UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Catholic Women's Network Stanger, Elizabeth Ann 1989

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THE CATHOLIC WOMEN'S NETWORK by E L I Z A B E T H ANN STANGER B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1986 THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES ( D e p a r t m e n t o f A n t h r o p o l o g y a n d S o c i o l o g y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA O c t o b e r , 1989 c o p y r i g h t , E l i z a b e t h Ann S t a n g e r , 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of AMftilOPplPtSt' frMP 6oUQL.0&\/ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date Ocroeet DE-6 (2/88) i i A b s t r a c t The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was f o r m e d i n 1984 and c o n t i n u e s t o be a n a c t i v e a n d t h r i v i n g g r o u p . S i n c e i t s f o u n d i n g i n 1984, h o w e v e r , i t h a s gone t h r o u g h two g e n e r a t i o n s o f women who a r e q u i t e d i f f e r e n t f r o m e a c h o t h e r a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y have d i f f e r e n t e x p e c t a t i o n s o f t h e g r o u p . I n i t i a l l y t h e N e t w o r k was f o r m e d t o be a l o c a l s u p p o r t g r o u p f o r C a t h o l i c women who were f e e l i n g a l i e n a t e d f r o m t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h and were f i n d i n g i t i n c r e a s i n g l y h a r d t o c o n t i n u e t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n i t . S i n c e 1 9 8 7 , t h e g r o u p h a s c h a n g e d i t s m e m b e r s h i p a nd i t s f u n c t i o n . R a t h e r t h a n f u n c t i o n i n g a s a s u p p o r t g r o u p f o r women who a t t e n d C h u r c h i t i s now one p a r t o f a n e t w o r k o f a l t e r n a t i v e f o r m s o f C a t h o l i c l i f e a v a i l a b l e i n t h e d i o c e s e . T h i s t h e s i s d e s c r i b e s t h e two g e n e r a t i o n s o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k a n d a c c o u n t s f o r t h e g r o u p ' s e v o l u t i o n b y e x a m i n i n g b r o a d e r h i s t o r i c a l t r e n d s w i t h i n Roman C a t h o l i c i s m a n d C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s m : a s h i f t i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what i t means t o be t h e C h u r c h , i n a u g u r a t e d b y t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l ( 1 9 6 2 - 1 9 6 5 ) ; a n d a move away f r o m l i b e r a l f e m i n i s m a n d i t s demand f o r t h e i n c l u s i o n o f women i n t h e C h u r c h ' s c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y t o w a r d a M a r x i a n a n a l y s i s o f C h u r c h s t r u c t u r e s a n d t h e c o n c o m i t a n t d e v e l o p m e n t o f Womenchurch, a n e t w o r k o f s m a l l f e m i n i s t C a t h o l i c g r o u p s d e v o t e d t o t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e C h u r c h i n t o a c o m m u n i t y o f c o - e q u a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s i v I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 M e t h o d s and M e t h o d o l o g y 3 The p h i l o s o p h i c a l R o o t s o f F e m i n i s t T h e o r y 4 P o l i t i c a l F e m i n i s m 8 L i b e r a l and M a r x i a n F e m i n i s m i n S o c i a l S c i e n c e R e s e a r c h 11 The L i m i t s o f M a r x i a n T h e o r y 22 C h a p t e r One - H i s t o r i c a l a n d E c c l e s l o l o g l c a l 32 B a c k g r o u n d C h a p t e r Two - The F i r s t G e n e r a t i o n 60 O r i g i n s o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k 62 C o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g 70 C r e a t i n g An A l t e r n a t i v e F e m i n i s t R e a l i t y 85 C o n c l u s i o n 94 C h a p t e r T h r e e - The S e c o n d G e n e r a t i o n 97 C r i t i q u e o f t h e C l e r i c a l H i e r a r c h y 98 C r e a t i n g a New E c c l e s i o l o g y 106 C o n c l u s i o n 120 C o n c l u s i o n 121 Works C i t e d 126 A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s I w o u l d l i k e t o a c k n o w l e d g e t h e a s s i s t a n c e o f my a d v i s o r , D r . E. W h i t t a k e r , a n d o f my c o m m i t t e e members, D r . J . B a r k e r , D r . K.O.L. B u r r i d g e and D r . B. M c K e l l i n ; and t h e s u p p o r t o f my h u s b a n d , Duncan C h a l m e r s . I w o u l d a l s o l i k e t o t h a n k t h e women o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k : " I g i v e t h a n k s t o God a l w a y s f o r y o u . . . " ( I C o r i n t h i a n s 1 : 4 ) . 1 I n t r o d u c t i o n T h i s t h e s i s d e s c r i b e s a n d a n a l y z e s t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k , a s m a l l g r o u p o f C a t h o l i c women w h i c h o v e r t h e f i v e y e a r s o f i t s l i f e h a s numbered a r o u n d t h i r t y p e o p l e a l t o g e t h e r . The women who f o r m t h e g r o u p a t a n y g i v e n t i m e - p r e s e n t l y a r o u n d t w e l v e o f them - s h a r e a common s e n s e o f a l i e n a t i o n f r o m t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h a n d a common commitment t o f e m i n i s m . T h e y g a t h e r t o g e t h e r o n c e a month f r o m v a r i o u s p a r t s o f t h e c i t y and o u t l y i n g s u b u r b s i n t h e ba s e m e n t o f a s m a l l A n g l i c a n c h u r c h r e c t o r y i n t h e e a s t s i d e o f t o w n ( t h e y a r e n o t a l l o w e d t o meet on Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h p r o p e r t y ) i n o r d e r t o s h a r e i n one a n o t h e r ' s p e r s o n a l a n d s p i r i t u a l g r o w t h . , More s p e c i f i c a l l y , t h i s t h e s i s b e g i n s , i n t h e f i r s t c h a p t e r , b y s k e t c h i n g t h e h i s t o r i c a l a n d e c c l e s i o l o g i c a l c o n t e x t w i t h i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h w h i c h made p o s s i b l e t h e e m e r g e n c e o f Womenchurch, a C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t n e t w o r k o f w h i c h t h i s g r o u p i s a p a r t . I n c h a p t e r s two a n d t h r e e , i t a n a l y z e s a n d d e s c r i b e s t h e o r i g i n s a n d d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k f r o m i t s f o r m a t i o n i n J u l y 1984 t o t h e p r e s e n t d a y . I t d e s c r i b e s how CWN b e g a n a s a s u p p o r t g r o u p f o r Roman C a t h o l i c women who were s t r u g g l i n g t o r e m a i n g ood a n d f a i t h f u l C a t h o l i c s i n a n i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n s e r v a t i v e d i o c e s e b u t grew t o become a n a l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t c o m m u n i t y i n i t s own r i g h t . 2 B e f o r e we t u r n t o t h e b o d y o f t h e t h e s i s i t s e l f , h o w e v e r , a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e t h e o r y , m e t h o d o l o g y a n d methods u s e d i n r e s e a r c h i n g a n d w r i t i n g up t h i s t h e s i s a r e i n o r d e r . T h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y c h a p t e r p r o v i d e s s u c h a d i s c u s s i o n . The b u l k o f t h e c h a p t e r s k e t c h e s i n a s c h e m a t i c f a s h i o n t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l a n d p o l i t i c a l r o o t s o f f e m i n i s t t h e o r y , i t s c o n s e q u e n t a d a p t a t i o n f o r s o c i a l s c i e n c e r e s e a r c h a n d i t s g e n e r a l m e t h o d o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . The f i n a l p o r t i o n d i s c u s s e s some i s s u e s o f f e m i n i s t m e t h o d o l o g y w i t h p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e t o t h e r e s e a r c h i n g a n d w r i t i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s . M e t h o d s a n d M e t h o d o l o g y : a D i s t i n c t i o n I n h e r i n t r o d u c t i o n t o F e m i n i s m a nd M e t h o d o l o g y ( 1 9 8 7 ) , H a r d i n g d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n e p i s t e m o l o g y , m e t h o d o l o g y a nd method i n f e m i n i s t s o c i a l s c i e n c e r e s e a r c h a n d a r g u e s t h a t w h i l e f e m i n i s t s u s e many o f t h e same methods o f g a t h e r i n g e v i d e n c e a s t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l s c i e n c e r e s e a r c h e r s , t h e s e m ethods a r e u s e d i n t h e c o n t e x t o f new m e t h o d o l o g i e s a nd new e p i s t e m o l o g i e s : One c o u l d r e a s o n a b l y a r g u e t h a t a l l e v i d e n c e -g a t h e r i n g t e c h n i q u e s f a l l i n t o one o f t h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s : l i s t e n i n g t o ( o r i n t e r r o g a t i n g ) i n f o r m a n t s , o b s e r v i n g b e h a v i o u r , o r e x a m i n i n g h i s t o r i c a l t r a c e s a n d r e c o r d s . . . . f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s u s e j u s t a b o u t a n y a n d a l l o f t h e m e t h o d s , i n t h i s c o n c r e t e s e n s e o f t h e t e r m , t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l a n d r o c e n t r i c r e s e a r c h e r s u s e . . . . T h e r e i s b o t h more a n d l e s s g o i n g on i n t h e s e c a s e s t h a n new methods o f r e s e a r c h . . . . t h e "more" i s t h a t i t i s new m e t h o d o l o g i e s a n d e p i s t e m o l o g i e s t h a t a r e r e q u i r i n g t h e s e new u s e s o f f a m i l i a r r e s e a r c h t e c h n i q u e s . ( H a r d i n g 1987:2) 3 H a r d i n g ' s c o n c l u s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g r e s e a r c h methods a r e s e l f - e v i d e n t : t h o s e u s e d i n t h i s s t u d y l i k e t h o s e u s e d by o t h e r f e m i n i s t s i n g e n e r a l do n o t , i n t h e m s e l v e s , d i f f e r f r o m t r a d i t i o n a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l f i e l d w o r k a p p r o a c h e s . H a r d i n g ' s s e c o n d p o i n t , h o w e v e r , t h a t f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h i s s e t a p a r t b y t h e "new" e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l a p p r o a c h e s w i t h i n w h i c h t r a d i t i o n a l f i e l d w o r k m e thods a r e e m p l o y e d , d e s e r v e s f u r t h e r e x a m i n a t i o n . To my m i n d , H a r d i n g i s b o t h c o r r e c t a n d i n c o r r e c t i n h e r a s s e s s m e n t o f what i s new o r d i f f e r e n t a b o u t f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h . The e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s u s e d b y f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h a r e n o t new i n t h e m s e l v e s . H owever, i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h t h e p o l i t i c a l l e g a c y o f f e m i n i s m , t h e y do p r o d u c e two u n i q u e l y f e m i n i s t m e t h o d o l o g i c a l a p p r o a c h e s . The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s o f t h i s p o r t i o n o f t h e c h a p t e r d e s c r i b e t h e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n s i n w h i c h f e m i n i s m g r o u n d s i t s e l f ; b r i e f l y r e v i e w t h e h i s t o r y o f f e m i n i s m a s a p o l i t i c a l movement; d e s c r i b e a n d d i s c u s s t h e two r e s u l t i n g m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c h o i c e s open t o f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s ; and e x p l a i n why t h e s e c o n d o f t h e s e m e t h o d o l o g i e s has b een c h o s e n f o r t h i s s t u d y . The P h i l o s o p h i c a l R o o t s o f F e m i n i s t T h e o r y F e m i n i s m h a s s o u g h t e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n e a c h o f t h e two p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n s t h a t h ave emerged s i n c e t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t : l i b e r a l humanism a n d M a r x i s m . 4 In the broadest terms, the p h i l o s o p h i c a l task c o n f r o n t i n g the Enlightenment t h i n k e r s was to r e b u i l d an understanding of human being i n the aftermath of the Copernican r e v o l u t i o n . P h i l o s o p h e r s such as Descartes, Kant and Hegel were l e f t t o s t r u g g l e with a d i s p l a c e d God and a man who had r e p l a c e d Him a t the centre of the known u n i v e r s e . The Enlightenment p h i l o s o p h e r s modelled t h e i r new understanding of man on the t h e o l o g i c a l understanding of God which they sought to overthrow. They c o l l a p s e d ontology i n t o epistemology and d e f i n e d being as the c a p a c i t y f o r knowing. The knowing s u b j e c t , or consciousness, was modelled on an omniscient God and was regarded as a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l and unconditioned being, an Absolute Subject, pure reason or c o g i t o . A c c o r d i n g l y , epistemology i d e a l i z e d and a b s t r a c t e d not o n l y the knowing s u b j e c t , but a l s o the o b j e c t t o be known and the a c t i v i t y of pursuing knowledge. The o b j e c t of knowledge was the o b j e c t i n i t s formal or pure form, h i s t o r i c a l l y i n v a r i a n t and immutable, while the a c t i v i t y of knowing was an unmediated encounter between t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t (consciousness) and t r a n s c e n d e n t a l o b j e c t (the o b j e c t i n i t s pure form). Thus, the p u r s u i t of knowledge was an a c t i v i t y i n which "an Absolute s u b j e c t aims to know an Absolute o b j e c t i n an Absolute manner" (Parekh 1982:187). The a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h i s Enlightenment epistemology, which i s the foundation f o r l i b e r a l humanism, i s the h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l i s m of Marx who viewed h i s epistemology 5 a s a f u n d a m e n t a l c r i t i q u e o f t h e d e - h i s t o r i c i z e d e p i s t e m o l o g i e s t h a t he c l a s s e d a s i d e o l o g i e s . ( 1 ) M a r x u s e d t h e t e r m i d e o l o g y i n two s e n s e s . F i r s t , he u s e d i t t o mean " i d e a l i s m " a n d t o c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t p h i l o s o p h e r s who assumed t h a t human c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s r e i f i c a t i o n i n t h e human r e a l m o f a m e t a p h y s i c a l a p r i o r i ( e i t h e r K a n t ' s p u r e r e a s o n , H e g e l ' s s p i r i t o r D e s c a r t e s ' c o g l t o ) . T hese e p i s t e m o l o g i e s he d e s c r i b e d a s v a r i a t i o n s o f a common i d e a l i s m b e c a u s e t h e y a b s t r a c t e d and d e - h i s t o r i c i z e d t h e k n o w i n g s u b j e c t f r o m t h e m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s o f e x i s t e n c e a n d gave p r i o r i t y t o t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l ( o r i d e a l ) r e a l m . A d a p t i n g H e g e l ' s c o n c e p t o f a l i e n a t i o n , M a r x a r g u e d t h a t t h e s e E n l i g h t e n m e n t p h i l o s o p h e r s d i d n o t go f a r e n o u g h i n d i s p l a c i n g God a n d r e p l a c i n g Him w i t h man. F u r t h e r , a n d f o r r e a s o n s we w i l l n o t go i n t o h e r e , M a r x a l s o a r g u e d t h a t t h e p u r s u i t o f human w e l l - b e i n g i n t h e m a t e r i a l w o r l d i s o n t o l o g i c a l l y p r i o r t o and m a t e r i a l l y u n d e r p i n s t h e p u r s u i t o f t r u t h a n d , a c c o r d i n g l y , he s u b s c r i b e d t o a " m a t e r i a l i s t " o r s o c i a l l y - g r o u n d e d e p i s t e m o l o g y a n d i n s i s t e d on t h e i n h e r e n t l y s o c i a l a n d h i s t o r i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e k n o w i n g s u b j e c t . S e c o n d l y , he u s e d i d e o l o g y t o c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e a t t i t u d e o f t h e i d e a l i s t s who assumed t h e i r c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f s o c i a l r e a l i t y t o be o b j e c t i v e i n t h e a b s o l u t e s e n s e d e s c r i b e d a b o v e . A r g u i n g f r o m h i s s o c i a l o n t o l o g y , M a r x m a i n t a i n e d t h a t human s o c i e t y i s a n o t a c o l l e c t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l s a b l e 6 t o p e r c e i v e t h e a b s o l u t e o r e t e r n a l t r u t h o f t h i n g s . R a t h e r s o c i e t y i s a s y s t e m o f s o c i a l p o s i t i o n s ( s u c h a s c l a s s e s ) o f w h i c h e a c h has common c o n d i t i o n s o f e x i s t e n c e , i n t e r e s t s a n d r e p r e s e n t a d i s t i n c t p o i n t o f v i e w . E a c h s o c i a l p o s i t i o n h a s t h e u n d e r s t a n d a b l e t e n d e n c y t o e x a m i n e s o c i e t y o n l y f r o m t h e s t a n d p o i n t o f i t s e l f and t o g e n e r a l i z e i t s p o i n t o f v i e w t o t h e w h o l e o f s o c i e t y . S u c h a p o i n t o f v i e w , h o w e v e r , r e s t s on u n e x a m i n e d a s s u m p t i o n s a nd i s c o n s t i t u t e d a n d l i m i t e d b y t h o s e u n e x a m i n e d a s s u m p t i o n s , a s t h e t e r m " p o i n t o f v i e w " s u g g e s t s . To M a r x , i t i s " i d e o l o g i c a l " a n d h a s c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f e a t u r e s . F i r s t , i t i s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y b i a s e d . T h e . b i a s " i s n o t a c c i d e n t a l b u t i n h e r e n t , . . . n o t d e t a c h a b l e , b u t s t r u c t u r a l l y embedded" ( P a r e k h 1 9 8 2 : 3 0 ) . S e c o n d l y , s i n c e i t i s b i a s e d , i t s v i e w o f s o c i e t y i s d i s t o r t e d . I t t e n d s t o c o n c e a l o r m y s t i f y s o c i a l r e a l i t y . T h i r d l y , l a c k i n g f u l l s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s , a n i d e o l o g y i s unaware o f i t s l i m i t s a n d t e n d s t o c l a i m u n i v e r s a l o r a b s o l u t e v a l i d i t y f o r i t s e l f , t h e r e b y i n e v i t a b l y j u s t i f y i n g a n d l e g i t i m a t i n g t h e way o f l i f e o f i t s p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l g r o u p a nd c a n o n i s i n g t h e e x i s t i n g w o r l d . I t i s t h i s u n a w a r e n e s s o f i t s own i n h e r e n t l i m i t s a n d i t s own i n e v i t a b l e b i a s t h a t d e f i n e s " i d e o l o g y " f o r M a r x . I d e o l o g i e s c l a i m u n i v e r s a l v a l i d i t y when i n f a c t t h e i r v a l i d i t y i s o n l y p a r t i a l . I n c r i t i c i z i n g i d e o l o g y Marx i s n o t p r i m a r i l y c o m m e n t i n g on a p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e n d e n c y o f human n a t u r e , b u t i s a n a l y z i n g a s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n . H i s c r i t i q u e o f i d e o l o g y 7 i s n o t m e r e l y t h a t i t has t h e t e n d e n c y t o assume u n i v e r s a l v a l i d i t y , b u t more c r u c i a l l y , t h a t i t h a s t h e power t o e n f o r c e n e a r u n i v e r s a l a c c e p t a n c e o f i t s p a r t i a l p o i n t o f v i e w . S o c i e t y i s n o t a s y s t e m o f p o s i t i o n s i n w h i c h e a c h h a s i t s own p o i n t o f v i e w c o m p e t i n g w i t h e v e r y o t h e r p o s i t i o n ' s p o i n t o f v i e w f o r t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l a l l e g i a n c e o f t h e s o c i e t y ' s members. I n a c t u a l i t y , a c c o r d i n g t o M a r x , s o c i e t i e s may be c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s h a v i n g o n l y two t y p e s o f p o i n t s o f v i e w o n l y one o f w h i c h c a n p r o p e r l y be c a l l e d a n i d e o l o g y . T h i s i s t h e d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y w h i c h a r t i c u l a t e s a n d g e n e r a l i z e s t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e d o m i n a n t c l a s s t o a l l o t h e r c l a s s e s a n d t o w h i c h a l l o t h e r c l a s s e s s u b s c r i b e . T h e r e a r e a l s o t h e s u b o r d i n a t e q u a s i - i d e o l o g i e s , m i n o r i t y p o i n t s o f v i e w w h i c h e x i s t on t h e m a r g i n s o f s o c i e t y and a r e subsumed b y t h e t o t a l i z i n g f r a m e w o r k o f t h e d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y . N e i t h e r t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t n o r t h e M a r x i a n v i e w o f t h e n a t u r e o f k n o w i n g has b e e n a d o p t e d i n t o c u r r e n t f e m i n i s t t h e o r y i n a n y t h i n g l i k e t h e p u r e and s i m p l e f o r m d e s c r i b e d h e r e . T h e y have e v o l v e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y o v e r t i m e , i n p a r t t h r o u g h t h e work o f o t h e r t h i n k e r s , b u t t o a f a r g r e a t e r e x t e n t t h r o u g h t h e i n f l u e n c e o f more t h a n a c e n t u r y o f f e m i n i s t p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y . 8 P o l i t i c a l F e m i n i s m : The D e v e l o p m e n t o f L i b e r a l a n d  M a r x i a n F e m i n i s m Among t h e f e m i n i s t s o f t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t t r a d i t i o n , i t was M a r y W o l l s t o n e c r a f t 1 s A V i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e R i g h t s o f Women, p u b l i s h e d i n 1 7 9 2 , w h i c h s e t f o r t h i n p a r a d i g m a t i c f a s h i o n t h e l i b e r a l h u m a n i s t b e l i e f i n t h e n a t u r a l e q u a l i t y o f women and men, and a r g u e d f r o m t h a t b e l i e f f o r t h e e q u a l r i g h t s o f women a s w e l l a s men. F o r l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t s , s u c h a s W o l l s t o n e c r a f t , t h i s b e l i e f was f o u n d e d on t h e p r i m a c y o f r e a s o n . W o l l s t o n e c r a f t b e l i e v e d t h a t women a n d men s h a r e d a n e s s e n t i a l h u m a n i t y due t o t h e i r common p o s s e s s i o n o f r e a s o n , a q u a l i t y w h i c h t h e y a l s o s h a r e d w i t h God and n a t u r e , a n d whose d e v e l o p m e n t a n d a p p l i c a t i o n w o u l d a l o n e l e a d t o t h e p e r f e c t i o n o f h u m a n i t y i n r e l a t i o n t o n a t u r e a n d s o c i e t y . T h i s e s s e n t i a l h u m a n i t y , s h e m a i n t a i n e d , was d i s t o r t e d i n women b y l a w , c u s t o m a n d p r e j u d i c e . The p r o c e s s o f human p e r f e c t i o n , s h e a r g u e d , was b e i n g h e l d b a c k b y t h o s e who m a i n t a i n e d c u s t o m s a n d l a w s p r e j u d i c i a l t o women and t h u s p r e v e n t e d them f r o m e x e r c i s i n g t h e i r c a p a c i t y f o r r e a s o n . She c l a i m e d e q u a l r i g h t s f o r women i n o r d e r t o remedy women's s i t u a t i o n a n d p r o m o t e t h e p e r f e c t i o n o f h u m a n i t y . The same d o c t r i n e s a n d c l a i m s were r e p e a t e d i n t h e o t h e r c l a s s i c l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t t e x t s o f t h e d a y , s u c h a s J o h n S t u a r t M i l l ' s The S u b j e c t i o n o f Women ( 1 8 6 9 ) , where he w r i t e s t h a t n o t o n l y i s " t h e l e g a l s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f one s e x 9 to another...wrong in i t s e l f , " but i t i s "now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement." When the f i r s t attempt at the large scale p o l i t i c a l mobilization of women began at the Seneca F a l l s convention of 1848, i t was centered on the doctrine of natural rights and a claim of suffrage for women. By the beginning of the "second wave" in the 1960's, the l e v e l of the argument had sub s t a n t i a l l y changed: although i t remained firm l y within the l i b e r a l humanist t r a d i t i o n s , the l o g i c a l presumption was now for equality in the terms argued for by Wollstonecraft and M i l l , and l i b e r a l feminism took the form of the "women's r i g h t s " movement and the formation of such organizations as NOW (National Organization for Women) in 1966 in the United States to lobby for changes in l e g i s l a t i o n a f f e c t i n g women. Like Marxian theory in general, Marxian feminism i s not grounded on the hypothesis of natural human equality based on reason. The Marxian feminist view i s grounded in the s o c i a l experience of domination and subordination and i t posits that the rel a t i o n s between men and women are analogous to those between the dominant class and the subordinate one or, in Marx's terms, the bourgeoisie and the p r o l e t a r i a t . This perception i s given i t s embryonic formulation in Engels' The Origin of the Family, Private 10 P r o p e r t y and t h e S t a t e ( 1 8 8 4 ) : The f i r s t c l a s s o p p o s i t i o n t h a t a p p e a r s i n h i s t o r y c o i n c i d e s w i t h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e a n t a g o n i s m b e t w e e n men a n d women i n t h e monogamous m a r r i a g e , a n d t h e f i r s t c l a s s o p p r e s s i o n c o i n c i d e s w i t h t h a t o f t h e f e m a l e s e x b y t h e m a l e . . . h e i s t h e b o u r g e o i s i e a n d t h e w i f e i s t h e p r o l e t a r i a t . ( E n g e l s 1 9 7 2 : 58,66) W h i l e Marx h i m s e l f d i d n o t w r i t e a b o u t t h e r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n women a n d men, E n g e l s and t h o s e who came a f t e r h i m v i e w e d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n women and men i n t h e l i g h t o f M a r x ' s b r o a d e r s o c i a l programme a nd t i e d t h e e m a n c i p a t i o n o f women t o t h e e v e n t u a l a b o l i t i o n o f c l a s s s o c i e t y . I n g e n e r a l , t h i s r e m a i n e d t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h e f i r s t wave M a r x i s t t h e o r i s t s a n d s o c i a l i s t p o l i c y m a k e r s u n t i l w e l l i n t o t h e f i r s t d e c a d e s o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , a t w h i c h t i m e i n t e r e s t i n t h e women's q u e s t i o n b e g a n t o f a d e . By 1937 G e o r g e O r w e l l c o u l d i n c l u d e f e m i n i s t s among t h e " s a n d a l w e a r e r s , n u d i s t s a n d v e g e t a r i a n s " a n d o t h e r " unwanted c r a n k s h a u n t i n g s o c i a l i s t c o n f e r e n c e s " ( C o n n e l l 1 9 8 7 : 2 9 ) . The woman q u e s t i o n came t o t h e f o r e a g a i n among s o c i a l i s t t h i n k e r s o n l y i n t h e l a t e s i x t i e s a n d e a r l y s e v e n t i e s , i n t h e g e n e r a l r e s u r g e n c e o f t h e s e c o n d wave o f t h e women's movement. D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d women i n t h e New L e f t i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d F r a n c e , i n c r e a s i n g l y d i s t r e s s e d b y t h e i r t r e a t m e n t b y men i n t h e New L e f t , ( 2 ) b e g a n t o r e - e x a m i n e t h e i s s u e o f women's s u b o r d i n a t i o n . T h e i r t r e a t m e n t l e d some t o r e v e r s e t h e o r t h o d o x M a r x i s t s o l u t i o n t o women's o p p r e s s i o n a n d t o d e v e l o p t h e r a d i c a l w i n g o f t h e f e m i n i s t movement. W h i l e r e t a i n i n g a n e s s e n t i a l l y M a r x i a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n women a n d men, t h e y a l s o d r e w on 11 e x i s t e n t i a l i s m t h r o u g h t h e work o f Simone de B e a u v o i r and p s y c h o a n a l y s i s t h r o u g h L a c a n , and c o n c l u d e d t h a t E n g e l s and t h e o t h e r e a r l y M a r x i s t s had b e e n wrong t o assume t h a t c l a s s e m a n c i p a t i o n w o u l d l e a d i n t u r n t o women's e m a n c i p a t i o n . On t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e y c l a i m e d , t h e s o l u t i o n t o c l a s s o p p r e s s i o n was t h e e m a n c i p a t i o n o f women: " t h e o p p r e s s i o n o f women i s . . . t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e c l a s s s y s t e m a n d women were t h e f i r s t e x p l o i t e d c l a s s . E v e r y c u l t u r e o r i n s t i t u t i o n o r v a l u e d e v e l o p e d s i n c e t h a t t i m e c o n t a i n s t h a t o p p r e s s i o n a s a m a j o r f o u n d a t i o n a l i n g r e d i e n t " ( A t k i n s o n 1 9 7 4 : 3 0 ) . L i b e r a l and M a r x i a n F e m i n i s m i n S o c i a l S c i e n c e R e s e a r c h M o s t o f t h e p o l i t i c a l a n a l y s i s and a c t i o n t h a t c r e a t e d t h i s new r a d i c a l f e m i n i s m d u r i n g t h e s e c o n d wave o f t h e women's movement came a b o u t a s a r e s u l t o f t h e number o f f e m i n i s t s who g a i n e d t e a c h i n g and r e s e a r c h p o s i t i o n s a n d b e g a n t o r e f l e c t s y s t e m a t i c a l l y on t h e f e m i n i s t p o l i t i c a l a g e n d a f r o m an a c a d e m i c p e r s p e c t i v e . By t h e e a r l y s e v e n t i e s t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s were g e n e r a t i n g a s u b s t a n t i a l b ody o f f e m i n i s t l i t e r a t u r e w h i c h c o n t i n u e d t o r e f l e c t t h e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l d i v e r s i t y o u t o f w h i c h i t had g r o w n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e r e i s no s u c h t h i n g a s " f e m i n i s m " i n t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s . The s p e c t r u m o f p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n s a l o n g w h i c h f e m i n i s t s r a n g e a n d t h e two e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n s f e m i n i s t s a d o p t have g u a r a n t e e d t h a t t h e r e i s no 12 one f e m i n i s t s c h o o l o f t h o u g h t , no s y s t e m a t i c a l l y d e v e l o p e d t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e t o w h i c h a l l f e m i n i s t s a d h e r e , no c a n o n o f f e m i n i s t t e x t s . R a t h e r , t h e r e a r e f e m i n i s t s i n d i f f e r e n t u n i v e r s i t y d e p a r t m e n t s and a c a d e m i c s p e c i a l t i e s who, i n v a r i o u s w a y s , a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h i l l u m i n a t i n g - a n d c h a n g i n g - t h e ways i n w h i c h power a r t i c u l a t e s w i t h s e x / g e n d e r . I n o t h e r w o r d s , t h e r e i s no one f e m i n i s m , b u t t h e r e i s one e s s e n t i a l f e m i n i s t q u e s t i o n t h a t c a n be p o s e d e i t h e r i n t h e l i b e r a l t e r m s o f e q u a l i t y / i n e q u a l i t y o r t h e M a r x i a n t e r m s o f d o m i n a t i o n / s u b o r d i n a t i o n . The t a s k o f o p e r a t i o n a l i z i n g t h e f e m i n i s t q u e s t i o n -b r i n g i n g i t t o b e a r i n a r e l e v a n t way on a s p e c i f i c b o d y o f d a t a - may be d e s i g n a t e d t h e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l component o f f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h . By d e f i n i t i o n , m e t h o d o l o g y i s a " t h e o r y and a n a l y s i s o f how r e s e a r c h d o e s o r s h o u l d p r o c e e d " ( H a r d i n g 1 9 8 7 : 3 ) . I t i n c l u d e s a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f how a p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r y i s t o be a p p l i e d i n p a r t i c u l a r r e s e a r c h a r e a s . I n f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h , m e t h o d o l o g y i s t h i s a nd more b e s i d e s . I t i n v o l v e s n o t o n l y t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r y t o a r e s e a r c h a r e a , b u t a l s o t h e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f t h a t t h e o r y w i t h t h e p o l i t i c a l a n d e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s t h a t p e r m i t one t o a s k t h e f e m i n i s t q u e s t i o n i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . I n a d d r e s s i n g t h e p r o b l e m o f m e t h o d o l o g y , f e m i n i s t s v a r y f r o m t h e c o m p l e t e a c c e p t a n c e o f t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y t o a c r i t i c a l u se o f i t . N o t s u r p r i s i n g l y , h o w e v e r , t h e s e v a r i a n c e s t e n d t o c l u s t e r a r o u n d two 13 m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s . A t one end o f t h e s p e c t r u m a r e t h o s e who t a k e t h e "add women" a p p r o a c h a n d i n t e g r a t e t h e i r s t u d y o f women i n t o t r a d i t i o n a l t h e o r y e i t h e r b y e x a m i n i n g women's r o l e s a n d a c t i v i t i e s i n a r e a s t h a t a l r e a d y have a p l a c e w i t h i n t h e e x i s t i n g t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e w o r k o r by e x a m i n i n g women's p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s , w h i c h may t h e m s e l v e s l i e o u t s i d e t h e e x i s t i n g f r a m e w o r k , i n l i g h t o f t h o s e t h e o r i e s . ( 3 ) T h e s e "add women" e f f o r t s a r e d i r e c t e d a t c o r r e c t i n g f o r t h e e f f e c t s o f "male b i a s " i n t r a d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h . I n t h i s "add women" v i e w , t h e o r i e s a r e n o t t h o u g h t o f a s b i a s e d p e r s e . The "male b i a s " t h a t i t s e e k s t o c o r r e c t f o r i s t h e r e s u l t o f p r e j u d i c e s , n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e s o r f a l s e b e l i e f s a b o u t women t h a t b e l o n g e d t o t h e p r e - t h e o r e t i c a l s o c i a l w o r l d o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r . T h e s e b i a s e s e n t e r t h e o r y b e c a u s e r e s e a r c h e r s , due t o t h e s e p r e j u d i c e s , f a i l t o t a k e a c c o u n t o f women a s e q u a l o b j e c t s o f r e s e a r c h a n d t h u s , when g e n e r a l i z i n g t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e r e s e a r c h , p r o d u c e i n a c c u r a t e a n d d i s t o r t e d a c c o u n t s o f s o c i a l r e a l i t y . S i n c e t h e g o a l o f r e s e a r c h a c c o r d i n g t o t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e i s t o " e x p a n d o b j e c t i v i t y " a n d p r o v i d e "a l e s s d i s t o r t e d and [more] s c i e n t i f i c a n a l y s i s " ( S c h e p e r - H u g h e s 1 9 8 3 : 1 0 9 ) o f s o c i a l r e a l i t y , r e s e a r c h t h a t g e n e r a t e s p a r t i a l a n d i n a c c u r a t e a c c o u n t s i s o b v i o u s l y o pen t o q u e s t i o n a n d p o t e n t i a l i n v a l i d a t i o n . A c c o r d i n g l y , a d d i n g women a s o b j e c t s o f e q u a l e m p i r i c a l w e i g h t i n r e s e a r c h i s s e e n a s t h e n e c e s s a r y p r e s c r i p t i o n t o p r o d u c e a l e s s d i s t o r t e d and more 14 c o m p l e t e v i e w o f t h e s o c i a l w o r l d a n d t o p u r g e t h e t h e o r y o f i t s b i a s . The "add women" a p p r o a c h s u f f e r s f r o m a n i n t e r n a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n . On one h a n d , i t w a n t s t o s u s t a i n t h e i d e a l o f t h e o r e t i c a l n e u t r a l i t y w h i l e , on t h e o t h e r h a n d , c r i t i c i z i n g t h e r e a l b i a s e s i n i t . I t a t t e m p t s t o b y p a s s t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n b y c l a i m i n g t h a t p e r s o n a l b i a s e s have c o r r u p t e d t h e o r y a n d may be p u r g e d f r o m i t . A d d i n g women s e r v e s t h i s p u r p o s e : a d d i n g women a s c o m p a r a t i v e d a t a w i l l show w h i c h p a r t s o f t h e t h e o r y have b e e n a f f e c t e d b y b i a s a n d w h i c h p a r t s h a v e n o t and t h e r e s u l t w i l l be a n e u t r a l t h e o r y . T h i s s o l u t i o n , o f c o u r s e , d o e s n o t w o r k . I t i s known t h a t i t d o e s n o t work b e c a u s e , i n f a c t , t h e o r i e s a r e c o n s t a n t l y c h a n g i n g a n d t h e t h e o r i e s we u s e t o d a y a r e n o t t h e t h e o r i e s we w i l l u s e t o m o r r o w . The i s s u e a t s t a k e i n t h i s m e t h o d o l o g i c a l a p p r o a c h , t h e n , i s n o t s o much w h e t h e r a p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r y i s b i a s e d , b u t w h e t h e r t h e o r y i n g e n e r a l i s b i a s e d . T h e s e r e s e a r c h e r s want t o s a y "no" f o r t h e v e r y p r o f o u n d r e a s o n t h a t i t i s , i n t h e i r v i e w , t h e o n l y g u a r a n t o r o f t h e o b j e c t i v i t y o f r e s e a r c h . The c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e "add women" a p p r o a c h t o t h e o r y a n d t h e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n o f t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t c a n h a r d l y go u n m e n t i o n e d . The i d e a o f t h e o r y a s a g u a r a n t o r o f o b j e c t i v i t y o n l y makes s e n s e w i t h i n a n e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n t h a t i d e a l i z e s t h e o r y a s t h e a b s o l u t e l y o b j e c t i v e 15 c o n c e p t u a l p r o d u c t o f a n e n c o u n t e r b e t w e e n k n o w e r s ( u n t a i n t e d b y t h e o p i n i o n s , a t t i t u d e s o r i g n o r a n c e o f t h e i r own s o c i e t y ) and t h e i r d a t a . T h e o r y , t h e n , i s t h e l e n s w h i c h o v e r t i m e i s r u b b e d f r e e o f a n y i m p u r i t i e s ( b i a s e s ) s o t h a t e v e n t u a l l y a c l e a r ( u n b i a s e d ) v i e w o f t h e d a t a i s a c h i e v e d . The c o n t r a d i c t i o n t h a t l i e s w i t h i n t h i s v i e w , h o w e v e r , i s t h a t , i n a c t u a l i t y , t h e work o f c o r r e c t i n g f o r b i a s i s a n e n d l e s s t a s k . A d d i n g women i s a n e x a m p l e . T h i s v i e w assumes t h a t t h e r e a r e a b s o l u t e o b j e c t s t o be known, s u c h a s "women" a n d "men". Y e t , t h e r e a r e no women o r men a s s u c h . As S c h l e g e l ( 1 9 7 7 ) p o i n t s o u t , t h e p a r t i a l v i e w o f s o c i e t y t h a t " m a l e - b i a s e d " s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s h ave a c h i e v e d i s n o t t h e p a r t i a l v i e w o f men a s s u c h , b u t o f c e r t a i n men o n l y : One g e t s t h e i m p r e s s i o n f r o m many e t h n o g r a p h e r s t h a t c u l t u r e i s c r e a t e d b y and f o r men b e t w e e n t h e a g e s o f p u b e r t y a n d l a t e m i d d l e age ( S c h l e g e l 1977:2) T h u s , e v e n t h e e f f e c t s o f men's b i a s e s t h a t f e m i n i s t s o f t h e "add women" s c h o o l c a l l "male b i a s " a r e n o t t r u l y " m a l e " : t h e y a r e t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e b i a s e s o f c e r t a i n men.(4) C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e r e c a n be no g e n e r a l c a t e g o r y o f "women" a d d e d i n t o c o r r e c t f o r s u c h a b i a s . One may c o n c e i v a b l y c o r r e c t f o r t h i s s p e c i f i c b i a s b y a d d i n g women b e t w e e n t h e a g e s o f p u b e r t y a n d l a t e m i d d l e a g e , b u t t h i s a d d i t i o n w o u l d n o t p r o d u c e a n e u t r a l t h e o r y . L i k e S i s y p h u s , t h e r e s e a r c h e r f a c e s a t a s k t h a t i s n e v e r d o n e . T h e o r y w i l l c o n t i n u e t o be b i a s e d i n more ways t h a n c a n e v e r be c o r r e c t e d f o r a n d t h e p u r s u i t o f o b j e c t i v i t y r e m a i n s a n 16 e t e r n a l and i m p o s s i b l e t a s k . C e r t a i n l y t h e n t h e p r o b l e m w i t h male b i a s c a n n o t o n l y be t h a t i t i s b i a s e d . