Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director, 617-669-7810
Jeff Stone, Director of Media Relations, 212-662-9818
Boston, MA —Leaders of DignityUSA, the organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, as well as their families and allies, expressed outrage at the Vatican’s order of immediate excommunication of women ordained to the priesthood, as well as the bishops who ordained them.
“Roman Catholic women who have been ordained minister with a number of DignityUSA’s local Chapters,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, the group’s Executive Director. “By all accounts, their ministry is effective and affirmed by those they serve. The Vatican’s move to excommunicate them is nothing more than an attempt to exert control. DignityUSA rejects this order, and welcomes these women to continue their ministry with our community, in the same way we have affirmed and welcomed the ongoing ministry of gay men and married priests whose ministry is no longer recognized by Church officials.”
DignityUSA President Mark Matson commented, “God is big. The people of the Roman Catholic Church have been subject to a limited perspective of the divine in the preaching and presiding of an exclusively male clergy. With more than 18 years of Catholic education and formal theological training, I am unaware of any sensible theology that can support the exclusion of women from ordination. All of us are made in God’s image and likeness yet half of the Church never see or hear themselves represented in leadership of the Catholic Mass. That is sinful. In keeping with our prophetic tradition, Dignity Chapters will continue to recognize the gifts of liturgical leaders God provides us regardless of gender.”
Duddy-Burke expressed solidarity with ordained women, those preparing for ordination, their families, and all who have priestly vocations that the Vatican and other Church officials refuse to acknowledge. “All around the world, Catholics are hurting because there are not enough priests to say Mass and provide the Sacraments on a regular basis. We believe this problem could be easily solved. God calls a wide variety of people to priesthood, and Church officials must acknowledge that. Instead, they insist on maintaining an outdated and sexist definition of priesthood. They are creating a crisis that does not need to exist.”
DignityUSA is the nation's foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and chapters across the country. DignityUSA works for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and society. www.dignityusa.org