Mormons excommunicate woman for advocating female clergy

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An all-male panel of judges has voted to excommunicate a woman who spearheaded an effort to ordain female clergy in the Mormon Church.

Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, was kicked out of the church Sunday on charges of apostasy, a decision she called “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,” Ms. Kelly said in a statement on the Ordain Women website. “I love the gospel and the courage of its people. Don’t leave. Stay, and make things better.”

Ms. Kelly was not present for her trial before the judgment panel. The men determined that she be “excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church.”

According to Ordain Women, Ms. Kelly’s former ecclesiastical leader in Virginia, Bishop Mark Harrison, emailed her to tell her the news, and offered her a chance to be re-baptized into the church provided she follows certain rules.

“In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood,” Mr. Harrison said. “You must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and taking actions that could lead others away from the Church.”

Ms. Kelly is an outspoken supporter for introducing female clergy into the Mormon faith, and in her written defense sent to the panel before its decision, she said she would not stop her advocacy.

“I will not take down the website ordainwomen.org. I will not stop speaking out publicly on the issue of gender inequality in the church,” she said. “I cannot repent of telling the truth, speaking what is in my heart and asking questions that burn in my soul!” 

 

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