Women in the Catholic Church

The Latest

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

What challenges do women face at work? The Vatican takes a look

Dec 8, 2015

By Ann Schneible

A two-day Vatican workshop over the weekend explored the unique challenges faced by women as they balance work with family... Read more

Man and woman.

Men and women are complementary – but what does that look like in practice?

Oct 16, 2015

By Hillary Mast

The idea that men and women are different and complementary has been part of the Catholic Church from its beginning.  Read more

Why women are needed to help end violence in Africa

Sep 2, 2015

Women are the key to reconciliation in both the family and society.  Read more

Pope Francis.

Is a 'springtime' of leadership blooming for women in the Vatican?

Apr 18, 2015

By Elise Harris

With more opportunities opening for women to take leadership roles in Vatican councils and congregations, women are filling the ranks... Read more

Pope Francis makes a visit to the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Rome on Feb. 8, 2015.

Pope Francis: If men and women aren't different, we have problems

Apr 15, 2015

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis has warned against gender theories which seek to eradicate differences between man and woman, saying they perpetuate the... Read more

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

Society's dire need for the 'female soul' – Pope Francis speaks to women

Feb 7, 2015

By Elise Harris

Pope Francis has advocated for the widespread participation of women in all levels of the Church and society, saying that... Read more

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

Pope: the 'feminine genius' takes on theology's uncharted territory

Dec 5, 2014

By Elise Harris

In an address given to theologians, Pope Francis praised the increasing presence of women in the field, saying that their... Read more

St. Peter's Basilica.

First woman appointed to a Vatican congregation joyful

Sep 30, 2014

By Andrea Gagliarducci

The first woman ever to be appointed a member of a Vatican congregation explains that “women still have much to... Read more

Vatican City.

Roster of women increases on Vatican theological board

Sep 24, 2014

Announced Tuesday, Pope Francis' appointments to the International Theological Commission include a greater number of women than before, and come... Read more

 Lucia Scaraffia reads the special insert on the Theology of Women in L'Osservatore Romano, April 7, 2014.

Vatican newspaper gives voice to women in the Church

May 22, 2014

The co-founder of a monthly insert on women's issues in the Vatican newspaper says its pages offer a valuable platform... Read more

Ana Christina Villa meeting with Saint John Paul II in 2004. Photo courtesy of Ana Christina Villa.

New saints lauded for pioneering dialogue on women

Apr 28, 2014

By Elise Harris

The newly-canonized John Paul II and John XXIII have drawn praise for sparking discussion within the Church on modern women... Read more

A rose with St. Peter's Basilica in the background.

Women's dynamic service to Church celebrated at Vatican

Mar 11, 2014

On March 8, dozens packed into the Vatican's tiny San Carlo Cinema for what was hailed as a “unique storytelling... Read more

Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Nov. 27, 2013

Pope hopes for more 'widespread, incisive' feminine presence

Jan 25, 2014

Pope Francis met with a group of Italian women today, expressing his desire for women to participate more widely in... Read more