ATLANTA - A former nun is taking a big leap of faith, preparing to become the first female Catholic priest in Georgia.
“I've had a calling and I've known since I've been in the seventh grade,” Diane Dougherty told Channel 2’s Sophia Choi.
She'll be ordained this Sunday at Atlanta’s First Metropolitan Community Church by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
No Catholic church will have her, as it goes against the religion. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said ordaining women “brings division and fractures unity in the church.”
“The Catholic Church has consistently taught that the church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women since among his twelve apostles, Jesus Christ did not include any women in spite of his open association and friendship with women throughout his ministry,” he said in a statement to Choi.
But Dougherty is sticking to her guns.
“This is what people think, ‘If the pope says no, God will do what the pope says. And I’ve believed it my whole life, but I'll tell you, I've never been happier,” she said.
Two years ago, Channel 2 followed Dougherty to Florida when she was excommunicated from the church.
“It is extremely hurtful,” she said.
She plans to hold church in her own home.
“We cannot do this to the next generation of Catholic girls,” she said.