A married teacher is poised to become Italy’s first woman priest when she is ordained later this month in an Anglican church close to the Vatican.
Maria Longhitano, a member of the breakaway Old Catholic Church, says she hopes her ordination will break down “prejudice” in the Roman Church.
The event may energise the debate among Roman Catholics about the role of women, a BBC correspondent says.
Pope Benedict is implacably opposed to women as priests.
His predecessor, John Paul II, even banned official discussion of the issue, BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott notes…
She said she hoped her ordination would galvanise debate among Roman Catholics about modernisation…
The Old Catholics broke away from the Vatican in the 19th Century, rejecting belief in the immaculate conception and the infallibility of the Pope.
Their Church – which leaves issues such as homosexual relationships and contraception up to the individuals’ consciences – has ordained women since 1996.
Wow. A Christian religion in Italy that accepts human beings have the right and responsibility to make some decisions on their own.