And it must have been right– after all the crowd was cheering!! Seriously, if this picture doesn’t make you sick and/or laugh, there’s something wrong. From STLToday
, with my entirely sober and non-nauseated commentary
Cheering crowd attends disputed ordination of two women as priests
By Michele Munz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
(photo)Rose Marie Dunn Hudson (left) and Elsie Hainz McGrath (right) are congratulated by Bishop Patricia Fresen (center) during their Celebration of Ordination as priests of a group called the Roman Catholic Womanpriests on Sunday at Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis. (Erik M. Lunsford/P-D)
ST. LOUIS — To the Roman Catholic Church, the ceremony was not an ordination. To God, it was not an ordination. In fact, it wasn’t even Roman Catholic. True. But then what is the point? But to two women and the approximately 600 people who came to cheer them on, history was made Sunday in St. Louis as the two became the first women ever in the city to be ordained as Catholic priests. In their own addled minds, that is.
And the first ever, perhaps in the world, to be ordained in a synagogue. Oooh.
Rose Marie Hudson, 67, of Festus, and Elsie Hainz McGrath, 69, of St. Louis, were ordained as priests (not) by an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which defines itself “as an international initiative within the Roman Catholic Church. However, reality defines this group as a bunch of heretics risking hell fire.
Not only is the Archdiocese of St. Louis upset about the women participating in an ordination ceremony, but the church and others in the interfaith community were upset that the Central Reform Congregation, in the Central West End, hosted the event.
“The event of today is really very sad because the name Roman Catholic has been misused and misapplied,” said Dr. Lawrence J. Welch, a Kenrick-Glennon Seminary theology professor. “There’s been no ordination of Roman Catholic priests. In fact, there has been a profaning of something Roman Catholics believe is very sacred.
“To members of the diverse crowd — the dozen ministers in robes and stoles of different colors, those wearing yarmulke, and some wearing buttons saying “God loves us, just ask her” — the ceremony showed unity and understanding. To quote Fr. Z: B as in B. S as in S.
“What a day, what an occasion, what a case, what a rabbi,” said Patricia Fresen, the ordaining bishop with Roman Catholic Womenpriests, referring to the synagogue’s rabbi, Susan Talve. The room boomed with applause. But they cried out: Away with him: Away with him: Crucify him. Pilate saith to them: shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.
Fresen, from Germany, told the audience how when she saw the St. Louis Arch, she asked what it was for. So much for the notion that Europeans know more about world geography. She was told it was the symbol for the Gateway to the West.
She added: “For us in St. Louis today, the Arch is a symbol for the gateway to justice and equality for women.” Quid est veritas?
Hudson said that after she turned 60, she had thought she would never realize her calling of becoming a priest — a calling she said she’s had since she was 14 (there are voices, and then there are voices)— until she heard Fresen talk in April 2006 at the Ecumenical Catholic Church in Webster Groves.
Hudson told Fresen she wanted to be ordained, and Fresen began the process. Hudson enlisted the support of the local Catholic Action Network, a grass-roots group (primarily consisting of older ladies and disaffected hippies that don’t really want to be Catholic but who wouldn’t mind destroying the Church, if it were possible, which thankfully it isn’t) that works for social justice (read: dissent and disunity) within the Catholic Church. It was there she met McGrath and learned of her calling, and they began their journey to ordination together. Wow. I just love “faith journeys”.
The process brought them close — so close that they will co-pastor a faith community (of some kind– I already posted openings for the pastor position here) at First Unitarian Church of St. Louis in the Central West End. Their first service will be Dec. 1.
Three months ago, Hudson and McGrath were looking for a place to hold the ordination ceremony. After visiting several Protestant churches, and after rejecting several Home Town Buffet and Tippin’s locations, they visited Central Reform at the suggestion of a friend. Talve immediately welcomed them, telling them that opening her sanctuary to them was what she was all about. Must… refrain… from commenting… here….
“It felt right,” Hudson said. Talve’s board agreed as well, unanimously agreeing to host the ceremony. Awww. That’s so sweet.
The action irked some. Understatement, thy name is the Post-Dispatch. The Rev. Vincent Heir, who directs the Catholic Church’s interfaith efforts in St. Louis, said the archdiocese will not participate in any more interfaith events if Central Reform Congregation is “a leading player.” St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who has threatened to excommunicate (why even try to get this key point right?) Hudson and McGrath, asked Talve to reconsider hosting the ceremony.
Though she felt support among the throng of people there Sunday, Talve said, “There is still work to do, still conversations to have to help people to understand why we chose to do what we did. It is all about dialogue, right? Forty years of dialogue gets the Church nothing. Nothing. Hospitality outweighed other issues that presented a challenge.” Like Truth. Respect. Fear of admitting you were wrong.
As Hudson and McGrath welcomed hugs (no safe touch guidelines for this crowd) and congratulations in their new white vestments, Andrew Wolf, 34, of south St. Louis County, made his way to Hudson. He said that as a homosexual, he fell away from Catholicism when he was 17. He recently wanted to return but wasn’t sure how — until Sunday. Andrew, it’s very straightforward– go to confession and tell our Lord your sins. Be sorry for them. He will forgive you and then you will be back. Really back, and not just accepted by this group of fools.
“I look forward to coming to your service,” he told her. “As a lifelong Catholic, you have given me hope.” This last comment highlights why this sort of thing is serious business. Confusion endangers souls.
Kudos to the post for an article as honest and as high-quality as the event it covered.