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Tuesday, June 24 2014, 09:33 AM MDT
Ordain Women founder resilient despite excommunication news
(KUTV) A defiant Kate Kelly says she will continue to advocate for female ordination in the men only priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This coming after she received word Monday, by email, from an all-male disciplinary council, that she had been excommunicated.

"I am still very much in a state of shock," said Kelly, who spoke to us from her parents' home in Provo, Utah. "I feel as though I'm talking about a dead person, but that person is me," says Kelly, who was tried for apostasy by a council of three men, in her old ward in Virginia. Kelly did not attend the disciplinary hearing.

"I didn't think it would come to this, until that last second when I read that line in the email that had the word 'excommunication.' I thought and hoped that they (church leaders) would do the right thing," stated Kelly. 

Kelly is the founding member of Ordain Women, a group that advocates for the ordination of woman in the LDS church. Men are the only individuals who are allowed to hold the LDS priesthood.

In an email from Bishop Mark M. Harrison, of the Vienna Ward in the Oakton Virginia Stake, Kelly was told: "... Our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church. This means that you may not wear temple garments or contributes tithes and offerings."

The email goes on to outline reasons why the disciplinary action was taken. Harrison says, "The difficulty, Sister Kelly, is not that you say you have questions or even that you believe that women should receive the priesthood. The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others. You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them and proselyte others to them while remaining in full fellowship in the church."

Kelly has been told she may ask for readmission into the church after one year if she stops pushing for female ordination. Kelly does not seem inclined to ask for the opportunity, saying "the only path forward for me is one of authenticity and integrity, and if the stipulation for me to rejoin the church is to recant what I believe and feel, I am not going to do that."

Kelly will consider rejoining the church only if there is gender equality. Kelly said, "I would be willing to go back to the church if gender parity is achieved, and if it becomes a more open and inclusive institution. Someday women will be ordained and that day will be a great, great reunion."

Kelly says she will move to Kenya with her husband this summer while he works on his dissertation. Kelly says she will appeal the church's decision.

By: Chris Jones

Follow Chris Jones on Twitter: @jonesnews

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)

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