Southern California Catholic Church Breaks Glass Ceiling
San Diego Area Catholic Church Officially Consecrates First Woman Bishop in US History.
The last year has been a year of milestones for civil equality in the United States. Gay marriage was made legal nationwide in June of 2015, and there is currently a female frontrunner in the presidential election. Now, the Communion of Conciliar Catholic Churches has its first female bishop in the United States.
Vista, California - The Communion of Conciliar Catholic Churches, a reform, all-inclusive movement within the Catholic Church, elected to officially consecrate the first woman bishop in United States history at 9 a.m. on May 22nd 2016.
Very Reverend Janine C. Stock, a woman of Native American descent and proud lesbian, was chosen to receive the Apostolic Succession in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church at All Saints American Catholic Church, a Conciliar Church in southern California.
The Communion of Conciliar Catholic Church is an independent movement that traces its modern roots to the emergence of the Old Catholic movement which began in 1870 in response to the first Vatican Council. The movement has seen considerable growth in recent decades due to civil rights movements and the strict rules that take place within in the Roman Catholic Church.
“We’ve seen a lot of fallout from the Roman Catholic Church due to rigid, conservative rules,” said Stock. “The independent movement really began to spring because of grass-roots movements against the conservative ways.”
Stock’s appointment to become a bishop was done by election. The Conciliar Catholic Churches of Germany, Italy, and Spain voted and approved Stock to be consecrated auxiliary bishop to Most Reverend Alicia Braschi, Bishop of the Conciliar Catholic Church of Germany. As an auxiliary bishop, Stock will be responsible for assisting Braschi in meeting her pastoral needs.
Choosing Stock to be appointed bishop is a result of the divine message received from God. According to the Bible, this divine message authorizes Stock to be consecrated and must be followed. In addition to receiving the divine message, the Bishops have carefully studied the way Stock’s personality has been developing, her education, and the efforts she has made in the path to her consecration.
“If Janine continues the work she has been doing as a priest, meaning she has invested her life in helping those in need, those who have been excluded, and those who have been persecuted, the work she will do as a bishop will be outstanding,” said Most Reverend Romulo Braschi, Bishop of the Conciliar Catholic Church of Argentina and husband of Most Reverend Alicia Braschi.
Romulo Braschi is known for ordaining the Roman Catholic Womenpriests known as the Danube Seven in 2002. Braschi’s mission is to help women, such as Stock, in their path to ordination.
Stock’s journey toward becoming a bishop has not been easy. In the Roman Catholic Church, women are unable to be ordained. Due to her identity, Stock has received a number of death threats from conservative Catholics throughout her journey within the Conciliar Catholic Church. Stock’s consecration as a bishop aims to help break the glass ceiling in the United States in terms of diversity within the church.
“In today’s world where there is so much diversity, society in general is screaming for an opportunity for faith based people to come together in a setting that’s warm, caring, and all inclusive,” said Deacon Ralph Nix, Vice President of All Saints American Catholic Church and a colleague of Stock’s within the church for 11 years.
Stock has devoted her faith and efforts into creating an environment within the Catholic Church that welcomes everyone regardless of race, gender, and sexuality.
“In the Conciliar Catholic Church, we would like to consider ourselves the net underneath the big churches,” said Stock. “We catch the small fishes that Rome deems unacceptable, we’re proud to take them!”
Stock is the daughter of a Hispanic immigrant and a Mohawk Native American. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law in 1996. She holds a MA in Pastoral Theology from St. Mary of the Woods College, a Doctor of Ministry and Applied Ministries from Graduate Theological Foundation, an MA in Psychology from Chapman University, and has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1997. Stock also has two published books: Made in God’s Image: The Stations of the Cross of Inclusion and Welcoming Communities, published in 2007, and Reclaiming Catholicism In a Time for Change, published in 2010.
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