By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A woman who was excommunicated last month after being ordained a “priest” has died and the Archdiocese of Chicago will not permit her to receive a Catholic burial.
Chicago Public Radio is reporting that Janine Denomme, 45, a lesbian who was ordained a “priest” last month by the dissident organization, Roman Catholic Women Priests, died on Monday after a brief battle with cancer. The Archdiocese of Chicago, which does not recognize her ordination, said Denomme excommunicated herself when she knowingly and willingly participated in “the simulation of the sacrament of Holy Orders” and cannot offer her a Catholic burial unless she gave “some sign of repentance before death.”
Denomme is described as being an active Catholic who served as a “lay preacher,” church musician, parish council member, spiritual director and religion teacher.
Her mother, Mary Joan, told the Windy City Times that her daughter always wanted to be a priest and often “played Mass” with her brothers. In 2007, Denomme discovered Roman Catholic Women Priests, which has ordained more than 100 women in spite of the fact that any woman who submits herself to this “simulated ordination” is automatically excommunicated from the Church. It was while she was preparing for her ordination that she was diagnosed with cancer.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday at First United Methodist Church in Evanston.
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