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Catholic Church Rips 'Fake' Ordination of Woman Priest in North Carolina

Image: Catholic Church Rips 'Fake' Ordination of Woman Priest in North Carolina
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 01 May 2017 12:07 PM

A rebel group of female clerics has ordained a divorced mother-of-two as the first woman priest in the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.

But a diocese official quickly slammed the ordination as a sham, insisting any Masses or sacraments performed by 64-year-old Abigail Eltzroth are "sinful" and will be considered "fake."

On Sunday, The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP), an international group that does not recognize the Vatican's ban on woman priests, ordained Eltzroth in Asheville at Jubilee!, a nondenominational faith community.

"It's time for a change and we're in the forefront, leading the charge. We expect that eventually everybody is going to follow us," Eltzroth, who plans to start a Catholic worship community in Asheville, told the Charlotte Observer.

"I'm sure that I will be [excommunicated] if I haven't been already. But there are plenty of saints who have been excommunicated. So that's not going to stop us."

In a statement, the ARCWP insisted such ordinations of women are 100 percent valid because of "our apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church."

"The principal consecrating Roman Catholic male bishop who ordained our first women bishops is a bishop with apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church in communion with the pope. Therefore, our bishops validly ordain deacons, priests and bishops," the statement said.

"Consequently, all qualified candidates, including baptized ministers and priests from other Christian traditions, who are presented to our bishops for ordination, are ordained by the laying on of hands into apostolic succession in the Roman Catholic Church."

But David Hains, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, told the Charlotte Observer:

"I hope that Catholics in the diocese will understand that it would be sinful to receive a fake sacrament from a woman priest and that includes attending a fake Mass."

The rebel association says some 250 women in 10 countries have been ordained as Catholic priests, with 65 of them serving in the United States.

But the Vatican excommunicates those who attempt "to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order."

Eltzroth has previously served as a prison chaplain and as pastor of two churches in Nebraska.

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A rebel group of female clerics has ordained a divorced mother-of-two as the first woman priest in the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.
catholic church, woman priest, ordination, north carolina
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2017-07-01
Monday, 01 May 2017 12:07 PM
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