Independent Catholic group to ordain woman

Jan. 18, 2008 at 1:39 AM
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SACRAMENTO, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- An independent Catholic parish in California plans to ordain a woman priest.

Elizabeth English is not only female, she is a mother and involved in a long-term same-sex relationship, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Good Shepherd Parish in Sacramento is part of a network of independent Catholic churches, with four in Phoenix and one in Portland, Ore. Tony Prandini, pastor of Good Shepherd, said there are about 600 people in the six congregations, including 30 in Sacramento.

"They're not part of our church," said the Rev. James Murphy, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. "They do what they feel is right for them. Certainly, that would not be a valid ordination in the Roman Catholic Church."

English, confirmed in the Catholic Church in 2004, describes herself as "Catholic to the core," although she switched to Good Shepherd last year. She says she is answering a call from God.

Saturday's ordination will take place in a Lutheran church because Good Shepherd's normal meeting place is not large enough to accommodate it.

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