My story about three women who are participating in an unsanctioned ordination ceremony Sunday in their quest to become Roman Catholic priests has generated quite a bit of e-mail and a fair amount of comment in the blogosphere. Multiple readers objected to the headline, "3 women to be ordained Catholic priests in Boston,'' because, they argue, in the eyes of Rome (and Braintree!) the women will be neither Catholic nor priests as a result of the ceremony. The subordinate headline said that "excommunication automatic, church warns,'' and the story was clear that the church views these ordinations as illegal, but the Globe has decided to run a clarification of the main headline.
For those of you who want more information, the ceremony is sponsored by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an organization not recognized as Catholic by the Roman Catholic church. The worship service is taking place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the Covenant, a Protestant (Presbyterian and United Church of Christ) church in the Back Bay. The Archdiocese of Boston issued a statement about the event Thursday. And Pope John Paul II reiterated and explained the church's teaching that the priesthood is restricted to men in an apostolic letter in 1994.
Since we don't have comments enabled on this blog yet, here, for your reading pleasure, is a sampling of the e-mail I've been getting, which illustrates the divide over the issue of women's ordination in the Catholic Church:
"I generally appreciate your precise coverage of the Catholic Church, but today's story disappointed me. Both the title ó which probably was not your call ó as well as several times in the article, you stated that the Catholic Church's take was that the ordination of women was "illicit." It is, but more importantly the Church teaches that it is invalid. Just as Catholic bishops or priests cannot change filet mignon and gin into the Eucharist, because it's improper (albeit perhaps superior) matter, so women are incapable of being ordained priests. Even if a validly-ordained Catholic bishop imposed hands on a woman to "ordain" her a bishop, nothing would occur. If the same three women were having a ceremony to be anointed queens of England on Sunday by a disgruntled Anglican Archbishop, I would hope that, if it got any press at all, it would be treated as both quacky and impossible. That's what we're dealing with here, a fortiori. Their possibility of being ordained Catholic priests is zero, whereas the possibility of being validly anointed queen is merely infinitesimal. In further stories on this, please bring this greater precision out of respect for accuracy as well as for your Catholic readers."
"The Vatican is presumably correct in noting that none of the apostles were women, but all the apostles were Jews. What does the Vatican make of that? Should all priests be Jews first? Christ was born to a Jewish mother, and Church tradition claims his ancestor was King David, also a Jew. Does the archdiocese or the Vatican address those issues?"
"I would say that you are a provocateur and a liar! Your article is idiotic. These women are not Catholic priests. The Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women to be priests. The actual number of Roman Catholic priests that are women is ZERO. Did you get that? You even mentioned in your article that these women were to be ordained 'at a historic Protestant church in the Back Bay.' If they are women Catholic priests, as you claim, then why are they being 'ordained' in a Protestant church? EXACTLY! You are an idiot! Go back to school and get a proper education in journalism and while you're there get a nose job!"
"I read with interest your article on the Roman Catholic Womenpriests being ordained in Boston today. As it happens, I am the 35 year old son of a woman who was ordained last August in Minneapolis...What is striking is how strong the reactions are regardless of the reader's position. I have shared the news of my mother becoming a priest with Europeans while traveling overseas and their reactions have generally been much more mild. Some were bemused, others weren't particularly surprised. Many seemed to feel that Americans have unhealthy amounts of religious fervor. I'm concerned that readers have not taken the time to understand these women before passing judgments, and may not appreciate the depth of study these women have devoted themselves to in traditional, formal theological circles. My mother, for instance, received a full scholarship from a Catholic seminary in Milwaukee for six or seven years of full-time study leading to a Masters of Divinity. It seems to me that the system shunning these women is the same system that has encouraged them, as if the Church itself is conflicted about the need for fundamental reforms. I believe the situation is far more complex than it would appear."
