Women's Ordination Worldwide

Press release from WOW
re Vatican declaration against the training of women for the diaconate.

" The harvest is plentiful..." How long more can the Church afford to turn away the workers God sends to do the reaping ?

This declaration by men in positions of authority in the Roman Catholic Church forbidding women to train for the diaconate is another painful example of the entrenched sexism which afflicts the church. It is both a serious attack on the personal dignity of women , their sisters in Christ, and an attack on the Church who cannot fulfil her mission unless ALL the gifts of her members are put to the service of her mission to the world. A church in which women are not allowed to fulfil their God-given calling to serve as deacons and priests alongside their brothers is not a credible sacrament of the God of Jesus Christ, in whose image both women and men are equally made.

Women who have a calling to serve as deacons and priests will continue to develop the rich gifts God has entrusted to them for the sake of the community .It is both their responsibility and their duty to which they are bound in conscience. We call on Church leaders to remember the words of John XXIII in" Pacem in Terris ":"Becoming ever more conscious of their dignity as human beings, women will not tolerate being treated as goods and chattels. Instead they demand to exercise the rights and duties belonging to a human being, both in the home and in the civic life." This applies also , and even more so, in church life: Women will not accept to be degraded by declarations which would make them the passive objects of decisions which concern them in the first place. Now is the time to urgently put an end to all that prevents women from taking their rightful place in the church . Women's Ordination Worldwide therefore will continue to seek to implement those resolutions passed at its international conference in Dublin last June:

  1. We call on the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church to restore the diaconate to women as was the practice in the early church.
  2. We encourage women who feel called to study for the diaconate and the priesthood and support the establishment of suitable training courses where they are not available to women at present.

Soline Vatinel
WOW spokesperson

Last updated 3-Oct-2001