Speaking from the Wisconsin friary, Zawada said the letter "sent me for a loop," even though he anticipated a response at some point. "But nothing has changed in terms of my own commitment and belief" concerning women's ordination, he said, adding that they have only deepened.
Normally I do not make comments in religious diaries or discussions here at Daily Kos simply because I am not religiously committed to any religion, and because I know nothing of religion, just as I know almost about anything else. But when I see the Catholic church`s ongoing war against woman I take notice.
The letter removing the 76-year-old's public priestly faculties -- a copy of which NCR obtained March 21 -- came from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which reviewed documentation related to the Nov. 22, 2011, liturgy Zawada concelebrated with Roman Catholic Womanpriest Janice Sevre-Duszynska.
"Having carefully examined the acts of the case, and the vota of the former Minister General and the Rev. Zawada's Provincial Superior, this Dicastery has decided to impose on Rev. Jerome Zawada, OFM, a life of prayer and penance to be lived within the Queen of Peace Friary in Burlington, Wisconsin," the letter states.Talk about the authoritarian Catholic regime of the Vatican against women in the church. It is not a well kept secret that the Rev. Jerome Zawada here in Milwaukee has always fought for the right of women to become priests in the Catholic church. He has also advocated for migrants' rights and immigration reform, making frequent trips to the U.S.-Mexico border.
In addition, Zawada cannot present himself in public as a priest or celebrate the sacraments publicly; however, he can concelebrate Mass with other friars at the friary and in private.
In all, Zawada has served nearly five and a half years in prison. In an August 2006 interview with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he estimated he has been arrested "well over a hundred times maybe, maybe two hundred times," admitting he has lost count.
As I have said above, knowing nothing of the religions does not hide my knowledge that Nuns in the Catholic church serve as nothing other than pew fixtures with no rights to be priests or hold mass during church services.
Sevre-Duszynska was ordained in August 2008 a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. The participation of Roy Bourgeois in that ceremony led to his excommunication and eventual dismissal in November 2012 from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. The next month, Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan of Milwaukee had his priestly ministries removed by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listeki for also participating in a liturgy with Sevre-Duszynska at SOA Watch.
I take note that Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan of Milwaukee had his priestly ministries removed by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listeki for also participating in a liturgy with Sevre-Duszynska at SOA Watch because of the hipocrisy of Listeki, who played a role in the cover-up of the numerous sexual abuse cases against children in Wisconsin and world wide as the Catholic church watched. I also think it is fair game to point out the crimes and sins of the Catholic church when pushing back on their war against woman priests and Rev. Jerome Zawada here in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee archbishop Jerome Listecki on his cover-up in the sexual abuse against children warned the faithful to “prepare to be shocked” at the content of the documents, that their very faith might be shaken. He pleaded that people understand the “evolution of thinking” on sexual abuse of children since the 1970s. “Church leaders and other professionals tried their best to deal with the issue given the knowledge available at the time,” he said.
However, when prelates went to their lawyers before they went to the victims, when they agreed to pay millions for victim silence, when they lied by omission repeatedly in transferring priests without telling unaware pastors, congregations or even other bishops of the deep problems of the priests involved, one can only conclude that the bishops were engaged in a devolution of their understanding of the Gospel. And this has never been a secret. For the Catholic church to engage in its war against women in priesthood roles signifies the current mentality of that faith.
I just hope that Pope Francis makes this change and allow women into the priesthood, and perhaps I will someday return to church. As for the Rev. Jerome Zawada, I cannot admire more his radical views to his life sentence to prayer and penance, when he said:
"I don't mind the prayer part," Zawada told NCR Monday, "but when they called, when they say that I need to be spending time in penance, well, I'm not going to do penance for my convictions and the convictions of so many others, too.""Even Pope Francis told Latin American religious not to worry about the congregation. Well, why should I worry, then?" Zawada asked.
As for what he will do next, Zawada said he plans to take it step by step and would like to visit his family in Indiana during Holy Week. From there, he said he feels "a strong hunger" toward migrants, prisoners and others on the bottom rung of the social ladder -- all groups he also considers "my family."
"Every single one of my dreams at night are dreams about living and sharing life with the poor, with people who are destitute, and I sense I have a strong calling for that," he said.
"I feel ready to move on," he said. "I want to move on and be able to take some risks. And I have to and I'm called to do so."