Ky. woman ordained as a dissident Catholic priest
LOUISVILLE — In an emotional ceremony filled with tears and applause, a 70-year-old Kentucky woman was ordained a priest on Saturday as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.
Rosemarie Smead is one of about 150 women around the world who have decided not to wait for the Roman Catholic Church to lift its ban on female priests, but to be ordained and start their own congregations.
In an interview before the ceremony, Smead said she is not worried about being excommunicated from the Church — the fate of other women ordained outside of Vatican law.
“It has no sting for me,” said Smead, a former Carmelite nun with a ready hug for strangers. “It is a Medieval bullying stick the bishops used to keep control over people and to keep the voices of women silent. I am way beyond letting octogenarian men tell us how to live our lives.”
The ordination of women as priests, along with the issues of married priests and birth control, represents one of the big divides between U.S. Catholics and the Vatican hierarchy. Seventy percent of American Catholics believe that women should be allowed to be priests, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll this year.
The former pope, Benedict XVI, reaffirmed the Catholic Church's ban on female priests and warned that he would not tolerate disobedience by clerics on fundamental teachings.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Alamo named as World Heritage site by United Nations
- Years will be needed to gauge efforts to cut Lake Erie algae
- Austin police kill gunman in slaying in hotel lobby
- Notorious New York escapee Sweat returns to prison
- Risk of government shutdown to worry Congress on return from July Fourth
- Police: Maine man shoots firework from top of his head, dies
- Woman who tries to sneak on planes arrested twice in 2 days
- Arizona prison to relocate more than 350 inmates after disturbance
- Deteriorating nails blamed for North Carolina deck collapse
- Measles carries risk of deadly complication for young
- Republican Christie criticizes high court’s gay marriage ruling