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Catholic priests’ association to examine status of women

and end to “hierarchical dominance” in the Catholic Church

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests will hold its 2019 assembly in St. Louis, June 24-27, at the Airport Marriott. The AUSCP is the largest association of its kind in the United States, with 1,200 priest-members and 175 friends. About 250 members are registered for the assembly, focused on the theme: “God’s Priestly People: The Baptized and the Ordained.” 

What’s the issue?The Catholic Church ordains priests for sacramental service, but also teaches that all baptized personsare members of “God’s Priestly People.” This raises questions about the status of women and also the need to confront the notion that ordained priests have privileged status. 

Action:AUSCP members will be asked to affirm an “AUSCP Declaration on the Status of Women,”which states, in part: “Separate but equal status no longer meets the needs of the world today. The gifts that women can bring to the Church are thwarted when none are given the authority to minister or govern beyond limited possibilities.”

Action:AUSCP members will also be asked to affirm a document, “Confronting the Systemic Dysfunction of Clericalism,” acknowledging the need “to break down the wall of hierarchical dominance” in the Catholic Church. The AUSCP insists that sex abuse and abuse of power are rooted in clericalism.

Keynote speakersat the assembly include Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, a key figure in the Catholic response to clerical sex abuse and the responsibility of bishops; Richard Gaillardetz, a theologian who has studied the structure of authority in the Church; and Sister Norma Pimentel,who directs the work of Catholic Charities ministering to immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley.

• Gaillardetz will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, June 24

• Pimentel will speak at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25

• Cupich will speak at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26 

• Mass with Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 26 

Sanctuary:Your coverage is also invited on Tuesday evening, June 25, when some assembly participants will meet Alex Garcia in the basement of Christ Church UCC in Maplewood and learn why he has been in public sanctuaryfor the past 18 months. 

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