This one happened this very morning, at a funeral service I attended. The officiating priest became disoriented during the homily, attempted to make his way to the sacristy but fell to the ground half way there. We understood from a local nurse that it was probably a diabetic condition and, later, heard someone state that he had suffered a heart attack. Naturally, we are all praying that he will be all right and hopeful that he currently is not in a life-threatening condition.
That's not why this situation was odd; what followed is. Of the three people who assisted him at that church --two male deacons and one sister-- the nun was the best informed about how to bring this funeral service to a close. But, of course, she is not allowed to fulfill the functions of a priest or a deacon. So this brave sister stood at the altar, between both deacons, and guided them, step by step, through the rest of the ceremony. This odd situation would not have been taken lightly if a representative from the Vatican had been there. About a month ago, the Vatican issued an announcement which placed women priesthood in the same criminal category than that of the molestation of children by male priests. You will find below how the Roman Catholic Womenpriests organization responded to this announcement:
Anyway, it was a very odd situation and nobody in church was troubled by the sister's initiative. To the contrary, they were most grateful that someone, anyone, could replace the priest to finish the ceremony.Vatican: Ordination of Women a Grave Crime-
Roman Catholic Womenpriests
Respond With Demand for Justice for Women in the Church
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA
Press Release: July 15, 2010 Vatican: Ordination of Women a Grave Crime - Roman Catholic Womenpriests Respond with demand for Justice for Women in the Church and for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
The ordination of women appeared on the list of most serious crimes against Roman Catholic canon law, or "delicta graviora" – putting it in the same category as sexual abuse of children by priests - according to Vatican Information Service http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2010/07/ ... -most.html .
Roman Catholic Womenpriests respond to the Vatican’s equating women’s ordination with pedophilia by priests, by demanding the Vatican affirm women's full equality in the church including priestly ministry.
We demand an end to misogyny in the Catholic Church.
We demand that the Vatican adopt reforms to transform church laws and practices to reflect transparency, accountability, justice and equality for all.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests believe that the document from the Vatican is intended to specifically scare off male priests who choose to walk in solidarity with us for justice for women in our church. Priests like Roy Bourgeois, Maryknoll priest of 38 years, founder of the School of the Americas Watch and 2010 nominee for the Nobel Prize for Peace. Bourgeois participated in the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska in Lexington, Kentucky, on Aug. 9, 2008.
We are welcomed with open arms and hearts by the people at the grassroots of the church. Yet, our brother priests- the Vatican’s all-male hierarchy- in May 2008, declared that we and the person ordaining us would be self-excommunicating ourselves. The Vatican has also said that anyone who attends ordinations would be excommunicated. That threat has not deterred the faithful who come in droves to Roman Catholic women’s ordinations all over the United States. Roman Catholic Womenpriests numbers have erupted from seven to over 100 in the last eight years since the first ordination in 2002 on the Danube in Europe. The Vatican continues to respond to women’s ordinations with condemnation of everyone who supports the movement for women priests within the Catholic Church. However, Womenpriests are being supported widely by the hundreds of Catholics attending every public ordination.
Instead of excommunications and condemnations, the Vatican would do well to correct the damaging behaviors of patriarchy, the abuse of spiritual power. We suggest that the Vatican begin true renewal of itself by ending clergy abuses of power of all kinds towards nuns, women priests, and lay women in the Church who have been oppressed and exploited for millennia. As with those who have survived the sexual abuse of clergy, these women are likewise victims of the abuse of clerical power.
RCWP has asked the member states of the United Nations to support us in our quest for and for women within the Roman Catholic Church and for justice for victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse. It is unjust and discriminatory that the males at the Vatican continue to deny us employment and decision-making within the Roman Catholic Church. This behavior is a violation of international law, our human rights, the example of Jesus and the integrity of conscience
Again, feel free to share some odd situations you have recently experienced.