Skip to comments.Newnan(GA) woman challenges Catholic church (fake Catholic alert)
Posted on 11/14/2010 1:20:11 PM PST by Dacula
Diane Dougherty lives in a neat, white house that she shares with her cats, Pete and Gypsy Rose. She teaches second grade in Fayetteville. She smiles a lot, her eyes flashing with intellect.
She hardly looks like someone flouting centuries of tradition, challenging the Roman Catholic Church.
Dougherty, 65, wants to be a deacon. But in the Catholic Church, the position of deacon like that of priest and bishop is held by men only.
The Newnan resident is in the forefront of a movement that seeks to change all that. In ordination ceremonies in the United States and across the world, nearly 200 Catholic women have declared themselves deacons, priests and bishops. A male priest whose support of ordaining women drew a rebuke from the Vatican calls the issue unstoppable.
The Vatican remains opposed to the ordination of women, calling it a grave crime. Church officials say women are highly valued and stress female equality in all areas of life. The example the church follows, officials say, was set by Jesus.
If she declares herself a deacon, Dougherty is nearly guaranteed to be excommunicated removed from the faith shes embraced since childhood.
Excommunication is not too high a price to pay, Dougherty said. She thinks the Catholic Church is behind the times.
I want to give the next generation a vision of the roles women could have in the church, Dougherty said. Forbidding [positions of authority to women] is sexism, and sexism is evil.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta, overseeing nearly 1 million Catholics, doesnt agree.
Deacon is a uniquely male role, said the Rev. Theodore Book, the archdioceses director of the Office For Worship. Jesus 12 disciples, the original deacons, he noted, were men.
Its something Jesus Christ gave to the church.
Dougherty politely disagrees. Jesus, she said, didnt ordain anyone.
Will of the Lord
In the Catholic Church, members of the diaconate deacons are ordained ministers. They also are parishioners advisers, confidants and spiritual guides. The church calls them servants to their congregation.
God decreed the roles of men and women in the church, said Tim Staples of Catholic Answers, a California-based nonprofit organization that explains the fundamentals of Catholicism.
The church does not consider herself qualified to change the will of the Lord, he said. So, the only deacons the church recognizes are men, Staples said.
The church is mistaken, say members of Roman Catholic Womenpriests and more than 25 other groups formed over the years. Founded eight years ago in Europe, Womenpriests believes the early church welcomed females to leadership positions before establishing a male hierarchy. In the United States, about 80 women married, never wed, divorced, straight, gay have been ordained. Worldwide, an additional 100 members have taken vows to be deacons, priests and bishops.
The organizations existence underscores the unrest some Catholics feel with the status quo, said Dennis Coday, managing editor of the National Catholic Reporter. The newspaper, an independent source of information on Catholic issues, has been covering the church for more than 40 years. The number of women coming forward for ordination is growing, said Coday.
Katy Zatsick of Lexington, Ky., ordained as a priest earlier this year, said the groups members want to serve parishioners, not squabble with their male counterparts.
She also believes Dougherty would be an exemplary deacon.
She is loving, caring, compassionate and wise, said Zatsick, 67. Shes a ball of fire, too.
Called to serve
Dougherty grew up about 50 miles northeast of Cleveland in Painesville, Ohio, the second-oldest in a family of four children. Her earliest memories include walking two blocks to Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church.
As she grew, so did her convictions. By ninth grade, said Dougherty, shed read the Bible and regularly attended morning Mass. There, immersed in tradition and ceremony, young Diane made up her mind: She would do the Lords work. I knew I had a vocation to serve, she said.
After high school, she became a nun and got a degree in education. For nearly 30 years, she taught in Catholic school classrooms.
In 1983, she came to Georgia, where she taught catechisms at St. John Vianney Church in Lithia Springs for one year. Dougherty said she left when a new pastor changed church programs over her opposition.
I realized there was something wrong with the hierarchy, Dougherty said. There was an absolute power over us, and I didnt think that was right.
