Pope Francis confirms he has a blind spot regarding women priests

For Immediate Release:

Kate McElwee: (Italy) +39 393 692 2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org
Pat Brown: (UK) +44 7950048628
pat@patbrown-at.co.uk
Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 69 20    alicja.baranowska@wp.pl
Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com
 
Pope Francis is reported (1 Nov 2016) on a flight from Sweden as saying that the ban on priestly ordination for women will continue forever. Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) sees this as confirmation that Pope Francis has a blind spot as regards women. He prefers to place women high on a pedestal. Yet is was Mary the Mother of Christ who was the first to say: “This is my body, this is my blood.”
 
The oppression and poverty of women and girls around the world is reinforced when women and men are not seen as equally imaging God and this inequality in leadership, governance and ministry is reflected in our Church. It is long past due for the Church to rid itself of the sin of sexism and to welcome women as equal partners in all realms of ministry and leadership.
 
The community of faith recognises that women are called. Time for the church to do likewise.
 

Women’s Ordination Advocates celebrated Feast Day of Mary Magdalene in Krakow

Miriam Duignan: (UK): +44 7970 926910 miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com

Kate McElwee: (Italy) +39 393 692 2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Pat Brown: (UK)  pat@patbrown-at.co.uk

For Immediate Release:

Krakow, Poland: Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) celebrated their 20th Anniversary on the newly created liturgical Feast Day  of St. Mary Magdalene outside the Bishop’s House in Krakow where Pope John Paul II lived for 15 years.

With an official permit from the city and assigned police protection, WOW advocates wore purple stoles marked with “Ordain Women” and held posters of an image of Mary Magdalene preaching to the Apostles. Our signs, written in Polish, read: “Priestly Ordination for Women,” & “Mary Magdalene, Apostle and Priest.”

The international delegation from WOW requested a meeting with Cardinal Dziwisz and hand delivered a follow up letter to his office this afternoon. We are still waiting for a response, no meeting was granted so far.

Outside his former home, members of WOW appealed for a rejection of Pope John Paul II’s 1994 ban on the ordination of women and celebrated Mary Magdalene by calling for women’s full equality in the Church, including as ordained ministers.

As Pope Francis prepares for his flight to Poland for World Youth Day, WOW stood in witness to call on the Church to restore the priesthood for women who have the talent and vocation to serve their communities as St. Mary Magdalene did.

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July 22nd, 2016 - Mary Magdalene (in GERMAN)

Zu Ehren von Maria aus Magdala, „Apostelin der Apostel“, feiern Vertreterinnen und Delegierte von Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) das neu aufgewertete Fest der Heiligen am 22. Juli 2016 in Krakau

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW)* feiert in diesem Jahr das liturgische Fest der Maria aus Magdala, die nun offiziell als „Apostelin der Apostel“ anerkannt ist und erstmalig in diesem Jahr in den Allgemeinen Römischen Kalender einbezogen wurde.

 Aus diesem Anlass versammeln sich Vertreterinnen und Mitglieder von WOW im Stadtzentrum von Krakau bei dem Bischofshaus, wo Papst Johannes Paul II.  15 Jahre als Kardinal gelebt hat.

Sie werden das von diesem Papst i. J. 1994 erlassene definitive Verbot der Frauenordination öffentlich zurückweisen und in Erinnerung an Maria von Magdala für volle Gleichberechtigung der Frauen einschließlich ihrer Ordination eintreten. 

Maria aus Magdalas offizielle Anerkennung als von Jesus auserwählter Apostelin bekräftigt die rechtmäßige Fähigkeit von Frauen, „in persona Christi“ zu handeln und stellt das oft verleugnete Vermächtnis dieser Heiligen wieder her, die bedeutsam für unseren Glauben ist und gleichberechtigt neben ihren Apostel-Kollegen steht.

Ansprüche einer männlichen klerikalen Überlegenheit, die auf einer körperlichen Ähnlichkeit mit Jesus basieren, haben niemals überzeugen können, noch dienten sie der Kirche.

WOW fordert die Kirche auf, sich selbst von der Sünde des Sexismus zu befreien und sich für uneingeschränkte Gleichberechtigung einzusetzen, indem sie alle Ämter und Dienste für katholische Frauen öffnet, die die Fähigkeit und Berufung haben, ihren Gemeinden zu dienen, wie es auch die heilige Maria aus Magdala tat.

