Roman Catholic Womenpriests

Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP) is an international and controversial group that claims connection to the Roman Catholic Church. They are descended from the Danube Seven, a group of women who claim to have been validly ordained as priests in 2002 by Rómulo Antonio Braschi, an independent bishop whose orders (those of the bishop) could possibly be recognized as 'valid but illicit' by the Roman Catholic Church. As a consequence of this - and their refusal to repent of their actions - the women were excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church since, in canon law, any Roman Catholic who seeks or receives ordination (regardless of whether the ordination might be considered valid or not) without the required authority incurs automatic latae sententiae excommunication.

The proclaimed mission of Roman Catholic Womenpriests North America is to "spiritually prepare, ordain, and support women and men from all states of life, who are theologically qualified, who are committed to an inclusive model of Church, and who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to minister within the Roman Catholic Church." [ [ "Roman Catholic Womenpriests"] , Retrieved on 2008-08-11.]

The issue of the ordination of women within the Roman Catholic Church is a controversial one, as the official position of the church, as expressed in current canon law and the Catholic Catechism), is that "Only a baptized man ("vir") validly receives sacred ordination." ["Codex Iruis Canonici" canon 1024, c.f. "Catechism of the Catholic Church" 1577]

RCWP takes issue with what they call "myths" or misconceptions about women's role in the Roman Catholic Church and prohibitions on women being ordained, such as:

cquote|MYTH: Roman Catholic women have never been ordained.TRUTH: Epigraphic evidence exists of women bishops. Until at least the ninth century the Church gave women the full sacramental ordination of deacons. Women priests existed in the West during the 4th and 5th centuries according to literary evidence, and according to epigraphic evidence. [ [ "Roman Catholic Womenpriests"] , Retrieved on 2008-10-05.]

It mentions the case of Ludmila Javorová, a Czech woman who worked in the underground church during the Cold War and claims to be a secretly ordained priest, as an instance of female ordination in modern era.

In response to questions of legitimacy and whether the ordinations are valid or recognized by the Vatican, RCWP states:

cquote|TRUTH: The group "RC Womenpriests" receives its authority from Roman Catholic bishops who stand in full Apostolic Succession. These bishops bestowed sacramentally valid ordinations on the women listed above. All the documents pertaining to these ordinations have been attested and notarized. All minutes of the ordinations, including data about persons, Apostolic Succession, and rituals, together with films and photos are deposited with a Notary Public. [ [ "Roman Catholic Womenpriests"] , Retrieved on 2008-10-05.]

Their website claims that "Our ordained women may be married or single, hetero- or homosexual, some are grandmothers, a few are divorced and have had their marriages annulled: we are in fact a cross-section of the Christian community in our lifestyles."


External links

* [ RCWP Website]
* [ BBC Article - Canada Catholics 'ordain' women]
* [ Cincinnati CityBeat]
* [ Global Ministries University]

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