Women in the Catholic Church

The Latest

Pope Francis and St. Teresa of Avila

Pope Francis hails St. Teresa of Ávila as exemplar of courage and spiritual motherhood

Apr 13, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis has hailed St. Teresa of Ávila as exemplar of courage and spiritual motherhood in a letter marking fifty... Read more

Mother Angelica with John Paul II.

Mother Angelica: A female powerhouse in a supposedly sexist Church

Mar 27, 2021

By Mary Farrow

It was September 1987, and Pope John Paul II had just arrived in Los Angeles after traveling around the United... Read more

Sr. Nathalie Becquart (third from left) poses with Pope Francis and others during the youth synod in 2018. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Pope Francis names religious sister, priest as under-secretaries of the Synod of Bishops

Feb 6, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

Pope Francis Saturday appointed a Spanish priest and a French religious sister as under-secretaries of the Synod of Bishops.  Read more

Carmelite nuns.

Are religious sisters exploited by the Church? Three sisters respond

Mar 7, 2018

By Mary Farrow

Last week, the women’s edition of a magazine distributed in the Vatican published an article claiming that religious sisters in... Read more


Diocese says 'ordination' of woman as Catholic priest not valid

May 3, 2017

A breakaway Catholic group is in the news for attempting to ordain a woman as a Catholic priest at a... Read more

Barbara Jatta at the Vatican. Courtesy of the Vatican Museums.

She grew up in the art world – now she's leading the Vatican museums

Mar 9, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

Barbara Jatta, the newest director of the Vatican museums, and the first woman to hold the position, said that working... Read more

Sunset over St. Peter's Basilica.

For women, Vatican's new female advisory group 'a good start'

Mar 8, 2017

By Elise Harris

A new advisory group for the Pontifical Council for Culture is being hailed as the beginning of a greater representation... Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Oct. 1 2014.

Vatican event to highlight key role of women in peace-building

Mar 6, 2017

By Elise Harris

To mark International Women's Day, the Vatican invited women from across the globe to discuss not only their work as... Read more

Is the Catholic Church anti-woman? Two feminist scholars debate

Feb 26, 2017

For Erika Bachiochi, the Catholic Church has been able to offer a genuine pro-woman theology which not only safeguards and... Read more

'Endow' women's group launches outreach to Latinos, millennials

Jan 25, 2017

In an effort to meet the Church's growth in diversity, the Catholic women's apostolate Endow has announced a new program... Read more

We've all got it wrong about women in the Catholic Church

Dec 26, 2016

By Elise Harris

When it comes to talking about women and their role in the Church, discussion tends to focus almost exclusively on... Read more

Barbara Jatta at the Vatican. Courtesy of the Vatican Museums.

Meet the first woman in history to run the Vatican museums

Dec 21, 2016

By Elise Harris

On Tuesday it was announced that Barbara Jatta, a wife and mother of three children, will be the new director... Read more

A view of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

Women at the Vatican form association for solidarity

Dec 7, 2016

By Hannah Brockhaus

A new association for women working in the Vatican announced Wednesday provides a personal and professional network for women to... Read more

Pope Francis gives an address during Divine Liturgy in Etchmiadzin Armenia, June 26, 2016.

Pope creates commission to study women deacons

Aug 2, 2016

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis has instituted a new commission for the study of women deacons, the Vatican announced Tuesday.  Read more

Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1835. Public domain via Wikimedia.

Mary Magdalene – 'Apostle to the Apostles' – gets upgraded feast day

Jul 22, 2016

By Elise Harris

Faithful to the wish of Pope Francis, a new decree has bumped the liturgical celebration honoring St. Mary Magdalene from... Read more

Pope Francis prepares to greet Queen Elizabeth II at the Vatican April 3, 2014.

Pope Francis 'angry' over media slant on women deacons

Jun 27, 2016

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis told journalists on Sunday that he was somewhat angered when reports emerged that the Church was allegedly paving... Read more

Dawn Eden Goldstein graduating with her Doctorate in Sacred Theology.

Why does this woman want to teach priests?

Jun 10, 2016

By Mary Farrow

Dawn Eden Goldstein isn’t trying to be a priest.  Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his Oct. 1, 2014 general audience.

What did Pope Francis actually say about the female diaconate?

May 13, 2016

By Elise Harris

Yesterday Pope Francis raised eyebrows around the world after declaring his openness to establishing a commission to study the female... Read more

"My Badass Book of Saints" book cover. Courtesy of Maria Morera Johnson.

Tough, funny and fearless: A bold new take on women saints

Dec 10, 2015

By Mary Farrow

Maria Johnson has a scar behind her ear, a small memento from that time she leaped off her dresser, aiming... Read more