St. Louis, Mo., Mar 15, 2008 / 06:26 am
Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has excommunicated three women for taking part in an attempted ordination of women to the priesthood. The archbishop said the excommunication was part of his “solemn duty” to protect the faith and unity of the Church.
On November 11, 2007 a German woman named Patricia Fresen conducted a would-be ordination ceremony at a St. Louis synagogue. The ceremony, which used the formula and rite of a Catholic ordination, attempted to ordain as priests two St. Louis-area women, Rose Hudson and Elsie McGrath. On August 12, 2007, they had taken part in a ceremony claiming to ordain them to the deaconate.
In a March 12 Declaration of Excommunication, Archbishop Burke declared the three women to be excommunicated. He outlined several reasons for the excommunication.
The purpose of the Declaration of Excommunication was, in Archbishop Burke’s words, “to protect the members of the flock of Christ, placed in my pastoral care, who are in growing danger of being led astray from the One True Faith and Church of Christ.”