The Fight for the Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church

2019 Words 9 Pages
It is a well-known fact that women of the Catholic Church have been excluded from holding important leadership roles throughout history. While the more subordinate women of the early Catholic Church once accepted this view, Catholic women around the world are now challenging it. Multiple secular and religious influences over the last few decades have empowered women to find their voice and speak out against this long-standing tradition of discrimination (Henold 15). Despite all of the debate and the shortage of priests, the Catholic Church has not waivered in its belief against the ordination of women into priesthood. To gain a better understanding of this debate, one must examine the history and aspirations of the Catholic feminist …show more content…
Although this publication outraged many women, one can see why a woman might have been fearful to speak out against this “eternal woman”. World War II was an important event in the American feminist movement, as it redefined the role of women in society; however, it would not be until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that women began to speak out against their role as the “eternal woman” (Henold 25). In 1963, Rosemary Lauer published the first American Catholic Feminist Article titled “Women and the Church”. Lauer’s article challenged the eternal women stereotype as well as the lack of leadership roles in the church for women. This writing set the stage for more Catholic feminists writers to come forward in the mid to late 1960’s (Henold 35). The beginning of the Catholic feminist movement can be traced back to secular and religious influences. Secular influences include civil rights events such as the March on Washington in 1963. The publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique also helped women to realize their suppression (Henold 4). One religious event in particular is considered to be the catalyst that triggered the Catholic feminist movement around 1963. This event is the Second Vatican Council, which took place from 1962 until 1965 (Henold 3-4). As a result of the Second Vatican Council, numerous changes were made in an attempt to make the Catholic Church more relevant

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