Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Vatican, the bishops, nuns and the people: Whither the church?

"The Vatican, this week, released a report that excoriates nuns for “serious doctrinal problems” or, in Vatican-speak, for following “radical feminist themes,” associating with the sick, the pregnant, the victims of abuse--if they are gay, say, or in same-sex relationships, or in need of particular health-care services--and caring for them, meeting with them, praying with them. The American bishops, meanwhile, castigate GOP members of Congress, their erstwhile, Obama-bashing side-kicks, for their embrace of savage social service spending cuts that will hurt some of the very same people the Vatican was blasting the nuns for caring about and for: the poor, the vulnerable, the old, the sick, the jobless, the needy, again, the very people that are frequent recipients of the services and tender mercies of American nuns-- and have been for centuries. So, here we have the Republicans in Congress (including Rep. Ryan, chief architect, acting against the Catholic social justice tenets he has been taught) being accused, correctly, by the bishops of undercutting efforts to combat the ills that many nuns devote their lives to ameliorating, and the Vatican comes down on? The nuns! "

"Catholic nuns, specifically the Leadership Conference of Women Religious —1500 or so superiors who run the various communities of sisters—are being placed in virtual receivership, their operations to be “overseen” by a bishop with the assistance of two additional bishops. The purpose? To quiet the voices of nuns heard at conferences, say, where church teaching on homosexuality, the primacy of the RC Church as the path to salvation, and the male-only priesthood seem to be acceptable subjects of conversation and debate. And, oh yes, to right this wrong: being too focused on poverty and economic injustice while allegedly keeping silent on abortion and same-sex marriage!... "

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