BOSTON, Oct. 31 (AP) - Roman Catholic church officials disciplined a priest and a popular nun because the nun helped perform two baptisms while the priest watched.

Sister Jeannette Normandin, a member of the Sisters of Saint Anne, and the Rev. George Winchester were stripped of their duties at Boston's Jesuit Urban Center because of the Oct. 22 rite, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Both Normandin and Winchester also will be required to move out of the center, where they both live.

Normandin is well known in the city for her work with women in prison, homeless women and women with AIDS, and is popular in the Jesuit Center congregation, the Globe said.

In addition to the two baptisms, church officials objected to Normandin's wearing an alb and a stole, which are supposed to be worn by priests, while helping to celebrate a wedding this summer.

Jesuit officials said Normandin's actions appeared to be a political statement protesting the role of women in church life.

``I don't think it's possible that this was an accident - certainly professionals here know the rules,'' said the Rev. Thomas J. Carroll, director of the center.

Normandin told the Globe her action was innocent. ``I wasn't trying to make a statement. We were baptizing the two babies and I blessed a baby with some chrism (oil). I didn't know it was a no-no,'' she said.

Winchester would not comment.

Normandin was fired from her position on the pastoral staff at the center, which she had held for 11 years. Winchester was not on staff at the center but had regularly helped celebrate Mass there, church officials said.

The Jesuit Urban Center, part of the Jesuit Province of New England, said it consulted with the Archdiocese of Boston on its response but wasn't ordered to take any specific action.
more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad