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Opportunities and barriers to women’s participation in the Catholic Church

23 May 2018

Council for Australian Catholic Women, Parramatta Consultation Session: Opportunities and barriers to women’s participation in the Catholic Church

On June 21, 2018 Catholic women from the Diocese of Parramatta will be given the chance to share their views on the opportunities and barriers to their participation in the Catholic Church at ‘Catholic Women Speak,’ a special consultation session organised by the Council for Australian Catholic Women.

The Council is an advisory group to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and was established to ensure that the dignity of women is honoured and their gifts are given space to flourish for the sake of the Church’s life and mission. Major initiatives of the Council include Leadership for Mission which develops the leadership capacity of women aged 25- 35 years and a triannual Colloquium to bring women to together from across Australia for input and conversation. The Council also supports Catholic Women’s Mentoring which aims to foster the empowerment of all Australian Catholic women.

Online survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParraWomen

Data from the National Church Life Survey shows that the typical Mass attender is likely to be female, older and born overseas. This consultation is open to all women of all ages who identify as Catholic including those who may feel disconnected from Parish life. The Council is keen to hear from a range of women about their experience of belonging to the Catholic Church. Women who are unable to be present can complete an online survey to ensure that their views are heard.

Andrea Dean, Director of the Office for the Participation of Women said “While we cannot make immediate changes to the Church or take away the pain of women who have been hurt by the Church, research and experience shows us the people appreciate being heard and being taken seriously. When people feel ignored and excluded it impacts on morale and wellbeing. Ultimately the evidence we gather is passed on the leaders of the Catholic Church in an effort improve the inclusiveness and diversity of the Church.”

Dr Sandie Cornish, who is a long time promoter of social justice especially regarding women’s participation in the Church, will open the consultation session with a presentation on Women in Church History.

Online survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParraWomen

Supporters of Catholic Women Speak include the Diocese of Parramatta, Catholic Women’s Mentoring and their annual partner Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund and Catholic Women’s Mentoring event partners.

Guests should indicate their attendance by June 18, 2018 by emailing director.opw@catholic.org.au or call Andrea 0487 388 873. The event, June 21, will begin with drinks and canapés from 5.30 pm at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta (enter via Ross St).

With thanks to the ACBC.

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