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?
"Build schoolhouses then for the religious education of your children as the best protest against a system of education from which religion has been excluded by law."
~ Bernard J. McQuaid, Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester; in firm command to his flock, after the failure of the State to remedy the injustice to Catholic parents who were forced to pay education taxes to support public schools detrimental to their faith.