Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Women's Ordination Worldwide Press Release


Correction: Women’s Ordination Worldwide Press Release: Pope Francis Nudges Canon Law in the Right Direction Jan.11.21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 11.21: Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) welcomes what we consider to be a small step in the right direction that Pope Francis has taken by changing Canon law to formally permit women’s service as lectors and acolytes. This change means that women will now officially stand shoulder to shoulder with lay men as ministers of communion and lectors at mass and girls can be altar servers. Until now, official installation in these roles has been reserved for men and any instances where women have been lectors and acolytes and girls serving on the altar, they have done so because it was permitted as an exception and always at the sole discretion of the local Bishop or priest. 

Therefore, while this may not seem like a change of substance in places where women have, for several decades, been permitted to serve in these roles, in many parishes, this has not been the case and women and girls have remained essentially banned from the altar at the say-so of a misogynist man.

This change opens a door. It means that bishops and pastors around the world can no longer refuse women the right to these ministries on account of Canon Law. Bishops can now be held accountable and not given impunity to discriminate against women even more than the wider Church already does. 

Today’s announcement contributes to a slow chipping away at the wall of anti-women exclusion that still lingers and corrupts the official church. Today’s shift signals a growing awareness of what has been the rejection of women’s baptism in Christ. Today women are one step closer to being part of officially mediating the sacred. Slowly but surely, we will keep pushing for full equality and WOW is confident more change must come.


Women’s Ordination Worldwide Media Contacts:

Kate McElwee (USA and Italy): +39 393 692 2100; kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Miriam Duignan (Ireland and UK): +44 7970 926910; miriam.duignan@wijngaardsinstitute.com

Therese Koturbash (Canada): +1 204 648 5720; t.m.koturbash@gmail.com

Alicja Baranowska(Belgium & Poland): +32 488 67 60 20 alicja.baranowska@wp.pl

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW): Founded in 1996, WOW is an international network of groups whose current mission is the inclusion of Roman Catholic women in all ordained ministries. Founded on the principle of equality, WOW opposes all discrimination. 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus'. (Galatians 3:28)

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