It was a cool, rainy night Wednesday at Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C. But the drizzly weather did not keep more than 150 people from coming out to hear Fr. Tony Flannery, a priest from Ireland who has been ordered by the Vatican to sign a statement of orthodoxy and to remain silent. But Flannery -- unlike many theologians before him -- did not sign and won't keep quiet. In fact, this was the first stop in an 18-city speaking tour of the United States, sponsored by a coalition of U.S. church reform groups.
Ordination of women
Seventh-day Adventists opted for a middle-way approach on the divisive issue of women's ordination on Tuesday, kicking the question to next year's worldwide meeting without taking a firm stance either for or against women's ordination.
Next year's debate will come nearly 100 years after the death of Adventist matriarch Ellen White and could settle decades of disagreement over whether women should be allowed to be ordained in the 18 million-member church she co-founded.
Catholic News Agency provides a substantial list of articles relating to women in the church since the beginning of the Francis papacy. The articles are listed in a descending order of occurrence. Does any of it represent progress? It definitely represents both forward and backward steps, which is probably to be expected. Is there a gradual progression within this back-and-forth activity?
Global Sisters Report: Mary Bergan Blanchard became a woman priest because women are underrepresented in the world's religions. Practical, not radical, she says.
Jesuit Fr. William Brennan spent the last two years of his life under restricted ministry because of participating in a eucharistic liturgy with a Roman Catholic woman priest.
Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly was not known to brag, but many among the more than 150 who attended her memorial service Monday at Newton Presbyterian Church said she had plenty to boast about.
One thing she could have trumpeted was that she had received all seven Catholic sacraments. From her baptism in 1942 to her more recent reception of the anointing of the sick, she had made her first confession, first Communion and been confirmed in her youth. Later, she entered into matrimony.
Imagine a church service so controversial that police officers are stationed down the street and throughout the congregation. People trained in crowd control and karate are scattered in the pews. Buckets are lined up along the church walls in case of bombs or fire.
At first, the ordinations were "irregular" and "invalid" -- but the rules changed in 1976, regularizing the ordination of the 11 women.
The Church of England's vote to allow female bishops threatens unity with the Catholic church, according to the editor of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
Giovanni Maria Vian, who is also a Rome historian, on Tuesday said the decision would have "an extremely negative impact" on steps to bring the churches closer together despite a positive meeting between Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis a month ago.
Before the vote, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury told the synod that "to pass this legislation is to commit ourselves to an adventure in faith and hope."