Friday, May 23, 2014

Catholic Women to Be Ordained Today in Brecksville!

In today's Cleveland Plain Dealer, there's an article on p. A-6 about the ordination today of Catholic women to the Catholic priesthood and deaconate. Among the women being ordained priests is Mary Collingwood of Boston Heights (near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park). Reverend Collingwood is 61 years old, the mother of seven, grandmother, with a master's degree in theology. She has taught high school and college theology. She has even had a role in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, as past director of the diocese's pro-life office. The article quotes her as saying, "I realized I was being called to help change and reform the church." Another woman, from my old neck of the woods, St. Mary Magdalene in Willowick, will also be ordained, in her case as a deacon. That is Susan Guzik of Eastlake. Reverend Guzik is 78, a widow and mother of 5 (also a grandmother and great grandmother). She has been part of St. Mary Magdalene for 60 years.

Ordination is very common in Christian churches and it has been very successful. Women priests, ministers, and pastors have had a wonderful, beneficent effect.

The organization sponsoring the ordination, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) does not accept the old Catholic anathema on women becoming priests. One woman is quoted as saying, "The men made that rule, and a man-made rule can be changed--especially if it's unjust."

I am so proud of these brave women, showing the Church the way to the future. I imagine only older Catholics like myself can understand the reckless courage this takes. Their actions are gifts of the Holy Spirit.

By the way, the ordinations will take place today, 1 pm, at Brecksville United Church of Christ.

Some day we will look back on the ban on women ordination in the Catholic Church with astonishment, the same way we look back on slavery and wonder, "What the hell were they thinking!"

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