Protesters urge pope to approve women’s ordination

On Wednesday, at the end of the block from St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington — where reporters were waiting to be admitted four hours before the scheduled start of the midday prayer service with Pope Francis — were about 20 members of the Women’s Ordination Conference, urging Pope Francis to ordain women as priests — until the Secret Service told them to move across the street.

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CNS file photo of Roy Bourgeois

There’s no telling whether the pope ever saw the protesters, who were wielding signs, banners and guitars in support of women’s ordination. Other news accounts said those hoping to see Pope Francis arrive at the cathedral, which he did shortly before noon, were having a tough enough time even getting a glimpse of the pontiff.

But the pro-women’s ordination folks chose the best possible venue. They had a captive audience of reporters, as it took the Secret Service longer than initially thought to get its security protocols in place to herd journalists through. And while support for women’s ordination has increased among the laity despite St. John Paul II’s 1994 apostolic letter “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” — in which he reaffirmed church teaching that the church “has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women” — the real audience that needs convincing is an audience of one — the pope.

Roy Bourgeois, a former Maryknoll priest automatically excommunicated in 2008 for not recanting his public support of ordaining women, told me he believes he’d still be a priest in good standing if Francis had been pope at the time he went public with his support.

Jane Via, who was ordained as a priest in 2006 what would be considered an attempted ordination, told me she and a priest from the Diocese of San Diego established their own “parish” which had 60-100 worshippers each Sunday.

Via said she believes women will be licitly ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. “Not in my lifetime, but I think it’s inevitable,” she said.

“I could no longer worship in the canonical church with integrity,” she said. Asked why she chose this route rather than join a denomination that ordained women to the clergy, she said, “If everyone like me leaves the church, the church would never change. . .. The more important reason is that ordination is the symbol of the second-class citizenship for women in the church. The church’s theology becomes the society’s excuse to discriminate against women.”

Since he became pope, Francis has said on more than one occasion that the issue of women priests is “closed.”

6 Responses

  1. I don’t understand the determination by some to ordain women, or thinking that says by not being ordained, women are “second class citizens” within the church. Our mission is to serve, and we all serve different ways. Are men second-class human beings because they can’t have babies? “The priesthood is where the power is” one woman told me. Really? Power? Another woman told me she’d make a good priest, but at the same time doesn’t see the importance of having to attend Mass. Priests are ordained TO celebrate Mass and the other sacraments. Jesus said those who love him will obey his words, and he said he who hears the church hears him. But obedience, and service in humility, isn’t popular these days, as these dissenters demonstrate. I don’t doubt their sincerity, but they just don’t “get it.”

  2. I would love to see a poll of how many women would give up being married and having children to become a priest and of those who are willing to do WHY are you unwilling to join an order of Sisters/Nuns.

    Women priest are not the answer and oddly enough it is older MARRIED women who are pushing for something they CAN NOT have.

    IF the Pope were to allow this, he still has not allowed marriage within the Priesthood.

    Where are all the young single women crying out to be priests? Why don’t we see them in all these ‘protests’? The answer – THERE ARE NONE!!

  3. “If everyone like me leaves the Church, the Church would never changed” says Jane. Well Jane, you have already left the Church!

  4. Power power power that is all. The Blessed Mother just the opposite
    “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto according to your word”. The famous FIAT

  5. Yes, Teri, excellent comment! Obedience is more powerful than anything.

  6. The real ‘Delecta Gravia’ is the refusal yo ORDAIN WOMEN.’ A priest in my old parish abused pre-teen girls in the confessional. no young women should have to go to a male priest. (bishopaccountability.org Camden Diocese)

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