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Supporters Of Female Priesthood Undeterred By Vatican Rules

Supporters of female priesthood in the Catholic Church say they are undeterred by a newly toughened stance from the Vatican. Thursday, the Church in Rome announced revisions to canon rules and disciplinary procedures. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the local reaction.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network
Diane Smith Whalen

The Vatican’s new church rules categorize the attempted ordination of women as a “grave crime” and sacrilege. So where does that leave Diane Smith Whalen of Olympia?

Back in May, she was ordained as Washington state’s first female Catholic priest by a breakaway group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Diane Smith Whalen: “It doesn’t change the way that I feel about it. I’m very sad that they’re choosing to do that. Their energy could be used going to where the problems are, not to making more problems or more distractions.”

At least four other unsanctioned Catholic women priests minister in Oregon.

The Vatican justifies its firm stance against female ordination on the basis that Jesus chose only men as his apostles, so women cannot legally become priests.


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