Apparently, last week the Vatican sent a little reminder to dioceses across the world, stating that women could not become priests and that those who tried to be ordained would in fact be excommunicated.
But, the women at the Women's Ordination Conference are not having it. They issued their own statement:
"The Vatican is trying to preserve what little power they have left by attempting to extinguish the widespread call for women's equality in the church. It will not work. In the face of one closed door after another, Catholic women will continue to make a way when there is none. We reject the notion of excommunication. In our efforts to ordain women into an inclusive and accountable Roman Catholic Church, we see it as contrary to the gospel itself to excommunicate people who are doing good works and responding to injustice and the needs of their communities."Awesome.
As a survivor of Catholic school myself (although I am not Catholic), I have sat in many religion and morality classes and listened to priests fumble for an answer as to why women cannot be ordained. The standard Catholic belief is that since Jesus did not include a woman in his circle of apostles, the Church cannot allow women to become priests (today's apostles). They never mention the important role women played in the early church. Or that social standards might have dictated Jesus' decision to exclude women as public leaders of the movement.
But, I guess its just easier to pretend that women are less capable, smart, caring, and devout.