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n l e a d s b a c k t o Marx a nd h i s o r i g i n a l c r i t i q u e o f i d e o l o g y i n w h i c h he s t a t e d t h a t t h e p r o b l e m w i t h a p o i n t o f v i e w i s n o t t h a t i t i s a p o i n t o f v i e w b u t t h a t i t p r e t e n d s t o be o t h e r w i s e . ( 5 ) N o t s u r p r i s i n g l y , on t h e o t h e r end o f t h e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c o n t i n u u m f r o m t h e "add women" s c h o o l a r e r e s e a r c h e r s whose a r g u m e n t i s e x a c t l y t h a t . The most a r t i c u l a t e f e m i n i s t a p p l i c a t i o n o f M a r x ' s c r i t i q u e t o s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y i s t h a t o f D o r o t h y S m i t h ( 1 9 8 7 ) . F o l l o w i n g Marx s h e a r g u e s t h a t s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y i s f a r f r o m p u r e . N e i t h e r s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t n o r o n t o g e n i c , t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s a r e p a r t o f t h e d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y o f o u r s o c i e t y . As s u c h , s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y s h a r e s t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f e a t u r e s o f i d e o l o g y M a r x d e s c r i b e d . F i r s t , s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y i s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y b i a s e d ; a n d t h e b i a s i s n o t a c c i d e n t a l b u t i n h e r e n t , n o t d e t a c h a b l e b u t s t r u c t u r a l l y embedded. I t s b i a s i s t h e b i a s o f t h e d o m i n a n t g r o u p a nd i t f u n c t i o n s l i k e a n y o t h e r d o m i n a n t g r o u p i d e o l o g y . D r a w i n g on t h e t r a d i t i o n a l M a r x i a n a n a l o g y t h a t women a r e t o men a s t h e p r o l e t a r i a t a r e t o t h e b o u r g e o i s i e , S m i t h s t a t e s t h a t t h e b i a s i n s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y i s i n h e r e n t l y and s y s t e m a t i c a l l y m a l e . S e c o n d l y , s i n c e i t i s ma l e b i a s e d , i t t e n d s t o c o n c e a l o r m y s t i f y t h e s o c i a l r e a l i t y o f women's l i v e s a n d o f s o c i e t y a s a w h o l e . T h i r d l y , a l t h o u g h p a r t i a l a n d d i s t o r t e d , i t c l a i m s a b s o l u t e 17 v a l i d i t y . F o u r t h l y , i t n o t o n l y c l a i m s a b s o l u t e v a l i d i t y , b u t a s p a r t o f t h e i d e o l o g y o f t h e d o m i n a n t c l a s s , o r i n S m i t h ' s t e r m s , p a r t o f " t h e l a r g e r r e l a t i o n s o f r u l i n g i n s o c i e t y , t h e r e l a t i o n s t h a t p u t I t t o g e t h e r , ...and r e g u l a t e i t a n d c o n t r o l i t " ( S m i t h 1 9 8 7 : 1 9 ) , s o c i a l t h e o r y has t h e power t o have i t s e l f a c c e p t e d a s a b s o l u t e l y v a l i d . Women, l i k e a l l s u b o r d i n a t e g r o u p s , a r e u n a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r own p o i n t o f v i e w i n a c o h e r e n t a n d autonomous f a s h i o n , a n d s o r e m a i n i n t e l l e c t u a l l y o v e r w h e l m e d an d d e t e r m i n e d b y t h e d o m i n a n t m a l e i d e o l o g y . ...The m a k i n g a n d d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f t h e f o r m s o f t h o u g h t we make u s e o f t o t h i n k a b o u t o u r s e l v e s a n d o u r s o c i e t y a r e p a r t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s o f r u l i n g a n d h e n c e o r i g i n a t e i n p o s i t i o n s o f power. T h e s e p o s i t i o n s o f power a r e o c c u p i e d b y men a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y , w h i c h means t h a t . . . t h e means women have had a v a i l a b l e t o them t o t h i n k , i m a g e , a nd make a c t i o n a b l e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e have b e e n made f o r us and n o t by u s . . . . I t means t h a t t h e c o n c e r n s , i n t e r e s t , a n d e x p e r i e n c e s f o r m i n g " o u r " c u l t u r e a r e t h o s e o f men i n p o s i t i o n s o f d o m i n a n c e whose p e r s p e c t i v e s a r e b u i l t on t h e s i l e n c e o f women... L e t us be c l e a r t h a t we a r e n o t t a l k i n g a b o u t a p r e j u d i c e o r s e x i s m a s a p a r t i c u l a r b i a s a g a i n s t women o r a n e g a t i v e s t e r e o t y p e o f women. We a r e t a l k i n g a b o u t t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f women's e x c l u s i o n f r o m a f u l l s h a r e i n t h e m a k i n g o f what becomes t r e a t e d a s o u r c u l t u r e . What i s t h e r e - s p o k e n , s u n g , w r i t t e n , made e m b l e m a t i c i n a r t - and t r e a t e d a s g e n e r a l , u n i v e r s a l , u n r e l a t e d t o a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n o r a p a r t i c u l a r s e x a s i t s s o u r c e a n d s t a n d p o i n t , i s i n f a c t p a r t i a l , l i m i t e d , l o c a t e d i n a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n , a n d p e r m e a t e d b y s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t s and c o n c e r n s . ( S m i t h 1 9 8 7 : 1 9 - 2 0 ) C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l programme S m i t h a n d o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s p r o p o s e i s t o use e x i s t i n g t h e o r i e s j u d i c i o u s l y b y means o f a s t r a t e g i c move " o u t s i d e t h e f r a m e " o f t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s move i n v o l v e s t h r e e 18 c o n c o m i t a n t m e t h o d o l o g i c a l s t r a t e g i e s . ( 6 ) F i r s t , t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y b e g i n s i t s a n a l y s i s f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f men's e x p e r i e n c e . The f e m i n i s t a p p r o a c h i n v o l v e s s t a r t i n g r e s e a r c h f r o m " t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f women" o r f r o m "women's e x p e r i e n c e s ; " a n d , a p p r o p r i a t e l y , t h i s a p p r o a c h h a s b e e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s t h e " f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t " a p p r o a c h ( H a r d i n g 1 9 8 7 : 1 8 4 ) . S e c o n d l y , t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l t h e o r y p r o v i d e s i n f o r m a t i o n r e l e v a n t t o men's i n t e r e s t s a n d a s k s q u e s t i o n s a b o u t s o c i a l l i f e f r o m men's p o i n t o f v i e w . The g o a l o f t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t i n q u i r y i s t o p r o v i d e f o r women t h e a n a l y s e s t h e y n e e d t o u n d e r s t a n d s o c i a l r e a l i t y a n d i t t h e r e f o r e a s k s q u e s t i o n s a b o u t s o c i a l l i f e f r o m women's p o i n t o f v i e w . T h i r d l y , i t l o c a t e s t h e r e s e a r c h e r "on t h e same c r i t i c a l p l a n e a s " t h e r e s e a r c h e d ( H a r d i n g 1 9 8 7 : 8 ) . W h i l e m o v i n g o u t s i d e t h e f r a m e o f t r a d i t i o n a l t h e o r y , t h e r e s e a r c h e r moves i n s i d e t h e f r a m e o f t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t . The f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t a p p r o a c h d e v e l o p e d b y S m i t h a n d o t h e r s i s t h e one a d o p t e d b y most f e m i n i s t s o c i a l s c i e n c e s r e s e a r c h e r s . ( 7 ) I t i s n o t w i t h o u t c o n c e p t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s o f i t s own, h o w e v e r . F i r s t , t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t a p p r o a c h l i m i t s t h e t h e o r e t i c a l a n d a n a l y t i c a l g o a l s o f f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h . The p h r a s e , "women's p o i n t o f v i e w " i s m i s l e a d i n g . O b v i o u s l y , t h i s p h r a s e d o e s n o t mean "any and a l l women's p o i n t o f 19 v i e w . " I t s p e c i f i c a l l y r e f e r s t o t h e s u b o r d i n a t e p o i n t o f v i e w o f women r e l a t i v e t o t h e d o m i n a n t p o i n t o f v i e w o f men. The s t r e n g t h o f t h e a p p r o a c h i s t h a t i t a v o i d s t h e p r o b l e m o f a s s u m i n g a g e n e r a l c l a s s o f women a s s u c h d o m i n a t e d by a g e n e r a l c l a s s o f men. The p h r a s e i s o l a t e s a s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p r e p l i c a t e d t h r o u g h o u t s o c i e t y b e t w e e n d i f f e r e n t g r o u p s o f women and d i f f e r e n t g r o u p s o f men. I t d e s c r i b e s a n d a n a l y z e s t h e d i m e n s i o n s o f t h e s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f s p e c i f i c women r e l a t i v e t o s p e c i f i c men a n d t h e ways t h e s e women p e r c e i v e i t a n d r e s p o n d t o i t . I t s w e a k n e s s i s t h a t i t p r e s e n t s o n l y h a l f t h e p i c t u r e : i t i g n o r e s o t h e r r e l a t i o n s i n women's l i v e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h o s e i n w h i c h g r o u p s o f women s u b o r d i n a t e o t h e r g r o u p s o f women.(8) S e c o n d l y , w i t h r e s p e c t t o i t s s t a t e d a i m a s a t o o l o f r e s e a r c h f o r women, i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e g o a l o f t h i s t y p e o f r e s e a r c h i s n o t t o make women o b j e c t s o f e q u a l e m p i r i c a l v a l u e w i t h men ( o r t o make women r e s e a r c h e r s o f e q u a l s t a t u r e w i t h men f o r t h a t m a t t e r ) . I n s t e a d , t h e s e r e s e a r c h e r s hope t o g e n e r a t e a s e l f - d e t e r m i n e d and autonomous p e r s p e c t i v e on women's l i v e s a n d on s o c i e t y i n g e n e r a l ( P a t e m a n and G r o s s 1986) i n o r d e r t o h e l p women u n d e r s t a n d a n d c h a n g e t h e d i m e n s i o n s o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n i n t h e i r l i v e s . T r a d i t i o n a l t h e o r y i s u s e f u l o n l y t o t h e d e g r e e t h a t i t a i d s t h i s g o a l . P h e n o m e n o l o g y a nd e t h n o m e t h o d o l o g y a r e p r e f e r r e d t h e o r i e s ( a l t h o u g h t h e i r r e l a t i v i s t e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s a r e u s u a l l y i g n o r e d ) 20 ( S t a n l e y and Wise 1979, 1983). P s y c h o a n a l y s i s and s t r u c t u r a l i s m become " f e m i n i s t t h e o r i e s manque" to the extent t h a t they provide i n v a l u a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n about the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s used to perpetuate the a l i e n a t i o n and s u b o r d i n a t i o n of women (Ruben 1975: 193). Autonomy, however, i s something of a l e g a l f i c t i o n , an Impossible i d e a l ; and as long as f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s continue t o remain as p a r t of (and not as s e p a r a t i s t s w i t h i n ) the academic community, they have r e s p o n s i b i l i t y not to s h i r k the hard q u e s t i o n . I f t h e i r t h e o r i e s and a n a l y s i s are autonomous, are they not a l s o r e l a t i v e ? I f not r e l a t i v e , a g a i n s t what standard does one judge the t r u t h -c l a i m s of " f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t " r e s e a r c h versus non-feminist research? Since each p e r s p e c t i v e stands on d i f f e r e n t e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l ground, i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o imagine where a standard can be found. T h i s q u e s t i o n i s not merely a p h i l o s o p h i c a l one. As i n the case of Enlightenment p h i l o s o p h e r s assuming an a b s o l u t e knower, an a b s o l u t e o b j e c t to be known and unmediated knowledge, f e m i n i s t s p r e s e n t i n g "women's p o i n t of view," a s k i n g "women's q u e s t i o n s " and p l a c i n g the r e s e a r c h e r on the same c r i t i c a l plane as the researched, are i d e a l s to be s t r i v e n f o r but never to be r e a l i z e d . In t h i s r e s p e c t , t h i s approach to f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h a l s o s t r u g g l e s with c e r t a i n m ethodological i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . To r e t u r n to Marx f o r a moment to make the p o i n t more co n c r e t e , i t i s c l e a r t h a t Marx could not have w r i t t e n h i s 21 c r i t i q u e o f i d e o l o g y f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e p r o l e t a r i a t f o r t h e s i m p l e r e a s o n t h a t t h e p r o l e t a r i a t was, t o some e x t e n t , a c r e a t i o n o f h i s own t h e o r y . The same may be s a i d f o r f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h . I t i s r e s e a r c h f o r women i n b o t h s e n s e s o f t h e t e r m : t o some e x t e n t f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h c r e a t e s t h e "women's p o i n t o f v i e w " , a s k s q u e s t i o n s women do n o t know how t o a s k , and d i s p l a y s t h e l i v e s o f women f o r them i n ways t h e y c a n n o t d o . B u t t o c l a i m m o r a l p u r i t y i n t h e r o l e o f a d v o c a c y i s no more a g u a r a n t o r o f t r u t h t h a n t o c l a i m t h e o r e t i c a l p u r i t y i n t h e name o f o b j e c t i v i t y . F o r t u n a t e l y , f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s a r e aw a r e o f t h i s d i l e m m a i n t h e i r r e s e a r c h . F e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s r e f e r t o i t a s t h e p r o b l e m o f " d o u b l e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " ( D u b o i s 1 9 6 1 ; S m i t h 1 9 8 7 ) . As women s t u d y i n g women, t h e y a r e t r a i n e d i n t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h e d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y y e t p e r s o n a l l y e x p e r i e n c e t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f women's s u b o r d i n a t i o n . As a c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h i s , i n c o r p o r a t i n g - t h e r e s e a r c h e r on t h e same c r i t i c a l p l a n e a s t h e r e s e a r c h e d i s a s much a n e c e s s a r y a n d f r a n k a d m i s s i o n o f t h e a n a l y t i c d i l e m m a s p o s e d b y d o u b l e c o n s c i o u s n e s s a s i t i s a m o r a l c h o i c e b y f e m i n i s t s t o r e t a i n s o l i d a r i t y w i t h t h e i r r e s e a r c h s u b j e c t s . The L i m i t s o f M a r x i a n T h e o r y I n my own r e s e a r c h I have a d o p t e d t h e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l a p p r o a c h d e s c r i b e d i n t h e f i r s t p o r t i o n o f t h i s p a p e r . L i k e t h e f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e d b y H a r d i n g , I have n o t 22 s o u g h t t o i n v e n t new f e m i n i s t methods p e r s e , t h o u g h I have t r i e d t o a p p l y d i f f e r e n t f e m i n i s t m e t h o d o l o g i e s . The methods o f g a t h e r i n g d a t a t h a t I u s e d i n t h e f i e l d w o r k f o r t h i s r e s e a r c h were u t t e r l y t r a d i t i o n a l : p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , a u d i o - t a p i n g o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k ' s m o n t h l y m e e t i n g s a n d f o r m a l i n t e r v i e w i n g . P a r t i c p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n was b o t h f o r m a l a n d i n f o r m a l s i n c e t h e w o r l d d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s t h e s i s i s a p a r t o f my own. W h i l e I had a c o n s e r v a t i v e C h r i s t i a n c h i l d h o o d and became a more l i b e r a l t h o u g h more c o m m i t t e d C a t h o l i c once I went t o u n i v e r s i t y , I d i s c o v e r e d a n d was d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d b y t h e r a d i c a l C a t h o l i c i s m p r a c t i s e d by some o f t h e f r i e n d s I made a t u n i v e r s i t y a n d t h e e d u c a t i o n I r e c e i v e d a s a n u n d e r g r a d u a t e s t u d y i n g t h e h i s t o r y o f C h r i s t i a n i t y . I n my f i r s t y e a r o f g r a d u a t e s c h o o l I d i s c o v e r e d f e m i n i s t t h e o r y i n a c o u r s e on t h e h i s t o r y o f a n t h r o p o l o g y , a n d t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k t h r o u g h a f e m i n i s t C a t h o l i c f r i e n d . I a t t e n d e d t h e m o n t h l y m e e t i n g s o f CWN d u r i n g t h e F a l l a n d W i n t e r o f 1 9 8 7 - 8 8 . The f i r s t m e e t i n g I a t t e n d e d was i n t h e s t a f f r o o m o f an e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l . S i n c e t h e n m e e t i n g s h a v e b e e n h e l d i n t h e ba s e m e n t o f a s m a l l e a s t - s i d e A n g l i c a n C h u r c h whose m i n i s t e r i s a member o f a s i m i l a r g r o u p f o r A n g l i c a n women. I was t o l e a r n o n l y l a t e r t h a t t h e f i r s t m e e t i n g had b e e n h e l d i n t h e s t a f f r o o m b e c a u s e t h e N e t w o r k h a d b e e n a s k e d t o l e a v e i t s o r i g i n a l m e e t i n g p l a c e i n a l o c a l c o n v e n t due t o p r e s s u r e f r o m t h e b i s h o p ' s o f f i c e . I was n o t s u r p r i s e d t o f i n d a t t h e f i r s t m e e t i n g I a t t e n d e d 23 t h a t a number o f t h e women who went t o t h e N e t w o r k were members o f my l o c a l c h u r c h . M o s t I knew b y f a c e i f n o t by name and I q u i c k l y became a t home t h e r e a n d a t t e n d e d m e e t i n g s s p o r a d i c a l l y t h r o u g h o u t t h e w i n t e r a n d s p r i n g . T h a t summer, i n 1 9 8 8 , I a t t e n d e d t h e a n n u a l c o n f e r e n c e o f t h e n a t i o n a l g r o u p , t h e C a t h o l i c N e t w o r k f o r Women's E q u a l i t y (CNWE), a n o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r m e d t o e d u c a t e a n d l o b b y t h e C a n a d i a n C o n f e r e n c e o f C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s on i s s u e s c o n c e r n i n g women i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . I was e l e c t e d t o i t s f i v e - m e m b e r e x e c u t i v e a n d t h r o u g h o u t t h e f o l l o w i n g y e a r have m a i n t a i n e d r e g u l a r c o r r e s p o n d e n c e a n d o c c a s i o n a l p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h t h e s e members a nd t h e members o f t h e new e x e c u t i v e e l e c t e d i n 1 9 8 9 . Upon r e t u r n i n g f r o m t h a t i n i t i a l c o n f e r e n c e , I went on r e t r e a t w i t h t h e women o f CWN a n d i n S e p t e m b e r 1988 I b e g a n f i e l d w o r k i n t h e g r o u p . T h i s t h e s i s i s b a s e d on t h a t f i e l d r e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d b e t w e e n S e p t e m b e r 1988 a n d J u n e 1 989. W h i l e p r o c e e d i n g w i t h f o r m a l f i e l d w o r k on t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k i n t h e f a l l o f 1 988, I a l s o b e g a n t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n two o t h e r l o c a l c o m m u n i t i e s c o n n e c t e d t o t h e g r o u p , a C a t h o l i c h o u s e c h u r c h and a s o c i a l j u s t i c e c o a l i t i o n c a l l e d A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s . I c o n t i n u e d t o work a s an e x e c u t i v e o f t h e C a t h o l i c N e t w o r k f o r Women's E q u a l i t y a n d a s a r e g i o n a l c o n t a c t f o r i t . F o r a number o f months t h r o u g h o u t t h e w i n t e r I s a t on t h e p r o v i n c i a l s t e e r i n g c o m m i t t e e o f t h e W o r l d C o u n c i l o f C h u r c h e s ' " E c u m e n i c a l Decade o f C h u r c h e s i n S o l i d a r i t y w i t h Women i n C h u r c h a n d 24 S o c i e t y " a n d I c o n t i n u e t o be i n v o l v e d i n i t s l i t u r g y c o m m i t t e e p l a n n i n g f o r a F a l l 1989 w o r s h i p s e r v i c e on t h e theme o f women and v i o l e n c e . I a l s o a p p e a r e d on t h e U n i t e d C h u r c h t e l e v i s i o n show " P r e s s u r e P o i n t " t o d i s c u s s i s s u e s r e l a t e d t o women and t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , w r o t e a r t i c l e s f o r t h e CWN n e w s l e t t e r , h e l p e d t o p r e p a r e a k i t f o r women w o r k i n g a s r e g i o n a l c o n t a c t s f o r C a t h o l i c N e t w o r k f o r Women's E q u a l i t y a n d j o i n e d t h e p l a n n i n g c o m m i t t e e f o r i t s 1990 a n n u a l c o n f e r e n c e . T h i s i n f o r m a l f i e l d w o r k has a d d e d a n i n v a l u a b l e d i m e n s i o n t o t h e f o r m a l m ethods o f g a t h e r i n g d a t a , t h a t i s a u d i o - t a p i n g m o n t h l y m e e t i n g s and i n t e r v i e w i n g p a s t a n d p r e s e n t members o f t h e N e t w o r k . The a u d i o - t a p i n g o f m o n t h l y m e e t i n g s was, on t h e w h o l e , n o t s u c c e s s f u l . I a t t e m p t e d t o a u d i o t a p e t h e m o n t h l y m e e t i n g s o f CWN f r o m S e p t e m b e r 1988 t o J u n e 1989 and two r e t r e a t s h e l d b y CWN on O c t o b e r 1 4 - 1 6 , 1988 a n d M a r c h 3 1 - A p r i l 2, 1 9 8 9 . I n t h e p r o c e s s , I d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e r e a r e a l m o s t a s many t h i n g s t h a t c a n go w r o n g w i t h a t a p e r e c o r d e r , a b a t t e r y - o p e r a t e d m i c r o p h o n e , an a d a p t o r and j a c k a s t h e r e a r e t i m e s t h a t one m i g h t want t o u s e t h i s e q u i p m e n t . F i e l d n o t e s s u c c e e d where t e c h n o l o g y f a i l e d . By c o n t r a s t , I f o u n d i n t e r v i e w s t o be a much s i m p l e r t e c h n o l o g i c a l c h a l l e n g e , s i n c e t h e y r e q u i r e d m e r e l y t h e t a p e r e c o r d e r a l o n e . I i n t e r v i e w e d t w e n t y women who a r e o r were members o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k . T h e s e i n t e r v i e w s r a n g e d f r o m one a n d a h a l f t o s i x h o u r s i n l e n g t h and 25 f o c u s s e d on t h e f o l l o w i n g t o p i c s : l i f e h i s t o r y f r o m a s p i r i t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e ; p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n and o p i n i o n s a b o u t t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k ; p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h a n d o p i n i o n s o f i t ; p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n f e m i n i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d o p i n i o n s a b o u t them; s e n s e o f s e l f a s a Roman C a t h o l i c woman; e x p e r i e n c e s o f God and s p i r i t u a l i t y . T h e s e t o p i c s d e v e l o p e d a s I i n t e r v i e w e d d i f f e r e n t women. C o n s e q u e n t l y n o t a l l women were a s k e d t h e same q u e s t i o n s a n d women who were i n t e r v i e w e d e a r l y on I n t h e r e s e a r c h I i n t e r v i e w e d a g a i n . T h e s e i n t e r v i e w s r e s u l t e d i n o v e r 350 p a g e s o f s i n g l e - s p a c e d t r a n s c r i p t i o n s . A l o n g w i t h f i e l d n o t e s , t y p e d s u m m a r i e s o f t h e s u c c e s s f u l l y a u d i o -t a p e d m e e t i n g s o f t h e N e t w o r k and my i n f o r m a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d g r o u p s I g a i n e d a n e x t e n s i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k a n d i t s l i f e . T h e s e t o p i c s a r o u n d w h i c h I o r g a n i z e d my d a t a c o l l e c t i n g g rew o u t o f t h e m e t h o d o l o g y o f t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t , a n d , more p a r t i c u l a r l y , my a p p l i c a t i o n o f M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t t h e o r y . I f e l t a t t h e t i m e o f my r e s e a r c h t h a t t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e a c c u r a t e l y r e f l e c t e d t h e i s s u e s a n d q u e s t i o n s o f t h e women o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k . O n l y when I b e g a n t o s o r t t h r o u g h my d a t a a n d o r g a n i z e t h e w r i t i n g o f t h e t h e s i s d i d i t s l o w l y dawn on me t h a t I had made a c r u c i a l m i s t a k e i n my t h e o r e t i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s d u r i n g t h e f i e l d w o r k , a n d t h a t I w o u l d have t o a d o p t a d i f f e r e n t a n a l y s i s d u r i n g t h e w r i t i n g p r o c e s s . 26 To e x p l a i n t h i s m i s t a k e a n d t h e t h e o r e t i c a l s h i f t I made t o c o m p e n s a t e f o r i t , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o make a few comments a b o u t a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l k n o w l e d g e i n g e n e r a l a n d t h e k n o w l e d g e g e n e r a t e d b y t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t i n p a r t i c u l a r . A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l k n o w l e d g e d e r i v e s i t s a u t h o r i t y f r o m one o f two s o u r c e s . F i r s t , a s a s o c i a l s c i e n c e a n d a n a c a d e m i c d i s c i p l i n e i t a c q u i r e s a u t o m a t i c a u t h o r i t y f r o m t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n e x p e r t a n d e v e r y d a y o r common k n o w l e d g e . The a n t h r o p o l o g i s t i n t e r p r e t s common k n o w l e d g e i n t h e l i g h t o f c u r r e n t t h e o r y a n d p r o d u c e s e x p e r t k n o w l e d g e , w h i c h i s j u d g e d t o be s u p e r i o r . O c c a s i o n a l l y c o n f l i c t s d e v e l o p when t h e s u p e r i o r i t y o f t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t ' s e x p e r t i s e i s q u e s t i o n e d , a s i s t h e c a s e when n a t i v e s a n d a n t h r o p o l o g i s t c o n t e s t t h e r e l a t i v e v a l u e o f e a c h o t h e r s ' k n o w l e d g e . When t h u s c h a l l e n g e d , a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s o m e t i m e s a p p e a l t o a s e c o n d s o u r c e o f a u t h o r i t y f o r t h e i r k n o w l e d g e : r a t h e r t h a n c l a i m i n g t o be e x p e r t s r e l a t i v e t o n a t i v e s b u t by c l a i m i n g t o be t r a n s l a t o r s o f t h e i r k n o w l e d g e i n t o a w e s t e r n f o r m . H e r e t h e y a r e m e d i a t o r s b e t w e e n two c u l t u r e s . The a u t h o r i t y o f t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t i s b a s e d on a p p e a l t o b o t h t h e s e c l a i m s . The a n t h r o p o l o g i s t who w o r k s f r o m t h e f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t , b y v i r t u e o f h e r d o u b l e s t a t u s a s b o t h e x p e r t t h e o r i s t a n d n a t i v e , i s a b l e t o p r o d u c e e x p e r t k n o w l e d g e when o n l y common k n o w l e d g e e x i s t e d , a n d t o a c t a s a m e d i a t o r a n d e d u c a t o r . She i s a b l e t o a p p l y a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l t h e o r y t o o t h e r women's s o c i a l r e a l i t y a n d 27 p r o d u c e f o r them a v i s i o n o f t h e i r r e a l i t y t h a t t h e y a r e u n a b l e t o g e n e r a t e b y t h e m s e l v e s . An i n t e r e s t i n g t u r n o f e v e n t s may o c c u r , when, a s i n t h e c a s e o f my own f i e l d w o r k , I a t t e m p t e d t o a p p l y M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t t h e o r y t o women's s o c i a l r e a l i t y i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h i n o r d e r t o p r o d u c e f o r them a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i r r o l e a n d s t a t u s i n i t . S u c h a u s e o f M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t t h e o r y c a n be a p p l i e d o n l y t o g r o u p s o f women who do n o t a l r e a d y s h a r e t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s e x p e r t i s e , t h a t i s who do n o t ha v e a M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i r own r e a l i t y . Women i n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k , h o w e v e r , a r e a l r e a d y d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d b y M a r x i a n , f e m i n i s t a n d s o c i o l o g i c a l t h e o r y t h r o u g h t h e i r r e a d i n g o f Roman C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y a n d o t h e r f o r m s o f l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y , a l l o f w h i c h a r e p r i m a r i l y M a r x i a n a n d s o c i o l o g i c a l i n t h e i r t h e o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n . M o r e o v e r , a n i n t e g r a l i f n o t c e n t r a l p a r t o f t h e a c t i v i t y o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k i s t h e c r i t i q u e o f s e l f a n d s o c i e t y f r o m a M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . I n s h o r t , t h e s e women had a l r e a d y a p p l i e d a M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s t o t h e i r s i t u a t i o n l o n g b e f o r e I a r r i v e d t o do my f i e l d w o r k a n d , t h u s , I was t h u s c a r r y i n g o u t my r e s e a r c h a c c o r d i n g t o a t h e o r e t i c a l a p p r o a c h w h i c h was s e t up t o g e n e r a t e a b o d y o f k n o w l e d g e w h i c h t h e y a l r e a d y t o o k f o r g r a n t e d . I must c o n f e s s t h a t what now a p p e a r s g l a r i n g l y o b v i o u s o n l y s l o w l y a n d p a i n f u l l y s e e p e d i n t o my a w a r e n e s s when I b e g a n t o w r i t e t h i s t h e s i s . I n h i n d s i g h t I r e a l i z e t h a t my 28 f a i l u r e t o s e e t h e l i m i t e d u s e f u l n e s s o f my t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e a t t h e t i m e o f t h e f i e l d w o r k was c a u s e d by t h e d i f f e r e n t c o n c e r n s o f f e m i n i s t s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s and t h e women i n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k . F e m i n i s t s o c i a l t h e o r i s t s a r e s t i l l , on t h e w h o l e , w o r k i n g t o d e f i n e and a n a l y z e t h e n a t u r e o f women's o p p r e s s i o n , a n d I was d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d by t h a t e f f o r t . T h r o u g h o u t my f i e l d r e s e a r c h I saw t h e p r o b l e m o f b e i n g a f e m i n i s t i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h t o be b a s i c a l l y a q u e s t i o n o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e s t a t u s o f women i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h f r o m a M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . By c o n t r a s t , due t o t h e u n a p o l o g e t i c a l l y h i e r a r c h i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , t h o s e i n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k were a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r s t a t u s i n t h e C h u r c h i n a r a t h e r s h o r t p e r i o d o f t i m e . T h e i r c o n c e r n , a s s h a l l be shown, i n v a r i a b l y c e n t e r e d n o t on d e f i n i n g o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e i r s t a t u s i n t h e C h u r c h , b u t a r o u n d c o p i n g w i t h i t . A t t h e same t i m e a s I b e g a n t o r e a l i z e t h e l i m i t e d u s e f u l n e s s o f a s t r i c t l y M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s i n my r e s e a r c h , I b e g a n t o become aware o f c e r t a i n k e y h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t s e v e n w i t h i n t h e g r o u p ' s b r i e f e x i s t e n c e . The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k i s n o t a s t a t i c o r g a n i z a t i o n whose m e m b e r s h i p has r e m a i n e d t h e same t h r o u g h t i m e . On t h e c o n t r a r y , women c o n s t a n t l y h a v e come and gone and w i t h i n t h a t f l u i d i t y o f g r o u p m e m b e r s h i p t h e r e was a p r o m i n e n t and o f t - c o m m e n t e d upon d i v i s i o n i n t o two g e n e r a t i o n s o f members. The f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n , w h i c h I c a l l t h e f o u n d e r s , made up t h e 29 group i n the years 1984 to 1986/1987 and the second g e n e r a t i o n began around 1987/1988 and c o n t i n u e s i n t o the p r e s e n t . Concomitantly, the group's c h a r a c t e r , i t s f u n c t i o n and s t a t u s i n women's l i v e s as a means of coping with t h e i r s t a t u s i n the Roman C a t h o l i c Church, are q u i t e d i f f e r e n t i n each of the g e n e r a t i o n s . In the f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n , the C a t h o l i c Women's Network i s p r i m a r i l y a support group f o r women t r y i n g to remain f a i t h f u l members of the church. In the second g e n e r a t i o n i t becomes an autonomous and v i r t u a l l y s e l f - s u s t a i n i n g s p i r i t u a l community f o r women who have ceased to go to church i n any r e g u l a r way, and i t becomes pa r t of a broader network of s i m i l a r groups i n a s s o c i a t i o n with a s o c i a l j u s t i c e c o a l i t i o n c a l l e d A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s and with the housechurch movement. As I began to d e s c r i b e and analyze CWN as two d i f f e r e n t g e n e r a t i o n s of women, I searched f o r the reasons f o r i t s e v o l u t i o n from one k i n d of group to another. I t became apparent to me t h a t the reasons f o r the group's changing c h a r a c t e r and f u n c t i o n d e r i v e d from the r e c e n t h i s t o r y of the Roman C a t h o l i c Church, namely the Second V a t i c a n C o u n c i l , and the i n h e r e n t l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y or ambivalent understanding of what i t means to be a f a i t h f u l member of the Roman C a t h o l i c Church t h a t the C o u n c i l generated. On one hand the C o u n c i l advocated a communitarian understanding of C a t h o l i c l i f e , but on the other, i t r e t a i n e d i t s h i e r a r c h i c a l e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e . The C a t h o l i c Women's 30 N e t w o r k may be s e e n a s a n e f f o r t b y C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t women t o work o u t t h a t c o n t r a d i c t i o n and I have s o u g h t t o d e s c r i b e a n d a n a l y z e CWN w i t h i n t h i s g e n e r a l a n a l y t i c o r i n t e r p r e t i v e f r a m e w o r k . N o t e s 1. The f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n o f M a r x ' s t h e o r y o f i d e o l o g y i s b a s e d on P a r e k h ( 1 9 8 2 ) . 2. T h a t t r e a t m e n t was e x e m p l i f i e d a t t h e 1969 a n t i -i n a u g u r a t i o n c a m p a i g n i n W a s h i n g t o n , D.C. When f e m i n i s t s a t t e m p t e d t o p r e s e n t t h e i r p o s i t i o n a t t h e r a l l y , "men i n t h e a u d i e n c e b o o e d , l a u g h e d , c a t c a l l e d a n d y e l l e d e n l i g h t e n e d r e m a r k s l i k e , 'Take h e r o f f t h e s t a g e a n d f u c k h e r . ' " ( W i l l i s 1 9 7 0 : 5 6 ) . 3. I n s o c i o l o g y s e e E i c h l e r ( 1 9 8 0 , 1 9 8 7 , 1 9 8 8 ) ; O a k l e y ( 1 9 7 4 , 1 9 7 6 ) . I n a n t h r o p o l o g y s e e G o o d a l e ( 1 9 7 1 ) O r t n e r ( 1 9 8 1 ) ; R o s a l d o a n d Lamphere ( 1 9 7 4 ) ; S c h e p e r - H u g h e s ( 1 9 8 3 ) ; S t r a t h e r n ( 1 9 7 2 ) ; W e i n e r ( 1 9 7 6 ) ; s e e a l s o t h e f o l l o w i n g r e v i e w e s s a y s : Lamphere ( 1 9 7 7 ) ; Q u i n n ( 1 9 7 7 ) ; Rapp ( 1 9 7 9 ) ; T i f f a n y ( 1 9 8 2 ) . 4. W h i l e we may assume t h a t t h e v i e w s t h e s e men h o l d may be more g e n e r a l i z e d , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o p o i n t o u t t h a t t h e b i a s i n s o c i a l s c i e n c e r e s e a r c h i s g e n e r a t e d b y c e r t a i n men, u s u a l l y w h i t e m i d d l e c l a s s men who have t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o go t o u n i v e r s i t y a n d g e t P h d . ' s a nd by t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s i n o t h e r s o c i e t i e s . 5. A c a v e a t i s i n o r d e r . I have g i v e n t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t M a r x a d v o c a t e s an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l r e l a t i v i t y . I n f a c t , he d o e s n o t . Marx d o e s h a v e a t h e o r y o f t r u t h a n d o b j e c t i v i t y , b u t i t i s n o t f o u n d e d on t h e d i s s o c i a t i o n o f knower a nd known, on t h e one h a n d , f r o m t h e m a t e r i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f e x i s t e n c e a n d t h e p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s o f human i n t e r e s t on t h e o t h e r . 31 6. The methodological programme Smith proposes i s a c t u a l l y much more d e t a i l e d than presented here. The methodological moves presented here are the three a l l f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h e r s of t h i s approach adopt. See Bowles and D u e l l l - K l e i n (1980); Roberts (1981); Harding (1987); Harding and H i n t i k k a (1983); K e l l y (1978); McRobbie (1982); Pateman and Gross (1986); Roberts and B e l l (1983); S t a n l e y and Wise (1979, 1983). 7. See note above. 8. There has always been a p a r a l l e l body of l i t e r a t u r e c r i t i c i z i n g the ways i n which the f e m i n i s t s t a n d p o i n t ignores or conceals the s t r u c t u r a l domination of black women, l e s b i a n women, T h i r d World and immigrant women by white western middle c l a s s h e t e r o s e x u a l women. See R i c h (1980); Hooks (1984) as examples. 32 C h a p t e r One  S o c i e t y a n d Community: The H i s t o r i c a l a n d  E c c l e s i o l o g i c a l B a c k g r o u n d t o The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k As was s u g g e s t e d a t t h e end o f t h e i n t r o d u c t o r y c h a p t e r , t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was f o r m e d b y women s t r u g g l i n g w i t h t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l ' s a m b i v a l e n t e c c l e s i o l o g y . The C o u n c i l ' s t e a c h i n g t h a t t h e C h u r c h i s b o t h a n i n s t i t u t i o n c r e a t e d b y J e s u s t o b r i n g s a l v a t i o n and a c o m m u n i t y f o r m e d b y J e s u s ' d i s c i p l e s was n o t a n i n n o v a t i o n . ( 1 ) I t was p r o c l a i m e d b y t h e C o u n c i l , h o w e v e r , a t a t i m e when t h e n o t i o n o f t h e c o m m u n i t y o f b e l i e v e r s had b e e n d o w n p l a y e d f o r s o l o n g t h a t i t was r e a d i l y c o n s i d e r e d t o be a m a j o r i n n o v a t i o n i n d e e d . I t seemed t o many a s i f t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d i n s t r u m e n t o f s a l v a t i o n was t o be r e p l a c e d b y a n e g a l i t a r i a n c o m m u n i t y o f b e l i e v e r s . The hope a nd s u b s e q u e n t d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t o c c a s i o n e d b y what t h e C o u n c i l s a i d a b o u t t h e C h u r c h a r e c e n t r a l t o t h e g e n e s i s o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k . I t i s e s s e n t i a l , t h e r e f o r e , b e f o r e we b e g i n t o d i s c u s s t h e N e t w o r k i t s e l f , t h a t we have some s e n s e o f how t h e C h u r c h came t o be d e f i n e d f o r s o l o n g a s a p u r e l y s a c r e d s t r u c t u r e , o f why i t became i m p o r t a n t t o a s s e r t once a g a i n t h a t i t i s a l s o a c o m m u n i t y o f f e l l o w b e l i e v e r s , and o f how f e m i n i s t s r e a c t e d t o t h a t a s s e r t i o n when t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l made i t . 