Catholic woman in secret ordination
A woman has been ordained as a priest in a secret ceremony in central Europe as an act of defiance against the Roman Catholic Church.
According to BBC News, the woman who was "ordained" does not want to be identified for fear of losing her job teaching religious education.
Three years ago, the Vatican moved decisively against an international movement for the ordination of women when it excommunicated the so-called Danube Seven. Seven women had claimed the status of priests after a form of ordination ceremony held on a boat moored on the river Danube. Now a similar ceremony has taken place in a private chapel in central Europe.
BBC Radio 4's 'Crossing Continents Crossing Europe' witnessed the event but only on condition the programme does not reveal the exact location or the identity of the young woman.
In the case of the Danube Seven, it was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict - who declared that since the women gave no indication of repentance "for the most serious offence they have committed, they have incurred excommunication".
But his stern admonitions have been ignored. Among those conducting the ordination the BBC witnessed, were women from the Danube Seven who now describe themselves as bishops.
The day following the "ordination", the BBC reporter, Julian Pettifer, attended mass at a local church and talked to the congregation about women priests.
He made no mention of the ceremony, but every person questioned, male and female, young and old, said they would welcome women into the Roman Catholic priesthood.
When Pettifer put this to the President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome, Archbishop John Paul Foley, he said: "I don't think you win a war by surrender. The question is, what did Jesus want? What did he reveal? And what does the Church authoritatively teach? That's the norm by which we must judge, not by opinion polls."
Catholic woman in secret ordination (BBC News 22/6/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Ordination of Catholic Women
Women Priests for the Catholic Church
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Seven women excommunicated as deadline passes (CathNews 25/7/02)
Ratzinger issues ultimatum to 'ordained' women (CathNews 11/7/02)
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24 Jun 2005