Dougherty left Georgia and went to Pennsylvania. Three years later, she gave up the nuns life, but only after intense prayer. I felt it was the right thing to do.
She moved back to metro Atlanta, where shed spent a happy year. She taught at St. Josephs School in Marietta from 1987 to 2001, when she was laid off in a restructuring. In 2001, Dougherty entered the public school system in Fayette County.
In all the moves and job changes, said Dougherty, one thing has remained constant: her desire to serve.
She wakes at 4 every morning, walking through rooms whose walls are decorated with family photos. She stops in her office, a space filled with books and pictures of churches. One frame contains her certificate of confirmation in the church.
There, she bows her head. Dougherty asks the Almighty for wisdom and patience, for humor and strength. She needs that, she said.
In choosing the diaconate, I jumped into the middle, the middle of the fire.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta comprises 69 North Georgia counties. Its home to about 900,000 Catholics who worship in 87 parishes and 12 missions, or churches without full-time pastors.
Dougherty is not registered in any of the parishes, said Patricia Chivers, the archdioceses director of communications.
As a former employee of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, she would know to register with the church office, Chivers wrote in an e-mail.
In a telephone interview, Chivers was even more emphatic. We dont know who she is, said Chivers. Church officials, she said, know nothing about her plans for the diaconate.
She hasnt contacted us.
Dougherty said she routinely worships at St. Mary Magdalene in Sharpsburg or at Our Lady of Lourdes in Atlanta. Shes never registered at either parish, she said, because I travel a lot.
Betsy and Jack Record of Marietta, parishioners at Holy Family Catholic Church, think Dougherty is free to follow her religious beliefs.
But if she doesnt like the way the Catholic Church operates?
Go somewhere else, said Jack Record, 60, who attended the Marietta churchs Friday morning Mass.
His wife, 59, nodded. Sometimes people think they can pick and choose in religion, she said. Its not like a fast-food restaurant.
Debbie Kleban of Marietta, leaving Mass, agreed. I believe in what the church teaches us, the 46-year-old said.
Joanne Banks, another parishioner who attended Mass on Friday, wasnt sure that only men should be deacons. They [church officials] are very strict in policies and procedures, said Banks, 63, of Marietta. And I dont know if that reflects God.
The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, whose support of ordaining women has placed him at odds with the Vatican, thinks its only a matter of time before women take a place in Catholic pulpits.
A priest, Bourgeois attended the ordination of a female priest two years ago in Lexington. He received a letter from the Vatican asking him to recant his support or face excommunication, said Bourgeois. Bourgeois said he has not recanted.
Ordaining women is like the civil rights movement, the abolition of slavery, the womens rights movement, said Bourgeois, who lives in Columbus. Its unstoppable.
Bridget Mary Meehan of Falls Church, Va., whom the Womenpriests organization has identified as a bishop, agrees with Bourgeois.
She likened Doughertys actions to those of Rosa Parks, the African-American seamstress whose refusal to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 in Montgomery, Ala., became one of the touchstones of the civil rights movement.
Like Parks, we know we are disobeying an unjust law, said Meehan, 62, who plans to conduct Doughertys ordination ceremony. One must always disobey an unjust law.
Dougherty, meantime, studies. She is working with a female priest in Florida, learning the requirements of the diaconate. One day, Dougherty said, shed like to be a priest.
Dougherty knows that her decisions will anger some, please others. She can live with that.
People say, Why dont you leave? said Dougherty. I say, Im not leaving.
Hopefully in a public school or non-Catholic private school.
The Church will be much more traditional after the boomers pass. The Church will still be here, but their innovations will not.
I’d love to say that she, and all modernists, must go or change their ways, period. The unfortunate thing is, I find myself thinking of the article just an hour or so ago about the would-be Bernadinesque bishop vying for presidency of the USCCB. In spite of that, the modernists within the Church must go. If they want to be that way, let them go elsewhere. That goes for the womynpriest types, the heretics, those who would profane the Liturgy. I won’t be flippant, because the Church is too important for that. And you’re right Dacula, she should never, ever, being teaching children.
