Media Release
Vatican Miscategorizes Women's Rights Advocates with Child Abusers
International Catholic organizations issue statement denouncing the oppression of women and the inadequate response to child sex crimes

Friday, June 16, 2010
Yesterday, the Vatican issued a clarification of its canonical procedures for how dioceses should handle priests who sexually abuse children. As part of the statement, they have added that the "attempted ordination of a woman" has now been added to the list of "delicta graviora," or most serious crimes in church law, alongside the sexual abuse of minors.
This morning, twenty-seven international Catholic organizations issued the following joint statement in response:
We, the undersigned, express our solidarity with Catholics who continue to seek equality, including those who practice feminist ministries and those who are ordained. We know these women and men to be firm in their faith and courageous in their work as they seek an inclusive and accountable church, undeterred by threats of excommunication or other canonical penalties. In addition, we stand with our brother priests and bishops who are also being threatened by this new policy for their support of women's equality in the church.  Furthermore, we take great offense that good faith struggles for gender equality could be misunderstood as a sacrilege and placed on par with the sexual abuse of children. In 1976, the Vatican's own Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded there is no valid scriptural reason for denying ordination to women. Therefore, we welcome such efforts to expand the scope and variety of ministry and we celebrate women's faithfulness despite huge institutional obstacles.
We are gravely disappointed that the Vatican would largely repackage its sexual abuse policy norms from 2001 in yesterday's re-issued statement without adding many meaningful changes to canonical procedures on how to handle the sexual crimes of its religious leaders. We stand with survivors in calling for the release of the names of all credibly accused Catholic religious leaders and for the Vatican's immediate adoption and implementation of global child protection policies. Nothing less is adequate to the crying needs of a community torn asunder by its own leaders' crimes.
Catholic Organization Signatories
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), USA
Patrick B. Edgar, D.P.A., M.Div., President
BASIC (Brothers And Sisters In Christ), Ireland.
Contact: Una Ruddock
+353 1 621 6816
Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director,
Call To Action, USA
Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director
Catholics for Choice- Canada
Rosemary Ganley, Coordinator
Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, USA
Paula Ruddy, Bernie Rodel, Michael Bayly, Co-chairs
(612) 379-1043
Catholic Network for Women's Equality, Canada
Paula MacQuarrie, Coordinator
Contact: William Manseau

Corriente Somos Iglesia, Spain
Raquel Mallavibarrena, Coordinator
+34 649332654
Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Mexico
Maria Consuelo Mejia, Director
+5255 5658 1163
Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Spain
Mar Grandal, President
352 88946
8th Day Center for Justice - Women's Group, USA
Femmes et Hommes en Eglise/Genre en Christianisme, France  
Danielle Penuel-Monneron, President
(0)2 33 90 78 10
Institute for Feminism and Religion, Ireland.
Mary Condren, Th.D., Director
Interreligious Convention of European Women Theologians
Lee Wax, Coordinator
0044-208 884 0476
Kerk Hardop, Netherlands
Marleen Wijdeveld, President
Isaac Wüst, Editor-in-Chief
National Coalition of American Nuns, USA
Contact: Donna Quinn
Noi Siamo Chiesa (Italian Section of IMWAC), Italy
Contact: Vittorio Bellavite
Nous sommes Aussi l'Eglise, France
Lucienne Gouguenhem, Vice-President
33 1 45 88 04 92
Pax Christi Maine, USA
Bill Slavick, Coordinator

Conatct: Gloria Ulterino
Roman Catholic Faith Community Council of the Federation of Christian Ministries
William J. Manseau, Evelyn Hunt, and Thomas Quinn, Co-Chairs
Roman Catholic Women Priests, Europe-West.
I. Riedl, Coordinator   
0049-089 845 830
Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc
Contact: Alice Iaquinta
Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), USA
Mary E. Hunt and Diann L. Neu, Co-directors
301 589-2509
Women's Ordination Conference, USA
Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director
WomenPriests.Org, International
Therese Koturbash, Coordinator
+44 (0)1923 779 446
To view the Vatican document, click here.
An online petition has been started so that other groups or individuals may register their support of this statement.