MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Although the Vatican does not recognize female priests, a group of women have still found a way to become ordained priests — with the hope that one day women will be welcomed into the ministry.

In the Roman Catholic Church, faith and tradition meet every Sunday. However, at Compassion of Christ Catholic Community in Minneapolis there is a new approach to the weekly teachings. Women serve as priests, a practice not allowed within the Catholic Church.

“I had to work through a lot of fear before I was ready to say, I was ready to be ordained,” said Rev. Monique Venne, a co-pastor at Compassion of Christ.

Venne is among 90 women around the world who have gone against canon law to follow a calling. Her step into the catholic ministry took place last year.

“I was floating on a cloud,” said Venne.”I have always felt myself happiest when I was near the altar.”

Bishop Regina Nicolosi, who performed Venne’s ordination ceremony, was among the first female bishops in North America.

In 2002, a group of women were ordained by valid Catholic Bishops in secret, in Europe. They believe that allowed them to ordain other women.

“I’m ordained in what we call apostolic succession,” said Nicolosi. “I believe my ordination is valid.”

Their movement has come at a cost, however. The church has threatened ex-communication, meaning they can’t receive sacrament or be buried in a Catholic cemetery.

“It’s harsh to be attacked and to be called names, but I do not believe I’m a scandal in this church,” said Nicolosi.

Every Sunday, the women follow faith to the altar, whether it’s in homes or churches of other denominations.

“We believe women are called the same way men are called,” said Nicolosi.

The Catholic Archdiocese says only baptized men may be ordained to the priesthood. There is the option for the women to be welcomed back to the church, but they would have to recant and apologize for their mistake.

The women, however, hope one day their prayers will be answered and the Vatican will recognize them.

“I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime, but I’m doing it for the future of women,” said Venne.

Comments (68)
  1. See BS says:

    In the USA you are free to start your own religious places, gays can start their own religious places, feminists can start their own places of worship.

    Instead of spending so much time and energy harassing the Catholic Church — why not just do your own thing instead?

    That’s what you’re suppose to do in the USA — this story is about as dumb as if they reported Jewish people pretending it’s ok to eat pork.

  2. Gabriel Richards says:

    THe Catholic CHurch needs ordained women now more then ever. I thank GOd for calling you to the ordained priesthood.

  3. Gawrence says:

    Jake, show us where in the Bible, Jesus states women cannot ministry. Its mentioned more than once they did. Any group of men who block the word of Jesus, weather it be from women or men, have an agenda. Jesus comments to protect children. Pedophiles do not fit into that category. It is also suspicious that the few misogynistic statements in the Bible may have appeared after Tynsdale, who was dedicated to translating the book to English, was murdered by the Catholic church. Some of us feel they are responsible for the few misogynistic comments in the New Testament.

    1. See BS says:

      Public schools hold the record on sex abuse in the State of Minnesota.

    2. Bob says:

      Ok then show us where women are ALLOWED into the ministry Gawrence. Now to you girls out there do not blow me up please is it good to go against 2000+ yrs of Catholic and Bible rules? Plus all of you are better than us at school you can only go so leave it at that or you will only go so far before you fall and when you fall you WILL FALL HARD!

      1. cyn507 says:

        It isn’t God’s law that women can’t be ordained. It’s church law that says that. People need to know the difference between what God says you can/can’t do and what the chuch says you can/can’t do. Many times the are completely seperate things. The church makes laws to fit it’s agenda, often having nothing to do w/what’s taught in the bible. People don’t know there’s a difference.

      2. Coriolana Sinta says:

        sick troll

      3. Lynn says:

        Hey Bob, Where in the bible did God explicitly say that you’re allowed to use the Internet?

    3. Bill6672 says:

      from 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35, the entire passage reads: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

      1. Kelly says:

        Bill6672 – This is a common piece of scripture that people use to state Women should not be in ministry. However, I ask that you do some digging into this pericope because you will find that this quote has NOTHING to do with women as ministers or necessarily about “speaking” in church. It has EVERYTHING to do with Paul stopping dissent and other issues that were coming up. Again, this has NOTHING to do with women in ministerial roles.

