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Beliefnet News

What do you call a female Episcopal priest who converts to Roman Catholicism?

You’ve probably heard about the married Episcopal priests who converted to the Roman Catholic Church — and now are serving as non-celibate Catholic priests.

So, what happens when a female member of the Anglican clergy turns Catholic? What do you call her?

A church member.

That’s Una Kroll’s title.  After a lifetime of spiritual searching, which included 10 years as an Anglican priest, she shocked family and friends by giving up her ministry to become a Catholic. Recently she explained her move in the British magazine the Tablet.

She tells how in January 1997 she was ordained a priest in the Church of Wales by the Bishop of Monmouth. Several happy pastoral years followed, then “just before Advent 2008 I became a Roman Catholic, not on impulse but after at least five years of trying to discern God’s will…”


She writes that her parish priest exclaimed, “Why are you joining a Church whose Pope and Vatican leaders are resolutely opposed to women priests?”

She replied: “I’m sorry, but I have to.”

She admits she disliked aspects of the Catholic Church, such as interpretations about “the exercise of papal and magisterial authority that were apparently being used to suppress discussion of difficult issues in the Church.” After all, such concentration of power in the all-male hierarchy “is always dangerous when all opposition can be suppressed.”

“Nonetheless,” writes Francis Phillips in the Catholic Herald, “she is now in a Catholic parish” where she acknowledges “lay men and women do not have any role at all in making decisions and in a diocese and Church where episcopal and priestly potestas holds sway. I am there, knowing that I cannot exercise a liturgical diaconal or priestly ministry, nor can I share in decision-making.”


Why would she do it? After all, she was a vocal leader in the campaign to allow women to enter the Anglican priesthood. She “choose to leave a satisfying leadership role in one church for the back pews in another: only the action of grace can bring about such a move,” writes Phillips.

Kroll explains it simply: “God gave me a direct push that I could not resist.”

“I was called by God to move to a church where I could not exercise dominion of any sort, but where I could still learn what servant priesthood actually meant when put into practice,” she writes in Tablet.

And, she writes, she is at peace.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rick

    Best wishes Una and welcome home!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ifeoma

    You are most welcome home! Even as a lay faithful, our GOOD GOD will use you in the capacity HE has willed, wait and see.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Luis

    Firstly, welcome home to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by the One and Only Son of the Most High God, Jesus the Christ. Secondly, those who believe erroneously that the Catholic Church is against women should be helped to understand the role of Mary, Mother of God, in salvation history and are probably unaware of the countless women who have, in their own way, helped the Church understand God’s purpose for women. As St Teresa the Little Flower states in her writings, “I am called to love.” Again, welcome home to His Church.

  • Steven Beingana

    Kroll is most welcome home. When God calls, we follow, and that was in her case. She is exemplary in willingness to follow God’s call without reservation. Many can learn from her,and pray to God for the grace.

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