33 The d e v e l o p m e n t o f a f o r m a l t h e o r y o f t h e C h u r c h a s a s a c r e d s t r u c t u r e b e g a n a t t h e t i m e o f t h e C o u n c i l o f T r e n t (1545-1563) when t h e o l o g i a n s r e s p o n d e d t o a t t a c k s on t h e p a p a c y a n d h i e r a r c h y b y a c c e n t i n g p r e c i s e l y t h o s e f e a t u r e s t h a t t h e P r o t e s t a n t r e f o r m e r s were d e n o u n c i n g a nd b y a d o p t i n g a v i e w o f t h e C h u r c h d r a w n b y a n a l o g y f r o m t h e s e c u l a r s o c i e t y o f t h e d a y . T h i s v i e w i s t h e v i e w t h a t t h e C h u r c h i s a s o c i e t a s p e r f e c t a , a " p e r f e c t s o c i e t y " , s u b o r d i n a t e t o no o t h e r a n d c o m p l e t e u n t o i t s e l f . S u c h a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e C h u r c h a s s o c i e t y n e c e s s a r i l y e m p h a s i z e s i t s c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y ( t h a t i s , t h e o r g a n i z e d p r i e s t h o o d w h i c h t e a c h e s , s a n c t i f i e s a n d g o v e r n s t h e C h u r c h ' s l a i t y ) a s t h e f o r m a l e l e m e n t i n i t . I n f a c t , i n t h i s m o d e l t h e C h u r c h i s a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h i t s e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e , a n d t o d e f i n e i t i s , e s s e n t i a l l y , t o d e s c r i b e t h e r i g h t s a n d p o w e r s o f i t s v a r i o u s c l a s s e s o f m i n i s t e r s ( D u l l e s 1974:31). The C h u r c h t h u s d e f i n e d i s a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i e t y i n w h i c h t h e f u l l n e s s o f power i s c o n c e n t r a t e d i n t h e hands o f a m a l e c l e r i c a l c l a s s t h a t p e r p e t u a t e s i t s e l f b y c o - o p t i o n , t h a t i s b y c h o o s i n g a n d o r d a i n i n g new g e n e r a t i o n s o f men t o t a k e t h e i r p l a c e i n t h e h i e r a r c h y . T h i s c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f power i s p e r p e t u a t e d b o t h b y t h e c o - o p t i o n p r o c e s s i t s e l f a n d b y t h e d o c t r i n e o f h i e r a r c h y t h a t u n d e r l i e s i t . T h a t d o c t r i n e s y s t e m a t i c a l l y l i n k s t h e e x e r c i s e o f a u t h o r i t y t o t h e h o l d i n g o f s a c r e d o f f i c e , t h a t i s t h e o f f i c e o f p r i e s t o r b i s h o p ( t h e pope b e i n g a b i s h o p w i t h s p e c i a l p o w e r s ) ; a n d 3 4 one i s admitted to sa c r e d o f f i c e by r e c e i v i n g the sacrament of o r d i n a t i o n , which can be administered o n l y by a bishop. At every l e v e l , t h e r e f o r e - the p a r i s h , the d i o c e s e or the Church u n i v e r s a l - the r i g h t to e x e r c i s e a u t h o r i t y i s bonded to o r d i n a t i o n . S i n c e , by t r a d i t i o n , o n l y men be ordained, o n l y men, and s p e c i f i c a l l y o n l y men chosen by those a l r e a d y i n power, can govern the Church. The nature of the power held by those i n sacred o f f i c e i n the C a t h o l i c Church i s a b s o l u t e to a degree not found even i n other h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d churches. Many other churches are governed by ordained m i n i s t e r s , but i n v a r i a b l y power i s c o n f e r r e d on the m i n i s t e r from both d i r e c t i o n s : an e v a n g e l i c a l m i n i s t e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , r e c e i v e s o r d i n a t i o n from the church, but the c a l l t o m i n i s t e r must come from a c o n g r e g a t i o n . Bishops i n other churches are consecrated by f e l l o w bishops, but they are e l e c t e d by the d i o c e s a n c l e r g y or a synod made up of c l e r g y and l a i t y ; and once i n o f f i c e they have a two-fold r e s p o n s i b i l i t y : t o those i n a u t h o r i t y over them and to those whom they serve and govern. By c o n t r a s t , i n the Roman C a t h o l i c Church, a u t h o r i t y and power come from above and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s owed o n l y to those above. A p a r i s h p r i e s t has complete a u t h o r i t y over h i s own p a r i s h , under the a u t h o r i t y of the d i o c e s a n bishop. The c o n s t r a i n t s on a bishop's power i n h i s d i o c e s e come to a s l i g h t degree from h i s f e l l o w bishops, but p r i m a r i l y from the pope, s i n c e the process of c o - o p t i o n works w i t h i n the 35 h i e r a r c h y a s w e l l . J u s t a s t h e d i o c e s a n b i s h o p s d e c i d e s w h i c h p r i e s t w i l l h a ve c h a r g e o f e a c h p a r i s h , s o , i n N o r t h A m e r i c a , a s i n a l l b u t a few o t h e r p l a c e s , t h e pope d e c i d e s who w i l l be t h e b i s h o p o f e v e r y d i o c e s e . A t t h e summit o f t h e h i e r a r c h y , t h e p o p e ' s power i n t h e c h u r c h u n i v e r s a l i s u n l i m i t e d . Canon 333 o f t h e New Code o f  Canon Law ( 1 9 8 3 ) s t a t e s t h a t " T h e r e i s n e i t h e r a p p e a l n o r r e c o u r s e a g a i n s t a j u d g m e n t o r a d e c r e e f r o m t h e Roman P o n t i f f . " W h i l e a s y n o d o f b i s h o p s i s h e l d f r o m t i m e t o t i m e , c a n o n 343 n o t e s t h a t " i t i s n o t i t s f u n c t i o n t o s e t t l e m a t t e r s o r t o d r a w up d e c r e e s , u n l e s s t h e Roman P o n t i f f h a s g i v e n i t d e l i b e r a t i v e power i n c e r t a i n c a s e s ; i n t h i s e v e n t , i t r e s t s w i t h t h e Roman P o n t i f f t o r a t i f y t h e d e c i s i o n s o f t h e s y n o d . " On v e r y r a r e o c c a s i o n s , t h e c o l l e g e o f b i s h o p s may a s s e m b l e i n a n E c u m e n i c a l C o u n c i l w i t h a d e l i b e r a t i v e v o t e , b u t , a s c a n o n 341 e x p l a i n s , "The d e c r e e s o f a n E c u m e n i c a l C o u n c i l do n o t o b l i g e u n l e s s t h e y a r e a p p r o v e d b y t h e Roman P o n t i f f a s w e l l a s by t h e F a t h e r s o f t h e C o u n c i l , c o n f i r m e d b y t h e Roman P o n t i f f a n d p r o m u l g a t e d b y h i s d i r e c t i o n . " E v e n more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h e d o c t r i n e o f h i e r a r c h y g i v e s t o t h e C h u r c h ' s m i n i s t e r s a n i m m u n i t y f r o m c h a l l e n g e n o t s h a r e d b y e v e n t h e most a u t h o r i t a r i a n s e c u l a r g o v e r n m e n t s . The h i e r a r c h y i s n o t deemed t o e x i s t b y t h e w i l l o f t h e C h u r c h f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f g o v e r n i n g i t . I t c l a i m s r a t h e r t o have b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d b y t h e w i l l o f God t o p r e s e r v e a n d hand on d i v i n e r e v e l a t i o n a n d t o a d m i n i s t e r t h e 36 s a c r a m e n t s b y w h i c h human b e i n g s s h a r e i n t h e l i f e o f God; and i t e x e r c i s e s a u t h o r i t y t o make t h i s m i n i s t r y o f word o r s a c r a m e n t e f f e c t i v e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , where m e d d l i n g w i t h t h e c o n s t i t u t i o n o f a s t a t e m i g h t a t w o r s t t h r e a t e n s o c i a l s t a b i l i t y , a n y t h i n g t h a t weakens t h e power o f t h e C a t h o l i c h i e r a r c h y c o u l d be s a i d t o p o s e a t h r e a t t o h u m a n i t y ' s l i n k s t o God a n d i t s p r o s p e c t s f o r e t e r n a l l i f e . F o r t h o s e who b e l i e v e i n r e v e l a t i o n , t h e s a c r a m e n t a l s y s t e m a n d s a c r e d o r d e r s , t h e r e i s a n a l m o s t i r r e s i s t i b l e a r g u m e n t a g a i n s t t a m p e r i n g w i t h t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e a n d i t s p o w e r s . . . . t h e C h u r c h i s n o t a c o m m u n i t y o f e q u a l s i n w h i c h a l l o f t h e f a i t h f u l have t h e same r i g h t s . I t i s a s o c i e t y o f u n e q u a l s , n o t o n l y b e c a u s e among t h e f a i t h f u l some a r e c l e r i c s and some a r e l a y m e n , b u t p a r t i c u l a r l y b e c a u s e t h e r e i s i n t h e C h u r c h t h e power f r o m God w h e r e b y t o some i t i s g i v e n t o s a n c t i f y , t e a c h and g o v e r n , a n d t o o t h e r s n o t . (Schema o f t h e F i r s t V a t i c a n C o u n c i l , q u o t e d b y D u l l e s 1 9 74:35) T h i s v i s i o n o f t h e C h u r c h a s a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i e t y was t h e k e y s t o n e o f t h e " f o r t r e s s m e n t a l i t y " a d o p t e d i n t h e m i d 1 8 0 0 ' s when t h e C h u r c h , w h i c h had b e e n l o s i n g i t s i n f l u e n c e o v e r t h e w e s t e r n w o r l d s i n c e t h e R e f o r m a t i o n , d e n o u n c e d s e c u l a r s o c i e t y and r e t r e a t e d f r o m i t s i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h t h e i n f l u e n c e s a n d p o w e r s o f t h e w o r l d . T h i s o u t l o o k c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h t h e p e r i o d o f t h e p o p e ' s v o l u n t a r y i m p r i s o n m e n t i n t h e V a t i c a n i n p r o t e s t o v e r t h e l o s s o f t h e p a p a l s t a t e s t o t h e K i n g o f I t a l y , a n d i t was c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h e V a t i c a n p o s i t i o n i n t h e m o d e r n i s t c o n t r o v e r s y . S e c u l a r p o w e r s were a t h r e a t t o t h e C h u r c h ' s w e l l - b e i n g , a n d s e c u l a r i d e a s were a t h r e a t t o i t s t r u t h , f o r whose d e f e n c e i t d e p e n d e d on t h e 37 i n f a l l i b i l i t y o f t h e pope a s d e f i n e d b y t h e f i r s t V a t i c a n C o u n c i l i n 1870. By t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , t h e d e f e n s i v e s t r a t e g y o f t h e C h u r c h was s u c c e s s f u l i n r e s t o r i n g i t s power and i n f l u e n c e a n d i n p r e s e r v i n g i t s t r a d i t i o n a l d o c t r i n e : t h e m o d e r n i s t movement was c r u s h e d a n d a c o n c o r d a t w i t h t h e I t a l i a n g o v e r n m e n t e v e n t u a l l y r e c r e a t e d a t l e a s t a s y m b o l i c p a p a l s t a t e . B u t f o r many C a t h o l i c s , f a i t h f u l t o t h e i r C h u r c h y e t l i v i n g a n d w o r k i n g i n t h e w o r l d , s u c h a n i s o l a t e d , d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n c o u l d o n l y c r e a t e c o n s t a n t i n n e r c o n f l i c t a n d a d i v i d e d , e v e n f r a g m e n t e d , s e n s e o f l i f e . The p r o b l e m o f c r e a t i n g a c o h e r e n t , i n t e g r a t e d way o f l i f e c e n t e r e d on t h e C a t h o l i c f a i t h b u t n o t f o r s a k i n g s e c u l a r s o c i e t y became a g r o w i n g c o n c e r n f o r l a y C a t h o l i c t h i n k e r s a n d f o r t h e o l o g i a n s t h r o u g h o u t t h e f i r s t h a l f o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . I n t h e o l o g i c a l c i r c l e s , a p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n was s o u g h t i n t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e C h u r c h a s s o c i e t y a n d t h e C h u r c h a s c o m m u n i t y . R e a c t i n g s t r o n g l y a g a i n s t t h e i n w a r d - t u r n i n g d e f e n s i v e n e s s t h a t had c r e a t e d t h e p r o b l e m i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , t h e s e t h e o l o g i a n s drew e x t e n s i v e l y on c o n t e m p o r a r y work i n t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s . T o e n n i e s * g r o u n d - b r e a k i n g G e m e l n s c h a f t und G e s e l l s c h a f t , p u b l i s h e d i n 1 887, p l a y e d a k e y r o l e i n t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h i s p r o b l e m . So t o o d i d f u r t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e n o t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y i n t h e e a r l y t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y b y C h a r l e s H. 38 C o o l e y i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f p r i m a r y g r o u p s . C o o l e y b e l i e v e s t h e p r i m a r y e f f e c t o f c o m m u n i t y t o be t h e c r e a t i o n o f a common l i f e w h i c h he c h a r a c t e r i z e s a s a s e n s e o f "we:" The r e s u l t o f i n t i m a t e a s s o c i a t i o n , p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y , i s a c e r t a i n f u s i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l i t i e s i n a common w h o l e , s o t h a t o ne's v e r y s e l f , f o r many p u r p o s e s a t l e a s t , i s t h e common l i f e a n d p u r p o s e o f t h e g r o u p . P e r h a p s t h e s i m p l e s t way o f d e s c r i b i n g t h e w h o l e n e s s i s b y s a y i n g t h a t i t i s a "we"; i t i n v o l v e s t h e s o r t o f s y m p a t h y a nd m u t u a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n f o r w h i c h "we" i s t h e n a t u r a l e x p r e s s i o n . One l i v e s i n t h e f e e l i n g o f t h e w h o l e a nd f i n d s t h e c h i e f a i m s o f h i s w i l l i n t h a t f e e l i n g . ( C o o l e y , A n g e l l a n d C a r r 1 9 3 3 : 55-56) I n Roman C a t h o l i c e c c l e s i o l o g y t h e C h u r c h was s t u d i e d i n t e r m s o f T o e n n i e s ' c a t e g o r i e s b y A r n o l d Rademacher i n h i s D i e K l r c h e a l s G e m e l n s c h a f t und G e s e l l s c h a f t , p u b l i s h e d i n 19 3 1 . F o r R a d e m a c h e r , t h e C h u r c h ' s o u t e r c o r e i s s o c i e t y w h i c h m a n i f e s t s , p r o m o t e s a n d m a i n t a i n s I t s i n n e r c o r e , w h i c h i s c o m m u n i t y a n d w h i c h c o i n c i d e s w i t h t h e K i n g d o m o f God ( D u l l e s 1 9 7 4 : 4 4 - 4 5 ) . The F r e n c h D o m i n i c a n Y v e s C o n g a r , who e x e r c i s e d a m a j o r i n f l u e n c e on t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l , made c o m m u n i t y c e n t r a l t o h i s e c c l e s i o l o g y . I n L a y P e o p l e i n t h e C h u r c h ( 1 9 5 9 ) he p r e s e n t s a b r i e f h i s t o r i c a l o v e r v i e w b y w h i c h he a t t e m p t s t o show t h a t t h e C h u r c h i s b o t h a n i n s t i t u t i o n h a v i n g i t s o r i g i n i n C h r i s t and o f f e r i n g t h e means o f s a l v a t i o n t o i n d i v i d u a l s , a n d t h e c o m m u n i t y f o r m e d b y i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h one a n o t h e r a n d i n C h r i s t . F o r h i m , t h e r e d u c t i o n o f e c c l e s i o l o g y t o a t h e o l o g y o f t h e C h u r c h ' s s t r u c t u r e w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o i t s communal l i f e may h a v e b e e n a n e c e s s a r y r e a c t i o n t o P r o t e s t a n t a t t a c k s i n t h e M i d d l e A g e s , b u t i t i s now e s s e n t i a l t o r e a s s e r t t h e 39 t r a d i t i o n a l b e l i e f t h a t t h e C h u r c h i s a c o m m u n i t y o f p e r s o n s . T h e s e f o r m a l e c c l e s i o l o g i c a l t r e a t i s e s d i d n o t i n t e g r a t e t h e C h u r c h w i t h s e c u l a r s o c i e t y . The C h u r c h a s one p e r f e c t s o c i e t y i s s t i l l c o n t r a s t e d t o t h e s t a t e , w h i c h i s t h e o t h e r . B u t t h e C h u r c h a s c o m m u n i t y , a s t h e f e l l o w s h i p o f p e r s o n s who, w h i l e a l s o f o r m i n g t h e s e c u l a r s t a t e and l i v i n g i t s l i f e , f o r m t h e c h u r c h , a c t s a s a k i n d o f b r i d g e b e t w e e n t h e two s o c i e t i e s . More r a d i c a l and more p r a c t i c a l a p p r o a c h e s t o t h e p r o b l e m were e x p l o r e d i n a l t e r n a t i v e f o r m s o f C a t h o l i c l i f e t h a t c e n t e r e d on i n t e g r a t i n g t h e s e c u l a r a n d s a c r e d s o c i e t i e s i n s m a l l - s c a l e c o m m u n i t y . T h e s e e a r l y s m a l l - s c a l e e x p e r i m e n t s i n t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f s e c u l a r a n d C h u r c h l i f e w e re d i v e r s e and s c a t t e r e d , and t o r e c o n s t r u c t t h e i r h i s t o r y w o u l d be a m a j o r t a s k i n i t s e l f . The b e s t known e x a m p l e o f t h e s e , a n d one w h i c h was t o have a s i g n i f i c a n t i m p a c t on t h e e c c l e s i o l o g y o f t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l , was t h e p a r t i c u l a r b r a n c h o f t h e l i t u r g i c a l movement t h a t f l o u r i s h e d i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n t h e e a r l y y e a r s b e f o r e t h e C o u n c i l . The A m e r i c a n l i t u r g i c a l movement, s u s t a i n e d f o r many y e a r s a f t e r i t s b e g i n n i n g s i n t h e 1 9 3 0 ' s b y Dom V i r g i l M i c h e l a n d a s m a l l number o f a s s o c i a t e s , was s u p e r f i c i a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h c h a n g i n g t h e way i n w h i c h C a t h o l i c s w o r s h i p p e d i n t h e i r c h u r c h e s . A t a t i m e when most C a t h o l i c s a s s i s t e d i n d i v i d u a l l y a n d s i l e n t l y a t a Mass o f f e r e d by a p r i e s t i n L a t i n , t h e l i t u r g i s t s p r o p o s e d t h a t t h e y p r a y o u t 40 l o u d , s i n g and i n t e r a c t w i t h one a n o t h e r , t h a t t h e o r d e r o f t h e mass i t s e l f be c h a n g e d i n c e r t a i n r e s p e c t s a n d t h a t a t l e a s t p a r t s o f i t be t r a n s l a t e d i n t o v e r n a c u l a r l a n g u a g e s . B e n e a t h t h i s s p e c i f i c a l l y r i t u a l a g e n d a , h o w e v e r , l a y a c o m m u n i t a r i a n g o a l . M i c h e l and o t h e r s saw t h e i s o l a t e d p a s s i v i t y o f t h e C a t h o l i c w o r s h i p p e r a s s y m p t o m a t i c o f t h e f r a g m e n t a t i o n o f a l i f e d r a w n i n d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s by c o n f l i c t i n g s e c u l a r a n d s a c r e d v a l u e s . C r e a t i n g a f o r m o f w o r s h i p i n w h i c h C a t h o l i c s c o u l d j o i n c o r p o r a t e l y i n c e l e b r a t i n g a l i f e t h a t t h e y s h a r e d was a n e c e s s a r y f i r s t s t e p i n t h e more c o m p l e x p r o c e s s o f c r e a t i n g s o l i d a r i t y i n t h e w h o l e o f human l i f e , s e c u l a r and s a c r e d ( M a r x 1957: 288; M i c h e l 1 9 3 4 , 1 9 3 5 ) . The p h i l o s o p h y and v i s i o n o f t h e A m e r i c a n l i t u r g i c a l movement and t h e n e w e r , l a y - o r i e n t e d e c c l e s i o l o g i e s were t o meet i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e c e n t u r y a t t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l . The C o u n c i l was s p e c i f i c a l l y c o n v o k e d b y Pope J o h n X X I I I - whose f a v o u r i t e w o r d s were c o n v i v l e n z a ( " l i v i n g t o g e t h e r " ) and a g g l o r n a m e n t o ( " b r i n g i n g up t o d a t e " ) - i n o r d e r t o end t h e f o r t r e s s m e n t a l i t y e p i t o m i z e d by t h e F i r s t V a t i c a n C o u n c i l and t o b r i d g e t h e e v e r - w i d e n i n g g u l f b e t w e e n t h e C h u r c h and t h e m o d e r n, s e c u l a r w o r l d . I t a d o p t e d a new v i s i o n o f C a t h o l i c l i f e w h i c h owed much t o t h e work o f s u c h t h e o l o g i a n s a s C o n g a r and t o t h e s p e c i f i c e x a m p l e o f t h e l i t u r g i c a l movement w h i c h i t a d o p t e d v i r t u a l l y i n t a c t . The e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l m o d e l l e d i t s v i s i o n o f C a t h o l i c l i f e on t h e p r i n c i p l e o f i n t e g r a t i n g 41 t h e s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l i g i o u s w i t h t h e s e c u l a r c a n be i l l u s t r a t e d b y a b r i e f e x a m i n a t i o n o f i t s two m a j o r d e c r e e s on t h e C h u r c h . T h e s e a r e Lumen G e n t i u m , t h e D o g m a t i c C o n s t i t u t i o n on t h e C h u r c h , a nd Gaudlum e t S p e s , t h e P a s t o r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n on t h e C h u r c h I n t h e Mo d e r n W o r l d . The v e r y f a c t t h a t t h e C o u n c i l p r o d u c e d a document d e a l i n g w i t h " t h e C h u r c h i n t h e Mo d e r n W o r l d " I s e v i d e n c e I n i t s e l f o f t h e k i n d o f m o d e l o f C a t h o l i c l i f e t h a t i t c h o s e t o p r o m o t e , a n d c e r t a i n p r i n c i p l e s r e i t e r a t e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e doc u m e n t l e a v e no d o u b t t h a t a n i n t e g r a t i o n o f C h u r c h l i f e a n d t h e l i f e o f t h e w o r l d i s b e i n g p r o p o s e d . S e c t i o n 1 a f f i r m s t h a t t h e message o f C h r i s t i s f o r a l l a n d t h a t t h e c o m m u n i t y o f b e l i e v e r s i s t h e r e f o r e t r u l y l i n k e d w i t h human h i s t o r y a n d h u m a n k i n d . The C o u n c i l p r o p o s e s i n S e c t i o n 3 t o engage i n c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h t h e e n t i r e human f a m i l y o u t o f r e s p e c t a n d l o v e f o r i t . The document f u r t h e r commands C a t h o l i c s t o a c k n o w l e d g e t h e s o l i d a r i t y b e t w e e n C h u r c h a n d s o c i e t y a n d t o p a r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n : t h e o b l i g a t i o n s o f j u s t i c e a n d l o v e a r e f u l f i l l e d o n l y i f e a c h b e l i e v e r c o n t r i b u t e s t o , p r o m o t e s a nd a s s i s t s t h e p u b l i c and p r i v a t e i n s t i t u t i o n s d e d i c a t e d t o b e t t e r i n g t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f human l i f e ( S e c t i o n 3 0 ) . I n S e c t i o n 43 t h e document r e j e c t s t h e o p t i o n o f a 42 p u r e l y s p i r i t u a l l i f e , d i v o r c e d f r o m s o c i a l c o n c e r n s : T hey a r e m i s t a k e n who, k n o w i n g t h a t we h a v e h e r e no a b i d i n g c i t y b u t s e e k one w h i c h i s t o come, t h i n k t h e y may t h e r e f o r e s h i r k t h e i r e a r t h l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . ( A b b o t 1966:243) S e c t i o n 43 o f t h e P a s t o r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n b o t h i n v i t e s a n d e x h o r t s C a t h o l i c s c o n c e r n e d w i t h some s o c i a l q u e s t i o n t o t a k e i t up a s a c e n t r a l e l e m e n t i n t h e l i v i n g o f t h e i r f a i t h a n d t o work g l a d l y and c r e a t i v e l y w i t h o t h e r s s e e k i n g t h e same g o a l s . Endowed w i t h t h e f o r c e o f t h e i r f a i t h , t h e y a r e t o d e v i s e new e n t e r p r i s e s a n d p u t them i n t o a c t i o n . I n s u c h e n t e r p r i s e s , t h e y a r e t o p l a y t h e i r own d i s t i n c t i v e r o l e a n d s e e k t o e n l i g h t e n t h e i r f e l l o w b e l i e v e r s who do n o t a g r e e w i t h them. S u c h e x h o r t a t i o n , m o r e o v e r , i s n o t l i m i t e d t o t e l l i n g C a t h o l i c s t h a t i t i s a v i r t u o u s and p r a i s e w o r t h y a c t i v i t y t o b r i n g a b o u t t h e b e t t e r m e n t o f s o c i e t y . The P a s t o r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n d e c l a r e s t h a t t o do s o i s t h e i r s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l i g i o u s d u t y : N o r . . . a r e t h e y a n y l e s s w i d e o f t h e mark who t h i n k t h a t r e l i g i o n c o n s i s t s o f a c t s o f w o r s h i p a l o n e and i n t h e d i s c h a r g e o f c e r t a i n m o r a l o b l i g a t i o n s , a n d who i m a g i n e t h a t t h e y c a n p l u n g e t h e m s e l v e s i n t o e a r t h l y a f f a i r s i n s u c h a way a s t o i m p l y t h a t t h e s e a r e a l t o g e t h e r d i v o r c e d f r o m t h e r e l i g i o u s l i f e . T h i s s p l i t b e t w e e n t h e f a i t h w h i c h many p r o f e s s a n d t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s d e s e r v e s t o be c o u n t e d among t h e more s e r i o u s e r r o r s o f o u r a g e . ( A b b o t t 1 9 6 6 : 2 4 3 ) . The p r i n c i p l e a t work h e r e i s t h e c o m p l e m e n t o f t h e one t h a t i n s i s t s i n S e c t i o n 36 o f Lumen G e n t i u m t h a t t h e f a i t h f u l must be g u i d e d e v e n i n t e m p o r a l a f f a i r s b y a C h r i s t i a n c o n s c i e n c e , and t h a t e v e n i n s e c u l a r a f f a i r s t h e r e i s no 43 human a c t i v i t y t h a t c a n be w i t h d r a w n f r o m God's d o m i n i o n ( A b b o t t 1 9 6 6 : 6 3 ) . The S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l ' s p r o c l a m a t i o n o f a new C a t h o l i c way o f l i f e was n o t c o n f i n e d t o a v i s i o n o f t h e C h u r c h i n t e g r a t e d w i t h t h e modern, s e c u l a r w o r l d . T h e r e was a n a t t e m p t t o e m p h a s i z e t h e i d e a o f t h e C h u r c h a s c o m m u n i t y p r i m a r i l y t h r o u g h r e f o r m s o f t h e p a r i s h mass. T h e r e b o t h t h e b a s i c i d e a s and many o f t h e s p e c i f i c r e f o r m s e s p o u s e d by t h e l i t u r g i c a l movement were p u t i n t o e f f e c t a n d t h e a t t e m p t was t h e r e b y made t o t r a n s f o r m t h e r i t u a l o f t h e mass i n t o a n e x p e r i e n c e o f c o m m u n i t y . The s a c r i f i c e o f f e r e d i n L a t i n - and l a r g e l y i n a u d i b l y - b y a p r i e s t who s t o o d w i t h h i s b a c k t o t h e s i l e n t c o n g r e g a t i o n on whose b e h a l f t h e s a c r i f i c e was o f f e r e d , was r e p l a c e d i n t h e s p a c e o f a v e r y few y e a r s b y a p u b l i c c e l e b r a t i o n i n t h e l o c a l v e r n a c u l a r i n w h i c h t h e p r i e s t f a c e d t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n f r o m b e h i n d a n a l t a r w h i c h had b e e n b r o u g h t f o r w a r d . The p r i e s t was no l o n g e r t o be s e e n a s m e d i a t o r b e t w e e n t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n and God o r a s a n i n s t r u m e n t t h r o u g h w h i c h d i v i n e g r a c e was c h a n n e l l e d . R a t h e r , he became l i k e C h r i s t i n t h e m i d s t o f h i s p e o p l e who ( a c c o r d i n g t o M a t t h e w 18:20) g a t h e r e d i n h i s name. The l i t u r g y became a n e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e g a t h e r e d c o m m u n i t y who w o u l d f i n d God i n t h e s h a r i n g o f t h e i r h u m a n i t y w i t h e a c h o t h e r . P r a c t i c a l l y , t h i s s h a r i n g o f h u m a n i t y f o u n d e x p r e s s i o n i n t h e t i m e r e s e r v e d f o r r e q u e s t s f o r communal p r a y e r f o r t h e i n t e n t i o n s o f i n d i v i d u a l s , i n t h e e x c h a n g e o f 44 handshakes and hugs known as the K i s s of Peace and i n a f t e r -mass c o f f e e hours. The C o u n c i l documents Lumen Gentium and Gaudlum et Spes as w e l l as the l i t u r g i c a l changes i n i t i a t e d by V a t i c a n II r e v e a l the two dominant but i n t e r r e l a t e d aspects of the new model of Church l i f e being proposed. F i r s t , i n d i v i d u a l C a t h o l i c l i v e s were to be i n t e g r a t e d with the s e c u l a r world. Secondly, and co n c o m i t a n t l y , corporate C a t h o l i c l i f e -c o n c r e t e l y , the p a r i s h mass - was to be an experience of community where people were to share t h e i r p e r s o n a l needs, a s p i r a t i o n s , sorrows and j o y s . These separate but r e l a t e d developments a l t e r e d r a d i c a l l y the place of the l a i t y i n the l i f e of the Church. There had always been a c e r t a i n a c t i v e r o l e r e s e r v e d f o r the l a i t y : i n a d d i t i o n t o the p a s s i v e r e c e p t i o n of the i n d i s p e n s a b l e s p i r i t u a l b e n e f i t s c o n f e r r e d by the sacraments, they had been c a l l e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the a p o s t o l a t e of the h i e r a r c h y i n a v a r i e t y of ways t h a t e a r l i e r t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y e c c l e s i o l o g y had grouped under the r u b r i c of C a t h o l i c A c t i o n . ( 2 ) But t h i s was a r o l e a s s i g n e d and d e f i n e d by the h i e r a r c h y t o which the l a i t y were to b r i n g nothing of t h e i r own. Under the new model, on the c o n t r a r y , the forms t h a t l a y C a t h o l i c l i f e would take would depend on what l a y i n d i v i d u a l s and groups would b r i n g i n t o the Church with them. T h i s growing c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the l i v i n g Church was a community to be b u i l t up out of e v e r y t h i n g t h a t b e l i e v e r s 45 brought to i t came to be summed up i n the o f t - r e p e a t e d phrase "we are the Church." The place of women among the "we" d i d not expand as r a p i d l y as d i d th a t of l a y men, and even years a f t e r the C o u n c i l i t found no more p r a c t i c a l e x p r e s s i o n i n many p a r i s h e s than the presence of a few women among the readers of S c r i p t u r e l e ssons a t Sunday mass. But a few modest steps toward the a c t i v e involvement of women i n Church l i f e were taken even d u r i n g the e a r l y stages of the C o u n c i l i t s e l f . In May 1962, Dr. Gertrude Heinzelman, a lawyer from Z u r i c h , presented a s c h o l a r l y p e t i t i o n to the C o n c i l i a r P r e p e r a t o r y Commission before the opening s e s s i o n a s k i n g f o r women r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s a t the C o u n c i l . At the second s e s s i o n of the C o u n c i l i t s e l f , C a r d i n a l Leo Joseph Suenens suggested to the C o u n c i l Fathers t h a t the nature of the Church i t s e l f was misunderstood i f i t s c h a r i s m a t i c g i f t s were not seen to e x i s t i n a l l i t members. His motion f o r the i n t r o d u c t i o n of women, a t l e a s t t o hear the debates, was seconded by Bishop Hakim of G a l i l e e and was warmly applauded (Cunneen 1968:11). C e r t a i n women r e l i g i o u s and lead e r s of C a t h o l i c women's o r g a n i z a t i o n s were admitted as ' a u d i t o r s ' of debates of the t h i r d s e s s i o n "on matters of i n t e r e s t to them." They attended a l l the s e s s i o n s and even submitted r e s o l u t i o n s and p e t i t i o n s to i t on such i s s u e s as the d e s i r a b i l i t y of women's o r d i n a t i o n and on the r e v i s i o n of Canon Law. The admission of women i n t o the s e s s i o n s of the C o u n c i l along with the new v i s i o n of Church l i f e propagated i n the 46 C o u n c i l d o c u m e n t s and l i t u r g i c a l r e f o r m a p p e a r e d t o c a l l l a i t y - and t h u s women - t o a new l e v e l o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e l i f e o f t h e C h u r c h . T h i s a p p a r e n t c a l l o f t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l g ave r i s e t o a n a t m o s p h e r e o f e x c i t e m e n t , e n t h u s i a s m and e b u l l i e n t h o p e . M a r y D a l y a t t r i b u t e s t h e w r i t i n g o f h e r now c l a s s i c t r e a t i s e The C h u r c h and t h e S e c o n d Sex ( 1 9 6 8 ) t o t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f " e n d l e s s . . . p o s s i b i l i t i e s " g e n e r a t e d b y t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l . The C h u r c h a n d t h e S e c o n d Sex m i g h t n e v e r have h a p p e n e d had t h e r e n o t b e e n one g r e a t c a r n i v a l o f a n e v e n t , t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l o f t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , a n d i f I had n o t managed t o go t o t h a t c a r n i v a l i n t h e f a l l o f 1 9 6 5 . . . . I t seemed t o e v e r y o n e , e x c e p t t o t h e s t r a n g e l y f o r e s e e i n g " c o n s e r v a t i v e s , " p r o p h e t s o f doom who i n some p e r v e r s e way knew what was r e a l l y g o i n g o n , t h a t t h e g r e a t e s t b r e a k t h r o u g h o f n e a r l y two t h o u s a n d y e a r s was h a p p e n i n g . . . . T h e r e was a n e b u l l i e n t s e n s e o f h o p e . M o s t o f us t h o u g h t t h i s meant t h e r e was hope f o r t h e C h u r c h . . . i t a p p e a r e d t h a t a d o o r had o p e n e d w i t h i n p a t r i a r c h y w h i c h c o u l d a d m i t an e n d l e s s v a r i e t y o f human p o s s i b i l i t i e s ( D a l y 1 9 7 5 a : 9 ) Y e t , f o r a l l t h e i r commitment t o p r o m o t i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n a n d i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e C h u r c h and t h e s e c u l a r w o r l d , a n d t o d e v e l o p i n g a c o m m u n i t y - o r i e n t e d p a r i s h l i f e , t h e r e w ere v e r y r e a l l i m i t s t o t h e c h a n g e s i n t h e e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e t h a t t h e C o u n c i l F a t h e r s were w i l l i n g t o a d m i t . The V a t i c a n d o c u m e n t s on t h e C h u r c h d i d n o t s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r t h e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y t h a t had s u s t a i n e d t h e s o c i e t a s  p e r f e c t a m o d e l o f t h e C h u r c h s i n c e i t s a d o p t i o n by t h e C o u n c i l o f T r e n t . By r e a f f i r m i n g t h e e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e t h a t t h e C h u r c h h a d known f o r c e n t u r i e s , t h e C o u n c i l F a t h e r s d r a s t i c a l l y l i m i t e d t h e i n f l u e n c e t h a t t h e l a i t y - a n d t h e r e f o r e women -47 c o u l d e x e r c i s e . T h e y c o u l d c l e a r l y j o i n i n t h e s h a p i n g o f C a t h o l i c c u l t u r e and l i f e ; t h e i r i m p a c t on how t h e i r p a r i s h e s o p e r a t e d c o u l d be c o n s i d e r a b l e . B u t f o r a l l t h e hope e n g e n d e r e d b y t h e s l o g a n "we a r e t h e C h u r c h , " t h e y w o u l d h a v e no r o l e i n s h a p i n g o r d e f i n i n g t h e e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e o r i n t h e e x e r c i s e o f power w i t h i n i t . The f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e C o u n c i l ' s c o n s e r v a t i s m on t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e C h u r c h ' s s t r u c t u r e w o u l d become a p p a r e n t o n l y g r a d u a l l y o v e r t h e n e x t t w e n t y y e a r s . I n t h e two d e c a d e s b e t w e e n t h e c l o s i n g o f t h e C o u n c i l i n 1965 a n d t h e c r e a t i o n o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k I n 1 9 8 4 , t h e s t r i c t l y l i m i t e d r o l e a n d s t a t u s t h a t t h e C h u r c h w o u l d c o n c e d e t o women g r a d u a l l y became a p p a r e n t t o a l l f e m i n i s t s . O n l y i n h i n d s i g h t i s i t p o s s i b l e t o s e e how t h e C o u n c i l F a t h e r s ' a d m i s s i o n o f women i n t o t h e C o u n c i l s e s s i o n s e p i t o m i z e d t h e e q u i v o c a l n a t u r e o f t h e c h a n g e s i n C h u r c h l i f e t h a t Lumen G e n t i u m a n d Gaudiurn e t Spes w o u l d i n i t i a t e . None o f t h i s , a s D a l y o b s e r v e d , was a p p a r e n t t h e n t o a n y b u t t h e most p e r v e r s e p r o p h e t s o f doom and a t t h e t i m e o f t h e C o u n c i l e v e n t h e v e r y l i m i t e d a d m i s s i o n o f women t o i t s s e s s i o n s was v i e w e d p r i m a r i l y a s p r o g r e s s a n d o n l y s e c o n d a r i l y a s l i m i t e d . To be f a i r , i t was h a r d l y p o s s i b l e f o r r e s p o n s e s t o h a v e b e e n o t h e r w i s e . R e l a t i v e t o t h e C h u r c h ' s d e f e n s i v e r e s p o n s e t o m o d e r n i t y a n d i t s f i r m e c c l e s i o l o g i c a l v i s i o n o f i t s e l f a s a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i e t y , b o t h o f w h i c h were e p i t o m i z e d b y t h e p r o m u l g a t i o n o f t h e d o c t r i n e o f t h e 48 i n f a l l i b i l i t y o f t h e pope a t t h e F i r s t V a t i c a n C o u n c i l i n 187 0 , t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l was a n u n p r e c e d e n t e d b r e a k t h r o u g h . M o r e o v e r , t h e s e c o n d wave o f f e m i n i s m was b a r e l y u n d e r w a y a nd M a r x i a n t h e o r y was y e t t o become a n a c c e p t a b l e s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r a n y t h e o l o g i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , f e m i n i s t o r o t h e r w i s e . L i b e r a l i s m was i n t h e a i r a n d few were e i t h e r w i l l i n g o r a b l e t o c o n s i d e r s e r i o u s l y t h a t t h e C h u r c h ' s h i e r a r c h y was i t s e l f i n a n y way a n t i t h e t i c a l t o t h e i n t e g r a t e d and c o m m u n i t a r i a n s p i r i t u s h e r e d i n by V a t i c a n I I . C o n s e q u e n t l y V a t i c a n I I was s e e n a s a n i n v i t a t i o n , o r a t l e a s t a n e n c o u r a g e m e n t , t o C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t s t o a p p l y a l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e t o t h e C h u r c h . E v e n b e f o r e t h e C o u n c i l e n d e d , women were w r i t i n g a n d r e v i e w i n g f e m i n i s t b o o k s a nd a r t i c l e s f r o m a C a t h o l i c p e r s p e c t i v e , ( 3 ) p r i m a r i l y w i t h a l i b e r a l e m p h a s i s on t h e a n a l y s i s a n d c o n d e m n a t i o n o f u n e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r women i n t h e C h u r c h a n d on t h e d e s i r a b i l i t y o f i n c l u d i n g women i n t h e C h u r c h ' s power s t r u c t u r e . F o r o v e r a d e c a d e a f t e r t h e C o u n c i l , t h e hope e n g e n d e r e d b y t h e s p i r i t o f V a t i c a n I I c o n t i n u e d t o n o u r i s h t h e c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t h e i n c l u s i o n o f women i n t h e o f f i c e s r e s e r v e d f o r men was a d e s i r a b l e a n d f e a s i b l e g o a l . A t t h e t i m e o f t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l , M a r y D a l y , ( 4 ) who q u i c k l y t o o k t h e l e a d i n d e v e l o p i n g a C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s m , was w o r k i n g w i t h i n t h e l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t t r a d i t i o n ; a n d h e r The C h u r c h a n d t h e S e c o n d Sex was t h e f i r s t s u s t a i n e d l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e o f t h e Roman C a t h o l i c 49 C h u r c h . I t was w r i t t e n i n o r d e r t o p r o v i d e t h e t h e o r e t i c a l r a t i o n a l e f o r " t h e m odest p r o p o s a l " o f g i v i n g women e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t y and s t a t u s i n t h e m i n i s t e r i a l a n d d e c i s i o n -m a k i n g b o d i e s o f t h e C h u r c h . The p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e b o o k , h o w e v e r , g a v e r i s e t o l e n g t h y c o n t r o v e r s y . I n t h e c o u r s e o f t h i s c o n t r o v e r s y D a l y was f i r e d f r o m h e r p o s i t i o n a t B o s t o n C o l l e g e , t h e n r e i n s t a t e d , g i v e n t e n u r e a n d p r o m o t e d . The e v e n t s a t B o s t o n C o l l e g e , and M a r y D a l y ' s r e s p o n s e t o t hem, were a n e a r l y w a r n i n g o f t h i n g s t o come f o r l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t s . Her e x p e r i e n c e a t B o s t o n C o l l e g e c o n v i n c e d M a r y D a l y o f " t h e i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s among t h e s t r u c t u r e s o f o p p r e s s i o n i n a p a t r i a r c h a l s o c i e t y a nd t h e d e s t r u c t i v e d y n a m i c s w h i c h t h e s e s t r u c t u r e s g e n e r a t e i n t h e i r v i c t i m s . . . " ( D a l y 1 9 7 5 a : 1 3 ) and moved h e r away f r o m h e r i n i t i a l l i b e r a l f e m i n i s m . I n 1 9 7 1 , p r e a c h i n g t o a f u l l c o n g r e g a t i o n a t t h e c h a p e l o f t h e H a r v a r d D i v i n i t y S c h o o l on t h e E x o d u s a s a m e t a p h o r f o r t h e women's l i b e r a t i o n movement, D a l y l e d a s i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n o f t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n o u t o f t h e b u i l d i n g a n d o u t o f t h e C h u r c h ( D a l y 1 9 7 2 ) . A t t h e t i m e , h o w e v e r , h e r a c t i o n was s o m e t h i n g o f a r a d i c a l a n o m a l y a n d , d e s p i t e h e r p r o p h e t i c r e j e c t i o n o f t h e l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t programme, t h e c a m p a i g n f o r t h e i n c l u s i o n o f women i n a l l a s p e c t s o f t h e l i f e o f t h e C h u r c h d o m i n a t e d t h e C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t a g e n d a t h r o u g h o u t t h e 1 9 7 0 ' s . I n c l u s i v e l a n g u a g e i n t h e o l o g y a n d l i t u r g y were t h e m a i n themes i n t h e 1972 a n d 1973 t h e o l o g i c a l c o n f e r e n c e s a t t h e f e m i n i s t G r a i l v i l l e r e t r e a t c e n t e r . ( 5 ) I t was a l s o i n 50 1973 t h a t o r d i n a t i o n became a k e y i s s u e . The f i r s t s c h o l a r l y work on t h e o r d i n a t i o n o f women, Women P r i e s t s i n  t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h b y Haye v a n d e r M e e r , was t r a n s l a t e d i n t o E n g l i s h . I t s e f f e c t was i m m e d i a t e . I n 1974 t h e a n n u a l m e e t i n g o f t h e L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e o f Women R e l i g i o u s ( L CWR)(6) p a s s e d two r e s o l u t i o n s , one s u p p o r t i n g t h e p r i n c i p l e t h a t a l l m i n i s t r i e s i n t h e C h u r c h s h o u l d be open t o women a n d men, and one a f f i r m i n g women's r i g h t t o a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a l l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g b o d i e s o f t h e C h u r c h . A t t h e end o f t h a t y e a r , a g r o u p o f women i n W a s h i n g t o n d e c i d e d t h a t t h e o r d i n a t i o n q u e s t i o n o u g h t t o be r a i s e d d u r i n g t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Women's Y e a r . T h e s e e v e n t s l e d t o s c h e d u l i n g o f t h e f i r s t women's o r d i n a t i o n c o n f e r e n c e f o r November, 1975 i n D e t r o i t . T w e l v e h u n d r e d d e l e g a t e s a t t e n d e d a n d 500 o t h e r s were t u r n e d away a t t h e d o o r , a n d i n J a n u a r y 1976 t h e Women's O r d i n a t i o n C o n f e r e n c e (WOO was f o r m e d . The d e c a d e o f l i b e r a l , i n c l u s i v i s t c a m p a i g n i n g c u l m i n a t e d w i t h T h e r e s a K a n e , p r e s i d e n t o f t h e LCWR, " g r e e t i n g " t h e Pope i n W a s h i n g t o n and u r g i n g h i m t o " t o h e a r t h e c a l l o f women...