Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More womenpriests excommunicated

Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali has said that two women who underwent a "pseudo-ordination" Sunday have been automatically excommunicated as a result of their act.

Cardinal Rigali said those who presented themselves for supposed ordination as well as those who "falsely claim" to ordain them have been excommunicated, Catholic News Agency reports.

The ordination ceremony with a bishop from a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP), took place at a Christian chapel inside Congregation Mishkan Shalom, a Reconstructionist Jewish synagogue in Philadelphia, The Bulletin says.

It was the first such invalid ordination of women to occur in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

"It is most unfortunate that this pseudo-ordination has occurred within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," said Cardinal Rigali.

"I am concerned pastorally for the souls of those involved and for the Catholic faithful who may be confused. Those who present themselves for ordination at such an invalid ceremony - as well as those who falsely claim to be ordaining the women - are, by their actions, automatically excommunicated from the Church."

In a statement, Cardinal Rigali said the ceremony was "in violation of the constant teaching of the Church, based on Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

"Both clearly indicate that Jesus called only men to follow Him as Apostles, and the Church has always regarded his choice in this matter as normative for all time. Therefore, she has always followed Jesus' example by choosing only men for the ministry of Holy Orders."

"All Catholic men and women bring different yet equally valuable gifts to the Church. The Church is strongest when the gifts given by Christ to all her members are celebrated and respected," he continued.

"God's gifts, however, are never given to individuals merely for their own fulfillment, but for the unfolding of his plan of salvation in the Church for the benefit of the whole community of the faithful, and no one's true personal dignity in the Church can be fostered in opposition to the will of Christ Himself.

"Consequently, such a pseudo-ordination ceremony denigrates the truth entrusted to the Church by Christ Himself, and demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the respect and dignity accorded to women by Christ and His Church."
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