I received this from a reader by e-mail. I had to do a double-take.
The story is on the site of the Intelligencer of Edwarsville, IL in the Diocese of Springfield.
Published: Monday, April 5, 2010 10:53 AM CDT
Photo by Rachael Wilbur
On Saturday evening members of St. Boniface Catholic Church and St. Andrews Episcopal Church gathered together as one celebrating the ritual “Blessing of the Fire and Lighting of the Candle.” Both Father Jeffrey Goeckner (foreground) and Reverend Virginia Bennett (background) led the services in front of St. Boniface School as part of the Easter Vigil. The event marked the first time the neighboring churches combined their individual ceremonies in to one.
Okay folks… I don’t know what sort of ceremony that was… but if it was the beginning of the Easter Vigil service and Mass, then this is appalling. If it was not the beginning of the Vigil Mass, then it still looks very bad.
The person who sent the note added this:
A joint Easter Vigil celebrated by St. Boniface Catholic Church and St. Andrew Episcopal Church. It is bad enough that the pastor of the latter is a (purported) priestess, Virginia Bennett, but worse when you consider that she is a flaming liberal in a "moderate" Episcopalian diocese. The Episcopalian Diocese of Springfield used to be part of the conservative Anglo-Catholic "biretta belt" in the Episcopal Church, but its recently retired bishop, Peter Beckwith (b. 1939, Bp. 1991-2010) introduced priestesses into his diocese, the first one of its bishops to do so. However, he is conservative in other respects, and a couple of years ago a controversy between Bishop Beckwith and Priestess Bennett made it into the news. The bishop was due to make a pastoral visit to St. Andrews, at which he was to confirm several persons. Among them was a "partnered lesbian," whom Priestess Bennett had prepared for confirmation, telling her that her "partnered status" was no obstacle — but when she told the bishop (who seems to have been alerted to it by one or more parishioners) he refused to confirm the said lesbian, saying that her "lifestyle" was "inappropriate."
Well, that’s par for the course in the Episcopal Church today, even in "conservative" dioceses, but it is sad and strange that she should be honored in this way by a Catholic priest and thus be allowed to deceive Catholics into thinking that she is a real priest(ess).