The fraught relationship between women and the Catholic Church in Ireland
Sharon Tighe-Mooney’s chapter sees the divorce, contraception and abortion referenda of the 1980s and 90s as a watershed for Irish women, as these were issues that impacted directly on their lives. Tighe-Mooney examines the events of the past four decades in Irish society in the context of the weakening hegemony of the Catholic Church juxtaposed with the growing realisation by women, especially when the child abuse scandals broke, that their lives had been framed by a celibate male-dominated institution that displayed serious double standards in the area of human sexuality. She argues that in order to survive into the future, the Church will be increasingly dependent on women remaining active within the institution. As Irish women Catholics are demanding a central role in the running of a Church that has shown itself allergic to change, especially when it comes to gender equality, Tighe-Mooney wonders what the future holds for both groups.