No Place for a Woman

The Spiritual and Political Power Abuse of Women within Catholicism

$19.95

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Imprint: Lantern Publishing & Media
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“The exclusion, marginalisation, mistreatment and oppression of women lies at the very heart of the systemic and deep-seated crisis of the abuse and misuse of power within the Church over many centuries. This powerful book combines research and analysis with far-reaching experience and testimony to show what has gone wrong and what needs urgently to change, both practically and theologically. For many in the Catholic Church and beyond this book will make difficult and painful reading. Its message, while rightly unflinching and uncompromising in calling out spiritual and power abuse, is ultimately hopeful and positive. But only if those in positions of influence are willing to engage with root and branch reform, to give up privilege themselves, and to put the voices and authority of women at the centre of a major reversal in the way power is understood and exercised by the Church.”
—Simon Barrow, Director, Ekklesia thinktank
 
“Meticulous research, presented in an accessible style, presenting a compelling apologetic for the urgent reform required, to ensure gender equality, at every level of ecclesiastical life, as Jesus intended. The author provides vital information to empower the countless women, whose genuine vocations are being suppressed, to continue to bear witness to Christ’s call to them. No Place for A Woman exposes the shocking and systematic exclusion of women, by men throughout history, in contrast to the positions of authority to which Jesus had appointed them, and that they enjoyed in the early Church. Every Christian should equip themselves with the facts that this shrewd book reveals, to enable them to play their part, in ensuring the church evolves, to comprehensively integrate women in the apostolic holy orders, mission, and magisterium of the church.”
—Archbishop Jonathan Blake, Open Episcopal Church
 
“Sadly, Christians are having to become ever more familiar with the concept of spiritual abuse, as we are being forced to recognize that beliefs can and have been used to manipulate and control. Up to now the concept of spiritual abuse has tended to be applied to the behavior of individuals towards individuals. In this sweeping and searing analysis of the place of women in the Roman Catholic Church, past and present, Debra Maria Flint argues that the institution is guilty of spiritual abuse towards half the human race. It is an argument that will shock and disturb many, but it cannot be ignored, particularly at this crucial point in the history of the Roman Catholic Church when, under the leadership of Pope Francis, it seeks to become a listening and inclusive Church.”
—Elizabeth Stuart, Professor Emeritus, University of Winchester
 
“Debra Maria Flint has masterfully woven her viewpoint from her lived experience into a timeline of historical events using the Holy thread of inspiration. Flint’s writing is clear and accessible. Her message is unmistakable. Debra Maria Flint’s book is an invitation to see with different eyes, to be open to Christ and to bring God’s love to our actions in this world.”
—Rev. Jill Striebinger, Association of Catholic Women Priests
 
“Debra Maria Flint has researched a complicated subject extensively: The current marginal position of women within the Roman Catholic church when it comes to policies and a religious life and the power abuse, spiritual abuse, and sexual abuse they still risk today that are sustained by a hierarchal power structure of celibate, male and mostly old clergy. No Place for a Woman is a brave, intelligent and well written book for all who advocate a religion with a heart and soul. A must read for all women who have a calling for religious life to make informed choices.”
—Bishop Paula-Willemijn van Rooijen, Old Catholic Apostolic Church, diocese Europe
 
“In this rigorously researched and brilliantly written book, Debra Maria Flint examines the historic treatment of women by the Catholic Church. She documents the prominence women once had and explores the causes of the destruction and erosion of female influence, including disordered attitudes towards God, human nature, and sexuality. Flint challenges the Church to make radical changes and to rid itself of its entrenched misogyny if it is to survive as a faithful witness to Christ in the world.”
—Rev. Christina H. M. Rees CBE
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Book Details

Pages

258 Pages

Size

6 x 9

Format

Trade Paperback

Pub. Date

03/19/2024

ISBN

978-1-59056-722-7

Publisher

Lantern Publishing & Media

Authors

Debra Maria Flint was born in Birmingham, UK, and converted to Catholicism at 22 years of age. She speaks and writes fluent Greek. Flint studied theology before qualifying as a nurse. She has a BSc in safeguarding and post-graduate qualifications in management and investigative research. Flint worked for 20 years in social care. She managed children’s homes and later worked as a Social Care Inspector for Ofsted. She was the first Social Care Inspector in England to represent Ofsted in court when a company failed to have robust safeguarding procedures in place. Flint decided to follow a consecrated path after the death of her late husband in 2014. She spent six years exploring the female consecrated life before experiencing difficulties in 2020. These difficulties ignited her passionate advocacy for the plight of spiritually abused women. Her first book on the female consecrated life was published in April 2021.

No Place for a Woman effectively describes the historical process through which the Catholic hierarchy removed women from influence and left them without any place in Catholic Church governance.
 
