Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW)

Bringing us all together to challenge global discrimination against women in the Roman Catholic Church

The Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church

Global in outreach, WOW is an ecumenical network of organisations from around the world whose mission at this time is the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church.


WOW aims to:

  • Coordinate the women's ordination movement worldwide
  • Bring together organisations working for women's ordination in all Christian churches
  • Host regular international conferences to raise awareness about women's ordination in the Roman Catholic Church
  • Support women's equality in religions
  • Free the Church from the sin of sexism and heal divisions that exist because of it
  • Foster awareness and development of women's vocations to renewed ordained ministry

WOW is :

  • The Future: Working to make real a Catholic Church that includes women in all realms of leadership including ordained priesthood

  • Active: media voices, international vigils, globally connecting, raising awareness, moving forward, being the change
  • Spiritual: women's liturgies, vigils, leadership in prayerful action
  • Promoting: new found respect in the Church for women's gifts and presence and leadership ... and as a consequence, building new respect for the Church

Finding a way where there is no path

Despite the Pontifical Biblical Commission's 1976 finding that there are no Scriptural grounds to deny ordination to women, since Pope John Paul II's 1994 Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, discussion of Roman Catholic women's ordination has been officially forbidden. Our work means finding a way forward where there is no path.

Committed to Dialogue

WOW urges ordained and lay leaders to open dialogue about women's ordination in the Roman Catholic Church and other aspects of the Church's systemic discrimination against women. Women play no part in official decision-making of a male, celibate and clerical hierarchy.

International Conferences

In 2001, Ireland's Brothers and Sisters in Christ organised WOW's first international conference. It was held in Dublin. WOW's second international conference was held in Ottawa, Canada. The third is slated for Philadelphia, USA in September 2015.

Unity and Celebration

WOW fosters unity among those who share the vision of a renewed ordained ministry that includes women in the Roman Catholic Church. We celebrate the friendship that comes from working to affirm women as fully human and fully part of God's creation.

Honouring Courage and Commitment

Many Catholic women discern calls to ordained priesthood and respond in different ways.

  • Some are committed to waiting for change in the official structures of the Church.
  • Others respond by receiving valid but illegal ordination in the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. They now face excommunication for their conscientious stand against an unjust discriminatory law.
  • Yet others are ordained in independent Catholic Churches.

Whatever the choice, WOW honours the courage and commitment of all women who walk the difficult pathof responding to God's call during this time of official silencing of even discussion about women's ordination in the Catholic Church.


WOW is an international network that has grown to include organisations from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Malta, Poland, Western Europe and the United States.

Get involved

Support our work! Share the word! Break the silence!
For more information contact :

Kate McElwee,  WOW Leadership Circle
e: kmcelwee@womensordination.org
t: 001 202 675 1006

Therese Koturbash
WOW Communications Coordinator
e: t.m.koturbash@gmail.com
t: 001 204 648 5720

WOW on the web

Facebook : www.facebook.com/WomensOrdinationWorldwide


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