Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Poncho Lady Vandenberg to be Excommunicated

Abp. Dolan has circulated a letter advising that Ms. Vandenberg, a woman who thinks she was "ordained" in an invalid ceremony in Pittsburgh, will be excommunicated.

Actually, Ms. Vandenberg (and all the Pittsburgh Poncho Ladies) are already excommunicated latae sententiae--that is, because of their attempt--and Abp. Dolan is merely sending the paperwork.

Dolan wrote to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waukesha that it was his duty to notify the Vatican of Vandenberg's action. Dolan said her excommunication could come soon. The Roman Catholic Church prohibits women from becoming priests.

In his letter to the parish, Dolan said he was "disappointed because Ms. Vandenberg and I had begun a fruitful dialogue on the matter last fall. At that time, . . . I had advised her that any attempted ordination would affect her relationship with the church.

"I believed her sincerity when she assured me that she was unaware of such a consequence, and did not want that to happen."

Ms Vandenberg is deluded:

"I want to always be respectful of the church and the bishop," she said, "but there are times when you have to be obedient to God and not the bishop."

The "case for conscience" to which Ms. Vandenberg alludes is inapplicable. The Archbishop of Milwaukee is not requiring Ms. Vandenberg to perform an immoral act. He simply advised her that her Pittsburgh activity would "separate her from the Church."

Ms. Vandenberg does have one thing right:

Of official efforts to sever her ties to the church. Vandenberg said: "Excommunication is simply a punishment. That doesn't mean I'm excluded from the church. Only I can exclude myself."

Sadly, she has done that.


David said...

OK I have to ask, whats with the "Poncho" name?

Dad29 said...

If you're Catholic, you'll get this immediately.

The Poncho Ladies think they are priests. When a priest celebrates Mass, he wears a chasuble--it's the topmost garment and resembles a poncho.

But if one is NOT a priest and wears a chasuble, all it IS is a poncho.

david said...

ok. btw I am Catholic.

Fidei Defensor said...

This is one of the best things Dolan has done in a long time!

Brian Michael Page said...

The name Poncho Ladies™ (now a trademark, thanks to Argent) began when I had read a post a couple of months ago about these "womynpriests", I think it was from the Curt Jester, but we had asked which dollar store their rain ponchos (er, vestments) came from.

Since then, Poncho Ladies™ became a household brand name.