13 March 2008

Archbishop Burke Declares the Excommunication of Fake Priestesses McGrath, Hudson, and Fresen

Archbishop Burke has declared the excommunications of would-be priestesses Rose Hudson and Elsie McGrath, and also of pretend-bishop Patricia Fresen.

This decree, linked here, declares as follows:

1) that McGrath, Hudson and Fresen have incurred the censure of excommunication latae sententiae for the crime of schism (cann. 1331, 1364 s. 1);

2) that upon McGrath, Hudson and Fresen is imposed the ferendae sententiae censure of interdict for the crime of pertinacious rejection of a truth of the faith after admonition by the Ordinary (can. 1371, para. 1); and,

3) that upon Fresen is imposed the ferendae sententiae censure of excommunication for the crime of simulation of the sacrament of Holy Orders (can. 1379).

A reminder about terms:

latae sententiae means that the censure is incurred automatically;

ferendae sententiae means that the censure is imposed;

interdict is the denial of the sacraments of the Church; and,

excommunication, as stated in the Catholic encyclopedia--

Excommunication (Latin ex, out of, and communio or communicatio, communion -- exclusion from the communion), the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it supposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offence. It is also a medicinal rather than a vindictive penalty, being intended, not so much to punish the culprit, as to correct him and bring him back to the path of righteousness. It necessarily, therefore, contemplates the future, either to prevent the recurrence of certain culpable acts that have grievous external consequences, or, more especially, to induce the delinquent to satisfy the obligations incurred by his offence. Its object and its effect are loss of communion, i.e. of the spiritual benefits shared by all the members of Christian society; hence, it can affect only those who by baptism have been admitted to that society.


The decree warns the faithful that Catholics are forbidden to receive any putative sacraments from them. It states clearly that these women are not to be allowed communion from any ordinary or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. They are not to receive absolution without public retraction of their crimes and repentance, and that they are not to be allowed any other sacrament, including Christian burial.

The decree and a Q&A sheet from the Archdiocese are posted below. I will have more extensive analysis by tomorrow here. In the meantime, though pressed for time, I wanted to make sure this post was available for readers.

God bless Archbishop Burke, and pray that these women repent and seek reconciliation with the Church of Christ.


Statement from Archbishop Burke today at the Archdiocesan website:

Statement Regarding Those Involved in Attempted Ordinations of November 11, 2007

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has issued the following statement regarding Patricia Fresen, Rose Hudson, and Elsie McGrath: As Archbishop of St. Louis, it is my responsibility to safeguard the unity of the Catholic Church and protect the souls of the faithful.

I have communicated with Ms. Fresen, Ms. Hudson, and Ms. McGrath, and informed them that if they participated in an attempted female ordination, they would be excommunicating themselves from the Catholic Church. In the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith. Because they participated in the attempted ordination, Church law requires me to publicly declare the excommunication.

The situation is sad for the whole Church. It is cause of great concern for me as archbishop. Please join me in praying that both will be reconciled with the Church and that the great harm which has been caused to the Church, with the help of God's grace, will be healed.


Anonymous said...

Good for the Archbishop. I'm glad that someone in the U.S. hierarchy has.... how shall I put this.... "testicular fortitude"

Anonymous said...

Praise God for Archbishop Burke! We need more shepherds with the courage to speak the truth, regardless of public opinion and/or social climate.

JJ said...

God Bless Archbishop Burke
My prayers are with him.

StBasil said...

God bless Archbishop Burke for making the truth of the Faith clear and for caring enough for these women's souls to take action. As many people forget, excommunication is medicinal - in hopes that the excommunicated would repent and return to the Truth (as the Catholic Encyclopedia denotes). Thanks for posting!

Pax Christi tecum.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Your Grace!

I pray you continue to lead us all in the direction of heaven.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope and pray that the rest of the American bishops begin to serve their flock as faithfully as Archbishop Burke. God Bless him.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for faithful and wise shepherds to lead our Church. God bless Archbishop Burke and grant that the hearts and minds of these women will be healed and that they will see and publically renounce their errors. We pray for more shepherds like Archbishop Burke!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Archbishop Burke. I am so very proud and Blessed to have you as our Archbishop here in the St. Louis Area. In all our prayers May God Bless You ALWAYS

George Kadlec said...

Many plaudits to Archbishop Burke. It is so refreshing to see a true defender of the faith.