"In the name of journalistic integrity, I'd like to point out that your article is misleading. The over-all impression is that these women are breaking Catholic rules by becoming priests and the Church is going to kick them out if they try. A typical underdog fighting against a big-bully kind of story. The problem here is leaving readers with the impression that these women will become validly ordained Catholic priests at all, and that the Vatican is reacting against these valid ordinations. To put it another way, you're giving the impression that the Vatican would actually be excommunicating PRIESTS from the Church, instead of heretical laypeople who are joining a non-Catholic group. But the group these women was "ordained by" are not in any way associated with the Roman Catholic Church except by their own self-promotion (which is eagerly accepted by reporters, it seems). And while it makes for a tantalizing story, especially to people with a grudge against the Catholic Church, it has no basis in fact. While the ordination may be performed by someone who knew someone who knew someone who was once validly ordained by a Catholic priest or bishop, you have to understand that ordination is not a game of tag. You can't simply pass it along like that. The fact remains these women and the group they belong to, are not in any way associated with the Roman Catholic Church (as the Church has repeatedly declared whenever this German group has announced they were ordaining Catholic women priests). They cannot celebrate "a weekly Catholic Eucharist" anymore than you or I can. In short, this is a non-story about a non-Catholic group (who claim to be Catholic) ordaining women priests. But there are lots of cults and sects like that. How is that news?"
"This is great news too bad the Old Boys Club, the Vatican, will not accept women as priest. Also maybe if priest were able to be married they could eliminate some of the predators, instead of moving them from Parish to Parish."
"I almost always enjoy your writing; however, your story in today's Globe (well written, as usual) suffers from poor reporting. Womenpriests may be accurate in saying that some of its members have been "ordained" by a bishop in good standing. Gabriella Velardi Ward, in particular, makes this claim. But left unsaid is that while all the rubrics of ordination may indeed have been followed, the essential matter, if you will (I.e., a valid candidate), was missing. Any priest, Pope Benedict included, could celebrate the Eucharist using, say, cookies and milk instead of bread and wine. He could properly intone the sacred words of consecration (even in Latin--but that's another story!), and in a respectful and dignified manner distribute them to the congregation. Does that mean that the folks in the pew received a valid Eucharist? Of course not--and no one in his right mind would think so. So too with a woman priest. And if these "priestesses" are so in favor of things being "valid," should they not follow the rules of their Church for excommunicated priests and not celebrate the Sacraments save for cases of extreme emergency? A malleable faith is no faith at all. Is it not your task to explain the rules of the faith traditions about which you write? A non-Catholic, or sadder still, an ignorant Catholic, may read your story unquestioningly. This is not the esoteric, complicated stuff of Canon lawyers. It's simple logic. My 8-year-old son has a baseball glove, cap, spikes, and official MLB Red Sox jersey, but I'm pretty sure he's not on the team."
"Reading your article I couldn't help but remember being taught as a child that only us Catholics could go to heaven. Separating the message of Christ and rules written by men seems an insurmountable obstacle for the Institution."
"It is important to note that these women are delusional; they will not "be a priest" after their anointing. Their blessings and prayers will be no more powerful than mine would be should I decide to offer Mass or perform the office of a priest--i.e. nothing would happen and Jesus would not become present on the altar. Similarly, I could proclaim myself to be "President of the United States," but my declaration would not make it so. As someone who has written frequently about the Catholic Faith, I would have hoped you would understand it better. Please strive for accuracy."
"The ordinations may be illegal and/or illicit, but they are valid. The sacraments administered by an excommunicated priest are still valid, though the church is very unhappy with it. Sooooo. ONWARD!"
"I thought your women priest article was very misleading. It is really an editorial in support of women's ordination, guised as a "story" about women being ordained as catholic priests. Clearly these women have not been ordained anything. It's like having a group of people put on caps and gowns and have a private ceremony where they all receive "Harvard degrees" and then call themselves Harvard grads. It doen't mean anything if Harvard doesn't recognize it. Even the schoolboys who play cops and robbers on the playground know that they're indulging in make-believe. The sad thing is that these women (and, I presume, the Globe as well) believe that what they're doing is real. This is the silliest article I've read in a long time."
"Thank you for writing this story. I would love to try to make it to the ordination. SO MANY catholics, like me and my family believe that there is no reason for women to be denied this sacrament. Good luck and god bless these brave women."
"How can you have the title of an article read '3 women to be ordained Catholic priests in Boston (7/18/08)' when that is not possible according to Catholic church law? What an irresponsible title. Where is the journalism? Do you have a duty to report things factually? Just because the women involved declare it, it does not make it so. If I told you that I am now the Supreme Emperor of the Entire Planet Earth, would you put it in the paper and with the headline 'Hub man is new Ruler of Earth'?"
"I am not interested in bashing my Church, just those ignorant, misguided managers who offer such silly arguments as "Christ did not have women disciples." With that argument, we would still be in the stone age.''
