Nine women, including one Canadian and one American, plan to defy the Vatican and become the first female Roman Catholic priests and deacons ordained in North America.
The ceremony, which is not sanctioned by the Vatican, is to take place July 25 on the St Lawrence River near Gananoque in eastern Canada following a conference on women as priests at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Organisers consider the location for the ceremony international waters between the United States and Canada where no diocese has jurisdiction and thus cannot interfere.
"I only have my faith and my hope and what the global scene says to me that I believe it’s time to take this step," said former nun Michele Birch-Conery, 65, who was ordained as a deacon last year in Europe.
She will be the first Canadian woman to be ordained as a priest next month.
"It is an immensely wounding part in our Catholic history to block women’s ecclesiastical participation in orders. I think people have been closed to a deeper, fuller expression of their faith by having, in the hierarchy and levels of authority and decision-making, a male-only church," she said.
Fourteen women have already been ordained in similar river ceremonies in Europe in recent years and 65 others are planning to join their ranks soon.
The Vatican has refused to allow women to become priests and reacted by excommunicating the first seven women ordained on the Danube River between Germany and Austria in 2003 after they refused to retract their vows.
But, two of the women, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger of Austria and Gisela Forster of Germany, were later secretly ordained as bishops by their male counterparts in the Roman Catholic church, insists Birch-Conery.
The two women bishops will perform the St Lawrence ordinations.
"This doesn’t conform to the Catholic faith. Church teachings are clear: only men can be ordained," said Monseigneur Serge Poitras of the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa, noting that the former Pope John Paul II addressed the issue in 1994. [Source]
The really sad part is that some people will go to these pseudo-Masses given by these women and be deprived of the Eucharist as a result. They will also probably be declared excommunicated as what happened in 2002 on the last riverboat "ordinations." These women of course will not become priests. Waving your hands over a cat and pronouncing them a dog will cause no ontological change as in the case when men are validly ordained.
What is it about these “ordinations” that they keep happening in the middle of rivers? I don’t get it.
“Organisers consider the location for the ceremony international waters between the United States and Canada where no diocese has jurisdiction and thus cannot interfere.”
Gee, too bad the Pope has Supreme Ordinary Jurisdiction over the entire world, including rivers. Nice try, though, and thanks for playing.
Jeff, a terminological clarification: The person ordained is not the “matter” of the sacrament of ordination, but rather the recipient of the sacrament. (I think the matter is the laying of hands by the bishop – and the “form” would be the words the bishop prays.)
>But, two of the women, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger of Austria and Gisela Forster of Germany, were later secretly ordained as bishops by their male counterparts in the Roman Catholic church, insists Birch-Conery.
And here I thought that only the Pope could make someone a bishop.
Shoot, I’d make myself a phony bishop, but the robes cost too much on eBay. Plus calling a banana a battleship doesn’t make it so.
“Calling a Banana a Battleship does not make it so!” I cannot controly my laughter over that one!
Why on earth would anyone think this is legitimate? Obviously sacraments = magic spells to these people. The sacraments have no real power in the eyes of any of them.
They’re not just ordaining women in the Rivers. Here is the latest from Spritus Christi in Rochester NY, where two women have been “ordained”. The newsletter is from “Father” Jim Callan, who has never been officially excommunicated as far as I know. Please note his comment re our newPope.
Thanks Kevin, post updated.
And here I thought that only the Pope could make someone a bishop.
Not at all. Any old bishop can. It’s imprudent to do so without the Pope’s approval, but the Pope is not, generally speaking, the minister of the Sacrament.
A woman can’t be a father.
This kind of thing saddens me, in fact. There is nothing as pitiful as seeing people doing ridiculous things and not realizing how silly they are.
I can already hear people like Chittister and Bonavoglia calling these womyn ‘corageous’. Yeah right. I’d call them corageous as well if they were Muslim and spoke against the oppression of women in Islam. But noo, they think they are SO brave, speaking against the Pope and the Church… man, how impressive, brave and original they are! I think I’ll do the same as well, and demand to get caramel-filled chocolates instead of communion wafers… now that sounds good…
I’m with you, Veronica. And how about Old Style instead of wine?
