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MARCH/APRIL/MAY 2012/APRIL 2013

Virginia Saldanha, Ecclesia of Women in Asia, and Catherine of Siena Virtual College: The Ordination of Women as Priests

INDIAN FEMINIST "THEOLOGIAN" VIRGINIA SALDANHA

NOTE: MY COMMENTS ARE, AS ALWAYS, IN GREEN COLOR THROUGHOUT THIS REPORT.
SYNOPSIS

Virginia Saldanha has only completed "certificate courses in theology for the laity" and that qualification appears sufficient for the Indian church to acclaim her as a theologian who even lectures bishops!

On the basis of those "certificate courses" and with the blessings of some bishops, she has helped other feminist nun-theologians organize women theologians into an Asian Women Theologians' Forum.

Ecclesia of Women in Asia [EWA] -- of which she is in the vanguard -- is the forum of Asian Women Theologians. She is one of two Indian lay women in the leadership – the other is Astrid Lobo Gajiwala.
Her background in parish and diocesan catechetics and other activities led her from the Women’s desk of the archdiocese to the Executive Secretary-ship of the Commission for Women in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India [CBCI] and to the same chair at the Office of Laity, Family and Women's Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences [FABC].

By her own admission, she was "drawn to liberation theology" during her theological studies. She also immersed herself in the "theological writings of well-known feminist theologians", to quote her.


In and through her own and reproduced articles and blogs in EWA, she promotes leading dissenters against the teachings of the Catholic Church, excommunicated or castigated priests, women whose "theology is incompatible with the Catholic Faith", women who are pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia, pro-artificial birth control, pro-sex education, pro-homosexuality and lesbianism, and most of all who advocate a radical feminist theology, including of course, the ordination of women as priests.

She has a problem with what she perceives as "the deification of priests" in the Catholic Church.

She is also an activist for the use of inclusive language -- a radical feminist characteristic -- in the Bible as well as in the liturgy, what they euphemistically term, "a new reading of the Scriptures".

She rejects the new, revised liturgy of the Mass, defiantly saying, among other things, "I do not believe that Christ died just for the many, but for all. I also will not use the word "consubstantial"… I will continue to do what I believe to be right and true," but approves of liturgies that are blatant aberrations and abuses.

The bishops elevated her to influential positions and can now do little or nothing. A Bombay priest writes to me that she is a "Frankenstein monster" created by the bishops and remains to haunt them even after she quit her executive positions in the hierarchy. Despite having accepted and held influential and rewarding [for the promotion and development of her own agendas and contacts] posts in the hierarchy for over two decades, probably the highest held by any Indian lay woman till date, "hierarchy" has now become for her, as for all feminists, a four-letter word because "[t]he establishment of the hierarchy gives priests power and legitimacy to dominate and control the Church, and by virtue of the exclusion of women from the hierarchy, this power is used over them", http://www.ucanews.com/2011/09/28/old-heirarchies-inhibit-the-asian-church/. 1.


News of her activities and those of her feminist sisters-in-arms is regularly reported in Asia’s largest Catholic news agency, UCAN, [See the note on UCAN at the bottom of page 11; I easily located at least forty stories on the Internet] and in the liberal National Catholic Reporter [over a dozen]. None of these stories are critical of her -- or their -- positions or demands; instead they project the feminist agenda in a favourable light. Many of them indicate that she has plenty of grouses against the Church, its teachings and positions on critical issues of faith and doctrine.

I have reproduced the relevant sections of these articles in this report.

Still, UCAN eulogises her as an "advocate for women’s rights", see http://www.ucanews.com/story-archive/?post_name=/2004/01/21/catholics-reaffirm-commitment-to-global-solidarity-at-world-social-forum&post_id=23682.

Virginia Saldanha is the face and strident voice of the feminist lobby in the Indian Church.

After wading through all their concerns about gender violence, exploitation of women, empowerment of women, discrimination against women, "space for Catholic women to have their voices heard, thoughts and reflections articulated" [a favourite refrain], the use of gender-sensitive language, the "'searching' and 'finding' of women’s identity", the bottom line is this: they all want women to be ordained as priests.

