From Reuters News Agency: "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."
The two new ITV comedy programs from last night were slated in the press today (I watched all of 30 seconds of one of them before deciding it was too embarrassingly bad to watch). However, this article from Reuters has had my friends and I laughing out loud. Three little snippets in particular stand out:
Of the thought of being excommunicated from the Church the septuagenarian Miss Smead, a former Carmelite Nun (St Theresa of Avila was unavailable for comment!) said,
"It has no sting for me. 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."
It seems that age is no bar to age prejudice - I'm sure most hip 70 somethings must be fed up with those fusty old octogenarians lauding it over them!
During the communion service, Smead and other woman priests lifted the plates and cups containing the sacramental bread and wine to bless them. A woman in the audience murmured, "Girl, lift those plates. I've been waiting a long time for this."
Reminiscences of, "Heave it higher,Sir Priest!" * I'm not sure if Reuters deliberately worded it this way but I couldn't help summoning up a very un-feminist picture of ladies among the pots and pans in the kitchen!
One of those attending the service was Stewart Pawley, 32, of Louisville, who said he was raised Catholic and now only attends on Christmas and Easter. But he said he would attend services with Smead when she starts to offer them in Louisville. "People like me know it's something the Catholic Church will have to do," said Pawley.
Oh yes, Mr Pawley, people who come to Mass twice a year are just the sort who know just what the Catholic Church is all about, immersed as they are in her daily rituals, theology, spirituality and history. While we're at it, let's get a focus group of pagans and atheists together to see how they think we should run the Church.