, daughter, sister, lover, friend -- we are empowered by woman-to-woman relationships to celebrate our creation in God's image and our equality. Kubish, co-director of ReConnections, a mental health and spirituality center in Milwaukee, is an educator, musician and ritual leader specializing in women's spirituality and personal growth. Sat., 10:45 AM. Participative.

Women and Men: Together in God's Image

Judith Kubish and Joseph Kilikevice, OP jointly offer this participatory experience. Women and men heal, validate and affirm one another on the spiritual journey together. Grounding the process of equality in respect and collaboration, we celebrate what is different and what is similar about men and women. Come and experience interaction which welcomes the richness of our Divine Image as male and female. Participants must first attend "Men, in God's Image" or "Women, in God's Image" (above) at 10:45 AM. Participative. Sat., 3 PM.

Dialogue: A Labor of Love

Diane Lampitt leads this experience, highlighting the skills necessary for authentic dialogue, based on the Catholic Common Ground Initiative begun by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Lampitt is Director of the Vatican II Center, the division of RCL, Inc. in Allen, Tex. that has produced printed and video materials for Common Ground dialogue projects at the parish level. A catechetical leader and adult educator, she is working on a doctorate in ministry, and has been a team member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM.

What Does the Church Really Teach About the Laity?

Raymond Lucker, Bishop of New Ulm, Minn., since 1976, knows the importance of the laity in the renewal of the U.S. Church. As we enter the 21st century in a Church growing steadily less clerical, the mission and ministry of all the baptized -- mostly lay people -- is coming to the fore. After his reflections on lay people and their central role in the Church's future, he will open the second half of the session to general questions from the audience. A longtime CTA member and popular CTA speaker, Lucker has doctorates in both theology and education. Fri., 3:30 PM and Sat., 3 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[We now know that this Bishop is a dissenter of Rome.]

Created in the Image of God: A New Theology of "Grace"

Robert Ludwig examines grace as our human openness to the divine Mystery in life. God communicates God's very self to us, not only in mystical experience or extraordinary events, but in ordinary human living as we strive for liberation. Grace is seen as the call to live with freedom and authenticity in our relationships, work and politics. Ludwig heads university ministry and teaches Catholic studies at DePaul U., Chicago. Former director of the Institute for Ministry at Loyola U., New Orleans, he is author of Reconstructing Catholicism for a New Generation. Sat., 1:30 and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

Let Us Go Merrily into Heaven: Holiness is Gender Free

Joanna Manning dives into the gender-neutral dynamics of personal and political holiness. Joan of Arc, Catherine of Siena, Thomas More and Oscar Romero are our guides on a pilgrimage, with storytelling, music and merriment. Trained in theology, Manning is co-founder of the Coalition of Concerned Canadian Catholics, and for years has taught religion in the Toronto, Ont., schools. She also works with the Rigoberta Menchu Centre for Justice, Peace and Creation, which runs street walk 'retreats' for high school students from three sites in downtown Toronto. She co-owns and operates a downtown housing community for refugees. Sat.,1:30 & 8 PM.

The Necessity of Dissent

Robert McClory challenges the notion that dissent from Church teaching is almost always disobedience that deserves official condemnation. Dissent has often served a vital function in church history and may even be an obligation for the committed Christian. Newman, Congar, Murray and others had their insights rejected in their day. Today's better known dissenters, like Curran and Küng, may be vehicles of the ever restless Spirit given at Pentecost. He is a free-lance Chicago journalist who writes for National Catholic Reporter and teaches journalism at Northwestern U. He co-founded Call to Action News in 1978 and is a veteran on the CTA board. 1:30 and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Here we see an open plea to encourage disobedience to Jesus Christ's Church and its teachings.]

Justice for Women: A Matter of Conscience

Ray McGovern has made a sustained witness against the subordination of women in our Church: his silent standing and stole-wearing at parish Mass in Washington, DC is described in Jim Naughton's book, Catholics in Crisis. Ray speaks personally about why he did it (including a young daughter's dismay at being told one sacrament is off limits), the volatile reaction of a progressive but fearful parish, and the lessons learned. He challenges other men to join the struggle. McGovern spent 26 years as a foreign affairs analyst for the CIA. He and his wife Rita have five adult children. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Yet another dissention on women's Ordination, always marketed, however, as a "crime against justice."]