When the smoke screen of various peripheral demands is dispelled by a little research and investigation, the ultimate "women’s rights" that they are concerned about is for women to be ordained.

That, Rome has repeated over and over again, is something that is impossible, unthinkable, and wrong to even bring up for discussion if one is Catholic.


Her latest new activity is as the Indian contact for the Catherine of Siena Virtual College which will conduct "gender studies" through an eight-week long online seminar for a small fee. We can imagine the curriculum.

"Gender studies" is a euphemism; it is a front for ex-priest John Wijngaards' movement for womenpriests.

The current President of the Catherine of Siena Virtual College is herself a researcher and avid fan of world number 1 New Ager Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s eco-feminist spirituality.

Ecclesia of Women in Asia [EWA] has had five Asian conferences from its inception till date. In this report, I have documented enough of their anti-Catholic deliberations, activities, liturgies and statements for the bishops to be able to come down heavily on them and restrain their movement -- if they have the mind and courage to. EWA "liturgies" appear to be horrible aberrations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

As for their discussions on women’s sexuality, vaginas and orgasms, and not excluding an unprintable four-letter word relating to the female genitalia, the less said by me, the better. Read the report.
Ecclesia of Women in Asia [EWA], the forum of Asian Women Theologians, is to meet in India in August 2013. It will be their sixth Asian conference since the first one in 2002.

The venue has not yet been decided. Will the Indian Bishops’ Conferences do what is necessary based on the damning evidences -- especially of their main agenda, women priests -- which have been thoroughly documented in this report?
INDEX OF CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS and INDEX 1, 2, 131

Feminist "theologian" Virginia Saldanha - Profile 3

Catherine of Siena Virtual College 3-7, 71, 75-92, 98-104, 109, 110-118 [See separate 70-page report]


Ecclesia of Women in Asia 1 Bangkok, Thailand 2002 7-15

Ecclesia of Women in Asia 2 Yogyakarta, Indonesia 2004 15-21

Ecclesia of Women in Asia 3 Colombo, Sri Lanka 2007 21-28

Ecclesia of Women in Asia 4 Hua Hin, Thailand, 2009 28-29, 118-119

Ecclesia of Women in Asia 5 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2011 29-30

Feminist "theologian" Astrid Lobo Gajiwala 24-26, 27, 28, 51

Ecclesia of Women in Asia: Miscellaneous information 30-34, 118-119

Virginia Saldanha: Bishop Fathers child by nun; posts from the MumbaiLaity blog 35-39, 72-74, 129

Mirror meditation: Aham Brahmasmi, I am God - Virginia Saldanha defends the indefensible 39-40

Virginia Saldanha and the seditious Catholic Ashrams Movement 40, 41

Virginia Saldanha opposes the Document Ecclesia in Asia and evangelization 41, 42

National Catholic Reporter articles related to Virginia Saldanha 5, 30-31, 41-44, 128

AN OPEN LETTER TO BENEDICT XVI FROM VIRGINIA SALDANHA ON BEHALF OF "ASIAN WOMEN" 43, 44

A few UCAN articles related to Virginia Saldanha 44-47, 55, 79, 80

VIRGINIA SALDANHA AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN AS PRIESTS 47-62, 75-91, 127

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN PAUL II FROM INDIAN FEMINIST NUN-THEOLOGIANS 47-51


Conference of Religious India [CRI] and their support of the feminist lobby 56-58, 65, 118, 125-127

Ecclesia of Women in Asia 6 INDIA 2013 62-69

Sr. Margaret Gonsalves, feminist theologian, secretary of EWA 6, Interplay 62-67

Sr. Philomena D’Souza, feminist theologian 67-69, 71

Virginia Saldanha’s reactions to this ministry’s investigations 69-70, 72-74

Virginia Saldanha and her agendas get free publicity in the Catholic media 26, 40-41, 56, 70-71, 120-127

INDEX OF CONTENTS continued on page 131 2.

Virginia Saldanha, Web Coordinator, Ecclesia of Women in Asia, B/4, Pearl Queen, North Avenue, Santa Cruz, Mumbai – 400 054, India. Tel: 26490161, Mobile: 9819626197 email: womynvs@gmail.com.