"I read with interest your article today on women desiring to become priests. However, I feel the title was misleading, because in fact, whatever they believe, they are not going to be validly ordained as Catholic priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Whether or not there are many Catholics who would like to have women able to become ordained priests, at the present time that is not possible. These 3 women cannot call themselves Catholic priests just because they want to be one....just as I cannot have someone perform a ceremony and then call myself a Judge, (or anything else) just because that is what I want."
"Mary Magdalene was an apostle and a close follower of Jesus otherwise known as Joshua to his followers. Her connection to Joshua has been denigrated by the church. Traditionally, she has been portrayed as a fallen woman. The church did not know what to do with a single woman following Joshua so they made her a whore. The first thousand years of the Catholic Church had married priests. Most of Apostles were married men. Even today you can be a married priest in the church. If you are from the Episcopal church you can convert and bring your wife with you. I attended a baptism where the priest was married and we had tea prepared by his wife in the rectory."
"Your headline and premise is false. Women cannot be ordained Catholic priest any more than I can declare myself President of the United States. This headline and "story" is as ridiculous as those found in the National Enquirer. Shame on you."
"As an Episcopalian, whose church does ordain women (though some orthodox Anglicans still oppose it), but as one who considers himself to be "Anglo-Catholic" in practice, I think those Protestant churches which permit the use of their facilities for ordinations that are clearly not sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church are doing harm to the advancement of dialogue between Protestants and Roman Catholics. As for the ordination held in a synagogue, I feel the same, though my wife is a practicing Conservative Jew and I, myself, am included on the membership list of her synagogue, which I consider a great honor to our marriage. Christendom is divided enough without this kind of "interference" with the official Roman Catholic canons and I have to wonder at the mind set of pastors who do such a thing."
"I take it you are not Catholic. Your title of the article is misleading. A woman can not be ordained a Catholic priest. Please review your facts and it wouldnít hurt if you brushed up on canon law. By not fully explaining this puts a slant which you probably didnít intend."
"I wonder how many of the priest predator pedophiles were excommunicated...By the way, I went to a free day of education at BC some months back where there was a presentation given on the Sociology of the Parish. There were 13 participants - 11 women and 2 men. Of the 13 there was one Sister and one Priest and the Priest had come from Rhode Island. Everyone was white and everyone was over 60. Talk about one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel..."
"I would like to pronounce myself King of the World. Why? Because since I was 5 years old I wanted to be king. So I am having a ceremony and declaring myself king. And you canít do anything to stop me. Once I have been coronated. I am closing down the Boston Globe and having those women imprisoned. I truly feel empowered!"
"Women ordained as Catholic priests -- In other news I have named myself the managing editor of the Boston Globe...My first act as managing editor of the Globe is to fire you. One more the Globe continues its long tradition of anti-Church bias. This is a publicity stunt, nothing more. Only the Church has the power to ordain people...doesn't the English language and elementary rules of logic mean anything to you? But hey if you have a chance to make the Church look bad.. just throw that stuff aside."
"The headline on your column, I understand you donít write that is blatantly false as is some of the writings in your column. First of all, they cannot be Catholic priests. If someone who does something in violation of a law or church doctrine, cannot turn around and say it is valid. Well you can, but you are 100% wrong. I can go out today and say under the constitution, the people have the right of redress over wrongs of the government. So today I am declaring myself the governor of the Massachusetts, since I am doing what is correct in my heart. Since I didnít follow the rules and I have no standing as such, can I still be a governor? When I was at BC, I took logic. The basic premise of logic is that if either the major premise or the minor premise is incorrect, the conclusion can never be true. All women have blonde hair, Mary has brown hair. Mary canít be a woman. These women were not ordained under Catholic Canon Law. These women cannot be priests under Catholic teachings. How can they be called Catholic priests?"
"The headline of your article -- which you may not be responsible for -- is MOST misleading. It implies that the Catholic Archdiocese itself is ordaining 3 women to the priesthood. But your own article says that the 3 women in question are simply being "ordained" at a totally meaningless and frivolous ceremony in a Protestant church, a venue which has no authority to ordain anybody, let alone women."
"I have been appointed the new editor of the Globe ...Ö. And my first act will be to fire the headline writer."