[to b e ] i n c l u d e d i n a l l m i n i s t r i e s o f o u r c h u r c h " ( C a r p e n t e r 1 9 8 0 : 1 4 9 - 5 0 ) . B u t t h e c a m p a i g n f o r t h e o r d i n a t i o n o f women was o v e r a l m o s t b e f o r e i t had b e g u n . One month b e f o r e t h e f i r s t Women's O r d i n a t i o n C o n f e r e n c e i n D e t r o i t , A r c h b i s h o p J o s e p h L. B e r n a r d i n , t h e n p r e s i d e n t o f t h e N a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e o f C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s , i s s u e d a s t a t e m e n t a f f i r m i n g t h e t r a d i t i o n a l ban a g a i n s t women's o r d i n a t i o n . Then on O c t o b e r 51 1 5 , 1976 Pope J o h n P a u l I I a p p r o v e d t h e V a t i c a n D o c t r i n a l C o n g r e g a t i o n ' s " D e c l a r a t i o n on t h e Q u e s t i o n o f t h e A d m i s s i o n o f Women t o t h e M i n i s t e r i a l P r i e s t h o o d , " w h i c h a l s o r e i t e r a t e d t h e t r a d i t i o n a l b a n . P e r h a p s more i m p o r t a n t f o r f e m i n i s t s t h a n t h e V a t i c a n ' s s t a n c e on o r d i n a t i o n , h o w e v e r , was t h e s t a n d t a k e n b y R o s e m a r y R u e t h e r a t t h a t f i r s t o r d i n a t i o n c o n f e r e n c e , where s h e c h a l l e n g e d women t o c o n s i d e r w h e t h e r t h e y r e a l l y w a n t e d t o be o r d a i n e d , s i n c e t h e p r e s e n t c l e r i c a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e o f [ t h e ] C h u r c h s o c o n s t i t u t e d i s s o d e m o n i c and i t s e l f s o o p p o s e d t o t h e G o s p e l t h a t t o t r y t o j o i n i t i s c o n t r a r y t o o u r v e r y c o m m i t m e n t s . ( R u e t h e r 1976:34) R u e t h e r ' s a t t a c k on " t h e c l e r i c a l a n d i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e C h u r c h " m a r k e d a d e c i s i v e s h i f t i n C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t t h i n k i n g away f r o m i n c l u s i v e n e s s t o w a r d a M a r x i a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e r e l a t i o n s o f power w i t h i n t h e e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e . Her a n a l y s i s was s h a r e d by E l i s a b e t h S c h u s s l e r F i o r e n z a , and t o g e t h e r t h e s e t h e o l o g i a n s w e r e t o g u i d e t h e f e m i n i s t s t r a t e g y f o r t h e c o m i n g d e c a d e . B o t h R u e t h e r and F i o r e n z a r e c e i v e d t h e i r M a r x i a n f e m i n i s m f r o m l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y . ( 7 ) R u e t h e r , ( 8 ) a p r o f e s s o r o f a p p l i e d t h e o l o g y , i s u n d o u b t e d l y t h e most p r o l i f i c a nd t h e most p o l i t i c a l l y a c t i v e w r i t e r i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t movement. B e l i e v i n g t h a t t h e r e i s no s u c h t h i n g a s a n a p o l i t i c a l t h e o l o g y , R u e t h e r s i t u a t e s h e r s w i t h i n t h e b r o a d c o n c e r n f o r human o p p r e s s i o n t h a t i s f u n d a m e n t a l t o l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y . A c c o r d i n g t o l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y , God h a s shown a p r e f e r e n t i a l o p t i o n f o r t h e 52 o p p r e s s e d and c a l l s on t h e C h r i s t i a n c o m m u n i t y t o r e s p o n d t o t h e i r c r i e s f o r l i b e r a t i o n : R e c o n c i l i a t i o n w i t h God means t h e r e v o l u t i o n i z i n g o f human s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s , o v e r t h r o w i n g u n j u s t o p p r e s s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The s o c i o p o l i t i c a l d i m e n s i o n i s n e v e r l o s t . . . b u t a l w a y s r e m a i n s t h e c e n t r a l e x p r e s s i o n o f what i t means t o o b e y God. ( R u e t h e r 1 9 8 1 : 1 1 ) . S i n c e human r e c o n c i l i a t i o n w i t h God means t h e o v e r t h r o w o f o p p r e s s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y ' s t a s k o f f r e e i n g t h e C h u r c h f r o m p a t r i a r c h y i s b u t one p a r t o f t h e g e n e r a l m i s s i o n o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . E l i s a b e t h S c h u s s l e r F i o r e n z a ( 9 ) i s a n e v e n more a m b i t i o u s a d v o c a t e t h a n R u e t h e r o f r e c r e a t i n g t h e w h o l e C h u r c h . Her g o a l i s t o l i b e r a t e t h e C h u r c h a n d t h e o l o g y f r o m i t s i m p r i s o n m e n t i n a w h i t e , m i d d l e - c l a s s , a c a d e m i c and s e x i s t s y s t e m i n o r d e r t o r e - e s t a b l i s h t h e c o m m u n i t y o f c o -e q u a l d i s c i p l e s h i p f o u n d e d by J e s u s ( F i o r e n z a 1 9 7 5 : 6 1 5 ) . To t h a t end s h e w r o t e h e r most i m p o r t a n t w o r k , I n Memory o f Her ( 1 9 8 3 ) , i n w h i c h s h e e s t a b l i s h e s a p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n t h e p a i n f u l memory o f t h e f a i l e d s t r u g g l e o f women f o r l i b e r a t i o n i n New T e s t a m e n t t i m e s and t h e r e n e w e d s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t t h e same f o r c e s o f o p p r e s s i o n t h a t i s b e i n g waged i n o u r own d a y . On t h e b a s i s o f t h e i r t h e o l o g i c a l i n s i g h t s , F i o r e n z a a n d R u e t h e r d e v e l o p e d t h e i d e a o f t h e " e c c l e s i a o f women," l a t e r t o be c a l l e d Womenchurch, a n e t w o r k o f s m a l l g r o u p s o f f e m i n i s t women o r g a n i z e d o u t s i d e t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e m a i n s t r e a m C h u r c h , b u t c o m m i t t e d t o r e m a i n i n g i n d i a l o g u e w i t h i t , c h a l l e n g i n g i t t o r e c o g n i z e i t s o p p r e s s i v e 53 s t r u c t u r e and provoking i t to transform i t s e l f . Under the pers u a s i v e v o i c e s of Ruether and F i o r e n z a , the a n t i c i p a t e d WOC n a t i o n a l conference of 1981 gave way to a s e r i e s of sma l l e r l o c a l conferences meant to support the idea of a growing " e c c l e s i a of women." The idea was f u r t h e r aided by the a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g Women of the Church C o a l i t i o n , which had been formed i n 1977 and which, i n 1983, put on a major conference i n Chicago. T h i s succeeded the e a r l i e r Women's O r d i n a t i o n Conferences of 1975 and 1979. C a l l e d "Woman Church Speaks", the conference drew i n 1,500 women and o f f i c i a l l y inaugurated the Womenchurch movement. Con c l u s i o n The dominant form of Roman C a t h o l i c feminism i n the 1980*s grew out of the e b u l l i e n t hope of new l a y o p p o r t u n i t i e s engendered by the Second V a t i c a n C o u n c i l and out of t h a t hope's disappointment. Feminism rose to prominence i n the Church i n response to the Second V a t i c a n C o u n c i l ' s proclamation of a new C a t h o l i c way of l i f e I n t e g r a t e d with the modern, s e c u l a r world and to i t s s p e c i f i c c a l l t o the l a i t y to p l a y a l e a d i n g r o l e i n e s t a b l i s h i n g t h i s new way of l i f e , summed up i n the o f t -repeated slogan, "We are the Church." T h i s proclamation t h a t "We are the Church" marked an important change i n the Church's a t t i t u d e not only toward 54 the world, but a l s o , o s t e n s i b l y , toward i t s own l a i t y . I t appeared t h a t the C o u n c i l was o f f e r i n g a new more a c t i v e s t a t u s and r o l e f o r l a i t y i n the l i f e of the Church. Yet, the e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e was not changed and t h e r e f o r e no s i g n i f i c a n t place was made i n i t f o r l a i t y , and thus f o r women. For v a r i o u s reasons, t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n between C o n c i l i a r p r oclamation and e c c l e s i a l r e a l i t y was n e i t h e r n o t i c e d nor analyzed i n the f i r s t decade a f t e r the C o u n c i l . L i k e many other C a t h o l i c s , f e m i n i s t s focussed on the numerous ways i n which the l i f e of the Church was becoming the l i f e of a community of f e l l o w - b e l i e v e r s , and they d i d not a p p r e c i a t e how d r a s t i c a l l y the r e a f f i r m a t i o n of the c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y would l i m i t t h e i r i n f l u e n c e on the forms the community's l i f e c o u l d take. The feminism of the post -V a t i c a n II era i n the Roman C a t h o l i c Church was l i b e r a l . I t focussed on e q u a l i t y and i n c l u s i v e n e s s and, a c c o r d i n g l y , sought the o r d i n a t i o n of women. By the mid 1970's, however, f e m i n i s t t h i n k i n g had changed i t s a n a l y s i s . Concern with e q u a l i t y and i n c l u s i o n were traded i n f o r an a n a l y s i s of the Church's h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e and a demand f o r i t s change based on Marxian t h e o r y and l i b e r a t i o n theology. Rosemary Ruether and E l i z a b e t h S c h u s s l e r F i o r e n z a both hoped f o r an eventual t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the Church's c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y , and t h e r e f o r e encouraged women to c r e a t e an e c c l e s i a l a l t e r n a t i v e to the mainstream Church s t r u c t u r e r a t h e r than 55 t o l o b b y f o r i n c l u s i o n i n t h e m a i n s t r e a m s t a t u s e s a s l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t s had d o n e . By t h e end o f t h e 1 9 7 0 ' s t h e d o m i n a n t s t r a t e g y i n t h e C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t movement became t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f Womenchurch. I t i s p o s s i b l e t o s e e i n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f f e m i n i s m f r o m t h e y e a r s i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g V a t i c a n I I t o t h e f i r s t Womenchurch c o n f e r e n c e a r a d i c a l c h a n g e i n t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what i t means t o be t h e C h u r c h . I n t h e 1 9 6 0 ' s and 1 9 7 0 ' s f e m i n i s t s t o o k t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l ' s p r o n o u n c e m e n t t h a t "We a r e t h e C h u r c h " a t f a c e v a l u e . By t h e m i d 1 9 7 0 ' s , h o w e v e r , c r i t i c a l t h e o r y a n d l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y had g i v e n f e m i n i s t s t h e t o o l s w i t h w h i c h t o a n a l y z e Roman C a t h o l i c e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e s , t o a p p r e c i a t e how t h o s e s t r u c t u r e s p r e v e n t e d them f r o m b e i n g t h e C h u r c h , and t o d e v e l o p a new e c c l e s i o l o g y . T h e s e f e m i n i s t s r e t a i n e d t h e s l o g a n "We a r e t h e C h u r c h , " b u t i t no l o n g e r meant what i t had i n t h e p r e v i o u s d e c a d e . The S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l ' s c o n t r a d i c t o r y v i s i o n o f t h e C h u r c h a s a c o m b i n e d c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y a n d e g a l i t a r i a n c o m m u n i t y i t r e j e c t e d . The o n l y C h u r c h i s t h e c o m m u n i t y , " t h e a u t h e n t i c c o m m u n i t y . . . t h a t h a s b e e n h e r a l d e d b y t h e t r a d i t i o n s o f r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l l i b e r a t i o n b u t , u n t i l now, c o r r u p t e d b y . . . t h e e c c l e s i a o f p a t r i a r c h y " ( R u e t h e r 1 9 8 5 : 6 1 ) . T h i s C h u r c h w o u l d n o t be c r e a t e d by a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r e f o r m o f t h e C h u r c h u n i v e r s a l . R a t h e r , i t w o u l d s u r v i v e f o r a n i n d e t e r m i n a t e p e r i o d i n Womenchurch c o m m u n i t i e s c a p a b l e b o t h o f o f f e r i n g a n a l t e r n a t i v e 56 e c c l e s i a l m o d e l t o t h e m a i n s t r e a m a n d o f s u r v i v i n g i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f i t . N o t e s 1. The t h e o l o g i a n Y v e s C o n g a r , f o r e x a m p l e , s u m m a r i z e s i t s l o n g h i s t o r y i n t h e s e c o n d c h a p t e r o f h i s L a v P e o p l e i n t h e C h u r c h ( 1 9 5 9 ) . 2. The C a t h o l i c A c t i o n s t r a t e g y was i n a u g u r a t e d b y Pope P i u s X I a f t e r t h e F i r s t W o r l d War. D e f i n e d a s t h e " p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f t h e l a i t y i n t h e a p o s t o l a t e o f t h e h i e r a r c h y , " t h e C a t h o l i c A c t i o n s t r a t e g y was a n e f f o r t t o c ombat s e c u l a r i s m a n d t h e i n c r e a s i n g a l i e n a t i o n o f l a y C a t h o l i c s f r o m t h e C h u r c h , a n d t o p r e s e r v e a n d e n h a n c e t h e i n t e r e s t s and t e a c h i n g s o f t h e C h u r c h i n a n i n c r e a s i n g l y s e c u l a r w o r l d t h r o u g h i t s l a y m e m b e r s h i p . 3. I n 1964, f o r e x a m p l e Ave M a r i a p u b l i s h e d a 1 0 - p a r t s e r i e s on "The New C a t h o l i c Women". I n 1965 S i d n e y C a l l a h a n p u b l i s h e d The I l l u s i o n o f E v e ; i n 1966 J a n e t G o l d e n p u b l i s h e d The Q u i t e P o s s i b l e She; and i n 1968 S a l l y Cunneen p u b l i s h e d S e x : F e m a l e R e l i g i o n : C a t h o l i c , a s o c i o l o g i c a l s u r v e y o f t h e C a t h o l i c r e a d e r s o f t h e e c u m e n i c a l j o u r n a l C r o s s C u r r e n t s . 4. B o r n i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , and w i t h a n M.A. f r o m C a t h o l i c U n i v e r s i t y , M a r y D a l y was a d o c t o r a l s t u d e n t i n t h e o l o g y a t F r i b o u r g a t t h e t i m e o f t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l whose l a s t s e s s i o n s h e managed t o a t t e n d a n d by w h i c h s h e was d e e p l y moved and i n s p i r e d . The C o u n c i l ' s e f f e c t on h e r was r e i n f o r c e d by t h e e x a m p l e o f t h e p h i l o s o p h e r R o s e m a r y L a u e r , who had w r i t t e n t h e f i r s t Roman C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t a r t i c l e f o r t h e December, 1963 i s s u e o f Commonweal• A l e t t e r a n d f o l l o w - u p a r t i c l e on L a u e r ' s themes t h a t D a l y w r o t e f o r Commonweal l e d u l t i m a t e l y t o h e r p r i n c i p a l l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t w o r k , The C h u r c h a n d t h e S e c o n d Sex ( 1 9 6 8 ) . I n B e y o n d God t h e F a t h e r ( 1 9 73) D a l y moves t o a r a d i c a l f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e method o f p a t r i a r c h y , w h i c h has b e e n " t o w i p e o u t women's q u e s t i o n s s o t o t a l l y " t h a t "women have n o t b e e n f r e e t o u s e o u r power t o name o u r s e l v e s , t h e w o r l d , o r God" ( D a l y 1 9 7 3 : 8 ) , t h e f e m i n i s t method o f l i b e r a t i o n i n v o l v e s f i r s t , " m e t h o d o c i d e , " 57 a c a s t r a t i n g o f l a n g u a g e a n d i m a g e s t h a t r e f l e c t a n d p e r p e t u a t e t h e s t r u c t u r e s o f a s e x i s t w o r l d . I t c a s t r a t e s i n t h e s e n s e o f c u t t i n g away t h e p h a l l o c e n t r i c v a l u e s y s t e m i m p o s e d b y p a t r i a r c h y , i n i t s s u b t l e a s w e l l a s i t s more m a n i f e s t e x p r e s s i o n s . As a l i e n s i n a man's w o r l d who a r e now r i s i n g up t o name -t h a t i s c r e a t e - o u r own w o r l d , women a r e b e g i n n i n g t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e v a l u e s y s t e m t h a t h a s b e e n t h r u s t upon us b y t h e v a r i o u s c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s o f p a t r i a r c h y h a s amounted t o a k i n d o f gang r a p e o f m i n d s a s w e l l a s b o d i e s . ( D a l y 1973:9) S e c o n d l y , i t i n v o l v e s t h e c r e a t i o n o f a new f e m i n i s t l a n g u a g e t h r o u g h w h i c h women a r e c a l l e d t o a new c o n s c i o u s n e s s a n d a new w o r l d . D a l y ' s own n a m i n g b e g i n s w i t h r e j e c t i n g t h e myth o f God t h e F a t h e r i n o r d e r t o be empowered b y God t h e V e r b who d r a w s us i n t o b e - i n g . I n c r e a t i n g t h e s e new names, " i n h e a r i n g a n d n a m i n g o u r s e l v e s o u t o f t h e d e p t h s , " "women a r e n a m i n g t o w a r d God, w h i c h i s what t h e o l o g y s h o u l d a l w a y s be a b o u t " ( D a l y 1 9 7 3 : 3 3 ) a nd t h e y w i l l " i n d i c a t e t h e f u t u r e c o u r s e o f human s p i r i t u a l e v o l u t i o n " ( D a l y 1 9 7 3 : 1 1 ) . 5. The G r a i l i s a n o r g a n i z a t i o n o f C a t h o l i c l a y women s t a r t e d i n 1 9 2 1 . I t became o p e n l y f e m i n i s t i n t h e 1960 * s a n d i t s A m e r i c a n h e a d q u a r t e r s i n G r a i l v i l l e h a s become a hub o f C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g i c a l e d u c a t i o n . 6. The L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e o f Women R e l i g i o u s i s t h e n a t i o n a l c o o r d i n a t i n g b o d y f o r A m e r i c a n c o n g r e g a t i o n s o f r e l i g i o u s women, r e p r e s e n t i n g 9 0 % o f a c t i v e r e l i g i o u s c o n g r e g a t i o n s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . I t became f e m i n i s t i n t h e e a r l y 1 9 7 0 ' s . D u r i n g t h e 1970's LCWR e n d o r s e d a n d s u p p o r t e d N e t w o r k , a W a s h i n g t o n - b a s e d l o b b y g r o u p o f s i s t e r s i n t e r e s t e d i n s o c i a l j u s t i c e a n d f e m i n i s t i s s u e s ; t h e y s u p p o r t e d t h e C e n t e r o f C o n c e r n , a n o t h e r W a s h i n g t o n - b a s e d s o c i a l j u s t i c e t e a m ; a n d t h e y i n i t i a t e d " S i s t e r s U n i t i n g " , a f o r u m f o r n i n e s m a l l e r a s s o c i a t i o n s o f s i s t e r s . Members o f LCWR a l s o a t t e n d e d m e e t i n g s o f t h e A m e r i c a n b i s h o p s a s o b s e r v e r s , s e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s t o t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Women's Y e a r C o n f e r e n c e i n M e x i c o C i t y i n 1 9 7 5 , e n d o r s e d t h e E q u a l R i g h t s Amendment, o r g a n i z e d w o r k s h o p s on f e m i n i s m a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l s o c i a l j u s t i c e i s s u e s a n d d e v e l o p e d a f i v e -y e a r p l a n t o p r o m o t e s t u d y , p r a y e r a n d a c t i o n on women's i s s u e s i n c h u r c h a n d s o c i e t y . 7. L i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y h a s i t s a n t e c e d e n t s i n L u t h e r a n t h e o l o g i a n J u e r g e n M o l t m a n n ' s " t h e o l o g y o f h o p e " . I n s p i r e d b y E r n s t B l o c h a n d l a t e r b y c r i t i c a l t h e o r y , M o l t m a n n a r g u e d f o r a p o l i t i c a l t h e o l o g y o f t h e c r o s s : C h r i s t ' s s u f f e r i n g on t h e c r o s s i s a r e a l e x p r e s s i o n o f God's s u f f e r i n g w i t h t h e o p p r e s s e d f o r t h e s a k e o f j u s t i c e . The C a t h o l i c c o u n t e r p a r t t o t h e t h e o l o g y o f M o l t m a n n was f o r m u l a t e d b y J o h a n n e s M e t z . 58 I n t h e f i f t i e s a n d s i x t i e s t h e s e t h e o l o g i e s f o r m e d t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l b a s e f o r t h e t h e o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s o f p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s i n L a t i n A m e r i c a . The r e s u l t was t h e l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y o f s u c h men a s L e o n a r d o B o f f and G u s t a v o G u t i e r r e z . The c e n t r a l t e n e t s o f l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y a r e t h o s e c e n t r a l t o M a r x i a n t h e o r y , a n d l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y i s e s p e c i a l l y i n d e b t e d t o t h e M a r x i a n c o n c e p t o f t h e " p r o l e t a r i a n s t a n d p o i n t " f o r i t s t h e o l o g i c a l s t a r t i n g p o i n t . L i k e M a r x i a n s who r e a d s o c i e t y f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e p r o l e t a r i a t , l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g i a n s r e a d s c r i p t u r e f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e o p p r e s s e d , w h i c h i s t h e p o i n t o f v i e w t h a t God i n t e n d e d . From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e l i b e r a t i o n i s t s c l a i m t o have " h e r m e n e u t i c a l p r i v i l e g e , " t h a t i s , t h e y r e a d s c r i p t u r e r i g h t l y b e c a u s e t h e y r e a d i t f r o m t h e same p e r s p e c t i v e f r o m w h i c h s c r i p t u r e i t s e l f i s w r i t t e n . S i n c e t h e s i x t i e s l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y a n d t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f b a s i c C h r i s t i a n c o m m u n i t i e s h a v e s p r e a d t o o t h e r c o u n t r i e s a n d o t h e r s o c i a l c o n t e x t s , most n o t a b l y t o A f r i c a , H o l l a n d , I t a l y a n d t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . I t was i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s t h a t t h e f e m i n i s t b a s e c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p e d . 8. R u e t h e r has w r i t t e n a r t i c l e s on c i v i l r i g h t s , t h e V i e t n a m w a r , e c o l o g y , Z i o n i s m , I s l a m a n d C h r i s t i a n - J e w i s h d i a l o g u e a s w e l l a s on f e m i n i s m and women's i s s u e s . Her most i m p o r t a n t f e m i n i s t w o r k s a r e h e r e a r l y summary o f t h e p r o b l e m s o f women i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h a n d t h e o l o g y i n " M a l e C h a u v i n i s t T h e o l o g y a n d t h e A n g e r o f Women" ( 1 9 7 1 ) , and h e r l a t e r R e l i g i o n a n d S e x i s m ( 1 9 7 4 ) , a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e i m a g e s o f women p r e s e n t e d i n t h e J e w i s h and C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n s , and S e x i s m a n d G o d - T a l k ( 1 9 8 3 ) , h e r s y s t e m a t i c t r e a t m e n t o f f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y . I n a n i n t e r v i e w c o m m e n t i n g on S e x i s m and G o d - T a l k R u e t h e r s t a t e s t h a t t h e p r i m a r y t a s k o f f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y i s t o f r e e t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h f r o m p a t r i a r c h y a n d t h e s i n o f s e x i s m . F e m i n i s m e x p o s e s t h e s e x i s t s t r u c t u r e s o f t h e c h u r c h a n d c h a l l e n g e s i t t o r e c o g n i z e them a s p a t r i a r c h a l d i s t o r t i o n s o f t h e p r o p h e t i c a n d l i b e r a t i n g C h r i s t i a n message ( 1 9 8 4 : 1 7 ) . I n S e x i s m a n d G o d - T a l k , R u e t h e r , s t a r t i n g w i t h t h e l i b e r a t i o n t e n e t t h a t human e x p e r i e n c e i s t h e g r o u n d o f t h e o l o g y , n a r r o w s h e r v i e w t o women's e x p e r i e n c e a n d b e g i n s h e r s y s t e m a t i c e f f o r t t o f r e e t h e C h u r c h f r o m p a t r i a r c h a l d i s t o r t i o n s . The c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e o f h e r f e m i n i s t l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y i s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d : w h a t e v e r d e n i e s , d i m i n i s h e s , o r d i s t o r t s t h e f u l l h u m a n i t y o f women i s . . . a p p r a i s e d a s n o t r e d e m p t i v e . T h e o l o g i c a l l y s p e a k i n g , w h a t e v e r d i m i n i s h e s o r d e n i e s t h e f u l l h u m a n i t y o f women must be p r e s u m e d n o t t o r e f l e c t t h e d i v i n e o r an a u t h e n t i c r e l a t i o n t o t h e d i v i n e , n o r t o r e f l e c t t h e a u t h e n t i c n a t u r e o f t h i n g s , n o r t o be t h e message o r work o f a n a u t h e n t i c r e d e e m e r o r a c o m m u n i t y o f r e d e m p t i o n . ( 1 9 8 3 : 1 8 ) 59 The p o s i t i v e c o r o l l a r y t o t h a t p r i n c i p l e i s t h a t w h a t e v e r p r o m o t e s t h e f u l l h u m a n i t y o f women i s " o f t h e H o l y . " Thus f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y , a s R u e t h e r p o i n t s o u t , i s n o t u n i q u e i n c l a i m i n g t h i s p r i n c i p l e : " f e m i n i s m i s n o t a new p r i n c i p l e , b u t r a t h e r a n e x t e n s i o n o f t h e f u n d a m e n t a l p r i n c i p l e t h a t t h e w o r d o f God comes i n j u d g m e n t upon a l l s t r u c t u r e s o f i n j u s t i c e " ( 1 9 8 4 : 1 7 ) ; b u t i t i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y f o r t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h when Roman C a t h o l i c women c l a i m i t f o r t h e m s e l v e s . 9. E l i s a b e t h S c h u s s l e r F i o r e n z a was b o r n a n d r e c e i v e d h e r t h e o l o g i c a l t r a i n i n g i n Germany. The f i r s t woman i n h e r d i o c e s e t o s t u d y t h e o l o g y a n d n e e d i n g t h e b i s h o p ' s p e r m i s s i o n t o do s o , s h e c o m p l e t e d h e r l i c e n t i a t e , i n t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f V a t i c a n I I , on a m o d e l o f i n c l u s i v e m i n i s t r y o f b o t h c l e r g y and l a i t y . I n t h e p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g h e r t h e s i s , s h e became a w a r e o f and a d o p t e d t h e f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e . I n 1972 s h e p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e Women D o i n g T h e o l o g y w o r k s h o p i n G r a i l v i l l e a nd s o o n a f t e r p u b l i s h e d h e r p r o g r a m m a t i c " F e m i n i s t T h e o l o g y a s a C r i t i c a l T h e o l o g y o f L i b e r a t i o n " ( 1 9 7 5 ) . The a p p r o a c h t o t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h a n d t o t h e o l o g y s h e s e t s f o r t h i n t h i s a r t i c l e c u l m i n a t e s i n h e r most i m p o r t a n t w o r k , I n Memory o f H e r : A E § f f i i n i s t T h e o l o g i c a l R e c o n s t r u c t l o n o f C h r i s t i a n O r i g i n s ( 1 9 8 3 ) . The r o l e o f t h i s work i n New T e s t a m e n t s t u d i e s i s i n t i m a t e l y l i n k e d t o t h e Womenchurch movement o f w h i c h s h e i s a p r i n c i p a l f o u n d e r . S i n c e , i n h e r v i s i o n , t h e e c c l e s i a o f women i s t h e c u t t i n g edge o f t h e r a d i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e C h u r c h , i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o p r o v i d e b o t h t h e o l o g i c a l a n d b i b l i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r i t . She p r o v i d e s t h e n e c e s s a r y j u s t i f i c a t i o n b y a p p l y i n g t h e h e r m e n e u t i c i n s i g h t s o f s u c h c o n t i n e n t a l t h i n k e r s a s R i c o e u r and Gadamer, t h e c r i t i c a l t h e o r y o f t h e F r a n k f u r t S c h o o l a n d l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y t o t h e s t u d y o f t h e New T e s t a m e n t and C h r i s t i a n o r i g i n s . On t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l b a s i s s h e a t t e m p t s t o s a v e t h e w r i t i n g s o f t h e New T e s t a m e n t f r o m r e j e c t i o n a s i r r e d e e m a b l y p a t r i a r c h a l , a s D a l y had r e j e c t e d them, w i t h o u t d e n y i n g t h e i r i n h e r e n t a n d r o c e n t r i s m . Her s o l u t i o n i s t o r e c l a i m " s u c h a n d r o c e n t r i c human an d b i b l i c a l h i s t o r y a s women's own h i s t o r y " ( F i o r e n z a 1 9 8 3 : 2 8 ) . The p u r p o s e o f r e c l a i m i n g " t h e d a n g e r o u s memory o f f o r m e r s u f f e r i n g " i s l i b e r a t i o n i s t : b y r e c l a i m i n g t h e s t o r i e s o f women i n t h e New T e s t a m e n t as t h e s a c r e d r e c o r d o f t h e s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t o p p r e s s i o n s h e c a n c a n o n i z e p r e s e n t - d a y f e m i n i s m a s a p a r a l l e l movement, an e s s e n t i a l e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e a u t h e n t i c C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n , a n d p r o c l a i m t h e e c c l e s i a o f women t o c o m p r i s e t h o s e i n t h e p r e s e n t d a y who a r e r e - e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e " e q u a l i t a r i a n " c o m m u n i t y f o u n d e d by J e s u s . 60 Chapter Tvo The C a t h o l i c Women's Network - The F i r s t G e n e r a t i o n The C a t h o l i c Women's Network, a l t h o u g h i n d i r e c t l y i n f l u e n c e d by the Womenchurch movement, d i d not grow out of i t . In p a r t , t h i s i s because Womenchurch, by i t s v e r y p h i l o s o p h y , depends on g r a s s - r o o t s o r g a n i z a t i o n r a t h e r than m i s s i o n a r y a c t i v i t y . Womenchurches are s t a r t e d where and when women d e c i d e to ga ther t o g e t h e r i n s m a l l groups and c l a i m to be Womenchurch. There has been no s w e l l i n g g r a s s -r o o t s movement i n Canada to c r e a t e Womenchurches and the C a t h o l i c Women's Network i s the o n l y group of i t s k i n d i n E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g Canada. The o n l y o ther f o r m a l l y o r g a n i z e d E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t group i n the c o u n t r y i s the n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n c a l l e d the C a t h o l i c Network f o r Women's E q u a l i t y . O r i g i n a l l y c a l l e d Canadian C a t h o l i c s f o r Women's O r d i n a t i o n , i t i s a l i b e r a l f e m i n i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t c o n t i n u e s , w i t h v a r y i n g degrees of i n t e r n a l d i s s e n t , to work f o r the i n c l u s i o n of women i n a l l a s p e c t s of the l i f e of the Church r a t h e r than to c r e a t e an a l t e r n a t i v e to i t . In any c a s e , the Womenchurch movement c o u l d not have i n f l u e n c e d the nascent C a t h o l i c Women's Network d i r e c t l y s i n c e Womenchurch was not ye t an o r g a n i z e d movement when the Network came t o g e t h e r . The C a t h o l i c Women's Network began i n J u l y 1984. T h i s was o n l y a year a f t e r the "Woman Church Speaks" conference had launched the concept of an e c c l e s i a of women and more than a year be fore the g r o u p ' s f i n a l name 61 was t o e v o l v e f r o m R u e t h e r ' s h y p h e n a t e d Women-church. I t was o n l y b y t h e s e c o n d Womenchurch c o n f e r e n c e i n 1987 t h a t t h e movement had f u l l y i d e n t i f i e d i t s e l f . By t h a t t i m e t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k had a l r e a d y b e e n a c t i v e f o r t h r e e y e a r s . The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was, h o w e v e r , d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d f r o m i t s i n c e p t i o n b y t h e k i n d o f f e m i n i s m t h a t c r e a t e d Womenchurch, l a r g e l y due t o t h e i n f l u e n c e o f i t s f o u n d e r . M o r e o v e r , when t h e n o t i o n o f Womenchurch was p o p u l a r i z e d , t h e women o f CWN r e a d i l y saw t h e m s e l v e s r e f l e c t e d i n i t a nd t o o k on t h e t e r m t o e x p r e s s who and what t h e y w e r e . T h u s , t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k i s v e r y much an i n d i g e n o u s e x a m p l e o f Womenchurch a nd one w h i c h has d e v e l o p e d l a r g e l y a c c o r d i n g t o t h e n e e d s a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f i t s members. As a n i n d i g e n o u s a n d autonomous g r o u p CWN h a s gone t h r o u g h i t s own c o u r s e o f d e v e l o p m e n t , w h i c h d o e s n o t c o r r e s p o n d i n e v e r y p a r t i c u l a r t o t h e Womenchurch i d e a l e x p o u n d e d b y F i o r e n z a a n d R u e t h e r . Nor f o r t h a t m a t t e r h a s i t r e m a i n e d t h e same o r g a n i z a t i o n t h r o u g h o u t i t s e x i s t e n c e . The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k i s made up o f two g e n e r a t i o n s o f women, who c o u l d a l m o s t be s a i d t o f o r m two o r g a n i z a t i o n s . The f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n r o u g h l y c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e p e r i o d 1 9 8 4 - 1 9 8 7 , t h e s e c o n d t o t h e y e a r s 1987 t o t h e p r e s e n t . I t i s o n l y i n t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n , t o be d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r t h r e e , t h a t t h e Womenchurch e c c l e s i o l o g y o f c h u r c h a s c o m m u n i t y i s f i n a l l y a r t i c u l a t e d . 62 I n t h a t g e n e r a t i o n , CWN, a l o n g w i t h two o t h e r l o c a l l y d e v e l o p e d g r o u p s , f o r m s a n e t w o r k o f a l t e r n a t i v e s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t i e s i n w h i c h t h e women b e l o n g i n g t o i t l i v e o u t t h e i r f a i t h t o g e t h e r . Among t h e f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n members o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r , h o w e v e r , c o m m u n i t y was a s i g n i f i c a n t e x p e r i e n c e b u t n o t a n y o n e ' s u l t i m a t e g o a l . I n t e n s e p e r s o n a l s h a r i n g t o o k p l a c e , a n d i n f o r m a n t s r e g u l a r l y r e f e r r e d t o i t i n e x p r e s s i n g who t h e y were a n d what t h e y were a b o u t a t t h a t p e r i o d . B u t t h e i r g o a l was n o t t o l i v e a s a c o m m u n i t y ; i t was t o c e a s e s u f f e r i n g i n t h e C h u r c h . And t h e i r p r i m e n e e d - and p r i n c i p a l r e a s o n f o r c o m i n g t o g e t h e r - was t o f i n d s u p p o r t i n o r d e r t o c o p e w i t h t h e i r s u f f e r i n g . When t h e women had g i v e n one a n o t h e r e n o u g h s t r e n g t h t o e s c a p e o u t o f t h e C h u r c h a n d f i n d a l t e r n a t i v e s t o i t e l s e w h e r e , t h e i r s u f f e r i n g was overcome a n d t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k c e a s e d t o s e r v e a n y f u r t h e r p u r p o s e i n t h e i r l i v e s ; a n d s o t h e y l e f t . The O r i g i n s o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k A l t h o u g h t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k , a t i t s i n c e p t i o n , was n o t d i r e c t l y i n f l u e n c e d b y t h e Womenchurch movement, i t n o n e t h e l e s s d e v e l o p e d w i t h i n t h e same t r a d i t i o n o f f e m i n i s t t h o u g h t t h a t g ave b i r t h t o Womenchurch, l a r g e l y b e c a u s e t h i s was t h e p e r s o n a l t r a d i t i o n o f t h o u g h t o f i t s 63 p r i n c i p a l founder. In such sma l l groups as CWN, goals and p r i n c i p l e s t r a n s f e r r e a d i l y t o the o r g a n i z a t i o n out of the l i v e s of i n d i v i d u a l s , e s p e c i a l l y of the one or two who take the l e a d i n forming the group i n i t i a l l y . At i t s foundation, CWN was a small enough o r g a n i z a t i o n to be i n f l u e n c e d d e c i s i v e l y by a s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l , C l a i r e , a C a t h o l i c convert with a l i f e t i m e of experience i n the labour movement and i n feminism, the f i r s t women i n her dio c e s e to earn a t h e o l o g i c a l degree, and the woman who c a l l e d the group t o g e t h e r . C l a i r e f i r s t began to thin k of c r e a t i n g an a l t e r n a t i v e form of church l i f e f o r C a t h o l i c women i n the l a t e 1970's a f t e r she completed her t h e o l o g i c a l t r a i n i n g . The f i r s t a l t e r n a t i v e s she co n s i d e r e d were h a r d l y r a d i c a l . I thought of s t a r t i n g a l a y order, t h a t ' s how c o n v e n t i o n a l I s t i l l was. I t r e a l l y would be e n t i r e l y our own id e a , the order, you know...but I had no id e a . I j u s t thought t h e r e ' s a need f o r something f o r j u s t women where th e r e ' s no h i e r a r c h y and t h e r e f o r e no c o n t r o l by anybody i n the Church. And I began to ske t c h out d i f f e r e n t p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n my mind. Her plans g r a d u a l l y took more r a d i c a l shape as she became b e t t e r acquainted with e x i s t i n g women's groups both C a t h o l i c and ecumenical: I thought we needed t o get together and we needed to support each other and we needed to explore what our own experience was as women and as C h r i s t i a n s . [...] And my hopes were t h a t the group would f i n d a way to be a women's r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e , s p i r i t u a l experience t h a t hadn't yet happened; I d i d n ' t have any models i n mind. This was before the Womenchurch movement; now t h a t the Womenchurch movement has come alon g , I thin k t h a t we were among the f i r s t . 