From: Kathy Redig
Roman Catholic Woman Priest
Pastor of All Are One Roman Catholic Church, Winona, Minn.
It is with great joy that I share with your readers a communiqué from Bishop Ida Raming, Dr. theol. of Germany, one of the original group of seven women ordained on the Danube River in 2002. Bishop Raming is a representative of the German Section of the international RCWP Movement:
The first public ordination of Roman Catholic women took place ten years ago on June 29, 2002. From this small beginning, when only seven women were ordained as priests, a much larger international movement has developed and continues to grow. At present there are 130 members in various countries. Women priests minister to people in small house churches, in larger communities, in hospitals and prisons and also to the homeless. In this way they bring to life in the Spirit of Jesus, an alternative women-friendly tradition within the fossilized Roman Catholic Church.
In the face of growing international support for women’s ordination since Vatican II, the church leadership published, as early as 1977, a declaration against the admission of women to priesthood. This in spite of the fact that the Papal Biblical Commission, in 1976, had come to the conclusion that no grounds can be found in the New Testament for excluding women from priestly ordination. Nevertheless, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994), declared definitively that women are, in fact, excluded from priesthood.
The rejection of women’s ordination by the Vatican is clearly based on antifeminist, theologically unfounded arguments. In answer to this we are seeing an increasing wave of resistance among Catholic women and within church reform movements, as they demand equal rights for women and justice within the Roman Catholic Church.
It is important to remember that these original women were ordained in the same apostolic line as are men within the Catholic Church and thus all women ordained after them are validly ordained, albeit not accepted by Rome. Therefore, please rejoice with me that while today may not be the day that the pope blesses women to follow their God-given calls to serve our Church as priests, the Spirit of God is continually renewing the face of the earth.