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Our site is dedicated to the campaign for the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic
Church. Many are curious about the subject and we offer a site rich in interesting material...

Welcome to Catholic Women's Ordination

CWO began in March 1993 as a national (UK) group of women and men who care deeply about the Roman Catholic Church. We want to be a part of building a church community that truly lives the justice demanded by Jesus; a justice which demands that women be equal with men.

Women equal with men means not only that women have the opportunity to fulfil their own vocation, but also that the Church community benefits from their experience and their strengths in the ministerial priesthood.

We are a forum to examine, challenge and develop the current understanding of priesthood. We aim to achieve the ordination of women to a renewed priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

This is CWO’s beautiful logo click here to see film off Lala explain its origin.


11 May was Vocations Sunday.

Many women are called by the Holy Spirit to be priests in the Roman Catholic Church but they have to suffer the pain of not being able to test their vocation. The arguments used against women priests are ludicrous and have nothing to do with anything Jesus said or did. Have a look at a similar but different scenario. 


What if...?



Press Release:

Sexism Is The Original Sin - 
Pontifical Council for
Culture's Assembly about Women's Cultures

Click here for more details


CWO Mission Statement

We envision CWO as a movement campaigning within the Church for inclusivity and the radical transformation of kyriarchal* structures. We call for women's perspectives to enrich the Church's thinking and for women's gifts to enrich its ministry.

*kyriarchal is a word used by Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, the American scripture scholar to express the interlocking of multiple oppressions from a hierarchical system (e.g. - racism, sexism, classism, etc.)



We believe:-

  • that all creation is sacred and all women and men are imbued with the spirit of God.

  • in the call to Christian maturity

  • in the power of change and transformation

  • in a just, inclusive, loving Church where the equality of all is respected

  • in leadership emerging from within the community

  • in the call to ordination of both women and men

We commit to:-

  • educating others and ourselves towards a new understanding of what it is to be Church through a feminist theological perspective.

  • supporting and enabling each other on the journey towards an inclusive church

  • affirming one another in each one's vocation

  • exposing patriarchal interpretations of scripture and patriarchal structures


  • dialogue with our bishops and priests

  • personal study

  • group study

  • seeking financial assistance and encouraging prayerful giving for study and courses

  • networking with relevant groups and organisations

  • information gathering and sharing

  • hearing people's stories and empowering them

  • developing creative liturgies and space for creative expression

  • developing support strategies for example spiritual direction/companionship, telephone trees, E-mail, website

  • buying in administrative support to free members for other tasks

  • encouraging small groups to engage in money raising schemes to fund activities

We commit to:-

  • raising awareness through campaigning, publicity and our visibility

  • not being solely reactive but also being as proactive as we can

  • employing imaginative and creative processes of campaigning, publicising and being visible

  • persevering in order to develop strategies

  • targeting the "No discussion" policy by the Vatican


  • writing letters to the media in reaction but also to inform

  • using CWO Christmas cards, sending them in particular to Bishops, Catholic MP's, Priests, Nuns and other prominent Catholics

  • using "Funny Money" (cards containing statements that we will withhold money until oppressive structures change) in collections and other appropriate places

  • producing pamphlets, leaflets, stickers and newsletters to distribute as widely as possible

  • speaking to other groups about CWO and its vision for example youth groups, women's groups, study groups

  • entering into dialogue with Bishops locally and nationally

  • taking part in vigils

  • contributing to campaigns and awareness raising on Vocation Sunday

We commit to:-

  • the use of inclusive language in prayer, the mass and other liturgies

  • prayer as an integral part of CWO

  • developing and sharing different forms of liturgy


  • asking contemplative and active orders to pray for us

  • engaging in public prayer, public witness and public vigil

  • having shared times and shared forms of prayer

  • developing and collecting original liturgies to share

  • removing all sexist and other oppressive language from the liturgy

  • challenging others use of sexist hierarchical and other language


Catholic Women's Ordination prayer

Moved by a compulsion of the Holy Spirit
we cannot remain ignorant
of this injustice in our midst.
We long for all humanity
to be acknowledged as equal,
particularly among your community of the church,
so we pray grieving for the lost gifts
of so many women.
We ask you, God of all peoples,
to bring insight and humility
to all those in positions of dominance,
and an understanding that
the ascended Lord called us all to act
doing Christ's work here and now.
We ask this of you,
God our Creator
Jesus our Redeemer
Spirit our Sustainer


Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW)


Please Donate
...to support
Womens Ordination Worldwide


Register for WOW 2015


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WOW's third international conference is set to happen in Philadelphia from 18-20 September 2015. Advocates for women's ordination from around the world will gather to celebrate, be inspired, and join together as we grow our movement and go forward. Our hosts will be our member group Women's Ordination Conference(WOC).  


The theme of the conference is Gender, Gospel, and Global Justice.

Over three days, you will have the opportunity to:


* Network with individuals and groups working for women’s ordination in all Christian churches,

* Fully participate in women-centered, feminist theology, liturgies, and leadership in prayerful interfaith action,

* Learn more about the impacts of the Catholic Church on women and girls around the world,

* Take a stand against misogyny and sexism in religion. 

WOW needs donations to help women from the developing world attend the conference. Please click to register donate or sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about conference updates and more!


WOW is an international group of which CWO is a member. Groups from all over the world are involved in conference planning, letter writing campaigns and public action.


The first WOW conference was held in Dublin in 2001 and the second in Ottawa in 2005. You can visit WOW here.

There is also an archive of WOW material on the Housetop site here www.womenpriests.org/wow/




For a PDF of the constitution of Catholic Women’s Ordination (CWO) please click here