U.S. News


Mormon Women's Group Leader Excommunicated By All-Male Panel

Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the Mormon church. She's the co-founder of Ordain Women, a group seeking women's ordination.
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jun 24, 2014

Kate Kelly is the co-founder of a Mormon women's group — a group with practices that may have helped get her excommunicated from the church.

KELLY: "I'm being charged with apostasy by the Mormon church. ... I'm an adult, I could walk away, I could lead a very fulfilling life, but this is bigger than me." (Via MSNBC)

Ordain Women is a group that advocates gender inequality. It also seeks the ability for women in the church to be ordained as Mormon priests, something that is not currently allowed.

Kelly told NBC she sobbed after reading an email sent to her saying she was excommunicated. The church says she will only be considered back if she abandons her cause for women's ordination.

Kelly says, "​'I guess I'm a delusional optimist because to the end I thought they would do the right thing.'" 

KELLY: "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." (Via WCAV)

ABC reports the decision to excommunicate her came from three male church officials in Virginia. 

About two months ago, Kelly led hundreds of women on a march asking to be admitted to a meeting for members of the priesthood. ABC says priesthood is is reserved for male members of the church, starting as young as 12.

KELLY: "It's excruciatingly painful."

JOHN DEHLIN: "You can't say we're a 21st century church and be excommunicating people like it's the 1800s."

But not everyone agrees with Kelly. The editor-and-chief of the Latter-day Saint oriented website Meridian Magazine wrote: 

"You come from what I believe is a faulty assumption about the Kingdom of God ... Your agitation for ordination assumes that either the prophets will respond to pressure or that the Lord will. At the very least, it assumes that you have a better idea and are in a superior position to understand what will empower women.​"

The church did issue a statement saying members cannot change church teachings to fit their personal preferences.