Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordained in Minneapolis
Yesterday in Minneapolis, the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement hosted its Sixth Midwest Region Ordination - an event that drew over 500 people to witness the ordination of one woman to the deaconate, and three women to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Vatican does not recognize such ordinations and last year declared that those ordained within the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement are excommunicated “in latae sententiae” - a type of excommunication which church officials say occurs automatically upon certain actions. Roman Catholic Womenpriests, however, reject this penalty of excommunication, claiming that they are “loyal members of the church who stand in the prophetic tradition of holy disobedience to an unjust law that discriminates against women.” Accordingly, they see their ordinations moving the Church forward “in prophetic obedience to the Spirit.” The movement’s ultimate goal is “a new model of ordained ministry in a renewed Roman Catholic Church.”
I’ll be writing more about all of this in the next few days for the Progressive Catholic Voice, but for now here are some photos of yesterday’s ordination liturgy accompanied by excerpts from the “introductory comments” in this liturgy’s program booklet.
Our ordination liturgy today is important for a number of reasons. Today we are prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this public ordination. Since the ordinations of the Danube Seven in 2002, we stand with our foremothers and forefathers validly ordained in Apostolic Succession through anointing in the laying on of hands. Today, as we ordain women to the diaconate and priesthood, Roman Catholic Womenpriests Midwest region, we stand in union with you, the People of God, as our public liturgy re-dresses an injustice in the Roman Catholic Church that continues to deny ordination to women. We commit ourselves in an act of prophetic obedience that listens to the Spirit from our hearts, that listens to the signs of the times, and that listens in community where the Spirit moves and awakens us to new levels of awareness.
We stand, too, as women and men of the long view. Historical and archaeological evidence reveals that women served as deacons, priests, and bishops from the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD: Deacons Phoebe, Sophia, and Maria; Priests Leta and Vitalia; and Bishops Theodora and Alexandra. Before that, in the Upper Room on Pentecost, God surprised the followers of Jesus, women and men whose hearts were open and who were ready for the coming of God’s Spirit promised by Jesus for all humankind, for all time. All of these people of God served as leaders in those first years of the building of Christian community.
Today, in the ordination of deacon and priests, we continue in the renewal of our first Christian traditions and we celebrate the fact that Jesus invited women as well as men to become leaders. And just as Jesus promised, He is still with us and will continue to send the Spirit, Wisdom Sophia, to dwell with us and lead us forward in being Church in a way that is faithful to the original intent of our brother, Jesus the Christ.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordained in Minneapolis (2007)
“We Are All the Rock” – An Interview with Roman Catholic Womanpriest Judith McKloskey
Responding to Excommunication
The Discussion Continues
Mary of Magdala
Revealing a Hidden History
Thoughts on Ordination, Intellectual Dishonesty, and the Holy Spirit of which the Prophet Joel Speaks
The Journal of James Curtis - Part 3: A Journey Begins
The Journal of James Curtis - Part 5: My Lunch with a “Medicine Bearer”
Recommended Off-site Link:
Roman Catholic Womenpriests
Images: Michael J. Bayly.