The idea of Action Purple Stole came from Catholic Women’s Ordination in England. Catholic women are encouraged to wear a purple scarf when participating in liturgical celebrations. Wearing the Purple Stole is now a significant international action. It is a symbolic act with several dimensions:

• Purple proclaims the royal priesthood of the People of God.

• Purple is the liturgical color used in Lent, thus it also proclaims sorrow for the way women’s leadership and ministerial gifts have been wasted by the hierarchical church.

• In ancient times, however, purple was a symbol of metanoia, a new beginning. This is the spirit of Action Purple Stole today.

• And finally, purple has long been one of the colors of the women’s movement.

Purple Stole actions have taken place worldwide. Stichting VROUWMENS, Women’s Ordination in the Netherlands, had their first Purple Stole action at the consecration of the new bishop of Den Bosch at St. John’s Cathedral in that city. Barcelona recently had an Action Purple Stole as did Versailles where the demonstrators handed to the new priests yellow roses and a brochure that spoke of "Purple Stole Action for the renewal of Church ministries and the revision of the conditions of admission related to sex and marital status of candidates."


In silent protest, German women wearing purple stoles
challenge exclusion of women priests.


Purple, a symbol of metanoia, a new beginning,
and the spirit of Action Purple Stole.

In Freising, near Munich in Southern Germany, women wore purple stoles and held a banner saying: We Call for Overcoming Sex-Apartheid within the Catholic Church. The Munich bishop’s office prohibited the demonstrators on the Cathedral square so they stood on public ground in front of the entrance to the cathedral grounds. The new priests and Cardinal Wetter had, nevertheless, to pass in front of them and their banner. They also gave yellow roses to the eleven newly ordained priests. Be a part of Action Purple Stole – wear a purple stole to all liturgical celebrations!