64 I n 1 984, a f t e r t h e s e c o n d n a t i o n a l m e e t i n g o f what was t h e n C a n a d i a n C a t h o l i c s f o r Women's O r d i n a t i o n , C l a i r e f e l t t h e t i m e was r e a d y t o c a l l l o c a l C a t h o l i c women t o g e t h e r . I f e l t t h a t I must go b a c k home and do s o m e t h i n g . And r i g h t away, c o m i n g b a c k f r o m CCWO, I g o t o u t my l i s t . A t one p o i n t I w r o t e down how many p e o p l e I c a l l e d . I c a l l e d a b o u t t h i r t y p e o p l e and t h e r e were n i n e t e e n a t t h e f i r s t m e e t i n g . T h a t was i n J u l y 1984. C l a i r e ' s l o n g s t a n d i n g s e a r c h f o r some a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e e x i s t i n g C h u r c h s t r u c t u r e s t h a t w o u l d s t i l l be a c h u r c h e x p e r i e n c e a n d h e r commitment t o l i b e r a t i o n i s t f e m i n i s m became t h e f o u n d a t i o n o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t grew o u t o f t h a t i n i t i a l m e e t i n g . As s h e h o p e d , t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k has become a g r o u p o f f e m i n i s t C a t h o l i c women o p e r a t i n g o u t s i d e t h e c o n s t r a i n t s o f o f f i c i a l C h u r c h a u t h o r i t y and o r g a n i z a t i o n . To o p e r a t e i n s u c h a manner i s b o t h t h e c o n t i n u i n g g o a l and f u n d a m e n t a l p r i n c i p l e o f t h e g r o u p , a l t h o u g h i n some ways t h i s h a p p e n e d i n i t i a l l y b y a c c i d e n t r a t h e r t h a n due t o i d e o l o g i c a l p r e f e r e n c e . The f i r s t m e e t i n g o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was on a warm e v e n i n g i n J u l y i n t h e m e e t i n g room o f C l a i r e ' s c h u r c h . Two nuns a t t e n d e d t h a t m e e t i n g and f o r t h e n e x t two y e a r s t h e g r o u p met i n t h e common room o f t h e i r c o n v e n t u n t i l , i n 1986, t h e women o f t h e N e t w o r k were a s k e d by t h e nuns t o l e a v e i n o r d e r t o a v o i d f u r t h e r c o n f l i c t s w i t h t h e d i o c e s a n o f f i c e . The g r o u p moved f r o m p l a c e t o p l a c e f o r t h e n e x t y e a r o r s o u n t i l f i n a l l y , i n t h e F a l l o f 1 9 8 7 , i t f o u n d p e r m a n e n t s h e l t e r i n t h e b a s ement o f a s m a l l A n g l i c a n 65 r e c t o r y on t h e e a s t s i d e o f t o w n , w h i c h r e m a i n s t h e g r o u p ' s p r e s e n t home. D e s p i t e t h e c h a n g i n g l o c a t i o n o f t h e g r o u p , i t h a s r e t a i n e d t o t h i s d a y i t s f o c a l p o s i t i o n i n a n i n t r i c a t e n e t w o r k o f f e m i n i s t a c t i v i t y a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n . I t meets on t h e l a s t Wednesday o f e v e r y month f o r a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h r e e h o u r s , u s u a l l y b r e a k i n g i n J u l y and A u g u s t b e c a u s e o f Summer h o l i d a y s . T h e s e m o n t h l y m e e t i n g s a r e s u p p l e m e n t e d b y weekend r e t r e a t s , o nce i n t h e S p r i n g a n d once i n F a l l , b y l i t u r g i e s d u r i n g L e n t a n d A d v e n t , a n d b y t h e o c c a s i o n a l w o r k s h o p s p o n s o r e d b y t h e g r o u p on i t s own o r i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h o t h e r f e m i n i s t g r o u p s i n t h e c i t y . I n a more r e g u l a r way, t h e women o f t h e g r o u p k e e p i n c o n t a c t w i t h e a c h o t h e r o u t s i d e o f m e e t i n g s b y t e l e p h o n e a n d b y v i s i t s . T h u s , t h e g r o u p may be s e e n a s h a v i n g two s i d e s t o i t , a n i n s i d e and a n o u t s i d e : f o r m a l m e e t i n g s a n d r e t r e a t s , a n d i n f o r m a l n e t w o r k i n g o v e r t h e phone a nd t h r o u g h o c c a s i o n a l v i s i t s . B e c a u s e o f t h i s d o u b l e - s i d e d n a t u r e o f t h e g r o u p , some women who no l o n g e r a t t e n d m e e t i n g s s t i l l c o n s i d e r t h e m s e l v e s t o be members: on more t h a n one o c c a s i o n women I i n t e r v i e w e d r e s e n t e d my a s s u m p t i o n t h a t s i n c e t h e y were no l o n g e r r e g u l a r l y a t t e n d i n g m e e t i n g s t h e y were no l o n g e r members o f t h e N e t w o r k . Members, a c t i v e a n d n o t s o a c t i v e , a n d women who a r e n o t members r e m a i n c o n n e c t e d t h r o u g h t h e CWN n e w s l e t t e r , p r e s e n t l y p r i n t e d a n d d i s t r i b u t e d t h r e e t i m e s a y e a r . T h i s n e w s l e t t e r g o e s t o women a s f a r away a s F r a n c e , B e l g i u m , 66 A u s t r a l i a a n d New Z e a l a n d a n d i s a l s o p a r t o f a n e x c h a n g e o f n e w s l e t t e r s w i t h o t h e r C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t g r o u p s , s u c h a s C h i c a g o C a t h o l i c Women and t h e C a t h o l i c N e t w o r k f o r Women's E q u a l i t y . A n o t h e r s t a b l e f e a t u r e o f t h e N e t w o r k i s i t s f o r m a t , w h i c h h a s r e m a i n e d t h e same s i n c e i t was a d o p t e d i n t h e e a r l y months o f t h e g r o u p ' s e x i s t e n c e . CWN meet s on t h e l a s t Wednesday o f e v e r y month. L e a d e r s h i p , o r t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r k e e p i n g t h e p r o c e e d i n g s on t r a c k a n d on t i m e , a n d f o r p r e p a r i n g p a r t o f t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e m e e t i n g , r o t a t e s e v e r y month. T y p i c a l l y , m e e t i n g s a r e o r g a n i z e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e f o l l o w i n g r o u t i n e . The women a r r i v e more o r l e s s p u n c t u a l l y a r o u n d 6:00 p.m. f o r c o n v e r s a t i o n o v e r a p o t l u c k s u p p e r , u s u a l l y o f b r e a d , s a l a d , c h e e s e , f r u i t a n d t e a . A t 7:00 t h e f o r m a l m e e t i n g s t a r t s w i t h a few m i n u t e s d e v o t e d t o b u s i n e s s : t h e a n n o u n c e m e n t o f u p c o m i n g l e c t u r e s , w o r k s h o p s , l i t u r g i e s o r o t h e r e v e n t s ; t h e need t o c o l l e c t money t o p a y f o r t h e u s e o f t h e room. T h i s b r i e f t i m e i s f o l l o w e d b y a n h o u r o r s o o f " c h e c k -i n " when women t a k e t u r n s t a l k i n g a b o u t t h e i r l i v e s . On t h e w h o l e t h i s t a l k i s t h e r a p e u t i c i n i t s f o r m , b u t t h e c o n t e n t c o n c e r n s s p i r i t u a l a n d f e m i n i s t r a t h e r t h a n p e r s o n a l m a t t e r s . The s p e a k e r e x p r e s s e s h e r t h o u g h t s a n d f e e l i n g s a b o u t h e r s p i r i t u a l e x p e r i e n c e s o r h e r e n c o u n t e r s w i t h s e x i s m a n d i t s a s s o c i a t e d p r o b l e m s . R a r e l y d o e s a s p e a k e r m e n t i o n a n o t h e r p e r s o n a n d n e v e r a r e t h e y i d e n t i f i e d b y 67 name. Family and re l a t i o n s h i p matters are only in the rarest instances discussed. In fact, the only time I have ever heard a family matter discussed in the group was when one woman reported that her daughter had had an accident and was in c r i t i c a l condition in the hospital and needed the group's prayer. Around 8:00 there i s a short break and the women then re-gather to disuss a topic that has been prepared by that meeting's f a c i l i t a t o r , or to celebrate or worship. On the whole the topics presented in thi s portion of the meeting r e f l e c t some intersection of feminism and s p i r i t u a l i t y , but some f a c i l i t a t o r s have drawn on a wider range of inte r e s t s . Francesca once gave a workshop on the theme of discussion as dialogue rather than debate. One p a r t i c u l a r l y moving session was c o - f a c i l i t a t e d by Melanie and Judy who talked about hope and hopelessness and then gave each woman a helium balloon to which she was to t i e her hopes and fears. Then a l l the women went outside and l e t the balloons s a i l up into the sky. In another session Catharine taught the group the technique of peer counselling, a technique whereby both partners are al t e r n a t e l y the counselled and the counsellor. This year the attempt has been made every t h i r d meeting to have a l i t u r g y in celebration of some aspect of women's experience. Generally, the pattern has been to include eucharist, that i s the sharing of bread and wine, as the culminating r i t u a l act of the l i t u r g y . When the sharing of bread and wine was f i r s t done, within the i n i t i a l six months 68 of the group's l i f e , a c c o r d i n g to C l a i r e ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n , i t was done to symbolize women's body and blood, shed i n menstruation, g e s t a t i o n , and c h i l d b i r t h . On one l e v e l , the ve r y f a c t of doing e u c h a r i s t was a s i g n of a p p r o p r i a t i n g the power of the Church's c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y . On another l e v e l , however, i t was an a p p r o p r i a t i o n of the symbols themselves, to i n v e s t them with female c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and thus s i g n i f y the sacredness of the feminine. R e c e n t l y milk has been used as the sacred element r e p l a c i n g wine. I t can bear a symbolic meaning analogous to t h a t of the e u c h a r i s t i c wine, but o n l y i n the context of a woman's l i f e : l i k e women's bodies and blood, i t i s g i v e n , i n l a c t a t i o n , f o r the nourishment of l i f e . There i s a l s o a c e r t a i n d o m e s t i c i t y a s s o c i a t e d with milk -d a i r y i n g o f t e n being women's work - and, thus, the use of milk s a c r a l i z e s the domestic sphere. T h i s d i v i n i z i n g of the domestic i s a l s o apparent i n the r i t u a l s h a r i n g of the potl u c k meal, which, l i k e milk, does not form p a r t of the o r d i n a r y Church r i t u a l , but i s an i n t e g r a l element i n the l i f e of most women. Some women have expressed a d e s i r e t o move e n t i r e l y away even from such r a d i c a l a d a p t a t i o n s of e u c h a r i s t . They argue t h a t d e s p i t e the e f f o r t s to r e c l a i m and a p p r o p r i a t e the r i t u a l a c t and i t s symbols, the e u c h a r i s t i n p a r t i c u l a r remains t a i n t e d with an i n d e l i b l e mark of C h r i s t , the male s a v i o u r and God. In a broader context they a l s o q u e s t i o n the v e r y idea of r e f a s h i o n i n g o l d symbols r a t h e r than 69 f i n d i n g new o n e s . T h e y p r e f e r t o r e p l a c e C h r i s t i a n s y m b o l s w i t h s u c h s y m b o l s a s t h e s u n and moon , d a r k n e s s a n d l i g h t , t h e f o u r s e a s o n s , t h e f o u r e l e m e n t s , t h e f o u r d i r e c t i o n s , a l l o f w h i c h r e i n f o r c e t h e c y c l i c a l p a t t e r n o f n a t u r e a n d o f women's own b o d i e s . A g a i n , t h e t e n d e n c y t o r e v e r e t h e n a t u r a l i s p a r t o f t h e a t t e m p t t o r e c l a i m a n d a p p r o p r i a t e t h e l i f e g i v i n g power o f women i n h e r e n t i n t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h n a t u r e . A t 9:00, f o l l o w i n g t h e l i t u r g y o r d i s c u s s i o n , t h e m e e t i n g i s b r o u g h t t o a c l o s e . O f t e n t h e c l o s e i s s i g n a l l e d b y a p r a y e r , a b l e s s i n g , a c h a n t o r a s o n g u s u a l l y done s t a n d i n g up i n a c i r c l e w i t h arms a r o u n d e a c h o t h e r ' s s h o u l d e r s . A f t e r t h e f o r m a l end o f t h e m e e t i n g , d i s h e s a r e d o n e , p e o p l e make l a s t m i n u t e a r r a n g e m e n t s a b o u t who w i l l f a c i l i t a t e t h e n e x t m e e t i n g , r i d e s home a r e a r r a n g e d , money i s c o l l e c t e d , n e w s l e t t e r s a r e d i s t r i b u t e d a n d t h e women g r a d u a l l y hug g o o d - b y e a nd l e a v e , c a l l i n g t o e a c h o t h e r a n d l a u g h i n g a s t h e y w a l k t o t h e i r c a r s . T h i s m o n t h l y r o u t i n e o f t h e N e t w o r k ' s l i f e i s c l e a r l y g u i d e d b y a n o p e r a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e , n a m e l y , s h a r i n g : i n t h e e u c h a r i s t a n d i n a common m e a l , t h e s h a r i n g o f f o o d ; i n c h e c k - I n a n d i n d i s c u s s i o n t i m e , t h e s h a r i n g o f l i f e e x p e r i e n c e ; a n d i n t h e r o t a t i o n o f g r o u p f a c i l i t a t i o n , t h e s h a r i n g o f power. And a s t h e g r o u p moved t h r o u g h v e r y r a p i d c h a n g e s i n o t h e r ways d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f t h i s f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n , t h i s p r i n c i p l e , a n d t h e ways i t was p r a c t i s e d , r e m a i n e d t h e same. 70 C o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g I n t h e f i r s t y e a r o f i t s l i f e , t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k went t h r o u g h a f o r m a t i v e p e r i o d o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s -r a i s i n g . C o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g i s t h e t a s k o f s h o w i n g how what a p p e a r t o be p e r s o n a l p r o b l e m s a r e , i n f a c t , s o c i a l i s s u e s , a n d t h a t what a p p e a r a s i s o l a t e d o r i d i o s y n c r a t i c e v e n t s a r e c o l l e c t i v e l y s h a r e d e x p e r i e n c e s o f a common s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y t h a t c a n be a n a l y z e d a n d t r a n s f o r m e d . ( 1 ) T h e r e a r e two d i f f e r e n t f o r m s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g t h a t a r e s i m i l a r i n most r e s p e c t s , b u t d i f f e r e n t i n one e s s e n t i a l way. S i n c e t h e N e t w o r k e m p l o y e d b o t h f o r m s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g , t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n them i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h i s e a r l y f o r m a t i v e p e r i o d . One f o r m o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g , e m p l o y e d i n t h e e a r l y f e m i n i s t c i r c l e s o f t h e New L e f t , i s t h e r a p - s e s s i o n f o r m a t , where women s i m p l y g a t h e r e d t o g e t h e r i n a g r o u p t o t a l k a b o u t t h e i r f e e l i n g s , e x p e r i e n c e s a n d i d e a s a b o u t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e i r p e r s o n a l l i v e s a n d s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . F o r i d e o l o g i c a l , a s w e l l a s p r a c t i c a l p u r p o s e s , f e m i n i s t c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g t o o k p l a c e among p e e r s . A n o t h e r f o r m o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g i s e p i t o m i z e d b y t h e e d u c a t i o n f o r c r i t i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s c a m p a i g n s o f P a u l o F r e i r e i n t h e f i f t i e s a n d s i x t i e s i n B r a z i l . T h e r e t h e 71 s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s o£ i l l i t e r a t e p e a s a n t s was t r a n s f o r m e d b y t h e same o u t s i d e r s who t a u g h t them t o r e a d . The p r o c e s s , t o a s i g n i f i c a n t d e g r e e , t o o k p l a c e f r o m t h e t o p down, and was d e p e n d e n t on t h e o u t s i d e e x p e r t s . The p r o c e s s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g w h i c h t o o k p l a c e i n t h e f i r s t s i x months o r s o o f t h e l i f e o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was o f b o t h f o r m s . The women c a l l e d t o g e t h e r were p e e r s . None was p r e p a r e d t o p l a y t h e e d u c a t e d t e a c h e r o f t h e u n l e t t e r e d . Y e t f e m i n i s t i d e o l o g y e x i s t e d b e f o r e t h e N e t w o r k came i n t o e x i s t e n c e , a n d members c o u l d r e a d i l y c a l l down f r o m a b o v e a n e x t e n s i v e l i t e r a t u r e t h a t w o u l d e x p l a i n t o them how t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l p r e d i c a m e n t s were e x a m p l e s o f t h e i r common o p p r e s s i o n . Thus b o t h p r o c e s s e s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g r e m a i n e d i m p o r t a n t t o CWN's e a r l y l i f e . T h e y f o u n d e x p r e s s i o n r e s p e c t i v e l y i n t h e s h a r i n g o f p e r s o n a l l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s a n d i n t h e s h a r i n g o f r e a d i n g . I n i t i a l l y , c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g f o l l o w e d t h e f e m i n i s t p a t t e r n , a s s u f f e r i n g i n d i v i d u a l s u n e x p e c t e d l y f o u n d t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s e c h o e d i n t h e s t o r i e s t o l d b y o t h e r s . A t t h e f i r s t m e e t i n g o f CWN C l a i r e b e gan w i t h a b r i e f s p e e c h a b o u t why s h e c a l l e d t h e m e e t i n g a n d what s h e hoped w o u l d h a p p e n . She c o n c l u d e d b y a s k i n g women t o t a l k a b o u t t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s i n r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e C h u r c h . I n t h e e n s u i n g d i s c u s s i o n s h e was s u r p r i s e d t o d i s c o v e r how many o f t h e women s h a r e d t h e same f e e l i n g s o f a n g e r a n d h o p e l e s s n e s s 72 c o n c e r n i n g t h e i r p l a c e i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h : I s a i d I ' d l i k e e a c h one t o t e l l s o m e t h i n g a b o u t y o u r l i f e , who y o u a r e a s a p e r s o n , human b e i n g , s t a r t i n g w i t h y o u r name and l o c a l e b u t d o n ' t f i n i s h t h e r e ; a n y t h i n g t h a t y o u t h i n k t h a t w i l l h e l p us t o know y o u . S e c o n d l y , s o m e t h i n g a b o u t y o u r c u r r e n t e x p e r i e n c e o r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e C h u r c h . And t h i r d l y , what y o u hope f o r f r o m t h i s g a t h e r i n g . W e l l , t h a t was j u s t a r e v e l a t i o n t o me. I j u s t c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e i t . T h ey d i d n o t t a l k a l o t a b o u t t h e m s e l v e s . T h e y d i d n ' t t a l k a l o t a b o u t t h e i r h o p e s . T h e y l i t i n on t h e s e c o n d o n e . I t was a w f u l . T h e r e were two who were a l i t t l e more m o d e r a t e , b u t i t w a s n ' t p o s i t i v e e i t h e r ; i t was a l l n e g a t i v e . And f o u r o f them s a i d , " I f t h i s g r o u p d o e s n ' t do s o m e t h i n g , we're l e a v i n g t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . We're f i n i s h e d . " The s p e e d w i t h w h i c h t h e s e n s e o f common s u f f e r i n g e m e r g e d was e s p e c i a l l y s u r p r i s i n g b e c a u s e none o f t h e women a t t h a t i n i t i a l g a t h e r i n g , e v e n t h e most d i s s a t i s f i e d , f r u s t r a t e d a nd a l i e n a t e d , had a d e v e l o p e d g r o u p c o n s c i o u s n e s s when t h e y a r r i v e d . T h e y d i d n o t s h a r e C l a i r e ' s s e n s e o f s t a r t i n g s o m e t h i n g new f o r women i n t h e C h u r c h ; n e i t h e r were t h e y , f o r t h e most p a r t , a w a r e o f o r c o m m i t t e d t o t h e f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e o f t h e C h u r c h . M o r e o v e r , t h e y came f r o m v e r y d i f f e r e n t b a c k g r o u n d s and b r o u g h t w i t h them a w i d e r a n g e o f hopes and e x p e c t a t i o n s . S u z a n n e remembered how i n i t i a l l y s h e had n o t e v e n w a n t e d t o become i n v o l v e d w i t h CWN. She had t r i e d t o j o i n t h e l o c a l A n g l i c a n women's g r o u p , b u t t h e p r i e s t had t o l d h e r t o t r y a C a t h o l i c g r o u p f i r s t . Then s h e h e s i t a t e d f o r a t i m e b e c a u s e s h e f e a r e d t h a t CWN w o u l d be a t r a d i t i o n a l C a t h o l i c women's o r g a n i z a t i o n , w i t h o u t s y m p a t h y f o r what s h e a s sumed t o be h e r own u t t e r l y u n i q u e and e v e n c r a z y way o f 73 b e i n g r e l i g i o u s . I ' d f o u n d God a l o n g t i m e ago my own way a n d was s t i l l a b l e t o p r a c t i c e w i t h i n t h e C h u r c h my own way, b u t n o b o d y knew t h a t . I n e v e r had a s o u n d i n g b o a r d . I was d o i n g my own t h i n g w i t h i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . And w i t h a s e n s e o f g u i l t a n d "maybe I am c r a z y , b u t t h i s i s t h e way I f e e l a n d I know t h a t t h e r e ' s n o b o d y o u t t h e r e t h a t f e e l s l i k e I d o , s o I ' l l go a l o n g t h i s way." And God and I knew s o t h a t was good enough f o r me. Her e x t e r n a l r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e h a d r e m a i n e d c o n v e n t i o n a l l y d u t i f u l , h o w e v e r . Her p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n s w e r e e x p r e s s e d o n l y r a r e l y , a n d t h e n v e r y t e n t a t i v e l y , i n c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h h e r own c h i l d r e n . I was g o i n g t o mass on S u n d a y s . I had c h i l d r e n a t home t h a t I f e l t o b l i g a t e d t o , b u t e v e n t h e n I u s e d t o s a y t o them, " Y o u ' r e g o i n g t o grow up one d a y and g e t me f o r t a k i n g y o u o f f t o C h u r c h on S u n d a y . " B u t t h e y w a n t e d t o g o . And t h e y knew how I f e l t . N o t a b o u t a l o t o f i s s u e s , b u t we w o u l d d i s c u s s s o m e t i m e s t h e p r i e s t ' s s e r m o n and how i t w a s n ' t n e c e s s a r i l y t h a t way, t h a t t h a t was h i s I n t e r p r e t a t i o n a n d t h a t t h e r e were o t h e r s . So, I was g o i n g , b u t m a i n l y o u t o f a s e n s e o f d u t y . A l t h o u g h n o t e x p e c t i n g t o f i n d o t h e r s s h a r i n g h e r i n n e r e x p e r i e n c e , s he d i d s e e k o u t a p a r i s h i n w h i c h s h e c o u l d w o r s h i p c o m f o r t a b l y . I s p e n t many y e a r s l o o k i n g f o r a C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , b u t I n e v e r d i d f i n d i t u n t i l S t . L u k e ' s a nd some w o n d e r f u l t h i n g s h a p p e n e d t o me up t h e r e . B u t u l t i m a t e l y , e v e n t h a t p a r i s h r e m a i n e d f a r f r o m h e r p e r s o n a l s e n s e o f God and o f h e r own p l a c e i n t h e C h u r c h : I t ' s h a r d t o p u t i n t o w o r d s . I w a s n ' t f e e l i n g a n y t h i n g . N o t h i n g . I t was a l m o s t l i k e a h a b i t . I d i d n ' t g e t a n y t h i n g o u t o f c h u r c h . K a t h l e e n d i d n o t s u f f e r f r o m t h e same s e n s e o f h o l d i n g i n n e r c o n v i c t i o n s t h a t no one e l s e s h a r e d . She had s t r o n g f e m i n i s t i d e a l s a n d knew t h a t o t h e r f e m i n i s t s s h a r e d them. B u t s h e d i d n o t e x p e c t t o f i n d them h e l d a n y w h e r e i n t h e 74 C h u r c h o r i n CWN, w h i c h s h e f i r s t went t o o u t o f c u r i o s i t y a n d a t t h e i n v i t a t i o n o f a f r i e n d . I d i d n ' t know what t o e x p e c t . I d i d n ' t know i f i t was g o i n g t o be a v e r s i o n o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's L e a g u e . [...] I d i d n ' t have a n y v i s i o n f o r s t a r t i n g s o m e t h i n g f o r women i n t h e C h u r c h . I had done n o t h i n g a b o u t r e c o n c i l i n g o r a l l y i n g w h at w o u l d be my f e m i n i s t v i e w s w i t h t h e C h u r c h . L i k e S u z a n n e , s h e s u f f e r e d f r o m a n a b s e n c e o f a n y n u r t u r i n g i n t h e C h u r c h ; a n d she c a r r i e d on o u t o f n o s t a l g i a f o r t h e C a t h o l i c i s m t h a t s h e had known a s a n u n d e r g r a d u a t e . M o s t o f what I remembered was t h e r a d i c a l C a t h o l i c i s m o f t h e s i x t i e s when I was a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o a n d I s t i l l l o n g e d f o r s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h a t . I had l i v e d o u t o f t h e c o u n t r y f o r a number o f y e a r s a n d had l o s t t o u c h w i t h t h e C h u r c h i n C a n a d a . I . . . ] I came bac k e x p e c t i n g i t s t i l l t o be h e r e a n d n e e d l e s s t o s a y , I was v e r y d i s a p p o i n t e d . I t was s o r t o f h a r d t o g i v e up on i t a n d t o s e t t l e f o r no s p i r i t u a l n u r t u r i n g . D o r e e n was a n e x c e p t i o n i n t h a t s h e was b o t h a f e m i n i s t a n d r e l a t i v e l y c o m f o r t a b l e i n h e r p a r i s h c h u r c h , l a r g e l y b e c a u s e o f h e r v e r y a c t i v e i n v o l v e m e n t i n i t s l i t u r g i c a l l i f e . E v e r y t h i n g was s t i l l c o s y i n a way b e c a u s e I had t h e c o m m u n i t y o f S t . J o h n ' s . We had g r e a t l i t u r g i e s . I was on t h e l i t u r g y c o m m i t t e e a n d we c o u l d do what we w a n t e d . [...] I was r e a l l y i n v o l v e d a n d l o v i n g i t , l o v i n g S t . J o h n ' s . L i k e S u z a n n e , h o w e v e r , s h e had i n n e r c o n v i c t i o n s a n d f e e l i n g s t h a t s h e knew w o u l d n o t w i n a c c e p t a n c e e v e n i n h e r v e r y h a p p y p a r i s h . I was b e g i n n i n g t o be aw a r e o f t h i n g s i n t h e C h u r c h [...] t h e h i e r a r c h y a n d t h e p o p e . I g u e s s I was s t a r t i n g t o be r e a l l y bugged b y t h i n g s t h e pope was s a y i n g . [...] Then, I was a ware o f t h o s e t h i n g s b u t I was a f r a i d . W h i l e s h e c o n t i n u e d t o f i n d t h e C h u r c h a p o s i t i v e e x p e r i e n c e a n d t o v i e w t h i n g s t h a t made h e r f e e l d i f f e r e n t a s h e r own p r o b l e m s , s h e d i d hope t h a t CWN w o u l d o f f e r a 75 C a t h o l i c f o r u m i n w h i c h s h e c o u l d e x p r e s s h e r f e e l i n g s o p e n l y . I g u e s s I j u s t w a n t e d t o g e t on a band wagon o r g e t i n v o l v e d w i t h p e o p l e t h a t were f e m i n i s t s b e c a u s e I was f e e l i n g t h e n t h a t I was a f e m i n i s t and I f e l t d i f f e r e n t , I f e l t m a r g i n a l i z e d b e i n g a l e s b i a n , t o o , y o u s e e . And I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s r e a l l y n e a t a n d I want t o be a b l e t o e x p r e s s how I f e e l . " I n s t a r k c o n t r a s t t o D o r e e n ' s t e n t a t i v e a nd i n n e r s e n s e o f a l i e n a t i o n , S a r a a n d D o r o t h y had f a c e d o v e r t r e j e c t i o n . I n d e e d , b o t h had b e e n t o l d o u t r i g h t b y c h u r c h a u t h o r i t i e s t o go away. S a r a had r e c e n t l y b e e n a s k e d b y h e r p a r i s h p r i e s t t o l e a v e t h e p a r i s h b e c a u s e o f h e r o u t s p o k e n a t t i t u d e on p a r i s h c o u n c i l and b e c a u s e o f h e r s o c i a l j u s t i c e c o n c e r n s . D o r o t h y , who had some y e a r s e a r l i e r l e f t a n a b u s i v e m a r r i a g e w i t h o u t h e r p r i e s t ' s p e r m i s s i o n ( w h i c h he had r e f u s e d t o g i v e ) and l a t e r r e m a r r i e d w i t h o u t h a v i n g r e c e i v e d a n a n n u l m e n t ( w h i c h s h e was t o l d s h e c o u l d n o t g e t ) had b e e n a d v i s e d t o move t o a n o t h e r c i t y " so a s n o t t o c a u s e s c a n d a l t o o t h e r p e o p l e i n t h e d i o c e s e . " She had a l s o r e c e n t l y l e f t h e r p o s i t i o n a s o r g a n i s t i n a C a t h o l i c C h u r c h and t a k e n a p o s i t i o n i n a U n i t e d C h u r c h b e c a u s e t h e p r i e s t i n t h e C a t h o l i c c h u r c h had r e f u s e d t o a l l o w h e r t o h a v e a n y c h o i c e o r i n p u t i n t h e m u s i c s h e was p l a y i n g e v e r y S u n d a y . The p a r i s h e x p e r i e n c e s o f S a r a a n d D o r o t h y a r e c l a s s i c e x a m p l e s o f a t y p e o f e x p e r i e n c e common e n o u g h i n t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h n o t t o be o u t o f p l a c e i n a p i e c e o f u n i m a g i n a t i v e p o l e m i c a g a i n s t i t . Y e t n e i t h e r woman saw i t a s r e p r e s e n t i n g a n y t h i n g l a r g e r t h a n h e r own l i f e . F a r f r o m e x p r e s s i n g a n y s e n s e o f s o l i d a r i t y w i t h a n o p p r e s s e d g r o u p , 76 D o r o t h y a n d S a r a e m p h a s i z e d t h e i r f e e l i n g s o f s o l i t u d e and i s o l a t i o n . S a r a , i n f a c t , was c o n s c i o u s p r i m a r i l y o f t h e s o l i d a r i t y among h e r a d v e r s a r i e s . Now I l a u g h a b o u t i t , b u t a t t h e t i m e i t r e a l l y h u r t me [...] B u t I l e f t . I was r e a d y t o l e a v e . By t h i s t i m e I was b e g i n n i n g t o f e e l v e r y m a r g i n a l i n p a r i s h l i f e b e c a u s e I was f i n d i n g o u t t h a t I d i d n ' t g e t a l o n g w i t h t h e p r i e s t s v e r y w e l l . I knew t h e r e were l o t s more l i k e t h e one i n t h e p a r i s h I had j u s t l e f t [...] I had p e r c e i v e d t h a t I was g e n u i n e l y o u t o f s t e p w i t h t h e m a j o r i t y o f c h u r c h - g o i n g C a t h o l i c s . Whenever I was i n a women's g r o u p a t c h u r c h , t h e k i n d s o f t h i n g s I e n j o y e d t a l k i n g a b o u t were n o t e v e n u n d e r s t o o d b y t h e o t h e r women, s o I f e l t p r e t t y m a r g i n a l i z e d a n d was b e g i n n i n g t o wonder w h e t h e r o r n o t i t was r i g h t f o r me t o c a l l m y s e l f a C a t h o l i c b e c a u s e I t h o u g h t , " I f a l l t h o s e o t h e r p e o p l e a r e C a t h o l i c s a n d I'm s o d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e m, maybe I'm n o t . " D o r o t h y f e l t many o f t h e same t h i n g s : W e l l , I had f e l t a l i e n a t e d s i n c e t h e t i m e o f t h e s e c o n d m a r r i a g e , t h e t a l k w i t h t h e p r i e s t a b o u t t h e m u s i c a nd t h e move t o a d i f f e r e n t c i t y . [...] D u r i n g t h a t t i m e I a l w a y s f e l t l i k e I was l i v i n g i n h i d i n g , t h a t I w a s n ' t r e a l l y a c c e p t e d . [...] I was s t i l l w a n t i n g a c c e p t a n c e o u t o f t h e C h u r c h a n d s t i l l f e e l i n g b a d l y t h a t I d i d n ' t g e t i t . R o s e , t o o , a l t h o u g h s h e b e l o n g e d t o a g r o u p o f l i k e -m i n d e d p e o p l e a n d f e l t some s u p p o r t w i t h i n i t , f e l t e q u a l l y i s o l a t e d i n h e r p a r i s h c h u r c h . We had s t a r t e d a p e a c e g r o u p on t h e i s l a n d , a n a n t i - n u c l e a r g r o u p , a n d a f t e r b e i n g i n v o l v e d i n t h a t f o r a w h i l e , I n o t i c e d how t h e C h u r c h was r e a c t i n g o r n o t r e a c t i n g t o t h e q u e s t i o n s a n d , o f c o u r s e , t h i s i s a p o o r a r e a t o s e e a n y s u p p o r t f o r t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g . And I was q u e s t i o n i n g t h a t , t o o . I f o u n d t h a t o d d . A n o t h e r e x a m p l e o f t h e p e a c e t h i n g . We were s t a n d i n g o u t s i d e t h e c h u r c h one d a y h a n d i n g o u t s o m e t h i n g a n d t h i s one woman bumps a l o n g a n d s h e s a y s , " I come t o c h u r c h t o w o r s h i p God." And a few y e a r s b e f o r e t h a t , I g u e s s i t was a few y e a r s a f t e r we'd s t a r t e d o u r g r o u p , I had s e t up t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n t h i n g i n t h e c h u r c h a n d I was p u t o u t b y one o f t h e p r i e s t s . He p u t me o u t . 77 She had b e e n l e f t w i t h t h e same s e n s e t h a t t h e r e was f a r more s o l i d a r i t y among t h o s e on t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e f e n c e . And I w o u l d l o o k a r o u n d a t mass on Sunday a nd I w o u l d be s u r r o u n d e d b y p e o p l e who on e v e r y o t h e r i s s u e on t h e i s l a n d - a n d we're c o n s t a n t l y a n d a l w a y s h a v i n g i s s u e s , s o many c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e e n v i r o n m e n t - and j u s t a b o u t e v e r y s i n g l e p e r s o n i n t h e c h u r c h was on t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e f e n c e . A v i r t u a l m i r r o r image o f S a r a , D o r o t h y a n d R o s e ' s f e e l i n g s emerged f r o m t h e r e c o l l e c t i o n s o f s e v e r a l members who came t o CWN w i t h a n a l r e a d y - f o r m e d a w a r e n e s s o f t h e o p p r e s s i o n o f women i n t h e C h u r c h , b u t w i t h a s e n s e t h a t i t somehow d i d n o t t o u c h them. T h i s was t r u e , a l t h o u g h i n v e r y d i f f e r e n t w ays, o f b o t h I r e n e and S u s a n . A t t h e t i m e t h a t CWN s t a r t e d , I r e n e was a p a r t o f a " c o n s e r v a t i v e c o m m u n i t y o f C a t h o l i c s " f o r whom s h e and h e r h u s b a n d had b u i l t a s m a l l c h a p e l on t h e i r own p r o p e r t y , h a d r e c e i v e d p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e i r B i s h o p t o k e e p t h e B l e s s e d S a c r a m e n t i n t h e c h a p e l and had an " u l t r a - c o n s e r v a t i v e " p r i e s t come o v e r t o s a y t h e mass. She had come t o u n i v e r s i t y t o f i n i s h h e r d e g r e e , had met C l a i r e a t S t . L u k e ' s f a i t h a n d j u s t i c e c e n t r e a n d had t a k e n a c o u r s e on t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e C h u r c h . From t h e s e two s o u r c e s I r e n e b egan t o l e a r n " a l l t h e s e t e r r i b l e i d e a s t h a t w o u l d be s u b v e r t i n g e v e r y t h i n g i n my l i f e . " The i s s u e o f women i n t h e C h u r c h became one o f a s e r i e s o f i s s u e s t h a t f o r c e d h e r t o c o n s i d e r w h e t h e r " i t was r i g h t f o r me t o be a member o f t h i s C h u r c h w h i c h was d o i n g a l l t h e s e t h i n g s . . . h o w 78 c o m m i t t e d c o u l d I be t o a C h u r c h t h a t i s o p p r e s s i n g p e o p l e l i k e t h i s ? " I went o u t o f i n t e r e s t b e c a u s e I was i n t e r e s t e d i n what C l a i r e h ad t o l d me a b o u t s o many women. And b e c a u s e I knew t h a t women d i d n ' t h a v e much s a y i n t h e C h u r c h , t h a t i t was a l l m a l e . B u t s t i l l , I h a d n ' t q u e s t i o n e d a n y d e e p e r , r e a l l y . [ . . . J I was i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e were women who were b e i n g o p p r e s s e d and how was t h i s . E v e n t h o u g h I h a d n ' t i d e n t i f i e d t h e f a c t t h a t I was o p p r e s s e d , I was i n t e r e s t e d . S u s a n went w i t h many o f t h e same t h o u g h t s a s I r e n e , t h o u g h w i t h a v e r y d i f f e r e n t b a c k g r o u n d . S u s a n was i n t e n s e l y i n v o l v e d i n s o c i a l j u s t i c e c o n c e r n s a t S t . L u k e ' s and was w o r k i n g w i t h s u c h o r g a n i z a t i o n s a s Oxfam and t h e C a n a d i a n C a t h o l i c O f f i c e f o r D e v e l o p m e n t a n d P e a c e , and had r e c e n t l y b e e n t o C e n t r a l A m e r i c a . A l l o f a s u d d e n I was c o m i n g a c r o s s t h e i n j u s t i c e s p e r p e t r a t e d i n o u r own C h u r c h . [...] I t w a s n ' t r e a l l y c o n t r i b u t i n g a s much p o s i t i v e e n e r g y a s i t was n e g a t i v e e n e r g y i n t h e c i r c l e s I was m o v i n g i n and I r e a l l y became more and more a w a r e o f t h a t . [...] I s t a r t e d t o s e e how t h e C h u r c h c o u l d be q u i t e mean a n d q u i t e c r u e l a nd e x e r t i t s power t o g e t b a c k a t y o u . [...] So a t t h a t p o i n t i t was v e r y much a q u e s t i o n o f j u s t i c e . I had s e e n f r o m a j u s t i c e p o i n t o f v i e w t h a t women had b e e n o p p r e s s e d , d e n i e d , s u b j u g a t e d , w h a t e v e r y o u want t o c a l l i t . [...] [ B u t ] i t was s t i l l n o t my i s s u e . I s t i l l had n o t made t h e c o n n e c t i o n , y o u know, "Oh, I am a woman. I have b e e n d e n i e d i n t h i s C h u r c h f o r t h i r t y odd y e a r s . " S h e i l a , t o o , carae t o CWN w i t h a g r o w i n g a w a r e n e s s o f p a t t e n s o f o p p r e s s i o n f r o m w h i c h she was p e r s o n a l l y s h e l t e r e d , l a r g e l y b e c a u s e h e r l o n g - s t a n d i n g m i n i s t r y a t a 79 men's h o s t e l k e p t h e r a p a r t f r o m p a r i s h l i f e a n d Sunday w o r s h i p . And I w a s n ' t s o much c r i t i c a l m y s e l f . I r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e r e w e r e some t h i n g s h a p p e n i n g i n t h e C h u r c h t h a t I knew l i t t l e a b o u t . I was a n x i o u s t o l e a r n more. I was o n l y s t a r t i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d what was meant b y s u c h t e r m s a s " e x c l u s i v e l a n g u a g e " and " p a t r i a r c h a l " and t h i n g s l i k e t h a t . So, i t was j u s t s t a r t i n g t o be t a l k e d a b o u t a n d I was j u s t s t a r t i n g t o r e a l i z e what was h a p p e n i n g a t t h a t t i m e . [...] M o s t l y f r o m C l a i r e a n d my d a u g h t e r a n d f r o m a n y a s s o c i a t i o n s I had a t S t . L u k e ' s who were t h i n k i n g a l o n g t h o s e l i n e s . I was o n l y a t S t . L u k e ' s i n f r e q u e n t l y b e c a u s e I ha v e b e e n f o r y e a r s i n t h e downtown e a s t s i d e on Sunday m o r n i n g s . [...] a s s o o n a s I s t a r t e d e n c o u n t e r i n g t h e k i n d o f r e s i s t a n c e I g o t t o a n y o f my i d e a s i n p a r i s h l i f e , I s w i t c h e d t o t h e downtown e a s t s i d e . . I s o l v e d my p r o b l e m b y r u n n i n g away f r o m p a r i s h l i f e . And s o I d i d n ' t have t o c o p e w i t h t h e t y p e s o f t h i n g s p e o p l e were d e a l i n g w i t h i n p a r i s h e s . The s i m i l a r e x p e r i e n c e s u n d e r l y i n g t h e w i d e v a r i e t y o f b a c k g r o u n d a n d c i r c u m s t a n c e s were i m m e d i a t e l y a p p a r e n t t o e v e r y o n e , and were t h e s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r a p e r i o d o f i n t e n s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g o f t h e s h a r e d , g r a s s - r o o t s , r a p - s e s s i o n t y p e . H a v i n g come t o t h e m e e t i n g f e e l i n g m a r g i n a l i z e d , f r u s t r a t e d a n d a l o n e i n t h e C h u r c h , women were e n t h u s e d t o d i s c o v e r t h a t t h e y a l l f e l t t h e same way. The same r e a c t i o n s r e c u r r e d c o n s t a n t l y i n t h e i r r e c o l l e c t i o n s . On t h e one had t h e r e were t h e e x p r e s s i o n s o f i s o l a t i o n : I n e v e r had a s o u n d i n g b o a r d . I was d o i n g my own t h i n g w i t h i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . I was l o o k i n g f o r a c o m m u n i t y o f s u p p o r t i n my t h i n k i n g . A b o u t j u s t b e i n g a C a t h o l i c . Women's i s s u e s , t o o , b u t t h a t w a s n ' t t h e o n l y t h i n g . I had no f e e l i n g o f c o m m u n i t y i n my p a r i s h . I d i d n ' t f i t i n a n y w h e r e . Y e a h , my f e e l i n g s were g e t t i n g l e s s warm. Or c e r t a i n l y s e e i n g t h a t i t w a s n ' t p a r t o f what I w a n t e d o r I w a s n ' t r e a l l y a p a r t o f i t . 