TIME Top 10 of Everything 2010: Women Priests in Spite of the Vatican

Top 10 Religion Stories

6. Women Priests, In Spite of the Vatican

By Howard Chua-EoanThursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Riccardo De Luca / AP

In July, the Vatican branded the ordination of women as priests a delictum gravius, or grave crime, the same label it has given pedophilia. That may have been in response to the small but increasing number of women who have been ordained priests by rebel Catholic congregations in the U.S. and other parts of the world. For example, Roman Catholic Womenpriests, a group founded eight years ago in Europe, has ordained women in more than 20 American states and Canada. The Pope, in an interview published in late November, remained adamant that the Church has no biblical authority to ordain women as priests because all of Jesus' disciples were men. He did allow, however, that Jesus' friendships with women were revolutionary for his time — and that the first witness to Christ's resurrection was a woman.