WOW at the Amazon Synod to demand that women are finally recognized as equal church leaders

Date & time: Tuesday, October 22nd at 15.00

Location: Prayer vigil @ Piazza Adriana (corner via Triboniano) followed by procession to St Peter’s

A group of international delegates from the Women’s Ordination Worldwide campaign group (WOW) are gathered in Rome to remind the hierarchy that women are already serving in priestly roles and to demand that they too are recognized as equal leaders of the Church.

Whilst the all-male voting delegates behind the Synod Gate discuss the priest shortage in the Amazon region, we will process to the closed gate to remind them that women are already leading sacramental ministry across Amazonia and around the world. Their vocations are recognized by the communities they serve. Why does the institutional church continue to discredit their ministry? As momentum to ordain married men increases, WOW cautions against adding yet more men to an already imbalanced church without addressing the injustice of excluding women.

WOW is encouraged by the new Pact of the Catacombs, signed by 40 Bishops from the Synod on October 20, demanding that the church: ‘Recognize the services and real diakonia of a great number of women who today direct communities’ and for ‘an adequate ministry of women leaders of the community’.  Without women, the Catholic Church would not exist in the Amazon and it is a matter of justice that they too are finally empowered as equals rather than being supplanted by local men whilst women continue to do the work of serving the communities.

WOW calls on Pope Francis to publicly acknowledge that a majority of attendees of the Synod support women deacons and witness their ministries daily in the Amazon region. We are calling on the church to open their eyes to the reality that women live both priestly and diaconal vocations already. WOW asks that the Synod take a first step towards equality and justice by restoring women deacons in the same rite as men. The church and the environment are in crisis. It is time to stop quibbling over technicalities and man-made medieval rules when women and sacraments are at stake.

We are joining the call for ecological justice which cannot be separated from the call for spiritual and sacramental equality. Our message to the Synod is:

 "Empowered women will save the Earth, Empowered women will save the Church"

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Press contacts:

Pat Brown: +44 7950048628; pat@patbrown-at.co.uk
Kate McElwee: +39 393 692 2100; kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Miriam Duignan: +44 7970 926910; miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com

Therese Koturbash: +1 204 648 5720; t.m.koturbash@gmail.com

Le pape François et le diaconat pour les femmes

Publié le 17 mai 2019 par WOW Women’s Ordination Worldwide

Réponse de la Women’s Ordination Worldwide [WOW] au retard du pape François
concernant le diaconat pour les femmes

La Women’s Ordination Worldwide [WOW] s’étonne que le pape François ait une fois de plus retardé le rétablissement du diaconat ordonné pour les femmes et ce, en raison de ce qu’il dit être un manque de clarté quant aux racines historiques du rite sacramentel.

Théologiquement et historiquement, il n’y a pas de raison valable pour une prêtrise exclusivement masculine ou un diaconat qui ne soit que masculin. Non seulement la diacre Phoebée est-elle évoquée dans l’Écriture majoritairement androcentrique, mais nous savons, par le travail de nombreux spécialistes et des manuscrits anciens qui ont conservé les rites d’ordination au diaconat, qu’ils étaient identiques pour les hommes et pour les femmes.

Non seulement l’histoire montre que, au coeur de la révélation, des femmes étaient là, des femmes étaient des leaders et des femmes étaient ordonnées, mais elle montre aussi que:

  • le ministère sacramentel pour les hommes s’est développé progressivement et a eu la porte ouverte à travers l’histoire de l’Église;

et inversement,

  • la misogynie et les préjugés non chrétiens ont fermé cette porte aux femmes de sorte que leurs responsabilités ont été diminuées et sont restées figées depuis.

Au lieu d’une évolution pour les femmes, comme cela fut le cas pour les hommes, le patriacat a choisi, comme on pouvait s’y attendre, de réprimer le développement naturel de la collaborationsacramentelle des femmes. La phobie des menstruations et la croyance erronée que les femmes étaient impures, inférieures, qu’elles étaient des hommes défectueux ne font pas partie de la révélation divine, mais des preuves montrent que c’est pour cela que les hommes ont finalement exclu les femmes du sacrement de l’ordre.

