Delegates to the biennial conference of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints voted 2,265 to 323 to reject attempts to rescind the ordination of women.
The delegates backed the position of the church's leadership that the resolutions to oust women from the priesthood were out of order.
Since the priesthood was opened to women at the last world conference in 1984, more than 200 women have been ordained worldwide.
The 235,000-member church, based in Independence, Mo., is the largest Latter Day Saints church other than the 3 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, which does not admit women to the priesthood.
The faculty of the United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary adopted a statement supporting the Rev. Charles E. Curran, the Catholic University theologian who has been directed by the Vatican to retract some of his views on birth control and other areas of sexual ethics, or lose his teaching post.
The Wesley faculty members, by a vote of 18 to 2, with one abstention, said they felt "compelled to register our profound concern that the principles of academic freedom in our institutions of higher learning be upheld, that our respected colleague not be singled out unfairly for disciplinary action, that he be allowed to continue his effective ministry of teaching in his present position . . . . "
The United Methodist teachers said they did not wish "to interfere in the affairs of another church or university," but said the Vatican sanctions against Curran "would be detrimental not only to Father Curran and to the Catholic Church but also to our cherished ecumenical relationship."
Both Wesley and CU's theology department participate in the Washington Theological Consortium, an ecumenical educational confederation.
A pastoral letter on women, which the National Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to produce, is now being termed a "pastoral response" to the concerns expressed by women in a series of listening sessions across the country.
An NCCB statement quotes Sister Mariella Frye, a staff member of the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Women in Society and the Church, as saying the change in nomenclature was made because, "many women objected to writing a pastoral on women. It made women the problem."
Bishop Joseph L. Imesch of Joliet, Ill., said the change in terminology was not significant. "We're writing a pastoral letter in response to women's concerns," he said in a telephone interview.
Imesch said the committee aims to have the first draft ready by 1988. Five women consultants are assisting the six-bishop committee in preparing the document.
A Vatican official has vindicated Pittsburgh Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua's directive to priests ordering that women be excluded from Holy Week foot-washing rites.
Bevilacqua, pointing out that there were no women among the 12 apostles whose feet Christ washed at last supper, angered feminists when he said women must be barred from liturgical reenactments of that event. The directive reversed the long-time practice of admitting women to the rite.
Feminists, male and female, objected and some staged a hand-washing rite in protest. But Cardinal Augustin Mayer, head of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship, defended Bevilacqua's action when asked about it at during a press conference.
Bevilacqua has indicated he will ask the U.S. bishops' liturgy committee to rule on the question.