WOW feiert ebenfalls ihr 20jähriges Jubiläum im Juli und hält ihr jährliches Treffen in Krakau vor dem Besuch von Papst Franziskus am „Welt-Jugend-Tag“.

In den vergangenen 20 Jahren hat WOW alle noch vorhandenen Argumente gegen die Frauenordination entkräftet. Die offizielle Anerkennung der Bedeutung von Maria aus Magdala macht die Aufrechterhaltung einer ausschließlich männlichen Kirchenleitung unmöglich, – sie stärkt die Geschlechtergerechtigkeit.

Wir appellieren an Papst Franziskus: Er möge anerkennen, dass eine „Nachfolge Jesu von Gleichgestellten“ (discipleship of equals) und eine erneuerte Kirche nur dann möglich wird, wenn Frauen als gleichberechtigt akzeptiert werden und sie auf der gleichen Stufe mit den Männern (am kirchlichen Leben) teilnehmen können. 

*Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) wurde im Jahr 1996 auf der Ersten Europäischen Frauensynode in Österreich gegründet. Die Organisation ist ein ökumenisches Netzwerk von nationalen und internationalen Gruppen. Hauptaufgabe dieses Netzwerkes ist zur Zeit die Öffnung aller Weiheämter für römisch-katholische Frauen.

(Übersetzung aus dem Englischen: I. Raming)

 

Pope Francis will create a commission to study the possibility of women deacons - Women’s Ordination Worldwide responds

Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) (0)7970 926910 miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com

Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Erin Saiz Hanna: USA (+1) 401-588-0457 ehanna@womensordination.org

Pat Brown: UK (+44)  (0)7950 048628 pat@patbrown-at.co.uk

Therese Koturbash: (Canada) +1 205-648-5720 t.m.koturbash@gmail.com

 

For Immediate Release - 12th May 2016

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) welcomes today’s news as a step forward in the right direction and we offer our support to Pope Francis in the setting up of the commission on women deacons. However, the restoration of an ordained women’s diaconate would not alone be a satisfactory progression to including women in all realms of Church leadership, governance, and sacramental ministry. – only ordination to the priesthood and episcopacy could begin to accomplish this.

WOW is grateful to the women religious who asked Pope Francis some challenging questions about the absence of women in our church. We are also grateful to Pope Francis for his honest answer - that there should be openness to considering women deacons but that he doesn’t yet know the full history of women’s leadership in the early Church.

We lament the fact that such a significant part of the story of our faith is not taught in seminaries, and that the contributions and callings of all women leaders in the church, including deacons, continue to be obscured and denied.

We call on all Catholics to model the bravery shown by the women religious in their meeting with Pope Francis and to keep asking why women are excluded from decision-making processes and leadership.

We are disappointed that Pope Francis told the nuns women cannot preach at Mass, because the priest serves “in persona Christi” and therefore only he can do this. We ask, how it can be that Mary Magdalene was chosen by Jesus to be the first preacher of the Gospel news, yet the pope still believes that maleness is the essential qualification to act in memory of Jesus. WOW calls for our Church to model unconditional equality by opening up ministries to all Catholics.

Francis referred to consecrated women as ‘icons of Mary’ whereas the priest is an icon of the apostles and disciples thus reinforcing the impossibility of women priests. We urge Pope Francis, at this time of renewed interest in the history of women in the Church, to take note of the fact that women were also named as disciples and apostles.

WOW will host a ‘Jubilee for Women Priests’ in Rome on June 1st to call for dialogue about full, not partial, equality:  womensordinationworldwide.org/a-jubilee-for-women-priests/

WOW responds to Amoris Laetitia

For Immediate Release: 8 April 2016

Contact:  

  • Pat Brown: UK: (+44) (0)7950 048628 pat@patbrown-at.co.uk

  • Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) (0)7970 926910 miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com

  • Kate McElwee: USA (+1) 607 725 1364 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

  • Therese Koturbash: Canada (+1) 204 648 5720 t.m.koturbash@gmail.com

Pope Francis’ exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, released today at the Vatican offers seeds of hope for a Church moving away from general and strict doctrinal rules to one of grace and growth. This challenging, and at-times poetic document exhibits highs and lows, both championing pastoral discernment, the primacy of conscience, and even “the women’s movement,” but is riddled with an incomplete and painful understanding of feminism, reproductive health, gender, and sexual identity.

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) is encouraged by the document’s strong condemnation of violence and discrimination against women and the role of social movements to work for equality: “we must … see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of the dignity and rights of women.” Yet while Pope Francis also writes that he “values feminism,” he fails to include the modern sexism upheld by the Church’s hierarchy as part of the “patriarchal cultures that considered women inferior,” which has “burdened history.”

WOW also upholds the pope’s emphasis on the consciences of the faithful, “[who are] capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations.”  Primacy of one’s conscience allows individuals and families to “respond as best they can to the Gospel,” which WOW believes must include discernment of all vocations to family and loving relationships, reproductive health, and ordained ministry.  

Nevertheless, disappointment is interspersed throughout Amoris Laetitia, as too often women’s “dignity” is substituted for women’s “equality,” denying the full and equal participation of women in Church decision-making and ordained ministries. Pope Francis also reinforces the Church’s stance on motherhood, LGBT families and adoption, transgender people, and reproductive health care choices. This is a missed opportunity to recognize the full equality and faithful paths of all people. We pray that the exhortation unfolds and challenges the Church to more deeply live the Gospel message of equality.

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WOW WELCOMES FRANCIS' CALL TO INCLUDE WOMEN IN FOOTWASHING CEREMONIES AND HOPE IT SIGNIFIES A BOLDER APPROACH TO END SEXIST EXCLUSION January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact:

  • Pat Brown: UK: (+44) (0)7950 048628 pat@patbrown-at.co.uk

  • Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) (0)7970 926910 miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com

  • Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

  • Therese Koturbash: Canada (+1) 204 648 5720 t.m.koturbash@gmail.com

  • Marilyn Hatton: Australia (+62) 26262 6159 marilynhatton2@gmail.com

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) welcomes Pope Francis’ call to include women in foot washing ceremonies and hope it signifies a bolder approach to ending sexist exclusion

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) welcomes Pope Francis’ formal decree confirming that women can and should be part of Holy Thursday foot washing ceremonies. We commend Pope Francis for moving our Church one step closer to the inclusiveness modeled by Jesus.

This may seem like a small move forward because women have already been included in this rite for many years in some churches. The fact that it is still prohibited by some parish priests around the world betrays the reality of the challenge women face at a local level, with many Church officials refusing to include women in the Last Supper commemoration.

Decrees such as this one from Pope Francis are important, because they send an official signal to the entire Catholic world that change, even when it is incremental, is happening. Jesus was taught the symbolic ritual of feet washing by a woman and we know that there were women present at his last Passover meal on Holy Thursday. If we are to be truly faithful to our tradition, women must be included in all our rituals and sacraments and we must continue to challenge those clerics who cling to their own interpretation of tradition, based on sexism alone. As Pope Francis warned earlier this week, those 'who say “it’s always been done that way,” and stop there have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels who will never arrive at the fullness of the truth'.

We eagerly anticipate the day when women, head, heart, hands and feet will be fully welcome in the sacramental and governing leadership of our Church.'

Women’s Ordination Advocates Support Irish Priests’ Statement on Women: Call for Greater Moral Courage of Catholic Hierarchy to Join Grassroots

For Immediate Release: November 12, 2015

 

Contact:

 

Pat Brown: UK: +44(0)7950048628 pat@patbrown-at.co.uk

Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) 7970 926910 m_duignan@hotmail.com

Erin Saiz Hanna: USA (+1) 401-588-0457 ehanna@womensordination.org

Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) extends our deepest gratitude to the twelve Irish priests who publicly signed their names to a statement calling for open discussion on the need for equality for women in all aspects of Church life, including ministry. Calling the situation “damaging,” “alienating” and “scandalizing,” the priests stressed that the policy of discrimination against women upheld by the Catholic Church “encourages” and “reinforces” abuse and violence against women around the world.

“We believe that we can no longer remain silent because to do so colludes with the systemic oppression of women within the Catholic Church,”  the priests’ statement reads.

Pope John Paul II’s 1994 Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, recently called “an abuse of his power,” by Eamonn Duffy, Professor of History at Cambridge University, is an offensive, out-dated, and fallible attempt to control Catholic thought, and moreover, Catholic women.

For more than two decades, employees at Catholic institutions have risked their jobs and ministries by speaking and writing about women’s ordination; clerics and women religious have been excommunicated, dismissed and silenced for their support; and for an even longer time women have felt the pain and humiliation of having their priestly vocations rejected.