This woman has probably been miseducating children ever since she became a nun.
And, by the way, how do eyes “flash with intellect”? I would suppose it’s more likely to be some sort of reflection of light. This reporter seems to be confused about the nature of reality.
Nice turn of phrase "remains opposed". That's like saying one "remains opposed" to not being able to breath in the vacuum of space.
“The Vatican remains opposed to the ordination of women, calling it a grave crime.
Translation: The Vatican remains committed to the Truth, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
That aside for a moment, certainly there are no shortages of Protestant and Pentecostal groups around where this woman and her friends can be whatever they wish ~ from deacon to pope if necessary.
There's nothing more pitiful than a Roman Catholic who has gone into a sort of rebellion against the church and yet has bigoted thoughts about Protestantism.
She’s too old to be a boomer. Born before 1946.
“In ordination ceremonies in the United States and across the world, nearly 200 Catholic women have declared themselves deacons, priests and bishops.”
Aren’t they precious?
If a self declaration is all it takes to make my desires a fact life is about to get very interesting. Did you know I am now a millionaire and beautiful and a nobel prize winner for chemistry? Yep I delcared it so.
But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die!There's no sin like an old sin...
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad."
- Genesis 3:4-5
“She thinks the Catholic Church is behind the times.”
Do any of these women ever realize that all of the women being “ordained” are in their 50s, 60s and 70s? Who is really behind the times here?
Dougherty, go start your own church. LEAVE OURS ALONE!!!!
Which is why she doesn’t know the difference between theology and sociology.
her desire to serve...under HER terms, of course!
They figure this sort of churlish behavior worked so well on so many mainline Protestant sects that it should work anywhere.
She can obey the rules or hit the road.
There is no in between.
She can be ordained Pope for all I care. It doesnt make her Pope, any more than accepting this farcical post as Deacon will make her deacon.
She could experience a miracle experience on night in where she has a change in plumbing. That way she could become a deacon - but not in my parish!
The big problem is that some will follow her. Some will attend the masses p[erformed by these faux priests and these too will excommunicate themselves.
It isnt enough that they cannot be satisfied with a womans role in the church and be satisfied to destroy their own souls, they take others with them.
When the Catholic Church accepts women as Priests because a few woman too big for their britche’s decides to accept these deluded souls. I will find a new Church, my old one will be gone. I might add the same goes for allowing homosexual priests.
She simply needs to change her denomination,
because as it is she’s a hypocrite -
claiming she IS a Catholic and wants to be a Catholic, just not in full conformity with Catholic teaching.
I don’t understand such people.
She has all kinds of religious options in front of her.
What she is doing is an extremely high form of a combination of intellectual arrogance and hypocrisy - she’s ABSOLUTELY right and “her church” is ABSOLUTELY wrong, yet in spite of that huge difference that same church is sooooo right that she can’t leave it. I think we call that insanity.
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.
Invoking an abundance of divine assistance upon you, venerable brothers, and upon all the faithful, I impart my apostolic blessing.
From the Vatican, on May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1994, the sixteenth of my Pontificate.
Her primary option is to start a Church of Herself.
The manifestation of intrinsically disordered.
but their innovations will not...
...unfortunately, I would not be so sanguine about that...those that have grown up in NovusOrdoLand will not take kindly to having their precious innovations taken away...suggest having a tiny smattering of Latin in the liturgy from time to time and watch the parishionate blanch in fear, Draculas railing at the sunlight...or suggest that it might be nice if the music were not so, well, schlocky, and feel the daggers being glared at you...and at all costs, be careful about comments regarding EMHC’s, the gold standard of their presence in the NO church...belive me, they will not tolerate continued rebellion, without complaining to someone about you...
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