ATLANTA -- A Roman Catholic would recognize the sights, sounds and actions inside the Sarasota Church of Christ, but the Roman Catholic Church did not approve of what happened on a Saturday afternoon this month. Four women maintain they became deacons and eventually will become priests after a ceremony inside the central Florida church. One of them, Diane Dougherty, is a second-grade teacher from Newnan. The devout Irish Catholic said she first had the calling 44 years ago. “I always knew I had a calling and in my time the only way that calling could be expressed was through my sisters,” said
Dougherty. 5 p.m.: Woman Hopes To Become 1st Female Priest From Ga. 6 p.m.: Ga. Woman Joins Movement To Become Catholic Priest READ: Statement From Archbishop Wilton Gregory "Dougherty followed that call for 23 years, then left the sisterhood, but still felt there was something more so she decided to become a priest. “Aren’t you afraid of excommunication?” asked Channel 2 Action News anchor Monica Pearson. “I believe that the law that has kept me and so many wonderful and brilliant women from priesthood is unjust,” responded Dougherty. brightcove.createExperiences(); The Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests organized the ordination into the diaconate. Bridget Mary Meehan is a bishop with the group but she doesn’t want to be called bishop. Meehan told Pearson, “We are trying to deconstruct the clerical hierarchal church.” “This is our Church, we belong to it, we are as Catholic as the pope is,” Meehan told Pearson. The issue of women’s ordination has been the subject of fierce debate. The Vatican recently condemned the action as a grave sin, on par with the sexual abuse of children. The Archdiocese of Atlanta declined requests for an interview..."