National Catholic Fishwrap has published a talk by Sr. Theresa Kane. It is about what you would expect, a sustained and blinkered whine.
It never ceases to amaze me that these people can’t see they are galumphing along toward oblivion in a group-hugging assisted-suicide pact.
Honestly, I hope these women eventually do find some peace. They are obviously confused and tortured souls.
Sr. Theresa Kane speaks on effective liturgy at Celebration conference in Chicago
Aug. 09, 2010
By Theresa Kane
Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane was president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in 1979 [the gift to women religious that keeps on giving] when she was asked to make a welcoming address to Pope John Paul II during his first visit to the United States. In the address, Kane urged the pope to include “half of humankind” in “all the ministries of the church.” [And she got her answer. No.]
Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane spoke July 22 in Chicago during the second annual Celebration Conference on Effective Liturgy., “A Knock at Midnight: Celebrating Christ in Urgent Times.” The title of her talk, presented on the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala, was “Woman, Why Are You Weeping?” [Can you hear the whine already?]
Sr. Kane is internationally known for her 1979 welcome to Pope John Paul II during his first visit to the United States with an appeal for the inclusion of women in all ministries in the church and her subsequent public support over the years for the ordination of women.
She began her talk with a brief history of the current biblical scholarship to recover the figure of Mary of Magdala from layers of distortion in order to recognize her role as a significant leader in the early church. [I bet that was a hoot!] Sr. Kane praised the organization Future Church, founded in Cleveland in 1997, for its work in assessing the projected impact of the priest shortage and promoting creative approaches [I suggest big puppets.] to meeting the church’s need for liturgical and pastoral leaders.
Sr. Kane reminded her audience that Mary of Magdala is mentioned prominently in all four Gospels as a companion and disciple of Jesus, one of a group of women who accompanied and supported him in his ministry, were present at his death and burial and the first witnesses to his resurrection. Mary’s status as “the apostle to the apostles” was celebrated in the early church and is still preserved in the Eastern church. But by the fourth century in the West, as part of an official suppression of female leadership, Mary of Magdala was represented in sermons and iconography though a conflation of scriptural passages that identified her primarily as a prostitute and public sinner.
In the second half of her talk, Sr. Kane spoke of the current situation of women in the church and the inspiration to be found in examining the witness of St. Mary of Magdala. An edited version of her remarks follows [to which I may add some of my own observations in the usual way] :
Woman, why are you weeping?
“Let us place ourselves for a moment in the garden where Mary was. This is a woman who has just experienced the torture and most brutal form of death of a very close friend, [Notice how she diminishes the LORD, reducing Him to "friend" status. Modernists always reduce the supernatural to the merely natural.] a death that was indeed an execution, capital punishment, [It was, Sister, deicide.] with very few supporters. The disappearance of people after his death and burial was more out of fear that they would be captured and arrested and perhaps tortured.
“But we get the image of Mary of Magdala as someone who was a close, intimate friend, a companion, [I wonder what her implication is here.] certainly a benefactor [? Evidence? For any of that?] to Jesus, and a disciple. So each of us here, we also weep openly or we weep interiorly at the death of loved one, whether that death be from what we call natural causes or much more traumatic and sudden. But we need to enter into that garden scene, feel the depth of grief, the anguish and pain at so horrible a death, and we know the relationship that Mary had to Jesus, [Essentially, there is no evidence to back up what she is saying. Instead, she is lowering this whole discourse to the level of mere sentimentality.] certainly a close, intimate friend and companion. And at his death, we can conclude [ROFL! But get this next line…] that she probably had a conviction that a grave injustice had been done. [D’ya think?] When one has a clear vision and insight about injustice, one weeps not only with anguish but from anger, with rage. Rage comes from courage, and at any injustice, [And now we get to her theme…] all of us should be filled with rage. [This actually would be a more apt title for this talk. This is what women such as Kane are all about, perpetuating anger based not so much on any solid and dependable evidence – certainly not on what the Church teaches as a starting point – but personal sentiment, personal rereading of texts, personal desires. It’s all about her and her feelings and – damn it – she’s angry and wants everyone to as angry as she is. Misery loves company. So, she’ll put on her smile for her talks, but inside something else is going on. Ridi del duol, che t’avvelena il cor!]
[Let’s wallow in the theme of anger for a while….] “The scriptures have said continually, ‘God is slow to anger.’ God is not without anger. Why does God have a sense of anger? Because of injustice. Why do we have a sense of anger? Because of injustice. [RRARRR. I just had the image of the scene in the Monty Python movie where the women have false beards so they can be fully participate as equals in the ministry of stoning.] So such an emotion is core to righting the wrong, core to bringing about justice. [Emotion, not reason or facts.] So I feel that her weeping in the garden is certainly because of a great a loss, [loss of a… what? A friend?] but also because she was facing of a grave injustice. [Okay…. she was really angry too. Angry at the Apostles! Those meanies.]
“And then the question, what do we do about that? [RRARRR!]
“Let me speak now of the women of our Catholic community today. Why do we weep? [sniff] Without the full incorporation of women into leadership, discipleship and all church ministries — which was the vision of the church council — without full incorporation into and participation at the liturgy, [BUZZ WORD ALERT…] we do not experience community as women at liturgy, [LOL!] and we do not experience life-giving worship. Our presence at liturgy has become and continues to be a source of anguish, sadness, even emptiness. [The Anglican Church is ready! Go to them! They are waiting to heal your brokenness, dry the tears of the womany community of weeping…ness.] We continue in severe tension over the basic language to describe humanity, and this has gone on for decades, the sexist language that we refer to as exclusive language The continued use of terms like ‘man,’ ‘his,’ and ‘mankind’ denies our very presence. [It’s ineffable, sister.] It certainly doesn’t give recognition and respect; and we are surely invisible. [If only.] The anguish, the distress, the absence of a sense of worship in community has gotten much more severe.
