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?
"The Church has always taken great care that no one should be compelled against his will to embrace the Catholic Faith, because, as Augustine wisely declares: 'except he be willing, man cannot believe'."