“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. … Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Among the Ordain Women FAQ is the question, “Why should I care whether or not women are ordained in the LDS Church, the Roman Catholic Church, or elsewhere?” We answer, in part, “To subjugate women and deny them equal access to decision-making authority in any community–religious or otherwise–opens up a space for more extreme forms of discrimination and abuse. Everyone in our communities, Mormon and non-Mormon alike, feels the negative impact of religious beliefs and practices that marginalize women.” Religious inequality impedes the progress of our faith community and spills over into the broader secular community. It can impact everything from women’s reproductive rights and protection from domestic abuse to equal educational, economic and political opportunity.
OW has often joined with women of other religious traditions to highlight the need for gender equality in our faith communities. Next Sunday, we have the chance to support our Catholic sisters at Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) as they raise their voices for women’s equality in the Roman Catholic Church.
Sunday, May 7, 2017, marks the 54th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, a day when Catholics pray for those who minister in the church and for “young men and women to hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.” Though this official language seems inclusive, WOW points out that the traditional call to prayer “neglects to footnote those ministries where women are rejected, silenced and punished for following their call to ordination.”
As such, OW encourages all who care about gender equality to support WOW’s Witness for Women’s Equality on World Day of Prayer for Vocations. How? Join WOW in prayer and action next Sunday as they urge “the Roman Catholic Church to open the discussion on women’s ordination and reflect on its own participation in the oppression of women by denying women’s equality in Christ.”
WOW’s prayer, as is OW’s, is that the global Church will “transform and renew its institution and practices to become a prophetic voice and witness for global gender justice, … uphold the Gospel message of equality and honor the vocations and ministries of all its members.”