A woman from the Capital Region is now a self-proclaimed Roman Catholic Priest. Mary Theresa Streck was ordinated on Sunday. YNN's Maria Valvanis reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "It's a very joyful day for me," said Mary Theresa Streck.
Hundreds of people filled the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany to watch as Mary Theresa Streck became the first Capital Region Roman-Catholic woman to be ordained.
Streck said, "It's a pathway that I've been on for a very long time and I'm so excited to be now an ordained woman priest."
"When I was growing up in the fifties girls couldn't even be alter girls, much less become a priest," said Linda Burtis, a Delmar resident.
Burtis said she wasn't sure if she would ever see a Roman-Catholic woman ordained in her lifetime.
"Today was history, today was seeing the Catholic Church the way I've wanted to see it since I was a child," she said.
However, the Catholic Church doesn't neccessarily agree. Vatican law forbids woman priests, and threatens anyone who disobeys that law with excommunication.
"It is not a penalty that we fear because the prophets and saints have always had to cross the line of hierarchy or disaproval so we too feel that we must be prophetic woman of the gospel of Jesus Christ and live as decipels and equals," said Bishop Mary Meehan.
Bishop Mary Meehan, who presided over the ordination, said more than 160 woman world-wide call themselves Roman-Catholic Priests. As the movement grows larger, they are calling on Pope Francis to make an official change.
"Our message to him is you need to embrace woman as your sisters and equals and honor their gifts as priests, it is time," said Meehan.
Streck added, "I don't consider myself excommunicated, because this is my church. The large crowd that was here, the people of God affirm my role as priest within this community."
Streck's first meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. on October 20 at the Unitarian Society. She said everyone is welcome to attend.