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New poster campaign calls for ordination of women in Catholic Church

A £15,000 bus poster campaign aimed at persuading the Roman Catholic Church to ordain women has been launched.

The posters with the slogan ‘Pope Benedict Ordain Women Now!’ will run on London buses on city centre routes for four weeks.

The campaign by the Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO) group will coincide with the four-day visit next month of the Pope to Scotland and England.

Pat Brown, of CWO, claimed the Catholic Church was attempting to gag Catholics over the issue.

The Alexander Technique teacher, from Leeds, and a practising Catholic, said a number of priests were members of the campaign but kept this secret for fear of disciplinary action.

She added that she knew people who worked for the Catholic Church who were told to stop being members of CWO.

One teacher she knew in a Catholic school was threatened with the sack because of her membership of the campaign, she claimed.

“We are forbidden from discussing this issue in public, we cannot hold debates in church halls for example,” Ms Brown said.

“This is why we are forced to go to such extreme measures.

“Obviously, we think women should be ordained, we believe women are called, but we think that there should be discussion about it.

“You cannot forbid people from talking about something — that is not the British way.”

The Vatican ruled that the Catholic Church's ban on ordaining a woman as priests is a “definitive teaching” with penalties in canon law, or church law, for dissent.

Earlier this year, the Vatican listed the attempted ordination of women as one of the gravest crimes that existed in the Catholic Church — as was the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest.

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