80 By t h i s t i m e I was b e g i n n i n g t o f e e l v e r y m a r g i n a l i n p a r i s h l i f e [...] and was b e g i n n i n g t o wonder w h e t h e r o r n o t i t was r i g h t f o r me t o c a l l m y s e l f a C a t h o l i c b e c a u s e I t h o u g h t , " I f a l l t h o s e o t h e r p e o p l e a r e C a t h o l i c s a n d I'm s o d i f f e r e n t f r o m them, maybe I'm n o t . " I a l w a y s f e l t l i k e I was l i v i n g i n h i d i n g . And t h e n , o n c e p e o p l e s t a r t e d t a l k i n g , came t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f a common e x p e r i e n c e , e x p r e s s e d i n s i m i l a r t e r m s b y i n f o r m a n t a f t e r i n f o r m a n t : I n e v e r s a i d a w o r d . I j u s t s a t t h e r e a n d l a u g h e d and was c o m p l e t e l y a s t o u n d e d . B e c a u s e t h e s e women were l i k e me. T h e y were s a y i n g t h e t h i n g s t h a t I was t h i n k i n g . And we r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e r e were o t h e r p e o p l e who had b e e n t h r o u g h t h e same t h i n g s , t h a t we were n o t a l o n e . B e i n g j u s t a b l e t o t a l k a b o u t my s p i r i t u a l l i f e a n d be c o m p l e t e l y a c c e p t e d [...] b e c a u s e we a l l f e l t t h e same t h i n g - e v e r y b o d y . I t j u s t g a ve me s u c h a s p i n e - t i n g l i n g f e e l i n g . I t h o u g h t , "Here I am i n a room f u l l o f o t h e r women who f e e l t h e same way I d o ! " No l o n g e r a b l e t o s e e t h e m s e l v e s a s s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e o t h e r C a t h o l i c women i n t h e g r o u p b u t r a t h e r d i s c o v e r i n g t h e m s e l v e s t o be e s s e n t i a l l y t h e same a s e a c h o t h e r , t h e y f o u n d t h e i r f e e l i n g s o f b e i n g " c r a z y " o r " o u t o f s t e p " t r a n s f o r m e d f r o m a p e r s o n a l p r o b l e m o f i n d i v i d u a l women who c o u l d n o t c o n f o r m i n t o a c o l l e c t i v e s e n s e o f o u t r a g e a n d i n d i g n a t i o n a t a C h u r c h t h a t demanded a n u n r e a s o n a b l e c o n f o r m i t y . Some d e s c r i b e d t h e i r r e a c t i o n i n more d e t a i l , o t h e r s i n l e s s , b u t a l l e x p r e s s e d t h e same a n g e r a n d o u t r a g e . A number o f women were p a r t i c u l a r l y s h o c k e d t o f i n d t h e same s e n s e o f a l i e n a t i o n a n d i s o l a t i o n e v e n among t h o s e 81 most d e e p l y i n v o l v e d i n C h u r c h l i f e : And I saw t h a t a l l t h e s e women were j u s t l i k e I was, were women who were r e a l l y c o m m i t t e d t o l i v i n g t h e i r s p i r i t u a l i t y . T h ey were n o t j u s t S u n d ay c h u r c h - g o i n g p e o p l e , t h e y were p e o p l e who were r e a l l y i n v o l v e d i n p a r i s h o r C a t h o l i c s c h o o l a n d t h e y were p e o p l e who were c a r r y i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n t h o s e p l a c e s . They were t e a c h i n g CCD programmes o r t h e y w e re C a t h o l i c s c h o o l t e a c h e r s o r t h e y were d o i n g m u s i c m i n i s t r y . T hey were c a r r y i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n t h e l i f e o f t h e i r p a r i s h e s , y e t none o f them f e l t t h a t t h e y were b e i n g t r e a t e d f a i r l y . A n o t h e r e v o k e d t h e c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n t h e r e a c t i o n o f s y m p a t h y a nd s u p p o r t t h a t s he now f e l t a n d t h e e a r l i e r r e a c t i o n t o h e r e f f o r t s t o v o i c e h e r p a i n : I n p r e v i o u s t i m e s when I had s h a r e d my f r u s t r a t i o n s , f o r e x a m p l e w i t h my m o t h e r , s h e s a i d , "Oh, d e a r , y o u ' r e n o t g o i n g t o c h a n g e t h e C h u r c h . I t ' s b i g g e r t h a n y o u and i t ' s b e e n g o i n g f o r two t h o u s a n d y e a r s . J u s t e i t h e r be q u i e t a n d g e t a l o n g o r y o u m i g h t a s w e l l l e a v e . Y o u ' r e n o t g o i n g t o c h a n g e a n y t h i n g . " And t h a t was t h e o n l y r e s p o n s e t h a t I had h e a r d up u n t i l t h e t i m e o f CWN g e t t i n g t o g e t h e r . Now t h e CWN r e s p o n s e was t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t . As s o o n a s somebody t o l d t h e i r s t o r y o f woe, t h e d i s c u s s i o n c e n t e r e d a r o u n d , " I s n ' t i t a w f u l ! Who do t h e y t h i n k t h e y a r e ? " a n d "How c a n t h e y do t h i s ? " a n d " Y e s , l e t ' s e x p e r i e n c e t h i s p a i n t o g e t h e r " a n d "We u n d e r s t a n d y o u r p a i n . " E v e r y b o d y t o t a l l y u n d e r s t o o d my p e r c e p t i o n t h a t t h i s was i n j u s t i c e a t i t s w o r s t . And t h i s was how we a l l p e r c e i v e d i t ; t h a t t h i s was s i m p l y i n j u s t i c e . A t h i r d f o c u s s e d on t h e i n t e n s i t y o f t h e s h a r e d f e e l i n g : And women were p o u n d i n g t h e i r f i s t s on t h e t a b l e a n d s a y i n g t h i n g s l i k e , "Who do t h e y t h i n k t h e y a r e ? " a n d "We're n o t l e a v i n g t h i s C h u r c h , t h i s i s o u r C h u r c h ! " A t t h i s i n i t i a l s t a g e , c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g was a s h a r e d a c t i v i t y among p e e r s w i t h o u t a n y t h i n g a t a l l c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e e x p e r t i n f l u e n c e f r o m a b o v e t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d F r e i r e ' s e d u c a t i o n a l m o d e l . V e r y s o o n , h o w e v e r , t h e women d e c i d e d t h a t t h e y w a n t e d t o l e a r n some t h e o l o g y i n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d why t h e y were i n t h e i r 82 p o s i t i o n . As S a r a e x p l a i n e d : T h r o u g h t h i s i n i t i a l t e l l i n g o f s t o r i e s t h e women b e g a n t o a s k why? Why do p r i e s t s t h i n k women a r e t h i s way o r t h a t way? Why d o e s t h e C h u r c h t e a c h t h i s o r t h a t a b o u t women? T h i s d e s i r e f o r t h e o l o g i c a l e d u c a t i o n d i d n o t p r o d u c e a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d v e r s i o n o f t h e F r e i r e m o d e l o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g , s i n c e C l a i r e was t h e o n l y o b v i o u s c a n d i d a t e f o r t h e r o l e o f e d u c a t o r , a n d s h e c a t e g o r i c a l l y r e f u s e d t o p l a y i t . As s h e r e c a l l e d : I t g r a d u a l l y came o u t t h a t t h e y f e l t t h a t t h e C h u r c h had n e v e r t a u g h t them a n y t h i n g . T h a t t h e y w a n t e d t o l e a r n . T h e y d i d want t o be a s u p p o r t n e t w o r k f o r e a c h o t h e r , b u t t h e y a l s o w a n t e d t o l e a r n some t h e o l o g y . They a l l seemed t o f a s t e n on t h a t a n d t h e y t u r n e d t o me and t h e y s a i d , "And y o u h a v e a d e g r e e i n t h e o l o g y a n d y o u c a n t e a c h u s ! " And t h a t ' s where I s a i d , "Oh!" And i t was k i n d o f a t u r n i n g p o i n t f o r us and I s a i d , "No, I won't do t h a t . " A n g r y l o o k s . " I c a n ' t do t h a t . We c a n o n l y t e a c h e a c h o t h e r . We c a n o n l y s h a r e a n d t h e n we c a n l e a r n t o g e t h e r . B u t I c a n n o t t e a c h y o u t h e o l o g y b e c a u s e t h a t ' s n o t t h e way women do t h e o l o g y . Our way i s n o t t h a t way." T h u s , no one i n d i v i d u a l t o o k t h e f o r m a l r o l e o f t h e e x p e r t , b u t t h e g r o u p i n d i r e c t l y came u n d e r t h e e x p e r t i n f l u e n c e o f f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y and g e n e r a l f e m i n i s t t h e o r y . T h i s t h e o r e t i c a l i n p u t b e g a n t o g u i d e t h e i r s e l f -u n d e r s t a n d i n g a s a n o u t s i d e e x p e r t m i g h t h a v e d o n e , b u t w i t h a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n method and p r o c e d u r e . C l a i r e , who h a d a c c e s s t o t h e l i b r a r y o f t h e Women's E c u m e n i c a l C e n t r e , p r o v i d e d most o f t h e b o o k s t h a t became t h e s o u r c e o f t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l i n p u t , b u t t h e work o f r e a d i n g a n d s t u d y was d i v i d e d up. So we r e a d a n d we s h a r e d . P e o p l e r e a d a p a r a g r a p h i n t h e i r book t h a t i m p r e s s e d them a n d what t h e y t h o u g h t a b o u t i t a n d what d i d we t h i n k a b o u t i t ? I t was a c o m p l e t e s h a r i n g . 83 F e m i n i s t t h e o r y and t h e o l o g y t h u s came i n t o t h e g r o u p v i a t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d r e f l e c t i o n o f v a r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s who s h a r e d t h e i r r e a d i n g i n t h e same way t h a t t h e y had s h a r e d t h e i r l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s . And one m a i n t h i n g t h a t h e l p e d me. C l a i r e w o u l d a l w a y s b r i n g a r a f t o f b o o k s f r o m t h e E c u m e n i c a l C e n t r e . And t h e y were on women's i s s u e s i n t h e C h u r c h . I had n e v e r s e e n b o o k s l i k e t h i s b e f o r e . N e v e r s e e n them. And one c a u g h t my e y e . I t was c a l l e d Woman S u r v i v o r i n t h e C h u r c h . So I b o r r o w e d t h a t a n d I c o u l d n ' t p u t i t down b e c a u s e when I was r e a d i n g t h a t b o o k , I c r i e d a n d c r i e d a n d I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s me! T h i s i s my s t o r y ! I w r o t e t h i s b o o k . " I t was me, g u i l t a n d e v e r y t h i n g . So I came bac k and t a l k e d b o u t t h i s book a n d f o r t h e n e x t few m e e t i n g s we t a l k e d a b o u t t h e b o o k s we were r e a d i n g . The r a n g e o f r e a d i n g s v a r i e d a c c o r d i n g t o i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t and t a s t e , a n d was n o t c o n f i n e d t o f e m i n i s t t h e o r y a n d s y s t e m a t i c t h e o l o g y . And C l a i r e w o u l d come w i t h arm l o a d s o f b o o k s f r o m t h e Women's C e n t r e a n d s o we b e g a n t a k i n g b o o k s home w i t h us a f t e r e a c h month's m e e t i n g a nd r e a d i n g them. And s o I began t o r e a d C h u r c h h i s t o r y , a n d I began t o r e a d b o o k s b y women a b o u t t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e s a n d I b e g a n t o r e a d b o o k s w h i c h a r e c a l l e d a c a d e m i c a l l y f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y a n d I s t a r t e d t o r e a d . . . O h ! An i n t e r e s t i n g t h i n g was i t was my t u r n t o f a c i l i t a t e a t H a l l o w e ' e n one y e a r s o I d e c i d e d t o l o o k i n t o t h e h i s t o r y o f w i t c h c r a f t a n d t h e i n q u i s i t i o n , s o I r e a d a l o t o f b o o k s a b o u t t h a t a n d s a t i n bed a t n i g h t and c r i e d a t t h e t r e a t m e n t o f women. B o t h t h e m a t e r i a l r e a d and t h e s h a r i n g p r o c e s s a l t e r e d women's c o n s c i o u s n e s s s i g n i f i c a n t l y : We s t a r t e d a t s q u a r e o ne. None o f us were l i k e we a r e t o d a y . None o f u s . We were g r e e n a nd p i n n e d - d o w n a nd g u i l t - r i d d e n a n d none o f us had s e e n b o o k s l i k e t h i s . The most s t r i k i n g c h a n g e t h a t most o f t h e women r e c a l l e d f r o m t h i s i n i t i a l s i x month p e r i o d was a l o s s o f a s e n s e o f h e l p l e s s n e s s a n d a g r o w i n g a w a r e n e s s o f t h e i r own 84 power. S a r a s u m m a r i z e d t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g p r o c e s s : S o , what h a p p e n e d d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d was we went t h r o u g h t h i s k i n d o f t r a n s i t i o n p h a s e o f e x p r e s s i n g o u r a n g e r a nd o u r p a i n a n d b e i n g s u p p o r t e d , b e i n g t o l d t h a t o u r f e e l i n g s o f i n j u s t i c e were v a l i d . And t h e n e d u c a t i n g o u r s e l v e s a b o u t why t h i s had h a p p e n e d and t h r o u g h t h a t p r o c e s s o f e d u c a t i n g o u r s e l v e s , t h r o u g h t h e p r o c e s s o f b e i n g e d u c a t e d a nd b e i n g s u p p o r t e d i n o u r v i e w s , we became empowered. S u s a n e x p l a i n e d i t b y d r a w i n g p a r a l l e l s w i t h t h e same p r o c e s s t h a t o c c u r s i n o t h e r m a r g i n a l i z e d g r o u p s w h i c h d i s c o v e r t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e p ower: I mean, t o me i t ' s j u s t l i k e d i s a b l e d p e o p l e f i g u r i n g s o m e t h i n g o u t and o t h e r d i s a b l e d p e o p l e c o m i n g on b o a r d , o r p e o p l e o f c o l o u r f i g u r i n g s o m e t h i n g o u t and t h e n o t h e r p e o p l e o f c o l o u r c o m i n g on b o a r d . I t h i n k t h e r e ' s a h e a d y s e n s e o f c o l l e c t i v e p o wer, o f wow! we a r e s h a r i n g t h i s a n d n o t h i n g c a n s t o p us now. and I t h i n k t h a t ' s p r o b a b l y t h e f i r s t t i m e y o u g e t a s e n s e o f y o u r own p o w e r . [...] A s e n s e o f y o u r power t o c h a n g e t h i n g s , a s e n s e o f y o u r power t o a f f i r m e a c h o t h e r e v e n i f y o u d o n ' t c h a n g e a b l o o d y t h i n g . O r , a s S u z a n n e p u t i t v e r y s i m p l y : We d i d n ' t r e a l i z e t h a t we were a l l g r o w i n g u n t i l i t h a p p e n e d . When I l o o k a r o u n d t o d a y i t ' s h a r d t o i m a g i n e a l l o f us a r e l i k e we a r e b e c a u s e we s u r e w e r e n ' t l i k e t h a t . N o t s u r p r i s i n g l y , t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s -r a i s i n g s t a n d s o u t f o r a few women a s t h e d e f i n i n g f e a t u r e o f CWN. S h e i l a , f o r e x a m p l e , d e f i n e d CWN a s a c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g g r o u p . So, t h r o u g h b e i n g a s s o c i a t e d w i t h CWN, i n f o r m a t i o n h a s b e e n b r o u g h t t o my a t t e n t i o n , t h r o u g h b o o k s a n d w r i t t e n m a t e r i a l a n d d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h t h e women, what t h e s e t e r m s mean, what i s i t l i k e t o be i n a C h u r c h i n w h i c h e x c l u s i v e l a n g u a g e i s u s e d a n d what i m p a c t d o e s t h a t have on us a n d what h a s i t done o v e r t h e y e a r s a n d why s h o u l d i t be c h a n g e d , e t c . And a l l t h e women's i s s u e s have been b r o u g h t t o my a t t e n t i o n a n d I h a v e b e e n a b l e t o a c c e s s i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t them, r e a d i n g a n d s p o k e n i n f o r m a t i o n , a n d t h e r e f o r e my c o n s c i o u s n e s s h a s b e e n r a i s e d o r my k n o w l e d g e h a s been made much, much c l e a r e r . I have a r e a l f e e l i n g now a b o u t t h e i n j u s t i c e s i n t h e C h u r c h and have a r e a l f e e l i n g o f a n g e r a nd f r u s t r a t i o n . I c a n know now what p e o p l e l i k e R o s e m a r y R u e t h e r have b e e n t a l k i n g a b o u t f o r s o many y e a r s . 85 F o r a l l t h e i m p o r t a n c e i t t o o k on i n t h e N e t w o r k ' s f o r m a t i v e p e r i o d , c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g was n o t t h e g o a l whose p u r s u i t had d r a w n t h e women t o g e t h e r i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . N or c o u l d i t become t h e b o n d i n g f o r c e h o l d i n g them t o g e t h e r i n t h e f u t u r e , s i n c e t h e a d m i t t e d l y s t r o n g bond i t c r e a t e d was b a s e d on t h e p a i n f u l r e a l i z a t i o n o f t h e d e p t h a n d e x t e n t o f women's s u b o r d i n a t e p o s i t i o n i n t h e C h u r c h ' s c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y - a n d i t was p r e c i s e l y t h i s s u b o r d i n a t e p o s i t i o n t h a t t h e N e t w o r k ' s members w a n t e d t o e s c a p e . C r e a t i n g A F e m i n i s t R e a l i t y The women t h a t C l a i r e c a l l e d t o g e t h e r i n J u l y o f 1984 had n o t e x p r e s s l y a s s e m b l e d t o r a i s e one a n o t h e r ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s o r t o e x p e r i e n c e c o m m u n i t y . T h e y had been l o o k i n g f o r a s o l u t i o n t o t h e p a i n a n d t h e f r u s t r a t i o n t h e y f e l t i n t h e C h u r c h , a n d u l t i m a t e l y t h e y w o u l d p u r s u e t h a t i n i t i a l g o a l t o t h e end t h r o u g h d e c i s i o n s t h a t w o u l d t a k e t hem o u t o f t h e C h u r c h a n d o u t o f CWN. I n t h e i n t e r i m , h o w e v e r , t h e y d i d a c q u i r e a s h a r e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s , t h e y b o n d e d t o one a n o t h e r i n a c o m m u n i t y o f p a s t e x p e r i e n c e a n d p r e s e n t f e e l i n g ; a n d , f o r a t i m e a t l e a s t , t h e y l e t t h e i r new c o n s c i o u s n e s s a n d c o m m u n i t y f o r m t h e b a s i s f o r t h e c r e a t i o n o f a s m a l l f e m i n i s t r e a l i t y w i t h i n t h e N e t w o r k . S u s a n v i v i d l y d e s c r i b e s how and why t h e p r o c e s s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g l e d women t o b u i l d a f e m i n i s t C a t h o l i c r e a l i t y amongst t h e m s e l v e s . She b e g i n s b y e x p l a i n i n g how h e r 86 b e l i e f i n t h e C h u r c h ' s h i e r a r c h y a s a s a n e and r a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n was t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a c o n v i c t i o n t h a t i t was, i n f a c t , l u d i c r o u s : I t ' s l i k e y o u ' r e s h a r i n g how i n v i s i b l e y o u f e e l when t h e y ' r e t a l k i n g a b o u t b r o t h e r s , y o u ' r e s h a r i n g how i n v i s i b l e y o u f e e l when y o u s e e t h e r e ' s o n l y men up f r o n t a n d t h e r e e v e r w i l l be o n l y men, and y o u d o n ' t image C h r i s t b e c a u s e y o u d o n ' t h a v e s o m e t h i n g b e t w e e n y o u r l e g s , b u t y o u c a n ' t use i t e v e n i f y o u have i t s o w h a t ' s t h e p o i n t o f h a v i n g i t ? And t h e w h o l e t h i n g becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y more l u d i c r o u s . I t ' s a b s o l u t e l y l u d i c r o u s . The r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t a l m o s t 700 m i l l i o n p e o p l e , by h e r e s t i m a t i o n , s u b s c r i b e t o t h e h i e r a r c h y ' s l u d i c r o u s v i e w s seemed a l m o s t b e y o n d b e l i e f : So how do y o u d e a l w i t h b e c o m i n g a c u t e l y a w a r e o f s o m e t h i n g a b s o l u t e l y l u d i c r o u s , t h a t i s t r u l y i n s a n e , b u t t h a t w e l l o v e r s i x t o s e v e n h u n d r e d m i l l i o n p e o p l e s u b s c r i b e t o ? Do I r e a l l y want t o l i v e i n t h i s w o r l d ? I mean, i t ' s b a s e d on i n s a n i t y . And t h a t ' s r e a l l y p a i n f u l t o a c c e p t . I t ' s l i k e , I'm r e a d y t o jump o f f . I ' v e g o t t o l i v e f o r t h e r e s t o f my l i f e w i t h t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n a nd u n d e r s t a n d i n g ? And I t h i n k t h a t ' s r e a l l y a t o u g h t h i n g t o a c c e p t The p r o c e s s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g , i n e f f e c t , s h a t t e r e d h e r s e n s e o f r e a l i t y a n d l e f t h e r f e e l i n g v u l n e r a b l e and a f r a i d . The c o n f i d e n c e I had w a l k i n g d a y t o d a y , t h e s e n s e o f n o r m a l c y , t h e s e n s e o f a s s u r e d n e s s t h a t had b e e n s t r i p p e d away b e c a u s e o f t h e s e r e a l i z a t i o n s , i . e . t h a t my C h u r c h i s v e r y d y s f u n c t i o n a l , l e a v e y o u f e e l i n g e x t r e m e l y n a k e d a n d r e a l l y v u l n e r a b l e and o pen t o b e i n g b l o w n o v e r by y o u r own f e a r s i f n o t h i n g e l s e I n o r d e r t o c o n t i n u e l i v i n g i n a m e a n i n g f u l way, s h e had t o b u i l d a new r e a l i t y , a new w o r l d t o l i v e I n , e v e n I f t h i s 87 w o r l d was o n l y a s b i g a s t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k . I t ' s l i k e , Oh God, s t r i p i t a l l away a nd what do y o u h a v e ? W e l l , n o t h i n g i n i t i a l l y . So where do y o u g e t s o m e t h i n g f r o m ? By r e b u i l d i n g . B u t w i t h whom, y o u know? W e l l , t h i s g r o u p was a g o o d s t a r t . I t ' s l i k e i f I d o n ' t have t h a t r o c k , what do I have t o t h r o w my r o p e a r o u n d ? W e l l , n o n e , i n i t i a l l y , b u t a l l o f a s u d d e n I ' v e g o t t h i s g r o u p o f women. And t h a t was a new r o c k . Why r e b u i l d w i t h t h e women i n t h e N e t w o r k ? Her r e a s o n i s t h a t t h e y a l r e a d y s h a r e d t h e same d i s e n c h a n t m e n t a n d t h e same p e r s p e c t i v e : B e c a u s e t h e r e were o t h e r p e o p l e s a y i n g t h e same t h i n g . The e m p e r o r w i t h o u t c l o t h e s o n , o t h e r p e o p l e a r e s e e i n g h i m t o o . F o r many, t h e l o s s o f a n o l d way o f s e e i n g a n d b e i n g was a m p l y r e p l a c e d b y t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f c r e a t i n g a n a l t e r n a t i v e r e a l i t y b a s e d on a more r e l e v a n t s e t o f a s s u m p t i o n s , e x p e r i e n c e s a n d v a l u e s . The women o f CWN be g a n c r e a t i n g t h e i r own l i t u r g i e s , e u c h a r i s t s , s o n g s , p r a y e r s a n d p o e t r y , r e - w r i t i n g b i b l i c a l p a s s a g e s t o r e f l e c t a woman's p e r s p e c t i v e , f i n d i n g s t o r i e s a b o u t women i n t h e b i b l e a n d r e f l e c t i n g on them, r e i n v e n t i n g o l d s y m b o l s a n d g e n e r a t i n g new o n e s - a l l s u p p o r t e d b y a l a r g e and c o n t i n u a l l y g r o w i n g b o d y o f t h e o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e a n d r e s o u r c e s f o r f e m i n i s t w o r s h i p a n d s p i r i t u a l i t y p r o d u c e d b y t h e m a i n l i n e C h r i s t i a n c h u r c h e s a n d made a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h C l a i r e a n d t h e Women's E c u m e n i c a l C e n t r e . The f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n b u i l d i n g o f a n a l t e r n a t i v e f e m i n i s t r e a l i t y was, on t h e w h o l e , f o c u s s e d w i t h i n CWN i t s e l f a n d many saw t h e N e t w o r k a s a h a v e n t o w h i c h women c o u l d r e t u r n f r o m t h e C h u r c h f o r n o u r i s h m e n t a n d s u p p o r t . Members were a c u t e l y a w a r e o f t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f s u c h a n 88 a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e C h u r c h a s a p l a c e t o f e e l v a l i d a t e d a n d a f f i r m e d . M o s t l y , i t p r o v i d e s a p l a c e where we d o n ' t have t o be a l o n e . I t s most i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t h a s b e e n , f o r me, k n o w i n g t h a t I'm n o t a l o n e , t h a t t h e r e a r e o t h e r women o u t t h e r e who f e e l some o f what I'm f e e l i n g a n d a r e t r y i n g t o d e a l w i t h t h a t . CWN g i v e s women a s e n s e t h a t i t ' s O.K. n o t t o a g r e e w i t h t h e C h u r c h , t h a t t h e y a r e n o t a l o n e , t h a t t h e i r a n g e r i s l e g i t i m a t e . I t h i n k t h a t s e n s e o f n o t b e i n g a l o n e i s p r i m a r i l y what CWN i s t r y i n g t o a c c o m p l i s h . What d o e s CWN do f o r women? S u p p o r t y o u , g i v e y o u a f e e l i n g t h a t y o u ' r e n o t a l o n e , t h a t y o u ' r e n o t w r o n g , t h a t y o u ' r e n o t b a d , t h a t y o u r f e e l i n g s a n d who y o u a r e a r e v a l i d . B u t i t was n o t a l l t h e women's i n t e n t i o n t o c o n f i n e t h e i r e f f o r t s t o c r e a t i n g a h a v e n f r o m t h e C h u r c h w i t h i n t h e f o u r w a l l s o f CWN. Some o f t h e them had g r e a t hope i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o c h a n g e t h e C h u r c h . D o r e e n a nd S u s a n , f o r i n s t a n c e , came t o t h e g r o u p w i t h t h e e x p r e s s hope o f m a k i n g t h e i r p r e s e n c e f e l t i n t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l C h u r c h : I g u e s s I t h o u g h t we w o u l d be some l i t t l e g r o u p t h a t w o u l d e x p r e s s o u r s e l v e s o r w r i t e a b o u t i t o r do s o m e t h i n g o r make o u r s e l v e s known. I came t o t h e g r o u p w i t h " L e t ' s s t r a t e g i z e " , t h i s i s t r u e , I came t o t h e g r o u p w i t h " L e t ' s s t r a t e g i z e c o n c r e t e l y on how t o show we have a n o t h e r v i s i o n f o r t h e C h u r c h . " And I was v e r y w i l l i n g t o p u l l some f a i r l y r a d i c a l moves. " L e t ' s c h a i n o u r s e l v e s t o t h e d i o c e s e , l e t ' s g e t b i g b a n n e r s a n d l e t ' s go on h u n g e r s t r i k e s a n d l e t ' s go t o j a i l . I'm w i l l i n g t o do c i v i l d i s o b e d i e n c e . When?" I w a n t e d d e s p e r a t e l y t o do i t , g e t o u t o f t h e c l o s e t , t o s a y "We e x i s t a n d we're s t r o n g a n d we're c e l e b r a t i n g w i t h o u r s i s t e r s . " W i t h t h i s g o a l i n m i n d , S u s a n , D o r e e n a n d o t h e r s hoped t h e N e t w o r k w o u l d a c t a s a s u p p o r t g r o u p w h i l e t h e y e n g a g e d i n t h e p r o c e s s o f r e n e w i n g t h e C h u r c h . S a r a e x p l i c i t l y c i t e d R u e t h e r ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Womenchurch g r o u p s a s 89 c a p t u r i n g h e r i n i t i a l v i s i o n o f h e r r o l e a nd t h e r o l e o f CWN i n t h e l i f e o f t h e l a r g e r C h u r c h : I'm g o i n g t o a n s w e r f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f what CWN meant t o me i n t h o s e f i r s t c o u p l e o f y e a r s . I s e e i t a s a c o m m u n i t y w h i c h i s on t h e p e r i p h e r y o f t h e C h u r c h . I t h i n k R o s e m a r y R u e t h e r d e s c r i b e s t h i s d y n a m i c o f t h e C h u r c h b e i n g s o b i g and s o cumbersome w i t h a l l i t s r u l e s , r e g u l a t i o n s , d o c t r i n e a n d dogma t h a t i t i s i n c a p a b l e o f m o v i n g f o r w a r d a n d t h a t i t s o n l y hope o f r e b i r t h , r e g e n e r a t i o n , i t s o n l y hope o f r e n e w i n g i t s e l f comes f r o m c o m m u n i t i e s w h i c h a r e on t h e p e r i p h e r i e s s u c h a s CWN. So I w o u l d s e e t h e m a i n b o d y o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l C h u r c h a s n e c e s s a r y t o c o n t i n u e t h r o u g h t h e a g e s , b u t I t h i n k a s m a l l c o m m u n i t y , p e r h a p s a f o c u s s e d , o n e - i s s u e c o m m u n i t y , a f e m i n i s t c o m m u n i t y i n t h i s c a s e , i s n e c e s s a r y t o t h e r e n e w a l o f t h e m a i n p a r t o f t h e C h u r c h . So I s e e them a s b o t h n e c e s s a r y t o be g o i n g on a t t h e same t i m e . And a t a n y g i v e n p e r i o d o f t i m e i n a n y woman's l i f e , a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e m a i n s t r e a m may be t o o p a i n f u l a n d s h e may have t o w i t h d r a w h e r s e l f f r o m t h a t a nd o n l y t o i n t e r a c t w i t h a s m a l l e r c o m m u n i t y s u c h a s CWN a s h e r o n l y s o u r c e o f s p i r i t u a l n o u r i s h m e n t . H o p e f u l l y t h e n s h e w o u l d be empowered t o t a k e h e r v o i c e and h e r i d e a s and h e r e n t h u s i a s m b a c k i n t o t h e m a i n s t r e a m C h u r c h i n o r d e r t o h e l p be p a r t o f t h e r e n e w a l p r o c e s s . So, a l o n g w i t h t h e i r m e e t i n g s , l i t u r g i e s a n d b o o k s , some o f t h e women a t t h i s s t a g e b egan s p r e a d i n g t h e g o s p e l o f f e m i n i s m t o t h e w i d e r C h u r c h . S a r a moved t o a new p a r i s h . She b e g a n l e a d i n g w o r k s h o p s f r o m t h e C a n a d i a n C o n f e r e n c e o f C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s ' G r e e n K i t ( 2 ) on women i n t h e C h u r c h and t h e n l e d t h e f i g h t a g a i n s t t h e e f f o r t s o f o t h e r more c o n s e r v a t i v e C a t h o l i c women t o ban i t . She a l s o f o u n d h e r way i n t o t h e p r e s s a n d o n t o t h e r a d i o , s p e a k i n g a b o u t t h e r o l e o f women i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . Two o t h e r women, D o r o t h y and F r a n c e s c a , f o u n d e d a l o c a l c h a p t e r o f C a n a d i a n S e p a r a t e d a n d D i v o r c e d C a t h o l i c s ( C S D C ) , a l i b e r a l s u p p o r t g r o u p a p p r o v e d b y t h e C a n a d i a n C o n f e r e n c e o f C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s , b u t s p e c i f i c a l l y d i s a l l o w e d i n t h e i r d i o c e s e . W h i l e F r a n c e s c a l e f t t h e g r o u p i n o r d e r t o do a 90 d e g r e e i n t h e o l o g y , D o r o t h y e v e n t u a l l y went on t o become i t s n a t i o n a l V i c e - P r e s i d e n t . S u s a n , i n o r d e r t o p u r s u e h e r v i s i o n , j o i n e d a p r o g r e s s i v e l a y m i s s i o n a r i e s ' programme and went b a c k t o C e n t r a l A m e r i c a . L i k e S a r a , t h e s e women were a l s o c o n f r o n t e d w i t h o p p o s i t i o n a n d , a f t e r a c o u p l e o f y e a r s , t h e y f o u n d t h e i r e n e r g y a n d hope f o r t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e C h u r c h e r o d i n g . D o r o t h y f i r s t f o u n d h e r s e l f o p p o s e d b y t h e b i s h o p i n h e r d i o c e s e a nd t h e n u n s u p p o r t e d b y t h e n a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e o f B i s h o p s . F i n a l l y , s h e e v e n f o u n d o p p o s i t i o n w i t h i n h e r own g r o u p a n d i n t h e end d e c i d e d t o l e a v e t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n . S u s a n a l s o f e l t s i m i l a r f r u s t r a t i o n s a n d i s o l a t i o n w i t h i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r e o f L a t i n A m e r i c a a n d i n h e r m i s s i o n a r i e s ' programme, d e s p i t e i t s r e p u t a t i o n a s one o f t h e most p r o g r e s s i v e o r d e r s i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . She l e f t t h e o r d e r a nd came bac k t o Canada i n t h e summer o f 1988. B u t t h e N e t w o r k had c h a n g e d b y t h e t i m e s h e g o t b a c k . B u t t h e n I g o t ba c k h e r e a n d r e a l i z e d CWN was i n a t u r b u l e n c e , t o o . N o t h i n g ' s p e r f e c t . [...] Some members b e g a n e x p r e s s i n g d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h what t h e g r o u p was g i v i n g them o r what was h a p p e n i n g i n t h e g r o u p . I f e l t t h a t some p e o p l e were l o o k i n g a t o t h e r ways o f m e e t i n g t h e i r s p i r i t u a l n e e d s a n d t h e r e was a s e n s e f r o m some o f t h o s e members t h a t t h e y w e r e n ' t b e i n g a c c e p t e d i n t h e g r o u p . And many o f t h e p e o p l e who had o r i g i n a l l y s t a r t e d t h e g r o u p had moved on t o o t h e r v e n u e s o f m e e t i n g t h e i r s p i r i t u a l n e e d s . I n f a c t , e v e r y o n e i n t h e g r o u p had s t o p p e d a t t e n d i n g t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h on a r e g u l a r b a s i s a n d most had l e f t t h e C h u r c h a l t o g e t h e r , a n e v e n t s i g n i f i c a n t e n ough f o r 91 s e v e r a l members t o comment o n . And a t f i r s t we were a l l t h e r e t o s e e how we c o u l d c o p e a s women w i t h i n o u r p a r i s h e s . And i t g o t s o t h a t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g , i t b o t h e r e d me and f i n a l l y one t i m e I remember s a y i n g , " I t h i n k I'm t h e o n l y one p e r s o n h e r e who's n o t i n v o l v e d i n a p a r i s h . " T h e y w o u l d a l l t a l k a b o u t t h e i r p a r i s h e s . Now n o t t o o many o f them a r e i n p a r i s h e s , b u t t h e y w e r e . I t empowered a l o t o f us t o b r e a k away f r o m t h a t . I'm n o t t h e o n l y o n e. T h i s i s what i t h a s done f o r a l o t o f women. So, t h a t ' s t h e way we've a l l g one. I n '83-'84 when we came t o g e t h e r , t h e m a j o r i t y o f us were s t i l l a t t e n d i n g c h u r c h . The m a j o r i t y o f us a r e now no l o n g e r e v e n a t t e n d i n g a c h u r c h . When t h e g r o u p f i r s t came t o g e t h e r , p r a c t i c a l l y e v e r y o n e w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n was a t t e n d i n g c h u r c h s e r v i c e s , was a f f i l i a t e d w i t h a c o n g r e g a t i o n . No one i s now. T h a t ' s a m a j o r s h i f t i n e m p h a s i s . I t r e a l l y c h a n g e d , i t r e a l l y c h a n g e d . M a r g a r e t e v e n t u a l l y j o i n e d a s m a l l , a c t i v e A n g l i c a n p a r i s h whose p r i e s t i s a f e m i n i s t . F r a n c e s c a f o r m a l l y j o i n e d t h e U n i t e d C h u r c h a n d D o r o t h y has become a U n i t e d C h u r c h " a d h e r e n t " , a n a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t b u t n o t a f o r m a l C h u r c h member. D o r e e n , t o o , u s u a l l y a t t e n d s t h e U n i t e d C h u r c h , a l t h o u g h f o r d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s . She a t t e n d s a c h u r c h t h a t h a s a n o f f i c i a l m i n i s t r y t o l e s b i a n women a n d g a y men. S i x o t h e r women have gone on t o p u r s u e v a r i o u s f o r m s o f New Age/New T h o u g h t s p i r i t u a l i t y . L e a v i n g The C h u r c h I t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o i s o l a t e one r e a s o n why some women o f CWN c e a s e d a t t e n d i n g c h u r c h i n a n y r e g u l a r way and why many o t h e r s l e f t t h e C h u r c h c o m p l e t e l y . I n more t h a n one c a s e , CWN gave women t h e r a t i o n a l e a n d t h e c o u r a g e t o do 92 s o m e t h i n g t h e y had w a n t e d t o do f o r a l o n g t i m e , b u t f e l t u n a b l e t o do. CWN e n a b l e d me t o s e p a r a t e m y s e l f . I t ' s p a r t l y t o do w i t h empowerment. I t empowered me t o do what I w a n t e d t o do f o r a l o n g t i m e , b u t I d i d n ' t . A nd, c o n s i d e r i n g how many women f e l t a t t h e f i r s t CWN m e e t i n g , i t i s p r o b a b l e t h a t t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n CWN a c t u a l l y p r o l o n g e d t h e i r t i m e i n t h e C h u r c h . ( 3 ) I n o t h e r c a s e s , h o w e v e r , t h e d e c i s i o n t o s t o p a t t e n d i n g c h u r c h may h a v e h ad l e s s t o do w i t h e v e n t s c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e i r l i f e i n CWN i t s e l f t h a n w i t h t h o s e w h i c h t o o k p l a c e a t S t . L u k e ' s , t h e l o c a l p a r i s h where a number o f t h e members o f CWN went t o mass. S t . L u k e ' s w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t t o p l a c e on t h e i d e o l o g i c a l s p e c t r u m . L i k e many Roman C a t h o l i c i n s t i t u t i o n s i t h a s s h i f t e d l e f t a n d r i g h t a c c o r d i n g t o t h e v i e w s o f t h e p r i e s t s a p p o i n t e d t o i t , a n d some o f them o v e r t h e y e a r s h a v e b e e n q u i t e f a r t o t h e r i g h t . D u r i n g t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f CWN, h o w e v e r , i t was s o m e t h i n g o f a r e f u g e f o r l i b e r a l s i n a n o t h e r w i s e v e r y c o n s e r v a t i v e d i o c e s e , t h a n k s t o t h e p r e s e n c e on i t s s t a f f o f a l i b e r a l l y - o r i e n t e d p r i e s t w i t h a s t r o n g i n t e r e s t i n s o c i a l j u s t i c e a n d t h e T h i r d W o r l d . He was p r o b a b l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e c o n t i n u e d c h u r c h m e m b e r s h i p o f p a r i s h i o n e r s who c o u l d n o t have p e r s e v e r e d i n a n y o t h e r p a r i s h . H i s r e a s s i g n m e n t i n 1986, a f t e r s e v e r a l y e a r s o f c o n f l i c t w i t h d i o c e s a n a u t h o r i t i e s , s e v e r e d t h e l a s t l i n k t o m a i n s t r e a m Roman C a t h o l i c i s m f o r a number o f women f r o m CWN. 93 C l a i r e makes t h i s c l e a r i n her comments on the changes a t St. Luke's, I t means t h a t none of us now have any hope f o r the i n s t i t u t i o n a l Church, r e a l l y , as i t i s . That was our l a s t hope and now i t i s n ' t t h e r e . But not onl y d i d most of the women give up on the Church. Many of them a l s o stopped a t t e n d i n g CWN. The change t h a t Susan noted when she came back to the group i n the summer of 1988 had begun i n earnest about a year b e f o r e . While I was not doing f i e l d w o r k at the time, I can i l l u s t r a t e the change i n the group by c o n t r a s t i n g the f i r s t CWN meeting I attended i n September 1987 and the September meeting of 1988: the 1987 meeting had nineteen p a r t i c i p a n t s ; the 1988 meeting had s i x , o n l y three of whom had been with the group s i n c e the beginning. Those who moved on t o other forms of s p i r i t u a l i t y or other C h r i s t i a n denominations came to view the Network as a kind of t r a n s i t i o n house, p r o v i d i n g the necessary support as they moved from one stage of t h e i r s p i r i t u a l growth to another. Sara, speaking about her reasons f o r going to CWN now t h a t she has moved onto a d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t u a l path than her former C a t h o l i c i s m , put i t t h i s way: I t h i n k CWN i s a saf e haven f o r people i n a p a r t i c u l a r phase of t h e i r s p i r i t u a l path c a l l e d an a p p r e c i a t i o n of themselves as female c h i l d r e n of God. [ . . .) I see t h a t as a ve r y v a l i d s t r u g g l e to work through and i t was one of the s t r u g g l e s t h a t I had to work through to get where I am mow. (...) My reason f o r going to CWN would be to help other people, not to g a i n anything f o r myself and maybe f o r the p l e a s u r e , s t r i c t l y s o c i a l , j u s t to see people and t a l k to people. I don't see i t as an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r growth anymore. 94 S u z a n n e e m p h a s i z e d t h a t s h e was g o i n g t o CWN when s h e was s t r u g g l i n g w i t h b e i n g a woman i n t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , b u t now t h a t s h e i s no l o n g e r s t r u g g l i n g w i t h t h a t i s s u e , s h e i s a l s o f i n d i n g h e r s p i r i t u a l g r o w t h comes f r o m e l s e w h e r e : W e l l , when I was g o i n g t o CWN, t h a t was when I was g o i n g t o C h u r c h . [...] A t t h e b e g i n n i n g I c o u l d n ' t m i s s a m e e t i n g b e c a u s e I was g e t t i n g s o much o u t o f i t . I was l i k e a s p o n g e . Now I ' v e r e a c h e d a p e a c e , a s p i r i t u a l p e a c e w i t h m y s e l f b e c a u s e I ' v e s t r a i g h t e n e d o u t e v e r y t h i n g i n my l i f e c o n c e r n i n g m y s e l f a s a woman i n t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . T h e r e ' s no p r o b l e m t h e r e . And I know where I'm g o i n g a n d I f e e l g o o d a b o u t i t . [...] I d o n ' t t h i n k I g e t t h e a n s w e r s a n y m o r e , f o r me, f r o m CWN. C o n c l u s i o n T h a t t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was n o t a b l e t o s u s t a i n i t s members i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g . I t i s d o u b t f u l t h a t s u p p o r t i n g t h e s t r u g g l e t o ch a n g e t h e C h u r c h was e v e n t h e N e t w o r k ' s p r i m a r y g o a l : o n l y a few o f t h e women came i n t o t h e g r o u p c o m m i t t e d t o f i g h t ; a n d most were a l r e a d y p r e p a r e d t o l e a v e . I n h i n d s i g h t i t i s n o t e v e n t h a t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t n o t o n l y d i d a l l o f t h e women c e a s e a t t e n d i n g C h u r c h i n a r e g u l a r way b u t t h a t most a l s o l e f t CWN. A f t e r a l l , a s t h e i r r e a s o n i n g w e n t , s i n c e t h e y w e r e no l o n g e r s t r u g g l i n g t o e i t h e r l i v e w i t h i n t h e C h u r c h o r t r a n s f o r m i t , t h e y no l o n g e r n e e d e d t h e g r o u p ' s s u p p o r t . I n e m p o w e r i n g them t o l e a v e t h e C h u r c h , i t had f u l f i l l e d i t s f u n c t i o n i n t h e i r l i v e s . 