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Members' News and Views

Thank you for visiting our website. We are in the process of developing this and adding information. This page is for news about CWS members and their activities. 


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Women Religious Campaign Outside the Vatican (photo Voices of Faith)

After many years of Catholic women's groups campaigning for women to be given votes at Synods of Bishops, Pope Francis has approved a decision for 70 voting members at the Synod in October 2023 to be lay women and men, and members of religious orders. Catholic Women Speak welcome this decision and see it as a significant step towards the full inclusion of women in the Church's leadership and decision-making processes.


We hope that the women selected will represent the wide diversity of women's cultures, concerns, and contexts, and that they will not be afraid to speak out and to vote for positive change on some of the issues that most profoundly affect women's lives. There is always the risk that the bishops choose women who can be relied upon to uphold the status quo. This would be a betrayal of the thousands of women around the world who have participated in the synodal consultation process, and who have expressed a desire for change across institutional structures, sacramental practices, and ethical values.

Our CWS International Survey with more than 17,000 responses from women around the world  gives a sense of the wide range of these issues.

CWS Members Discuss the Women's Vote in the Media

CWS members Tina Beattie and Kate McElwee have given media interviews on the women's vote at the Synod

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Kate McElwee speaks to Scott Simon of NPR

(please click here to listen)

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Tina Beattie speaks to Audrey Carville of BBC Radio Ulster

(please click here to listen - interview starts at 20:54 mins into the programme)

Celia Wexler has written an opinion piece for CNN - "Why we're still waiting for the Catholic women's 'revolution'" 

(please click here to read it)

Celia Wexler
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Voices of Faith Book Launch and Symposium - Rome - October 2018


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On International Women's Day (8th March 2023) CWS member Dr Tracy McEwan joined Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Chiara Porro, to promote our International Survey of Catholic Women and present our report to Pope Francis.

To find out more and to read the report, please go to this page.


Photos: Vatican Media 

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CWS member Sheila Pires of Radio Veritas in South Africa has been appointed as communications officer for the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) composed of Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa. She is the first woman to hold the post, which has in the past always been held by priests. Sheila points out how rare it is for a lay woman to occupy such a position in the Church. She told CWS that "The SACBC is an example of inclusion and recognition of women."

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