Kentucky woman goes against Roman Catholic law; ordained as priest
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---A Kentucky woman is making her mark in Louisville after being ordained Saturday as a Roman Catholic priest.
At 70-years-old, Rosemarie Smead is taking on a new challenge.
"Today, we rejoice because Rosemarie Smead will be ordained as a Roman Catholic woman priest in the first ordination of a woman priest in Louisville, Kentucky," says Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan.
The Bedford, Kentucky woman is a lifelong Catholic and at one time, was a cloistered nun. Now she's going against Roman Catholic law, which only allows baptized men to be priests.
"What our movement is doing, we are going back to what Jesus brought to us in the first place. Gospel Equality. That means equality for women in all aspects of life," says Rosemarie Smead.
The ceremony took place at St. Andrew United Church of Christ in Louisville.
"We've been on the cutting edge of the civil rights movement, and the women's movement, and the LGBT movement," says Pastor Jimmy Watson with St. Andrew's United Church of Christ.
They have now hosted the first ordination of a woman in Louisville by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
"In a sense we're doing this not only for women today, but for women in the future," says Pastor Jimmy Watson.
The group prays for Rosemarie before she received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
"It was just an overwhelming experience. It was so beautiful. Such a spiritual moment," says Rosemarie Smead.
Those close to the Catholic Church, including the Archbishop of Louisville, Reverend Joseph Kurtz, say this simulation carries penal sanctions in Church law. However, that didn't stop this group from participating.
"Yes the institutional church will excommunicate and punish those who support our movement, but excommunicate means nothing," says Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
Rosemarie Smead says she only hopes this is only the beginning of this women's movement.
"And we are moving the church forward inch by inch. It will happen, it has to happen," says Rosemarie Smead.
In a statement to WDRB, Reverend Joseph Kurtz says the Association of Roman Catholic Priests is not an entity of the Roman Catholic Church, or the Roman Catholic Church Archdiocese of Louisville.
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