NOTE: The usage of "womyn" is tied to radical feminism, see page 37.
http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/profile/VirginiaSaldanha:

Educational Background

Bachelor's Degree majoring in Economics.

Done Certificate courses in Theology for the Laity offered by the Diocesan Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bombay. [UCAN upgrades this to a Diploma! See http://www.ucanews.com/2011/04/11/promoting-the-value-of-the-girl-child/, see page 80; Smart Companion India does the same, see page 121]


Work, Church, NGO experience

Worked in the Church from my days as a college youth. After being widowed, worked in my parish of Sacred Heart, Santa Cruz, Mumbai as a catechist in regular school as well as Sunday school for 14 years. During that time I did in-service training at the Diocesan Catechetical Centre in Catechetics.


Served in the Diocese on the Executive Committee of the Justice and Peace Commission from 1991 - 1999. Was the Executive Secretary of the Women's Desk of the Archdiocese from 1992-2000. Was a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council for a term of 4 years. Was the Executive Secretary of the Commission for Women in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India from 1998 - 2004. During my tenure I helped to organize the women theologians in India which functions under the name of Indian Women Theologians' Forum today.
Continue to be on the organizing committee of the IWTF for the organization of the biennial meetings.
Was Executive Council member of Pax Christi International from 1997 to 2004. During this period I not only got in touch with international women's organizations, but got a good idea of global issues in politics and economics.
In my personal capacity worked for the uplift of the domestic workers in my parish who were mainly poor dalit women. Continue to be in touch with that group till date by associating with my parish community centre which works with women's groups in the slum areas of the parish. Thereafter I was associated with the Bombay Houseworkers' Solidarity and the National Domestic Workers Forum for several years…
Member of Satyashodak, a catholic women's study and reflection group in Mumbai.
Presently associated with Women Networking, a loose network of women's groups in the city of Mumbai.

Am a free lance writer - contributing articles to various catholic and NGO magazines and papers.

http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/profiles/blogs/virtual-birdging-of-wired-asia-towards-an-asian-feminist-theology:

Virginia Saldanha was Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Laity, Women’s Desk (1996-2009), coordinator/founder member of Indian Women's Theologians Forum and a member of Satyashodak. She is author of Woman Image of God (2005) and editor of two volumes of Discipleship of Asian Women at the Service of Life (2007, 2011) which are compilations of papers presented at meetings on Women for Bishops during her tenure with the FABC.


CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE

A. ONE OF THE EWA BLOGS Will Women Priests Change the Church? AND VIRGINIA SALDANHA’S RESPONSE

Posted by Virginia Saldanha on February 10, 2011



http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/forum/topics/will-women-priests-change-the?xg_source=activity:

My email is erlenecua@yahoo.com and my phone is 314 3781080. By September 9 I am finishing my Residency for the Clinical Pastoral Education. I would like to ask EWA* if there is a job opening in the organization? A part time one may be ok. I can do some WEB maintenance, grant writing, pastoral assistantship. *Ecclesia for Women in Asia

BTW, I just attended a conference on LGBTQ** Catholics in Washington DC last July and stayed at the New Ways Ministry center with Jeanine Grammick***Erlinda

**LGBTQ: Lesbians Gays Bisexuals Transgenders Queers

Hi! Erlinda, I am working on something positive to bring about change - education for women and men on the Web which is a free space to think, analyse and express oneself.  Visit the website at www.catherinecollege.net

Warmly, Virginia


***Sr. Jeanine Grammick believes that "homosexual identity is not a sickness but an alternative sexual orientation". In 1999, the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, CDF, under the present Pope Benedict XVI investigated and disciplined her for her teachings about gays and lesbians and her activities at her "New Ways Ministry" . See also http://credo.stormloader.com/Morals/spreadho.htm by James Likoudis.
B. EXTRACT FROM http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/forum/topics/women-in-religion?commentId=2228197%3AComment%3A12723

Dear Nyguyen [sic] A Quan****,

Greetings! I read your paper with interest. Are you interested in exploring this topic further? Then perhaps you can do an online course at the Catherine of Siena Virtual College. Go to the website and check out the courses on Women Ministries in the Church. The website is www.catherinecollege.net, click on the Academic courses and you can see the different courses offered. 

