Thursday, May 13, 2010

Italy to ordain the first woman priest

The Times is carrying a story here about the "ordination" of a wimminpriest in the Old Catholic Church in Italy.

Italy’s first woman priest is to be ordained a close to the Vatican later this month.

Maria Vittoria Longhitano, 35, a member of the Italian Old Catholic Church, a breakaway group not recognised by the Vatican [you don't say!], will be ordained at All Saints Church, near the Spanish Steps in Rome, on 22 May.

A spokeswoman for All Saints Church said Ms Longhitano, who is married, was not being ordained as an Anglican. “We are offering our church as the venue because the Old Catholics have no venue of their own in Rome,” she said. “They use our facilities for their regular worship.”

The Old Catholics, founded in the early 19th century in an attempt to set up a national Italian denomination separate from Rome, do not accept a number of central Catholic doctrines including papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

Ms Longhitano, a teacher in Miian with a degree in philosophy and theology, became a deacon last year. She will be ordained by Bishop Fritz-René Müller of the Union of Utrecht, to which the Italian Old Catholics are affiliated.

She said that she had dreamed of being a priest since childhood, and her ordination “represents a great opportunity for women of faith”. She hoped that it would “stimulate a debate among Catholics” on female ordination, which has been definitively ruled out by successive Popes, including Pope Benedict XVI.
Surprisingly for The Times they've not squeezed in their customary anti-Catholic jibe! You do have to wonder though why the byline reads "Richard Owen in Fatima" and not "Whom so ever in Rome". Co-incidence that the Holy Father happens to be in Fatima?

I'm sure "the Vatican" will be quaking at the thought of Ms Longhitano playing dress up in an Anglican Church.


Anonymous said...

The ordination was lovely, and I wish her well. The Vatican does not, as they made very clear in their communications to her...they may not be quaking, but they are being hostile, as you seem to be, for reasons I do not understand. Delete my post if you like, I will not be returning to this blog.