A member of the liturgy committee at a San Francisco parish was “ordained a deacon” on Saturday, June 23, according to the website of Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Participants in such sham ceremonies are automatically excommunicated, but the group has repeatedly rejected the ruling of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the subject.
The event took place at Trinity Episcopal Church in San Francisco, where Olivia Doko, “bishop” of the Western Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, “ordained” Maria Eitz. According to the website of St. John of God Catholic Church in San Francisco, Eitz is a member of the parish’s Liturgy Committee. Now that Eitz has incurred automatic excommunication, it’s up to either Fr. Methodius Kiwale, administrator of the parish, or the Archbishop of San Francisco to determine whether she will be removed from her post on the committee.
Much of the direction at St. John of God is supplied by the church’s deacon, Brian Bromberger. The majority of the published sermons on the St. John of God website are his. Bromberger, who previously served at San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer Parish, led St. John of God parishioners at San Francisco’s 2011 “Gay Pride” parade.
Trinity Episcopal has long provided space to a Roman Catholic Womenpriests group called “Sophia in Trinity” for twice-monthly liturgies led by “Womanpriest” and open lesbian Victoria Rue.
Over the past 18 months CalCatholic has published a number of articles documenting the “ordination” of women who serve, or have served, in Catholic parish ministries. Maureen Mancuso, an RCIA instructor at Christ the King parish in Pleasant Hill, was “ordained” a “womandeacon” by Doko on September 18, 2011 in Santa Barbara. “Ordained” as a “womandeacon” during the same event was open lesbian Jennifer O’Malley, who had served on the Ministry to Gay and Lesbian Catholics for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Her biography on the RCWP website notes that O’Malley “previously worked as a Coordinator of Youth ministry at a parish in the archdiocese of Los Angeles and was a program director for a national Catholic service learning program.”
According to the Autumn 2011 issue of GLOings, the newsletter of the LA archdiocese’s Ministry to Gay and Lesbian Catholics, O’Malley was one of seven persons receiving the “Lumen Christi” award at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood on Oct. 22, 2011 — after she had been “ordained,” and thereby, excommunicated.
Despite an explicit warning from the Vatican that participation in such sham ordinations results in automatic excommunication, Roman Catholic Womenpriests remains defiant. Posted prominently on the group’s website is the following statement: “Roman Catholic Womenpriests reject the penalty of excommunication issued by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on May 29, 2008 stating that the women priests and the bishops who ordain them would be excommunicated latae sententiae. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are loyal members of the church who stand in the prophetic tradition of holy obedience to the Spirit’s call to change an unjust law that discriminates against women.”
According to a listing of “Projected Ordinations for 2012” on the RCWP website, another such ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 7 in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. No other details were provided.