Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rockin' the Boat

For change to occur, sometimes you need a few brave souls who are willing to rock the boat. Such was the case yesterday as a small group of women literally rocked a boat in Ontario when they were ordained as priests and deacons in the Catholic Church as they sailed the St. Lawrence River.

BeliefNet follows the story of the ordination of four priests and five deacons.
The event was organized by RC Women priests, an international group of Catholics who advocate women's ordination. Participants and many of the witnesses at the ordination said they are willing to risk excommunication because they envision a church in which women can fully participate.
The ceremony was presided over by three female bishops, two of which have been excommunicated. Bishop Susan Fresen of South Africa spoke of her hope to "break this unjust law and therefore change the system."
The newly ordained women called their ordinations a spiritual and political act they hope will bring about change. "We are one step forward to being the kind of church Jesus envisioned," Fresen said.
Here's hoping it's a big step.


At 5:01 AM, July 27, 2005, Blogger Lee Strong said...

I doubt it. Stepping on Ecclesial toes usually gets you nowhere. St. Francis of Assisi and Dorothy Day knew how to stretch the envelope, without stomping.
What this could lead to is separate churches, as happened with Corpus Christi (now Spiritus Christi) Church, a schismatic congregation here in Rochester NY with two women priests. What a mess that made in so many people's lives!

At 6:45 AM, July 27, 2005, Blogger Talmida said...

Cath, I see this as a great step, and I admire the courage of the women who have taken it.

They will surely be excommunicated, and in a couple of hundred years or so, when women are legally ordained, they will be quietly brought back into the fold and canonized.

Lee, I'm curious, how could these women have moved the church closer to accepting women's ordination without stepping on Ecclesial toes? We're barred from the diaconate, the priesthood, and even from studying & discussing the matter. We're not allowed membership to the governing body that makes all the decisions regarding our spiritual lives.

What options are left?

At 8:20 AM, July 31, 2005, Blogger Lee Strong said...

Talmida - they will not BE excommunicated - they ARE excommunicated (assuming they were aware of church teachings). It's automatic. No formal process is required - what they did comes under the list of automatic grounds for excommunication.

As for how to move the church on women's ordination, I'm creating a post about that for my site.


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