L’Église catholique est capable de développer et de transformer un grand nombre de ses enseignements et de ses pratiques, mais quand il s’agit des femmes, le Vatican trouve toutes les excuses pour gagner du temps. Ceux et celles qui se tournent les pouces quand l’égalité des femmes est en jeu nuisent à toute l’Église.

Les structures humaines défectueuses ne sont pas du Christ et ne sont pas des raisons acceptables de refuser à l’Église les prêtres et les diacres que Dieu appelle pour nous. Pourquoi les catholiques devraient-ils se voir refuser les pasteurs que Dieu appelle pour nous juste parce qu’elles arrivent dans un corps de femmes?

Nous sommes une Église vivante capable de favoriser la croissance des femmes tout autant que celle des hommes. Nous devons rouvrir les portes et accueillir les dons et les vocations des femmes comme on l’a fait si facilement pour les hommes.

Si la volonté du pape François est d’encourager la discussion, nous lui demandons de rendre publiques les résultats complets de la Commission pour l’étude du diaconat féminin afin que les gens puissent voir les raisons non valables qui font hésiter les hommes.

Le 11 mai 2019

Contacts :
Miriam Duignan: (UK & Ireland) +44 7970 926910 miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com
Therese Koturbash: Canada (+1) 204 648 5720 t.m.koturbash@gmail.com
Kate McElwee: (USA & Italy): +39 393 692 2100 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Source :
http://womensordinationcampaign.org/press-releases/2019/5/11/womens-ordination-worldwide-responds-to-pope-francis-delay-of-women-deacons

Traduction : Pauline Jacob

Women's Ordination Worldwide responds to Pope Francis' delay of women deacons

For Immediate Release: 11 May 2019

WOW is astonished that Pope Francis has again delayed restoration of the ordained women’s diaconate, now on account of what he says is a lack of clarity as to historical roots of the sacramental rite.  

Theologically and historically, there is no valid reason for an exclusively male priesthood or a male only diaconate. Not only is woman deacon Phoebe commemorated in the predominantly androcentric scripture, we know from the work of many scholars and ancient manuscripts preserving the ordination rites to the diaconate, that they were identical for men and women. 

Not only does history show that, in the kernel of revelation, women were there, women led, and women were ordained, it also shows that:

  • Sacramental ministry for men developed progressively with an open door through Church history; and conversely,

  • Un-Christian misogyny and prejudice closed that door to women so that their roles were diminished and it has remained bolted shut ever since.

Instead of growth for women, as has been the acceptable standard for men, patriarchy has unsurprisingly opted to suppress the natural development of women’s sacramental partnership. Phobia against menstruation and the wrong belief that women were unclean, inferior, misbegotten men are not part of divine revelation yet evidence shows that this is why men eventually excluded women from the sacrament of ordination.

While the Catholic Church is able to develop and transform many of its teachings and practices, when it comes to women, the Vatican finds every excuse to stall. Those who twiddle thumbs when women’s equality is at stake harm the whole Church.

Faulty, man-made structures are not of Christ, and not acceptable reasons to refuse the Church the priests and deacons God calls for us.  Why should Catholics be denied the pastors God calls for us just because they happen to come packaged as women?

We are a living Church capable of growth for women just as much as men. We must re-open doors and welcome the gifts and vocations of women that have been so readily welcomed for men. 

If Pope Francis's will is to encourage discussion, we call on him to make public the complete findings of the Commission on Women Deacons so that the people can see the frivolous nonsense it is that causes these men to dither.

