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We are Catholic Women Speak

Towards a deeper, richer understanding of the Catholic tradition

We are creating a space for open dialogue, theological exploration and collaboration among Catholic women in the worldwide Church.

We seek to bring Catholic women’s voices into dialogue with others in the Catholic Church, with those in other churches and religious traditions, and with wider society, in order to participate in a deeper, richer understanding of the Catholic tradition and its relevance for our times

We do not speak with one voice

We believe in the creativity of struggle and acceptance that comes from learning to respect our differences. We regard these as vital aspects of the process of discovery and transformation that brings us together in our faith.

Diversity is a strength

We speak as women, not as “Woman”

We resist any attempt to develop a theology of “Woman”.

Find out why

Find out more about Catholic Women Speak – who we are and what we do

In October 2018, women from around the world gathered in Rome for events and activities organised by Catholic Women Speak. We recorded interviews with 14 of these women speaking about their vocations, their faith and their cultures and contexts. You can watch the videos here.
Click here to watch the videos.
Sheila Pires of Radio Veritas in South Africa interviewed Tina Beattie about Catholic Women Speak while they were together in Rome in October 2018.
Click here to listen to the interview.

We are telling stories, not spreading ideologies … If you self-identify as a Catholic woman, you are welcome in this space. …  We’re a forum for women to say what can we claim, what can we rescue and what must we change to make the  Church we love a more hospitable place for women. … Many of our members campaign on different issues, but Catholic Women Speak is not a campaigning group. It’s a forum, it’s a space, and so any individual woman is welcome there, whatever she campaigns on. … We have women from many different cultures, and we have to be sensitive to each another. Language doesn’t travel effortlessly across cultural boundaries. What one person might feel very comfortable supporting and calling herself, another would not. … Our only campaign is to create a space for women to speak. (Tina Beattie)

TAKING ACTION:

As reported in the magazine Crux, Professor Gabriella Gambino, the undersecretary heading the section of “Life” in the Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life presents a dichotomy between migrant African women as a “prototype of motherhood lived in essence” and “Western” women who allegedly see “motherhood as a fatigue, motherhood as a choice, as a productive decision.”

We believe that this is a deeply unhelpful and distorted way of representing the complex realities of maternal life for both African and so-called “Western” women. We are particularly concerned that such ideas should come from one of the most senior women in the Vatican.

Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith have written a statement protesting against these comparisons and inviting Professor Gambino to dialogue. You can read our statement here.

Would you like to help us to promote women’s voices in the Church? – Please donate here.

Catholic Women Speak – Our New Book

Read more about the contents and contributors and order a copy of the book here.
Read about our time in Rome – see our photos and watch our videos.

JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

A forum for dialogue

The purpose of the forum is to create an informed and honest space for dialogue around issues relevant to the lives of Catholic women in the Church and society.

Comments and contributions that are respectful, courteous and intelligent are welcome here.

Whatever your gender, you are welcome to join our conversation here.

Catholic Women Gossip About Gaudete et Exsultate

The following reflection is intended to stimulate discussion around some problematic issues that emerge when Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, is read from a woman's perspective. It is written in a spirit of

Catholic Women Discuss the Charlie Gard Case

This Facebook discussion explores complex ethical questions about life support and end of life decisions, the relationship between health care and 'big pharma', and differences between attitudes to these issues in the US, Canada and

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We are a global network

We are the voices of Catholic women from many different cultures, perspectives and walks of life, united by a shared belief that the Church will benefit from greater inclusion of women’s perspectives and theological insights in the interpretation of doctrine and the development of pastoral practice.
Find out how
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We are an online community of over 1000 women

LATEST ARTICLES

Join our conversation

The Church Ought Not to be a Torture Test

Blog post from CWS member Mary Pezzulo, originally published on Patheos.com 21st October 2018 I don’t know how to tell you that you shouldn’t mock people in spiritual crisis. If you are a Christian

Browse more articles here

News and events

Browse more news items here

Men and women, young people and adults, communicate differently. They speak different languages and they act in different ways. Everyone has something to contribute, because they have their life experiences, they look at things from a different standpoint and they have their own concerns, abilities and insights. The unity that we seek is not uniformity, but a “unity in diversity”, or “reconciled diversity”.

 – Pope Francis,  Amoris Laetitiae – The Joy of Love

Get involved with Catholic Women Speak today

Join a vibrant network of Catholic women who all support each other on their personal and spiritual journeys.

Join our online community

We welcome Catholic women to join our Facebook group to dialogue with us, and to support other Catholic women around the world working for a more inclusive Church.

Take part in our closed Facebook group

This private Facebook group is open to bona fide members who self-identify as Catholic women. It offers a secure and confidential forum for dialogue, awareness raising and theological engagement around issues of concern to women in the Church and society. If you wish to join in the conversation please contact us

Join a local group

Catholic Women Speak is a worldwide movement. Find out if there is a group in your area that you can join and support.

How to join a group

Even though we take full advantage of online communication, we know that this does not replace the value of meeting face to face in groups to support each other. Find out if there is a group near you for you to join.

Join our conversation

Whatever your gender, you are welcome to join our conversation here.

Join our forum

The purpose of the website is to create an informed and honest space for dialogue around issues relevant to the lives of Catholic women in the Church and society. Comments and contributions which are respectful, courteous and intelligent are welcome here.

Join online
Join local group
Go to forum
Sign up to our newsletter
Go to magazine

We are delighted to collaborate with L’Osservatore Romano in distributing the English translation of their Women Church World magazine through our website.

L’Osservatore Romano – Women Friends

Women Friends - April 2018 For many centuries friendship was considered to be a solely masculine fact, a “lofty” sentiment, cathartic, which uplifted the spirit: Achilles and Patroclus, Euryalus and Nisus, and also David

In collaboration with Voices of Faith

Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith work together to promote the representation and participation of women in the life of the Church. We do this through publications, media promotions, educational activities, networking and social media, and by organising events such as the International Women’s Day conference organised in Rome every year by Voices of Faith, and the symposia in Rome organised by Catholic Women Speak to coincide with Synods of Bishops in 2015 and 2018.

In collaboration with Catherine of Siena College

We work closely with the college which provides an online learning environment for the promotion of higher education in the fields of theology, religion, gender and social justice, intended particularly but not exclusively for women in the global South who would not otherwise have access to university education.

Both the Network and the College are administered by the University of Roehampton in London, under the umbrella of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing.

Support our work

Please support the work of the Catholic Women Speak Network - helping to create the space for authentic dialogue within the Church. Find out what your funds can help us achieve. Find out what your funds can help us achieve.
Donate here