Women's Ordination Worldwide

WOW e-news #11
WOW 2015 International Conference: Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice.

All we can say is WOW! What an inspirational conference we had back there in September. 

We have attracted more supporters since our conference so this e-news is now going out to twice as many people as before.

WOC celebrated its 40th birthday at WOW 2015. This included a 
video highlighting their work.

For those unable to attend or if you'd like to hear some of the speakers again, videos of the conference are available at


You can purchase talks individually or the whole package.

Your purchases of these videos will go directly to funding projects for WOW efforts in Rome and around the world, working for gender justice and full equality for women in the Catholic Church. Campaigns include direct lobbying at the Vatican, public witnesses, and prayerful actions raising awareness.

In 2016, we aim to fund the following: a pop up office in Rome for two weeks of activities coinciding with the Year of Mercy; production of a sash for all supporters willing to stand in witness with us in Rome and other vigils; hosting a round table debate on the question of ordination and a 20th anniversary awareness raising and solidarity event to be held in Poland in July.

WOW relies solely on the time, talent and resources of you, our supporters and members and we are so grateful for any help you can provide. Please consider donating directly or contacting us for volunteer opportunities on
our website
WOW recently sent out a press release about Pope Francis' decree to open Holy Thursday foot washing to women and girls. WOW issued the following press release:-

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) welcomes Pope Francis’ call to include women in foot washing ceremonies and hope it signifies a bolder approach to ending sexist exclusion

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) welcomes Pope Francis’ formal decree confirming that women can and should be part of Holy Thursday foot washing ceremonies. We commend Pope Francis for moving our Church one step closer to the inclusiveness modeled by Jesus.

This may seem like a small move forward because women have already been included in this rite for many years in some churches. The fact that it is still prohibited by some parish priests around the world betrays the reality of the challenge women face at a local level, with many Church officials refusing to include women in the Last Supper commemoration.

Decrees such as this one from Pope Francis are important, because they send an official signal to the entire Catholic world that change, even when it is incremental, is happening. Jesus was taught the symbolic ritual of feet washing by a woman and we know that there were women present at his last Passover meal on Holy Thursday. If we are to be truly faithful to our tradition, women must be included in all our rituals and sacraments and we must continue to challenge those clerics who cling to their own interpretation of tradition, based on sexism alone. As Pope Francis warned earlier this week, those 'who say “it’s always been done that way,” and stop there have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels who will never arrive at the fullness of the truth'.

We eagerly anticipate the day when women, head, heart, hands and feet will be fully welcome in the sacramental and governing leadership of our Church.'

All press releases can be found on
WOW website

See also New York Times and Washington Post

In his thoughts and in his words - Francis on Women - article in Conscience magazine by Miriam Duignan (centre)

The Gospel and Advocacy for Women's Ordination - Kate McElwee (right)
click on video
Women and men can now pray together at the wall in Jerusalem  Read here
"It's now time to recognize that the world was made by men and women and, though for women their contribution was constrained by political social and religious factors that did not exist in the same way for men, that does not alter the value of their contribution or diminish their impact.

"It is vital for the future of society that we have a proper understanding of the past  because once we accept that the history of women has no end point and is still in the process of being written then we can be proud, we can be vigilant and we can be united in ensuring that the next revolution is the age of  equality"

Dr Amanda Foreman The Ascent of Woman  BBC TV

WOW merchandise still available!

T - shirts, bags, buttons, bottles, mugs and much more all with beautiful WOW logo.

Order here WOW 2015 shop
This is Bana Gora - she's planning the first UK mosque to be managed by a woman in Bradford, West Yorkshire Read more

Professor Larycia Hawkins is the only full-time African American woman at Wheaton College Illinois. She is being threatened with dismissal because she spoke out against anti-Muslim behaviour and posted a photo of herself wearing a hijab.

She said "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God." 

Please sign petition by 11 February

WOW Prayer

O Holy One, You who are Creator of all,
who made humanity in Your image

Saviour of all, who called women and men
to witness Your ministry, death and resurrection,

Inspirer of all who seek and serve,

We thank You for the women You have blessed with Your call
to celebrate the Eucharist,
to minister alongside their brothers in a renewed Roman Catholic Church.

We pray that the Church will soon welcome and nourish to the full
the gifts of women as priests, prophets and leaders,
knowing, as Mary of Nazareth knew,
that with You all things are possible.


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