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

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

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

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)

Women’s Ordination Advocates Call for Votes for Catholic Women

For Immediate Release 21 September 2018

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) acknowledges the Vatican took a significant step toward building a more synodal church by replacing the 1965 Synod of Bishops’ constitution, "Episcopalis Communio,” to officially allow non-ordained persons to participate as voting members. Yet, even when the letter of the law is changed to be more inclusive, the culture and practice of gender inequality maddingly persists.

First in 2015, and again at the upcoming Synod on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment, religious brothers (non-ordained men) are named as voting members of the Synod. While theologically and canonically “equal” to their brothers, women religious are still denied a voting role. Why are women still excluded from voting? Why are the laity, including young people, sidelined and voiceless?

The reason? Bishop Fabio Fabene, undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, offered this explanation: “For now, that is how it is."

“It is how it is,” is the logic of a frightened patriarchy. The practice of sacralized gender discrimination within the Catholic Church not only erodes its credibility, it sends a clear message to women: stay silent, stay invisible, stay in your place.

With new revelations of sexual abuse in the Church, we are facing the deep failures and sins of the current clerical system, a structure that risked the safety, faith, and trust of children and vulnerable people to protect itself. This kind of “boy’s club” clericalism cannot be trusted to lead a global discussion on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment, where only 10% of participants (“observers,” “consultors,”) will be women.

We refuse to accept “it is how it is” in cases of sexual abuse, and we refuse to accept “it is how it is” in cases of gender discrimination. These crimes must be stopped. Catholic women must vote.

WOW stands with survivors of sexual abuse and harassment by clergy, and all those who are silenced, dismissed or rejected for sharing their stories, or daring to advocate for equality. We believe that only when women have equal opportunity to make decisions, respond to their vocations, and hold meaningful leadership positions, can our Church begin to heal from its sins.

In the current climate of increased oppression against women and other marginalized groups, Catholics need justice, action, and transparency. A closed-door session of bishops and clerics discussing young people is not the solution we need, rather, it is the root of the problem.

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Kate McElwee: (Italy & USA) +39 393 692 2100 / +1 607-725-1364 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

Kathleen Gibbons Schuck (USA) +1 215-872-1096 kschuck55@gmail.com

Women’s Ordination Worldwide to gather in Dublin to mark the Pope’s visit

Media Advisory: for immediate release

First event: Saturday 25 August 2018, 9:45-10:05am

Halfpenny Bridge, Dublin

The Gardai (police) have granted permission for members of We Are Church Ireland and Women’s Ordination Worldwide to offer Pope Francis a special message as he lands in Dublin. We will be on the east side of the Halfpenny Bridge and will raise 50 umbrellas with the words, “Women Priests” and the LGBT rainbow flag. This is a special photo opportunity where we are allowed to gather on the bridge for just 5 minutes at 10am.  

 

Second event: Sunday 26 August 2018, 1:30 - 2:45 pm

Queen Street Bridge, Arran Quay, Dublin

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) will witness outside the Papal mass for women’s inclusion and ordination in a renewed Catholic Church. We have been issued with a permit to congregate as crowds walk towards Phoenix Park. We aim to draw attention to the absence of women on the altar and encourage mass goers to ask themselves and Church leaders: how long must we tolerate this injustice?

Although WOW secured tickets to the papal mass, after the witness, our group will walk in solidarity with the Stand4Truth activists at the Garden of Remembrance.

Press contacts:

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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

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

WOW call on Pope Francis to dialogue with women called to priesthood

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2018

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) is deeply disappointed by Pope Francis’ reiteration of the “closed door” stance on women’s ordination.  We call on Pope Francis to lead by example and dialogue with the many women who are called to priesthood. 

 The Vatican's repeated attempts to limit God’s priestly call to celibate men causes great pain to the women who have discerned their vocation to the priesthood, as well as to the people of God who are deprived of women’s gifts and sacramental leadership. WOW stands with women who are alienated and dismissed by his discriminatory remarks as their call from God to priesthood is repeatedly denied by the Church hierarchy.  


