The Women Who Want to Be Priests | The New Yorker The Women Who Want to Be Priests They feel drawn by God to the calling—and won’t let the Vatican stop them. By Margaret Talbot June 21, 2021 Soline Humbert was a seventeen-year-old studying history and politics at Trinity College in Dublin when she first felt a calling to enter the priesthood. She did not welcome it. A cradle Catholic who was born and raised in France, Humbert knew that in the Roman Catholic Church only men could be priests—it was an indisputable rule anchored in official teachings and traditions. This was in the early nineteen-seventies, and in other religions, and in society at large, women’s roles were being recast under the influence of second-wave feminism. Most of the major Protestant denominations had already either recognized the ordination of women or were moving toward it. Reform Judaism had just ordained its first female rabbi. But the Catholic Church, so ingrained with symbols, held fast to the notion that a priest must bear a physical resemblance to Christ in order to stand in persona Christi. Vatican authorities often noted that Jesus chose only men as his twelve apostles—the model for the priesthood and for the foundation of his church. Moreover, his omission of the Virgin Mary from those ranks meant that women could be revered without being ordained. Other Christian traditions found countervailing inspiration in the knowledge that Christ picked Mary Magdalene to witness and proclaim the Resurrection—and in Catholic theology she was sometimes known as the apostle of the apostles. But the Vatican did not see that story, or stories of Christ’s openness to women, as justification for allowing them into the priesthood. Humbert told me that the sudden conviction that came over her was profoundly dislocating. It felt like “a delusion rooted in pride, or in a rejection of my female nature and of God.” She was a capable, grounded person: she had weathered the death of her beloved mother from cancer, when she was twelve, and she had moved from France to Ireland on her own. Now she wondered if she was losing her mind. She saw a psychiatrist, then confided in a chaplain, who laughed at the idea. Finally, she began to pray: “Do not call me—your Church doesn’t want me.” Humbert tried to put her sense of vocation behind her. She graduated from college, earned an M.B.A. and a master’s degree in theology, and got married and had two sons. She worked as a management consultant and volunteered at her local diocese, as a marriage counsellor. Then, one day in 1990, the yearning came back, like a dormant volcano that resumes rumbling. She was happy with her husband, Colm Holmes, a businessman who had a warm, twinkly manner and easygoing, egalitarian convictions—he’d grown up on stories of his great-aunt, a suffragist. Their boys, eight and six, were flourishing. There was nothing outwardly, or even inwardly, wrong with her life, except for her enormous longing to serve God by preaching the Gospel, hearing confessions, and blessing the bread and wine of the Eucharist. She went to tell the archbishop of Dublin, thinking that, given the dwindling supply of priests, he might be glad to know that God was calling women. Humbert recalls, “He told me, ‘Why do you want to be a priest? You could be a saint.’ And I said, ‘Well, I could be a priest and a saint. Men can be both.’ ” Continued at link above, if anyone has any problem reading the full article, I can email you it. It's actually an interesting story, not beating a drum about it. I was just passing it on, it's from June of this year.