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Mormons excommunicate founder of women’s group

Kate Kelly was accused of advocating positions that  oppose church teachings.

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Kate Kelly was accused of advocating positions that oppose church teachings.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon church on Monday excommunicated the prominent founder of a Mormon women’s group.

The group, Ordain Women, said church leaders in Virginia notified Kate Kelly of the decision. Kelly’s former leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a disciplinary hearing Sunday and had weighed the decision overnight.

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Kelly did not attend the hearing but held a vigil in Salt Lake City with about 200 supporters. As the leader of Ordain Women, Kelly is accused of apostasy, which is repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose church teachings.

Mormon officials have declined to discuss the case but say disciplinary hearings are held when members’ actions contradict church doctrine and lead others astray. Kerry sent a letter to officials at the hearing, along with about 1,000 letters from supporters.

Kelly, a Mormon since birth, said before the decision that she will always be Mormon regardless of the outcome.

‘‘I don’t feel like Mormonism is something that washes off,’’ she said. ‘‘That identity is not something that they can take from me.’’

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