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.



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