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Catholic women are some of the most maligned, most caricatured, and most intriguing people in American society.
America is flirting with the idea that being a Catholic female means saying "yes" to the faith as a private source of comfort, but "no" to living out its more countercultural moral and social teachings.
Catholic women are facing unprecedented questions about sex, money, marriage, work, children and the church itself -- questions with innumerable personal and societal repercussions. Is it even possible that the teachings of a 2,000 year old religion are still relevant for today's toughest issues?
A quick tour of leading cultural indicators seems to say "no." But this is far from the whole story. Many women, courageously facing questions their mothers and grandmothers would never have encountered, are finding intellectually and spiritually satisfying answers within the framework of their Catholic faith.
Nine such Catholic women -- varying widely in age, occupation and experience -- share personal stories of how they struggled toward the realization that the demands of their faith actually set them free. Their stories -- full of honesty, but ultimately hope -- shed new light and new clarity on women's continued attraction to the Catholic faith.
- Navigating dating and sexpectations
- Feminism, freedom and contraception
- Children versus a "better me"
- Being Catholic in light of the sexual abuse scandal
- Faith, psychology and same-sex attraction
Helen M. Alvare is a law professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, where she teaches and writes in the areas of family law, and law and religion. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and Chair of the Task Force on Conscience Protection, as well as a Consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Helen is married with three children. She is co-author of an open letter on women and religious freedom that has thus far attracted over 30,000 women's signatures (see womenspeakforthemselves.com). $33.90