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Statement by Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice, on the “Excommunication” of Women Ordained in June

August 6, 2002

Washington, DC“Seven women called to the priesthood by their conscience were ordained in a ritual not recognized by the institutional church as valid or legal. They have now been excommunicated.

Hundreds of priests have been credibly proven to have sexually abused thousands of children acts condemned by the Code of Canon Law; none has been excommunicated. The Vatican has expressed concern for their right to due process, including the right to defend themselves.

Scores of bishops and cardinals have abused their power by harboring abusive priests within parishes where they continued to abuse children. Not a single bishop has been excommunicated or punished in any way.

Without a doubt, the priorities and values of the pope and Cardinal Ratzinger are profoundly disordered. CFFC suggests that the Vatican turn its attention to cleaning its own house.  Since the church through Ratzinger has accepted that women have a specific role in the church that is distinct and irreplaceable and since that role has frequently been that of housekeeper, perhaps the Vatican should look on the ordination of women as a way of cleaning the church’s house which has been soiled by abusive priests, bishops and cardinals.”