Below are some of my favorite G.K. Chesterton quotes:

“I want a Church that moves the world, not one that moves with it.”

“I often find myself in hot water but that way I stay clean.”

“Only a live fish can swim against the current, the dead go with it.”

"Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural"

"Be careful not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out."

Anonymous said...

i had the privilege of marching alongside Archbishop Burke in DC
this past March for Life...
no words spoken, none necessary...this is a Holy
man of God and is not ashamed to proclaim truth both in and out of season...God bless you, Your Grace,
thank you and lead us all to a closer walk with The Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady....
we support and love you !

Anonymous said...

Christ is Among Us!

As St. Basil pointed out, in the Early church excommunication was generally not permanent, but only until the excommunicated responded with proper repentance and could then be reconciled with the community of the faithful. In other words, the excommunicated can change the situation.

I pray these three women choose to return to the Church and that they find their true calling as servants of God.

He is and He shall be!

Mary of Egypt

Anonymous said...

Finally, a bishop who's not just all talk. Bishop Burke is the kind of bishop that I wish we had in every diocese. I will be praying for him and, yes, for these misguided and heretical women, too. St. Louis is so very lucky to have this saintly man as their spiritual leader. I'm jealous!!!

marycowie2 said...

OK I know well enough that the Vatican and most Christian Churches in todays world are anti women Clergy. But such was not always the case in history!
I would like to mention the priesthood ordination of St Brigid of Ireland by Saint Mel, and her later consecration as a Bishop, also by Saint Mel. Someday the followers of Christ Our Lord will have to acknowledge that Jesus Christ has no objection to Women as ordained Clergy, and neither should you. The Vatican is a male institution and loves its male power!

thetimman said...

mary, with all due respect, your claims are 100% false-- I hope you are merely deceived and not knowingly trying to sell that line of hooey.

Women were not ordained by Christ. They have never been ordained by the Church. It is impossible for this to validly occur, and this truth is infallible. You as a Catholic are obliged to accept this teaching as definitive. You understand, right?

Anonymous said...

This is a problem with laity acting as 'extraordinary ministers of communion' because they will NEED to know, on sight, who all of these people are. They will have to keep up ALWAYS with any such actions of the bishop in their diocese. I think it is asking too much of regular people to do this.

Anonymous said...

Will continue to pray for these misguided women. Take the path that all the women saints took. OBEDIENCE. That's what you will be asked when your time comes - not whether the church was wrong - but were you obedient? That's what counts.

Anonymous said...


heavenquest said...

God bless Archbishop Burke! It is Generals like him which encourage us (the Church Militant) to keep fighting the spritual battle. Of course the true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ will always be under attack from the outside as well as within (eg. see Mary's erroneous claims), but in the end the Truth will prevail. God bless our faithful leaders and may the Holy Spirit strengthen those who are failing in leading by example and words. May the Holy Spirit also soften these ladies hearts to accept His truths revealed by the visible body which He instituted...the Roman Catholic Church. Amen

Anonymous said...

God Bless Archbishop Burke for standing up for the truth and not watering it down to satisfy people. I can hear Jesus saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servant". We should all keep him in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for Archbishop Burke. He and all our church leaders are in our prayers.

C Reyna said...

No comment, but a question about your blog. how do you get people's comments to appear on the front page, below the post. your help would be appreciative. frc

Anonymous said...

By accident I came across this website and am glad that one Archbishop had the courage to stand up for the truth regardless of public opinion. There were many things done in the church in the past that were wrong and led many astray, including clergy. Today, as then, God sends a few outstanding people to bring our Church back on the right track. Perhaps we could pray for Archbishop Mahoney of California to find his way back to the light.

marycowie2 said...

Hi again re my comment of St. Brigid the Mary of the Gael. She was lawfully ordained a Priest and lawfully consecrated a Bishop both by the Great St. Mel of Erin.

Anonymous said...

I just now, this morning, 3-15-08, read this story and I am going to pray for this wonderful, obedient servant of God, Bishop Burke. I am praying for him to be empowered and Blessed by God to continue to fight the good fight, as so FEW are left to us here that are willing to do so. God BLESS this man of God for loving Christ enough to sacrifice himself in this way..........let us all pray for him. He is probably going to suffer deeply for following Christ as we all will, who truly LOVE Christ this much :) God Bless those who dare to be obedient and who really love Our Lord.
PS........ George Kadlec your Quotes were so perfect!!!!! Amen!

thetimman said...

