RCWP FAQs

True and False About Women's Ordinations

FALSE: Women (by virtue of their sex) cannot image Christ.
TRUE: It is the call of every female and male Christian to image Christ; and it is the call of every female and male Christian to see Christ in every person.

FALSE: Roman Catholic women have never been ordained.
TRUE: Epigraphic evidence exists of women bishops. Until at least the ninth century the Church gave women the full sacramental ordination of deacons. Women priests existed in the West during the 4th and 5th centuries according to literary evidence, and according to epigraphic evidence.

FALSE: Roman Catholic Womenpriests don't have the necessary training to be priests.
TRUE: All women who are ordained have a Master's Degree in Divinity, Theology, Religious Sutdies or the equivalent and work with an RCWP mentor to complete 10 units of further study that focus on the sacraments. The RCWP Program of Preparation usually consists of a minimum of one year of discernment before ordination to the diaconate, and usually an additional year before ordination to the priesthood.

FALSE: Roman Catholic women have not been ordained deacons or priests in the modern era.
TRUE: Ludmila Javorova, ordained priest, December 28, 1970, is an example of a woman who was ordained.

FALSE: These ordinations as women priests are not recognized or valid.
TRUE: The group "Roman Catholic Womenpriests" receives its authority from Roman Catholic bishops who stand in Apostolic Succession. These bishops bestowed sacramentally valid ordinations on the women listed above.

FALSE: Mandatory celibacy goes back to the earliest days of the church.
TRUE: Scripture citations refer to the marriage of Simon Peter. Citations also refer to married bishops, priests and deacons in the earliest Christian churches. Mandatory celibacy was universally required in the 12th century at the First Lateran Council in 1123.

Often Asked Questions

Are Your Ordinations Valid?
How Can You Call Yourselves Roman Catholic?

 

Statement on Apostolic Succession

The ordinations of Roman Catholic Womenpriests are valid because of our apostilic succession within the Roman Catholic Church. The principal consecrating Roman Catholic male bishops who ordained our first women bishops are bishops with apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, our bishops validly ordain deacons, priests and bishops. Consequently, all qualified candidates, including baptized ministers and priests from other Christian traditions, who are presented to our bishops for ordination are ordained by the laying on of hands in apostolic succession in the Roman Catholic Church. The ordination rite has all the same essential parts as the rite used for male candidates and deacons.

Have You Been Excommunicated?
 

Response Regarding Excommunication Decree

Roman Catholic Womenpriests reject the penalty of excommunication issued by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on May 29, 2008 stating that the "women priests and the bishops who ordain them would be excommunicated latae sententiae." Roman Catholic Womenpriests are loyal members of the church who stand in the prophetic tradition of holy obedience to the Spirit's call to change an unjust law that discriminates against women. Our movement is receiving enthusiastic responses on the local, national and international level. We will continue to serve our beloved church in a renewed priestly ministry that welcomes all to celebrate the sacraments in inclusive, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered communities wherever we are called.