    4. Bishop says:

      ok so then why did Jesus let an Woman teach/peach of Jesus having risen frfom the grave if it was for woman not to preach/teach the word and why is it then when the two Marys seen the risen Jesus was sent by the risen Jesus to peach and teach to the 12 that he hd truely risen.humm maybe we should just take that fact out of the bible God forbid us letting folk know the truth

      1. tailgator says:

        The Bible came out of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. If you claim the bible as your authority then you have to recognize the authority from whence it came.


  4. insignificant says:

    roman catholism is a mix of ancient Babylonian sun-worship with other pagan elements tossed in from the northern European tribes,eh?…Hissops “the two Babylons” is a great start to understanding the roots…my new years is at the vernal equinox in spring where it should be,and christmas,which our family avoids like a plague, 3 days after the winter solstice, has nothing to do with the Yahudim messiah,and everything to do with Sol Invictus of the ancient sun-worshipping religions…so let ’em have woman priests…wuts the differance?

    1. tailgator says:

      That is just out & out B.S. What an un educated statement.

  5. hank says:

    A group of registered voters have elected me President of the United States. This is a calling I have felt for a long time. True, the federal hierarchy does not yet recognize my election, but I have found a way to serve my country as best I can.

    1. Kim says:

      thanks for hearing the calling Hank!

  6. Simon says:

    spoken like a true christian,

    really?? Is that what God would say?? I bet he would slap you Jake. I doubt your a catholic they aren’t as nasty as you are.

    1. rockysfan says:

      Agree Simon, Jake is not acting like a Christian but he is acting like a rabid catholic. I’m demanding my soul back from those “priests” and they are refusing to give it. I think I know who will win and it won’t be the church. They keep pulling this garbage and we’ll just see what the media thinks about it.

  7. Me says:

    I have been a religious education leader in my Catholic church for over 16 years. I find it interesting to look around the room and see the leaders with me are 95% women/mothers of the children we are leading in our faith. Rarely do I see men in that ministry role. Yet, we are not allowed to lead from the altar? We can only lead on the sidelines? Really? This is 2011 and I see who the real leaders are in my church.

    1. insignificant says:

      16 years religious ed teacher and you still havent figured out your teaching the practices of the ancient sun-worshippers the hebrew god yah tells Israel to stay away from,eh?

  8. Walter says:

    They are not priests.

    I could take a basketball and walk out onto an NBA court but that wouldn’t make me a NBA player.

    1. MS says:

      Your analogy is flawed. It’s more fitting to liken women excluded from being priest to blacks being excluded from white basketball for years. Once blacks were allowed to play, they seem to have picked up the game quite well and are doing just fine, wouldn’t you agree?

      1. tailgator says:

        Why are you so bitter towards men? Obviously you’re not a Christian ( a follower of Christ). If Christ wanted to ordain women He would have, instead He chose them to do just as important a calling , to raise and teach children in their faith.


        1. MS says:

          Bitter towards men? I don’t understand how you arrive at that conclusion? The logic would be equally erroneous to ask why you’re so bitter towards women. Incidentally, in case you’re unaware, the archaeological record indicates priests were married in the early church prior to 900 AD. Evidently, that rule wasn’t etched in stone. What do you know, things change! Interestingly, archaeological records also show women presided as ministers in the early church. Go figure! Relative to following Christ, based on a few of your rather un-Christ like comments on this blog, you’re certainly not in a position to judge the Christian credentials of others. Always wise to examine one’s self before accusing others.

  9. Polly says:

    @ Walter you could look down and see junk but it doesn’t make you a man.

  10. Bern says:

    They didn’t join the priesthood, they pretended to.

    Their “ordination” was not valid. It simply didn’t take place. And is thereefore, obviously, not recognised by the Vatican, and cannot be.

    It is not simply a “rule” that women can’t be ordained. Women CAN’T be ordained. It’s not possible.

    1. SA says:

      and men CAN’T give birth, cause they are weak

      1. Bob says:

        True we cant give birth but we are the ones that make the sperm so you girls can have the baby you so desperately need. As well as i doubt any of you women try to fix the problem you have when things do not work normally you’d leave it for your oh so loving husbands to take care of. As well as the dirty jobs such as changing the oil or re wiring the circuit board So just sit down you are a disgrace

  11. SO SAD says:

    But aren’t priests gay since they molests boys?????? Or is that something totally different because they are priest and above the “rules” of the catholic church?

