Detroit drivers see two billboards on Interstate 94 promoting not products but the Roman Catholic priesthood — for women. They're part of a nationwide, yearlong publicity campaign by Call to Action, a group that advocates for change in the Catholic Church. "We believe this is a positive way of letting the church hierarchy know that people are wanting something different," says Marge Orlando, Metro Detroit Call to Action coordinator.
Gallup survey statistics support that claim. In 1977, only 36 percent of Catholic respondents agreed that it was a good thing for women to be ordained as priests. By 2000, 68 percent approved of the idea.
Bureau of Labor statistics for 2000 list 50,922 women who describe themselves as "clergy," up from 16,408 in 1983. About 13 percent, or 2,507, of the ELCA's 17, 651 clergy are women.
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