I remember a curmudgeonly priest once shocking me by saying, “Women have a place in the church…on their knees…either scrubbing the floor or praying.”
Errm. Maybe or maybe not.
In fact, although ordination is reserved to men in the Catholic Church, my article for Aletia this week shows that ministry of women in the Catholic Church is growing in a remarkable and positive way.
In his recent book, The Future Church: How Ten Trends Are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church, veteran church commentator John Allen reveals the surprising statistics on women’s ministry in the Catholic Church. Ten years ago, of the 31,000 Catholic lay church workers in the United States, 80 percent were women.
Neither are all the women involved in secretarial or child care roles. Five years ago 48.4 percent of diocesan level administrative posts were held by women, and at senior levels 26.8 percent were held by women.
Allen observes, “the Catholic Church actually does better than many other institutions. A 2005 study of Fortune 500 companies found that women hold only 16.4 percent of corporate officer positions and only 6.4 percent of the top earner positions. Similarly, a 2007 study by the American Bar Association found that just 16 percent of the members of the top law firms’ governing committees are women, and only 5 percent of managing partners are female. According to a 2004 report from the Department of Defense, women held just 12.7 percent of positions at the grade of major or above.”
Go here to read the full article.