Catholic activists raise ordination issue as pope's U.S. trip approaches

Some 500 Catholic activists from around the globe will converge on Philadelphia for a three-day conference Sept. 18-20 to press for women's rights in the church. They will meet one week before Pope Francis is set to step foot into the city.

The U.S.-based Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) is hosting the Women's Ordination Worldwide meeting. The Women's Ordination Conference formed 40 years back, in 1975, after a group of women's ordination advocates met in Detroit. Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW), an assembly of international groups supporting women's ordination, formed in 1996; the U.S. group is a member.

The three-day gathering will assess the place of women in church and society and develop plans to advance their Gospel-based justice agendas. Delegates will also assess advances and setbacks within the movement since the 1970s.

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