Scholars from around the world are discussing the role and history of women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church as part of Pope Francis’ new commission. During this historic period of dialogue and study, the Women’s Ordination Conference needs you to join the conversation and share your passion for women’s full equality in the Church. Thousands of letters and postcards to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) can make a difference.

Take Action: Valentines For Equality!

  • Send a personalized letter to Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria, the president of the Commission on the Diaconate for Women, on on WOC Stationary. Share how much you love women’s equality in the Church, your story of vocation, and your hopes for the commission. Make sure to include international postage.

Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria

Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11 

00193 Roma, Italia

  • Donate $5 or more to have WOC hand-deliver a Valentine to the Vatican’s CDF in Rome with your name and personalized note.
  • Spread the word! Write your own love notes and leading up to Valentine’s Day, use the social media hashtag: #OrdainWomen


Talking Points:

  • Scriptural evidence leaves no doubt that women were ordained as deacons. Phoebe as the only person Scripture with the title “deacon” (Rm 16:1). The first Letter to Timothy lists characteristics of women who are deacons (3:8-11).
  • Women deacons were ordained in the West until the 12th century, and still exist today in the East.  The Orthodox Church of Greece and the Armenian Apostolic Church, which have valid sacraments and orders, presently allow for the ordination of women as deacons.
  • Women already perform many diaconal ministries in their parishes. Recognition through Holy Orders would affirm their service to the Church as well as empower women’s leadership into decision-making roles, which are currently restricted to male clerics.
  • While the commission is not a solution to women’s inequality in the Church, we pray that the commission, similar to the Pontifical Biblical Commission of 1976 that concluded there is no scriptural barrier to women’s priestly ordination, will inform a new reality for women in our Church: one that models equality and inclusion.
  • Only when women are equally included in all ordination rites — as deacons, priests, and bishops — and at all Church decision-making tables, can we begin to restore our Gospel values of equality and justice.


Thank you for taking action this Valentine’s Day by sharing your love for women’s equality with the Vatican!

WOC co-director, Kate McElwee successfully delivered a stack of Valentines to Monsignor Luis F. Ladaria, president of the Commission on Women Deacons and assistant secretary to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

Your messages calling for women’s full inclusion in all ordained ministries continues to be heard around the world.

Thank you for your tireless advocacy and prayers for women’s full inclusion in our Church. We couldn’t do this without you!