This radical book examines the historical formation of Catholic theology from the perspective of the spiritual abuse of women. Debra Flint defines spiritual and political power abuse before considering female influence in the Church from New Testament times to date. She clearly demonstrates how women, who were respected by Jesus and authoritative in the early Church, were gradually eliminated from positions of influence by patriarchy and the growing development of misogyny.

Tertullian, a late second–century Church Father, was one of the first to decry the ordination of women that occurred during his lifetime. He did this in a spiritually abusive way. Later, the fourth-century Synod of Laodicea took up this mantle, but despite this, women continued to be ordained as deacons until the ninth century in some areas. In Anglo-Saxon Britain, women were never ordained, but they held exceptionally high powers of governance on the same level as that of a bishop. These female powers of governance were lost due to the Viking raids, which were highly convenient to Rome. The East-West Schism was another historical event that further demised women as it left the Western Church free to promote mandatory celibacy, which the Eastern Church had always opposed. This led to an unbiblical elevation of the status of priest in the Western Church, which further reinforced a misogynistic view of women. This demise of women was enshrined in ecumenical councils and through the development of Catholic Canon Law.

In No Place for a Woman, Flint examines the hierarchical structure of the Church today and notes that in recent years there have been some attempts to involve women more fully, but these have been mere tinkering at the edges. What is really needed is a complete change of culture and a new feminist theology for which Flint seeks to lay the groundwork.
 

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“The exclusion, marginalisation, mistreatment and oppression of women lies at the very heart of the systemic and deep-seated crisis of the abuse and misuse of power within the Church over many centuries. This powerful book combines research and analysis with far-reaching experience and testimony to show what has gone wrong and what needs urgently to change, both practically and theologically. For many in the Catholic Church and beyond this book will make difficult and painful reading. Its message, while rightly unflinching and uncompromising in calling out spiritual and power abuse, is ultimately hopeful and positive. But only if those in positions of influence are willing to engage with root and branch reform, to give up privilege themselves, and to put the voices and authority of women at the centre of a major reversal in the way power is understood and exercised by the Church.”
—Simon Barrow, Director, Ekklesia thinktank
 
“Meticulous research, presented in an accessible style, presenting a compelling apologetic for the urgent reform required, to ensure gender equality, at every level of ecclesiastical life, as Jesus intended. The author provides vital information to empower the countless women, whose genuine vocations are being suppressed, to continue to bear witness to Christ’s call to them. No Place for A Woman exposes the shocking and systematic exclusion of women, by men throughout history, in contrast to the positions of authority to which Jesus had appointed them, and that they enjoyed in the early Church. Every Christian should equip themselves with the facts that this shrewd book reveals, to enable them to play their part, in ensuring the church evolves, to comprehensively integrate women in the apostolic holy orders, mission, and magisterium of the church.”
—Archbishop Jonathan Blake, Open Episcopal Church
 
“Sadly, Christians are having to become ever more familiar with the concept of spiritual abuse, as we are being forced to recognize that beliefs can and have been used to manipulate and control. Up to now the concept of spiritual abuse has tended to be applied to the behavior of individuals towards individuals. In this sweeping and searing analysis of the place of women in the Roman Catholic Church, past and present, Debra Maria Flint argues that the institution is guilty of spiritual abuse towards half the human race. It is an argument that will shock and disturb many, but it cannot be ignored, particularly at this crucial point in the history of the Roman Catholic Church when, under the leadership of Pope Francis, it seeks to become a listening and inclusive Church.”
—Elizabeth Stuart, Professor Emeritus, University of Winchester
 
“Debra Maria Flint has masterfully woven her viewpoint from her lived experience into a timeline of historical events using the Holy thread of inspiration. Flint’s writing is clear and accessible. Her message is unmistakable. Debra Maria Flint’s book is an invitation to see with different eyes, to be open to Christ and to bring God’s love to our actions in this world.”
—Rev. Jill Striebinger, Association of Catholic Women Priests
 
“Debra Maria Flint has researched a complicated subject extensively: The current marginal position of women within the Roman Catholic church when it comes to policies and a religious life and the power abuse, spiritual abuse, and sexual abuse they still risk today that are sustained by a hierarchal power structure of celibate, male and mostly old clergy. No Place for a Woman is a brave, intelligent and well written book for all who advocate a religion with a heart and soul. A must read for all women who have a calling for religious life to make informed choices.”
—Bishop Paula-Willemijn van Rooijen, Old Catholic Apostolic Church, diocese Europe
 
“In this rigorously researched and brilliantly written book, Debra Maria Flint examines the historic treatment of women by the Catholic Church. She documents the prominence women once had and explores the causes of the destruction and erosion of female influence, including disordered attitudes towards God, human nature, and sexuality. Flint challenges the Church to make radical changes and to rid itself of its entrenched misogyny if it is to survive as a faithful witness to Christ in the world.”
—Rev. Christina H. M. Rees CBE