A Lexington woman who incited controversy in the Roman Catholic Church is featured in Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, a documentary film about the movement of women seeking to become priests. The film will be shown at Lexington's Unitarian Universalist Church on Tuesday.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, whose ordination by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests in 2008 was a key event in the continuing controversy, will be joined by filmmaker Jules Hart for a question-and-answer session after the presentation.
Sevre-Duszynska, a peace activist and onetime Fayette County Public Schools teacher, was ordained at the Lexington Unitarian church in August 2008, despite a Vatican directive that women who were ordained and anyone participating in the ordination would be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
She said she continues to practice as a Catholic priest — despite the church directive — and for about a year has been performing eucharistic liturgy once a month with a group of people in Cincinnati. Attendance ranges from about 45 to more than 100, she said.
Never miss a local story.
The existence of such "communities" around the country that include female priests shows that many accept the ordination of women, Sevre- Duszynska said.
"People are ready for women priests," she said. "I think the people actually have been ready for 15 or 20 years, if not longer.
"We have more than 120 women who are ordained now or are in training, and we're getting more and more candidates."
A woman from Lexington, Donna Rogeux, will be ordained as a Catholic deacon next month in Washington, D.C., Sevre-Duszynska said.
Women who have been ordained see themselves as being part of a "renewed church that is a community of equals," she said.
"We are not interested in hierarchy, which could be one of the reasons why our brothers at the Vatican feel threatened," she said.
Those involved in ordination for women, however, can pay a price.
Roy Bourgeois, a priest in the Maryknoll order and a nationally known peace activist, was excommunicated for participating in Sevre-Duszynska's ordination.