10.) A priest’s job is to serve the people of God — it’s not about gender (or for that matter, marital status or sexual orientation).

9.) The Second Vatican Council calls for all discrimination to be eliminated.

  • “Every type of discrimination … based on sex … is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent” — Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, #29

8.) Women were prominent leaders in Jesus’ ministry. In all four gospels, Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the most important event in Christianity — the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

7.) There is a severe worldwide shortage of priests and an increasing number of women called to ordained ministry.

  • Fact: Between 1975 and 2005, the worldwide Catholic population increased by 57%, from 709.6 million to 1.12 billion, but the number of priests remained about the same, with an increase of 0.4%. — Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate

6.) The Bible includes many passages depicting women as leaders in early Christianity.

  • “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon (diakonos) of the church at Cenchrea." — Romans 16:1

5.) Archaeological discoveries provide evidence that women served as deacons, priests, and bishops in early Christianity.

4.) In the 20th century, women have been ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood.

  • Fact: On December 28, 1970, Bishop Felix Davidek ordained Ludmila Javorova a priest in the underground church of Communist Czechoslovakia. In 1991, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk of Prague confirmed that five other women were also ordained as priests during that time.

3.) In 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Commission determined that there is no biblical reason to prohibit women’s ordination.

2.) Because women and men are created in God’s image, both may represent Christ as priests.

  • “Humankind was created as God’s reflection: in the divine image God created them, female and male, God made them.” — Genesis 1:27

1.) Through baptism in Christ, the distinctions between women and men disappear, so women should also be able to answer God’s call to priestly ministry.

  • "In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus.” — Galatians 3:28


Compiled by the Women’s Ordination Conference

www.womensordination.org * (202) 675-1006