Rome's female priests
Prostrate before her God, dedicated in spirit and devoted in life, Maria Vittoria Longhitano has been ordained a Roman Catholic priest(-ess?).
And she was not the first.
Maria Vittoria Longhitano is a member of the breakaway Old Catholic church which severed links with the Vatican in the 19th century in protest at the adoption of the doctrine of papal infallibility which was promulgated by the First Vatican Council.
And there are many Roman Catholics who might consider that a perfectly valid reason for schism. And some of those might insist that they alone are 'proper Catholics' because they reject vast tranches (if not all) of the Second Vatican Council.
Yet, to traditionalists, the Old Catholics are not 'proper Catholics' because they ordain women.
Significantly, Old Catholics are in full communion with the Anglicans.
And that fact alone might give the traditionalists succour in their assertion that Old Catholics aren't really Roman Catholic at all.
But they are, you see: their only theological objection was to the doctrine of papal infallibility, which was promulgated before popes were declared to be preserved from even the possibility of error when they solemnly declare or promulgate to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals.
Maria Longhitano, who is married, told the congregation: "I have opened the way. Catholicism means universality, and without women it is mutilated." She said she was convinced the laity in Italy were "ready to welcome a female ministry" and that in her native Sicily people often asked her: "Why don't we have the joy of women priests?"
So when people deride the Church of England for ordaining women or admitting them to the episcopate, or ridicule it for its labyrinthine divisions and irreconcilable tensions, it is worth remembering that all churches are coalitions, even that which calls itself Catholic. One side might excomunicate the other and the other might justifiably respond in Coriolanian terms with 'I banish you', but ultimately they are all part of the Church of Jesus Christ, just squabbling like children over a packet of sweets.