Several years ago, I saw an item in the Eden Prairie paper about you--and wanted to say hello. Then I happened upon the piece in today's Metro section, which seemed to me good.
I am a non-believer--an atheist, in fact--though I attend church at St. Patrick's in Edina, the parish in which I grew up. I enjoy some aspects of attending church and participating in parish life, though I make clear to anyone who asks, I emphatically don't accept any of the Church's magical claims. I try to be nice to people. I enjoy the music, and while I generally find the sermons unpersuasive, they can stimulate thought.
Occasionally I encounter Catholics of a strident, orthodox perspective who are unhappy with my presence 'in' the church. It's fun to encounter such people, to communicate to them that their anger is without basis: the church doesn't prohibit well-behaved non-believers from attending Mass, provided the non-believer does not take communion; the angry conservative Catholic generally catches his breath and notices that he's having difficulty articulating any rationale for his anger.
I don't often encounter open questioning, at the church. I've sensed some unapproving reaction, when people become aware that I don't genuflect, cross myself or recite any of the rote statements--nor do I ever applaud. (Currently I'm reading the [Hitch-suggested] Parliamentary Socialism while the others recite the lord's prayer.) One reason I enjoy attending church is to bear witness that 'many pleasant people do not accept the catholic faith'. My silent presence within the church is perceived as a jarring thing--people notice it; it makes them wrestle with several ideas they'd like to banish from consciousness, i.e. 'Some people have heard our message, and find it repellent and without evidentiary basis.'
My participation in the catholic church is an interesting contrast to yours. I reject the church's teachings in numerous instances: It makes many false assertions and stupid demands--and so thinking people should question it, in the interest of everyone's breaking the chains of unjustified repression.
I have no dislike for religious people, and view your own position as far more interesting and courageous than most of the catholic sheep I encounter. Were we to go head-to-head on religion--I'd still be interested to learn your reasoning, as to why you apparently accept such a great portion of Cardinal Ratzinger's magical opinion.
That said, I am guessing you receive far more vilification, from dogmatic catholics, than do I--and I have nothing but contempt for any person who gives you difficulty for your decision to be a womanpriest. Unlike the people I see in church, you have taken action which has entailed some ostracism and personal cost. I completely admire that--and wanted to express that to you [non-religiously]: