Statement of Women’s Ordination Worldwide

May 25, 2011


  • Colette Joyce: e:
  • Therese Koturbash: e:

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) is gravely disheartened to learn that the Vatican has forced Australia’s Bishop Wm. Morris into early retirement because of his suggestion to open dialogue about women’s ordination. Morris’s pastorally sensitive suggestion was made out of his concern for growing numbers of Catholics being deprived of the Eucharist due to priest shortages.

We stand in solidarity with Bishop Morris. We also express our deep sadness to the people of his diocese who have lost a good and respected shepherd. We know that their loss is on account of the growing oppressive authoritarianism that is being displayed by the Vatican.

We applaud Bishop Morris for his courage in standing by his conscience. When he explained to his diocese the reason for his refusal to be pressured by the Vatican to resign, he wrote, ‘I have never wavered in my conviction that for me to resign is a matter of conscience and my resignation would mean that I accept the assessment of myself as breaking communio which I absolutely refute and reject and it is out of my love for the Church that I cannot do so.’

The support that continues to flood in for Bishop Morris shows that the Vatican is tragically out of touch with the people it is supposed to serve. The enforced culture of silence surrounding women's leadership only further highlights the Vatican's grave failure to uphold the Church’s own teaching on the primacy of conscience.

It is long past time to bring an end to the Vatican’s bullying of committed Catholics whose concern is for the Eucharist, sacramental ministry and helping the Church to serve all of humanity by enabling the gifts of men and women alike.

WOW 2010-2011 Leadership Circle

• Colette Joyce - New Wine - United Kingdom

• Erin Saiz Hanna - Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) - USA

• Saoirse Bann - Brothers and Sisters in Christ (BASIC) - BASIC - Ireland

• Therese Koturbash - Catholic Network For Women’s Equality (CNWE) - Canada)


Founded in 1996, Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) is an international network of groups

whose mission is the admission of Roman Catholic women to all ordained ministries. WOW is

founded on the principle of equality and therefore opposes any 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)