WOW hopes that the moral courage of these Irish priests inspires others to stand in solidarity with all those who believe in equality in our institutions and in our faith. When male priests and those in positions of authority in our Church speak out, they not only do what is just, but they join they grassroots movements of many Catholics around the world who are tirelessly calling for equality.

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RESPONSE ON WOMEN DEACONS DISCUSSED AT VATICAN SYNOD ON FAMILY OCTOBER 6, 2015

Women's Ordination Worldwide

For Immediate Release

6 October 2015

Response On Women Deacons Discussed at Vatican Synod

Contact :

  • Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) 7970 926910 m_duignan@hotmail.com
  • Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org
  • Erin Saiz Hanna: USA (+1) 401-588-0457 ehanna@womensordination.org

Rome, Italy: Recent statements made by Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec during the Vatican's Synod on the Family suggests an emergence of a discussion about including women in the ordained permanent diaconate. We applaud Archbishop Durocher for raising the suggestion to the exclusively male-voting body, and furthermore, for highlighting the relationship between the "degradation" of women in Church and society and violence against women around the world.

We call on our Church leaders to state clearly that "domination" over women is never acceptable, and until women are empowered as equals our Church perpetuates an inequality contrary to the Gospel. We pray that women's voices will not only be heard in forthcoming discussions, but given an equal vote.

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) supports the restoration of the sacramentally ordained diaconate for women in its true form. Including women in the diaconate would not be something new. Instead the Church would be returning to its ancient roots when both women and men were deacons. While the women's diaconate continues in some parts of the Eastern Church even until today, we also now know that in the West, it was suppressed only on account of the prejudice against women.

Though restoration of an ordained women's diaconate would not alone be a satisfactory progression to including women in all realms of Church leadership, governance, and sacramental ministry - only ordination to the priesthood and episcopacy could begin to accomplish this - WOW supports restoration of the diaconate. It is long overdue. The so-called changing 'reasons' that have been used to try to justify the exclusion of women from ordained ministry rests squarely on the shoulders of prejudice alone.

The hierarchy deprives people of the pastors God calls for them and of the leadership gifts found in women who would serve the Church; upholding this discrimination, as though it were the will of God, is simply indefensible.

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#‎Synod15 #‎ordainwomen

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WOW's position statement on restoration of the ordained women's diaconate is found here: http://womensordinationworldwide.org/wow-position-statement-on-the-diaconate/

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Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW): Founded in 1996, WOW is an international network of groups whose current mission is the inclusion of women in all ordained ministries in the Roman Catholic Church. Founded on the principle of equality,WOW opposes all discrimination.'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free,there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus'. (Galatians 3:28)

WOW currently includes representatives from Australia, Bangladesh,Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Malta, Poland, and the United States.

WOW's 3rd International Conference, 'Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice' was recently held in Philadelphia 18-20 September 2015. For more visit www.womensordinationworldwide.org

WOW on the web:

MEDIA ADVISORY: 500 ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN'S ORDINATION GATHER DAYS BEFORE POPE FRANCIS' ARRIVAL IN U.S. September 18, 2015

Details: 18 - 20th Sept, Marriott Downtown Philadelphia, 1201 Market St

Contact: Miriam Duignan: (+1) 510- 984- 8678

Philadelphia, PA: Five hundred women's ordination advocates and leaders from 19 countries and 5 continents will gather in Philadelphia, September 18-20th to call for ordination and equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church.  As Pope Francis arrives in the United States, Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) urgently calls on the institutional Church to model equality and end the unjust treatment of women. 

The theme of the conference, "Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice," links the exclusion of women from priesthood to the greater inequalities and injustices experienced by women worldwide.  Speakers include, Sr. Teresa Forcades, Tina Beattie, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Mary E. Hunt, Sr. Theresa Kane, Shannen Dee Williams, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Fr. Tony Flannery, Sr. Christine Schenk, Kate Kelly, Asra Nomani, Sr. Maureen Fiedler, and Barbara Blaine. See schedule here.

"Our hope for the conference is to mainstream the conversation about women's ordination as a social justice issue," said Kate McElwee, organizer and co-executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference.

"We call out sexism when we see it in our schools, the workplace, and in politics, but when it comes to the Catholic Church, far too many look the other way. Women's leadership is integral to all aspects of church and society and it is long overdue that our church opens the door to the ordination of women." Erin Saiz Hanna, organizer and co-executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference. 

