According to bug report: #533354  there is a known bug with getting parse() and parseString() in minidom to work in Jython 2.1. I'm having this same issue and I need to resolve it for some stuff here at work.
One person commented in the report that he was able to get around the problem by:
"I've found a temporary work around by updating the existing included with jython-2.1 with that from

Not sure what other ramifications there are with this
change but preliminary testing shows that minidom's
parseString will now work."
My question is, do I just need to replace that file, or is there more to it? I tried replacing the version that came with Jython with the one from my Python 2.1/PyXML0.7.3 installation but I'm still getting the problem.
Anybody have any suggestions? I really need this working for a project.