Award-winning nonfiction author and journalist Celia Viggo Wexler faced the demons of her own traumatic Catholic childhood as she set out to answer one question: Is it possible to be a Catholic and a feminist? Her quest led her to nine extraordinary women with their own stories of love, loss and anger; each of them ultimately coming to terms with an institutional church that fails women in many ways. Ranging in age from thirty-something to seventy-plus, with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and stages of life, they share their deepest thoughts about Catholicism, the church’s flaws and failings, and their personal philosophies.
They are married with children; single and celibate, and lesbian. They are theologians, college professors, lobbyists, and activists. But they share one trait: a conviction that faith is bigger than the institutional church.
Profiled in Catholic Women Confront Their Church are: Barbara Blaine, founder, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP); Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, the Catholic social justice lobby; Teresa Delgado, Latina professor of religion and sexual ethics; Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director, DignityUSA, which advocates for LGBT Catholics; Diana Hayes, African-American theologian, lecturer and writer; Frances Kissling, who was the voice of pro-choice Catholics as the head of Catholics for a Free Choice for 25 years; Sharon MacIsaac McKenna, Canadian psychotherapist and former nun; Gretchen Reydams-Schils, director of Notre Dame’s program of liberal studies, author and scholar of ancient philosophy, and Joshunda Sanders, former journalist, writer and feminist blogger.