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 The cure for outdated, misogynistic policies is radical equality.



Contact WOW Leadership: 

Alicja Baranowska: (Belgium & Poland)  +32 488 67 60 20

Pat Brown: (UK) +44 7950048628

Colm Holmes: (Ireland)  +353 86 606 3636

Kate McElwee: (Italy & USA) +39 393 692 2100