Catholic women's group protests church policies

For the ninth year in a row, a group of Catholic women in New Brunswick is gearing up for an Easter week protest outside a Saint John, N.B., cathedral.

For the ninth year in a row, a group of Catholic women in New Brunswick is gearing up for an Easter week protest outside a Saint John, N.B., cathedral.

On Tuesday, the Catholic Network for Women's Equality will convene outside the annual mass for clergy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, wearing purple stoles, similar to those worn by priests.

This is Lent, a time for reflection by Catholics. For many women across the country, it has become a time to protest against church policies, especially those limiting the role and power of women, said Cathy Holtmann.

"When you have an exclusively male leadership in an organization, the decisions that get made do not take into account the lived reality of Catholic women."

The vigil is one way the group is pushing to have the church lift its ban on ordaining women.

Holtmann said only clergy have input in church decisions.

"So if you are not a priest, if you are not a bishop, you have no formal say in the structures of the Roman Catholic Church. And so access to ordained ministry is also access to decision-making power and structural power."

So far, the Catholic Church has shown no indication it will respond to the women's demands.