Catholics campaigning for women priests detained at Vatican

October 17, 2011

(Father Roy Bougeois from Georgia (2nd R) poses with a group of Roman Catholic activist in front of the Vatican October 17, 2011S/Max Rossi)

A group of Roman Catholic activists who think women should be ordained priests tried to deliver a petition to the Vatican on Monday but were blocked from entering St Peter’s Square and some were detailed by police. Witnesses said plainclothes Italian police stopped the group of about 15 demonstrators, including several women dressed in priest’s robes, and confiscated a banner reading “God is calling women to be priests.”

The group, headed by an American Roman Catholic priest from Georgia, Father Roy Bourgeois, wanted to leave a petition signed by some 15,000 people at a Vatican entrance. “The scandal of demanding silence on the issue of women’s ordination reflects the absolute arrogance of the (Roman Catholic Church) hierarchy and their tragic failure to accept women as equals in dignity and discipleship in the eyes of God,” said Erin Hanna, executive director of the U.S-based Women’s Ordination Conference.

In a separate, open letter to Vatican officials, Bourgeois said: “If the call to be a priest is a gift and comes from God, how can we, as men, say that our call from God is authentic, but God’s call of women is not?”

Bourgeois and Hanna were placed in police cars at the entrance of St Peter’s Square and taken to a police station near the Vatican.

The Vatican says women cannot be ordained priests because Jesus Christ willingly chose only men as his apostles. Advocates of a female priesthood reject this position, saying Jesus was merely conforming to the social customs of his times.

by Philip Pullella in Rome


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The Vatican seems to take us for fools. Christ chose 12 men; so what? The priest on the altar stands in the place of Christ; yes, but why is gender the one attribute which automatically disqualifies someone? It would be more honest and understandable to say, for example, ordaining women would be more trouble than it is worth, because the traditionalists would kick up a storm, so we won’t do it.

Posted by lanpav | Report as abusive

I wonder how many child rapists they detained, if ever they did.

Posted by cpmondello | Report as abusive

Why not start a grassroots movement of people who believe that the church’s contempt of women and internal corruption is unacceptable. How? By going up to the priest, but refusing communion with the statement, “I will take communion again when women can become priests.” Let enough of us say that for however many years it will take for change.

I am a professional who takes mother to church every Sunday and finally joined the choir. Raised in the catholic church with two aunts who served as mothers general of religious women, it is an honor to sing the psalms as cantor. Yet I suffer an existential crisis every Sunday listening to a priest who yet again this Sunday disparages women. The overarching political issue is one no one can deny: The church is corrupt because women have not been equal. It’s time we said it because nothing will change unless we press forward with this message every single Sunday. ” I will take communion again when women can become priests.”

Please send this to as many people as you can.

Posted by churchequality | Report as abusive