In a statement denouncing the “ordination” of seven women to priesthood, the Vatican yesterday urged the women to repent or face excommunication. Insisting that Romulu BraschiÑthe Argentine bishop who ordained the women from Austria, Germany, and the USÑfounded a schismatic community, the Vatican reasserted its policy banning women from priesthood, saying it “constitutes the simulation of a sacrament and is thus invalid and null, as well as constituting a grave offense to the divine institution of the ChurchÉ Such an action is an affront to the dignity of women, whose specific role in the Church and society is distinctive and irreplaceable.”
The Church’s position on priest pedophilia lacks such stringency. At the US Conference of Catholic Bishops held last month in Dallas, 239 of 252 bishops nixed a zero tolerance policy to completely remove sex offenders from priesthood. On Tuesday, the Vatican acknowledged that they had received the US bishops’ sex abuse policy for review.