The Dissenter’s Breviary, NCR, and the "magisterium of nuns", LCWR, are abusing the abuse crisis for their own ends.
Have a look at the recent NCR piece, "Compromised hierarchy needs relational wisdom of women" by Charlene Spretnak.
Spretnak draws an opposition between the "patriarchal value system" of the "men’s club" and the "relational wisdom of women", which she says is exemplified, in part, by the "[harassed] communities of nuns" and by other women in the Catholic Church.
NCR‘s Spretnak turned a blind eye to the voluminous new emerging data concerning the sexual abuse of children by women, and, in particular, by Catholic nuns, as reported here and here and especially here.
In the latter article, "Nuns On the Run From the Truth" (Salon – 17 August 2009), self-described "feminist and progressive Catholic" Frances Kissling, moans,
"we were surprised when the LCWR leadership refused to allow survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic sisters to address the past few annual meetings. The survivors want to share their stories of abuse as well as suggest processes to prevent such abuse in the future, including recommending that the sisters adopt the bishops’ anti-sex-abuse guidelines. To date, the nuns have just said no."
Just imagine! Frances Kissling is surprised that the LCWR, that besieged bastion of religious integrity, of female "relational wisdom" (to quote Spretnak), would ape the bishops and major superiors!
But wait, there’s more!
Even as they wag fingers at male bishops and priests, the LCWR, fully supported by the liberal press, has covered up sexual abuse of children by women religious.
Just focus for a moment on how the LCWR has for years been fighting off SNAP.
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has been trying to get the LCWR to deal with them since at least 2004.
SNAP tried to engaged the LCWR about women religious who have abused children but the LCWR has stonewalled them. In their "relational wisdom", LCWR responded to SNAP, thanking them for "raising their consciousness" about this problem. Then they did nothing to work with SNAP. In 2009 LCWR was still "raising their consciousness" and still stonewalling.
What would Spretnak say about the superiority of women’s "relational wisdom" over the men’s club’s "patriarchal socialization" if she had bothered to do this simple Google search – "Catholic nuns child sexual abuse" – before she emailed her corrosive article to NCR’s HQ?
The dirty little secret is that both Catholic priests and nuns – yes women! – have engaged in sick, immoral acts against children and minors. This is not an exclusively male problem. This is not a celibacy problem. See my article here on Protestant ministers – married ministers – and sexual abuse of children.
Consider for a moment a statement by Fr. Thomas Doyle, OP, – no conservative he – posted on 20 Sept. 2009 on the site of ex-priest Richard Sipe in an entry called "Sexual Abuse by Nuns".
Doyle says that the numbers of women religious who have abused children are "equal to the numbers of priests". Did you get that?
Let’s just read together for a moment with my emphases:
"The sexual and physical abuse by nuns is far more widespread than most people are aware of. The nuns have been protected by the inability of most people to believe that such things were possible but I can assure you, they were possible and the reality is far worse than one could imagine.
In light of the highly visible and vocal support of most contemporary nuns, including their leadership in LCWR for victims of social injustice both inside and outside the Church, we would certainly expect that they would quickly respond openly, honestly and with compassion to victims of religious women. The opposite has been true. The religious congregations of women who have been sued have fought the victims with a viciousness that was equal to or exceeded that of many bishops. The LCWR has treated the victims who have tried to communicate with them in a disgraceful and downright unchristian manner. They have been as cold, as clerical, as arrogant and as dishonest as the bishops.
They have refused to even consider cleaning the mess in their own house. They have treated those who have brought the mess to their attention with cruelty and disdain."
And this just barely scratches the surface of how the LCWR has been avoiding the issue of sexual abuse of children by women religious.
After all, Sr. Joan has been so "prophetic" in her criticism of denials and cover-ups of priest sexual abusers by U.S. bishops. Shouldn’t her sense of justice urge her to be as forthright as Fr. Doyle about the LCWR’s cover-up of abuse of children by U.S. nuns?
Liberals harp that the "men’s club" of popes, bishops and priests covered up sexual abuse of children by male clerics. Therefore, they whine, male priesthood and celibacy have to be changed. "If only women were priests!", they lament. "If only women were in power positions!" The slimy irony is that the liberal-dominated LCWR has covered up abuse of children by women religious. NCR doesn’t want to cover that story. Why? Could it be that a large number of their readers are aging women religious? NCR doesn’t want to jeopardize their base. Perhaps LCWR doesn’t want to jeopardize collections taken up in parishes for their own support.
Think about this. The "magisterium of nuns" and the LCWR had the experience of watching the sexual abuse crisis strike priests and male religious and they still didn’t learn the lesson about cover-ups.
It’s over, sisters.