Ruth Kolpack, the pastoral associate of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Beloit, WI was fired recently by Robert Morlino, the bishop of Madison. There were allegations that she discussed the possibility of women's ordination and giving communion to non-Catholics. She denies that this was ever done in her role as a lay minister, but that she may privately hold views that dissent from Church teaching. Basically, she never publicly advocated for these positions.
The crux of the matter is that she was ultimately fired for refusing to denounce her master's thesis, which argued for inclusive language in the liturgy. Because of all the attention around this incident, Morlino will be meeting with her parishioners in April, where she has worked for 26 years.
Fr. Andrew Nelson, a Milwaukee priests and the former rector of St. Francis Seminary, where she graduated, found the situation very unfortunate because he knows that Kolpack is an extraordinary individual. He even went on record with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying, "This might be a sign of a certain antagonism toward lay women in ministry in the church, and I feel so bad about that."
In a certain sense, I think that is a sign that if Morlino were to come to Milwaukee as the new archbishop, the priests here will not be silent like the priests in Madison. Another odd issue here is that Morlino fired the woman and not the priest of the parish.
A Faithful Catholic