Women in the Catholic church have long been their own advocates, pushing the hierarchy and those within their faith communities to grant them the same ecclesial leadership roles as their male counterparts. The door, however, has remained closed — but the fight has continued.

NCR has reported on women who have faced similar scrutiny in the Catholic community.

In June, NCR reported on the women’s ordination conference in Rome, where about 20 people gathered in Piazza Pia at the far end of the boulevard that runs into the plaza outside St. Peter’s Basilica, where a Mass for the Jubilee of Priests was beginning.

The Women’s Ordination Worldwide supporters dressed in purple stoles — a symbol of women’s ordination — and carried signs that read, “Women priests are here.” They also had a cardboard replica of a telephone booth that was labeled, “Door to dialogue.”

“We walked down the pilgrim’s path toward St. Peter’s and joined the Mass for priests,” Kate McElwee, co-executive director of the organization, told NCR. “However, the women priests with us had their stoles and signs taken away, as well as our leaflets and pins.”

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