Dearest Ones,

My peace I offer you. 💕 I’d like to bring your attention to a dynamic which may not be understood completely in light of the gross abuse charges perpetrated and then perpetuated by the institutional church as a whole and over a great expanse of time.  A great abuse that prevented society too from purging its own sins of abuse.  It is the binding of souls to a false Godhead.

By keeping people dependent on the institution’s unquestionable authority, by death or expulsion, we’ve taught people that they cannot find and maintain their own connection to God but must always look outside of this connection to someone else’s connection.  This does not serve either but binds all of us in a reality not of God but of another’s making.  There is a place for the institutional church as a unifying factor as long as it remains committed to ultimate Truth.  It is a long process to commit to but there is no other institution on earth better suited for such a long process than this one and it can be a force of good for God.

Please don’t close your heart to my message for I am pointing this out as great sins of abuse and coverup by the institution has already been publicly exposed, admitted to, and has done great harm.  These same harms are not unique to the institution and run rampant in society.  How do we make a difference?  The question is and remains, where do we go from here? We need to think and act outside the realms of our current perceptions of reality.  Yes, it is about engaging our hearts but it is about releasing, the great exhale so we don’t explode.  God is the breath in and the breath out, a Father and a Mother. We’ve been holding our breaths too long!  Let God envelop us in Her arms until our hearts sync and we release and let go.  Mary first knew Christ in her heart, then she let him go not once but twice, birth and death, a longer exhale to our initial inhale.  We must acknowledge Mary and Jesus both as living vessels of God.  We must stop separating God.  God is all and God is love of and for all. God is made up of all that known and unknown.  Let’s stop relegating women to the unknown.  Let’s stop erasing and rewriting women from only a man’s perspective.  Let’s end the sin of the fall of the angels for good.  Let’s re-remember that Our Mother is there at the beginning and She is certainly not quiet.  Quiet is what we still do not yet know, what we do not have a lived experience about.  We all know that if God wanted Jesus to appear on earth without a mother, it would have happened that way.

Yet I digress from the main thrust of my point, Mary must be exalted.  Her story must be acknowledged and told from the point of view of women.  When my husband was so very sick with cancer, I remember giving him a big hug.  He’s not a hugger but he stayed there in my arms longer than his stiff body normally does, moments later, our hearts became syncopated rhythms, he collapsed in my arms, laid back in the bed, and got a good night’s rest. Men must receive, embrace, collapse into, to let go of their image of her to really feel Her so they can finally rest, reset and recover.  She isn’t going anywhere.  She loves you.  She’ll be here with a glass of fresh water when you wake up.

Men must hear from women so they can understand more about the fullness God.  In a patriarchal society, we are inclined to only make decisions from our heads, the Bible is filled with examples of this along with the exceptions that were missed because our hearts weren’t involved.  Jesus died because of this. Jesus died because only the head was involved, not the heart. The head with emotion is destructive but the emotions that come from a union of the head with the heart are of Christ.  A brain cannot live without a heart to pump oxygen up to that region.  Although blood on the brain is deadly, the blood is very much needed to connect the two.  Likewise, the heart cannot live without the entirety of the brain because a functioning brain stem is not enough to have a complete fully-functioning life.  Without the entire brain, the body with a pumping heart is completely dependent on a body with a wholly functioning brain.  It is a meager existence. We need the brain and the heart in all body types to work together equally.

How many devastating manmade explosions need to happen before we get it right?

A working compromise, at this point in time, would be to suggest that Women Priests be allowed to flourish and grow into what it means to be a woman who says “yes” to God’s authority, as Mary did, as God directs her.  Women need to do this without the inappropriate and sacrilegious designation of “excommunication” nor any manmade rule about how Spirit is supposed to move through another in this world.  It is not of God to interfere with the borders of another, a lesson the institutional church has been unable to internalize because the heart has been suppressed and minimized.

Step one in growing a stronger heart connection in the institution would be to end the domestic violence in our own halls by not interfering with the call of God in women, how the Spirit moves in them.  It is not up to men to define how spirit should work in women because they do not have the lived experience to do so.  If the institution is unwilling to partner with us now and support our call, at least don’t be violent towards us.  How can the institutional church model a partnership for marriage when they are unable to show what shared authority looks like between contemplative, spiritual adults?  We’ve only seen the abuse between priests and women religious within the structure, women religious who have been relegated to helpers and assistants, kept from the “important work of men.” How can one justify the cost of programs to glorify and objectify the host as the Body of Christ when that very Body is denied the care and handling from women? Who prepared Jesus’ body after death?  How can we ever model Christ’s resurrection if women are prohibited from preparing Christ’s body?

Allow me to shift to another example, it is hypocritical to talk about ending war between Russia and Ukraine, talking about the aggressive and unjust actions of this big country, Russia, a country that has hoarded resources and stockpiled weapons that could destroy the planet, when the institutional church is doing the equivalent of this war to the Women Priest movement.

The institutional church is in a position to permanently change the very actions that have led to gross abuses of power.  Making a declaration of excommunication against Women Priests is a declaration of an act of war.  Perhaps some peacekeeping needs to be done in our own house before we go out and try to mediate between our neighbors in military conflict? Maybe we all just start with, Jesus’ own words:  “Whoever is not against us, is for us.”  (Mark 9:38-40)

Please take to the Pope the immediate action of stating that Women Priests will no longer be considered excommunicated as our movement is of the action of the Holy Spirit.  Do you not recognize us? If you cannot embrace us now, please do not war against us.  The children are watching.

Holding You in Love,

Rev. Jill

Jill Striebinger,

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