Sally Cunneen: Women's Voices Meant to Speak for All

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National Catholic Reporter


In late 1965, Sally Cunneen, as co-founder and editor of the ecumenical quarterly Cross Currents, mailed a questionnaire to 4,627 paid subscribers across Canada and the United States. The questionnaire responses, with targeted sections for men and women, were the basis for her eye-opening 1968 book, Sex: Female; Religion: Catholic, which examined the changing role for women members of the church. Cunneen believed that despite all the discussions happening about changing church practices after the Second Vatican Council, the voice still missing from the conversation was that of the American Catholic woman. Respondents ranging from mother superiors to suburban housewives were given the opportunity to be candid, and although their views on most topics varied, they all agreed there was a need for better dialogue between Catholic women and the church.


National Catholic Reporter Publishing Co.