Missing the Boat

Reading Jim Wallis’ column (What I Learned by Marrying a Priest,” April 2014), I’m reminded of what the Roman Catholic Church is missing by refusing to ordain female priests.

Exhibit A is Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd, who was raised Catholic but is now senior minister at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Md. Still in her 20s, Ladd was earlier called to be minister of the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists in Manassas, Va. She won over the search committee, which was expecting to hire a middle-aged male. The Meadville Lombard Theological School, in Chicago, from which she received her divinity degree, described her as the best student they had seen in 20 years.

While in Manassas, Rev. Ladd made friends with a Catholic priest in a nearby city. “Oh, Nancy,” he would say. “If only the Vatican changed its rules, I would hire you as my assistant priest in a heartbeat!” “Sorry, Gerry,” Ladd replied, “but that ship has sailed.”

Steve Clapp
Jeffersonton, Virginia

                                              

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