History
Ordination on the Danube River 2004

Draft Constitution
(also found on www.virtuelle-dioezese.de)

I.Principles of the group "RC Womenpriests" ("Weiheämter für Frauen") and the organization "Virtuelle Dioezese".

1.The goal of the group: "RC Womenpriests" is to bring about the full equality of women in the Roman Catholic Church. At the same time we are striving for a new model of Priestly Ministry. When these goals are reached and Can. 1024 CIC has been changed, the group "RC Womenpriests" will be dissolved.

2. The movement "RC Womenpriests" does not perceive itself as a counter-current movement against the Roman Catholic Church. It wants neither a schism nor a break from the Roman Catholic Church, but rather wants to work positively within the Church.

3. The group: "RC Womenpriests" asks for a change in Can. 1024 CIC, viz., that the word "male" should be changed to the word "person". Thus it would be possible for women to assume leadership in ministry as womendeacons, womenpriests and womenbishops.

4.The group "RC Womenpriests" has received its authority from Roman Catholic bishops who are standing in full Apostolic Succession. These bishops have bestowed on the women sacramentally valid ordinations which have been attested and notarized. All minutes of the ordinations, including data about persons, apostolic successions and rituals, together with films and photos are deposited with a Notary Public.

5.Women who are suitable for leadership positions and who have the necessary academic qualifications, as well as men who support the women and are themselves excluded by the present church, will be ordained. This practice will continue until gender equality in the church has been reached. A person must be in the formation program for at least one year before she/he can be ordained to the diaconate, assuming that he/she has had a solid, sufficient spiritual and theological education/formation before entering our program. When the preparation for the diaconate has been successfully completed, s/he must usually wait 6 months to 1 year before s/he can receive the priestly ordination.

6. All ordinations are reported in the "Virtuelle Dioezese": www.virtuelle-doezese.de with the date, the place, the execution of the ordination and the ritual. Persons who are not posted in the "Virtuelle Dioezese" do not belong to the group RC Womenpriests.

Under the headings: Womendeacons, Womenpriests and Womenbishops in www.vituelle-dioezese.de are posted the names of those women and men who were ordained as part of the reform movement "RC Womenpriests" and have therefore the power to administer sacraments in a certain area.

7. The group "RC Womenpriests" perceives itself as a world wide, clearly constituted, democratic organization. It consists of a Präsidium, elected in 2003 and specific regional groups which are chaired by a womanpriest or womandeacon.

II Democratic Organization

1.Präsidium and Regional Groups

A 10 member Präsidium which was elected 2003 functions as leader of the group "RC Womenpriests."

The membership of the Präsidium is as follows:

1) Womanbishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Austria

2) Womanbishop Dr. Gisela Forster, Germany

3) Program Director for Women: Dr. Patricia Fresen, South Africa

4) Bishop Rafael Regelsberger, Austria

5) Miriam Organization: Elisabeth Grosegger, Austria

6) Media: Dr. Michael Mayr, Austria

7) Program Director for Men: Hugo Thauer, Germany

8) Honorary Chairperson: Gerlinde Maier, Germany

9)Music: Rosemarie von Gärtner, Germany

10) Ecumenism: Dr. Anselm Forster, Germany

The Präsidium is responsible for the leadership of the group "RC Womenpriests." Every six months another person functions as chair of the Präsidium.

2. 2003: Bishop Rafael Regelsberger
1. 2004: Program Director Dr. Patricia Fresen
2. 2004: Dr. Michael Mayer
1. 2005: Womanbishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger
2. 2005: Womanbishop Gisela Forster
1. 2006: Womanpriest Dr. Patricia Fresen
2. 2006: Bishop Rafael Regelsberger
1. 2007: Miriam Organization: Elisabeth Grossegger
2. 2007: Dr. Michael Mayer

In addition to the Präsidium there are regional groups which work in teams.

They can send applications to the Präsidium.

