Miriam Duignan: UK [email protected]
Kate McElwee: Italy [email protected]
Pat Brown: UK [email protected]

For Immediate Release:

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) will celebrate the liturgical Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene, now officially recognized as an “Apostle to the Apostles” and included in the General Roman Calendar for the first time this year.

WOW advocates will gather in Krakow city center at the Bishop’s House where Pope John Paul II lived for 15 years as Cardinal of Krakow.  Members of WOW will call for a rejection of Pope John Paul II’s 1994 ban on the ordination of women and celebrate Mary Magdalene by calling for women’s full equality in the Church, including as ordained ministers.

Friday 22nd July – 14.00
Main gate, Bishop’s Palace
ul. Franciszkanska 3

Mary Magdalene’s official recognition as an apostle, chosen by Jesus, affirms women’s rightful capacity to act “in persona Christi,” and restores her, often maligned, legacy as someone instrumental to our faith and equal to her male counterparts.

Claims of male clerical superiority based on a physical resemblance to Jesus have never convinced nor served the wider Church.

WOW calls on the Church to rid itself of the sin of sexism and model unconditional equality by opening up all ministries to Catholic women who have the talent and vocation to serve their communities as St. Mary Magdalene did.

WOW also celebrates its 20th anniversary in July and will hold their annual gathering in Krakow ahead of Pope Francis’ visit for World Youth Day.  During the past 20 years of campaigning, WOW has worked to challenge all remaining arguments against women’s ordination. The official recognition of Mary Magdalene’s role makes an exclusively male leadership model impossible to uphold and strengthens the case for gender justice.

We are calling on Pope Francis to recognize that a “discipleship of equals” and renewed church will only be possible when women are accepted as equals and are able to participate alongside men.


Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW), founded in 1996 at the First European Women’s Synod in Austria, is an ecumenical network of national and international groups whose primary mission at this time is the admission of Roman Catholic women to all ordained ministries.