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Originally published Tuesday, July 26, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Unofficial ordination for 9 Catholic women in Canada

Nine Roman Catholic women were unofficially ordained yesterday as priests and deacons, undeterred by the threat of excommunication from...

The Associated Press

TORONTO — Nine Roman Catholic women were unofficially ordained yesterday as priests and deacons, undeterred by the threat of excommunication from their church.

The women — seven Americans, a Canadian and a German living in the United States — were ordained by Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger of Austria and Gisela Forster of Germany, who were unofficially declared bishops in 2003. The ordinations are not valid within the Catholic Church, and seven women who tried it in 2002 were excommunicated by the Vatican.

Four of yesterday's nine were ordained as priests and five as deacons in the hymn-filled ceremony on a tour boat near Ottawa.

Regina Nicolosi, a German living in Minnesota, was ordained a deacon. Married with children and grandchildren, she did not see a problem in being a woman and becoming a priest.

"I believe it's valid even if it's against the law of the Church, because it is an unjust law," she said. Nicolosi also is vice president of the Women's Ordination Conference, an organization founded in the U.S. in 1975.

The first ordination of Catholic women took place in the summer of 2002 in Austria, on the Danube River. Seven women were ordained, including Forster and Mayr-Lumetzberger.

All seven were excommunicated by the Vatican.

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