Toledo, OH February 8, 2013 –Ms. Beverly Bingle, a layperson of the Diocese of Toledo, has publicly stated that on February 9, 2013 she will attempt to receive ordination to the priesthood at an event to take place in Toledo. Also, Ms. Ann Klonowski, a laywoman of the Diocese of Cleveland, is to attempt to receive ordination to the diaconate on February 9. This scheduled attempted ordination, according to information circulated by Ms. Bingle, is sponsored by Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Having attempted ordination to the diaconate on September 13, 2012, Ms. Bingle has already incurred excommunication from the Catholic Church.
The following notification from the Diocese of Toledo is offered so that no confusion exists regarding such invalid and illicit actions:
By participating in an invalid and illicit attempted ordination, an individual incurs the sanctions provided in the Church’s Code of Canon Law and those detailed in the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (May 2010). Specifically, in accordance with the norms of law, one who attempts to receive Sacred Ordination incurs what is known as a latae sententiae (automatic) penalty of excommunication from the Catholic Church.
One who attempts to confer Sacred Ordination, as well as an individual who simulates the celebration of the Eucharist also incurs the sanctions provided in the Code of Canon Law. Specifically, in accordance with the norms of law, one who commits these delicts incurs a latae sententiae penalty of excommunication.
A person who is excommunicated is excluded from any share in the Eucharist or other acts of public worship, and from receiving any of the seven sacraments or sacramentals. They are likewise excluded from the exercise of any ecclesiastical office, ministry or function. The imposition of this severe penalty is deemed necessary in order to protect the nature and validity of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It is important to recognize, however, that excommunication is meant to be “medicinal,” that is, it is meant to make an offender realize the gravity of his or her actions and seek to repent of his or her sin in order to be restored to full communion with the Church.
The facts of Ms. Bingle’s invalid and illicit attempted ordination to the diaconate last autumn, have been forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, the dicastery which alone has competence in these matters.
The faithful also need to know that free and willful participation in these invalid and illicit actions implies separation from the Church. This is a very serious matter, since, in the words of the Code of Canon Law: “The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church” (c. 209 §1).
All the faithful of the diocese are urged to pray for the individuals named above that they will renounce what they have done and seek to be reconciled to full communion with the Church.