Monday, June 24, 2013

Three Female Priests Ordained in St. Cloud

By Ben Grove

Note: This article was first published June 24, 2013 by

Three women were ordained as priests at a Mass by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests of the Midwest Region on Sunday in St. Cloud, although they risk being excommunicated by the Catholic Church, the Associated Press reports.

The three were Bernadyne “Bernie” Sykora of St. Cloud, Corene Besetzny of Red Wing and Martha Sherman of Salem, S.D., the AP reports.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has clearly stated that the ordination of women as priests is “not valid.” But a female-priests movement persists.

“The Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement is necessary because if we wait, nothing is going to happen for a very, very, very long time — if ever,” one movement leader, Mary Frances Smith, ordained a Roman Catholic Womanpriest in 2009, told the St. Cloud Times.

The Los Angeles Times reported last month that more than 120 women worldwide have become priests, at a time when the Vatican faces a shortage of priests.

The Los Angeles Times profiles soft-spoken 72-year-old Maria Eitz, who took the controversial step of becoming a priest because “it is right and just.”

“It needs to happen. Not so much for myself … but for the people who will come after,” she told the Times. “For the girls. For the other women.”

See also the previous PCV posts:

Minnesota's Seven Catholic Womenpriests Are Here to Stay
Female Priests Push Catholic Boundaries
Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Differing Perspectives


  1. Once I questioned my pastor/spiritual director concerning the continued existence of the Church if only female candidates were available for ordination to the priesthood. As a deacon candidate (dismissed in my 5th year of training - having passed canonical vote - for no longer being capable formation - aka - suppressed) I reminded him of the early Church deaconesses (which the Church regards as not being "real, authentic" deacons). He stated plainly that since the Eucharist would no longer be present to us, the Church would simply follow a different path - without the Eucharist. I quickly dismissed his statements for several reasons. First, the Eucharist is one of the center modes for Christ promising to be with us always (all ways) both spiritually in our hearts and physically through reception of the Eucharist. Secondly, the command to "do this in memory of Me" was issued at a Seder supper at which ALL His family/close followers (disciples) would have been present. All were issued this command and all would have eaten of His Body and Blood. Does the Church really think women - Mary, His mother, Mary of Magdala, Cleome, Martha and Mary, etc. would have been excluded from such a commission ? Thirdly, God is sexless - pure Spirit - thus, sexual identity is intended for procreation chiefly (and among all people - gay or straight, the expression of Love). We are all - male and female - equal in His sight. Does he really discount service by a woman - does the Holy Spirit not abide with each of us - calling us to priesthood regardless of sexual identity ? Thirdly, women were loved equally by Christ - first appearing to a woman post Resurrection - SENDING Mary of Magdala to the others to declare His conquer of t
    death. Apostle means "one who is sent with a message on a mission". Mary was therefore an Apostle - chosen by Christ no less than the remaining 11 and later Paul. Yet, the Church blinds itself to the Truth because it is a male dominated/suppressed institution - returning to the Judhaic separation/rejection of woman from religious matters. These women who answered the to ordination by the Holy Spirit may face excommunication based on human laws which lack the central theme of Christianity: LOVE. And to recall Paul's words, no authority has been granted in heaven or on earth which can separate us from the Love of Christ. The Church's threat of excommunication is impotent. God - Christ - is not trumped by human laws. The Church over interprets the granting of the "keys to heaven" to Peter in using such authority to deal unjustly - lacking love - with all God's children. So, I pray many joy-filled years of service are ahead for these "St. Joan's of Arc" who have attended to the Spirit. Namaste...

    1. Amen to that. Currently two of my favorite people are women pastors of a Pentacostal and Presbyterian church. They both are very saintly people.

    2. The whole thing of excommunicating these women is part of the bullying tactics of the Vatican and the rest of the magisterium.

      I would also add that when the only parishes available that are Catholic are the ones that bully from the pulpit (a set that includes just about anything under Rome's jurisdiction) help from Independent Jurisdictions should be sought out. But what if help isn't available from those avenues?

      Well, if would you give your child a rock when he asks for bread or a snake when he asks for a fish? No, you wouldn't. So do you believe Jesus would insist that you go for more bullying or be denied His body and blood? That is ludicrous.

  2. It's not bullying, it's working in terms of sacramental validity.

    These women are either Catholic, or they are womenpriests. They're not Catholic womenpriests because such a thing is not licit.

    Otherwise, you'll have to accept that I've been ordained as a goat.

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