Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger (born 1956 in Linz, Austria) is a teacher and former Benedictine nun who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church when she and six others were allegedly, though not canonically or validly, ordained as priests by an Independent Catholic Bishop in 2002, called herself a Roman Catholic priest and refused to recant. She was ordained a bishop in 2003 along with Gisela Forster, although the identity of the supposedly Roman Catholic bishops who allegedly ordained them remains a secret. Her motivation is to promote the ordination of women within the Roman Catholic Church. This "ordination" was invalid, as was her "ordination" to the priesthood, because the Catholic Church does not and cannot ordain women.
She grew up in Linz with religious parents and attended a Roman Catholic school run by the Holy Cross Sisters. Though she and her parents did not always see eye-to-eye, she was very active in her local parish. When she was 14, she was allowed to serve unofficially (against liturgical regulations at the time, though now permitted) in her local parish as an altar server, though she was not allowed to wear the cotta.
After leaving school, she left to join the convent of the Benedictines of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Steinerkirchen and was given the religious name of "Marie Christin". Though she wanted to study theology, after her initial two years in the convent she was instead sent back to Linz to study to become a religion teacher. During her final year of study, she was working at a school for special needs children where she met a divorcee whom she fell in love with. After completing her studies, she left religious life without dispensation and married him in a non-Catholic ceremony. As such, her marriage is not recognized by the Catholic Church. Because she had abandoned the convent and married a divorced man, she was unable to find subsequent work with the Church.
In her professional life, she eventually got a job training kindergarten teachers and then as a teacher in a special needs school. Though she was in some ways outcast, she continued to be active in her local parish and with volunteer work. It was at this time that she began to perform liturgies and to volunteer as a priest at the local hospital and for those that wanted her services. Gradually, she became bolder and, although she was not ordained to any order, she began to celebrate mass with friends and perform other priestly functions.
On 29 June 2002, Mayr-Lumetzberger and six others were ordained priests by Independent Catholic Bishop Rómulo Antonio Braschi, a former Roman Catholic bishop from Argentina who left the Roman Catholic Church out of disagreement with the anti-liberation theology of the Vatican to join the Catholic Apostolic Charismatic Church of “Jesus the King”. In the media, the ordained women were called the Danube Seven because they were ordained on the Danube River near the town of Passau on the border between Germany and Austria. On 21 December 2002, after refusing to acknowledge the Vatican decree declaring these ordinations void, Christine and the others incurred excommunication. It is of note that she had already been acting as a priest before this ordination, an act which many even in the Independent Catholic communities find inappropriate.
In 2003, Mayr-Lumetzberger took the next step, despite her excommunication, and was ordained a bishop at a secret ceremony. It has not yet been revealed which bishop ordained her or even if the bishop is a Roman Catholic bishop and if there were any witnesses to such a consecration.
After being ordained a bishop, Mayr-Lumetzberger subsequently ordained several other women priests over the years, including an ordination of women from the United States and Canada on the St. Lawrence River in 2005. These ordinations are not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Many Independent Catholic jurisdictions would not consider their ordinations unique as many of the Independent Catholic jurisdictions have been ordaining Catholic Women Priests since at least the 1990s.
On Sunday, June 28, 2009, Mayr-Lumetzberger was refused communion by Bishop Ludwig Schwarz in the Parish of St. Peter in Linz, because of her excommunication. Mayr-Lumetzberger who was dressed as a bishop, was suggested by the Bishop Ludwig Schwarz not to come to receive communion, because he could not distribute it to her. Regardless of the bishop's suggestions she came and took the host from the ciborium herself.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|