A Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2017

A Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

Women-Church Convergence issued the following letter:

Dear Friends in Faith,

Our hearts go out to you who have been subjected to pastorally inadequate and insensitive theology in the recent DECREE “Regarding Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues” given by your bishop the Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki. You deserve better because our Catholic faith teaches us to embrace everyone.

We who join in sending you this letter rejoice in the many Catholic groups that are living proof of the inclusive, welcoming message of the Gospel.

Please let our words of comfort, solidarity, and encouragement be balm for your souls and strength for your actions at this trying time.

We offer words of comfort to those of you who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and their allies and family members. It is simply counter to our Catholic faith to single out any group for exclusion. It is especially egregious to use our sacramental system as a basis for rewards and punishments.

The Decree misses the signal importance of public, joyfully celebrated baptisms of babies, young people, and adults as they become part of our community. It ignores the welcome table that is the Eucharist. And, it dishonors the dead who are denied church funerals not because of sin but because of love. Let especially your young people hear us sing atop our voices, “All are welcome.”

Read more: A Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

Women-Church Convergence expresses solidarity with LGBTQI+ community during Pride Month, June 2017

Women-Church Convergence expresses solidarity with LGBTQI+ community during Pride Month, June 2017

For immediate release: June 5, 2017

Women-Church Convergence (W-CC), a coalition of Catholic-rooted feminist organizations, expresses our unwavering solidarity with members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Ally (LGBTQI+) community during Pride Month, June 2017. We celebrate the monumental legal, social, and religious achievements on issues of sex and gender, and pledge our energies to ensure that more justice, more love will emerge.

At a time when discrimination and violence including murders of LGBTQI+ people are rising, we call for an end to all oppression based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We decry the use of religion to justify any violation of human rights.

We are especially sobered as we approach the first anniversary of the horrific massacre of fifty people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil. We are alarmed by the record-setting number of murders of transgender individuals, especially transwomen of color in 2016, a trend expected to continue this year. We continue to challenge faith leaders and politicians who have failed to acknowledge these hate crimes, and who have failed to accept or repent of their responsibility for creating a climate that allows such dehumanizing attacks to occur.

We register our deep concern about the pending guidelines on how federal agencies, federally funded organizations, businesses, and social service agencies should interpret the recently signed Executive Order “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” We fear that the guidelines will roll back the stability and equity that marriage equality has provided for hundreds of thousands of couples and their children, and will place undue burdens on these families. We reject any attempt to characterize this discrimination as an issue of religious freedom.

Read more: Women-Church Convergence expresses solidarity with LGBTQI+ community during Pride Month, June 2017

Women-Church Convergence Statement on the Climate Crisis

For Immediate Release: ​April 19, 2017​

Women-Church Convergence Statement on the Climate Crisis

​Member groups of Women-Church Convergence (W-CC) issued the following statement:

As Earth Day, April 22, is marked worldwide, the following members of W-CC join thousands of other organizations and individuals in decrying the current state of the world where environmental degradation is increasing quickly.

We hold political leaders, business leaders and religious leaders accountable for protecting our environment worldwide, and condemn damaging and myopic policies that are threatening human civilization

The signs of distress, human and ecological, are all around. Drought threatens life in places as diverse as the Sudan and California. Food production is at risk. Human health weakens. Countless species of animal and plant life are threatened. Increasing carbon emissions compromise clean air necessary to sustain healthy life. Disastrous climate events such as floods, storms and hurricanes increase.

Read more: Women-Church Convergence Statement on the Climate Crisis

Catholic Leaders Urge Continued Funding for Planned Parenthood

Catholic Leaders Urge Continued Funding for Planned Parenthood

As a matter of faith, conscience, equality, and dignity, we, the members of Women-Church Convergence (W-CC) rebuke and condemn efforts to curtail access to critical healthcare with the current move to defund Planned Parenthood. As a Catholic-rooted, feminist coalition committed to social justice, we stand in solidarity with the millions of Catholic women—in the U.S. and around the globe--who use and need the services and care provided by Planned Parenthood for their cancer screenings, access to contraception, and other critical health care.

The core of the Catholic faith prizes justice and fairness for all of creation. It is therefore not an option to ignore the rights and voices of women. Women deserve safe and accessible healthcare. Our faith teaches us that healthcare should not simply be the providence of those with means; nor should healthcare be dependent on the whims of a market. Rather, healthcare is a human right and reproductive healthcare is integral to healthcare. Cutting off federal funds from Planned Parenthood for health care reduces the ability of individual women to access needed health care. It perpetuates racial injustice and gender-based violence by disproportionately targeting women of color and restricting access to reproductive freedom. Women’s health is both domestically and globally undervalued and underfunded, and these efforts to defund Planned Parenthood—following the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule and its disastrous consequences—would further prove that women’s lives are not valued by this administration and our elected representatives in Congress.

Read more: Catholic Leaders Urge Continued Funding for Planned Parenthood

Women-Church Convergence Members Respond To Challenging Times With Spirituality and Calls for Justice

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2017

Women-Church Convergence Members Respond To Challenging Times With Spirituality and Calls for Justice

Women-Church Convergence (W-CC), a coalition of autonomous Catholic-rooted feminist organizations, gathered in Chicago last weekend for its annual meeting and expressed its extreme dismay about the present United States administration and its destructive policy positions on many urgent issues.

W-CC held a public panel in conjunction with its annual meeting entitled “Feminist Spirituality and Activism in Challenging Times,” in which five inspiring women of faith shared their perspectives on intersectional activism since the election. Speakers on the panel included Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), Sonja Spoo, Domestic Program Associate at Catholics for Choice (CFC), Laura Singer, an activist for reform in the Catholic church working with the Women's Ordination Conference and Call To Action, and Lauren Robinson and Violet Ricker, both current students at McCormick Theological Seminary.

Read more: Women-Church Convergence Members Respond To Challenging Times With Spirituality and Calls for...