From the Silent Revolution to Sexual Abuse Scandals
The Question of ‘Women’s Place’ in French Catholicism
In reviewing the way in which the question of ‘women’s place’ has been handled in French Catholicism since the 1980s, the article unveils three configurations, which, from a chronological point of view, partly overlap. First, during the silent revolution, the existence of a stained-glass ceiling was little decried. This has not, however, prevented women from assuming a wide range of positions and responsibilities in the Church. The second moment focused on the liturgy. It was not until the third moment, when sexual abuse scandals shook the Church’s reputation and influence, that the stained-glass ceiling was openly impugned in French Catholicism. Thus, this article, which constitutes the first existing synthesis on the place of women within this context, endeavors to account for the absence of mobilization in favor of women even though this French specificity definitely erodes at the end of the period under scrutiny.