Women seeking priesthood protest outside Holy Thursday Mass in Philadelphia


Women who want to be priests in the Catholic Church held their annual protest outside the Cathedral Basilica in Center City Philadelphia Thursday. After more than three decades they are still optimistic that the church will change.


The group started the Holy Thursday protests in 1980, on the days that the church’s entirely male priesthood renews its vows. Regina Bannon of the Women’s Ordination Conference said the demonstrations began right after the last visit of Pope John Paul the second and says they refuse to give up.

“Certainly the opinions have changed from 35 years ago — now the majority of Catholics in the U-S and around the world favor the ordination of women,” Bannon said. “We know that people have changed, now we are just waiting for the Pope to change.”

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Judy Heffernan said that after more than three decades, the protesters believe they’re being heard in Rome.

“I always think about what Robert Kennedy said – when you throw the pebble in the pond the circles of energy do matter eventually,” Heffernan said. “Maybe we are just throwing a pebble in the pond, but we do believe this witness for women’s ordination will help the church to progress to full equality and justice in the church.”

The group plans to hold a meeting in Philadelphia next year just before the Pope is expected to come to town for the World Meeting of Families.

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