UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Catholic Women's Network Stanger, Elizabeth Ann


The Catholic Women's Network was formed in 1984 and continues to be an active and thriving group. Since its founding in 1984, however, it has gone through two generations of women who are quite different from each other and consequently have different expectations of the group. Initially the Network was formed to be a local support group for Catholic women who were feeling alienated from the Catholic Church and were finding it increasingly hard to continue to participate in it. Since 1987, the group has changed its membership and its function. Rather than functioning as a support group for women who attend Church it is now one part of a network of alternative forms of Catholic life available in the diocese. This thesis describes the two generations of the Catholic Women's Network and accounts for the group's evolution by examining broader historical trends within Roman Catholicism and Catholic feminism: a shift in understanding of what it means to be the Church, inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965); and a move away from liberal feminism and its demand for the inclusion of women in the Church's clerical hierarchy toward a Marxian analysis of Church structures and the concomitant development of Womenchurch, a network of small feminist Catholic groups devoted to transforming the Church into a community of co-equal participation.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.