    1. Bob says:

      dude or dudette only a couple of priests were gay not all of them. Get into your head the fact not all of them were gay. Im so sick of you people slamming all of the priests just because a few of them were gay.

      1. Coriolana Sinta says:

        Shut up sick troll

    2. apacheman says:

      Same thing can be said of the new people who came to North America starting from the 15th century. They also molested the natives at the time, to say the least. Why do modern Americans keep supporting the descendants of those abusers ?

  12. Leo says:

    Honestly, the Catholic church has a horrifying record of behavior, all in the name of their absolute, God-given authority and authenticity.

    PLEASE. I grew up in the Catholic church. I used to honestly believe they were the “one holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.” How stupid I was. One of “God’s men,” the priest in my parish, sexually abused one of my friends. This boy finally committed suicide because of the abuse he suffered at the hands of this priest. And even better, the priests all the way up to the Vatican itself are covering up this sort of behavior, which is RAMPANT in the Catholic Church. And, of course, let’s never mind the way the minds of children are warped in Catholic schools… another experience I got to enjoy growing up. Yeah, because senile nuns with whacky world views are so good for children’s education.

    And other than the sexual abuses, the Catholic Church has a long-running record of converting people at swordpoint, Spanish Inquisition? CATHOLIC. Classic Catholic.

    The Vatican? Ha. The Vatican is a joke. Sputtering old men, sitting around in the absolute height of wealth and luxury, surrounded by enough gold, jewels, marble, and riches that the sale of the Vatican could feed every starving child in Africa. What was that parable about a rich man, a camel, and the eye of a needle? The Catholic church has NO authority on morality anymore. You’re worried about women leading a mass? You think THAT will cause the moral decay of society?

    Man, I am so glad I got out of the Catholic church. Anyone who honestly believes that, if God exists, his moral authority on Earth is the Catholic church… is the worst sort of human being possible. A willful fool.

    1. tailgator says:


      You’re blaming the Church for the sins of individual men. You don’t know your history. The Spanish Inquisition began after 300 yrs of Islam was driven out. The secularists wanted to weed out all heretics.
      The “accused” had a choice and most chose the Catholic Church to be the institution to determine guilt or not because the Church was more fair then the secularists.

      If you actually knew your faith and the history of Christ’s Church you would still be Catholic .

  13. virginia says:

    Humility allows a person to be holy and a true Christian. Mother Teresa is a good example. She was pious yet did not seek to be a priest. Pride prevents one from being holy. An example is this group of women who think calling themselves priests will make them holy. It’s self evident that pride gets you nowhere.

    1. cyn507 says:

      Maybe it’s time the priests learn a little humility. they could 1- respect the law of the land and hand child predators over to authorities. 2- learn that can’t make “church” laws to suit their own agenda. They should follow god’s law, not the church’s law. There’s a huge difference. also, they aren’t any better then you, me or anyone else on the planet, including jews, hindi’s, muslims & atheists. God loves us all the same- like it or not. hahahahahahahaha

  14. Josephsmithy says:

    One can always start her own church and make up their own rules with no restriction. Why pretend to be a church that you’re not, when you can be your own church ? Pretending to be a member of a church that condemns you just makes you look like a liar, a wannabe, or a charlatan. It’s better to start your own church, so you come out looking faithful to your church, and therefore truthful.

  15. Marcy Eaglecloud says:

    I agree with you 100%, there is no place for these women as Priest and I support the Vatican in excluding them from excercising any rights as a priest.

  16. tailgator says:

    This is the kind of garbage that causes scandal on the Church. Women can never become priests in the Catholic Church, period. Jesus never ordained women, He chose men for that function. That does not diminish the role of women, they serve God in other ways. Look at the Blessed Mother and all the other wonderful women Saint’s in history. We are all called by God to serve in different way’s.