You can get a scholarship as well if you are interested. Courses are 5 to 8 weeks long and begin in January, April, July and October each year. Let me know. Warmly, Virginia



**** Nguyen Anh Quan is an avowed feminist. 3.
ADVERTISING FOR THE CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE

C. From: Virginia Saldanha womynvs@gmail.com To:  Sent: March 2012

Subject: Be part of the change you would like to see in women's reality.

Dear Friends,

I appreciate that all of you are supportive of issues concerning women. We would all like to see an end to violence against women, sexual harassment of women on the streets, workplace, public and private spaces. But the bottom line is how do we change attitudes to make the paradigm shift in bringing about change.

The CBCI brought out a gender policy that threatens to stay a dead letter, as very few have taken the initiative to read and implement it. It is left up to the women who have little or no power in the Church to act, to garner resources, etc. Again, it is an issue of coming up against attitudes.

The most common attitude is "Yes I support women's empowerment and I am against violence to women. And yes I am all for women going ahead with programmes to do this". But in reality very few men really support women in action. All programmes for women's day are attended by women only, as if the women only can bring about change that is needed. What is lacking is a change in our own mindsets. Yes, we are all products of a patriarchal society/Church. We have deeply ingrained attitudes about what is takes to be male and female.

I invite you to look at these attitudes and challenge yourself to make a change. I invite you to take the course "Patriarchies of the Past, Masculinities for the Future". It is a course offered by Catherine of Siena Virtual College. It requires you to register, read the lessons, answer the questions online and then participate in a chatroom where you will meet men and women from different parts of the world. There you can share your views, make comments and discuss your ideas in a safe environment of privacy and respect. It is an 8 week course requiring you to spend 2 - 3 hours a week at your convenience to read the lesson. But dedicated time for the chatroom of 90 mins.

Courses begin on 9th April 2012.

Those who want to get to know the Gender Policy of the Catholic Church in India and do what you can to implement it, please take the online seminar on the Gender Policy which will run for 5 weeks. Or refer it to others who should be having knowledge of this.

We have very reasonable rates for meeting our expenses of running these courses. You pay according to your means, beginning with Rs. 200 for students, Rs. 500 for religious. And freeships for those who say they cannot afford even that. I can send you our schedule of fees according to your afforability if you ask. The important thing is we are committed to bring about change for and with women.  

Women are also welcome to do the course, so that they can help men change, especially in the socialization of the young.

Please do go to our website to know more about what we do www.catherinecollege.net.

Please do write back to me if you are interested in taking a course at registrar@catherinecollege.net.

Be part of the change you want to see!

Thank you! With best wishes, Virginia


Catherine of Siena Virtual College www.catherinecollege.net.
Imparting and Stimulating Awareness education to make our world more just and inclusive
Contact: registrar@catherinecollege.net

In Mumbai: Mobile: 91-9819626197 Landline: 91-22-26490161


D. From: Croydon Sent: Monday, March 19, 2012 5:21 AM To: dean@catherinecollege.net Subject: Course detail

I am a resident of Mumbai, India and was interested in doing your courses. However, before I do so and encourage others to, I would be grateful if you could please answer the following:-


(1) Is the institution Roman Catholic?
(2) Has it been approved by either Vatican or any related institutions?
(3) Are the courses in strict compliance with the teachings of the magisterium?
Awaiting eagerly on your reply to the same and will enroll for your courses as soon as I receive them.
From: dean dean@catherinecollege.net Date: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM Subject: RE: Course detail To: Croydon

Thank you for your inquiry. We are an academic college teaching women and gender studies. We are not a theological institute. All the best, Deborah Rose-Milavec


E. From: Name withheld1 To: registrar@catherinecollege.net Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 4:37 PM

Subject: Catherine of Siena Virtual College

Before I join up:


You have given a Mumbai contact in your advertisement, but is your college affiliated with any foreign institute?

