Catholic Women Internationally Concerned About Church Abuse

Sep 29, 2022 | 3 comments

A majority of 17,000 women surveyed internationally in 104 countries are concerned about the prevalence of abuse, racism, and sexism in church contexts.

This is a finding of an International Survey of Catholic Women (ISCW) conducted by the Catholic Women Speak Network, for the 2023 Universal Synod on Synodality.

The survey found that:

  • For Catholic women who are active in church contexts their Catholic identity is important to them;
  • While a minority are satisfied with church as it is, most want to see reform, especially but not solely in regard to the role and co-responsibility of women in the church;
  • A majority are concerned about the continuing incidence of abuse, racism and sexism  in church contexts;
  • There is also majority concern for the issues of transparency and accountability in church leadership and governance.

For the report’s executive summary click here.

For the full report click here.


  1. Patricia Devlin

    Given the ongoing disclosure of the extent of abuse sexual and violence in Catholic schools, coupled with the failure of the bishops of Ireland to take any corporate responsibility to address the culture of abuse and cover up which still persists across institutions dealing with children and vulnerable in our society. I think we should call for a national Truth and Reconciliation Process . Synodal praxis can proceed until this issue is addressed.

    • soconaill

      Did you mean ‘cannot proceed’, Patricia?


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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.


"Come Holy Spirit, Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."

Saint Pope John XXIII, 1962 - In preparation for Vatican Council II, 1962-65.

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