Supporting Gender Equality in the Church Results in Excommunication by Gina Messina-Dysert

Gina Messina-Dysert profileIt is unnerving to think that excommunication is still a real threat in the 21st century. Within both the Catholic and Mormon Churches members continue to be bullied into submission with such threats. Today, speaking out against gender injustice seems to be a sure way for one to end up expelled from her or his community. Kate Kelly, a human rights attorney and Mormon feminist, has become the most recent in a long line to be rebuked for speaking out about gender discrimination and is waiting to learn her fate following a trial by LDS Church leaders. Continue reading “Supporting Gender Equality in the Church Results in Excommunication by Gina Messina-Dysert”

I Stand with Fr. Roy Bourgeois by Gina Messina-Dysert

“The Vatican and Maryknoll can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church.” – Fr. Roy Bourgeois 

While many have said it should be no surprise that Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church, I was and am utterly astounded, not to mention deeply saddened.

I have been well aware (and an admirer) of Fr. Roy’s work for sometime; but came to know him personally about one year ago.  While I believed my expectations were unrealistic, Fr. Roy not only lived up to, but surpassed the superhero image I had created in my mind.  He is an incredibly humble and generous man whose utmost concern is honoring the dignity of every human being.  On a personal level Fr. Roy is a friend and mentor; on a social and communal level, I respect his activism, courage, and refusal to comply with demands that violate human rights.  In the face of continual threats Fr. Roy stood strong and now pays the ultimate price for following his conscience.  Excommunication means that he has lost his position and his home; his livelihood, status, and vocation have been taken away.  Fr. Roy is forced into laity and the job market at an age where he should be focused on retiring. Continue reading “I Stand with Fr. Roy Bourgeois by Gina Messina-Dysert”

Half the Church by Lorie Winder

Last week’s nationwide airing of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide reminded those of us who read the Kristof/WuDunn book of the same title how profoundly we were affected by its revelations. For those unfamiliar with either, the book and two-part film document one of the most shameful realities of the twenty-first century, namely, the continued, widespread oppression and degradation of millions of women linked to gender discrimination. Lest we feel impotent when confronted with such a grim reality, the film presents the inspiring stories of courageous women who are making a difference—a Cambodian woman, for example, sold into prostitution as a child, who escapes and later builds a school and refuge for girls with a similar history. Such stories challenge us with what Half the Sky calls “the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change.” Continue reading “Half the Church by Lorie Winder”

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