The Table

500 years ago, in October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to Wittenberg Castle Church asking questions and calling for debate on issues needing reform in the Catholic Church. On October 27, 2017, we celebrated that call for church renewal by posting 5 modern day theses to the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The “we” in the picture are, on the left, Regina Bannan, and right, Ellie Harty. This picture and its corresponding action for justice are our way of introducing ourselves as new contributors to The Table.

Dr. Regina Bannan is a former professor of American and Women’s Studies, lifelong activist for civil rights and justice, and is the President of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference. Ellie Harty is a former college administrator, director of programs for equal opportunity in education, and co-editor of EqualwRites, a newsletter focusing on Catholic feminism and championing the ordination of women. We both are delighted and honored to be blogging for The Table.

Having said that, we couldn’t resist adding a second picture. Above is a set of others who joined us in taping (as opposed to “nailing”) our theses to the cathedral. We believe they represent perfectly the people we are hoping will renew the church and be renewed by it.

From left to right are Judith Heffernan, M.Div., a community ordained woman priest, Regina, Ellie, Ellie’s daughter, Laura, hopefully a beneficiary of the “A Church for Our Daughters” initiative, and, in costume for Halloween are the representatives of our sons and grandsons, Colin as Evan Hansen from the broadway show “Dear Evan Hansen” and in front – bet you guessed this one – Gavin as Ringo Starr!

We sent these pictures to We Are Church International which is hoping to collect 500 photographs of people posting the same sign to churches throughout the world. In case it is difficult to read in the picture, the sign says: CHURCH REFORM NOW and under the Pope’s picture, 5 areas for reform:

  • Democratic Structures
  • Women Priests
  • Justice Not Canon Law
  • Married Priests
  • Welcome for All

We love the sign, although we had to admit, we might have put “women priests” as number one!