I wish I could go up to those people and point out that they are NOT Catholic Priests and/or Deacons, and that those people doing the ordaining are NOT bishops. Because it’s METAPHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for a woman to be the recipient of holy orders. Period.
You�ve got a problem with that, take it up with God.
“I think people have been closed to a deeper, fuller expression of their faith by having, in the hierarchy and levels of authority and decision-making, a male-only church,…”
As a Catholic woman, in full communion with the Church, this is particularly offensive to me. The Church is not “male-only,” I have equal dignity and equal salvation. Furthermore, women ARE in positions of authority in the Church (my patron, Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church for God’s sake!!). As a woman, I have particular and unique grace that men do not and never can have, (sorry, guys)… and it isn’t just baby-making. There was no higher human creature than Mary, and the Trinity was NOT just using her womb for rent, but rather, she cooperated (and still, as our Mediatrix) in our Salvation. The Son could have just popped off a fig tree. He did not… and it was this woman who said “yes” to her God-given womanly grace to correct Eve’s “no” to her God-given womanly grace to whom we give high praise.
Old Style instead of wine sounds really good, but I’m personally more partial to strawberry margaritas. 🙂 Perhaps the Holy Mass should be renamed ‘Holy Happy Hour’, where everybody could drink free margaritas instead of wine. That would also solve the problem of empty churches in the U.S… wonder why the Church never thought of that before?
Female clown priests and deacons being ordained by who? Pope Joan? Yes, excommunicate them all. They have proven they are all abominations of womanhood. I am totally disgusted with all of these “want to be men”.
Girls, get over your pinkness and wake up.
Michelle: Jim Callan was excommunicated in 1999. Here’s a link showing this:
I thank God for our new Holy Father! His intervention led to this discipline being imposed.
I thought the cafeteria was closed? Sounds like they broke in. Nuts.
“…two of the women…were later secretly ordained as bishops by their male counterparts in the Roman Catholic church…”
Have these male counterparts ‘fessed up?
And it can’t be the Roman Catholic Church. Maybe the Roamin’ Bedtick Church and they just need hearing aids… ’cause it sure as shootin’ isn’t *us.*
If those male counterparts are found out (funny they don’t have the courage to come out…or are they made up by our intredid womyn here?) then they’re guaranteed a one-way ticket out. These bishops can then form the Society of St. Sinead and ordain all the mannish womyn they want.
There they go again
It could be much worse:…
We live close to Gananoque, and were quite unaware of any “international ” water. You can purchase nice charts with the international boundry deliniated and unless these women are as thin as an imaginary line, they were either in Canadian or American waters.
Oh – I forgot – they get to redefine reality!
Well, if you can arbitrarily set aside the teachings of the Church, I guess you can do the same with international boundries.
Good thing that these people are just playing make believe, or we would be in truly uncharted waters, where we would go to bed wondering where we would wake up!
Not such a good place. My Grandfather, Victor Togni , a very proficient Organist (he was one of the best in the world) and lover of our true Catholic Heritage (he was deeply saddened by the damage wrought in the wake of Vatican II) was killed in 1965 in a car crash in Gananoque.
It should be a place to be avoided, methinks.
Hey, Luke! I know your dad! Cool! I lived in Halifax until a few years ago. Your dad was very kind to me one day when I was feeling very down and he ran into me while I was sitting on the Library wall next to the Basilica. He just stopped and chatted, talked a lot of liturgical music shop. He had been meaning to go off to practice but used up all his time cheering me up. I never forgot it.
Welcome to the bloggosphere. Hope you’ll drop by our place once in a while.
David- I may be wrong, but my understanding was that, as per usual in this diocese, Bishop Clark’s public statement was that Jim Callan “effectively excommunicated himself” by his actions, but that he would be welcomed back at any time. There was never, to my knowledge, any petition to Rome to officially revoke Father Callan’s clerical standing as a priest. Of course, Jim Callan has stated that “I don’t believe in excommunication. I believe in including people. That is what the universal church is supposed to be about. ” Here’s the site from Una Voce:
I know that the women “priests” at Spiritus Christi are handing out bread, but is Christ really present in the Eucharist when Jim Callan says “Mass”? That disturbs me more than all of the women “priests” in the River or anywhere else for that matter.