Mormon Church Excommunicates Activist Who Pushed for Ordination of Women Priests

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Kate Kelly is a Mormon women's rights activist. She founded the group Ordain Women, arguing women deserve a larger role in the Mormon church, including ordination as priests. She has led peaceful protests for her cause and runs an online forum for Ordain Women, where she blogs about her faith.

Earlier this month, the Mormon Church sent Kelly a letter, accusing her of apostasy and taking issue with her online presence. They also had a similar issue with John Dehlin, who runs an online group for Mormons questioning their religion.  

On Monday, Kelly learned that she has been excommunicated by the Church. The decision came from three Mormon officials in Oakton, Virginia, who held a hearing on the matter on Sunday. Before the decision was made, Kelly sent the officials a letter pleading her case and asking not to be excommunicated.  She included photographs of her upbringing in the Mormon church and an explanation of her devotion to Mormonism, as well as more than 1,000 other letters from supporters. 

However, her letter stated that was refusing to stop her activism, and this is what ultimately got her removed from the Church. "I will not stop speaking out publicly on the issue of gender inequality in the church," she wrote in the letter, "I cannot repent of telling the truth, speaking what is in my heart and asking questions that burn in my soul."

Recommended Reading

Mormon Church spokesperson Ally Isom issued this statement, "In the Church, we want everyone to feel welcome, safe and valued, and of course, there is room to ask questions. But how we ask is just as important as what we ask. We should not try to dictate to God what is right for His Church."

According to the Bishops who ruled against her, she can be considered for re-baptism at some point in the future, but that would require her to give up her personal teachings and she "must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and taking actions that could lead others away from the Church." It seems unlikely that she would comply with that request now.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.