    Saying these women are “ordained” priests is as ridiculous as when they said Clinton was ” the first black president”

  17. Mary Lou Desjardins says:

    This is one of the reasons I will no longer follow the lies of the RC religion. The closest follower to Jesus was Mary Magdalen. She was the apostle that a patriarchal culture did not recognize. The Bible is not the words of God. It is a historical and cultural account by men. Oh Yah men had many wives and oh yah by the way Mary Magdalen was not the prostitute. She was the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family. She was educated and she funded Christ and the apostles. The Mary Magdalen books that she wrote of the many conversations that she had with Christ were omitted from the Bible. She was the first person that Christ appeared to after his death.

  18. GM says:

    Yeah, Catholic Charities was started to hide the fact that nuns were getting pregnant by their priests. So CC was created to have thos babies adopted.Many nuns left when they discovered that all they were there for was tosevice the priests. For those not of that like, there was always a “pretty altar boy to be had.
    The “problem” could be sovled though really easy. If women decided not have sons. Then where would you be ?

    1. tailgator says:

      Are you on crack? Where did you get your facts from, the pipe?

  19. Tom says:

    As a born-again believer for 18 years now, and a person who reads his Bible daily, Scripture tells us in 1 Timothy 3:2 that a bishop (Pastor) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. There are many other verses in the Bibe that strictly state that a man is to be a Pastor, Deacon or Bishop. This isn’t meant to say that ladies cannot serve in leadership positions in church, like Deborah did in the Old Testament. God is the same yesterday today and forever, as well as His word. God doesn’t change with the times, as men and women do, looking to change God’s word to fit there own desires. There are more people in this world today who are religious, thinking they know God, but follow man-made rules; hence; woman wanting to serve as Pastors. I will not judge them since it it not my job, but God knows their hearts and will judge them accordingly. One thing you cannot do is argue truth in God’s word.

    1. Lynn says:

      If God didn’t change with the times, the New Testament would be as violent and inconsistent as the Old. It isn’t. God obviously learns from her mistakes.

      1. tailgator says:

        Why should God “change with the times”? He is eternal. He doesn’t make mistakes, God is perfect; He created everything. We do His will not vice versa. Do you honestly think you’re more intelligent than God?

  20. LeoP says:

    LP- The Catholic Church is an institution with its own tradition and rules, even his own government since the Vatican operates like a country. Why do people insist in changing its traditions and rules? If your not willing to follow an organization (being it a church a religion or wathever the case)rules then you have no business in being a member of said organization.

  21. Coriolana Sinta says:

    insignificant indeed

  22. tailgator says:

    I would like to know who the “Bishop” that ordained this woman is. How conveinient that he isn’t named.

  23. bishop says:

    Ok folk let me put the record st8. in the bible there are many storys were wemen preached /teached the word ofGod dont for get about the two Marys at the grave when the risen Jesus came to them and told them to preach the word to the 12 that he had truely risen.humm even look at today women that are the heads of the households teaching and preaching Gods word to thier kids. HummI would be very carfuel when one strands up and tells us who God wants to preach and teach his word.And fas as the ladys in this story if they were ordained by Valid Catholic bishop werther if in the Old Catholic church or the Roman catholic church then they are Vlid

    1. tailgator says:

      Bishop, learn to spell and you’ll be better understood. With genuine Christian charity let me set the record straight. There is, nor ever was, an “Old” and “New” Catholic Church. There is only ONE Catholic Church that Jesus Christ established 2000 yrs ago and that is the Roman Catholic Church.

      I don’t say this to be arrogant or superior to anyone else. I was away for over 25 yrs and dug into which church is the one Jesus established. If you know your scripture and history there is not even an argument about this fact. I choose to serve Him in the one and only Church He established, not one of the over 40,000 watered down denominations of the RCC.

      Many Christians belong to these denominations because they weren’t taught the truth ( knowingly or un-knowingly) by others.

      Even if a validly ordained RC Bishop were to “ordain” a woman, it would be illicit and invalid. Christians either serve Christ or not. If you truly want to serve Christ then you need to pray for the Holy Spirit to open up your mind and heart to know Truth.

