Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

75-year-old Lillian Lewis of Michigan says the ministry is her calling

A defiant 75-year-old woman in Michigan has excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church. Lillian Lewis was the subject of an attempted ordination by the dissident group calling itself Womenpriests at her Three Oaks home this past weekend. Lewis is adamant that ordination to the Catholic priesthood is her right, even though she knows the teaching of her own Church and has plenty of other ways to minister in that Church. Instead, she chose to excommunicate herself.

Lillian Lewis was the subject of an attempted ordination to the Catholic priesthood by the dissident Roman Catholic group calling itself Womenpriests at her Three Oaks home this past weekend. Lewis is adamant that priesthood is somehow her right even though Catholic teaching is absolutely clear and there are numerous vehicles for ministry in the Church other than priesthood

Lillian Lewis was the subject of an attempted ordination to the Catholic priesthood by the dissident Roman Catholic group calling itself Womenpriests at her Three Oaks home this past weekend. Lewis is adamant that priesthood is somehow her right even though Catholic teaching is absolutely clear and there are numerous vehicles for ministry in the Church other than priesthood


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

6/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Lillian Lewis, women priests, excommunication, Michigan

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lewis has a theology masters from Marquette University and has worked for the church for more than two decades.

"Ministry is my true calling," Lewis declares. The Roman Catholic Church restricts priestly ordination to men. Canon law states that "a baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly."

Starvation never takes a vacation --

The dissident group called Womenpriests movement has allegedly ordained 140 women worldwide. Bishop Joan Hauk, who is a member of the group, officiated at Lewis' attempted ordination. 

The Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan, issued a statement last week condemning the attempted ordination: "Please be aware that such an action does not confer the sacred character of the priesthood for this woman; in fact, this action will further separate her from the Church in a very grave manner," Bishop Paul Bradley wrote. "If this invalid 'ordination' takes place then the woman attempting ordination incurs an automatic excommunication."

Not only did excommunicate herself, but Bishop Bradley properly warned other church members that they should not attend the ordination.

"Any Catholic attending or participating in this, or any invalid and illicit attempt at the sacrament of ordination, places themselves outside of full communion with the Catholic Church," he said.

The attempted ordination was originally planned to take place at the First Congregational Church in Three Oaks. Protesting phone calls caused Lewis to move the ceremony to her house.Many of those phone calls probably came from Catholics who are tired of this entire dissenting show by the organization womenpriests.

Neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox Church ordains women to the priesthood. The most recent statement of the magisterium of the Catholic Church was released on May 22, 1994, by Pope John Paul II, who was recently canonized.

The letter is entitled  "On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis)' It is a very short, succinct affirmation of the clear teaching of the Catholic Church and should be read by every Catholic - and any other Christian - who wants to understand the who, what, where and why of this entire question. There is no room for dissent, debate or disagreement on it. The letter ends with these words:

"Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

"Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

The arguments against this clear and authoritative teaching sometimes come from people who do not understand that the priesthood is not a job and have succumbed to the "rights" mentality of the current age. Other times they come from people who have no understanding of the sacramental nature of the Church and have a faulty theological education or understanding.

Both groups may include among them Catholics who, as in too many other areas of doctrine, have not been properly catechized. However, there are those who know the teaching and its authoritative nature but have willfully chosen to publicly dissent and lead others astray. Womenpriests is a part of that group.

The group was founded in Germany in 2002. It directly rejects the teaching office of the Catholic Church which it purports to participate in. It refuses to accept the teaching of the Catholic Church that only men can be ordained to the priesthood.

Women serve in numerous other capacities in the Catholic Church and have vital ministries. In fact, many of the most vocal opponents of the continued actions of womenpriests are faithful Catholic women. 

"This has been on my bucket list for about 20 years," Lewis said prior to the attempted ordination. "I feel 100 percent affirmed."


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

Two farmers in Michigan unearth woolly mammoth remains Watch

Image of Because of the tight harvest schedule, the farmers gave researchers a single day to unearth the find. Excavators worked intently last week until sundown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two farmers in Michigan made a momentous find while they dug a drainage ditch. The remains of a woolly mammoth, enormous tusks intact, was unearthed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field early last week ... continue reading

President Obama shares how Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. makes him want to be better Watch

Image of President Obama with Pope Francis during the pontiffs visit to the U.S.


It has been a week since Pope Francis' historical visit to the U.S. However, his presence and inspiration continues to linger as President Obama revealed he wants to become better after his meeting with the Pope. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - The pope is back in ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More