Volunteer teacher ousted for supporting Sister Louise Akers

Both support for -- and resistance to -- the very idea of women's ordination is taking root in Cincinnati.

A volunteer religion teacher of a sixth grade Old Testament class at a local parsish has been ousted from her teaching position because she supports Sister Louise Akers.

Akers was told by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk she could not teach in Cincinnati because she refused to recant a belief she holds that women should be allowed to be ordained.

Dr. Carol Egner wrote a letter to The Cincinnati Enquirer, saying she agrees with Sister Akers, who supports the idea of women being ordained as priests.

"I didn't write the letter as a teacher, I didn't write the letter as a doctor. I just wrote the letter as an individual and never did I think it would have the repercussions that it had," said Dr. Egner.

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The following two paragraphs in the Enquirer did Egner in:

Responding to Archbishop’s Daniel Pilarczyk’s ban of Sister Louise Akers from teaching within the archdiocese is hard to believe in 2009 (”Pilarczyk bans nun from teaching,” Sept. 2). Although not a biblical scholar, I cannot reference a Bible passage that disallows women to be priests. It only makes sense in this time of shortage and decreasing numbers of practicing Catholics that some self-reflection on the part of church officials may be beneficial.

Having 16 years of Catholic education, my life has been for more influenced by religious women than men. I agree with ordaining women as priests now. And perhaps if we had already been doing this, words like sexual abuse would not be associated with the Catholic Church.

Carol L. Egner
Western Hills

When Egner’s pastor, Fr. David Sunberg, read her letter, he asked her to write another that either renounced her position or made clear that she “yields to the wisdom of the church.” When she refused, she was told she could no longer teach her Old Testament class for sixth-graders at her parish, Our Lady of Lourdes.

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