News and Press Releases

Roman Catholic Women Priests

Bishops Respond to the

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Findings

26 August 2018

We, the undersigned international circle of Bishops representing the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement, state the following:

  • We thank the Pennsylvania State’s Attorney for doing the work the Roman Catholic Bishops have failed to do and for disclosing the criminal conduct of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and an estimated thousand child victims.
  • We condemn the conduct of priest sex offenders. We condemn the conduct of Bishops who conspired to cover up the criminal conduct of priest sex offenders and expanded the number of child victims by transferring offending clergy to new assignments. We condemn the conduct of Bishops who failed to report clergy accused of sexual crimes to local law enforcement agencies for investigation and possible prosecution. We condemn the conduct of Bishops who themselves engaged in sex offenses with minor victims. We condemn the conduct of all clergy, priests and bishops, who engaged in the sexual harassment of adult women and/or men.
  • We believe the structure of priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church is bankrupt and corrupt and must be completely restructured.

We call upon the U.S. Bishops to tender their resignations as bishops subject to the acceptance or rejection of Pope Francis.

  • We call upon Pope Francis to establish a lay led ecumenical council to explore new structures for church leadership and church order, including:
  1. the ordination of married men, women, and people of all genders;
  2. the normalization of LGBTQ relationships and same sex marriage;
  3. the establishment of a process for participation of local laity in the selection/election of their bishops;
  4. the establishment of lay representation by 2/3 in all ecumenical councils for purposes of developing and setting Roman Catholic theology, policy, self-understanding and practice.

We are aware that this sexual abuse crisis is a worldwide crisis, occurring on every continent where the Roman Catholic Church has a presence. This crisis dramatically affects all of God’s people.

Healing and renewal in the Roman Catholic Church can only begin after a serious accounting of its hierarchy. A recall of the current, collective leadership and a non-hierarchical restructuring of the Church is imperative in order to heal the grave wounds to the body of Christ and move the Church into the 21st century.

+Marie Evans Bouclin, (Sudbury, ON, Bishop Emerita, RCWP Canada)

+Merlene Olivia Doko, (Pismo Beach, CA, Bishop Emerita, RCWP-USA)

+Patricia Fresen, (Stuttgart, Germany and Johannesburg, South Africa, RCWP)

+Joan M. Clark Houk, (South Bend, IN, RCWP-USA, Great Waters Region)

+Andrea Michele Johnson, (Annapolis, MD, RCWP-USA, Eastern Region)

+Jane Kryzanowski, (Regina, SK, RCWP Canada)

+Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, (Pettenbach, RCWP Austria/ Europe)

+Nancy Louise Meyer, (Indianapolis, IN, RCWP-USA, Midwest Region)

+Ida Raming, (Stuttgart, RCWP Germany)

+ Sibyl Dana Reynolds (Pebble Beach, CA, RCWP-USA)

+Suzanne Avison Thiel, (Portland, OR, RCWP-USA, Western Region)

+Jane Via, (San Diego, CA, RCWP-USA, Western Region)


Andrea Johnson

Suzanne Thiel

Religious Studies Lecturer (San Jose State University)


(Western Region Roman Catholic Womenpriest)


Fulbright Scholar Program
A program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Press Release

March 26, 2018

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Action Network

Roman Catholic Womenpriests march with the young people who demand an end to the terror they face by those wielding instruments of death. We follow the Prince of Peace, Jesus, who was murdered by the Roman occupation for his insistence on the dignity and value of each person’s life.

We advocate for an immediate ban on new sales of semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR-15. We advocate for universal background checks with no loopholes for all who purchase guns.

We urge that you participate in local marches and communicate your insistence for change to your governmental representatives and leaders.

We pray for the safety of all who march and for the presence of the Prince of Peace at all the rallies.

Group Called ‘Roman Catholic Womenpriests’ Say

They Are Defying The Church To Answer A Call From God

May 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Filed Under: Ordination Of Women, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Women Priests, The Vatican

LOS ANGELES ( — Twenty years ago this month, the Vatican reaffirmed the ban on the ordination of women, which led to the birth of a movement within the Church called the “Roman Catholic Womenpriests” who say they are defying the Catholic Church to answer a call from God.

These devout Catholics, who preach teachings and rituals of their faith, were excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church because, they say, they are women.

“It’s a sexist law created by some humans and the call of God trumps that,” Jennifer O’Malley said.

O’Malley, a self-proclaimed Catholic priest, holds prayer in a tiny Episcopalian Chapel in Long Beach.

“It’s important that everyone participates in the liturgy and everyone has a role,” she said about her small gatherings where everyone sits in a circle.

She is one of four self-proclaimed Catholic priests in Southern California who are part of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests. They are Catholics who believe they oversea the ordination of femalepriests — a movement that began decades ago in secret.

“The womanpriests movement was rooted in the 60s. It was not until 2002 that RCWP was formed when seven women were ordained by some male bishops on the Danube River,”

O’Malley says the movement has grown through “apostolic succession”. There are currently 180 of them worldwide, but most of them preach in the United States.

According to Gary Macy, a renowned author on the subject, women were ordained up until the 12th century, but only as leaders in the community.

“What you got was a job within the community, and any job you got went through an ordination ceremony,” she said.

The definition of ordination changed in the 13th century when the Church made it official barring women from receiving the holy sacrament, according to Macy. She said disobeying would be as serious as priests who sexually abuse children.

“The former Pope saw this as a grave crime — one that merits excommunication,” she said. “Women cannot be ordained priests and even if they went through the consecration ceremony or ordination ceremony, nothing happens.”

Rosa Manriquez said the law is not stopping her from following her dreams of becoming a Catholic priest.

“It’s like you can come here, but no further. And then I’ll hear how we’re all equal in the Church, but you just can’t be a priest,” Manriquez said. “That makes no sense.”

“My Church has a history of exclusion and has grown up over the centuries…over the decades. There was a time in the Church that Native Americans had no souls. There was time the Catholic Church was perfectly okay with slavery,” she added. “I think without those people in the Church who risked speaking out against slavery, who risked speaking out about what was said about Native American people, our church would not be where it is right now. It would not have progressed the way it has. My point is I am part of the Church that says there needs to be a change.”

Many in the RCWP movement hope change will happen, that one day women will be allowed to lead inside Catholic churches.

“Hopefully one day they’ll realize that gender won’t be a requirement to be called by God for ordination. But even if they don’t, the people are recognizing it, and the people are the Church,” O’Malley said.

“In any institution there can be like a tunnel vision, and there’s a need for someone to say ‘No, no, no. Look over here’,” Manriquez said. “I believe that’s what I’m doing as being part of the renewal of the Church — being one of those voices. It may not be recognized in my lifetime, but I think it’ll be eventually recognized.”

According to a New York Times/CBS poll, 59 percent of American Catholics support the ordination of women.