Women priests do not affirm hierarchy

The recent article written by Dawn Cherie Araujo is a great tribute to women who are committing their lives to Church renewal through their ordination as priests. There are actually about 200 women in our International Movement. This includes priests, deacons and candidates. They are in Europe, Latin America and North America.

In her article, Ms. Araujo cites the following quote without referencing the source: "Unlike some of the current members of the religious communities they left, as priests they affirm the idea of the church’s clerical hierarchy."

The current members of religious women communities are truly holy women committed first and foremost, to the people of God who, according to Vatican II, are The Church. We all know that many of these women are at odds with the hierarchy and for very good reason.

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) has among its members many former women religious. However, ARCWP members do not “affirm the idea of the church’s clerical hierarchy.”  We believe that the Church needs reforming at a very basic level to be truly in sync with living according to the Gospel of Jesus, our brother.

There is a very important correction that must be made to the quote cited above. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests' model is not clerical or hierarchical. We are egalitarian and circular in our decision-making, in our structures as well as in our inclusive grassroots communities. That is why our priests do not wear clerical collars. We see ourselves as one with the people with whom we partner and those we serve in ministry. We do not set ourselves apart. Our  vision is to live Gospel equality now through a renewed priesthood in a community of equals.

I am making this correction as circle leader on behalf of our ARCWP community.

With gratitude to you Dawn for covering our movement so eloquently I ask you to notify your readers that this statement is very incorrect from our vision and mission.

Blessings and peace,

Dorothy Shugrue ARCWP
Cheshire, Connecticut

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