Past event: Catholic Women Speak - Leadership in the Church 

Women and Leadership in the Church


To celebrate the launch of the second Catholic Women Speak book, Visions and Vocations, our recent event, Catholic Women Speak: Leadership in the Church, brought together a range of diverse voices to explore how we support the presence and formation of women for leadership roles in the Church.

Catholic women in Church leadership

The theme provokes the question: Is it possible? But perhaps this is the wrong question and even approach.

What could and should the Church look like in the future? What kind of leadership does that imply? What needs to change? And what is the role women have and need to develop more in helping to make this happen?

Pope Francis asks for help when he says “I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection. But we need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church... Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded… This presents a great challenge for pastors and theologians, who are in a position to recognize more fully what this entails with regard to the possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church’s life.” Evangelii Gaudium 103-104

Our panellists

Ms Andrea Dean

Director, Office for the Participation of Women and Director, Lay Pastoral Ministry, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Professor Jim Nyland

Associate Vice-Chancellor (Queensland), Australian Catholic University

Ms Jenny Parker

Partner EY, Oceania Health and Life Sciences Leader

Dr Maeve Louise Heaney

Director, Xavier Centre for Theological Formation

Contact the Xavier Centre

For further information about the Xavier Centre, and any of our upcoming events and initiatives, please contact Dr Maeve Heaney, Director, Xavier Centre for Theological Formation.

View Dr Maeve Heaney's contact information

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