Tuesday, February 26, 2019

In the Wake of the Summit by Kate McElwee, Women's Ordination

The summit of bishops from around the world called to address clergy abuse of minors has fallen tragically short of concrete actions for survivor justice and reform of clerical structures. While perhaps some bishops are experiencing a "transformation of the heart," it was the survivors, advocates, and women who truly showed up and spoke up for transformative justice. 

Headlines from the summit celebrated the contributions of women at the meetings and the witness of activists in the streets. Women's testimonies were strong, challenging, and a "breath of fresh air," according to Archbishop Scicluna. 

And yet, women are still treated as guests in our own Church. 

The summit showed, yet again, both the power of women's voices in the Church and their continued second-class status as "invited guests." We continue to advocate for a day when women are not guests, but equals.

The institutional Church is experiencing a crisis of leadership and credibility. Without radical equality in our structures and policies we cannot communicate and live the Gospel. 

Please consider making a donation to Women's Ordination Conference during this critical time. 

There is no greater reminder of the urgency of our work than Pope Francis' remarks after Dr. Linda Ghisoni, under-secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Faith addressed the assembly. He was clearly moved by her words, but painfully fails to understand the basics of equality, feminism and inclusion. 

"To invite a woman to speak is not to enter the mode of an ecclesiastical feminism, because in the end every feminism ends up being machismo with a skirt," Pope Francis said. 

Well, not including women as equals in the Church ends up being misogyny with a mitre. 

Our advocacy for feminist liberation theologies and radical equality is changing the public conversation within and about the Church. More than ever, as survivors and women continue to be silenced and subjugated, our work is a critical corrective. 

For equality,


Kate McElwee
Executive Director

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