About Us

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.

Votes for Catholic Women

On Wednesday 3 October we witnessed outside the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. We called out Pope Francis and all Cardinals and bishops by name and chanted ‘Let Women Vote’ after each name.

‘Knock, knock.’
‘Who’s there?’
‘More than half the church.’ 

The Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, and the Bishop of Kerry stopped by to hug Ursula Halligan and give their support to our witness:

Then the police arrived… Our passports were taken and photographed. One young woman was roughly man handled – caught here on video – and several cardinals walked past on the other side. The Vatican won’t call the police on abusive priests. But for women who hold vigil for equality? This says it all. This and the fact that the Vatican ordered the protest to be forcibly shut down is appalling. Pope Francis, are you watching? We support you. We love you and honour your vision of the Church.

Discerning Women: Voices Outside the Synod – Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci, Rome

The Synod of Bishops is meeting in Rome throughout October to discuss “Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” behind closed doors.

But a group of men gathered behind closed doors is no way to talk about the next generation of our Church and their faith and vocations. Women’s Ordination Conference were on the ground in Rome, demonstrating through an alternative event that there is another, better way to dream a future for Catholics.

WOC’s parallel event, on Thursday, 4 October, directly challenged the closed door sessions of the Synod, where women’s voices and vocations were marginalized or silenced.

Watch here

Rome wakes up to an ‘Ordain Women’ banner hanging right in front of the Vatican. Happy Feast Day of St Therese of Lisieux to all the men in the Vatican who need to open their eyes and see this sign!

Awakening OFC

Congratulations to Myra and Pippa on the publication of:


By Myra Poole & Pippa Bonner

Click here for more details.

cwo-logoThis is CWO’s beautiful logo click here to see a film of Lala explaining its origin.


CWO Mission Statement

Working for the full inclusion of women into ordained ministry within a renewed Roman Catholic Church
We support one another in prayer, shared ministry and an annual CWO retreat
We commit to demonstrating that the exclusion of women from ordination in the Roman Catholic Church reinforces the oppression and poverty of women and girls around the world
We accept diversity within our group and welcome all who share our aims
We respect different approaches to theological issues
We walk together with people of faith to support women’s inclusion in their varied ministries
We work with other groups campaigning for women’s ordination within the Roman Catholic Church as part of WOW (Women’s Ordination Worldwide)
We commit to working with other groups with similar aims
We engage with all branches of the media in connection with our campaign

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW)


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. Please donate to help the work of this organisation and sign up for WOW e-newsletter to stay informed.

The first WOW conference was held in Dublin in 2001 and the second in Ottawa in 2005, the third has just taken place in Philadelphia. You can read about it here

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

button7 to support Womens Ordination Worldwide