How i.e. on what basis will the evaluation of the student and her performance be done by your college and will you provide a certificate to those who complete the course?

Will there be contact classes in Mumbai?

From: dean dean@catherinecollege.net Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 11:19:22 -0400

Subject: FW: Catherine of Siena Virtual College To: Name withheld1
Thank you for your inquiry. Our Registrar passed this on to me to answer your questions about student evaluations. If you wish to sign up for a class, please contact her at registrar@catherinecollege.net.

To answer your questions: 4.


We are a non-profit academic college offering women's and gender studies online. Our main office is located in Cincinnati, Ohio USA and we have staff that work in various parts of the world, thus the contact you saw in Mumbai. We are not currently affiliated with any other institution but are working on an accreditation path with a university in the UK.


Our courses are evaluated according to college standards. Participation and writing form the core of our evaluation process and students who complete the course successfully are awarded a Certificate of Completion.
There are no contact classes in Mumbai at the present time, but students from Mumbai can take our courses online. It is a lovely chance to meet students from around the world.
Have you had a chance to visit our website at www.catherinecollege.net?
Thanks again and let me know if you have further questions. Deborah Rose-Milavec



F. WHO’S WHO AT CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE

http://www.catherineofsiena.net/about/staff.asp:

President: Ursula King, feminist theologian "a world expert in feminism and gender studies". [See page 90]

Among her numerous publications we find: Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Christ in All Things: Exploring Spirituality with Teilhard de Chardin." Also, The Spirit of One Earth: Reflections on Teilhard de Chardin and Global Spirituality and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Writings Selected With an Introduction.

Ursula King was the President, Teilhard Centre, London, 1992-1995.

MY COMMENTS

Teilhard de Chardin is ranked as the world’s leading New Ager as per the February 3, 2003, Vatican Document on the New Age. The President of Catherine of Siena Virtual College has a fascination for him.

Deborah Rose-Milavec is Vice-President of Catherine of Siena Virtual College.
G. IN THE CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE BLOG AND THE EWA BLOG

Posted by Virginia Saldanha in



http://www.catherinecollege.net/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=21&Itemid=1 and

http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/forum/topics/virginia-saldanha-interview-with-national-catholic-reporter.

Virginia Saldanha speaks out in the NCR - Interview by Denis Coday of the National Catholic Reporter

Also at http://www.ucanews.com/2011/10/24/a-voice-for-women/ and http://ncronline.org/news/women/voice-women.

October 21, 2011 [SEE MORE ON PAGE 128]

When I studied theology I was drawn to liberation theology*…

I then joined a women’s reflection group called Satyashodak (Search for Truth). We studied theological writings of well-known feminist theologians and discussed women’s role and status in church and society. When the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India held consultations to start a Commission for Women, our group was involved in the organization of the consultations. Our auxiliary bishop in Bombay then asked one of us to volunteer to work as secretary of the Diocesan Women’s Desk. All the women in the group refused as the bishop said he could not offer a salary at that moment. I decided to volunteer because I felt that if this opportunity was passed up, we may never get the Women’s Desk. This was in 1992. The post continues to be worked by women volunteers.

In 1994 I was selected to go to the first Asian Laity Meeting sponsored by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Seoul [South Korea]. After this meeting in 1995 I was asked if I would take charge of the Women’s Desk in the Asian bishops’ Office of Laity, which was to be started then. I took charge of the FABC Women’s Desk in 1996.

In 1998 I received a telephone call early one morning from my local bishop who informed me that I was appointed as executive secretary of the [Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India] Women’s Desk**. I said I already had two responsibilities and could not take on the third. But he insisted and promised that this was a stopgap arrangement; he would try and find someone else within the next six months. The six months turned to six years. I worked three jobs and received an honorarium only from the FABC Women’s Desk of $2,000 a year…


Looking back at all the work I have done in various capacities in the church, I’d say that the bishops saw me as a "loyal daughter" and perhaps safe to be in these positions. But I turned out to be a dark horse for them***…

I had proposed that the Women’s Desk hold a meeting for dialogue between women theologians and bishops. After that, I felt my work moving downhill. I think that the bishops felt threatened by such a proposal. For five years I worked to make such a meeting a reality. Several names of women theologians I wished to work with were turned down as unacceptable. Finally I was told to write to the bishops’ conferences to get them to nominate women theologians. After I did this I got the go-ahead.



