Saturday, December 28, 2019

Media Release: Bishop Threatens to Refer Ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest , Dr. Shanon Sterringer ARCWP, to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

In center, Dr. Shanon Sterringer ARCWP , Ordination on Aug. 3, 2019,
Right, Bishop Mary Collingwood ARCWP, Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP, Program Coordinator, and Bishop Christine Mayr- Lumetzberger RCWP, Austria

DECEMBER 28, 2019

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, media, 859-684-4247

CONTACT: Rev. Dr. Shanon Sterringer, 

Women priests are not enemies of the Church: We are its leaders as we are opening a way for equality and justice for women in the church through our ordinations and lived experiences as priests. The patriarchy, however, continues to persecute us because of their male bias.

Rev. Dr. Shanon Sterringer was ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Linz, Austria on August 3, 2019.  Her ordination was valid but against Canon Law. The bishop of Cleveland, Ohio, Nelson Jesus Perez, issued a letter of condemnation of her. Here is the latest excerpt from the link above:

Rev. Dr. Shanon Sterringer December 20, 2019
Fairport Harbor, Ohio 44077
Dear Bishop Perez,
I received your letter dated 17 December 2019 (feast of the deaconess Olympias) apprising me of the accusations you have leveled against me regarding several canonical violations in relation to my ordination. I responded to a previous letter you sent to St. Anthony of Padua parish on 22 July 2019 (feast of the apostle Mary Magdalene), and put forth several concerns/questions at that time, none of which you have responded to in this letter or otherwise. It is disheartening that it requires a canonical penalty for you to reach out.  Please find my response to your letter below.   

Bishop Perez:
Dear Dr. Sterringer, 
As Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, I have the most serious obligation to “defend the unity of the universal Church” and am therefore “bound to foster the discipline which is common to the whole Church, and so press for the observance of all ecclesiastical laws (canon 392, §1 CIC)...

…I ask that you please respond to this letter by 3 January 2020. If there is no response from you by that time, I will communicate to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith your refusal to reconcile and ask the Congregation for direction regarding the proper course of action to follow.

Dr. Sterringer's Response: 
In 2018, when I put in writing to the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office, the Seminary, and the Secretariat for Parish Life and Development my intention to seek ordination, I acknowledged at that time that I understood the consequences of removing myself from the Diocese. I sent you a note dated 23 July 2019 reporting that I had been ordained and that I understood I was no longer affiliated with the Diocese and was no longer under your hierarchal jurisdiction. 
I do not understand how it is appropriate for you to expect me to answer for something that no longer applies to me? If I were still working at the parish this would make sense, but I have been gone from it since 28 September 2018 and have intentionally avoided being on parish or diocesan property so as to not confuse people. I am in a very different place on my faith journey than I once was. While there may have been an opportunity previously to engage in a conversation of reconciliation, the opportunity no longer exists. Too much has unfolded in the past fifteen months that is irreversible. Given the fact that I have already lost my position in the parish, lost my salary and health benefits, lost many long-time connections and relationships, have huge student loans to repay that were incurred by my theological studies, and have been informed I was excommunicated latae sententiae, what other “course of action” are you threatening me with at this point in time? (See Dr. Sterringer's complete response on link below)

No comments: