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A New Catholic Community

“My name is Victoria Rue. And I am a Roman Catholic womanpriest.”

So began Sunday Mass on April 2, 2006, at the Spartan Memorial Chapel at San Jose State University in California. Concelebrating with Victoria Rue was Don Cordero, a married former Jesuit priest. For those present, this was a momentous occasion: It was the inaugural Mass of a “New Catholic Community” that, says Rue, reverences people who “seek authenticity and inclusion in the worship ceremony, who have experienced divorce and remarriage, who are diverse in sexual orientation, who seek progressive exploration of ideas, who want imagination and daring, who are concerned deeply about God’s creation and how to preserve it and who seek personal and spiritual integrity.” According to the San Jose State campus newspaper, the Spartan Daily (April 4), this “first official gathering” drew “about 30 participants,” of whom “most were elderly.”

The high point of this Mass, during which God was referred to as “She,” was the vibrant music, Rue told the Spartan Daily, and “when we each turned to face one another, looked one another in the eyes, and then hugged each other [and] said, ‘this is my body, this is my blood’….”

Momentous indeed. To those 30 or so souls present, this was the dawning of a new day: A real Roman Catholic Mass presided over by an actual female priest!

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