"Women's Ordination Worldwide urges Pope Francis to recognize that maintaining false teaching to keep women excluded from priesthood legitimizes prejudice throughout the world. Pope Francis' integrity as a faith leader is compromised by his refusal to recognize women as fully human and able to discern their own vocations. Pope Francis' mission must include freeing the Church from the sin of sexism," stated Miriam Duignan, organizer and communications director of the Wijngaard's Institute for Catholic Research.

"Pope Francis and the Catholic Church must model equality by opening all ministries, including ordination, to women. As an institution that educates and provides healthcare and services to millions of women and girls globally, the Catholic Church must model full equality as the cornerstone of its mission," McElwee continued. 

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SEXISM IS THE ORIGINAL SIN: STATEMENT ON THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE'S PLENARY ASSEMBLY ABOUT WOMEN'S CULTURES February 02, 2015

For Immediate Release  February 2, 2015

Pat Brown, (UK) +44 (0) 113 268 2887

Miriam Duignan (USA) +1 510 984 8678

Marilyn Hatton (Australia) +61 2 6262 5275

Kate McElwee, (Italy) +39 393 6922100

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture’s Plenary Assembly about Women’s Cultures has released its Working Document for the Assembly set to begin on February 4, 2015.  The document yet again shows that the Vatican refuses to read the signs of the times to an unacceptable degree. The international umbrella network, Women’s Ordination Worldwide (founded in 1996 at the First European Women’s Synod), observes several glaring aspects about the document:

The document claims that there will be no discussion on women’s ordination because “according to statistics, [ordination] is not something that women want.”  This undeniable falsehood and the Vatican’s refusal to open dialogue shows contempt for the faithful and demonstrates that as a leadership, the male hierarchy is out of touch with the people it is called to serve. Many qualified women, with the support of their communities, discern vocations to priesthood, and yet the hierarchy is comfortable in rejecting the obvious: God does not discriminate.

The document divides humanity into socially-constructed stereotypes and attempts to say they are “natural,” with corresponding gender-defined roles. This thinking and language have been challenged and rejected in scholarship for decades, and are wildly culturally and spiritually unacceptable.  Human beings exist on multiple continuums, with intersectional identities: without including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, this document denies the full humanity of God’s people.

Sexism is the original sin of Church leadership.  It is long past due for the Church to rid itself of this sin and to welcome women as equal partners in all realms of ministry and leadership.

The Church’s stance on female inequality in decision-making within our Church (which is so influential in our world) works to legitimize other unjust treatment of women to the point of violence across the world.

From 18-20 September, 2015, Women’s Ordination Worldwide will host it’s third international conference, “Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice,” set to take place in Philadelphia on the Eve of the Vatican’s World Meeting of Families (also in Philadelphia).  We invite the Pontifical Council for Culture and all those who believe “Women’s Culture” is a culture of equality, to join advocates for women’s ordination from around the world to celebrate and support our movement.

Keynote speakers include: Benedictine Sister Teresa Forcades of Spain; Sister Mary John Manazan of the Philippines; Kristina Keneally from Australia; Mary Hunt, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, and Sr. Theresa Kane of the U.S; and Tina Beattie of the U.K.

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Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW): Founded in 1996, WOW is an international network of groups whose current mission is the inclusion of women in all ordained ministries in the Roman Catholic Church. Founded on the principle of equality, WOW opposes all discrimination. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. (Galatians 3:28)

WOW currently includes representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Malta, Poland, and the United States.

WOW’s 3rd International Conference, ‘Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice’ will be held in Philadelphia 18-20 September 2015. For more visitwww.womensordinationworldwide.org

POPE FRANCIS, IT'S TIME TO TALK: WOW CALLS FOR DIALOGUE AND THE END OF ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS: May 22, 2014

WOMEN'S ORDINATION WORLDWIDE (WOW)
For Immediate International Release
Contact:

Miriam Duignan (UK): +44.7970 926910; m_duignan@hotmail.com

Erin Saiz Hanna (USA): +1.401.588.0457; ehanna@womensordination.org

Therese Koturbash (Canada): +1.204.648.5720; t.m.koturbash@gmail.com

Alicja Baranowska (Poland/Belgium): kaplanstwokobiet@wp.eu

Rome, Italy: Today, May 22, the Church marks the 20th anniversary of ‘the papal no’ -- the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis also known as Pope John Paul II’s attempt to categorically exclude women from priesthood and ban discussion about it.

