The controversy over the breaking away of the schismatic parish, Spiritus Christi, is coming to a head Saturday with the ordination of Mary Rammerman at the Eastman Theatre.

Rammerman, a former member of the Roman Catholic community Corpus Christi, will be ordained a catholic priest by Bishop Peter Hickman.

Hickman is a member of the Old Catholic tradition, a branch of Catholicism that split from the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of papal infallibility in 1870.

The Roman Catholic Church strictly forbids the ordination of women and does not recognize ordinations made by the Old Catholic tradition.

The ordination will take place at 10 a.m. in the 3,094 seat Eastman Theatre. Exact details of rental agreements are confidential, but the hall is usually booked at least six months in advance.

“The University observes equal opportunity requirements, and does not discriminate in the provision of programs and services,” said Martial Bednar, director of media relations for Eastman

“Our Eastman Theatre rental decisions are made without regard to renters’ religious beliefs or affiliations.”

Associate Professor of Religion Anne Merideth believes that the decision to hold the rite at Eastman is not a statement by UR, but is one by Spiritus Christi. “Doing it in such a public place is deliberately provocative,” Merideth said.

Rammerman, in a press release, stated that this act will highlight the issue of women in the clergy.

“Although I know my ordination will not solve gender discriminations in the Catholic Church, I believe it is an important and necessary step towards placing our church on a solid and just foundation,” Rammerman said.

Meredith agrees that this event will fuel discussion. “The only way to ever make change in the church is through slow movement,” said Merideth.

The Rev. Curt Cadorette, associate professor of religion, also agreed that the event will have an effect. “I do think it is going to make the question more salient,” Cadorette said. “Rome’s attempt to simply stifle discussion is very unfortunate and ultimately futile.”

However, he also pointed out that it would have no affect on the position of the Roman Catholic Church. “I don’t anticipate any reaction from Rome. This is not a Roman Catholic issue,” he said.

“Mary Rammerman can be ordained a hundred times a day, but it isn’t going to work. According to Rome, women have this Teflon coating and the Holy Spirit can’t get through it,” Cadorette added.

Miller can be reached at

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