Saturday, January 21, 2012

More than 200 People Attend Ordination of Judy Beaumont as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest/ News Stories



More than 200 People Attend fort Myers Woman's Ordination as Roman Catholic Priest

Fort Myers woman to be ordained Catholic priest; church leaders warn of consequences to her 'immortal soul' By STEPHANIE BORDEN /Naples Daily News

..."But Beaumont said she rejects any excommunication."I will still consider myself a faithful Catholic," she said. "We are not leaving the church. We are creating a new model of the church."Beaumont replied to Dewane in a late-December letter."I understand that you are fulfilling your obligation as Bishop and I take your words seriously," she wrote. "However, I must reply that as I have tried throughout my life to answer the call of the Gospel to serve God's people, I must again answer this new call to sacramental ministry with the poor and otherwise marginalized people in our midst."
"Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, who will preside over Beaumont's ordination, says she considers several letters of excommunication she received following her own ordination "as badges of honor.""The church has a habit of excommunicating holy women and men, such as burning Joan of Arc at the stake," she said. "Pope Benedict himself has canonized two previously ex-communicated nuns — Mother Theodore Guerin and Mary MacKillop — making excommunication a new fast-track to canonization. Meehan said she has the apostolic succession required by the Roman Catholic Church to ordain Beaumont as a priest because she herself was ordained by Bishop Patricia Fresen in 2009, who was ordained by a male bishop in communion with the Pope."Social justice, a love of the Church, the Church liturgy, and the holy people of the Church," Beaumont said. "Those were the values instilled in me as a child."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Fort Myers Woman Defies Church to be Ordained Roman Catholic Priest" by Mary Wozniak/Fr. Myers News Press
The News-Press
"Judy Beaumont plans to take a historic step Saturday, one that will jeopardize her immortal soul.

Beaumont, 74, of Fort Myers, is defying centuries-old doctrine in becoming the first woman in Southwest Florida to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest. The church decrees this role is reserved for men. Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, which oversees the Catholic faithful in 10 counties, including all of Southwest Florida, has warned her not to cross that patriarchal line.
“It has been brought to my attention that you purportedly reside in the Diocese of Venice in Florida and may attempt to be ‘ordained’ to the ministerial priesthood here within this Diocese,” Dewane wrote in a letter to Beaumont. “This is a most grave and serious matter of consequence for your soul.”

The consequence is automatic excommunication, or expulsion from the church, the bishop wrote. The same penalty applies to anyone who participates in the ordination ceremony.
Beaumont says she will follow her conscience and take the consequences. The ordination will be held at 3 p.m. at Lamb of God Church, a Lutheran-Episcopal congregation on Cypress View Drive in Fort Myers.
“Of course, we all reject that excommunication, because it’s a man-made rule that does not really follow what we know of Jesus, what Jesus would do,” said Beaumont, who entered the convent at 17 and was a Benedictine nun for 35 years. “How can any group of human beings say to God, ‘You can’t call a woman.’?”
She is one of more than 124 women priests and 10 woman bishops who say they have been called to serve in the Catholic Church. Most are in the United States, but others are found in South America, Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, Canada and other countries. The movement began in 2002 with the ordination of seven women by a male priest on the Danube River....
But the idea women can’t be priests also is a man-made rule, said Bridget Mary Meehan, a woman Catholic bishop who is based in Sarasota and will preside over Beaumont’s ordination.Women priests, their supporters and some scholars claim scripture and other documentation shows women as well as men were called by Jesus and shared equally as his followers. They particularly note a 2007 book by Jesuit scholar Gary Macy called “The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination.”The bishop’s letter reflects “the misogynist tradition in the Roman Catholic Church” about women’s rights, Meehan said.“Women priests are the Rosa Parks of the Catholic Church,” she said. “We are no longer going to sit in the back of the Catholic bus in subordination to the hierarchy. We are not leaving the church. We are leading the church into a new era of justice and equality for women.”
Beaumont said the gospels that name the 12 men came out of a time when men dominated the culture.
“There were women in the first 1,200 years of the church who were serving in the ministerial roles of deacon, priest and bishop,” she said. “There is documented history for that even though the bishops reject that scholarship.”

Judy Beaumont (left) visiting a member of community