Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Women priests in Europe

I will add to the following as I collect more data:

The Church of Denmark has been ordaining women to the priesthood since 1948, though more than half still say they have  encountered opposition on the basis of their gender from male colleagues . The Church of Sweden has been ordaining women priests since 1960 , and is now ordaining more women than men  The current Bishop of Stockholm is one of the women on the bishops’ bench of the Church of Sweden  The Church of Finland has ordained women since 1986 , and has now appointed the first woman bishop to the see of Helsinki In the Church of Norway, some dioceses report a third of their clergy are now women The Church of Iceland has been ordaining women since 1974.

The Old Catholic Church has been ordaining women priests since 1996 in Germany; 1997 in Austria; 1999 in the Netherlands; 2000 in Switzerland. ; and now also in Italy too

In the Roman Catholic Church, 79% of French Roman Catholics are apparently in favour of women’s ordination The Roman Catholic Bishop of Killaloe in Ireland has expressed his support for the ordination of women to the priesthood (and lived to tell the tale?) . Half of Spain‘s practising Roman Catholics are now in favour of women’s ordination ; even 41% of the Spanish clergy, traditionally amongst Europe’s most conservative, are in favour of women priests . The latest survey shows that only 25% of the secular clergy in Austria believe women’s ordination to be theologically impossible (despite this being the Vatican’s official position) .

The Roman Catholic Womenpriests organisation has been going ahead and ordaining Roman Catholic women to the priesthood despite the disapproval of the Vatican  ; One of their priests in Austria has been much in the news there

One Response to “Women priests in Europe”

  1. john said

    Father Mark,

    There seems to me to be useful material in recent ‘Tablets’ (last two) documenting widespread English RC yearning for women priests.



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