By John Quinn
Fr. Vernon Meyer, automatically excommunicated himself when he rejected the teachings of the Catholic Church concerning women ordination. Meyer participated in the “ordination” of Elaine Groppenbacher in Tempe, AZ last month. For Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, this is the fifth priestly excommunication for serious refusal of faithful obedience to the Catholic Church, according to The Arizona Republic.
Referring to Meyer, Bishop Olmsted states: “Actions such as these are extremely serious and carry with them profoundly harmful consequences for the salvation of the souls participating in this attempted ordination. To feign the conferral of the Sacrament of Holy Orders results in the penalty of excommunication. This penalty applies both to the person attempting the ordination and the person attempting to be ordained.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1577: “Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.”
This is not the first disagreement between Fr. Meyer and Catholic Doctrine. In 2004 Fr. Meyer was under obedience to Bishop Olmsted to recant a joint declaration Meyer signed which supported “full acceptance” of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals in churches.
Fr. Meyer apparently told The Arizona Republic that he signed the declaration “after making sure it did not conflict with Catholic positions.” This statement contradicts the actual declaration, which states:
“Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin.” Two sentences later, the declaration proclaims that all aspects of the homosexual lifestyle should have “full acceptance and inclusion.”
Despite the pastoral efforts of Bishop Olmsted, Fr. Meyer is now a United Church of Christ minister and is the Director of the Arizona Center for Theological Studies, which he founded...