Mary, repeating the same thing without providing any additional corroboration isn't exactly the way to prove your case.

I really can't see why you won't listen to the infallible teaching of the Church Christ Himself founded and guaranteed to triumph over the gates of hell. The Church to which he entrusted the Holy Ghost.

But, of course, the truth is still the truth even if you don't believe it. You should read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, or a good and reliable Church history.

I will pray for you-- in the meantime, be careful about which ancient faith of Ireland you stand for-- Ireland was pagan before it was Christian. And I think you may suspect that these so-called womenpriests' agenda is actually pagan. Don't you care?

Anonymous said...

Regarding what Mary said about St Bridget. I looked it up and St. Patrick mistakenly used the ordination for priest for her final vows as a nun but this is no way made her a priest. It went on to say she established convents all over Ireland.

I also applaud Archbishop Burke for standing up for what is right. If you are not obedient to the Church you should not be a Catholic.

KaraLynn said...

Sorry Mary, you are merely repeating the lies spread by heretical women in the "womenpriest" movement. I checked the internet and they are the only ones making this claim. They are not a credible source because they have been EXCOMMUNICATED.

KaraLynn said...

I love that term..."testicular fortitude..."

Anonymous said...

There has never been an ordained women priest or bishop and there never will be. Priesthood of the ordained is Fatherhood and a women can never be a father in the same way a man can never be a mother. The sexuality of the human person is a magnificent design of God's love for the human family and it's time that we stop acting like silly spoiled children and begin to love God and each other according to his will not ours. Oh Yes, that means we need humility and lots of it. Thank you Archbishop Burke for being a good father. Dan Edwards

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Testicular Fortitude :), a great term. anon with St. Patrick is correct. The ordinatin formula was used by accident. (Only shows the humanity of the Saints)

Anonymous said...


I am a Roman Catholic from India , living and working in Dubai UAE. When I look at the state of the catholic church today esp in the US I bow my head and thank God for sheperds like Arcghbishop Burke and Bruskewitz , their "Pastoral style" is bulit by true adherence and obedience to God and church teaching. Thank you your Grace. God Bless you.

Mary (who commented above), has not been misguided , she has chosen to be misguided. These priestly wanna be women !!!

nunlover said...

Be very cautious when honoring Ireland's ancient faith because it was completely pagan till St. Patrick came along.

ghettopreacher1 said...

our these "womeans" getting any therapy. i am afraid they are going to start playing doctor, next. Thank God, the Bishop kicked them out, they aren,t even catholic anyway, cause they are protesting the truth. they are freaky and need help.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Archbishop Burke! Here in the Lincoln Diocese we've enjoyed the pastoral leadership of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz for years and have supported the ex-communications he rendered over ten years ago to members of Call To Action, etc., and have watched him be attacked for it endlessly since then. I'll begin praying for the good archbishop in earnest as he will be coming under similar attacks in the coming days and beyond.

Anonymous said...


St. Brigid was a NUN. A nun. She led an abbey. The LEGEND you speak of is simply that. Canon law forbids the ordination of women. It always has. Even IF Saint Mel 'accidently' ordained her, it would have been invalid as it was not lawful to do so.

It is time and past time that American Bishops stop playing with 'liberation theology', 'American Catholicism', and the other foolishness that far too many of our clergy seem to be espousing. I would much rather be a part of a much smaller Roman Catholic Church that remains TRUE to our traditions, practices, and the Scripture then to be in a large 'affirming' religion that has lost it's moral compass.

I pray that the visit of the Holy Father will reinvigorate the laity and wake up some of the Religious.

May God bless you Bishop Burke!

Theodore of Canterbury said...

May God Thrice-Holy deign to bless and protect those Patriarchs, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and Priests who have defended Dominus Iesus, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Ecclesi Dei adflicta, and Summum Pontificum. May they
direct the Deacons to act accordingly. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Petee in Portland, OR:
We need a lot more like this good Archbishop! After the travesty of the militantly pro-choice/pro-abortion rights politicians (Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, et al) receiving communion publicly during
the pope's recent visit, what we expect from our bishops is far less than just nothing in fighting against the dark side within the church. By their silence and lack of sanction against such abuses AGAINST Church unity, obedience to the Magisterium and respect for the Holy Eucharist, they lend support to the forces of evil chipping away at what's left of the Church in our country and our Western World today. Keep praying... and ask that the victory promised at Fatima will at last be fully realized!