Catholic Phoenix


Newsflash: Phoenix-Area Woman Not Ordained

In a small, ecumenical ceremony over the weekend, a local woman became a minister of a religious sect most people haven’t heard of. Why, you might ask, did think this was worth writing about?

From the article:

Elaine Groppenbacher received holy orders from Bishop Peter Hickman of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, one of several liberal Catholic offshoots in the Valley. The ceremony took place at Guardian Angels Catholic Community, which meets in Tempe.

Groppenbacher is the fourth woman to be ordained as a Catholic priest in the Valley.

Right.   A woman participates in a protestant ordination rite of some sort, and because she says she’s a Catholic priest, the paper has a duty to report it.

If Hanson and Atticus were to crown me emperor of Austria, would that get picked up as well?  No? What if I said I was the EMPRESS of Austria?

Look out, Zita—Denys wants your crown.

The headline link said:


Those of you who appreciate the nuance a little punctuation can bring to the language might think this was the more appropriate headline:


(In other news, Doogie Howser and his male lover are “expecting” “their” first child.)

Now you may have heard advocates of women’s ordination talk about how theirs is not a desire for power and prestige, the very things they despise about the all-male Catholic hierarchy. You have perhaps heard them speak of their desire to serve a Church in dire need with their own special brand of Mary-like selflessness. Don’t believe a word of it:

"People who know me say it is about time…God's love is actively engaged with humanity," Groppenbacher said. "My ordination is a public acknowledgement that this is first and foremost for me."

(A hat-tip to Atticus for informing me of the preceding.)

6 comments | Add one of your own.

    1. Denys

      They did get a comment from a diocesan spokesman, but he did not come across with Denys-like frankness.

      He did not say the following:

      “This woman is not a Catholic priest. Period. She may be an ordained minister of some other religious community, but why are you asking the Diocese of Phoenix about her? Sure, she says she’s a Catholic priest, but there’s a guy who hangs out in the yard near the Basilica who says he’s the pope. Would you like me to comment on him as well?”


  1. Leila

    Thank you for this! When I saw the headline at azcentral, I think my eyes almost rolled out of my head. I hope that you will now forward this link to the various news outlets who reported this “priestly” “Catholic” “ordination” in such a distorted fashion. Lord help us!