      If I want to know what the Church (Jesus) teaches then I go to the source, Rome. If you really want to know about this issue then here is a solid, valid explanation:


  24. 4bagger says:

    OK this is easy, so let me spell it out real quick:

    1. Jesus could have chosen women to be his Apostles, but he didn’t. — and don’t bother with a reply telling me he couldn’t because the norms or customs of the time wouldn’t allow him to do it — Jesus broke all sorts of social norms throughout the Bible: he hung out with tax collectors, thieves, prostitutes… tapping a woman to be an apostle would have been no big deal for the God-Man who broke social rules every day.

    2. During certain parts of the Mass, the priest acts “in persona Christi,” or in the person of Christ… Christ was a man, thus it would be inaccurate and sacrilegious to have a woman act in persona Christi.

    3. Christ is referenced in the Bible as the bridegroom and the Church as his bride… again, at the moment the priest is acting “in persona Christi” he is the bridegroom of the church… a woman can not be a bridegroom — by definition, it is impossible.

    The Church can not change this; they have no authority to do so. Christ established it

  25. 4bagger says:

    OK this is easy, so let me spell it out real quick:

    1. Jesus could have chosen women to be his Apostles, but he didn’t. — and don’t bother with a reply telling me he couldn’t because the norms or customs of the time wouldn’t allow him to do it — Jesus broke all sorts of social norms throughout the Bible: he hung out with tax collectors, thieves, prostitutes… tapping a woman to be an apostle would have been no big deal for the God-Man who broke social rules every day.

    2. During certain parts of the Mass, the priest acts “in persona Christi,” or in the person of Christ… Christ was a man, thus it would be inaccurate and sacrilegious to have a woman act in persona Christi.

    3. Christ is referenced in the Bible as the bridegroom and the Church as his bride… again, at the moment the priest is acting “in persona Christi” he is the bridegroom of the church… a woman can not be a bridegroom — by definition, it is impossible.

    The Church can not change this; they have no authority to do so. Christ established it

    1. tailgator says:

      Very well said, no sense arguing with Truth (Jesus).

  26. Charles says:

    To those who oppose ordination of women to the Roman Catholic priesthood, I would recommend a perusal of Dorothy Irvin’s thorough investigation of early church practices. They will be surprised to find the names not only of women priests but Roman Catholic bishops as well. And let’s not forget Mary Magdalene, the apostle to the apostles.These ordinations are in apostolic succession. Illicit ordinations, yes; but invalid, no.

    1. Patricia says:

      There were no priestesses or female bishops as you claim. I am pretty sure you and I have seen the same “evidence.” In the past, it was common for the wife of a bishop, priest or deacon to receive a feminine title like “episcopa.” This does not mean that the woman was a bishop, but that she was the wife of one.

  27. Russ Havir says:

    After viewing the video, my reaction to the report is that the major theme of the Cahtolicism is social justice. This was the major theme of Christ’s teachings. The paternalistic and authoritarian emphasis of today is contrary to his teachings. The simple truth is that Christ if he were here today would welcome women as equal spiritual followers. The Church is not the Vatican or just the traditionalist, but all the people in the Church. I see more Catholics becoming alienated from the formal part of the Church.

    1. tailgator says:

      Spiritual followers yes, priest’s no. If Catholics feel alienated from the “formal part of the church” and leaving they are alienating themselves from God

      1. RH says:

        They are priests because the ordinations are valid because bishops (male) who started the ordination of women have kept the succession from Christ. The women priests are as Catholic as those who want to close the door to the Holy Spirit and God and rely on man made institutional bias.

  28. tailgator says:


    Obviously you are not Catholic. It is impossible for a woman to be validly ordained in the Catholic Church. Period. No exceptions. Get It?


    As I said in a previous comment, who is the alleged Catholic bishop, he was never named, which say’s everything. He doesn’t exist and neither do women priests. Don’t try to impose your desires upon Christ or His Church.

    1. RH says:

      My friend you are incorrect. The names of the maie Bishops will be released on their deaths. I will pray for you,

      1. tailgator says:

        Just as I suspected, you don’t have a clue. They don’t exist anywhere other than in the wishes of those who think there is any chance of women becoming Catholic priests.

        These Bishops are as ethereal as your logic.