It's Time For A Change
Equality For Women In The Church (EWC) is a group of St. Nicholas Parish members who have joined together to advocate for recognizing the need for full membership for women in the Roman Catholic Church. We realize that there may be different perspectives on what this might entail, but we are united in calling for an acknowledgement of the injustice women have faced.
Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic, EWC regularly hosted parishioner meetings and educational programs. EWC adopted a Manifesto statement (above) stating our vision for a future Church in which women participate as equal members. We developed a proposal for the regular inclusion of women homilists that we submitted to the bishop of our vicariate. Since the imposition of quarantine, our work continues via ZOOM. Our Committee for Inclusive Language is addressing the need for non-discriminatory language in our liturgies. The Planning Committee is developing EWC's social media capacities to continue to exchange information, reactions , and ideas on the equality issue.
In Tutti Fratelli, Paragraph 23, Pope Francis said, "Similarly, the organization of society is still far from reflecting clearly that women possess the same dignity and identical rights as men."
For more information about our efforts, please see the EWC Information & Activites section below, or email us at email@example.com.
The People of God—if it is to be truly the people of God—has to include women, not as subordinate helpmates to men but as their full and equal partners. We are here today to ask you for nothing. Our dignity and equality are God given. They are not yours to give.
– Ursula Halligan, We Are Church Ireland journalist/spokesperson, in response to the papal nuncio
EWC Information & Activities
EWC Mission & Manifesto
As the People of God, we invite all to join us as we explore and promote full inclusivity within our Church. Our focus is on, but not restricted to, women’s participation in all aspects of ministry and leadership.
The Roman Catholic Church has denied women full membership for most of its history. Women are refused full sacramental privileges. There are no female presiders in our liturgies. Formal Church governance is exclusively male. No women's voices influence decisions in Synods, including those that focused on marriage and family issues. Meanwhile, non-ordained males are allowed a vote. A prime source of the Catholic Church's growing disconnect with younger members is its flagrant disregard of the dignity, rights, experience and wisdom of women. Members of St. Nicholas Parish have joined together to advocate for recognizing the need for full membership for women in the Roman Catholic Church. We realize that there may be different perspectives on what this might entail, but we are united in calling for an acknowledgement of the injustice women have faced. We respectfully call for a full discussion of remedies and restoration. The EWC Manifesto is a statement of our vision for attaining this goal.
October 24, 2019
Scripture Is Personal
We are used to hearing male voices preaching from the pulpit, but what would it sound like if women were allowed to preach (as opposed to “reflect”). Equality for Women in the Church explored this issue with its October 24th program. Three EWC women chose an excerpt of scripture and preached a short homily focusing on the feminine viewpoint. Approximately ninety people attended the program. Their questions and comments honed in on the rich, additional insights a women preacher can bring to a homily.
November 27, 2019
Good News/Bad News: The Latest on Womens' Roles in the Church
Heidi Schlumpf, Editor of the National Catholic Reporter updated us on the latest developments on changes in the roles of women in the Catholic Church. The “good” news: An increasing number of women are playing major roles in diocesan administrations, while a woman was named head of a Vatican department. The “bad” news: There has been no movement on the question of women deacons or any greater inclusion in the liturgical life of the Church. In Schlumpf’s opinion, if change is to come for women, it will be from the grassroots of the Church via groups such as EWC. Again there was a capacity audience in Oldershaw Hall for the program and discussion of how we can be a catalyst for equity for women in the Church.
February 16, 2020
Voices of Young Women in Our Church
Young women represent the future of our Church. But more and more of them are becoming Catholics “in name only” if even that. It is vital that we hear the voices of those women who have stayed but struggle with accepting second -class role the Church endorses for women. EWC invited four young women from different walks of life including being a student, a young professional and a woman balancing career and motherhood, tell why they have stayed in the Church and their hopes for the future roles of women in the Church.
2020 EWC Priority Survey
EWC sent a survey to its membership to determine the directions/priorities of the group. We explored our members opinions regarding such topics as women as homilists at Mass; incorporating inclusive language in our liturgies; inclusive liturgies planned, created and led by lay women and men; and pursuing a continuing dialogue with Church hierarchy advocating full participation of women in all levels of the Church's decision making and ministries.
2020 EWC Survey Summary
2019 Proposal For Women Homilists
The voices of women speakers have been relegated to special occasions such as Mother's Day or other Sundays when they might be invited to give their "refections". We are not allowed to give homilies. in the pulpit We are not allowed to preach. This must change if our Church is to truly be a church for all people. EWC is advocating for a change in this "policy" . In October 2019, the EWC submitted a proposal to the bishop calling for the regular inclusion of women as homilists.
2019 EWC Proposal For Women Preaching At Mass