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Church removes women 'priests'

The Vatican has excommunicated seven women who were ordained as priests in Austria earlier this year by a rebel archbishop from Argentina.

The women had refused to give up their claim to the priesthood.

The seven, from Germany, Austria and the United States, were ordained in June in Austria during a ceremony led by Argentine cleric Romulo Antonio Braschi, who is from a breakaway church.

The women were given
time to renounce their ordination, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said they showed no sign of what it termed "repentance".

One of the women, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, said they planned to appeal against the order, which effectively casts them out of the Roman Catholic Church, removing their right to take part in its rites.

"This reaction is completely out of proportion. It is another act of discrimination against women," the former nun, who is now married and a schoolteacher, told the French news agency AFP.

She vowed to carry on working as a priest undaunted.

"People have asked me to lead the service at their weddings, and I will carry on my pastoral work unhindered," she said.

Seven women excommunicated as deadline passes (25/7/02)
Catholic women in unofficial ordination (1/7/02)


6 Aug 2002