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Annual Vigil Outside Phila. Cathedral Demands Ordination of Women as Catholic Priests

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A group of Catholic women stood witness today outside the home of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, calling once again for the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic Church.

Catholic women with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Women's Ordination Conference stood across the street from the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, holding signs demanding that the church ordain women priests.

The group's president, Regina Bannan, explains it's an annual gathering.

"We've been here, we estimate, about 35 years doing this.  Things haven't changed," she noted.

Does she think their wish will ever come to fruition?

"Well, we feel both hopeful and discouraged by Pope Francis," Bannan said.  "He's been wonderful in his witness for mercy for the poor, and we think he has a blind spot when it comes to women."

Bannan says ordaining women would create justice in the Roman Catholic Church.

"More of the active people in the church are women.  Why should their gifts not be recognized and acknowledged?" she said.

And Bannan says although women are still not allowed to be priests in the Catholic Church, she senses the tide is starting to change.

"When we started, 27 percent of Catholics (in the US) favored women's ordination. Now it is always two-thirds or more. Among young people it is 87 percent," she notes.

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