Catholics demand female ordination during pope's visit


Activists gathered in Washington today to demand that women's ordination be reconsidered within the Catholic Church.

Protestors who demanded the ordination of women priests, staging a "lie-in" outside a Washington church where Pope Francis was attending mass, have been fined.

The demonstrators, organised by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, lay on the ground with banners protesting the fact that women are not able to be ordained.

They were still on the ground when the Pope arrived at the Cathedral of St Matthew after his meeting with President Obama at the White House.

Each protestor was fined $50 for blocking the road and forced to stay on the corner until the Pope left.

"He saw our signs," said Janice Sevre-Duszynska, one of the protestors. "He looked right at us."

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests believes that there is theological and biblical basis for the ordination of women. They currently ordain women, which technically results in excommunication from the Catholic Church.

Although the Pope is at the forefront of many justice issues, he has said "the door is closed" on the subject of women priests.

"He has not moved an inch," said Maria Eitz, who was ordained three years ago and traveled to San Francisco for the protest.

"He is a good man and he is a kind man and he stands up for the poor and that is wonderful, but the poor include women and this pope does not understand women. He has called women flowers and strawberries. We are much more than flowers and strawberries."

The Women Ordination Worldwide hosted a conference in the run up to Pope Francis' visit to the US discussing women's ordination and rights within the Catholic Church.