Church Ladies Be Damned!

Archbishop Raymond Burke has delivered a stern warning to Elsie McGrath and Rose Marie “Ree” Hudson, the two local women who are slated to be ordained Roman Catholic Womenpriests on Sunday:

Jennifer Silverberg

Priests-to-be Rose Marie "Ree" Hudson and Elsie McGrath
Priests-to-be Rose Marie "Ree" Hudson and Elsie McGrath

Priests-to-be Rose Marie "Ree" Hudson and Elsie McGrath
“If you persist and attempt to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders,” Burke states in a notarized “canonical admonition” to McGrath and Hudson, “you will place in danger the eternal salvation of your soul and the souls of others, and will inflict in the Archdiocese of St. Louis a most severe wound to the communion of the Roman Catholic Church -- an act of schism….”

Burke threatens an automatic ex-communication if the ceremony goes on:

“I by this letter in accordance with the norm of Canon 1347.1 of the Code of Canon Law admonish you: 1) to renounce your intention to attempt to receive priestly ordination and, 2) to retract publicly any denial or contrary affirmation regarding the Church’s Catholic Doctrine (Canon 750.2) infallibly set forth that women cannot validly receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Should you refuse to comply, in order to protect the faithful from grave spiritual deception, then, by operation of the law itself you will incur automatically, that is, latae sententiae, the censure of ex-communication, as provided by Canon 1364.1 of the Code of Canon Law.”

The letters were hand-delivered Monday evening to the homes of McGrath and Hudson via a special process server. Neither was surprised or upset by Burke’s admonition.

“I don’t feel the least bit damned!” exclaims McGrath. “If I’m going to Hell, it’s not because of this!”

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis has not returned calls for comment.

Meanwhile, the soon-to-be womenpriests are expecting 500 people to attend Sunday’s ordination.

-Kristen Hinman

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