CINCINNATI -- A married woman and former nun did something her church doctrine says she cannot do.
Paula Hoeffer became a priest.
On Friday, the Deer Park resident became the 181st woman, the second in Cincinnati, to be “ordained” as part of the so-called Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. A female priest who says she was ordained by a male Catholic bishop led the ceremony.
"I was praying and I heard God speak to me," Hoeffer, a retired Catholic educator, told WCPO about her decision.
"If everyone could go follow their heart, what's God saying to them? This is what God is saying to me."
Despite how the real the ceremony might feel to those taking part, the Catholic church said such "ordinations" are "invalid."
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati issued the following statement:
“Church law and teaching are clear that only a baptized male can be ordained a priest of the Catholic Church. Any attempted ordination of a woman to the Catholic priesthood is therefore invalid, and would be even in the unlikely event that a validly ordained bishop presided."
Hoeffer did it anyway -- even if it does mean excommunication from her church.
“I’m breaking that code. And I also believe that code was man-made,” said whose husband, Ed, left the priesthood to marry her. “Jesus called men and women to be disciples to serve equally in the church and to serve to bring about the Kingdom of God.
“Yes, I am a Roman Catholic and I will be,” she said.
"We have to get out of our mind that the church is just hierarchy and clericalism. The church is the people. That's what the Vatican II told us. The church is the people. So we need to be where the people are and listen to the people."
Watch the full 20-minute video in the media player below.
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