"Expelled" Priest Discusses Women's Ordination as Traditional Group Protests
2/18/2013 (Updated 11:00:30 PM)ENDICOTT -- For decades now, some members of the Catholic Church have argued that that women, as well as men, should be allowed to become priests.
But in Endicott tonight, a former priest who agrees with that concept did not receive universal support.
First Methodist Union Church became a gathering place for women's rights.
Father Roy Bourgeois, who says he was expelled from the priesthood in November for standing by his beliefs, spoke to 115 people about the importance of women's ordination.
"We do acknowledge. We profess as Catholics and as priests that our loving God created men and women of equal worth and dignity. And as Catholic priests we say that God calls us to the priesthood. Today women are saying, 'We are equal. We are also being called by a loving God,'" said Bourgeois.
Supporters for the cause believe that a woman can't deny her calling just because she was born a different gender.
St. John and St. Andrew parishoner Kate Madigan offered her thoughts on the matter, "This is really an issue of gender equality and the Church is denying the fact that women had leadership roles in the Church during the early days of the Church."
But the idea of female priests in the Catholic Church is not one that reaches to all. A group of protesters gathered outside the church in support of tradition. That group was led by a woman.
Binghamton's Anne Marie Donlon discussed why she thinks things should stay as they are.
"The Catholic Church has taught from its inception when it was created by Christ that men are the priests. If you are a priest you're an Alter Christus which means 'another Christ.' I'm a woman. How could I be another Christ?"
But women like Madigan counter that argument with this one: "It was women who stayed with Jesus at the cross and it was a woman, the Magdalene, the most revered of all the apostles, who He appeared to after His resurrection."
Bourgeois' speech was part of the Upstate New York Call to Action.
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