Women priests ordained at Brecksville event - WNEM TV 5

Women priests ordained at Brecksville event

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On Saturday, May 24, at the Brecksville United Church of Christ, four women were ordained as priests and two women were ordained as deacons in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.

The presiding bishop was Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota, FL.

The women that became newly ordained priests were Mary Bergan Blanchard of Albuquerque,NM; Mary Collingwood of Boston Heights, OH; Irene C. Scaramazza of Columbus, OH; and Marianne Therese Smyth of Silver Spring, MD.

"Until the Church recognizes that women are equal to men by allowing them to participate in the sacramental life of the Church, all women will remain second class citizens, subjects in a patriarchal society…a dark world indeed. Jesus has called us to be the Light of the World. I am becoming a priest because I believe it's time to flick the switch, " says Blanchard.

"Women are being called by the Holy Spirit to image the Divine Feminine through ordained priestly ministry thereby restoring the wholeness of God's presence in our Church. Personally, this entails ordination and embracing circle leadership as an egalitarian model of decision-making within Roman Catholic communities. It is truly right and just for me to live this Spirit-led change in solidarity with the People of God by serving communities of faith while supporting my sisters in ordained ministry," says Collingwood.

"I am being ordained a priest because God continues to call me to deeper union with Godself. That union is lived out in service to others. For me, ministry has always involved an immersing of myself in the life of the people I have been sent to serve and together discovering our Living God," says Scaramazza.

"I am becoming a priest because God asked. God's inclusive love cannot be expressed or shared from a strictly male point of view. That was not the message of Jesus. My love is hospice ministry and I will be expanding into bereavement work and healing modalities such as Reiki," says Smyth.

The two newly ordained deacons are Barbara Billey of Windsor, Ontario and Susan Marie Guzik of Eastlake, OH.

On May 22, 1994, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter, "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" ("Priestly Ordination") which reserved priesthood in the Catholic Church to men only.
"This teaching that 'women are not fully in the likeness of Jesus' -- qualifying, as it does, as a theological explanation -- is utterly and demonstrably heretical," said Augustinian theologian John Shea in his 2nd letter to U.S. bishops.

Many supporters of the event say that women are spiritual equals before God and point out that women priests are already serving in ministry. 

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