Women and Womens Expectations

In the homelands, in Churches such as the Ukrainian Catholic, clergy wives traditionally played prominent roles in social work and education; and during the Soviet era, owing to a greater immunity from government reprisals, older women in particular exercised leadership in the 'Uniate' underground. Today, while most of the Eastern Catholic Churches have active women's organizations, and some have seen the wives of clergy organize for retreats and workshops, nothing approaching modern Christian feminism is evident. Ironically, in spite of contact with western Christianity, Eastern Catholics, unlike some of their Orthodox counterparts, have not officially promoted the restoration of the female diaconate. Also, female altar servers are a rarity, and generally prohibited by explicit guidelines or custom. However, women are frequently cantors, lectors, parish council members and episcopal chancery officials; and during the recent Maronite and Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchal assemblies, almost half of the delegates were women.

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