7 Women Involved in Mock Ordination Face Excommunication
Holy See Asks for Show of Repentance by July 22
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VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See officially warned the seven women involved in a mock priestly ordination that they will be excommunicated unless they admit that the ceremony was invalid and express their repentance.
The warning was published today through a "monitum" -- an official canonical warning -- signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, president and secretary, respectively, of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
On June 29, Romulo Antonio Braschi, the founder of a schismatic community, tried to confer priestly ordination on Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Adelinde Theresia Roitinger, Gisela Forster, Iris Müller, Ida Raming, Pia Brunner and Angela White.
In keeping with the Code of Canon Law (Canon 1347, Paragraph 1), the Vatican document gives formal warning to these women that they will incur excommunication if, by July 22, they do not respect two conditions.
First, they must "acknowledge the nullity of the 'orders' they have received from a schismatic bishop in contradiction to the definitive doctrine of the Church."
Second, they will have to "state their repentance and ask forgiveness for the scandal caused to the faithful."
The monitum reminds them of Church doctrine on the matter, expressed by John Paul II in the 1994 apostolic letter "Ordinatio sacerdotalis." That letter said: "The Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful" (No. 4).
"For this reason," the monitum states, "the above-mentioned 'priestly ordination' constitutes the simulation of a sacrament and is thus invalid and null, as well as constituting a grave offense to the divine constitution of the Church."
"Furthermore, because the 'ordaining' bishop belongs to a schismatic community, it is also a serious attack on the unity of the Church," the document stresses.
Lastly, Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone state that such "an action is an affront to the dignity of women, whose specific role in the Church and society is distinctive and irreplaceable."