"This story is wrong in so many ways. Women cannot be ordained. These people are not Catholic. Catholic means accepting church doctrine and these people clearly do not. So why would you write that headline? They are not even from this state. Which makes me wonder why they would come here to pull this media stunt. Oh wait, probably wouldn't get this much attention any where else except in Liberalchusetts and liberal newspaper like the Globe. The fact that someone gets all this attention for a false story line is why I do not buy the Boston Globe and why the paper has lost so many subscribers."
"Your title is misleading. Obviously the ordination was invalid so the women did not become Catholic Priests as your title suggest. BTW after reading your piece I got this great idea. I will be sworn in as President of the United States this weekend at a ceremony in my home. So I suppose if I follow whatever logic you used in the title of your article, I could claim to be the President of the United States (make room Mt. Rushmore). Do you want to write the article? I have got the headline for you. "The United States of America Finally Gets A President Who Is Not An Insider". Wow, my grandfather would be so proud!"
"Isn't this a trademark infringement and a violation of public policy. They should be arrested if they hold themselves out as Catholic priests. If not, can I set myself up as Rabbi because I want to, and have a Protestant church convey rabbinical authority on me?"
"How redundant! Scripturally, all dedicated, baptized, born-again Christians (male, female, and even spiritually mature adolescents) are already potential kings and priests, and if they remain faithful to the end of this system of things, or their own end in the flesh, they will ultimately realize the privilege of ruling with Christ from Heaven. [Gal 6:16; Re 5:9-10] The ladies are just jumping the gun. In fact the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and the Protestant offshoots who lost their way as well, are all jumping the gun. The issue that is still germane is the fact that the scriptural qualifications of administrative and theocratic duties is still reserved for males; that has not and will not change, regardless of where Christians serve, in Heaven or on earth. [1 Ti 3:1-10; Php 1:1; Tit 1:5-9; Ps 45:16; Matt 5:5; 6:10; Ps 37:11,29]"
"Your article failed to make an important distinction: the Catholic Church both teaches definitively (e.g. in John Paul II's Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis) and encodes in her law that sacred ordination is validly received by baptized males c.f. canon 1024 of the Code of Canon Law. Can. 1024 A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly. Sacram ordinationem valide recipit solus vir baptizatus. The penalty of excommunication is imposed for the canonical crime of simulating a sacrament. Please issue a clarification to the article stating that the Catholic Church clearly teaches that: (1) such a simulacrum (of a woman receiving 'ordination' to the priesthood) is invalid in itself as well as; (2) constitutes a canonical crime punishable by automatic (latae sentenciae) excommunication."
"Doesnít matter what these women do, or what they call their ceremony. The will never be priests. You can call a cow a horse all day long but when the sun goes down, itís still a cow."
"The misleading title and misrepresentation of the truth of the matter -- that the women are wilfully taking upon themselves excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church for their play-acting moment of infamy by this sham "ceremony"-- is not the least bit surprising. Lousy journalism customarily associated with supermarket tabloids? - Certainly. The Globe's "clarification" is also weak and untruthful - the women's status after they stage their "wannabee" impersonations is not at all a matter of dispute to anyone of sound mind and a passing familiarity with Roman Catholicism. Just those few heretics living in post-menstrual la-la land and a few crackpots at the Boston Globe. Circulation must be dreadfully poor these days, huh? Tsk, tsk, tsk.. Don't you recall the cute brainteaser they teach elementary school children? If you call a horse's tail a leg, how many legs does it have? Still only four!"
"You need to change the headline, as it is inaccurate. You also state in your clarification that it is the status of the women that is in dispute; this is also inaccurate. Their status is that of being excommunicated, which they brought upon themselves. For the sacrament of Holy Orders to be a valid sacrament, a man must be the recipient. If a woman is the recipient, the sacrament is already invalid. The bishop performing the ordination must be in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, which Dana Reynolds is not. As a newspaper that sees part of its purpose to be accurate news reporting, I am confident that you will make the appropriate changes shortly."