At a press conference held in Rome this morning, the international umbrella group Women’s Ordination Worldwide issued a joint statement as they prepared to deliver hundreds of letters to Pope Francis from ordinary Catholics around the globe who want an end to the ban. Many letters are from women called to priesthood. Others are from people saying they are frustrated with a Church whose leaders are complicit in the oppression of women because of the ban. 

Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director of the U.S. Women’s Ordination Conference pointed out, “For 20 years now Catholics have been forbidden from discussing women’s leadership. For 20 years, employees at Catholic institutions have risked job security if they talk about women’s ordination.” She added, “For an even longer time, Catholic women called to priesthood have had door after door slammed in their faces. People around the world are deprived of sacraments only because male Church leaders reject the women God is calling. God doesn't reject them; male Church leaders do. This is wrong.” 

Miriam Duignan from the academic organisation womenpriests.org said that, "It's true that Pope Francis is portraying a new image of the Church being open to all and that he is trying to shake off the judgements and restrictions of the past. But despite this openness that's exemplified for instance by his response to questions about gay men in priesthood, 'Who am I to judge?, Francis holds fast to the old party line that says 'women in priesthood is not open to discussion. It is reserved for men alone. Women are not welcome.' The community of faith recognises the women who are called. How long do women have to wait to be considered equal and worthy of receiving the same welcome by the official Church as men?" 

According to Poland’s Alicja Baranowska, "The Church should not be afraid to re-examine customs – even those with deep historical roots – when they no longer communicate the Gospel. A male only priesthood does not communicate Gospel. It goes against the clear message that there is `neither male nor female in Christ`. It goes against so much evidence of women's leadership in the early Church. It goes against the teaching of Jesus and his inclusion of women in his mission and legacy.”

“As internationally loved as Pope Francis is, the status of women in the Catholic Church is his blind spot,” said Kate Conmy of the U.S. Women’s Ordination Conference. “If the Church has confidence in exclusion, it makes no sense that discussion about including women as priests should be banned. A refusal to dialogue gives away the fact that there is no strong theology to support the Vatican’s position.”

WOW encourages Pope Francis to stop making Jesus the Vatican’s partner in gender discrimination. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is an outdated, fallible and painful document created by his predecessors to diminish the leadership of women.  We are asking Pope Francis to open the doors of dialogue to talk with us about women’s ordination.   

For the full statement, go to www.womensordinationworldwide.org

POPE FRANCIS -- PRIESTHOOD IS A CALL TO SERVICE AND WOMEN ARE CALLED Nov. 27, 2013

WOMEN'S ORDINATION WORLDWIDE (WOW)

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate International Release

November 27, 2013

Contact:

 

WOW: POPE FRANCIS -- PRIESTHOOD IS A CALL TO SERVICE AND WOMEN ARE CALLED

 

In his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis explicitly challenges global leaders to act against poverty and inequality. While Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) applauds this message as a breath of fresh air, we are troubled by the document’s context on women and equation of priesthood with pursuit of power.

 

As Francis knows from personal experience, a call to priesthood is a call from God to a vocation of service. Like Mary who freely gave her yes to God to bear Christ for the world, women who are called to priesthood yearn to respond with a yes to sacramental ministry to the people of our Church.

 

Pope Francis points out that the Church should not be afraid to re-examine customs – even those with deep historical roots – when they no longer serve as a means of communicating the Gospel. A male only priesthood does not communicate Gospel. It jars against the message that there is neither male nor female in Christ. It jars against the proof of women's leadership in the early Church.

 

Fitting it is then that as we enter season of Advent we ponder: 2,000 years ago, the question was asked: ‘How can it be that God would choose a peasant girl -- Mary-- to bring the Christ child into the world?’And later on, 'how can it be that Jesus would choose a woman –Mary Magdalene -- to preach the Good News of resurrection to the Apostles?' Among today’s Vatican leadership, the same sort of question persists: ‘How can it be that God would choose women to sacramentally bring Christ to the world?’

 

As Mary knew, with God all things are possible. We pray for our Pope, we pray for our Church, we pray that the will of God be done. Be not afraid, Pope Francis. The Gospel calls.

 

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Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW): Founded in 1996, WOW is an international network of groups whose current mission is the inclusion of Roman Catholic women in all ordained ministries. Founded on the principle of equality, WOW opposes all discrimination. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’(Galatians 3:28)

WOW currently includes representatives from Australia, Bangladesh,Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Malta,Poland, and the United States.