The FABC Office of Theological Concerns agreed to partner with me. The Office of Theological Concerns chose dates for the meeting to facilitate its members’ attending. But when the meeting actually took place, just one bishop and one woman theologian, both of whom were scheduled speakers, turned up. The executive secretary himself and every other member found excuses not to attend. I had expected 40 bishops and finally had to work hard to get just 10. That experience finally made me realize that it was not worth continuing to work in the church structure for women. This was in 2008. By the end of the year I was told that my term was up and I should submit names of possible successors. I was happy to go.

I thought that the purpose of having a Women’s Desk in a bishops’ structure would be to help the bishops understand the problems of women so that they can carry out their pastoral ministry to women better. 5.

But since the bishops felt they had to tell me what to do and how to do it, I felt it is no use wasting my time in the structure.

In the earlier years however, I did meet with a lot of success. The women’s movement in the church in Asia was launched and grew fast. It will continue to grow even at the margins because there is a lot of awareness about women’s rights and status***. END [SEE MORE ON PAGE 128]


Dennis Coday is NCR**** managing editor. His e-mail address is dcoday@ncronline.org.
MY COMMENTS

1. *Virginia Saldanha's theological formation and spirituality are influenced by liberation theology.

Benedict XVI cautions against dangers of Marxist liberation theology

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17965
Vatican City, Dec 7, 2009 / 11:42 am (CNA)- In a meeting with a group of Brazilian bishops on Saturday, the Holy Father warned of the dangers of Marxist liberation theology and noted its grave consequences for ecclesial communities…
2. **Virginia Saldanha is wooed by the bishops. By her account, she did not seek the CBCI post. It was conferred on her.

3. ***Virginia Saldanha becomes the bane of the bishops both at the national level and the Asian level. At first, things go well for her, but when some bishops encounter her underlying radical feminism and there are problems, she decides that it is better to quit and do her own thing with other like-minded women.

She says that she "turned out to be a dark horse" for the bishops. She used the wrong idiom. A "dark horse" conveys a positive image and is an unexpected winner in a race. I would rather call her a "Trojan horse" in the Indian church. But, maybe she is correct despite her linguistic error because the bishops provided her with national and international platforms which she ultimately used to extend her influence and agendas.

See pages 127, 128 in this context.

Recently, a priest wrote to me [like all other letters in my reports, this is unsolicited and 100% genuine]:


From: Rev. Father To: prabhu Cc: Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 11:38 PM Subject: Re: FOR THE LAITYTUDE

[…] In fact Astrid Lobo Gajiwala and Virginia Saldanha are Frankenstein monsters created by the Bishops […] and now they are there to devour them and the church...



4. ****The National Catholic Reporter [NCR] is a liberal, dissenting [anti-Rome] magazine which supports the writings of leading feminists and anti-lifers, see http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/disspeop.htm.
H. Toward the future Church by Virginia Saldanha

Posted by Virginia Saldanha in



http://www.catherinecollege.net/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=5&Itemid=1

April 25, 2011

Dear Friends,

I had a very interesting Easter service here in Belgium at my daughter's parish. It lasted only an hour - compared to the long services we have in India! It had everything - blessing of the fire, water and the sprinkling - with the readings - minus the sermon, the litany and all unnecessary things that were OK in the past centuries. The people who attended the service were given candles and the liturgy while entering the Church and an Easter egg after the service!


What was striking was the inclusive language and a woman who was suitably vested assisting the priest.

My daughter refers to her as the pastor of the parish as she runs the parish. The PP is over 80 yrs old. The woman performs baptisms, funerals, marriages etc. The priest celebrates Mass and enters only for essential moments like the consecration. At the Easter service he did the blessings.

The people here accept the leadership of the woman as they do not want imported priests. They prefer to have someone from their own community and culture. I see this truly as the Church in the 21st century.  


