Talking about Sexuality within Catholic Consecrated Communities in Poland


  • Wojciech Sadlon Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
  • Marcin Jewdokimow Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw



religious life, sexuality, Poland, Catholicism


Currently, the topic of sexuality in the context of Catholic consecrated life is studied predominantly from the perspective of sexual abuse. In our study we sought to unveil how sexuality is lived out by sisters and brothers in Catholic monasteries in Poland, very specific groups that construct their identity and everyday practices by suppressing sexuality, resulting from the vow of chastity. In order to reach out to the attitudes and experiences of this group, we employed the mixed methods logic combining it with the world café method (n = 92) with a representative survey (n = 1583). This article takes the form of a reflective narrative in which the authors discuss the linguistic and practical issues of the research, focusing on its qualitative stage. We present a methodological approach to elaborate suitable language to study and discuss sexuality within the context of religious life, which touched upon the challenge of fine-tuning the relationship between the theological content of “chastity” and the popular term “sexuality” taking into account both the Catholic institutional and Polish cultural contexts. We uncover the process of our study and attitudes and experiences of the chaste religious, shed light on the methodological issues related to the studies of sexuality among the religious, and methodologically contribute to other topics taken into account when discussing sexuality and Catholicism.


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Author Biographies

Wojciech Sadlon, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

Wojciech Sadlon is Director of the Institute for Catholic Church Statistics, Poland, and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. He is the author of Polish Catholicism between Tradition and Migration: Agency Reflexivity and Transcendence (Routledge, 2021) (foreword Margaret Archer).

Marcin Jewdokimow, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

Marcin Jewdokimow is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Head of the Department of 20th and 21st Century Culture in the Institute of Classical and Cultural Studies at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland. He is the co-editor of A Visual Approach to the Study of Religious Orders: Zooming in on Monasteries (Routledge, 2019) and the co-editor of The Transformation of Religious Orders in Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2021).


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How to Cite

Sadlon, W. ., & Jewdokimow, M. . (2021). Talking about Sexuality within Catholic Consecrated Communities in Poland. Fieldwork in Religion, 16(1), 55–72.