<Roto Reuters> CINCINNATI A married man and former Brother did something his church doctrine says he cannot do.
Paul Hoeffer became a religious sister.
On Friday, the Deer Park resident became the 1st man to be “vowed” as a religious sister as part of the “Mens Sisterazation Movement”. A female bishop who says she was ordained by a male Catholic bishop she met in a coffee shop. led the ceremony.
Paul Hoeffer, who has taken the name “Sister Paul of the Non-Gendered Relationships in God”, released a statement:
“As a former Catholic Brother I was fed up with being a second class citizen when it came to vowed religious. Catholic Brothers are the Rodney Dangerfield of religion in that ”we get no respect.“ First off if you’re a Catholic Brother, people think you just didn’t have what it takes to be a priest. Then there is the fact that we get no attention whatsoever. Was there ever a ”Flying Brother“, ”Brother Act“, ”Two Mules for Brother Sean“ or any Hollywood attention regarding Brothers? How many Brothers had a number one hit on the charts or got viral attention on YouTube of a Brother singing a contemporary song? Again zero. If we went on a social justice tour with a bus the media wouldn’t care and no Brothers have gotten a pen from the President for helping to pass legislation.”
“Nobody ever dresses up as a Brother on Halloween and plus we don’t get to wear a wimple, cornette, or any other attention-grabbing headpiece. Plus even when Brothers go off the theological reservation they don’t get the same attention from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Even if this happened we would not get the same fawning media attention defending anything we might do.”
“All the power is really with religious sisters, which is so unfair. Scripture says ”There is neither Jew nor Greek“ and yet the Church would deny my vocation as a religious sister? When the Vatican proclaims that men can not adequately represent religious sisterness they are denying that we are equal in Christ. Besides there is a statue in Rome that just might depict a male Sister if you squint your eyes at the right time of day.”
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati issued the following statement:
“Church law and teaching are clear that only a baptized female can be vowed as a women’s religious ub the Catholic Church. Any attempted vowing of men to the Catholic women’s religious life is therefore invalid, and would be even in the unlikely event that a validly ordained bishop met in a coffee shop presided.”
Hoeffer did it anyway – even if it does mean excommunication from his church.
“I’m breaking that code. And I also believe that code was man-made and I really really want to be part of the Church where I think everything I don’t agree with, which is a lot, was man-made.”