Why Roman Catholic Women Priests

Dear Friends,
Last weekend, June 18, I joined the Call To Action witness at the Cathedral in Albany, NY. That morning four men were ordained for the Albany Diocese. During the witness, I held a sign that proclaimed: “Women Priests Are Here!” Some of you may wonder why Roman Catholic women are seeking ordination through the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. Hopefully the points below will help to answer your questions. I am happy to meet and discuss them with you or with a group who is interested in learning more about us.
The best way to contact me is through email at mtstreck@gmail.com.
Many blessings,
Mary Theresa

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests:

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


What do you think about Pope Francis and the new commission for ordination of women deacons?

We are grateful for Pope Francis€’ work to protect mother earth and his care for the poor, for economic equality. However, he must make the connection between poverty and gender justice. Two thirds of the world€’s poor are women and their dependent children.

He has received our ongoing petition campaign to lift our excommunications, stop all punishments and begin a dialogue with us.  

We are a new model of priestly ministry in inclusive, egalitarian communities (open table means everyone is welcome at the table, LGBTQI, divorced and remarried , etc.). In our faith communities, everyone consecrates Eucharist, participates in mutual blessing and dialogue homilies. We are a  renewal, justice movement within the Catholic Church.  

Who is your target group?  

We are serving inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. 33 million Catholics in the U.S. have left the church, so it is a large group of people!


What is your vision/mission?

We are a non-clerical movement that offers the church an egalitarian, partnership with the community of the baptized. 

Our mission is to serve especially those whom the Vatican marginalizes (33 million Catholics have left the church -that is quite a “target group” that has been abandoned by the institution).

How do you deal with excommunication?

We reject excommunication. No punishment can separate us from Christ or cancel our baptism. No church authority can separate us from God.  

This is our church and we are not leaving it, no matter what the Vatican says or does (the Vatican’s official line is that our excommunication is the automatic type: by your choice, you have excommunicated yourself).

Why are you being ordained and what impact will your ordination have on the future of women in the RC Church?

The Church that treats women as second-class citizens violates God’s will.

 Genesis 1:27: God created humanity in God’s image, in the divine image, God created them, male and female God created them.   Galatians 3:27.  St. Paul reminds us that by our baptism there is neither male nor female, all are one in Christ.  

Are your orders recognized in the Catholic Church?

Roman Catholic Women Priests have valid orders. Our first bishops were ordained by a male bishop in apostolic succession.


Why don’t you get ordained in another church, rather than face excommunication and rejection?

Pope Benedict canonized two excommunicated nuns: Theodore Guerin and Mary McKillop.

We hope that Pope Francis will chart a new path toward human equality in our church by opening all ministries to women. If women were priests, we would see an end to the church’s policy on contraception.   Primacy of conscience is an important church teaching that all must follow in moral decisions.

The hierarchy must make the connection between discrimination against women in the church and violence, and abuse and inequality toward  women in the world.

Like these courageous women we are faithful Catholics leading the church to become more just and live Jesus’ example of Gospel equality.  


Why are you being ordained as deacons, priests and bishops? What does this mean?

Jesus called women and men to be disciples. (Luke 8:1-3) Jesus did not ordain anyone. 

The Risen Christ called Mary of Magdala to be the apostle to the apostles. She was the first to proclaim the central message of Christianity, the Resurrection.  

The Vatican (hierarchy) should follow Jesus’€  example of Gospel equality and the early church€’s tradition of women in liturgical leadership as deacons, priests and bishops.  


For 1200 years women were ordained (Gary Macy,  The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination, Dorothy Irvin’s archaeological evidence etc.).  In the early centuries of Christianity, ordination was the process and the ceremony by which one moved to any new ministry (ordo) in the community. By this definition, women were in fact ordained into several ministries. A radical change in the definition of ordination during the eleventh and twelfth centuries not only removed women from the ordained ministry, but also attempted to eradicate any memory of women’s ordination in the past.   €  However, the triumph of a new definition of ordination as the bestowal of power, particularly the power to confect the Eucharist, so thoroughly dominated western thought and practice by the thirteenth century that the earlier concept of ordination was almost completely erased.  References to the ordination of women exist in papal, episcopal, and theological documents of the time, and the rites for these ordinations have survived.

Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination)  

The Vatican and Google have created a virtual tour of catacombs including two frescoes in St. Priscilla’s catacomb that provide evidence of ancient women deacons and priests in first centuries of church  history.   One fresco depicts a woman deacon in the center vested in a dalmatic, her arms raised in the orans position for public worship.  In the same scene there is a bishop being ordained  a  priest by a bishop seated in a chair. She is vested in an alb, chasuble and amice, and holding a gospel scroll.  The third woman in the painting is wearing the same robe as the bishop on the left and is sitting in the same type of chair.  In another fresco in the Catacombs of Priscilla, women are conducting a Eucharistic banquet. This evidence portrays women in liturgical roles and vestments.

Why are you doing this, what are your goals?

