Thursday, April 26, 2012

Women Priests Attend Mass at St. Peter's Bascilica in the Vatican/ Male Priests Express Solidarity

Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Juanita Cordero, two Catholic women priests
in collar, and Barbara Snyder arrived in Rome on April 24, 2012.  The
following morning we visited the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel; no
problem. The next morning we went to St. Peters Cathedral to attend an
early mass where we joined one being celebrated in French. Out of respect we
did not wear the collar and prayerfully joined the congregation and
participated as much as we could with our limited French. The meaning of
the mass was clear to us as we are familiar with the different parts. The
bishop during his homily asked the 80+ priests gathered around the altar to
renew their ordination promises.
When communion time arrived we stood up to join the others to receive. The
way was blocked on both ends of the row by two tall priests who refused to
let us join the line with the others to receive.  One priest approached
Christine, grabbed her arm and said, “Yesterday you identified yourself as a
priest; I cannot allow you to proceed.” We decided to leave our row and sit
towards the back so that we could continue our worship. At this point we put
our collars on.
During the recessional the bishop and all the priests came down the center
aisle passing right by us. Many gave us small signs of solidarity.
Following this experience we visited the underground catacombs and started
to visit the rest of St. Peters. Our visit was cut short because Vatican
guards came to us and, in a friendly manner, asked us to leave the church
and escorted us out. One told us he did not want to arrest us and would not
have to do so if we would leave peacefully and quickly. We asked why, and
they replied that it was forbidden for women to wear collars.

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"Wir wollen nicht Herren sein über euren Glauben, sondern wir sind Diener
eurer Freude" (2 Kor 1,24).
Dipl. Päd. Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger
Römisch Katholische Bischöfin
Initiative Weiheämter für Frauen in der römisch katholischen Kirche
RCWP - römisch katholische Priesterinnen
- Scharnsteiner Straße 64, A-4643 Pettenbach
Tel & Fax: +43 (0)7615 7566
Mobil: +43 (0)664 15 444 26

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