"See, I Am Doing a New Thing"

Megan McKenna takes her title from Isaiah, whose "new thing" involves deserts blooming, waters to pass through, a people who are even one with the beasts of the wild. Are we that thing aborning? What are its characteristics? Where is it already visible? She weaves Scripture with stories of the world's peoples and religions to sketch this new way of being human and free, in communion, graced and equal. McKenna teaches at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, the University of Dayton, and Maryknoll. Rites of Justice, Keepers of the Story, and Dancing with Angels are among her many books. Fri., 3:30 PM; Sat., 1:30 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

[Why is a so-called Catholic conference being taught other of the world's religion? Isn't Jesus Christ's own Church, which contains the fullness of Truth, good enough? This is apparently another pitch for watering down the Catholic teachings under the guise of ecumenism.]

Hidden Killers: The International Campaign to Ban Landmines

Bobby Muller is co-founder and coordinator of the Campaign, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Every year 26,000 people, mostly civilians and children, die of landmines. Though 120 nations signed the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines, the U.S. has not done so, and Muller continues his work, joined with many allies, including the U.S. Bishops' Catholic Campaign to Ban Landmines, of which CTA is a co-sponsor. He details the issues and strategies for action. Muller is president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. He survived a land mine in Vietnam only to lose the use of his legs when hit by gunfire. Sat., 10:45 AM and 3 PM. Incl. Q/A.

New Frontiers of Elder Spirituality: From Age-ing to Sage-ingí

Lisa and Larry Mullins help elders use their life experience to enrich their elder years, face mortality, repair relationships, develop a regenerative spirit and transmit wisdom to future generations. Lisa is a psychotherapist in private practice in Naples, Fla., with training in gerontology and grief and loss therapy. Larry combines theological education and ministry with 25 years of community building and real estate development. Both were trained by Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, founder of the Spiritual Eldering, Institute. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Participative.

[Why is a Rabbi, whose Jewish religion denies that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, being used to teach Catholic elderly? Aren't there any holy priests that are available?]

Family Violence: A Panel Discussion

Sheila Murphy and panelists know that "Wives, be subject to your husbands" has been used for centuries to enable men to subject women, some through violence. They discuss how violence against women and children is today being unraveled into a fabric of peace. Moderator Sheila Murphy is presiding judge of a Circuit Court District in the Chicago area, supervising 21 judges. and a former public defender with 25 years of legal experience. Sonia Gaete (right) is active with the Institute for Survivors of Human Rights Violations after fleeing oppression in Chile with her husband and four children. She is founder/director of Proyecto Hablo, giving voice to women victims of domestic violence, in Chicago's Hispanic communities. Turner is a feminist theologian whose doctoral research concerned women in Nicaragua (see Cooke/Turner, page 4). Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM.

The Unfinished Agenda of Vatican II

Anthony Padovano revisits Vatican II, the last Council of the 2nd millennium. Restorationists evaluate it in terms of the Councils which preceded it. But Padovano invites us to explore Vatican II for the agenda it gave us for the future, the 3rd millennium. A founding faculty member of Ramapo College of New Jersey, Padovano holds doctorates and professorships in both theology and literature, has written 25 books and plays, and lectures internationally. He is president of CORPUS, the National Association for a Married Priesthood, and a leader of the International Federation of Married Catholic Priests. Fri.,3:30 PM; Sat., 10:45 AM. Incl. Q/A

Imagining Future Church: Small Christian Communities

Robert Pelton, CSC, and Rosemary Bleuher ask what tomorrow's Church will look like. Will leaders emerge from communities, regardless of sex and race? Will the parish be a community of communities? Indications around the world say yes. Pelton, specialist in Latin American/North American Church Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, was at the 1997 Bishops' Synod for America, where Small Christian Communities (SCCs) were emphasized. Bleuher, the Joliet, Ill., Diocesan Director of RENEW 2000, on a team preparing a follow-up to the Synod. Both have been involved in the development of SCCs for years. They here lead a process envisioning pastoral implications of SCCs. Sat., 1:30 PM & 8 PM.

