Make ready your matches and your stakes, and click on this link to Sophia, an "ecumenical feminist spirituality centre", founded in 1991 by some "with it" Dominican sisters:
The story of this centre continues:
Sophia is a spirituality centre established in 1991 by the Dominican Sisters in Adelaide to support a feminist world view, celebrate feminist spiritualities and seek justice for all. It is a purpose built spiral shaped centre on Cross Road, Cumberland Park in Adelaide, South Australia.
In late 1990 when our new building was almost complete a group of Dominican Sisters discussed how we might name this new space.
Many names were suggested until someone said “Let’s name it Sophia”. A resonance of recognition was felt in the group.
We had recently rediscovered the vibrant personification in the Hebrew scriptures of SOPHIA, Woman Wisdom. She is the ‘breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty ...She is but one [and] she can do all things.’ [Wisdom 7:25,2]
We had uncovered and reclaimed the Sophia imagery in the Christian scriptures. The texts tell us that Jesus had come as Sophia’s envoy, as Sophia’s child, as Sophia-God made flesh among us.
We were also aware that Sophia was a name for Divinity for peoples beyond Judaism and Christianity...
Oh my goodness! Does that sound like heresy to anyone else?
They've got all the usual stuff. Bhuddist meditation, mandalas, readings from feminist liberation theologians, sacred dance (the feminist Hokey-Pokey, one presumes!), wimmin's poetry, "seasonal rituals" as part of the "Sunday Spirituality Group", and the Holy Mass!
Back to the Holy Mass momentarily.
The community has developed its own set of "alternative rituals" with names such as "celebrating water", "celebrating fire" and the like. Sounds like old-fashioned paganism to this humble Catholic. What would I know? I am but a man.
Needless to say, when Holy Mass is offered at Sophia, the priest (or should that be "presider") doesn't exactly "Say the Black and Do the Red". When the Holy Sacrifice is offered there, usually by Catholic Theological College's Fr James McEvoy, Redemptionis Sacramentum is treated as just so much patriarchal toilet paper. The ladies gather around the "table" for the consecration; at some pre-determined time, one of their number vests the priest in a stole, and he pronounces the words of consecration. The ciborium is then passed from one lady to the other like a bowl of potato chips.
The Sophia website is very detailed, and those who are interested can find in it an unquencheable fount of the heretical, scandalous, wicked and just plain foolish.
Worthy of comment, however, is that this institution has still not been suppressed some seven years after Archbishop Wilson took posession of the Diocese. His Grace, as president of the Australian Catholic Bishop's Conference, is no doubt a very busy man, but he is allowing foxes and wolves to run rampant in the vineyard of the Lord.
I end this post with a quote from Pope Leo X:
Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it....
Feast of St John the Evangelist, 2008