Episcopal Women’s Caucus stands in solidarity with Ruth Kolpack
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus joins with our sisters and brothers of faith around the world who stand in solidarity with Ruth Kolpack, pastoral associate since 1995 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Beloit, Wisconsin, who was fired earlier this month for what Madison Bishop Robert Morlino called Kolpack's "feminist views" after a 10-minute meeting with her. During the meeting, Kolpack was allowed no opportunity to defend herself, nor did she have a chance to face or respond to those who had accused her.
Kolpack was fired after she came under criticism for her thesis “Inclusive Language for Naming God: Challenge for the Church,” which was undertaken in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Divinity Degree at St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, Wis., 2003.
Bishop Morlino, who has admitted to reading ‘bits and pieces” of the 51 page document, asked Kolpack to denounce the thesis, make a profession of faith, and take an oath of loyalty in order to remain as a pastoral associate at the parish.
She said she could profess her faith and take an oath, but could not refute the thesis in good conscience, that to do so would risk her reputation as a scholar.
We agree wholeheartedly with Kolpack’s assessment that, “no language is adequate for naming or describing God,” adding that, “We can use only metaphors based on what we know about God and yet all the metaphors we employ will not exhaust the description of God. When we limit the metaphors used for God, we make the metaphors our idols.”
We encourage everyone to join us in solidarity with Ruth Kolpack and write to Bishop Morlino at:
Diocese of Madison
Catholic Pastoral Center
702 South High Point Road
P.O. Box 44983
Madison, Wisconsin 53719
National Catholic Reporter stories:
Wisconsin parish worker fired for feminist views:
Kolpack’s letter to her parishioners explaining her dismissal
Madison’s Morlino noted for orthodoxy, controversy
‘Free God language’: fired parish worker’s thesis
(the Rev’d Dr.) Elizabeth Kaeton
President, Episcopal Women’s Caucus
973 464 8018 (cell)
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus is a justice organization dedicated to Gospel values of equality and liberation and committed to the incarnation of God’s unconditional love.
STAND WITH RUTH