The Vatican announced Thursday (via a general decree) that it will excommunicate anyone who attempts to ordain a woman as a priest and the woman herself, effective immediately. The decree was signed by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.
Regina Nicolosi, a program coordinator for Roman Catholic Womenpriests, who was ordained two years ago, did not find it compelling, threatening, or persuasive. “We have come not to take that too seriously,” said Nicolosi, a priest who is a married mother and grandmother living in Red Wing, Minnesota. Her group is composed of 40 to 50 women priests, none of whom are recognized by the church hierarchy. “It’s one of the very last patriarchal hierarchies in the western world, and I don’t know when they will be ready to let go of that.”
Even if she is excommunicated, she will continue her work as a volunteer in a nursing home who celebrates mass in small groups , she said. She is predicting that the church’s resistance will backfire. “This is bringing more and more women into our group, and I think we’re getting more support from Catholics who are saying this is getting ridiculous,” she said.