There is another Catholic community in this area which has a male and female as co-celebrants of the Eucharist. Many people who are disillusioned with the traditional Church have joined to create this community. There are religious women, priests and others who serve in the Church who are members of this Community. I attended their Sunday Eucharist once last year. My daughter was called to give the homily one day during lent as she works on poverty alleviation policy with international governments. 
These are examples of a "Future Church"
which gives me much hope.  The traditional Church is destroying itself, but the faith of people which is very much alive will survive in these new ways.  But it requires a thinking people with courage to name the truth.

Warmly, Virginia Saldanha


MY COMMENTS

Virginia Saldanha indicts herself here, as much as she does in many of her blog postings and articles.

At the short version Easter Eucharistic service in her daughter’s progressive "Future Church" in Belgium, she is actually relieved that "the sermon, the litany and all unnecessary things that were OK in the past centuries" were omitted.

The liturgy of the service used inclusive language, not the rubrics of the Roman Missal which does not use any inclusive language. She exults in that, and in the "woman … pastor" who virtually runs the parish. 6.
From her account, one finds it difficult to know if the "Mass" is celebrated by the aged parish-priest -- who "enters only for essential moments like the consecration" -- or by his woman assistant who is the "pastor" of the parish. Was it a licit/legitimate, valid Mass at all?

If there is doubt about that for some lack of detail, there is certainly no doubt that the other Community service that she records having attended is no Catholic Holy Mass by any stretch of imagination.


She describes it as a "Catholic community" which it is NOT. It is a rebel, breakaway church -- whose members are "people who are disillusioned with the traditional Church" -- that is doing its own thing.

What she proudly calls a "Sunday Eucharist" was an aberration, what with "female … co-celebrants of the Eucharist" and lay persons like her daughter being permitted to deliver "the homily".

What was Virginia Saldanha doing there, giving the farce her approval by her presence and silence? Is she not aware that her Sunday Mass obligation was not fulfilled? As such, it is a mortal sin.

Has she confessed the sin? I may be excused for wondering -- and doubting -- whether feminists like her believe in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, especially since they would have to confess to a priest, a man.

Virginia Saldanha, by virtue of her background, is a person who should be knowing the correct teachings of the Church and playing a prophetic role in combating error, not fostering it.

Does she reflect the current trends in theological thought and spirituality of top level people in the CBCI and the FABC who are actually engaged -- as she is -- in teaching, lecturing and conducting seminars in seminaries and for bishops? If no, then why haven’t the bishops admonished or restrained her, or banned her from continuing to use Church forums to poison other Catholics?

Is there something that she knows, a secret knowledge that makes them fear her? See pp. 35-39.

In the following pages, I will reproduce an abundance of evidence of her anti-Catholic agendas. All of it is copied by me from the print or Internet media. In some of the stories, bishops were present to hear her speak. Surely all the bishops are not blind or deaf or cowardly, even if some of them are!

Virginia Saldanha is militating for an Indian "Future Church", one where women will be ordained priests!!


INFORMATION ON CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE CONTINUED ON PAGE 75.
ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA [EWA], FORUM OF ASIAN CATHOLIC WOMEN THEOLOGIANS

ONE OF THE BLOGS AND VIRGINIA SALDANHA’S RESPONSE AT Feminists - Are we or aren’t we?

http://ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/forum/topics/feminists-are-we-or-arent-we:

I have nothing against feminists or feminism, but I myself do not want to be classified as a feminist. I feel I am restricted within "feminism", and cannot think freely. I am concerned with women's issues, and when I theologize, I can speak only as a woman. But I would like to see women's issues as HUMAN issues. Sanae Masuda (Japan) csmasuda@luck.ocn.ne.jp Sat, 15 Jan 2005 (Japan, EWA 1)

I was tongue tied when I read Sanae’s email. I felt out of my depth as in this situation it was something too delicate to give her the right answer. Virginia Saldanha (India)

NOTE: "Ecclesia" is Greek for "church"


Ecclesia of Women in Asia [EWA], Forum of Asian Catholic Women Theologians
There have been five gatherings of the EWA since its conception in 2001 and inception in 2002.


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