Aisha S. Taylor, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), issued the following statement today regarding the ordinations on November 1, 2008 of Barbara Zeman as a Roman Catholic priest and Alta Jacko, Linda Wilcox, and Mary Styne as deacons, in preparation for the priesthood.

"The Women’s Ordination Conference supports the four women who will step out in courage and prophetic obedience on Saturday to answer their calls to serve God and their communities. These women are making a way where there is none.  Time and again, Catholic women demonstrate their faithfulness and tenacity as they respond to the urging of the Holy Spirit, despite fear-motivated excommunications and needless penalties.

"There are an estimated 2.3 million Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago and after decades of organizing for women’s equality in the church, demonstrations, and presence in the city, WOC is elated that the movement continues to grow.  This is the first Roman Catholic Womenpriests ordination in Chicago and it is expected to draw hundreds of attendees. 

"Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago are ready for a change in Church.  The Women’s Ordination Conference is proud to represent the vast majority of U.S. Catholics who support the ordination of women by advocating on behalf of all women who prophetically obey the call to serve as a spiritual leader in difficult times."

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Founded in 1975, the Women’s Ordination Conference is the oldest and largest national organization that works to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic church.  WOC represents the 63-70 percent of US Catholics that support women’s ordination. WOC also promotes new perspectives on ordination that call for more accountability and less separation between the clergy and laity. For more information, visit www.womensordination.org