Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hinze, Christine F.

Second Advisor

Carey, Patrick W.

Third Advisor

Copeland, M. S.


The question of the ordination of women is one which has been raised by many Catholic feminists since the 1960s. As women became more conscious of their human dignity, Catholic documents, including Pope John XXIII's Pacem in Terris, and the Second Vatican Council's Gaudiwn et Spes, condemned sex discrimination as contrary to God's intention. Liberation theology also influenced those concerned the ordination of women in the Catholic church. In order to better understand this question, one should understand the historical background of Catholic feminism, including its roots in the nineteenth century and twentieth century American feminist movements. This chapter will begin by briefly tracing the historical background of the Catholic feminist movement. Then the chapter will discuss the status of the question of the ordination of women. Finally, the chapter will describe this dissertation's plan of study...



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