Vatican comments on excommunications of women 'priests'
The seven women who claimed to have been recently ordained as priests were excommunicated because they had attacked the fundamental structure of the Catholic Church, a top official told Vatican Radio on Tuesday.
Seven women, from Germany, Austria and the United States, had defied an earlier Vatican warning to repent over their participation in a 29 June ceremony which they claimed made them priests.
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the ordination ceremony was a "public act" that "attacks the fundamental structure of the Church as it was wanted by its founder."
Further, he said, "it is a public attack that pretends to be an attractive example for other persons, to open a new phase in the life and history of the Church."
Bertone also denounced the publicity over the ordination ceremony. The ceremony was conducted aboard a boat on the Danube, and news outlets were invited to cover it.
One of the women, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, has described the excommunication as "a further act of discrimination against women in the Catholic Church."
Church removes women 'priests' (6/8/02)
Catholic women in unofficial ordination (1/7/02)
8 Aug 2002