The Common Good

Injustice is Not Categorical

Near the Vatican in October 2001, Janice Sevre-Duszynska and fellow advocates hung a banner calling in seven different languages for the ordination of women. Almost seven years later, the fruit of that action and many others like it was realized. Janice's long-awaited and hard-fought ordination Mass took place Aug. 9, 2008, in Lexington, Kentucky.

"We are well-trained daughters of the church," she says of women pursuing the priesthood. "Jesus called us to a discipleship of equals. Women priests are a matter of justice."

Under current Vatican rule, only men are recognized as legitimate Catholic priests; women's ordinations are invalid, often deemed "attempted ordination," and priests and churches are discouraged from supporting or participating. But Janice and countless others, especially the women of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, a community of worker priests dedicated to non-hierarchical priesthood, are committed to changing the wind. "Jesus wanted a discipleship of equals," Janice told Sojourners, "a kin-dom, not a hierarchy."

Catholic women desiring to be ordained usually have to go outside their faith tradition, no doubt dear to them, to find a venue for the ordination Mass. However, Roman Catholic Womenpriests have women bishops who follow in apostolic succession and can officiate the sacramental service. When Father Roy Bourgeois, Maryknoll priest and founder of the School of the Americas Watch, accepted her invitation to the ordination and told her he would participate in the Mass with the women priests and bishop, Janice asked him, "I know you know what you're doing

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)