"The article is misleading, though I believe that it does not intend to be. Please allow me to make a few clarifications that will assist in the reading of the article. The first regards the reference to "Vatican". It seems to be a regular misuse of the term in the media. By using "Vatican" or "the Vatican" the implication is not just the Roman Catholic Church, a religious organization lead by His Holiness the Pope, the implication is that some far away, disconnected from here, central office (as if the Roman Catholic Church were a company with a "home office") structure similar to many secular businesses has just issued a policy. The use of "the Vatican" as a source is, frankly, erroneous. There are many "offices" in the Vatican City State, and it would be more precise and helpful to quote the congregation that issues the "statement". As a note, even though the Pope, is the sovereign of the Vatican City State, diplomatic relations are not with "the Vatican" they are actually with the Holy See, that is the Diocese of Rome in the person of the Pope. So the ambassador to the Holy See is the ambassador to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, not to the secular state that exists to ensure the independence of the Pope. This nuance seems to be set to the side with rather sloppy results. It turns the Pope into a foreign potentate or CEO rather than the leader of a religion. Your reference to "Vatican teaching" is therefore incorrect. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church, or if you prefer, the Roman Catholic Church. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, with respect to your article, these women are not being ordained as far as the Roman Catholic Church is concerned. Their "ordination" is not simply against the Church's internal law (Code of Canon Law). Their "ordination" is considered theologically impossible according the the Faith of the Catholic Church. So these women will not be "Catholic" priests in any usable sense of the term. Would one refer to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams as a "Catholic priest" or "Catholic bishop"? Long ago the Anglican/Episcopal Church ceased to be apart of the Catholic Church and today there is no confusion. The media should be as clear as possible in telling the people that these women are separating themselves from the Roman Catholic Church and are joining and being "ordained" in another sect that calls itself "Roman Catholic Womenpriest". By refering to "Catholic women's ordination" there is the implication that this is somehow "Catholic" as commonly understood by the term. From the Catholic Church's point of view, these women are leaving the Catholic Church by their action. Thirdly, there is no proof that the women who will be mimicking the ordination ritual of the Roman Catholic Church have in any way been "ordained". Their claims have yet to be substantiated. At some point they could claim that the Pope secretly made them Cardinals and how does one prove the contrary? The perpetuation of such claims without scrutiny on the part of the media is not helpful to the public. Also, your statement, "The Vatican has repeatedly said that women cannot be priests because Jesus did not have female apostles," appears to sum up the entire argument of the Catholic Church against women being Catholic priests. This is an injustice to the entire debate and contributes nothing of value to any real discussion."
"It is outrageous for Boston Globe and you to refer to this ordination of three women as "Catholic" inasmuch as the event is disavowed 'a priori' by the Roman Catholic Church, and results in automatic excommunication. Boolean logic say something cannot be and not-be at that same time. Had you reported this story as an ordination of women in a protestant church by disaffected Catholics that would have sufficient to be truthful. The headline is a lie."
"The fact that the Globe made the clarification shows that the Globe itself is aware that it goofed and wasn't careful enough with the way the headline was worded. There are those of course who are disgusted by the story, and many of those, and others still, will decry this as a total non-story, since the "ordination" has absolutely NO significance as far as the Catholic Church is concerned. These people would say, this is simply the Globe bening its typically liberal and progressive self. Me, I think that's an editorial judgment, and I make no rebuttal of my own. But there IS something you ought to know about the nature of priesthood itself, in Catholic doctrine. You may already know what I'm about to say, but if you don't you need to, if you're going to continue to do the story. It has to do with the "powers" of the priesthood. What is a clergyman? Is he somebody wth supernatural powers? Or is he just another human being, perhaps a bit better educated in his craft than the ordinary person? Consider the inner-city churches. Many of those churches are run by (usually) men who've never attended any kind of divinity seminary and whom nobody appointed to their positions. Typically, a black man can open a store-front church, call himself a "bishop," and instantly, he might have a church of his own with a congregation -- if he can find congregants who like him. I'm not saying anything against these men. But it is clear that there is NOTHING extraordinary about them. In Catholicism, it is entirely different. Here, priests, as a matter of definition, DO have powers that ordinary people do not have. For example, there is The Consecration. According to Catholic doctrine, when the priest takes the bread and says, "This is my body" (repeating Jesus' words at the Last Supper), or, when he lifts the chalice and says, "This is my blood," he is NOT merely repeating or commemorating what Jesus said. He