95 Y e t , d e s p i t e t h e g r o u p ' s f u n c t i o n i n t h e s e women's l i v e s , t h e e s t a b l i s h e d f o r m a t f o r r u n n i n g t h e m e e t i n g s , t h e a l t e r n a t i v e f e m i n i s t r e a l i t y i t t r i e d t o c r e a t e i n i t s l i t u r g i e s , s o n g s , p r a y e r s and i n t h e n e t w o r k o f c o n n e c t i o n s i t c r e a t e d b e t w e e n women t h a t e x t e n d e d o u t i n t o t h e w i d e r w o r l d , a l l f o r m e d t h e b a s i s f o r t h e s e l f - s u s t a i n i n g a l t e r n a t i v e f e m i n i s t c o m m u n i t y w h i c h w o u l d d e v e l o p i n t h e g r o u p ' s n e x t g e n e r a t i o n . N o t e s 1. C o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g h a s many r o o t s . F o r p r e s e n t p u r p o s e s we a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h i t s o r i g i n s i n l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y a n d f e m i n i s m . I n l i b e r a t i o n t h e o l o g y t h e y go b a c k t o P a u l o F r e i r e ' s p e d a g o g y o f c o n e l e n t i z a c i o n i n B r a z i l i n t h e l a t e 1 9 5 0 ' s a n d e a r l y 1 9 6 0 ' s where a d u l t l i t e r a c y c a m p a i g n s were o r g a n i z e d t o t e a c h B r a z i l i a n p e a s a n t s u s i n g M a r x i a n s o c i a l t h e o r y a n d a S o c r a t i c e d u c a t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e . The p u r p o s e was, i n p a r t , t o e n a b l e p e a s a n t s t o s e e t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f t h e i r l i v e s ( t h e i r p o v e r t y ) a s a r e s u l t o f t h e power a r r a n g e m e n t s i n t h e i r s o c i e t y ( F r e i r e 1 9 8 3 , 1 9 8 4 ) . The e x a c t o r i g i n o f t h e u s e o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g i n t h e f e m i n i s t movement i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i s unknown. I n h e r h i s t o r y o f t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f t h e women's movement M a r e n L o c k w o o d C a r d e n ( 1 9 7 4 ) s a y s t h a t c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g g r o u p s b e g a n p e r h a p s i n 1966 o r 1967 a n d c e r t a i n l y b y 1 9 68. Many o f t h e women who had be e n i n v o l v e d w i t h v a r i o u s r a d i c a l g r o u p s o r g a n i z e d u n d e r t h e name New Y o r k R a d i c a l Women and s t a r t e d t o h o l d ' r a p s e s s i o n s ' r e g u l a r l y t o t a l k n o t o n l y a b o u t r a c i a l p r o b l e m s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d a b o u t V i e t n a m , b u t g r a d u a l l y t o d i s c u s s t h e i r own p r o b l e m s a s women. Members o f t h e g r o u p r e c a l l e d t h a t Mao T s e - T u n g h a d p r o m o t e d 'Speak B i t t e r n e s s ' m e e t i n g s t o r a i s e women's p o l i t i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n N o r t h C h i n a d u r i n g t h e l a t e 1940»s ( D r e i f u s 1973:2,5) 2. The G r e e n K i t , s o c a l l e d b e c a u s e o f i t s c o l o u r , i s a p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e C a n a d i a n C o n f e r e n c e o f C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s p r o p e r l y t i t l e "Women i n t h e C h u r c h . " D e s i g n e d a n d w r i t t e n i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h C a n a d i a n C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g i a n s , t h e k i t a d v o c a t e s s u c h t h i n g s a s I n c l u s i v e 96 l a n g u a g e i n l i t u r g y a n d t h e c o - r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f women and men i n t h e C h u r c h a n d a d v o c a t e s t h e a d m i s s i o n o f women t o t h e e x e r c i s e o f t h e s e c o n d a r y , u n o r d a i n e d m i n i s t r i e s . The k i t was s u r r o u n d e d b y much c o n t r o v e r s y b e f o r e a n d a f t e r i t s p u b l i c a t i o n . Some d i o c e s e s r e f u s e d t o d i s t r i b u t e i t i n t h e i r p a r i s h e s . 3. S t a t i s t i c s f r o m t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s s u g g e s t t h a t women a r e l e a v i n g t h e C h u r c h a t a h i g h e r r a t e t h a n men ( T r a x l e r 1 9 8 3 / 8 4 : 2 ) ; a n d t h e A m e r i c a n C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s r e c o g n i z e t h a t " t h e a l i e n a t i o n o f women f r o m t h e C h u r c h i s a s e r i o u s p a s t o r a l p r o b l e m t h a t h a s many e c c l e s i o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s " ( O r i g i n s [25 J u n e , 1 9 8 2 ] , p. 90) 97 C h a p t e r T h r e e The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k - The S e c o n d G e n e r a t i o n The p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r d i s c u s s e d t h e f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n o f women t o f o r m t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k a nd d e s c r i b e d how t h e g r o u p s e r v e d a s a s u p p o r t g r o u p a n d t r a n s i t i o n h o u s e f o r many women on t h e i r way o u t o f t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . By t h e f a l l o f 1988, t h e g r o u p was made up o f o n l y t h r e e o f i t s f o u n d i n g members, S h e i l a , C l a i r e a n d S u s a n . Over t h e c o u r s e o f t h e W i n t e r , h o w e v e r , t h e g r o u p b e g a n t o r e b u i l d i t s e l f a n d by J a n u a r y 1989 a s t e a d y , s t a b l e g r o u p had b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d . The women who have j o i n e d t h e N e t w o r k d u r i n g t h i s l a s t y e a r d i f f e r f r o m t h e g r o u p ' s f o u n d e r s i n t h r e e s i g n i f i c a n t w a ys: t h e y had a n a l r e a d y f o r m e d M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e o f t h e C h u r c h b e f o r e t h e y came t o CWN; t h e y e x p e c t e d CWN n o t t o be a s u p p o r t g r o u p b u t t o be a n a l t e r n a t i v e s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y f o r them; a n d , most i m p o r t a n t l y , t h e y had a d e v e l o p e d e c c l e s i o l o g y t o a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e f u n c t i o n o f CWN i n t h e i r l i v e s and i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e w i d e r C h u r c h . As one woman s a i d , r e p e a t i n g s o m e t h i n g C l a i r e h a d s a i d t o h e r o n c e , "You know...We a r e t h e C h u r c h . We a r e m a k i n g t h e C h u r c h h e r e , now." 98 The C r i t i q u e o f t h e C l e r i c a l H i e r a r c h y U n l i k e t h e i r f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n s i s t e r s , t h e new members o f CWN came t o t h e g r o u p w i t h t h e i r f e m i n i s t c o n s c i o u s n e s s f u l l y f o r m e d . O n l y i n a v e r y few c a s e s do s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n members e x p r e s s a r e a c t i o n t o t h e C h u r c h b a s e d on p a i n f u l i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h e same v e r y p e r s o n a l , v e r y a n g u i s h e d way t h a t was s o common among t h e f o u n d e r s i n t h e e a r l y s t a g e s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g . H e r e i s one s u c h s t o r y . A t y p i c a l l y , i t s p r i n c i p a l v i c t i m i s a man and i t h a s a h a p p y e n d i n g , b u t i n o t h e r ways i t i s o f a t y p e w i t h t h e s t o r i e s t h a t s o many women b r o u g h t t o t h e f i r s t m e e t i n g . I t i s one woman's a c c o u n t o f t h e o f f i c i a l t r e a t m e n t r e c e i v e d b y h e r h u s b a n d , who l e f t t h e p r i e s t h o o d i n o r d e r t o m a r r y h e r . [ M l y h u s b a n d w a n t e d t o g e t d i s p e n s a t i o n w h i c h we now h a v e . B u t i n i t i a l l y when he w a n t e d t o g e t i t he had a q u e s t i o n n a i r e w h i c h he had t o f i l l i n . [...] And f i n a l l y , t h e y phoned h i m up, t h e m o n s i g n o r a nd t h e b i s h o p h i m s e l f r e a d o v e r t h e phone i n L a t i n t h e l e t t e r t h a t came b a c k f r o m Rome r e f u s i n g h i s d i s p e n s a t i o n . So we were i n a d i f f i c u l t way. We s t i l l f e l t t h e n t h a t we n e e d e d t h e b l e s s i n g o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l C h u r c h . And we t h o u g h t , what w i l l we do? And t h e n we had t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o move t o a n o t h e r d i o c e s e and we went t o s e e t h e b i s h o p t h e r e [ . . . ] a n d t h e b i s h o p s a i d , "Come and y o u p a r t i c i p a t e . " A f t e r we were t h e r e t h r e e o r f o u r months t h e b i s h o p c a l l e d my h u s b a n d i n [ a n d a s k e d f o r p e r m i s s i o n t o l o o k i n t o h i s d i s p e n s a t i o n ] . A b o u t maybe t h r e e t o f o u r months a f t e r t h a t t h e b i s h o p a s k e d t o s e e h i m an d he was l i t e r a l l y t r e m b l i n g w i t h a n g e r . My h u s b a n d ' s d i s p e n s a t i o n had n e v e r e v e n been s e n t t o Rome. So, h e r e t h e y o u t r i g h t l i e d . When t h e y r e a d t h e l e t t e r t o h i m o v e r t h e p h o n e , i t had n e v e r e v e n b e e n s e n t . A t t h e same t i m e , t h i s man's name and h i s t o r y were e r a s e d 99 f r o m t h e d i o c e s a n r e c o r d s . As o f a y e a r a g o , i f y o u were t o phone t h e d i o c e s a n o f f i c e a n d a s k f o r F a t h e r X. [...] t h e y w o u l d t e l l y o u t h a t h e ' s had a n e r v o u s b r e a k d o w n , t h a t he i s i n S o u t h b o u n d s i n O n t a r i o . When t h e y h a d s o m e t h i n g i n t h e l o c a l C a t h o l i c n e w s p a p e r a y e a r o r two ago a b o u t h i s f o r m e r c h u r c h a n d a l l t h e f o r m e r p a s t o r s , h i s name was n o t t h e r e , a l t h o u g h he b u i l t t h e b i g c h u r c h h a l l . I f y o u go t o t h e s e m i n a r y - and he was a n h o n o u r s s t u d e n t - i f y o u go t o t h e s e m i n a r y , t h e r e a r e no p i c t u r e s o f h i m , a n y a w a r d s t h a t he won. T h e y ' v e j u s t w i p e d h i m o u t . T h i s s t o r y , w h i c h w o u l d have p l a y e d a m a j o r r o l e i n t h e s h a r e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g o f t h e e a r l y month o f CWN, was a n a n o m a l y i n t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n . More commonly, women o f t h i s g e n e r a t i o n r e l a t e d l i t t l e o f t h e i r p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s a n d s p o k e r a r e l y o f i n d i v i d u a l p r i e s t s , b i s h o p s o r d i o c e s e s . R a t h e r , t h e y s p o k e o f t h e C h u r c h ' s c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y , v a r i o u s l y c a l l e d t h e " s t r u c t u r e , " " s y s t e m , " o r " i n s t i t u t i o n , " " h i e r a r c h y " o r " p a t r i a r c h y . " The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e C h u r c h ' s g o v e r n i n g s t r u c t u r e a s t h e o b j e c t o f c r i t i c i s m a n d l a m e n t s i g n a l s a n i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e s e women and t h o s e who were i n t h e N e t w o r k b e f o r e them. T h e y have known f o r a l o n g t i m e t h a t o t h e r women s h a r e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . They a l s o know t h a t w h a t e v e r d i f f i c u l t i e s o r a b u s e s t h e y have s u f f e r e d a t t h e ha n d s o f p r i e s t s o r b i s h o p s a r e n o t c r i m e s o r a b u s e s o f p o s i t i o n o r power b y i n d i v i d u a l s . On t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e y v i e w t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s a s s p e c i f i c e x p r e s s i o n s o f a p a t t e r n o f s y s t e m a t i c o p p r e s s i o n o f women i n t h e C h u r c h b y i t s c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y , a n d t h e y know t h a t power r e l a t i o n s i n t h e C h u r c h a r e s o o r d e r e d t h a t i t w o u l d o p p r e s s women 100 w h a t e v e r t h e a t t i t u d e o r c o n d u c t o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l men who h e l d o f f i c e i n i t . ( l ) T h a t t h e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y i n e v i t a b l y o p p r e s s e s women i s s t i l l d i s p u t e d b y many who r e j e c t t h e f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e . T h a t t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h i s , i n f a c t , g o v e r n e d b y a c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y a n d t h a t a l l women a r e s u b j e c t t o i t i s a c k n o w l e d g e d e v e n b y i t s a p o l o g i s t s . A l l power i n t h e C h u r c h comes t h r o u g h t h e c l e r g y , d e r i v i n g u l t i m a t e l y f r o m t h e p o p e ; a l l C a t h o l i c s owe a l l e g i a n c e a nd o b e d i e n c e t o t h e c l e r g y , u l t i m a t e l y t h e p o p e . By t h e u n b r o k e n t r a d i t i o n o f t h e C h u r c h , o n l y men may be o r d a i n e d t o c l e r i c a l o f f i c e ; i t i s t h e r e f o r e t h e i n e s c a p a b l e l o t o f women i n t h e o r d i n a r y l i f e o f t h e C h u r c h t o be g o v e r n e d by men. Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , t h e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y i s t h e s u b j e c t o f much c r i t i c i s m a n d a t t a c k b y s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n members: i t i s a " d y n a s t y o r a d i c t a t o r s h i p . " I t i s "a d i s e a s e d e n t i t y " t h a t " p r o m o t e s . . . d e a t h i n a s p i r i t u a l , e m o t i o n a l s e n s e . " I t i s a n " i n h e r e n t l y e v i l , " " d e m o n i c , " " a u t h o r i t a r i a n s t r u c t u r e t h a t d w a r f s t h e human s p i r i t . " I d o n ' t want t o go a l o n g w i t h a s y s t e m t h a t d e h u m a n i z e s p e o p l e and I t h i n k t h a t ' s what i s h a p p e n i n g i n t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . [...] The w h o l e t h i n g a b o u t d e h u m a n i z i n g . We're n o t k i l l i n g J e w s , b u t we're t a k i n g s o m e t h i n g away f r o m p e o p l e t h a t a l l o w s them t o be f r e e , t h a t k e e p s them f r o m b e i n g f u l l y who t h e y a r e , t h a t t a k e s t h e i r power away. The e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n members and t h e f o u n d e r s was n o t , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n had more p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e o f a b u s e and had a b e t t e r s e n s e o f i t s e x t e n t . R a t h e r , t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n members had a c l e a r o u t l i n e i n t h e i r m i n d s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r 101 o f t h e C h u r c h ' s g o v e r n i n g s t r u c t u r e and t h e y u n d e r s t o o d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h a t s t r u c t u r e and what t h e y and o t h e r women had e x p e r i e n c e d u n d e r i t . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e y d i d n o t b r i n g w i t h them t o CWN t h e f o u n d e r s ' i n i t i a l s e n s e o f i n e s c a p a b l e i s o l a t i o n a n d o f i n s u r m o u n t a b l e p e r s o n a l p r o b l e m s . To them i t i s s e l f - e v i d e n t t h a t t h e y a r e c o l l e c t i v e l y c a u g h t up i n a n i n h e r e n t l y o p p r e s s i v e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y r e q u i r i n g s t r u c t u r a l c h a n g e . C o n s i d e r i n g t h e n a t u r e o f t h e i r c r i t i q u e o f t h e C h u r c h , i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t o d i s c o v e r t h a t a l l o f t h e women o f t h i s g e n e r a t i o n had s t o p p e d a t t e n d i n g c h u r c h b e f o r e t h e y came t o CWN. T h e i r d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e t h e C h u r c h was m e n t i o n e d r e p e a t e d l y b y i n f o r m a n t s o f t h i s s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n , s o m e t i m e s a s a r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t s t i l l on t h e i r m i n d s and s t i l l c h a r g e d w i t h i n t e n s e e m o t i o n , s o m e t i m e s a s a p a r t o f t h e r e m o t e b a c k g r o u n d t o t h e i r j o i n i n g CWN. One woman f e e l s i n c a p a b l e o f g o i n g t o C h u r c h , b u t i s s t i l l d e e p l y p a i n e d b y h e r d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e : I w i l l a l w a y s c a r r y t h e p a i n o f f e e l i n g t h a t s c h i s m . And i t i s a p a i n . I t ' s j u s t a p a i n t h a t y o u l e a r n t o l i v e w i t h . And i t ' s a p a i n t h a t a t t i m e s makes me much more v u l n e r a b l e a n d a t t i m e s t h a t l i t e r a l l y c a n d e p r e s s me. A few women have s t o p p e d g o i n g t o C h u r c h , b u t a r e s t i l l v e r y u n s u r e o f t h e i r d e c i s i o n . T h e y s t i l l f e e l t h e k i n d o f a m b i g u i t y t h a t many o f t h e f o u n d i n g members had e x p e r i e n c e d when t h e y f i r s t f o u n d t h e m s e l v e s a t odds w i t h t h e C h u r c h . What c a n I do? I r e a l l y m i s s i t and i t ' s n o t s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s r e s o l v a b l e . 102 I s t i l l want t o be C a t h o l i c , b u t I d o n ' t t h i n k i t ' s g o i n g t o w o r k . I h a v e n ' t b e e n a b l e t o l e t go o f i t , b u t I r e a l l y d o n ' t s e e a n y way o f r e s o l v i n g t h a t . And i t ' s r e a l l y t o o b a d . And I ' l l o b v i o u s l y come t o t h e p o i n t o f h a v i n g t o make some d e c i s i o n a b o u t w h e t h e r t o i d e n t i f y m y s e l f a s C a t h o l i c a nymore and I e x p e c t t h a t t h e a n s w e r w i l l be no, t h a t I w i l l n o t i d e n t i f y m y s e l f a s C a t h o l i c and I know t h a t a t r e m e n d o u s s e n s e o f l o s s w i l l f o l l o w . D e a t h . [...] I want i t s o b a d l y . I r e a l l y want t h e C h u r c h t o be g o o d . Why do I nee d i t ? I d o n ' t r e a l l y h ave a c l e a r c u t a n s w e r f o r t h a t , b u t when I go i n t o a C a t h o l i c C h u r c h t h a t ' s empty and I s i t t h e r e I f e e l t h e r e ' s j u s t a r e a l l y s t r o n g b o n d i n g . B u t when y o u f i l l i t up w i t h e v e r y t h i n g e l s e . . . . O t h e r s , t h o u g h f i r m i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n t o d i s s o c i a t e t h e m s e l v e s f r o m t h e C h u r c h , a r e u n s u r e how f a r f r o m t h e C h u r c h t h a t d e c i s i o n w i l l t a k e them. The o b v i o u s C h u r c h a n d I have a k i n d o f f r i n g e y r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h e a c h o t h e r . I do n o t f e e l a n y t h i n g b e y o n d a n o m i n a l commitment t o i t . I do n o t f e e l g o v e r n e d b y i t . I have d i s a s s o c i a t e d m y s e l f t o some e x t e n t f r o m i t , how f a r I do n o t know. I know t h a t I have e m b a r k e d upon a p a t h on w h i c h t h e r e i s no t u r n i n g b a c k . I w i l l n e v e r be a b l e t o r e t u r n t o t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l C h u r c h t h e way i t i s r i g h t now. We've t r i e d t o go t o mass h e r e a few t i m e s , we r e a l l y h a v e . One o f t h e S u n d a y s , t h e p r i e s t was g i v i n g a h o m i l y and t a l k i n g a b o u t how we have t o be r e a d y f o r c h a n g e , r e a d y t o be open f o r c h a n g e . And we t h o u g h t , "Oh, g r e a t ! " And he s a i d , " I f y o u want t o know i f i t i s a u t h e n t i c t o c h a n g e a b o u t s o m e t h i n g , f i n d o u t i f i t ' s b e e n a p p r o v e d b y t h e M a g i s t e r i u m i n t h e l a s t 2,000 y e a r s . " And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , a t one s t a g e t h e y a p p r o v e d o f s l a v e r y , f o r e x a m p l e . " So, i t ' s t h i s t y p e o f t h i n g . And t h e l a n g u a g e i s s o s e x i s t . My h u s b a n d s a y s he c a n no l o n g e r r e a d w i t h t h a t k i n d o f l a n g u a g e . So t h a t ' s k i n d o f where we a r e now. Do we s t a r t a h o u s e c h u r c h ? Do we f i n d i n d i v i d u a l p e o p l e h e r e ? We d o n ' t want t o be e l i t i s t . We d o n ' t want t h a t t o h a p p e n . S h o u l d we go and a t t a c h o u r s e l v e s t o a d i f f e r e n t f a i t h c o m m u n i t y a n d s t i l l s t r u g g l e f o r j u s t i c e i n t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h ? T h e s e a r e o u r q u e s t i o n s now. F o r a n o t h e r new member t h e d e c i s i o n t o w i t h d r a w has 103 b e e n made, b u t s h e s t i l l r e m a i n s o pen t o r e t u r n i n g . So, my d e c i s i o n [...] t o n o t a t t e n d C h u r c h [ i s ] b e c a u s e I c a n ' t f e e l l i k e I'm r e a l l y b e l o n g i n g and I c a n ' t f e e l t h a t I c a n be m y s e l f , w h i c h i s s o r t o f k e y . I t ' s n o t come o u t o f " I h a t e t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h ; I'm g o i n g t o l e a v e f o r e v e r , " o r , "I'm t u r n i n g my b a c k . " I mean, I ' d go b a c k t o m o r r o w and I m i g h t , e v e n i f n o t h i n g c h a n g e s . I f I f e l t O.K., i t w o u l d be a l r i g h t . The m i n u t e I f e l t O.K., I ' d go b a c k . I f I f e l t a c c e p t e d , i f I f e l t t h a t t h e r e was a n i c h e f o r me somewhere where I c o u l d a c t u a l l y be m y s e l f , h o l d my o p i n i o n s , have some i n t e g r i t y . F o r o t h e r s , h o w e v e r , w i t h d r a w a l f r o m t h e C h u r c h i s a r e s o l v e d q u e s t i o n f r o m w h i c h t h e y a r e r e a d y t o move on. Me a n d t h e C h u r c h a r e n i x . [...] I d o n ' t h a v e a d e s i r e t o h a v e a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e C h u r c h now. I d o n ' t m i s s t h e C h u r c h . The c h u r c h i s n ' t i m p o r t a n t t o me. And f o r s t i l l o t h e r s i t r e a l l y i s a n c i e n t h i s t o r y . I s t o p p e d g o i n g t o C h u r c h maybe t w e l v e y e a r s a g o . S o metimes a t C h r i s t m a s I w a n t e d t o go t o m i d n i g h t mass, b u t t h e p r i e s t h e r e c u r e d me o f t h a t . So I d i d n ' t e v e n l i k e d o i n g t h a t a n y m o r e . I have no r o m a n t i c v i s i o n s . I was c u r e d o f t h a t . And I have no i n t e n t i o n s o f d o i n g t h a t a g a i n . F o r t h e most p a r t t h e s e d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e s t o t h e C h u r c h a n d t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e t u r n i n g t o i t v a r y i n p r o p o r t i o n t o t h e v a r i o u s members' h o p e s f o r c h a n g e i n t h e C h u r c h i t s e l f o r i n t h e i r own r e l a t i o n s h i p t o i t . Where t h e hope f o r s t r u c t u r a l c h a n g e o r e v e n f o r t h e c h a n c e t o f e e l a c c e p t e d i n t h e C h u r c h i s weak, t h e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n becomes 104 i m p o s s i b l e . I d o n ' t know. Maybe, maybe i£ t h e y were t r y i n g . . . t h e n maybe I c o u l d j u s t i f y i t t h a t t h e y were t r y i n g a nd need some l e a v e n t h e r e . I do b e l i e v e t h e y need us and i f t h e r e ' s a n y hope f o r t h e C h u r c h t h e n some o f us s h o u l d be t h e r e . B u t I c a n ' t be t h e r e . I t r i e d t h a t r o u t e and i t d o e s n ' t work f o r me. C e r t a i n l y f r o m what I h e a r f r o m o t h e r s i t d o e s n ' t work f o r them e i t h e r . T h e r e ' r e s t i l l a few m a r t y r s i n t h e r e and t h a t ' s good f o r t h e t i m e b e i n g . B u t maybe t h e r e i s no hope f o r t h e C h u r c h . Why, why a r e we t o s a v e t h i s C h u r c h anyway? I d o n ' t know, I d o n ' t know, I d o n ' t t h i n k i t d o e s work. Some s e e t h e i r d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e a s a s t a t e m e n t t o t h e C h u r c h t h a t t h e r e i s a k i n d o f c h u r c h e x p e r i e n c e t h a t t h e y want t h a t i s more i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e i n s t i t u t i o n , and t h a t t h e y w i l l s e e k i t e l s e w h e r e i f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n d o e s n o t p r o v i d e i t : I t ' s n o t l i k e I ' v e g o t t o do s o m e t h i n g t o s t o p t h i s e v i l . I ' v e g o t t o do s o m e t h i n g a g a i n s t t h i s e v i l . B e c a u s e I d o n ' t r e a l l y know i f I c a n , b u t I t h i n k a t l e a s t we c a n n o t go a l o n g w i t h i t a n d t h e n s e e f r o m t h e r e . I t ' s n o t w a i t i n g , I w o u l d n ' t s a y t h a t . I ' d s a y i t ' s a s t a t e m e n t . I t ' s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y t h a t we're g o i n g t o do a n y t h i n g e l s e , b u t i t ' s a s t a t e m e n t t h a t s a y s , " I s t i l l want t o be i n t h e C h u r c h , b u t I c a n ' t f i n d my p l a c e i n t h e C h u r c h t h e way i t i s and I t h i n k t h a t ' s w r o n g . Wrong. No t God's way." I t ' s a s i g n , a s y m b o l , a s i g n t h a t t h i n g s a r e n o t g o o d , t h a t l a y p e o p l e a r e n o t g o i n g t o be d o c i l e s h e e p . I f y o u w i l l n o t g i v e them what t h e y want t h e y w i l l f i n d i t t h e m s e l v e s . T h e r e a r e m e s s a g e s t h e r e . I d o n ' t t h i n k t h e y a r e g o i n g t o be h e a r d w e l l o r w i d e l y , b u t i t i s a s i g n , a s y m b o l . F o r a n o t h e r , t o have t h e k i n d o f e x p e r i e n c e s h e w a n t s r e q u i r e s t h e a c t u a l r e p l a c e m e n t o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n w i t h 105 s o m e t h i n g more human. I s e e t h e C h u r c h r e a l l y a l l i e d w i t h t h e s y s t e m i n e v e r y way a n d r e a l l y o p p r e s s i v e t o t h e t h i n g s t h a t I w a n t , y o u know. And I d o n ' t b e l i e v e y o u c a n work i n t h e s y s t e m . So I w o u l d n e v e r go b a c k t o r e f o r m a n y o n e o r have i l l u s i o n s t h a t I c o u l d go b a c k t o , s a y , c h a n g e t h e C h u r c h . T h a t w o u l d be a w a s t e o f t i m e , some k i n d o f w e i r d m a r t y r - t h i n g f o r me. [...] The same way a s t h e c a p i t a l i s t s y s t e m s h o u l d f a l l . A f r i e n d o f mine had a s a y i n g t h a t s h e p u t on h e r k i t c h e n w a l l . I t s a i d , " M i n u t e by m i n u t e a n d d a y by d a y , humans a r e r e p l a c i n g t h e c a p i t a l i s t s y s t e m . " And i t ' s j u s t l i k e t h a t ' s what I w a n t . T h a t ' s my v i s i o n . And t h a t w o u l d be t h e same w i t h t h e C h u r c h , n e e d i n g t o r e p l a c e t h e C h u r c h d a y b y d a y . A g r o u p o f women f o r whom a c r i t i c a l a n a l y s i s o f t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e C h u r c h seems s e l f - e v i d e n t a nd who s e e v i r t u a l l y no hope o f c h a n g i n g i t s s t r u c t u r e w o u l d c l e a r l y e x p e c t f r o m CWN v e r y d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s t h a n t h e f o u n d i n g members. W i t h o u t a n y r e a s o n t o engage i n c o n s c i o u s n e s s -r a i s i n g o r t o p r o v i d e s u p p o r t f o r e a c h o t h e r i n t h e i r e f f o r t s t o t r a n s f o r m t h e C h u r c h , t h e s e women s e e i n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k a n o p p o r t u n i t y t o e s t a b l i s h a n a l t e r n a t i v e f e m i n i s t s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y c a p a b l e o f s u s t a i n i n g i t s e l f i n d e p e n d e n t l y f r o m t h e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y a n d a b l e t o meet t h e i r s p i r i t u a l n e e d s b o t h a s C a t h o l i c s a nd a s f e m i n i s t s . The d e s i r e t o j o i n a c o m m u n i t y a b l e t o meet t h e i r n e e d s a s b o t h C a t h o l i c s a n d a s f e m i n i s t s r e c u r s i n v a r i o u s women's r e c o l l e c t i o n s o f what t h e y e x p e c t e d when t h e y came t o j o i n t h e a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d CWN. Naomi came t o t h e g r o u p upon r e t u r n i n g t o Canada a f t e r f i v e y e a r s a b r o a d . She had e n c o u n t e r e d f e m i n i s m i n a women's s u p p o r t g r o u p a t t h e o l o g i c a l c o l l e g e d u r i n g t h a t t i m e away. She came back 106 f e e l i n g a need f o r " t h a t odd c o m b i n a t i o n o f f e m i n i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y " s he f e l t i n h e r women's g r o u p . I w a s n ' t e x p e c t i n g a n y t h i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r f r o m t h e g r o u p , l i k e t h e g r o u p was g o i n g t o d e v e l o p a new f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y o r t h e g r o u p was g o i n g t o c h a n g e t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . [...] I n e e d e d t o f e e l t h a t t h e r e was a p l a c e f o r me, o t h e r p e o p l e l i k e me, a p l a c e where I c o u l d meet up w i t h t h a t k i n d o f r e m n a n t o f p e o p l e , a p l a c e where I c o u l d meet women, a p l a c e where I c o u l d meet o t h e r women who w o u l d u n d e r s t a n d me a n d t h a t odd c o m b i n a t i o n o f f e m i n i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y , where I c o u l d be b o t h . B e c a u s e I d o n ' t t h i n k t h e r e a r e a l o t o f p l a c e s where I c a n be b o t h . M i r i a m , l i k e N a o m i , had e n c o u n t e r e d f e m i n i s m i n t h e s e m i n a r y , b o t h i n a f e m i n i s t t h e o l o g y c o u r s e s h e had t a k e n t h e r e and a s a member o f a women's s u p p o r t g r o u p . I l e f t s e m i n a r y a f t e r a y e a r and a h a l f a nd a v e r y c l o s e c o m m u n i t y o f women down t h e r e and came up h e r e and s t a r t e d l i v i n g w i t h a f r i e n d . I t was q u i t e d i f f i c u l t t o l e t go o f my c o m m u n i t y down t h e r e . I t l e f t a v e r y b i g h o l e . [...] And I t h i n k t h a t ' s i n i t i a l l y what g o t me g o i n g t o CWN. B e c a u s e I n e e d e d a c o m m u n i t y o f women. M e l a n i e , a l o n g - t i m e f e m i n i s t , had b e e n away f r o m t h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h f o r t e n y e a r s . I n i t i a l l y s h e went t o CWN t o d i s c o v e r t h e e f f e c t s t h a t b e i n g r a i s e d C a t h o l i c had had on h e r l i f e . Once t h e r e , h o w e v e r , s h e , t o o , b e g a n t o s e e t h e N e t w o r k a s a s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y . I t h i n k o f m y s e l f a s q u i t e a s p i r i t u a l p e r s o n and more and more i n t h e g r o u p t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y i s t h e r e , somewhere where I c a n g e t i n t o u c h w i t h my own s p i r i t u a l i t y . C r e a t i n g a New E c c l e s i o l o g y T h e s e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n members c l e a r l y w a n t e d CWN t o p r o v i d e a n a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l C a t h o l i c l i f e , t o be f o r them a s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y . B u t t h e i r e x p e c t a t i o n s 107 were n o t l i m i t e d t o what CWN w o u l d be f o r them p e r s o n a l l y . T h e y were e q u a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h d e f i n i n g CWN's r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w i d e r C h u r c h . L i k e CWN's f o u n d e r s , v i r t u a l l y a l l o f t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n b e g a n a s members o f t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . L i k e t h e f o u n d e r s , t o o , a l l o f them had b r o k e n w i t h t h a t C h u r c h : none w o u l d a n y l o n g e r s u b s c r i b e t o i t s c r e e d , s u b m i t t o i t s d i s c i p l i n e , o r g i v e a l l e g i a n c e t o i t s a u t h o r i t i e s . U n l i k e many o f t h e f o u n d e r s , h o w e v e r , most o f t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n f e e l a s t r o n g s e n s e o f c o n t i n u i t y b e t w e e n what t h e y w e re t r y i n g t o do w i t h i n t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n f i n e s o f t h e C h u r c h and what t h e y a r e now s t r i v i n g t o do i n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k . T h i s m i x t u r e o f d e s i r e t o b r e a k away a nd d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e emerges r e p e a t e d l y i n i n f o r m a n t s ' r e p l i e s t o t h e i n v i t a t i o n t o d e f i n e s u c h w o r d s a s " C h u r c h . " T h e r e i s r a r e l y , i n a n y a n s w e r , a c l e a r - c u t d e f i n i t i o n a n d f u l l y w o r k e d - o u t t h e o r y o f what i s t o be r e j e c t e d a n d what i s t o be r e t a i n e d , b u t c e r t a i n r e v e a l i n g p a t t e r n s emerge o u t o f t h e a n s w e r s t a k e n t o g e t h e r . T h e r e i s a b u n d a n t e v i d e n c e o f a d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o e s c a p e f r o m t h e f o r m a l l y s t r u c t u r e d r e l i g i o u s b o d y ; t h i s h a s b e e n s e e n a l r e a d y i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e c r i t i q u e o f t h e C h u r c h a n d i n t h e f a c t t h a t most women have l e f t i t . T h e r e i s e q u a l e v i d e n c e , h o w e v e r , t h a t f o r v i r t u a l l y a l l t h e women, " C h u r c h " i n some f o r m r e m a i n s a c e n t r a l r e l i g i o u s v a l u e . The d e v e l o p m e n t o f a new e c c l e s i o l o g y , one w h i c h c a n encompass t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k a n d e x p l a i n i t s 108 r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e C h u r c h i s t h e r e f o r e one o f t h e i r most i m p o r t a n t t a s k s . As we have s e e n , t h e women's r e j e c t i o n o f t h e f o r m a l l y s t r u c t u r e d C h u r c h i s c e n t e r e d on t h e c h a r a c t e r o f i t s c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e e c c l e s i o l o g y t h a t most o f t h e women i n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k have a d o p t e d i s one w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h e s C h u r c h , w r i t t e n w i t h a c a p i t a l "C" f r o m " c h u r c h " w r i t t e n w i t h a s m a l l " c " . The c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y a n d t h o s e who s u b m i t t o i t s g o v e r n m e n t i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e C h u r c h a n d d e s c r i b e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s o c i e t a s p e r f e c t a m o d e l o u t l i n e d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f c h a p t e r one. C l a i r e p r o v i d e s t h e most s y s t e m a t i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e C h u r c h i n t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f Roman C a t h o l i c i s m : My u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Roman C a t h o l i c i s m , f i r s t o f a l l t e c h n i c a l l y , i s t h a t y o u a r e a s a c h u r c h f o l l o w i n g t h e Roman r i t e . And t h a t means y o u f o l l o w a l l s o r t s o f p r e s c r i p t i o n s a b o u t what i s s a c r a m e n t a l a n d what i s n o t s a c r a m e n t a l a n d who d e c i d e s t h a t a n d t h a t i n c l u d e s Canon Law a l s o , r u l e s f o r who c a n g e t m a r r i e d a n d when t h e y c a n g e t m a r r i e d a n d what y o u c a n be e x c o m m u n i c a t e d f o r and what y o u c a n ' t be e x c o m m u n i c a t e d f o r - t h a t ' s Roman C a t h o l i c i s m . T h i s C h u r c h , w i t h i t s t e n d e n c y t o e q u a t e o b e d i e n c e a n d l o y a l t y t o t h e d i c t a t e s o f p r i e s t , b i s h o p a n d pope w i t h t h e t r u e m e a s u r e o f f a i t h , a n d w i t h i t s t e n d e n c y t o " o s t r a c i z e . . . o r c r u c i f y , " a s Naomi p u t i t , t h o s e who measure t h e i r f a i t h b y o t h e r s t a n d a r d s - i s r e j e c t e d . W h i c h p a r t o f t h e C h u r c h do I d i s a g r e e w i t h , w h i c h p a r t o f t h e C h u r c h d o n ' t I l i k e ? The s t u f f t h a t comes, w e l l . . . I h a v e t h i s v i s i o n i n my m i n d o f t h e pope on down and o f t h i s k i n d o f h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e i n w h i c h c e r t a i n p e o p l e a r e m i s s e d . And e v e r y o n e who f i t s i n t o t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e I d o n ' t l i k e . , [...] The b i t s t h a t come s t r a i g h t down t h e l i n e , s t r a i g h t down t h e l i n e f r o m God, t o t h e p o p e , t o u s , I s e e t h a t a s v e r y r e s t r i c t i v e . 109 I h ave two v e r y d i s t i n c t d e f i n i t i o n s o f C h u r c h , t h o u g h . I have a d e f i n i t i o n o f C h u r c h t h a t i n v o l v e s t h e h i e r a r c h y w h i c h t o me i s n o t i n v o l v e d i n my u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f r e a l c h u r c h , o r a c t i v e , e v e r y d a y c h u r c h . T h e y ' r e j u s t s o r t o f a n e c e s s a r y e v i l , p a r t o f t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t a s i t w e r e . I d o n ' t have a d e s i r e t o have a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e C h u r c h now. [...] C h u r c h w i t h a c a p i t a l "C". No d e s i r e t o be i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n , t h e p a t r i a r c h y . To me i t ' s j u s t i n h e r e n t l y e v i l . S m a l l " c " c h u r c h , b y c o n t r a s t , i s made up o f a l l t h e g r o u p s o f p e o p l e , s u c h a s t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k , who r e f u s e t o be g o v e r n e d b y t h e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y a n d who e x p r e s s a n d l i v e o u t t h e i r f a i t h i n c o m m u n i t y . W e l l , r e a l l y God's p e o p l e i s c o m m u n i t y . B u t I j u s t w a n t e d t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h a t f r o m when I s a i d I had a ne e d t o be p a r t o f t h e p e o p l e o f God and a c o m m u n i t y . I w a n t e d t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h a t f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t I had a ne e d t o b e l o n g t o t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , w i t h t h e h i e r a r c h y i n p l a c e . S m a l l " c " c h u r c h , t h e n , i s a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h c o m m u n i t y a n d , t h u s , t h e s e women ha v e u s e d t h e s t a n d a r d t e r m s o f C a t h o l i c e c c l e s i o l o g y e m p l o y e d b y t h e o l o g i a n s l i k e C o n g a r a n d t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l . B u t u n l i k e t h e C o u n c i l , t h e s e women r e j e c t t h e f o r m e r a n d r e s e r v e " c o m m u n i t y " a s e x p r e s s i n g t h e t r u e n a t u r e o f " C h u r c h . " S o metimes a l s o c a l l e d s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y o r f a i t h c o m m u n i t y , c h u r c h i s p r i m a r i l y t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f p e r s o n a l i n t i m a c y and r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t b e i n g i n a c o m m u n i t y b r i n g s . What's i m p o r t a n t , p r o c e s s , b u i l d i n g c o m m u n i t y . . . I g u e s s i t ' s d i f f e r e n t f r o m o t h e r m e e t i n g s I go t o where t h e t a s k i s much more i m p o r t a n t and i f we g e t t o know e a c h o t h e r a l o n g t h e way, g r e a t . I f n o t , c ' e s t l a v i e . B u i l d i n g c o m m u n i t y i s t h e p r o c e s s , i t ' s much more i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e t a s k . I t u s e d t o be much more f r u s t r a t i n g f o r me t h a n i t i s now. Now I'm n o t l o o k i n g t o f i n d o u t more a b o u t t h e B i b l e a t CWN, I'm n o t l o o k i n g t o f i n d o u t more a b o u t f e m i n i s m a t CWN. I f i t h a p p e n s , g r e a t . I f i t d o e s n ' t , I won't w a l k away t h i n k i n g w h at a w a s t e o f my t i m e . 