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2 women ordained as LA's first Catholic priests

Two women stand before an altar during a ceremony to ordain them as Roman Catholic priests on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. The two are the first women priests in Los Angeles and were ordained under the Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA organization.

October 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two women were ordained as Roman Catholic priests in Los Angeles over the weekend, making a first for the city.

The two were ordained under the Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA organization on Saturday. The Vatican does not recognize the group, but the organization says it is valid because women are ordained by bishops who can trace their ordination back to the apostles of Jesus.

"I think what we're witnessing here is a whole new movement within the Catholic Church where women are being ordained and are balancing out the ministry equally with men, and we're flourishing," said Suzanne Thiel, the group's president.

One of the two newly ordained priests is Jennifer O'Malley, who lives in Long Beach with her partner of 18 years.

The Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement has been in existence since 2002 when nine women priests were ordained in Germany. Since then, 143 women worldwide have been ordained as priests.