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
  • Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100
  • Erin Saiz Hanna: USA (+1) 401-588-0457

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.


#‎Synod15 #‎ordainwomen


WOW's position statement on restoration of the ordained women's diaconate is found here:


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

WOW on the web: