(This excerpt is from an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal)
Vandenberg, 64, said Monday that she was "startled" by the letter and surprised that Dolan had "spent so much time and energy" on it when "other important things" might demand his attention.
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."
Vandenberg called her meeting with Dolan "very cordial . . . very respectful. . . . I told him about my call to ordination . . . and he was trying to give me some reasons to stay" in the church.
She was stung that Dolan made details of their talk public. "We both agreed that the meeting would be private," she said. Dolan and Vandenberg disagree on what happened after the meeting. "She promised she would confer with me about her next step," Dolan wrote to the parish.
"In two subsequent letters, I have asked for her decision. Her regrettable participation in the protest gives me her unfortunate answer." Vandenberg said that "wasn't quite accurate." "I did respond to him in a letter," she said. "And I said . . . I (was) still deciding what I should do."
On July 31, Vandenberg and 11 other women took part in an
ordination ceremony in Pittsburgh - eight to become priests and four to be deacons. Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which
organized the event, has held similar ceremonies in Canada and Europe. The group claimed last week's ordinations were valid, performed by women "bishops" secretly ordained by anonymous male bishops. Dolan termed them "simulated and
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." And that she is not planning to do.
"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."
I think that the reverend lady needs to contemplate the meaning of the word "excommunication." She just doesn't get it.