Female priest ordained in Italy by rebel Catholics.
A 35-year-old Sicilian became the first Catholic woman to be ordained in Italy on Saturday.
Maria Vittoria Longhitano is a member of the breakaway Old Catholic church. But she was made a priest at the Anglican church of All Saints in Rome ‑ an act some in the Vatican are likely to see as provocative, not least because the organist at the service was dismissed by the Catholic hierarchy after deciding to change sex.
The Old Catholic church broke with the Vatican in the 19th century in protest at the adoption of the doctrine of papal infallibility. It is in full communion with the Anglicans.
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?"
The first Italian woman to become a priest was Teodora Tosatti, who was ordained in 2006, but the service was held outside Italy, in Bonn, Germany.