An all-male panel of judges convicted the “Ordain Women” founder of apostasy. Kelly says, “The decision to force me outside my congregation and community is exceptionally painful. Today is a tragic day for my family and me as we process the many ways this will impact us, both in this life and in the eternities.”
Standing With Kate
In addition, there is a seeming inability among traditions that refuse women’s ordination to acknowledge fully the implications of a history which witnesses to the fact that God’s power and love are manifest in women as in men. Not only did women, according to the Gospel of Luke, finance Jesus’ ministry (Lk. 8:3), they were among the first to share the good news of resurrection (Lk. 24:10; Mk. 16:6). In the early Church, women played important leadership roles, including deacon (Phoebe in Rom. 16:1) and apostle (Junia in Rom. 16: 7), and worked side by side with men in spreading the Christian movement (Priscilla in Rom. 16:3). Similarly, in the early history of Mormonism, as shown in educational materials collated by Ordain Women, there is a history of women embodying priestly acts, including the laying on of hands. In other words, the Christian tradition has an early record of inclusion that challenges present misogyny.
An all male, three-person panel held a church disciplinary hearing for her on Sunday in Virginia, where she lived until recently, and their verdict was delivered by email.
“Our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church,” Kelly’s former ecclesiastical leader in Virginia, Bishop Mark Harrison, said in the message.
“These conditions almost always last at least one year,” it said, adding that if she showed “true repentance” and gave up teachings and actions that “undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood,” she could be readmitted.