Local woman priest pushing for more leadership roles in Catholic church
The first female in North Carolina to be ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women priests is reacting to the news that Pope Francis said he would study the issue of women as Catholic Church Deacons.
Reverend Ann Harrington of the Free Spirit Inclusive Catholic Community in Greenville believes the history of sexism and misogyny in the church is why women aren't in more leadership positions to this day.
Harrington says, "Women have different roles—that men are the ones that God has ordained to be ones to have sacramental powers."
She believes Pope Francis initiating the conversation is a start, but there is still more work to do for equal opportunity.
Harrington says, "They said that women can't image the Christ. Well, we were told in our baptisms we are."
Though Reverend Harrington has been ordained since 2014, she still cannot be recognized due to Catholic laws.
She says, "We are considered to be ex-communicated from traditional church. I had a great deal of support under the radar."
Reverend Harrington says we have to acknowledge that there has already been several female leaders throughout history and she wants to show people that if she can do it, you're called, you can do it too.
Harrington says, "If there are any women who are watching this program and they are like, 'Wow, I didn't know that there is a woman priest in Greenville': Here I am. We need this or the Catholic Church will continue to dissolve into irrelevancy."
We reached out for comment from the Raleigh Catholic Diocese but have not heard back yet.