[The Joliet Diocesan director is a Call to Action follower. Here we have clearer evidence of the linkage of Renew 2000 to the Call to Action dissenting agenda. That also matches with the Small Faith Community concept in both the Call to Action agenda and the Renew 2000 program.]

Inside the Vatican

Thomas J. Reese, SJ, addresses the topic that is also the title of his 1996 book. What is the role of the papacy and the Vatican in the governance of the church? How can the Vatican be reformed to serve the church in the 21st century? A political scientist, Reese is an expert in church organization and politics whose book completes a trilogy. Earlier books were about the power structure of the U.S. Church, and the U.S. bishops' conference. He teaches at Georgetown and coordinates a liturgy for young adults at Holy Trinity Church, Washington, D.C. Sat., !0:45 AM and 3 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM.

Mujerista Theology

Jeanette Rodriguez shares insights from that unique species of feminist liberation theology that emerges from the experience and reflection of Hispanic women. Rodriguez chairs the Religious Studies and Theology department at Seattle U. and is president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S. She got her Ph.D. at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif., and is author of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican American Women. Sat., 10:45 AM and 3 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

Are Women Redeemed in Christ? or Can a Male Savior Save Women?

Rosemary Radford Ruether addresses the central theological question raised by feminist theology. One of the world's leading Roman Catholic feminist theologians, Ruether has made a monumental contribution through three decades of scholarship and more than 20 books, including To Change the World: Christology and Cultural Criticism (1981) and Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology (1983). She is a founding member of CTA in Chicago. She teaches at Garrett Theological Seminary and Northwestern U., Evanston, Ill. Sat., 10:45 AM; Sun., 9:45 AM. Incl. Q/A.

Bearing Witness to the Inclusive Jesus: "Who Do You Say That I Am?" Christine Schenk, CSJ addresses Jesus' radically inclusive approach to women, contrasting the status of women in 1st century Palestine with that of women in Jesus' Galilean discipleship and the earliest churches. The male chauvinist Jesus currently proclaimed by Rome is biblically untenable. Learning this untold story is the heart of the CTA/FutureChurch joint project, A Call for National Dialogue on Women in Church Leadership (WICL). Learn about the grassroots strategies and begin to promote action in your parish and diocese for advancing women and their gifts. Schenk is director of FutureChurch and coordinator of the WICL project. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

["Male chauvinist Jesus!?" Jesus Christ personally told us, in the Bible, that His Church's teachings would be protected from error until the end of the world. And yet Schenk claims that the teachings of Jesus' Church and its interpretation of the Bible have been wrong for 2000 years. Protestants also claim that the Catholic Church does not interpret the Bible correctly. So who is right, God or Schenk?]

Mutuality: Yeast for New Bread Rising

Kathy Sherman, CSJ and Pat Bergen, CSJ combine input, conversation and ritual to celebrate equality rooted in mutuality. They treat images of God, eco-feminism, the welcoming of differences, a view of all creation as one Body. They also lead morning prayer, "Woven Together as a Tapestry of Justice," with ritual and song. Sherman is a singer, composer and poet for 30 years, with 8 albums of her original music based in scripture, spirituality and love of the earth. Bergen is a Doctor of Ministry best known for her workshops on the R.C.I.A. and liturgy, and her gift of spiritual companioning. She has authored three ritual booklets and a retreat guide. Mutuality: Fri., 3:30 PM. Prayer Sat. and Sun., 7:45 AM.

[Eco-feminism is basically the same as the earth-centered and feminist-centered belief of Wicca (witchcraft) as mentioned previously.]

The Sacred Marriage in Christianity: Partnership Spirituality

Margaret Starbird draws on her 1993 book, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, for research evidence that the sacred marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene was once at the very heart of Christianity. She examines this new partnership model which results from restoring the lost bride to the Christian story -- and the neglected feminine principle in our lives and our spiritual journey. Come to discuss, journal, and meditate on the partnership paradigm. Starbird studied in Kiel, Germany and Vanderbilt Divinity School. She gives workshops and retreats based on her research into the marriage of Jesus. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? What absolute heresy! Yet another radical feminist angle.]

