NCAN speaks out on women's ordination

The National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN) at its annual board meeting Aug. 16 -18 in Detroit, Michigan, issued statements on several church topics. The following is what NCAN had to say about women's ordination:

As Vatican II Catholics, committed to following Jesus who welcomed all people, we, and the majority of U.S. Catholics, believe in women’s priestly ordination. We cannot remain silent. We call for open, honest, and meaningful discussion.

We have witnessed some of our sisters and brothers being publicly chastised, removed from their ministries, put under interdict, and threatened with excommunication for their belief that women can be ordained priests. We think of Sister Louis Lears, who was placed under interdict for participating in the ordination of a woman priest in St. Louis. We think of Sister Louise Akers who was denied teaching in Catholic facilities because of her support of women’s ordination. We think of Fr. Roy Bourgeois who, according to the Vatican, incurred excommunication because of his public support of women’s ordination. We think of Janine Denomme who was denied a Catholic funeral and burial in a Catholic cemetery in Chicago because she was ordained a priest. We think of all those ordained in the Roman Catholic Womenpriest Movement, who are considered excommunicated by the Vatican.

It is beyond our comprehension how the Vatican and individual bishops can summarily dismiss these committed Catholics who believe they are following the implications of the Gospel’s acceptance of women. We are appalled that the Vatican can equate the “attempted” ordination of women with the sexual abuse of minors.

When one of us is punished unjustly, we are all diminished, including those who punish. We call for the elimination of all sanctions against persons who support the ordination of women. We deplore the atmosphere of intimidation and fear that attempts to silence dissent and fails to respect our Gospel-informed conscience.
Silence is a betrayal of the Gospel, a betrayal of Vatican II, a betrayal of our Church, and a betrayal of conscience. The time for us to speak is NOW.

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