110 C o n s e q u e n t l y , c h u r c h , i n t h i s s e n s e , i s n o t s o m e t h i n g t o b e l o n g t o b u t s o m e t h i n g t o be. O f t e n t h e women o f t h e N e t w o r k t a l k o f communion, o f " b e i n g human t o g e t h e r : " I t h i n k t h e r e ' s s o m e t h i n g a b o u t b e i n g human and a b o u t e x p e r i e n c i n g s p i r i t u a l i t y t h a t h a s n ' t r e a l l y g o t a w h o l e l o t t o do w i t h what e x a c t l y y o u do b e l i e v e o r how y o u d e f i n e y o u r b e l i e f s o r how y o u e x p r e s s y o u r e x p e r i e n c e s , how y o u d e f i n e t h a t e x p e r i e n c e , t h e l a n g u a g e y o u p u t i t i n , t h e r i t u a l y o u a s s o c i a t e w i t h i t , t h e dogmas a n d t h e c r e e d s y o u u s e t o f l e s h i t o u t b e c a u s e I b e l i e v e t h e e x p e r i e n c e i s t h e same. And I know I ' v e e x p e r i e n c e d i t , t h a t s e n s e o f communion, o f b e i n g human t o g e t h e r . Hannah c h a r a c t e r i z e s c o m m u n i t y a s b e i n g e u c h a r i s t f o r one a n o t h e r . The e u c h a r i s t m e t a p h o r u s e s t h e C h u r c h ' s c e n t r a l r i t u a l a c t t o e x p r e s s t h e c e n t r a l m y s t e r y o f b e i n g c h u r c h : a n i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f t h e s e l f i n t o t h e o t h e r and o f t h e o t h e r i n t o s e l f : I t h i n k t h a t f o r me, o f c e n t r a l i m p o r t a n c e i n my l i f e i s e u c h a r i s t . B u t e u c h a r i s t j u s t d o e s n ' t mean, now I'm n o t d e n i g r a t i n g i t , i t j u s t d o e s n ' t mean a p i e c e o f b r e a d t h a t i s t h e c o n s e c r a t e d b o d y o f C h r i s t . F o r me y o u , y o u s i t t i n g h e r e i n my room, y o u a r e e u c h a r i s t f o r me t o d a y . I am c a l l e d t o be e u c h a r i s t . When I e x a m i n e my c o n s c i e n c e , f o r e x a m p l e , one o f t h e t h i n g s I a s k i s , "Am I w i l l i n g t o be e u c h a r i s t f o r t h o s e whom I d o n ' t l i k e a s w e l l a s t h o s e whom I l i k e ? " B e c a u s e when J e s u s a s k e d us t o do t h i s i n memory o f h i m , t h a t ' s what he was s a y i n g , f o r us t o g i v e who we a r e s o t h a t o t h e r s m i g h t become more l i b e r a t e d . T h a t ' s what t h e good news i s a l l a b o u t . The c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t o be e u c h a r i s t i n c o m m u n i t y i s t h e e s s e n c e o f J e s u s ' t e a c h i n g i s n o t c o n f i n e d t o Hannah. I t h a s p r o m p t e d a number o f CWN members who have u n d e r t a k e n t o c r e a t e c o m m u n i t y more b r o a d l y b a s e d t h a n t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k b y f o r m i n g a h o u s e c h u r c h . T h i s h o u s e c h u r c h was s t a r t e d i n t h e same p e r i o d d u r i n g w h i c h t h e f o u n d i n g members o f CWN were g r a d u a l l y w i t h d r a w i n g f r o m r e g u l a r p a r i s h w o r s h i p a nd h a s t a k e n i t s p l a c e f o r many o f them. I t I l l g a t h e r s w e e k l y i n t h e home o f two o f i t s members f o r m e e t i n g s s i m i l a r t o t h o s e o f CWN: w e e k l y l e a d e r s h i p i s s h a r e d ; a n d t h e m e e t i n g i s d i v i d e d i n t o two p a r t s , a n h o u r -l o n g c h e c k - i n p e r i o d f o l l o w e d by s c r i p t u r e a n d o t h e r r e a d i n g s , p r a y e r a n d e u c h a r i s t . U n l i k e CWN, i t i s n o t an e x c l u s i v e l y f e m a l e o r g a n i z a t i o n , t h o u g h t h e m a j o r i t y o f i t s members a r e women a n d a b o u t h a l f a r e a l s o members o f CWN. T h r o u g h h o u s e c h u r c h t h e women o f CWN have g r a d u a l l y e x t e n d e d t h e p r i n c i p l e o f b e i n g c h u r c h i n t o b r o a d e r a r e a s o f t h e i r l i v e s a n d i n t o more d i v e r s e c i r c l e s o f c o n t a c t s . J o a n s t a t e s t h a t t o h e r j o i n i n g t h e h o u s e c h u r c h was a r e a l h omecoming, b e c a u s e t o h e r i t e x p r e s s e s t h e e s s e n c e o f t h e g o s p e l : I n my t r y i n g t o g r a p p l e w i t h what c h u r c h was a b o u t I had come t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t c o m m u n i t y was what i t was a b o u t a n d how we l i v e d w i t h e a c h o t h e r was t h e e s s e n c e o f what t h e g o s p e l meant. [...] I f e e l l i k e I ' v e come f u l l c i r c l e . I'm f e e l i n g l i k e i n my l a t e t e e n s and i n my e a r l y a d u l t y e a r s t h a t c o m m u n i t y was r e a l l y , r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t . Now I s e e t h a t i t ' s a c t u a l l y t h e e s s e n c e o f t h e C h r i s t i a n g o s p e l . B u t I u n d e r s t a n d c o m m u n i t y l i v i n g i n a w h o l e d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . I t ' s much b r o a d e r t h a n we a l l l i v e t o g e t h e r i n one h o u s e . I t ' s how we r e l a t e t o one a n o t h e r . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f c h u r c h w i t h "how we r e l a t e t o one a n o t h e r , " a l s o t e n d s t o p r o d u c e t h e o p p o s i t e e q u a t i o n a s w e l l : i f c h u r c h i s r e l a t i n g t o one a n o t h e r t h e n a n y e x p e r i e n c e o f m u t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p c a n be a n e x p e r i e n c e o f c h u r c h . S h e i l a , f o r e x a m p l e , i n c l u d e d t h e f r i e n d s h i p s a n d c o n v e r s a t i o n t h a t went a l o n g w i t h h i k i n g w i t h a l o c a l h i k i n g g r o u p a s p a r t o f h e r c h u r c h . D o r o t h y a l s o l i s t e d h a v i n g d i n n e r w i t h c l o s e f r i e n d s o r h a v i n g a t a l k a s a n e x p e r i e n c e o f c h u r c h . 112 M o r e o v e r , s i n c e t h e d i v e r s i t y o f who may f i n d t h e m s e l v e s i n m u t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p i s v i r t u a l l y u n l i m i t e d , t h o s e who q u a l i f y a s b e i n g c h u r c h a r e q u i t e d i v e r s e , m a k i n g t h i s k i n d o f c h u r c h t h o r o u g h l y e c u m e n i c a l . C l a i r e l i s t s p e o p l e i n a l l w o r l d r e l i g i o n s a s w e l l a s i n o t h e r C h r i s t i a n d e n o m i n a t i o n s a s p a r t o f h e r c h u r c h . F o r me, c h u r c h i s my h o u s e c h u r c h on T h u r s d a y n i g h t , i t ' s CWN onc e a month, i t ' s t h e C a t h o l i c N e t w o r k f o r Women's E q u a l i t y , i t ' s t h e E c u m e n i c a l Women's C e n t r e a n d t h e w h o l e campus t h e o l o g i c a l c o m m u n i t y , i t ' s a l l Womenchurches e v e r y w h e r e . And i t ' s a l l t h e f r i e n d s I have o u t t h e r e i n t h e U n i t e d C h u r c h a n d t h e A n g l i c a n C h u r c h t r y i n g t o do t h e same t h i n g . And i t ' s a l o t o f p e o p l e who a r e s t r u g g l i n g a l s o i n J u d a i s m , B u d d h i s m t o do t h e same t h i n g . Hannah g o e s e v e n f u r t h e r a n d g i v e s t h e e x a m p l e o f S t a r h a w k , a p r o m i n e n t New Age w i t c h , a s someone who i s c h u r c h : S t a r h a w k i s t h e most b e a u t i f u l p e r s o n . She has gone t o p r i s o n f o r h e r c a u s e i n N i c a r a g u a . And f o r h e r W i c c a i s a r e l i g i o n g o i n g b a c k t o t h e M o t h e r G o d d e s s . And i t i s n o t a r e l i g i o n t h a t w o u l d a p p e a l t o me a s a r e l i g i o n , b u t i s S t a r h a w k c h u r c h ? Y e s , s h e i s c h u r c h . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e women o f CWN need no l o n g e r be C a t h o l i c t o be c h u r c h a n d some members have g i v e n up n o t o n l y C h u r c h a t t e n d a n c e b u t a l s o a n y s t r o n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e i r p r i o r C a t h o l i c f a i t h . M i r i a m i s p r e s e n t l y a n a t h e i s t , C a t h a r i n e a n avowed p a g a n , Ann a t e n t a t i v e B u d d h i s t . M e l a n i e p r a c t i s e s w i t c h c r a f t a n d K a t h l e e n i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e H a s s i d i m . B u t a l l c o n t i n u e t o s h a r e a common s p i r i t u a l l i f e t o g e t h e r i n c o m m u n i t y a n d t o be c h u r c h t o g e t h e r . By t h i s c r i t e r i o n , a woman nee d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y e v e n be f e m i n i s t t o be c h u r c h a n d one m i g h t , c o n c e i v a b l y , e v e n be a 113 member o f t h e C h u r c h h i e r a r c h y . A t l e a s t E v e l y n i m a g i n e s t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y . F o r h e r , b o t h h o u s e c h u r c h a nd CWN a r e b a s e d t o o much on a s h a r e d i d e o l o g y and n o t enough on r e l a t i o n s h i p . She c h a r a c t e r i z e s them " t o o s a f e . . . t o o c o m f o r t a b l e . . . t o o homogeneous:" I t ' s v e r y good o f me t o b u i l d , t o have t h i s s e n s e o f " c h u r c h " w i t h p e o p l e who a l l t h i n k t h e same a s me, who i n many ways a r e p r o f e s s e d l i b e r a t i o n - o r i e n t e d p e o p l e , f e m i n i s t s and w h a t e v e r . I t ' s t o o i n s u l a r . So a l t h o u g h i t m e e t s n e e d s , i t ' s n o t e n o u g h . I t ' s n o t r e a l i n t e r m s o f t h e g r e a t e r w o r l d o u t t h e r e . And why i s i t t h a t we c a n ' t w o r s h i p a n d s h a r e o u r l i v e s w i t h p e o p l e t h a t d o n ' t t h i n k t h e same a s u s ? Why i s i t t h a t we d o n ' t have t h e a b i l i t y - we a s i n a l l o f t h e C h u r c h - t o be a b l e t o s i t a n d t o l i s t e n t o p e o p l e when t h e y d o n ' t h a v e t h e same v i e w s a s u s , when t h e y d o n ' t h a v e t h e same v i s i o n t h a t we d o , why c a n ' t we be t o g e t h e r i n t h e same room? T h a t r e a l l y b o t h e r s me. L i k e I know h o u s e c h u r c h w i l l n e v e r be enough f o r me b e c a u s e I d o n ' t want t o be j u s t w i t h p e o p l e who t h i n k t h e same way a s I d o . Naomi e n u n c i a t e s e v e n more s u c c i n c t l y t h i s same p r i n c i p l e t h a t t o be c h u r c h b y l i v i n g i n c o m m u n i t y n e c e s s a r i l y means a l l o w i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t r i u m p h o v e r o p i n i o n a n d i d e o l o g y . U l t i m a t e l y C h u r c h h a s g o t t o be b a s e d on r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d n o t on i d e a s . [...] I t h i n k C h u r c h h a s g o t t o welcome p e o p l e no m a t t e r what t h e y t h i n k . I t ' s g o t t o be a c o m m u n i t y b a s e d on r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d on a common f a i t h i n n o t h i n g more n e c e s s a r i l y t h a n i n t h e l o v e o f God and a b e l i e f t h a t t h e l o v e o f God c a n ch a n g e o u r l i v e s a n d be t h e b a s i s f o r what we d o . B e i n g c h u r c h i s n o t , h o w e v e r , u n d e r t a k e n s t r i c t l y f o r t h e p e r s o n a l b e n e f i t s o f b e i n g i n communion w i t h a n o t h e r . P e o p l e s h a r e i n e a c h o t h e r ' s l i v e s i n o r d e r t o t r a n s f o r m t hem. Hannah e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e g o a l o f b e i n g e u c h a r i s t i s 114 to l i b e r a t e each other: Because when Jesus asked us to do t h i s i n memory of Him, t h a t ' s what he was s a y i n g . For us to give who we are th a t others might be l i b e r a t e d . That's what the good news i s a l l about. Others b e l i e v e t h a t the l i b e r a t i o n of each other w i l l e v e n t u a l l y lead to the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of s o c i e t y as a whole. That's the great t h i n g t h a t communities do. CWN as an i n t e n t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n community can help people to share t h e i r deepest s e l v e s and t h e r e f o r e t o know what t h e i r deepest s e l v e s are and then l i b e r a t e them. And th a t i s therapy but we don't undertake i t f o r the same reasons as therapy. We undertake i t f o r a combined i n d i v i d u a l / s o c i a l aim. We thin k by changing w e ' l l a l s o change s o c i e t y . [...] We t h i n k those people who i n h e r i t e d or c a r r i e d on Jesus's work, the Jesus movement, the work of t h a t movement, I thin k t h a t ' s what they were t r y i n g to do too. I t should not be s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t a m a j o r i t y of the women i n v o l v e d i n the C a t h o l i c Women's Network are e q u a l l y i n v o l v e d i n s o c i a l j u s t i c e a c t i v i t i e s . E i l e e n and Tracy r e c e n t l y returned to Canada from ten years of s o c i a l j u s t i c e work among the urban poor of C e n t r a l America. Melanie works i n a n o n - p r o f i t o r g a n i z a t i o n whose go a l i s to end l e g i s l a t e d poverty. Naomi belongs t o an ecumenical r e l i g i o u s community whose members i n c l u d e the s e v e r e l y handicapped. Susan, having r e c e n t l y r e t u r n e d from C e n t r a l America, p r e s e n t l y works i n p u b l i c h e a l t h with s t r e e t youth. On a c o l l e c t i v e b a s i s the women of CWN have j o i n e d with other Roman C a t h o l i c s i n the c i t y to form a s o c i a l a c t i o n c o a l i t i o n c a l l e d A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s . A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s , having a membership of approximately 100 people, i s a diocesan-wide network devoted to p r e s e r v i n g and 115 e n h a n c i n g a l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c p e r s p e c t i v e s i n a n o t h e r w i s e c o n s e r v a t i v e d i o c e s e a n d t o p r o m o t i n g s o c i a l j u s t i c e c o n c e r n s . ACV be g a n i n 1987 t h r o u g h t h e e f f o r t s o f a CWN member who was c o n c e r n e d a b o u t t h e g r o w i n g s i l e n c e o f t h e l i b e r a l m i n o r i t y w i t h i n t h e d i o c e s e . She i n i t i a t e d a d a y -l o n g w o r k s h o p i n w h i c h p e o p l e r e p r e s e n t i n g v a r i o u s C a t h o l i c s p e c i a l - i n t e r e s t g r o u p s i n t h e d i o c e s e c o u l d meet and d i s c u s s t h e i r c o n c e r n s . W h i l e t h e d a y c o n c l u d e d w i t h t h e d e c i s i o n t h a t t h e v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t g r o u p s were n e i t h e r p r e p a r e d n o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a b l e t o s p e a k w i t h one v o i c e , t h e y d e c i d e d t o c o n t i n u e w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r c o l l e c t i v e l y t o b u i l d c o m m u n i t y among t h e i r members a nd t o p r o m o t e s o c i a l j u s t i c e c o n c e r n s w i t h i n t h e d i o c e s e , a s w e l l a s t o c o n t i n u e t o h o l d t h e i r a n n u a l w o r k s h o p . A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s o r g a n i z e s m o n t h l y l i t u r g i e s a n d i n v o l v e s i t s e l f i n s o c i a l j u s t i c e a c t i v i t i e s b o t h on i t s own a n d e c u m e n i c a l l y w i t h i n t h e c i t y . I t i s t o A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s t h a t e c u m e n i c a l o r g a n i z e r s go f o r C a t h o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a t t h e a n n u a l e c u m e n i c a l m e m o r i a l f o r t h e m a r t y r e d A r c h b i s h o p Romero h e l d e v e r y E a s t e r . S i m i l a r l y , A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s a c t s a s t h e o f f i c i a l C a t h o l i c p r e s e n c e a t t h e e c u m e n i c a l w o r s h i p s e r v i c e p r e c e d i n g t h e a n n u a l P e a c e M a r c h i n t h e c i t y . And on t h e p r o v i n c i a l s t e e r i n g c o m m i t t e e o f t h e W o r l d C o u n c i l o f C h u r c h e s ' Decade o f C h u r c h e s i n S o l i d a r i t y w i t h Women, t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h i s r e p r e s e n t e d b y two women f r o m A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s , b o t h o f whom a r e a l s o members o f CWN. 116 A l r e a d y h e t e r o g e n e o u s i n i t s i n t e r e s t s a n d c o n c e r n s , ACV h a s r e a c h e d o u t t o j o i n i n a number o f c o o p e r a t i v e v e n t u r e s , some o f w h i c h a l s o i n v o l v e women f r o m CWN who a r e n o t r e g u l a r ACV p a r t i c i p a n t s . Members o f ACV a r e i n v o l v e d i n t h e p u r c h a s e o f r e s i d e n t i a l p r o p e r t y i n t h e downtown e a s t s i d e i n o r d e r t o c r e a t e a c o o p e r a t i v e c o m m u n i t y o f f a m i l i e s , s i n g l e p e o p l e a n d r e l i g i o u s who want t o work i n t h a t a r e a . O t h e r s a r e o r g a n i z i n g a c o o p e r a t i v e l a n d p u r c h a s e i n t h e i n t e r i o r o f t h e p r o v i n c e . A number o f women i n i t i a t e d a s u p p o r t g r o u p f o r women who a r e s u r v i v o r s o f c h i l d h o o d s e x u a l a b u s e . C o n c l u s i o n The e c c l e s i o l o g y e m p l o y e d by t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k p l a c e s a t i t s t h e o r e t i c a l c e n t r e t h a t w h i c h i s e x p e r i e n t i a l l y a t t h e c e n t r e o f t h e i r l i v e s : c o m m u n i t y . I n d o i n g s o i t h a s o b v i o u s l y d i s p l a c e d f r o m i t s d e f i n i t i o n o f b e i n g c h u r c h t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n t h a t i s t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . B u t , i n t e r e s t i n g l y , b y t h e same p r o c e s s o f b r i n g i n g human r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e f o r e , i t h a s d i s p l a c e d f e m i n i s m a s w e l l . The m o d e l o f c h u r c h a s c o m m u n i t y i s b a s e d on a f u n d a m e n t a l p r i n c i p l e : t h e p r i m a c y o f r e l a t i o n s h i p o v e r i d e o l o g y . Community e x i s t s where t h e r e i s a m u t u a l s h a r i n g o f s e l f . I t c r e a t e s d i a l o g u e w i t h i n h e t e r o g e n e i t y and a t t e m p t s t o t r a n s c e n d i d e o l o g i c a l b a r r i e r s . By t h a t 117 p r i n c i p l e , C a t h o l i c i s m , a s a n i d e o l o g y , c a n assume no p r i v i l e g e d s t a t u s w i t h i n i t . The p r e s e n c e o f a h e t e r o g e n e i t y o f i d e o l o g i c a l g r o u p s i s e s s e n t i a l t o a c t u a l i z e t h e d i a l o g i c a l n a t u r e o f c h u r c h , and s o a s a c h u r c h , c o m m u n i t y s h o u l d c e r t a i n l y i n c l u d e C a t h o l i c s , b u t o n l y a s one g r o u p among o t h e r s . T h u s , a l t h o u g h t h e C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k i t s e l f , A l t e r n a t i v e C a t h o l i c V o i c e s a n d t h e h o u s e c h u r c h a r e composed p r i m a r i l y o f C a t h o l i c s , t h e i r m e m b e r s h i p i s n o t l i m i t e d t o them. N o t o n l y C a t h o l i c s o r e v e n C h r i s t i a n s , b u t a l s o a t h e i s t s , w i t c h e s a n d B u d d h i s t s may be c h u r c h . B u t b e i n g c h u r c h d o e s s o m e t h i n g e l s e a s w e l l . A l o n g w i t h Roman C a t h o l i c i s m , i t a l s o , i n a d i f f e r e n t b u t e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t way, d i s p l a c e s f e m i n i s m . I t i s w o r t h n o t i n g t h a t i n t h e t h i r d c h a p t e r women r a r e l y s p e a k s p e c i f i c a l l y a b o u t t h e s i t u a t i o n o f women i n t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h i n t h e i r a n a l y s i s o f i t s h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e . On one h a n d , t h i s may be b e c a u s e t h e a w a r e n e s s o f t h e o p p r e s s i o n o f women i s s u c h a commonplace i n t h e i r l i v e s now t h a t i t i s b a r e l y w o r t h m e n t i o n i n g a n y l o n g e r : I d o n ' t know i f I'm a f e m i n i s t o r a p o s t - f e m i n i s t . By p o s t f e m i n i s t I mean I d o n ' t know i f I h a v e n ' t g i v e n up. A f e m i n i s t t o me i s someone whose s t i l l w i l l i n g t o a r g u e t h e p o i n t s . I d o n ' t e v e n know i f I am an y m o r e . I t h i n k I ' v e a l m o s t r e a c h e d a p o i n t where when i t becomes c l e a r t o me t h a t someone i s n o t aw a r e o f my f u l l h u m a n i t y on t h e b a s i s t h a t I'm a woman, I j u s t w a l k away. I f i n d i t s o i n c r e d i b l y d e g r a d i n g t o s t a n d t h e r e a n d have t o a r g u e f o r my e q u a l i t y , j u s t my r i g h t t o s p e a k , t o t h i n k , t o be. On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e k i n d o f f e m i n i s m t h a t has b e e n a d o p t e d b y t h e s e women and Womenchurches g e n e r a l l y i s M a r x i a n a n d , a s s u c h , i s a s p e c i f i c a p p l i c a t i o n o f a g e n e r a l 118 a n a l y s i s o f s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s o f power t h a t may be a p p l i e d t o a n y s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n . I n t h e g e n e r a l a n a l y s i s o f power a r r a n g e m e n t s , t h o s e t h a t o p p r e s s women have no p r i v i l e g e d s t a t u s : t h e y a r e g r o u p e d i n w i t h o t h e r o p p r e s s o r s . And i n t h e l i b e r a t i o n f r o m o p p r e s s i v e power r e l a t i o n s women have no s p e c i a l p r i o r i t y : t h e i r p l a c e i s among o t h e r v i c t i m s . T h i s means women have t h e same r i g h t t o r e l e a s e t h e m s e l v e s f r o m o p p r e s s i o n a s a n y o t h e r s o c i a l g r o u p : no more and no l e s s . As one woman commented, many o f t h e women o f CWN a r e n o t e v e n b o t h e r i n g t o c a l l t h e m s e l v e s f e m i n i s t s anymore b e c a u s e t o be a f e m i n i s t " j u s t means we're d o i n g what e v e r y human b e i n g has t h e r i g h t t o d o : " We're n o t c a l l i n g o u r s e l v e s f e m i n i s t s a n y m o r e , we're d e f i n e d a s f e m i n i s t s b y what we're d o i n g , b y t h e f a c t t h a t we're women who a r e m e e t i n g t o g e t h e r a n d who a r e r e f u s i n g t o be t o l d what t o d o , t o be p u t i n a p l a c e where we d o n ' t want t o be , t a k i n g c o n t r o l . And t h a t makes us f e m i n i s t b e c a u s e we're t a k i n g c o n t r o l . B u t i t d o e s n ' t r e a l l y . I t j u s t means we're d o i n g what e v e r y human b e i n g h a s t h e r i g h t t o d o . F o r some, b e i n g a good f e m i n i s t means r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t women ha v e no more r i g h t t h a n a n y o n e e l s e : W e l l , my d e f i n i t i o n o f f e m i n i s m i s t r y i n g t o make e v e r y b o d y more human, g i v i n g us t h a t p o s s i b i l i t y f o r us a l l t o d e v e l o p o u r own human p o t e n t i a l i n ways t h a t o u r s o c i e t y d o e s n ' t l e t u s . [...] And t o be a good f e m i n i s t I want t o l i b e r a t e t h a t i n e v e r y b o d y . And I t h i n k women a r e t h e ones who a r e g o i n g t o do i t r i g h t now, t h a t we have t h a t k i n d o f c r u c i a l r o l e t o p l a y r i g h t now, o f s a y i n g , "You a r e God. You've j u s t g o t t o l e t y o u r s e l f know t h a t a n d t r e a t e v e r y b o d y e l s e l i k e God, t o o . " T h i s a t t i t u d e had l e d many b e y o n d a c o n c e r n f o r t h e s t a t u s a n d r i g h t s o f women t o g e n e r a l c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n on 119 t h e v a l u e s t h a t d o m i n a t e C h u r c h and s o c i e t y a n d on o u r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r them:: F e m i n i s m h a s j u s t o p e n e d a w h o l e d o o r o f b e i n g s e l f c r i t i c a l a n d c r i t i c a l o f t h e v a l u e s o u r s o c i e t y p r o p o s e s a n d o f t h e v a l u e s o u r C h u r c h p r o p o s e s . And s o i t n o t o n l y h a s f o r c e d me t o r e e v a l u a t e w h e t h e r women s h o u l d be a l t a r s e r v e r s , b u t i t h a s a l s o c a u s e d me t o r e e v a l u a t e how am I c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f o u r p l a n e t by u s i n g d i s p o s a b l e d i a p e r s a n d b y b u y i n g i n t o p u r c h a s i n g a l l k i n d s o f t h i n g s b e c a u s e m a t e r i a l i s m i s t h e way t o go. I t ' s c a u s e d me t o s t o p a n d r e e v a l u a t e . I t ' s g i v e n me c r i t i c a l s k i l l s t h a t I d i d n o t p r e v i o u s l y h a v e . I t ' s g i v e n me t h e a b i l i t y t o s t e p back f r o m s o c i e t y a n d f r o m C h u r c h a n d be c r i t i c a l a b o u t t h o s e t h i n g s . I ' v e b e e n a b l e t o c h a n g e a l o t o f f a c e t s o f my l i f e a n d have b e e n a b l e t o be a l o t more s e n s i t i v e t o t h e r e p e r c u s s i o n s o f my a c t i o n s a n d t h e a c t i o n s o f o t h e r s . T h a t f e m i n i s m has l e d many women away f r o m a s o l e c o n c e r n w i t h t h e o p p r e s s i o n o f women and t o w a r d s t h e w i d e r c o n c e r n f o r human l i b e r a t i o n i s a l s o a m p l y i l l u s t r a t e d b y t h e c e n t r a l p l a c e t h a t s o c i a l j u s t i c e a c t i v i t y n o t s p e c i f i c a l l y f o c u s s e d on women h o l d s f o r them. I n sura, b e i n g c h u r c h b y l i v i n g i n c o m m u n i t y h a s r e m o v e d f r o m t h e c e n t r e o f t h e s e women's l i v e s t h e Roman C a t h o l i c h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e a n d , c o n s e q u e n t l y t h e i r p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h women's s t a t u s a n d r o l e i n i t . T h e i r c o n c e r n w i t h b e i n g i n t h e C h u r c h h a s b e e n d i s p l a c e d b y a c o n c e r n t o be c h u r c h ; t h e i r c o n c e r n w i t h t h e s t a t u s a n d r o l e o f women i n t h e C h u r c h h a s b e e n d i s p l a c e d b y a c o n c e r n f o r human l i b e r a t i o n . The p r o b l e m o f somehow b e i n g a C a t h o l i c f e m i n i s t has g i v e n way t o t h e b r o a d e r q u e s t i o n o f how t o l i v e i n c o m m u n i t y w i t h o t h e r human b e i n g s a n d t o s e e k j u s t i c e i n t h e w i d e r w o r l d . 120 N o t e s 1. An a n a l o g y t o t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n a b u s e a nd o p p r e s s i o n o f women i n t h e C h u r c h i s t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n a l i t i g a n t who i s d e n i e d j u s t i c e i n a l e g a l p r o c e e d i n g b e c a u s e t h e j u d g e has t a k e n a b r i b e f r o m t h e o t h e r p a r t y t o t h e c a s e a n d one who i s d e n i e d j u s t i c e b e c a u s e t h e j u d i c i a l s y s t e m i s s o s e t up t h a t l i t i g a n t s o f a g i v e n t y p e o r c l a s s a r e s y s t e m a t i c a l l y d e n i e d j u s t i c e , i r r e s p e c t i v e o f t h e p a r t i c u l a r j u d g e ' s a t t i t u d e o r b e h a v i o u r . The f i r s t c a s e i n v o l v e s a c r i m i n a l a b u s e o f power. The s e c o n d i s a n i n s t a n c e o f s y s t e m a t i c o p p r e s s i o n . The i m m e d i a t e c o n s e q u e n c e f o r t h e l i t i g a n t i s i d e n t i c a l i n b o t h c a s e s , b u t t h e means o f i d e n t i f y i n g o p p r e s s i o n a n d s e e k i n g r e d r e s s a r e v e r y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e means o f r e s i s t i n g a n d c o r r e c t i n g a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b u s e o f power. 121 C o n c l u s i o n The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k was f o u n d e d b y a g r o u p o f women who f e l t f r u s t r a t e d b y and d i s a f f e c t e d f r o m t h e a m b i v a l e n t e c c l e s i o l o g y a d o p t e d b y t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l . A f t e r a p e r i o d o f f o u r c e n t u r i e s i n w h i c h t h e C h u r c h d e f i n e d i t s e l f , i n r e a c t i o n t o r e f o r m a t i o n a t t a c k s , a s a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i e t y o f f e r i n g t h e means o f s a l v a t i o n t o t h e human r a c e , t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y saw a s e r i o u s a t t e m p t b y C a t h o l i c s t o c r e a t e a new u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e C h u r c h t h a t w o u l d make o f i t s l a y members s o m e t h i n g more t h a n t h e p a s s i v e r e c i p i e n t s o f t h o s e means o f s a l v a t i o n . D r a w i n g on c o n c e p t s p r e v a l e n t i n s o c i a l s c i e n c e s , t h e o l o g i a n s w o r k e d o u t a t h e o r y o f a C h u r c h t h a t w o u l d be b o t h c o m m u n i t y and s o c i e t y . A t t h e same t i m e , v a r i o u s C a t h o l i c g r o u p s t r i e d t o e s t a b l i s h s m a l l - s c a l e m o d e l s o f what a C h u r c h l i v i n g i n c o m m u n i t y m i g h t be. The S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l , d r a w i n g on t h e t h e o l o g y o f s u c h men a s C o n g a r a nd t h e s m a l l - s c a l e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n o f t h e l i t u r g i c a l movement, p r o c l a i m e d t h e C h u r c h t o be a c o m m u n i t y o f b e l i e v e r s t o w h i c h i t s members b r o u g h t t h e s a c r e d a n d t h e s e c u l a r , t h e e x p e r i e n c e d and t h e r e v e a l e d . B u t t h e C o u n c i l a l s o r e a f f i r m e d t h e C h u r c h ' s e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e a n d i t s r o l e . I n t h e C o u n c i l ' s wake, f e m i n i s t women, l i k e s o many o t h e r C a t h o l i c s , f o c u s s e d on what was new i n t h e C o u n c i l ' s 122 t e a c h i n g . T hey a d o p t e d a l i b e r a l f e m i n i s m a n d l o b b i e d f o r t h e o r d i n a t i o n o f women i n t o t h e c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y . W i t h i n l e s s t h a n two d e c a d e s , h o w e v e r , many women, f r u s t r a t e d b y a n a p p a r e n t l y i n t r a n s i g e n t h i e r a r c h y a n d m o t i v a t e d b y M a r x i a n f e m i n i s t t h e o r y , b e g a n t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n Womenchurch, a n a l t e r n a t i v e n e t w o r k o f f e m i n i s t c o m m u n i t i e s w h i c h w o u l d p e r h a p s be a b l e t o i n f l u e n c e t h e e c c l e s i a l s t r u c t u r e , b u t , i n a n y c a s e , e x i s t i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f i t . The C a t h o l i c Women's N e t w o r k c a n be f i t t e d i n t o t h e Womenchurch movement. I t was n o t t h e d i r e c t c r e a t i o n o f Womenchurch, h o w e v e r , a nd o n l y i n t h e s e c o n d o f t h e two d i s t i n c t p h a s e s o f i t s h i s t o r y d i d i t become a n a l t e r n a t i v e c o m m u n i t y f o r t h o s e w i t h i n i t . D e s p i t e t h e c h a n g e s i n m e m b e r s h i p a nd f u n c t i o n , i t s f o r m a t has r e m a i n e d s t a b l e . T h r o u g h o u t i t s l i f e t i m e i t h a s met e a c h month f o r a n e v e n i n g b u i l t a r o u n d a t h r e e f o l d p a t t e r n o f s h a r i n g - o f f o o d , o f l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s a n d o f power. The members o f e a c h g e n e r a t i o n have a l s o t r i e d b o t h i n m e e t i n g s a n d i n l i t u r g i c a l c e l e b r a t i o n s , t o a p p r o p r i a t e t o t h e m s e l v e s t h e common s y m b o l s a n d r i t u a l s o f t h e C h u r c h a n d t o d e v e l o p new on e s o f t h e i r own t h r o u g h w h i c h t o c e l e b r a t e t h e i r l i v e s a n d e x p e r i e n c e s . B e n e a t h t h e o n g o i n g p a t t e r n o f t h e N e t w o r k ' s l i f e , more t h a n j u s t t h e m e m b e r s h i p c h a n g e d . The f o r m s a n d c o n c e r n s o f t h e g r o u p ' s a c t i v i t y a l s o c h a n g e d o v e r t i m e . I n t h e f i r s t s i x month o r s o a f t e r t h e i n i t i a l m e e t i n g i n J u l y 1984, t h e f o r m a n d c o n c e r n was c o n s c i o u s n e s s - r a i s i n g . A r r i v i n g a s 123 i s o l a t e d i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h what t h e y b e l i e v e d t o be u n i q u e , p e r s o n a l p r o b l e m s , t h e f i r s t members b e g a n t o s h a r e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s a n d s o o n d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e y s h a r e d a common l i f e b a s e d on common p r o b l e m s and a common a d v e r s a r y . The d i s c o v e r y o f a s h a r e d b u t u n a c c e p t a b l e r e a l i t y , t h e i r common l o t a s women o p p r e s s e d i n t h e C h u r c h , i n s p i r e d t h e f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n t o b u i l d , a t l e a s t i n c o m m u n i t y w i t h e a c h o t h e r , a new r e a l i t y a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r f e m i n i s t v i s i o n a n d common e x p e r i e n c e . F o r a l l , t h e c o m m u n i t y e x p e r i e n c e a t t h e N e t w o r k ' s m e e t i n g s e v e r y month were a r e f u g e a n d a h a v e n f r o m t h e m a i n s t r e a m C h u r c h . F o r some, h o w e v e r , i t was t h e s o u r c e s t r e n g t h n e c e s s a r y t o p r o s e l y t i z e t h e C h u r c h and s t r u g g l e f o r i t s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . B u t t h e y e n c o u n t e r e d o p p o s i t i o n a n d e v e n t u a l l y j o i n e d t h e N e t w o r k ' s o t h e r members i n a g r a d u a l e x o d u s f r o m c h u r c h l i f e a n d f r o m t h e N e t w o r k a s w e l l . The N e t w o r k t h a t had b e e n a s u p p o r t g r o u p f o r i t s f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n members became a n a l t e r n a t i v e s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i t y f o r t h o s e who came a f t e r them. T h e i r s t a r t i n g p o i n t was a c r i t i q u e o f t h e C h u r c h t h a t f o c u s s e d on s t r u c t u r e s r a t h e r t h a n i n d i v i d u a l s , on o p p r e s s i o n r a t h e r t h a n a b u s e . T h i s c r i t i q u e had a l r e a d y l e d a l l t h e s e women t o g i v e up c h u r c h -g o i n g , a l t h o u g h i n some c a s e s and i n v a r y i n g d e g r e e s t h e r e t u r n t o c h u r c h a t t e n d a n c e r e m a i n e d a p o s s i b i l i t y . W h a t e v e r t h e i r h o p e s f o r t h e C h u r c h i t s e l f , a l l t h e new members w a n t e d a c e r t a i n k i n d o f e x p e r i e n c e o f c h u r c h t o be f o u n d i n c o m m u n i t y w i t h e a c h o t h e r . I n m a k i n g c o m m u n i t y t h e 124 e x e m p l a r o f c h u r c h l i f e , t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n r e j e c t e d t h e t w o - f o l d m o d e l o f C h u r c h a s b o t h p a r t i c i p a t o r y c o m m u n i t y a nd c l e r i c a l h i e r a r c h y p r o c l a i m e d by t h e S e c o n d V a t i c a n C o u n c i l b y r e s e r v i n g o n l y t h e f o r m e r . C h u r c h , a s c o m m u n i t y , i s f o u n d i n human b e i n g s i n r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h e a c h o t h e r . The e x p e r i e n c e o f b e i n g i n r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h e a c h o t h e r c a n be u n d e r s t o o d t h r o u g h t h e m e t a p h o r o f t h e e u c h a r i s t . I n o r t h o d o x C a t h o l i c t e a c h i n g , t h e e u c h a r i s t i s a n i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f C h r i s t i n t o t h e b e l i e v e r a s w e l l a s t h e s y m b o l o f t h e i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f t h e b e l i e v e r i n t o t h e m y s t i c a l b o d y o f C h r i s t , w h i c h i s t h e C h u r c h . F o r t h e women o f t h e N e t w o r k , h o w e v e r , i t i s a n e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f t h e o t h e r i n t o s e l f a n d t h e s e l f i n t o t h e o t h e r . I f t o be c h u r c h i s t o be human t o g e t h e r i n r e l a t i o n s h i p , t h e n , b y c o r o l l a r y t h e o p p o s i t e i s a l s o t r u e : b e i n g human t o g e t h e r , i n w h a t e v e r f o r m a n d w i t h whomever, i s b e i n g c h u r c h . T h i s r a d i c a l r e t h i n k i n g o f e c c l e s i o l o g y had s i g n i f i c a n t , p r a c t i c a l c o n s e q u e n c e s f o r t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e N e t w o r k . I f e v e r y human r e l a t i o n s h i p e n r i c h e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f b e i n g c h u r c h , t h e n a l i m i t e d number o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n a homogeneous c o n t e x t i s an i m p o v e r i s h m e n t o f i t . B e i n g c h u r c h t h u s moves b e y o n d t h e bounds o f b o t h C a t h o l i c i s m a n d f e m i n i s m ; a n d b o t h f e m i n i s t s a n d C a t h o l i c s f i n d t h e i r p l a c e i n t h e h e t e r o g e n e o u s m i x o f human r e l a t i o n s t h a t c r e a t e c h u r c h . F u r t h e r m o r e , i f t h e p u r p o s e o f human r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t h e l i b e r a t i o n o f s e l f a n d o t h e r s f r o m o p p r e s s i o n and i f t r u e human r e l a t i o n s h i p i s e q u a t e d w i t h t h a t l i b e r a t i o n , w h i c h i t i s , t h e n b e i n g c h u r c h t a k e s on p r o p o r t i o n s much l a r g e r t h a n t h e mere t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h . B e i n g c h u r c h becomes b o t h a U t o p i a n v i s i o n o f and t h e means by w h i c h t o c r e a t e a new s o c i e t y a n d a new h u m a n i t y . 126 Works C i t e d A b b o t , W a l t e r . 1966. The Documents o f V a t i c a n I I . ( t r a n s l a t i o n s d i r e c t e d b y J o s e p h G a l l a g h e r ) New Y o r k : H e r d e r and H e r d e r , A s s o c i a t i o n P r e s s . A b e l l , A a r o n . 1 960. A m e r i c a n C a t h o l i c i s m a n d S o c i a l  A c t i o n . G a r d e n C i t y : D o u b l e d a y . A t k i n s o n , T i - G r a c e . 1974. Amazon O d y s s e y . New Y o r k : L i n k s . B e l l , C o l i n a n d H e l e n R o b e r t s . 1984. S o c i a l R e s e a r c h i n g : P o l i t i c s , P r o b l e m s a n d P r a c t i c e . L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e a n d Kegan P a u l . B o w l e s , C a r o l a n d R e n a t e D u e l l i - K l e i n . 1 9 8 0 . T h e o r i e s o f  Women's S t u d i e s . L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e a n d K e g a n P a u l . C a l l a h a n , S i d n e y . 1 9 6 5 . The I l l u s i o n o f E v e . New Y o r k : Sheed and Ward. 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The D o u b l e S t a n d a r d : A F e m i n i s t  C r i t i q u e o f F e m i n i s t S o c i a l S c i e n c e . New Y o r k : S t . M a r t i n ' s P r e s s . 1 9 8 7 . The R e l a t i o n s h i p B e t w e e n S e x i s t , N o n - S e x i s t , Woman-Centred a n d F e m i n i s t R e s e a r c h i n t h e S o c i a l S c i e n c e s . Women and Men: I n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y R e a d i n g s on G e n d e r . E d i t e d b y G r e t a H o f f m a n n N e m i r o f f . M o n t r e a l : F i t z h e n r y a n d W h i t e s i d e . 1988. N o n - S e x i s t R e s e a r c h M e t h o d s . B o s t o n : A l l e n a n d U n w i n . E n g e l s , F r i e d r i c h . 1 9 72. On t h e O r i g i n o f t h e F a m i l y , P r i v a t e P r o p e r t y a n d t h e S t a t e . E d i t e d b y E l e a n o r L e a c o c k . New Y o r k : I n t e r n a t i o n a l P u b l i s h e r s . F r e i r e , P a u l o . 1 9 8 3 . 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