Attack on woman priest not thought to be theological hate crime

New York — Alexandra Dyer, one of 210 women ordained by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, was attacked in the early evening on a Queens, N.Y., street Aug. 20 by a man who sprayed her face with a Drano-like substance. She suffered severe burns on her face.

According to the New York Post, Dyer, recuperating at New York Presbyterian Hospital, was attacked while she was walking to her car after attending a meeting at the Healing Arts Initiative in the Long Island City section of the borough.

Her attacker is still at large. Dyer is said to be in stable condition.

A spokeswoman for Roman Catholic Womenpriests said that, as of Aug. 21, there is little reason to believe that Dyer was the victim of a theological hate crime.

"There is no information that we have that it was related to her being a priest," Jennifer O'Malley, president of the Womenpriests board, told the National Catholic Reporter.

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Dyer served in ministry to the homeless and to those with HIV/AIDS and was ordained by the group in 2014.

O'Malley said that, while members of her organization occasionally receive angry emails and phone calls objecting to their theological support for women's ordination in the Catholic Church, she knows of no physical assaults. The group has been ordaining women since 2002, in defiance of papal teaching reserving ordination exclusively to men.


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