In the same interview, Pope Francis, referring to Vatican relations with China, is quoted saying, “Dialogue is a risk, but I prefer risk rather than the certain defeat that comes with not holding dialogue.” Pope Francis has encouraged fearless dialogue throughout his pontificate. We expect the same fearless dialogue in other contexts of the Church's life, including women's priestly vocation and equality in the Church.
 
Pope Francis continues: “There is no Church without women.” We pray that Pope Francis comes to realize that there is also no credibility in the Church without equality for women.  If dialogue is a risk, we must call our Church leaders to find the courage to listen to women as equals in Christ. Without further dialogue on women’s ordination, sexism will remain undefeated.

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Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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

Ill-informed arguments are to blame for any “confusion” about women's ordination

May 30, 2018

Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently published an article in the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano, claiming that “there are voices that put into doubt the definitive nature” of the ban on the women’s priestly ordination, and "sowing these doubts creates serious confusion among the faithful." 

The international umbrella network, Women’s Ordination Worldwide (founded in 1996 at the First European Women’s Synod), observes that it is ill-informed arguments such as Archbishop Ladaria’s that are to blame for any “confusion” of the faithful.

While the Vatican continues to defend policies that consider women inferior, limiting the reaches of God’s call to ministry, and maintaining a male-only hierarchy, women and young people are walking away.  

The Christian solution to the “virus of misogyny” is equality.

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Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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

The Holy Spirit is calling Women and Men to serve in a renewed priesthood

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2018

Pope Francis voiced alarm (21 May 2018) at the “vocational sterility” and “haemorrhaging” of nuns and priests in Italy and Europe.

The day after Pentecost Pope Francis is missing the signs of the Holy Spirit amongst the people of God. Insisting on only celibate male candidates to serve as priests means excluding all women and most men.

Shortage of vocations to the outdated forms of the priesthood or religious life does not mean there are no vocations, as we can see many Catholics, both women and men, being involved as lay ministers or pastoral associates, or even taking steps toward ordination in movements such as the Roman Catholic Women Priests.  New times require new models to fulfill God-given vocations.

Truly, the most obvious “haemorrhaging” in the Church today is the generations of talented and educated women who are leaving the Catholic Church to answer their call to priesthood or find equal rights and dignity in another faith. The People of God are following these women to communities that model equality and inclusion.

WOW recently launched a series, “Catholic Women Called,” documenting short videos of women called to priesthood, women the institutional Church tries to discredit and dismiss.

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Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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

Führende Deutsche Politikerin steht für das Priestertum der Frau

Die internationale „Women Ordination Worldwide“ (WOW), die sich auf der ersten Frauensynode 1996 in Gmunden/Österreich gegründet hat und die sich in der weltweiten Römisch-Katholischen Kirche für das Diakonat und Priestertum der Frau einsetzt und deren Berufungen bezeugt und dokumentiert, begrüßt die explizite und klare Stellungnahme der neuen Generalsekretärin der Christlich-demokratischen Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer für das Priesteramt der Frau, die aus eigenem Impuls heraus erfolgt ist. Die katholische Politikerin aus dem Saarland, die als mögliche Nachfolgerin von Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel gilt, hat dabei auch persönlich bekundet, dass sie selbst sich zum Priestertum berufen gefühlt hat. Mit ihrer Äußerung, gibt sie auch zu verstehen, dass sie ihrer Römisch-Katholischen Kirche heute auch zutraut sich über diese Frage sich nicht zu spalten, sondern im Gegenteil positiv zu wachsen und bestärkt zu werden. 

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Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

Leading German politician supports Women Priests

Statement from Women's Ordination Worldwide:

The International Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW), which was founded at the first Women's Synod in 1996 in Gmunden, Austria, and is committed to women in the diaconate and priesthood in the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, confirming and documenting their vocations, welcomes the explicit and clear statement of the new General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in support of the priesthood of women, a statement which she made on her own initiative.

