Whether you call it the spirit of freedom or the spirit of heresy, it is alive in religious circles.
The latest example was the unsanctioned ordination of nine women as Catholic priests and deacons, including a Cape Cod inkeeper, Marie David, pictured here in a Boston Globe photo by Tom Herde. The ceremony took place recently on a boat in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Gananoque, Ontario, a small community I used to visit frequently when I lived in Rochester, N.Y., in the late 1960s.
The Vatican, of course, has denounced such ceremonies in the past and even excommunicated people who participated in them. For Pope Benedict XVI, the issue of ordaining women to the priesthood is a closed and settled matter: Not going go happen.
But lots of matters that faith communities have considered settled have become unsettled over the years, and it looks as if there are plenty of people who will continue to push the church hard on this issue.
What I invite you to consider today is what it takes to challenge an established religious organization in this way. Courage? Foolishness? Vision? Misunderstanding? And, whatever your answer, is it a characteristic you possess?
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