For Immediate Release: November 12, 2015
Pat Brown: UK: +44(0)7950048628 firstname.lastname@example.org
Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) 7970 926910 email@example.com
Erin Saiz Hanna: USA (+1) 401-588-0457 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate McElwee: Italy (+39) 393-692-2100 email@example.com
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.