Critics Challenge Pope’s Stance Against Ordaining Women

CHICAGO (CBS) — Sharp criticism from the Pope directed at those he called “disobedient” priests has touched some nerves in Chicago.

CBS2’s Mike Parker reports.

At Vatican Holy Thursday observances, Pope Benedict stood firm against ordaining women as priests. And he blasted dissident priests who are questioning church doctrine, as “desperate to  change the church in accordance with their own preferences and whims.”

Barbara Zeman is one of several Chicago area Catholic women who have been “ordained” as priests in recent years by other rebellious clergy.

“As Catholics, first and foremost, we speak to the primacy of conscience. Conscience trumps any obedience,” she says.

“We have disobeyed ae law,” she adds. “I will not argue with that. However, it is a law that is made by human beings, specifically by men.”

The former pastor of St. Gertrude’s parish in Chicago believes in the ordination of women.

“It’s going to happen eventually,” says Father Bill Kenneally.

He’s not afraid of speaking out against church doctrine. He’s retired.

“I’m in a position where you can say whatever you want to say, because they can’t take anything away from you,” says.

Kenneally believes most active priests secretly agree with him.

Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George agrees with the Pope. He has been quoted as saying the Sacrament of Ordination of male priests  is a gift from Jesus.

Zeman says she believes in Jesus’ law. That, she says, is “written in our hearts.”

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