~from Sudbury Star (the usual suspects and the same old tired plaint)
A Sudbury woman will take her struggle for what she calls equality for women in the Catholic Church to a new level May 27.
Marie Bouclin says she will be one of three women who will be ordained Roman Catholic priests in Toronto in a ceremony that will not be recognized by the church.
"My gesture is a justice issue. I am passionate about my faith and I want it to survive," Bouclin said. "I see a wide gap between the teachings of the Gospel and the legalism of the current church leadership. I want to help renew the church from within."
Bishop Patricia Fresen from Germany will ordain Bouclin and the others, who are from the United States.
"I am doing this because the Roman Catholic Church needs priests and the Vatican thinks it is more important to have only unmarried men - rather than fulfilling its pastoral needs," Bouclin said.
She said the Eucharist (receiving communion) is the most important aspect of church life. However, "we are losing the Eucharist for lack of priests."
Bouclin said she hopes her ordination will send a message that God calls men and women from all states of life to minister to people.
"I want to reach the people where they are at on their faith journey."
Bouclin said she also believes the image of women at the altar may help end violence against women.
"I hope it will also send a message that oppression and discrimination against women is not the will of God."
Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, said he respects Bouclin's passion for her faith.
But he said ordaining women breaks from church teachings.
"I know Marie and have known her to be involved in her parish and it is difficult for me to understand why she would exclude herself from the church," Plouffe said.
"I cannot consider this as a valid ordination since it goes against the teachings of the church, which is that only lay men can be ordained."
The May 27 event is the first ordination ceremony of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement in Canada to take place on land and in a church. Officials with Roman Catholic Womenpriests would not say exactly where the ceremony will be held.
Its previous public ceremonies have taken place on boats, usually in international waters, to avoid jurisdictional conflict with diocesan bishops.
Also, for the first time, a married man will be ordained in a public ceremony by the movement.
"The movement is making history in the Roman Catholic Church," said Francois Brassard, a media representative for the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement in Canada.
Brassard said the group started in 2002 and since then, 14 women priests in the United States and one in Canada have been ordained and more are on the way.
"There are over 100 candidates in training worldwide," he said.
During the Toronto ceremony, two women from Canada and one from the United States will be ordained deacons, in addition to the three female priests. Brassard said none of the women will seek a parish. "We do not want to cause conflict with members of the hierarchy; therefore, they will minister in another way - by going to the people instead of having the people come to them," he said.