The event for March 23: "What is the Church We Want", a presentation by Rosemary Radford Ruether.
Who is Rosemary Radford Ruether? Let's start with her entry in Wikipedia:
She currently is Visiting Professor of Feminist Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University.
...Ruether is the author of many books on feminism, the Bible and Christianity, including Sexism and God-Talk, In Our Own Voices: Four Centuries of American Women’s Religious Writing (ed. with Rosemary Skinner Keller), and The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
She has for thirty years been considered a pioneer in the area of feminist theology in North America, with a particular focus in modern feminist theology and liberation theology, especially in Palestine and Latin America. She has also been an outspoken critic of war since the Vietnam era and continues this work today.
The Catholic University of San Diego Department of Theology and Religious Studies published its choice to elect Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, to the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology for the 2009-2010 academic year, circa April 2008. ...This decision was subsequently rescinded in July 2008 when some members of the campus community protested that her academic work was incompatible with the Catholic faith.
Ruether describes herself as an "eco-feminist" and refers to God as the feminine "Gaia" (however, she noted in July 2008 that a critic "accused me of teaching that ‘God is Gaia,’ a view which I do not take"). Ruether is an advocate of women's ordination. She has questioned the legitimacy of Pope Benedict XVI's accession to the Holy See. Since 1985 Ruether has served as a board member for the pro-abortion rights group "Catholics for Choice" (CFC).
In 2005 Ruether explained to an audience at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles her view that "Christianity is riddled by hierarchy and patriarchy" that created a social order in which chaste women on their wedding night "were, in effect, raped by young husbands whose previous sexual experience came from exploitative relationships with servant women and prostitutes."
She is a signatory to the 9/11 Truth Statement.
OK, that's wikipedia. What about her own words? Here some excerpts from her article, Asking the Existential Questions. And, lest I be accused of taking her words out of context, please, if you can, read the whole article at the link.
...But I am always aware that I reappropriate Christianity from a markedly different basis than do traditional Christians. I reject absolutist views of biblical religion, while at the same time finding biblical religion in its Christian form the most viable language for me to express the dialectics of human existence in relation to God. I believe that. God has truly spoken through Christianity. But God is not a "Christian" and does not prefer Christians (or Jews) to the rest of humanity...
...The renewal of Catholicism [she refers to Vatican II] meant that a whole host of teachings became open questions for at least a significant sector of Catholic Christians. These ranged from current pastoral conflicts over birth control to the basic questions of how we could speak of Jesus as the Christ. My thinking could be translated into a series of writings that were part of a community engaged in revising its identity...
...I would define Catholic Christianity as this whole ecumenical plurality. All particular churches exist within it as broken and partial sects. Even that communion which calls itself Catholic is also a partial and distorted reality...
...The prophetic ministry can be carried out authentically only within one’s own community. It is only when we struggle with and for what we love that we speak responsibly. The more distant one’s ties, the less one has a common base for critical conflict...
...I have gradually developed a methodology of analysis which I share with a community of thinkers who would identify themselves as both Christians and socialists. This means that, even when speaking of a particular issue, such as sexism, I am concerned to situate this issue in its interconnections with class, race and economic structures...
This is the latest faith partner of the Bozek. This is the Marxist-style leadership voice of the crowd that truly runs St. Stan's formerly Catholic church these days.
Can you imagine your average Polish family at St. Stan's in 2004, upset by their perception of financial and control issues vis-a-vis the Archdiocese, hopping up on a table during post-Mass coffee and donuts and shouting, "I reappropriate Christianity from a markedly different basis than do traditional Christians! I reject absolutist views of biblical religion, while at the same time finding biblical religion in its Christian form the most viable language for me to express the dialectics of human existence in relation to God! Let's bolt from these authoritarian hierarchical male-dominated structures!"
I think not.
Winding up this little reflection, I sadly must stress again that this is what happens when you cut yourself off from the vine. It started out as a dispute about parish administration, and there were good-faith disagreements with the Archdiocese. Now we have an excommunicated Board, an excommunicated, heterodox, schismatic and soon-to-be-defrocked usurper pastor, a group of power grabbers who hate the natural law, and an emerging link to a Moonie-sponsored sect.
Will the real parishioners of that place ever do what it takes to end this madness?