IS, in fact "CHANGING THE BREAK AND WINE INTO JESUS' BODY AND BLOOD. The species may continue to LOOK like bread and wine, but NOW, IN FACT, ARE the body and blood of Jesus. This is called "transsubstantiation," where the outward appearance is as it was, but now its essense is totally transformed. Many Protestant congregations have "Communion," but in most of them, their ministers do NOT transsubstantiate. The ceremony is merely commemoration. But in Catholicism, something radical happens. ONLY priests have this power. You or I as lay people could repeat the ceremony until the cows come home, but in Church doctrine, all we've done is to waste our time; we've not altered anything. HOW do priests get this power? Ordained and consecrated bishops confer it on them. These bishops, in turn, received their power to confer these priestly powers from previous bishops, who received their power from still previous bishops, in an unbroken chain that leads back directly to Jesus. This doctrine is called "Apostolic Succession." Nobody who is outside the chain of Apostolic Succession has any power to confer anything or transsubstantiate anything. In your article, you mentioned that the women priests are being "ordained" by a duly-consecrated bishop, and therefore, their "ordaination" has sacramental validity. Let us suppose the worst. Let us suppose that this is a REAL bishop who broke away from the Church after being raised to being a bishop. While he DID have a power to confer sacred powers on new priests, he has this power
only within the rules of the Church. If he "ordains" women, he has no more power to make them into priests than if he were to "ordain" a dog or a rock to the "priesthood" -- notwithstanding that he DOES have the power to ordain Catholic MEN. The Church gets to make the rules because Jesus told Peter the first Pope,"What you shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and what you loosen on earth shall be loosened in Heaven." In Catholicism, it applies to Peter and all his successors. Women being "ordained" is therefore TOTALLY fake, no matter who is doing the "ordaination." It is enough that the Church withholds its power even from those who do have the power to ordain, if they abuse their power. This "ordaination" means something only to those who believe in it. Many persons have broken from the Church over the ages. Some claimed that when they did so, that THEY now represented the "True Church," since it was the Catholic Church that had strayed from the right path. This was certainly the position of Martin Luther. He NEVER claimed to have founded a new religion. All he ever claimed was that he was reforming and restoring the "True Church," which the Catholic Church had been at one time, but had ceased to be. But all this notwithstanding, nobody ever thereafter, not even Martin Luther, could ever claim to be a part of the CATHOLIC Church after they broke with it and were excomunicated. These women priests can therefore claim to be anything they like. But they are NOT Catholic, even if they claim to be."
"I have read the clarification at the end of the article, and would like to suggest that the headline be changed and some of the article text be changed. As the first paragraph and indeed the substance of your article points out, whatever ceremony is being performed on the 3 women is not a valid Catholic ordination to the priesthood. Thus the headline "3 women to be ordained Catholic priests in Boston" is simply inaccurate and should be modified. The sub-headline, "Excommunication automatic, church warns" more than exemplifies this, as does the clarification and the article text. Do the editors of the Globe actually believe that the 3 women are being ordained as Catholic priests, despite the facts in the article and the clarification, or is this just an egregious editing error that has remained after readers no doubt complained? It's astonishing that the Globe would run--and maintain--such a headline that is known to be incorrect. At best, one might stretch the facts and put the word "ordained" in quotes (e.g. '3 women to be "ordained" Catholic priests in Boston." More accurately, the headline might read something such as "3 women pretend Catholic 'ordination' in Boston" or "3 women attempt Catholic 'ordination' in Boston." I'm curious as to why the Globe doesn't change the headline. Other passages in the article suggest editing errors as well. For example: "But the women being ordained say they are acting because they feel called to the priesthood" should not state they are "being ordained." They are not being ordained, right? At best, it would be accurate to say "But the women participating in the unauthorized ceremony say they are acting because..." "The women are to be ordained by Dana Reynolds..." That's inaccurate again. Would only be accurate to say, "The ceremony will be conducted by Dana Reynolds..." "Among those already ordained is Jean Marchant, a former director of healthcare ministry for the Archdiocese of Boston, who with her husband presides over a small congregation that has a weekly Catholic Eucharist in a Protestant church in Weston." That's inaccurate as well. Would be only accurate to say, "Among those who have participated in similar ceremonies is Jean Marchant..." Also, what does it mean to "preside over a small congregation that has a weekly Catholic Eucharist"? Who consecrated the Eucharist? Was it a validly ordained male priest? Or, does Jean Marchant suggest that she, as a non-ordained 'priestess' somehow consecrated the Eucharist? If so, that would make it invalid, and you could not refer to this as "Catholic Eucharist.""
about articles of faithReligion News blog, Michael Paulson discusses religious news in Boston and beyond.
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