Thursday, January 17, 2008

Women "Priests" Become Catholics

by Damian Thompson

At least two Anglican women priests have become Roman Catholics because they are “fed up with being treated like dirt in their own Church,” according to Fr Michael Seed, the Franciscan friar who is ecumenical adviser to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.

Women priests Jayne Fraser (left), Christina Rees and Cynthia Dowdle (right)
Christina Rees (centre) argues in favour of women bishops

Fr Seed – a deeply inspiring priest who has received many Anglicans into communion with Rome – reveals this extraordinary detail in an interview with the Independent, which has buried it away in a feature. He received two women himself – and has now told the Catholic Herald that other female priests have come over to Rome as a result of “persecution”.

In the forthcoming issue of the Herald, Fr Seed tells my colleague Simon Caldwell: “There are other Catholic priests who have dealt with cases like this. Anglican women priests are generally upset at the way they are being treated … This is hardly the Third Secret of Fatima. The persecution of women priests is well known among Anglican clergy, bishops and laity.”

Interestingly, many women clergy in the Church of England would agree with Fr Seed, even if they are not tempted to take the radical step of becoming Catholic laywomen.

Christina Rees of Women and the Church says: “Every woman who is ordained as a priest in the Church of England knows in one sense there is still a question mark hanging over her orders in a way which does not hang over the order of her male colleagues.”

Catholics, incidentally, would disagree with this last claim. There is no question mark hanging over the orders of any Anglican priest – at least, not according to Pope Leo XIII.


swissmiss said...

I think most Catholics would welcome these ladies into the Church, but this piece is written with some snark (allusions to their motives) to it that makes you question what is really going on here. Are these ladies genuinely in tune with Catholicism or just upset that they are persecuted in the Anglican chuch and are throwing a tantrum? Interesting subject, but I don't like the tone of the article and wish it would've been more than National Enquirer-style journalism.

Phil said...

A 'National Enquirer' journalist and an Anglican woman 'priest' sounds quite a clash!

I'm inclined to agree with Swissmiss, that there's an element of throwing the toys from the pram here. Let's not forget, Catholics, such as Sr J Sh*tstirrer egg these poor women on. They're probably planning a coup from within.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I agree with Swissmiss. This article was very strange. I was left wondering if they were just going to jump on board a ship and into an orange slicker first chance they get once they are "officially" RC?