Roman Catholicism and women: Identity, faith, family, role and conflict

Kathleen A. Brock (1995)

The Roman Catholic Church is a powerful macro system that is very influential in the lives of its followers. Its teaching about and for women is reviewed in this qualitative dissertation which explores the relationships ten Roman Catholic women have with their Church. The women expressed how they see their roles as Roman Catholic women in society, family and the Church. All of the women were born into the Church and into a Catholic family so that their views of themselves, their roles, their sexuality and their life choices have been affected by the Church and their Catholic family. Both the Church and family seem inextricably related. In-depth semi-structured interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, coded, categorized and analyzed. The themes of importance and conflict were examined, as were the women's ways of coping with their conflicts. The Church, its teachings about an afterlife and the connection it provides with the family of origin are, in many ways, life organizing for these women.