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."


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