1)Region Northern Germany:

Chairs: Womanpriests Dr. Ida Raming and Dr. Iris Müller

2) Region Southern Germany

Chair: Womanbishop Gisela Forster

3) Region Austria

Chair: Womanbishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger

4) Region Switzerland

Chair: Womanbishop Dr. Gisela Forster

5) Region France

Chair: Womanbishop Gisela Forster

6) Region Canada

Chair: Womanpriest Dr. Patricia Fresen

7)Region USA

Chair: Womanpriest Dr. Patricia Fresen

8) Region Africa

Chair: Womanpriest Patricia Fresen

9) Region Asia

Chair: Womanpriest Patricia Fresen

Proposals to the Präsidium should be addressed to the person who is the chair at the time. The chair notifies the other members. The chair calls the meetings and the voting is directed by the chair. A 2/3 majority of the Präsidium is needed to change the constitution.

2.Media Representatives

The group "RC Womenpriests" has three media representatives:

- German: Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Dr. Gisela Forster

- English: Dr. Patricia Fresen

- French: Dr Gisela Forster

- Italian: Dr. Patricia Fresen

The media representatives direct all publications. Press releases have to be discussed by e-mail with the media representatives. Essential press releases need the approval of at least one of the media representatives.

3.Democratic Cooperation of the Regional Groups

The regional groups are directed by the persons, which are named above. The chair coordinates the work in the regional groups. Proposals to the Präsidium have to go through the chair of the regional group. The Präsidium consults and decides

about the proposals and informs the regional chair. Proposals about admission into a regional group have to be directed to the chair of the regional group. She decides about admission, possibly after consulting with the Präsidium.

4. The regional groups may ask the Präsidium for a mediator.

5. The Präsidium has to agree to the ordination of a person with a 2/3 majority.

6. Changes of the constitution are posted in the "Virtuelle Dioezese".

IV.Discussions

As noted in the principles, the group "RC Womenpriests "functions within the Roman-Catholic Church. That does not exclude its strong support of the discussion of the following difficult issues:

1. Development of a positive image of women in the Roman Catholic Church

2. The end of enslavement of women through old fashioned rules about birth control

3. Lowering of the risk of infection from HIV/AIDS through permission to use condoms

4. Diminishing the stresses in cases of divorce by re-working the rules governing the divorce of Catholic marriages and the remarriage of divorced Catholics.

5. Special regulations for priests who "stand by" their wives and children according to the agreement "Remain in office" and "Care for wife and child." Humane treatment of priests who have children. No dispensations of priests who have children.

6. A more lasting and honest engagement in ecumenism: Full recognition of the other Christian religions and a formation of common principles with the other religions in the world.

7. Intensified efforts to help our young people in the recovery from dependencies on drugs.

8. An increase of respect and greater involvement of older people in the community.

9. A greater openness of Christian thought to Philosophy and the involvement with the transcendent.

10. A people-centered and joyful proclamation of basic Christian messages.

V. Dispensing of Sacraments

1. Womendeacons

Womendeacons are allowed to dispense the following sacraments and perform the following church actions:

- Baptism

- Preaching

- Witnessing of Marriages

- Funerals

2. Womenpriests

Womenpriests are allowed to dispense the following sacraments and sacramentals:

-Baptism

-Sacrament of Reconciliation

-Preaching

-Eucharist

-Witnessing of Marriages

-Anointing of the Sick

-Funerals

3. Womenbishops

In addition to the actions of Womendeacons and Womenpriests, Womenbishops are allowed to

-Administer the sacrament of Confirmation

-Ordain women and men to priests

-Consecrate women and men to bishops

All actions are presently sacramentally valid. According to Canon law, however, they are "contra legem". For this reason representatives of the official Roman Catholic Church ask us not to act demonstratively. We are living in a time of transition: We are moving from the non-recognition and exclusion of women to service in all church ministries and to the full co-creation and co-operation of women on all levels of the Roman Catholic Church.

We perceive ourselves as worker womenpriests. This means that we earn our money like other human beings in worldly endeavors. We practice our church functions in an honorary capacity except for reimbursement of our expenses.

 

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