The emerging role of women in the Roman Catholic Church of Latvia

Ilona Micule, Fordham University


This dissertation discusses the role of women in society and the Roman Catholic Church in Latvia. While the discussion about gender equality in contemporary society in Latvia has become a significant issue, the changes in the Church are emerging at a slow pace. To understand women's contribution in the Catholic Church in general and in the Church of Latvia in particular, a historical discourse of women's roles in the early Church and the main aspects of history of the Roman Catholic Church in Latvia are provided. Accordingly, women's roles and their religious socialization in the development of Christianity in Latvia are explored. Although women's roles in the Roman Catholic Church in Latvia are limited to teaching catechesis, singing in church choir, helping parish priests in maintaining the parish, they are not involved in decision-making in the Church, but some women are leaders in lay organizations. To explore the current situation of women's role in the Church in Latvia a survey was conducted. Women's experiences served as a basis for searching and discussing educational and pastoral implications for teachers, religious educators, laity and clergy to enrich people's understanding about shared leadership in the Catholic Church where both men's and women's contributions should be appreciated. Based on the findings generated by the survey some religious, educational and philosophical recommendations in teaching women in institutions of higher education and church settings in Latvia are proposed. The study concludes that people need new educational models which engage the person's body, mind and spirit. Specific suggestions are offered which include changes such as adopting inclusive language, richer images of collaborative ministry, and more communal forms of religious education.

Subject Area

Religious education|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Micule, Ilona, "The emerging role of women in the Roman Catholic Church of Latvia" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3214709.