Italy to have the First Woman Priest – and She’s Married

Italy to have first woman priest

A married teacher is poised to become Italy’s first woman priest when she is ordained later this month in an Anglican church close to the Vatican.

Maria Longhitano, a member of the breakaway Old Catholic Church, says she hopes her ordination will break down “prejudice” in the Roman Church.

The event may energise the debate among Roman Catholics about the role of women, a BBC correspondent says.

Pope Benedict is implacably opposed to women as priests.

His predecessor, John Paul II, even banned official discussion of the issue, BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott notes.

Although Mrs Longhitano will not be a Roman Catholic priest, her ordination in the borrowed Anglican church will be acutely uncomfortable for the Vatican, he says.

When seven Roman Catholic women were unofficially ordained in 2002 they were promptly excommunicated.

Mrs Longhitano, who says she has always wanted to be a priest and played with communion wafers as a child, has accused the Vatican of preventing women from fulfilling their vocation.

She said she hoped her ordination would galvanise debate among Roman Catholics about modernisation.

Some Catholics believe reform is necessary to reverse a decline in numbers and influence and an Austrian bishop said this week that the Church should eventually consider the ordination of women.

The Old Catholics broke away from the Vatican in the 19th Century, rejecting belief in the immaculate conception and the infallibility of the Pope.

Their Church – which leaves issues such as homosexual relationships and contraception up to the individuals’ consciences – has ordained women since 1996.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/05/13


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Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at

2 thoughts on “Italy to have the First Woman Priest – and She’s Married”

  1. Good for the Old Catholics. They have always had a way of stubbornly insisting on doing things their own way – and have done yeoman’s service in providing continuity of Apostolic Succession to others who cannot accept the draconian absolutism of the Roman papacy. Good luck to Mrs. Longhitano; I hope she’s well prepared for the uncomfortable role of being a bur under the Roman saddle.

  2. I recently read in “The Remnant” (a National Catholic Bi-Weekly, July 31, 2010 Volume 43, Number 12) several articles on Women Priests and must conclude that this is indeed becoming a hot topic. The periodical supports the Vatican’s reaffirmation of the attempted ordination of women as a “grave crime.” The group supports the ordination of female Catholic Priests (Priestesses). It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.

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