Monday, December 9, 2013

Women named priest, deacons

Women named priest, deacons Written by Charlie White The Courier-Journal Dec. 08, 2013 Five Roman Catholic women were ordained (four as deacons and one as a priest) at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. As priest candidate Mary Sue Barnett lay prostrate in the aisle, deacon candidate Betty H. Smith got some help getting into position. Dec. 08, 2013 / David R. Lutman/Special to The Courier-Journal Mary Sue Barnett lay prostrate Sunday before members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and others laid their hands on her in solemn reverence and prayer. They had a clear message for the Vatican on Sunday, ordaining Barnett as its latest woman priest. “The time has come for a holy shake¬up that will bring new life, creativity and justice to the church and beyond,” the Rev. Bridget Mary Meehan, the ordaining bishop, said during the ceremony. More than 200 people attended the afternoon ceremony for Barnett at Central Presbyterian Church in Old Louisville. Four other women were ordained as deacons: Denise Menard Davis and Betty Smith of Louisville, Mary Weber of Indianapolis and Ann Harrington of Greenville, N.C. It was the second such ceremony in Louisville in the past year. “It’s a very natural next step for me, a joy-filled step,” Barnett, 51, said after the ceremony, adding there are “women of all ages who need to be visible and need to be heard.” She will give her first liturgies at First Unitarian Church on Fourth Street at 5 p.m. Dec. 21. Barnett, who is married, has two sons and lives in the Lyndon area, was born and raised in the traditional Roman Catholic Church, attending St. Athanasius, Mother of Good Counsel and Church of Epiphany in Louisville. She also has taught at Catholic institutions, including Presentation Academy, Assumption High School, Spalding University and St. Catharine College. There are now more than 160 women priests in the association, said Meehan, of Mother Mary of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Fla. The association’s first seven women were ordained as priests in 2002 on the Danube River in Europe, and a dozen more were ordained in the first U.S. ordination in Pittsburgh in 2006. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville officials have said Catholics should not support or participate in events held by the association, maintaining it has no connection to the Roman Catholic Church. Some association supporters who attended Sunday’s ceremony sat on the upper level to avoid having their photos taken because they said they would be excommunicated if they were seen at the ceremony. Pope Francis, like other pontiffs before him, has rejected the idea of women priests, although he is trying to include them more in the church. The Rev. Janice Savre-Duszynska, an association member, said priesthood “goes beyond gender.” She’s among those who say frescoes the Vatican recently restored in the Catacomb of Priscilla — including one that appears to show a woman being ordained by a bishop — are evidence of women deacons and priests. But the Vatican has a different interpretation. “This is an elaboration that has no foundation in reality,” Barbara Mazzei of the Pontifical Commission on Sacred Archaeology told Reuters last month. Reach Charlie White at (812) 949-4026 or @c_write. Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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