The Catholic women about whom we know the least historically were the wives of the clergy, starting with the Apostles, bishops, presbyters, and deacons of early Christianity. Even though prelates and priests continued for more than a thousand years to marry and to father children, we know little or nothing about the wives, whose life experience, and even their names have been erased from history. Now they are coming back into prominence, mainly as the wives of noncanonical priests, some as wives of convert Episcopal priests, and many as the wives of ordained permanent deacons. In America, as elsewhere, the role and status of Catholic women are changing in significant directions. Their official acceptance by the institutional Church helps to offset traditional sexism and clericalism.
Joseph H. Fichter, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1556124740, ISBN 13: 9781556124747