My Story, Sister Stories: A Performance

Deborah S. Taylor uses the oral tradition of storytelling to celebrate the rich and rhythmic cultures of Africa and of African Americans. She explores the challenges of African American women from one generation to the next, weaving past and contemporary stories that highlight the social issues of women which are essential to our common survival. Taylor has training in biblical storytelling from Duke University, and pursues a busy storytelling ministry, especially with young people. She is a member of Unity Baptist Church in Detroit. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM.

Peace Among Humans Through Peace with the Earth

Steve Torma blends science, mysticism and church teaching in a workshop to empower participants to integrate peace, justice and ecological concerns. Today's new understanding of peace/justice begins with seeing the Earth as a living organism and humanity as a global village. Peace is best achieved by securing justice for humans and the entire earth community. Torma is a resource person for the international creation spirituality movement. He has a video, Dancing Prayers for Everyone. He also leads morning sessions of Body Prayer. Workshop Sat., 1:30 & 8 PM. Participative. Prayer sessions Sat. and Sun., 7:45 AM.

[This is very much a New Age belief, put forth by a "leader" in a hierarchy of the "Masters of Wisdom" called Maitreya who claims he is the Christ and that Jesus was just his 4th level disciple while Buddha was better being a 7th level disciple.]

The Wild Kin-dom

Gabriele Uhlein, OSF, is an eco-feminist who sees definitions of "human" and "gender" as a cosmological and spiritual issue. She analyzes gender roles historically, cites personal experiences that challenge those cultural roles, points the way to future directions in theology and the human sciences, noting the process cosmologies of Thomas Berry and Alfred North Whitehead. She sees us moving toward a sustainable cosmology appropriate to a trans-gender spirituality. A veteran of 20 years in retreat work and adult spiritual development, Uhlein has a Ph.D from the Center for Theology, Ethics and the Human Sciences at Chicago Theological Seminary. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM. Incl. Q/A.

[Another feminism angle.]

Women in the Bible: Oppression and Liberation

Sr. Carmiña Navia Velasco is a leader in the Conference of Religious of Colombia, coordinator of its school of religious life and of its commission on women in the Church. With degrees in literature, linguistics and theology, she teaches biblical studies from the perspective of liberation theology and her own experience as a Latin American feminist theologian. Her topic here is also the title of her 1991 book. She connects women of the Bible with the lived experience of women in Latin America, and with the struggle for human rights in Colombia and in the Church. She is also a well-known poet. Fri., 3:30 PM: Sun., 9:45 AM.

Re-Imagining God: Prayer from a Feminist Perspective

Miriam Therese Winter sees us all, created in God's image, as reflections of an imaginative God who stirs our own imaginations. Together we examine both Scripture and Tradition, and our own personal experience, to discover countless ways of imagining God with us and within us. Winter is Professor of Liturgy, Worship, Spirituality and Feminist Studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. A Medical Mission Sister, she has a Ph.D. in liturgical studies and has published 10 books, including WomanWord, WomanWisdom and WomanWitness, a three-volume feminist lectionary with all the women of the Bible. Sat., 10:45 AM & 3 PM; Sun., 9:45 AM.

[Another feminism angle. Imagining God via our "personal experience" is far from the Catholic teaching, and is a secular humanist methodology.]

Native Intelligence

James Yellowbank states his theme: "We are a part of everything, and everything is part of us." Come participate in songs, stories and a native circle dance to celebrate the sacredness of life and help create a vision of balance and understanding for the future. Yellowbank is Hocak/Ho-Chunk, descendant of Eagle Clan and Thunder Clan grandfathers. Musician and poet, he is Director of Special Events and Social Justice at the Anawim Center in Chicago, Native American Trustee to the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, and a recording artist on the Northport label. Sat., 1:30 PM and 8 PM.

[This is pantheism, which is fundamentally incompatible with Christianity. Why is a known incompatible faith being incorporated into a so-called Catholic conference?]

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