Ordination of women is a "crime"?!

This is just in from the Vatican City. According to the Associated Press, yet again the Catholic Church claims that Jesus only had male apostles and that Protestants are the ones who have "changed" traditions by allowing women in the pulpit.

What about Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles? How easily she has been marginalized and forgotten!

Nevertheless, to make matters worse, the ordination of women is declared a crime by the Vatican. Women priests are criminals (heretics?) who are to be excommunicated from the church.

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican insisted Friday that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding females from the priesthood as it issued a new warning that women taking part in ordinations will be excommunicated.

The move dashed the hopes both of women seeking to be priests and of Catholics who see that as an option for a church struggling to recruit men.

A top Vatican official said the church acted after what it described as "so-called ordinations" held in various parts of the world.

Monsignor Angelo Amato of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Vatican wanted to provide bishops with a clear response on the issue.

The church has always banned the ordination of women by stating that the priesthood is reserved for males. The new decree is explicit in its reference to women.

"The church does not feel authorized to change the will of its founder Jesus Christ," Amato said in an interview prepared for Vatican Radio that was released to reporters. The reference is to Christ's having chosen only men as his Apostles.

Asked whether the Roman Catholic Church was going "against the tide" in respect to other Christian confessions, Amato said the church was in "good company" with Orthodox and ancient Eastern churches and that it was the Protestants who are breaking with tradition.

In March, the archbishop of St. Louis excommunicated three women — two Americans and a South African — for participating in a woman's ordination. They were part of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, which began in 2002.

The decree was published Thursday by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which in a headline called the ordination of women a "crime."

The congregation said it acted to "preserve the nature and validity of the sacrament" of ordination.