"The association whose program I completed is validly ordained in the right of the holy orders of the Roman Catholic Church. The first women were ordained by a male bishop who is in good standing with Rome and remains anonymous because he would be excommunicated if it were ever known that he had taken part. That movement started in 2002, so I'm just part of that movement."
What kinds of complications are involved with becoming a priest if you are female?
"The teaching is that we have excommunicated ourselves automatically by disobeying canon law. But we believe that God's law comes first. There is a moral imperative to change an unjust law and when an unjust law cannot be changed then it must be broken. That is social justice 101. Many Catholics may not think of this as a social justice issue, but it is. I didn't do this just to do something different. I did this because I had a call. I processed this call for years with other spiritual guides, most of whom are in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church, both priests and sisters. The studies show that 50-60% of Roman Catholics would welcome women in the priesthood. There is nothing in the Bible, nothing scripturally, that prevents women from being ordained in the priesthood. The current theology shows that women were ordained in the early church, certainly not the ordination that we have now, that process developed over 2,000 years, but women were leaders in the early church. Mary Magdalene, throughout the ages has been called the 'apostle to the apostles.'"
There is also nothing scriptural that backs up female priests. What it does emphasize scripturally is that women have a very important and necessary role in the Church. It was precisely to Mary Magdalene that St. Thomas Aquinas reserved the special title, "Apostle of the Apostles" (apostolorum apostola), dedicating to her this beautiful comment: "Just as a woman had announced the words of death to the first man, so also a woman was the first to announce to the Apostles the words of life" (Super Ioannem, ed. Cai, § 2519).
Do you have any advice for others who follow the faith?
"In spiritual direction, we try to get in touch with how God is working in our lives. We try to become conscious of that working of God. How is God speaking to me? How do we appropriately respond to that?
"Christians have largely been taught that it's all indoctrination, it all comes from the past or the hierarchy who have determined how to translate God's actions, but I believe you should listen to the God within you. God is closer to you than you are to your own self. God is deep within. It is within the day to day living out, the reflection, prayerful reflection, silent reflection. Listen to that still small voice. That is in Isaiah, God is in the still small voice. Have the courage to follow it. That is what I am trying to build, a community that listens to this still small voice. Go against the grain if you need to, confront the power structures. I believe God is a God of justice and I feel we need to move deeper into that realm of justice."
This is why, as our newly canonized St. John Paul II wrote in his Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem: "The Church gives thanks for each and every woman.... The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine 'genius' which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness" (n. 31).