What is this "Report Card Project?"
The Report Card Project will rate the U.S. bishops' progress on meeting certain measurable benchmarks to hold the bishops accountable for their promise to find alternative ways for women to exercise leadership in the church.
Church leaders pay lip service to the equality of women, while at the same time withholding the possibility of ordination. So the front page of the report card will contain a quote from Pope Benedict XVI, who recently said: "It is right to ask . . . if it's not possible to offer more space, more positions of responsibility to women."
The study will assess women’s status in five key areas: inclusion of the history of women’s role in the church in religious education programs, representation on consultative bodies, educating the clergy to improve attitudes toward women, modeling of equality in the liturgy, and workplace equity.
The Report Card Project is a critical first step for our growing movement. It will enable us to reveal to ourselves, to clergy, and to the media, the type and extent of discrimination women experience today in our diocesan educational, liturgical, and workplace settings.
How will this work?
We need volunteers to make this work. Catholics Speak Out is will coordinate the project and will maintain this interactive Web site with downloadable resources for our volunteers. Rea Howarth will provide individual assistance to volunteers via e-mail or telephone.
To assure the widest possible participation, the deadline for completing the survey has been extended to November 15, 2006. We expect to publish the results on January 6, 2007, the Feast of Epiphany.
How can I help?
We need to set up a national list of women and men willing to coordinate the research in each diocese. Because we’ll be calling for volunteers from all our various groups, many hands will make light work. It takes approximately five hours to complete the worksheets. We will also hope to work with you to promote the results in the local media. We expect this would require 2-3 hours a month from June through November. We envision diocesan teams dividing up the research, and calling appropriate diocesan personnel for the necessary information. The team coordinator would then send the results of the research to us using our online survey.
Please consider volunteering this small amount of time for our church and for the future of women. If you can offer a few hours a month between now and November, please Sign Up.
Offline ways to volunteer: send an e-mail with "volunteer" in the subject line to Rea Howarth or call 301-699-0042 and ask for Catholics Speak Out.
By working together and moving ahead, we deepen our faith, nourish hope and, most of all, know that we can and we shall make a difference.