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Finally, an accurate secular report on Roman Catholic Womenpriests

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 09, 2013

At last, a secular newspaper has provided an accurate report on an “ordination ceremony” staged by the group known as Roman Catholic Womenpriests. The story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer begins:

About 200 people filled the pews at Brecksville United Church of Christ on Saturday when Ann Poelking Klonowski was ordained a priest, in an ordination not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.

That lede captures the essentials: The ceremony did not take place in a Catholic church, and Ann Poelking Klonowski isn’t a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. The Plain Dealer isn’t taking sides in the debate on women’s ordination, and the paper gives “Bishop Joan Houk” the title she claims. The story simply presents the facts. After reporting that Roman Catholic Womenpriests believe “acceptance by the church will come eventually,” the paper closes with an accurate statement of the Church’s stand on women’s ordination.

The situation is confusing: women who claim to be Catholics, staging a public ceremony that distances them from the Catholic Church. The Plain Dealer reports what happened without adding to the confusion.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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