Mormon Kate Kelly was excommunicated by her bishop in Virginia on Monday, the New York Times reported. Kelly, who once served as a Mormon missionary in Spain, upset the church hierarchy by founding a movement to advocate opening the male-only priesthood to women.
She quickly became the face of the feminist uprising in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon church is formally named, organizing women of all ages to stand outside of priesthood meetings, even though they knew they would not be allowed in.
“I am not an apostate, unless every single person who has questions to ask out loud is an apostate,” Kelly said in a telephone interview on Sunday, just before her disciplinary council met, according to the New York Times. “I am a faithful, active Mormon woman who has never spoken anything against the leaders of the church, and that’s not my definition of an apostate.”
While Mormon women are allowed to hold leadership roles in the Church, they are not allowed to hold the priesthood. Males become eligible for LDS priesthood at age 12.
Kelly, 33, received news she had been excommunicated through an email from Bishop Mark Harrison. He said she was barred “for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church,” part of the text read, according to an Ordain Women spokeswoman.
To be considered for readmission to the church, “You will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood,” the email to Ms. Kelly said. “You must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and taking actions that could lead others away from the Church.”
Kelly isn’t the only Mormon to be disciplined by the LDS authorities recently. More than a dozen Mormons over the past week have said they were asked to resign or threatened with excommunication because of comments they made about their faith on their blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
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