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Houston Breakthrough, November 1979
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Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 20. November 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 18, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1647.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(November 1979). Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 20. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1647

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 20, November 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 18, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1647.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, November 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 20
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_555as.jpg
Transcript Tuts..—Ss-/~. 2043 West Gray, Houston, Texas 77019 (713) 526-9991 Eve Francs jewelry, wearables, antiques, handcrafts Pam Glosserman Eve France a Whenever we're out of the office, the Breakthrough phones are answered courteously; and your messages are taken efficiently 24 hours a day by OmAvuetv jU*c< OF HOUSTON a woman owtud business CALL FORWARDING RADIO PAGING LIVE ANSWERING SERVICE central office 4215 Graustark northeast office 4215 Graustark southwest office 3221 Fondren northwest off Ice 12345 Ksngsrlde 524-3985 691-2088 781-3413 467-2111 ROBERTA K. TILLINGHAST, PRESIDENT Houston* Galveston • San Antonio* Corpus Christt Popes views trouble Catholic feminists by Lynn Jansen The Catholic Church today reminds me of the United States in the early 60's. We deserved to have a blood bath from the blacks, but we were lucky. We got the 1964 Civil Rights Act instead. Today, the Church deserves for all the women to just walk out because of the discrimination within the Church. But, luckily for the Church, that isn't happening. Changes will come. Women will become priests—mainly because few young men are entering the seminary these days. This discrimination was strongly reinforced by the recent visit of Pope John Paul II. He reiterated his opposition, as head of the Church, to women in the priesthood, birth control, abortion, homosexuality and marriage for priests. The sectarian press billed the papal visit "the media event of the century" and claimed that it caused an unprecedented renewal in spirituality. American Catholics, no matter what their politics within the Church, were almost universally moved-some to euphoria, others to anger and hurt. Catholic feminists locally, as well as Catholics nationally, anticipated that his visit would be coupled with pronouncements (see box next j>age) that would have immense repercussions for the American Church and generate renewed dialogues. Sadly, they were correct. There are not a great many people in the Church who call themselves Catholic feminists. In Houston, the local chapter of St. Joan's International Alliance has 52 members. It is open to people of both sexes and any denomination who espouse equality in Church, state and society. What was this feminist community's reaction to the Pope's visit, or more to the point, to his pronouncements? Our dominant feelings were anger, pain and hope. Anger. To be a member of a religious community that forbids its leaders to marry women; that refuses to ordain women or even let young girls serve as altar "boys" (though they clean the altar); that denies its women religious the same status and privileges as men; that holds virginity as the one option for the unmarried—only upon marriage to expect women to breed indiscriminately— you feel anger. Plenty of it. Pain. It is painful to want to serve the faith you cherish, and to be told that this desire is sacreligious. It is painful to love children but be told that you are sinful if you choose not to have any (or any more). It is painful to be both proud and ashamed of your Church; to both love and hate it. It is painful to witness the contradiction between the Pope's stand on furthering human rights among nations and his hypocritical refusal to. grant rights to the women of his own faith. It is painful to see so many other Catholics, especially the women, cheer the Pope's reactionary messages. As St. Joan's program co-chair Beverly Hebert said, "this forces you to face the reality of how small a group of Catholics holds opinions similar to yours." It is painful to see that this charming, charismatic, obviously intelligent and sincere man really believes that he is helping the Church by denying full participation to half its members. Then why the hope? One St. Joan's member, Jackie Devlin, said "I am hopeful because the Pope put his pronouncements on topics such as birth control, women's ordination, priestly celibacy and homosexuality in the context of continuing Church traditions. What the Church has established as tradition," reasoned Devlin, "it can un-establish." She also feels that the very restric- tiveness of what he said has stung more Catholics' consciences to work for equality in their Church. "There are," she said, "people who believe completely in the justice of the cause of women and also love the Church despite their very real grievances. This gives me hope that the Church can and will catch up to these people-if you will, catch up to Christ." "Participation in the Church long ago, for me, became a matter of living with compromises," noted Anne Phyler, a St. Joan's member. "You cherish what is true for you and eschew what you know to be wrong for you." Phyler pointed out that as late as the 1920's the Vatican silenced a priest (withdrew approval of his views and refused him the right to promulgate them) for his belief that the Church should require premarital counseling before an engaged couple could wed in the Church. Today such counseling (called Pre-Cana) is required before marriage. As Sr. Grace Martel, M.M., also a St. Joan's member, said from the vantage point of her nearly 80 years, "A knowledge of the history of the Church is a great comfort. It shows that eventually the Church does move forward, if ever so slowly and cautiously." Houston members of St. Joan's held a prayer vigil composed by liturgy chairperson Sheila Doran-Benyon. It was a forceful, positive statement in response to the discriminatory statements by the Pope. "Women are no longer pleading for ordination to minister," stressed Doran- Benyon. "We are declaring that we are priests and ministers by dint of our desire to serve and by our actual service to the Church community." The theme of the candlelight service was "Stones for Bread: We women ask the Church for bread; the Church continues to give us stones." About 25 members and friends met on the steps of the Chancery (Administration) Building of the Houston-Galveston Diocese. Suffragette songs such as Judy Collins' version of "Bread and Roses" as well as non-sexist liturgical hymns were used along with prayers of affirmation and Bible readings. It was a statement of continuing love for and loyalty to the Church, after love and loyalty to ourselves, our cause and our conscience. After the para-liturgy, daughters of the members took the stones which had been distributed in lieu of Communion Bread and placed them in the shape of the female logo in front of the Chancery's main entrance. The chapter is also sending, collectively and individually, letters of support HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 20 NOVEMBER 1979