SARASOTA, Fla., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The Catholic Church says ordinations of female priests conducted in Florida by a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests are illegitimate.
The Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune said Monday the church deemed the national organization illegimate and informed parishes that people attending the oridinations will be excommunicated.
"The diocese prays that all those involved in this attempt to 'ordain' `Roman Catholic Womenpriests will be reconciled with the church, and that the harm and division caused will be healed," the Diocese of Venice, Fla., said in a statement.
Former nun Bridget Mary Meehan, a member of the movement, is responsible for the ordination of two women priests and one deacon in Sarasota, Fla.
Meehan said the warning from the church will only serve to strengthen support for the ordination of women.
"People will have to be courageous to support us and that is what this is about," Meehan said.
The Herald-Tribune said the Catholic Church opposes the ordination of female priests because of a belief that Jesus Christ only chose men to serve as his disciples.