"THE MEMORY OF JESUS IS BOTH SACRED AND SUBVERSIVE"
Thursday, 29 August 2013
100 YEAR OLD NUN WANTS TO BE A PRIEST
Chicago nun Vivian Ivantic turns 100 today. She’s spent 80 years at the St. Scholastica Monastery and throughout that time, she’s held onto her dream of becoming a priest.
A Chicago nun is celebrating her 100th birthday today — but there’s something missing.
Ever since she was 10 years old, Sister Vivian Ivantic has wanted to become a Catholic priest.
Ivantic joined the Benedictines when she was 20 years old and since then, she’s been hoping for a change in the Catholic Church’s policy toward female ordination.
"We need women in church offices," Ivantic told The Chicago Tribune. "It won't come in my lifetime, but it will come."
Ivantic argues that women have held important roles in the Church for a long time, as teachers, nurses and social workers. In her own lifetime, she’s seen women gain footholds in politics and in the workplace. She thinks it is time for a change in the Church, as well.
“I think the American church is outstanding," Ivantic said. "But I'm waiting for women's ordination.”
She’s not alone.
Several Catholic organizations have been vocal about halting what they see as an injustice. The Women’s Ordination Conference and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) have advocated for a change in the Church’s policy.
But the Church has sought to nip these campaigns in the bud. The LCWR was recently reprimanded by the Vatican for its views. Roy Bourgeois, a popular Maryknoll priest, was expelled from the Church last November for supporting the idea of female priest.
During Ivantic’s lifetime, several Protestant denominations, such as the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches, have welcomed women into the priesthood.
But the Catholic Church’s official stance toward female ordination hasn’t changed for centuries. Catholic priests are considered part of a long lineage of holy people, one that started with Jesus Christ. Since Jesus chose only male apostles, only men are allowed to carry on the legacy.
The late Pope John Paul II confirmed this teaching during his time at the helm of the Catholic Church. Even the tradition-breaking Pope Francis, whom many see as a breath of fresh air, said that the topic of female ordination wasn’t open for discussion.
“The Church has spoken and says no ... that door is closed,” the pontiff said.
But Ivantic hasn’t stopped hoping for a change, despite 90 years of waiting.
“She's fighting, but she's not walking away,” said Karen Ivantic, her niece. “So what that says to me is, 'Don't abandon everything but don't stop fighting for the change.'"