Not by a long shot – despite what some revisionist scholars would have us believe. Indeed, in Scripture, women represent the soul in union with God. Beginning in Genesis, it's clear that women were vocal and active. We know their names – such as Miriam, Esther, Judith, Hannah, and Susanna – and their stories.
In 1964 there were 180,000 religious; today there are 67,000. The effects of this tragic loss on the Church can hardly be exaggerated, especially on hospitals and schools. How and why did it happen? Is the Vatican to blame? The Second Vatican Council? The American bishops? Feminism and the sexual revolution? The sisters' own leadership?
"We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world."
~ Albertus Magnus, the most learned professor of the period, in wonder at the brilliant defense of a difficult thesis by young Thomas Aquinas, whose humility and reserve had been misinterpreted as signs of dullness.