Send Love & Solidarity to the Muslim Families of New Zealand: Pledge to Fight White Nationalism
On Friday afternoon, March 15th, a white supremacist opened fire in multiple mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least 50 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in an act of "extremist rightwing violent terrorism." As people of many faiths and beliefs – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Humanist, and others – our hands tremble with the horror at this bloodshed in a sacred space. This massacre was fueled by the same white nationalist hate that led to mass shootings against other communities of color in their houses of worship -- Sikhs in the gurdwara of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Black Americans in Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, and Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We move swiftly to show the Muslim community of New Zealand worldwide solidarity. Prayers mean nothing without action. This act of mass violence was the result of white nationalist ideologies that we all have the power to eradicate. In signing, we express our shared grief and moral outrage, and we pledge to call out hate in all its forms -- in our schools, workplaces, houses of worship, and homes. We recognize that white nationalism is a global epidemic. We pledge to take action to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions and cultures. And when we grow tired, we will remember the faces of those who have been killed and take one another's hands and continue our labors for love and justice in their name.
In Solidarity with the Tree of Life Synagogue, We Pray and We Pledge!
Today, we stand together in solidarity and love, as people from different faiths, backgrounds, and states. We stand with Jewish people across our country, understanding that attacks on one community’s sacred spaces fray the ties that bind us all. And we recommit ourselves to work with all people targeted by hateful ideologies and every form of nationalist violence. Pray and Pledge Add your name to tell the congregations at the Tree of Life Synagogue that you stand with them. Tell them what you’re praying for, and what good work you pledge yourself to in your community! E.g. “I pray… that I remember the humanity of my neighbors each day because tragedy calls us to expand our hearts.” “I pledge... to speak up and step in when I see someone being attacked in public for who they are.” “I pray… that the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh feel our love and support through the days ahead.” “I pledge… to press my representatives to pass comprehensive gun reform, take a public stand against White nationalism, and take my values to the polls.” “I pray… that I have the courage to continue to welcome and tend to those in need.” “I pledge… to bear witness to the children in Tornillo and support the families HIAS helps resettle across the country.”
Catholic Women Religious Superiors Should Vote at The Synod
The XV Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment brings together bishops, auditors and experts from around the world to collaborate and discuss the urgent needs of the Church for three weeks in Rome (October 3 – 28, 2018). Voting on the final documents at these meetings was reserved for ordained men until 2015, when one religious brother (a non-ordained man) was given permission to vote. This year, that number has doubled. Two non-ordained male religious superiors have permission to vote on the documents that, if approved by Pope Francis, could become ordinary magisterial teaching. This is an encouraging opening. Representation from non-clerics adds diversity to one of the institution’s primary decision making bodies and helps the Church move closer to the essence of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio which aims to more directly involve the People of God. While we welcome voting for non-ordained male religious, it does not go far enough. If male religious superiors who are not ordained can vote, then women religious superiors who are also not ordained should vote. With no ontological/doctrinal barrier, the only barrier is the biological sex of the religious superior. In St. John Paul II’s Letter to Women (1995), he made clear the “urgent need to achieve real equality in every area…” He also stated, “This is a matter of justice but also of necessity. Women will increasingly play a part in the solution of the serious problems of the future…” We believe this is especially true of Synods. Women are part of the solution to the serious problems facing the Church. Thus we urge all of you bishops, cardinals and other ordained and non-ordained members who have the authority to vote in this Synod to make a path for women religious superiors to work and vote as equals alongside you as sisters and brothers in Christ. Leaders in serving the world’s most marginalized communities, women religious largely outnumber male religious and could bring underrepresented experiences of accompaniment, leadership, and pastoral care to the Synod. In 2016, there were 659,445 religious sisters worldwide and 52,625 religious brothers (CARA). As Pope Francis calls for “a more incisive female presence” in the Church while calling the Synod “a suitable instrument to give voice to the entire People of God…“ (EC 25), we urge you to bring women into meaningful decision-making in every body of the Church, including the Synod. Since the beginning of the Synod on youth, women from many backgrounds and countries have spoken up in support of voting rights of religious sisters at the Synod. We may have differing opinions on many of issues but one thing unites us: We believe that our Church can overcome the current crisis only if women have a voice and a vote. Partners in the Initiative: Catholic Women Speak CORPUS Donne per la Chiesa FutureChurch New Ways Ministry Quixote Center RAPPORT Voices of Faith We Are Church International Women's Ordination Conference Women's Ordination Worldwide