This Catholic politician from the Saarland, who is considered a possible successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, has also personally stated that she has felt herself called to the priesthood. With her statement, she also makes it clear that today she trusts her Roman Catholic Church not to split itself on this question, but on the contrary to grow positively and to be strengthened. 

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Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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

 

WOW support Cardinal’s call for a Council to review the question women’s ordination

In a wide-ranging interview with Salzburger Nachrichten, Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, and member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says a future Council should review the question of the ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops.

Responding to a “developing need,” Schönborn believes these “big questions” should not be left to the Pope alone, but rather decided by the Church community.

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) supports the Cardinal’s call for a Council and Church-wide discussion to consider the question of sacramental ministry of women and reformed decision-making structures which include the Church community. For too long Church officials have attempted to silence the discussion of women’s ordination, claiming: “That door is closed.” The so-called “authoritative” documents prohibiting women from ordination are neither infallible nor theologically persuasive.

No door can keep out the Holy Spirit nor silence God’s call in the lives of women. WOW urges our Church leaders to challenge the “closed door” of women’s ordination and break the silence on the exclusion of women for sacramental ministry and decision-making roles in the Church.

As Sr. Joan Chittister and actor Martin Sheen wrote in 2015 in support of WOW:

The reason some questions cannot be suppressed, do not go away--regardless how many people think they should--is because the human heart knows they must be asked or have yet to be clearly answered.  When that question concerns the quality of the discipleship of half the Catholics in the world, it cries out for attention. And will continue to cry out until the church itself attends to it. Why? Because the model of Jesus with women demands it

Since 1996 WOW has urged global dialogue on the issue of women’s ordination, refusing to accept this “closed door” to women, including hand-delivering hundreds of letters urging the Pope to open the discussion on the possibility of ordaining women to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

WOW calls on all Church leaders to reexamine its exclusionary policies on women, listen to the voices of women called to sacramental ministry and those who yearn for women’s full and equal participation in the Church, and commit to reflect on its own participation in the oppression of women everywhere. The cure for outdated, misogynistic policies is radical equality.

 

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Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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

Women's Ordination Advocates call for Progress, not 'Process,' on International Women's Day

Women's Ordination Advocates call for Progress, not 'Process,' on International Women's Day

The exploitation of women in the Vatican and the Church must end.

March 8, 2018

This International Women's Day, Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) joins the global community in the #PressForProgress for women's equality by calling for an end to sexism and abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

The theme of International Women's Day, "Press for Progress," is a rallying call for collective action and to reject complacency when women's lives are on the line.

"In the Roman Catholic Church, too often women are told that inclusion is a 'process,' and we must wait for equality," said Alicja Baranowska. Women's Ordination Worldwide laments the glacial pace of the Vatican to acknowledge women's full humanity. While the Vatican attempts to protect male power, women are walking away.

The clerical and patriarchal system of the Roman Catholic Church fosters an environment where women are not only rejected from positions of leadership and ministry, but are at great risk of exploitation and abuse.

The banning of former Ireland President Mary McAleese and Ugandan LGBT rights advocate Ssenfuka Joanita Warry from speaking in the Vatican by Cardinal Kevin Farrell is an insult to the Christian dignity of Catholic women around the world. We applaud Voices of Faith for moving their conference to another location rather than accepting such censorship.

Recent reports published in the Vatican's own L'Osservatore Romano revealed the exploitation of women religious serving the Vatican bureaucracy for little or no pay, nor opportunity for advancement. The article made clear it is not only about fair payment, but a clerical culture that treats women as inferior.

"The Catholic Church is not exempt from the #MeToo conversation; it is a painful example of the extremes of patriarchal power and the absolute scandal of sexism," said Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference. "Only when women are full and equal partners in all realms of leadership and ministry will the healing begin. Until then, the 'process' is simply broken: we need progress."

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Read the WOW statement on Voices of Faith

Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20  alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

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

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636 colmholmes2020@gmail.com

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