The real issue is that Roman Catholic Women Priests are visible reminders that women are equal images of God. We are healing centuries of misogyny.

The Vatican (hierarchy) cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it.

Roman Catholic Women Priests are a holy shakeup€ which millions of Catholics support.

Roman Catholic Women Priests lead inclusive, enthusiastic, egalitarian communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments.  

See also: http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/deac_ovr.asp

Our website is www.arcwp.org

The Upper Room’s website is:  http://www.inclusivecatholiccommunity-nycr.org

On the March for Child Victims Act

Dear Friends of the Child Victims Act

Thank you to all the brave survivors and advocates who joined us on Sunday to take part in the “Walk for the Window” across the Brooklyn Bridge and our rally on the Manhattan side at Pace University.

They carried signs and banners that proclaimed their support for our law to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes and provide a civil window so that adult survivors can get justice and help expose predators that have been hidden by institutions that don’t want to take accountability for their actions.

With New York State ranking at the very bottom of all states in America for how it treats victims of childhood sexual abuse, this is the year to change that abysmal status.

My sincere thanks to all those who continue to speak out on behalf of survivors and future generations of children. Your voices and strong support gives me real hope that the Legislature will, at long last, act to bring justice to survivors in 2016 and help protect future generations of children.

Sincerely, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey


Support the Child Victim Act

Please help the survivors of
child sexual abuse in
New York State

PROBLEM: NYS has one of the most regressive statutes of limitation (SOL) in the USA for child sexual abuse. In NYS, if you do not report a childhood sexual abuse by your 23rd birthday, you lose options for legal action to hold your abuser and/or their employer accountable. This situation denies justice to survivors of child sexual abuse since they generally are unable to come to terms with the abuse until much later in life.
SOLUTION: Support NYS Senate bill number 63, Child Victim Act, which lifts the statutes of limitation for one year for civil (not criminal) court action so that survivors whose cases were kept out of court by the short SOL can hold accountable their perpetrator and any employer that helped cover up the crime. It also removes the SOL for both criminal and civil cases of child sex abuse going forward.

The bill has passed the NYS Assembly several times, but has been stuck in the Republican Senate. Currently there are 13 co-sponsors of the bill in the NYS Senate.

ACTION: To pass, the bill needs:

1. Republican (priority) and Democrat co-sponsors
2. The support of the NYS Senate President,
Senator Flanagan
3. The support of Governor Cuomo


President of the NYS Senate, John Flanagan
518-455-2071 or Email: flanagan@nysenate.gov

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Your NYS Senator
Google NYS Senate, enter your address and your NYS Senator will be identified with an email address to express your views. ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR S63.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact@cta-nys.org

Upstate NY Call To Action

Ordination Celebration at Albany Inclusive Catholic Community 6/27/2015

Ordination of Kathleen Ruth Ryan as Priest and, Kim Panero, Edmund John and Phoebe Joan as deacons

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, joined members of the Inclusive Catholic Community of the NYS Capital Region to celebrate the ordination of one of their members as priest and three others as deacons.

Read Bridget Mary Meehan’s homily and view more photos at


Witnessing for Women’s Ordination

Western NY CTA members gathered for an Ordination March on Saturday, June 6, in front of the Cathedral as three priests were ordained.

image003 We had eight of us marching outside St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Buffalo on Saturday morning, prior to the ordination Mass. We greeted all comers pleasantly and had a wide gamut of responses – many encouraging remarks, high five’s and thumbs up, but also some negative comments, either saying WO will never happen, or calling us disgraceful, etc.

Overall, I’d say more positive than negative. The fact that one of the ordinands is from Africa produced the most puzzling negative when one woman told us that we were only doing this because a black person was being ordained…. I’m prepared for disagreements with our cause on many fronts – but this one left me very puzzled.

The full entrance procession passed by all of us on the way into the Cathedral. At least one us reported receiving a “Good Morning” from the bishop.

Here’s a link to the story that was in the City section of today’s Buffalo News. In the print edition there is a picture of Lucille carrying some of our signs.


I think it was a good day.

On the same day the Rochester Ordain Women Movement (ROWM) provided a Witness for Women’s Ordination outside the Cathedral in Rochester as Deacons were ordained.


Bishop Salvatore Matano and retired Bishop Matthew Clark presided at the Diaconate ordination this morning. We were there before Mass and after Mass.

I tried photo bombing a photo being taken of the two bishops and four new deacons but was quickly escorted off the steps to the public sidewalk. It created a little excitement.

I exchanged greetings and hugs with quite a few familiar faces ….priests, nuns, deacons, friends who were supportive of us and met some new faces who expressed their thanks for our being there.

We received lots of positives but also some anger and some “in your face” from two women (sad to say). We were called unchristian, no class, go to another church, ruining the day for the deacons,….the usual stuff. After mass a young woman from the neighborhood joined me. It was great to have a young person there.

Save the date:  June 20 for a priest ordination.