“In 1978, Pope John Paul I said publicly, and I have never forgotten this and continue to proclaim it. ‘We need to call God mother as well as father.’ It was a powerful statement. I can still remember him being quoted. Actually I saw him on television at the end of a conference he was having. Because until we do that, our language of God is exclusive, patriarchal, [Wait for it!] militaristic. [Was that a collective groan I heard from the readers?]
“And one of the severe tensions we have in the church is between the vision we have of community and governance that is monarchical. [RRARR! But wait for this next shocker…] I have been with bishops who say, ‘We are not a democracy.’ [Can you imagine such a thing?] And the question to the bishop is then, what form of governance are we? And do we not respect cooperation and participation and inclusion? We talk of community but we still have the governance of a monarchy. [With neither a full grasp of history nor clear reason as her strong points, she seems to think that monarchy excludes cooperation and participation and inclusion.]
“So the language about God is a source great distress to a growing number of women. Catholic women weep because male catholic leaders, many of them bishops and pastors, are culturally ignorant and culturally impotent [LOL!] regarding the presence, the potential, the human aspirations of women to be adult, mutual co-responsible collaborators. A wonderful word. ‘collaborate.’ It means we co-labor. I am mutually equal with you. [There should be some canonical penalty, some gravior delictum, for what she does to the English language.]
“When I was president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, we were called to Rome and been having meetings with the Vatican year after year after year, since before 1970. If anyone wants to know why this (current) investigation is happening, they have not been listening for 35 years. [I bet that was a laugh line, too.] We have done it repeatedly. So much so that we say, why should we do it again? But, good women that we are, women religious, we go back again. A very difficult issue.
‘As Sr. Mary Collins said, she would love to have a conversation with the bishop who told her they worshiped different Gods. [There, folks, it is. These women believe in a different religion.] I find myself saying, there are so few of them I could have ever had a conversation with. Even if there was a conversation, there isn’t the mutuality, there isn’t the respect, there isn’t the sense that indeed we are radically equal. [You see… she has relational wisdom. She understands.]
‘When we finished our meeting in Rome, I said to one of the sisters, find out what they thought about us being there, what they thought about the meeting, and let me know when you come home. Very faithfully, she came home and said, ‘Theresa, they’re saying over there that you sisters came over here as if you were equal.’ I said, ‘That’s a compliment. Please tell them we are equal!’ [She is using the word "equal" a lot. And she is using it in the context of things that happened in Rome. Italian "uguali" isn’t the same in its impact. I can hear it: "come fossero uguali"… as if they were the same" as men. This sort of thing happens all the time in a language. A non speak of English will get the nuance slightly wrong and the American hears something that wasn’t intended. What we have here is a failure to communicate. There is equality. There is not equivalence. Men and women are equal but not the same. Equal in dignity, but different in many other aspects. The differences, which God must have wanted, mean something. One of the things they mean is that women can never be ordained. Women are equal in dignity, but not equivalent in roles in the Church. So, not only is she spinning some idiot tale about Mary Magdalen, she is spinning a totally false reconstruction of something told third hand and filtered through a different language.]
“That’s the mindset. How do we have a conversation about that? We need to weep. [The… just… get on with it. Tramuta in lazzi lo spasmo ed il pianto / in una smorfia il singhiozzo e ‘l dolor, Ah!] There is a sense of ignorance about the human aspirations of women to be adult, mutual collaborators.
“Women of the Catholic community. Why are we weeping today? We are in crisis. [Things not going your way these days?] There are a number of women who have already moved out of traditional Sunday worship. They are still finding where they want to go. [Like sheep, without a male shepherd.] We have a number of women who have begun very courageous, strong alternative liturgies, [cf. puppet liturgy photo, above. But get this… ] which we believe are valid, mystic, pastoral, spiritual — all the qualities that are needed for the human soul. [Except for the whole part about risking going to hell.]
“We have many who are moving to other protestant traditions. [The Anglican Church embraces you, Sister, in your angerrrrrr! Feel the anger. Feel the power of the dark side of the Force.] We also have a growing number of women who are doing to feminist liturgies, taking turns presiding, co-presiding, perfectly comfortable with it. [Yahhhhhh riiiight…. perfectly comfortable. I wonder how they decide which of them is going to "preside". Imagine that scenario. Does she have more right to preside since she was head of the LCWR? If the actual head of the LCWR comes along, can she only co-preside? Who get’s to preside? Can the sister who has fewer articles in NCR be chosen to embody their embodied…ness?] I think it’s a conscience call. Maybe it is the beginning of a new church. Maybe this is how we have to look at a Pentecost. I think we need to be willing address it. To continue in an exclusively male priesthood is in my judgment both a form and expression of idolatry. [And that, friends, strike me as a clear example of both heresy and blasphemy. Perhaps Sister’s superior needs to have a chat with her after getting a note from the CDF.]
“Why is it we cannot have a woman, why is it in our congregations, or you go into your parish church and 80 to 90 percent of those present are women, and no woman can be up there presiding at Eucharist. If the priest doesn’t show up, we have a wonderful Communion service, [Note the reasoning: Communion service is "wonderful" because a woman can do it. It is not Mass, which requires a man. There is no reference to the LORD.] but you can’t even give a homily because that isn’t allowed. [If this is an example,….]
“One story. A group of sisters in the Midwest were having their community assembly. Out of courtesy, they invited the bishop. [They hated him, but they invited him.] We generally do not invite the bishop because we are such good friends and want to celebrate, but unfortunately – and I feel very sad about this — we do it because it is expected and out of courtesy. The bishop wrote back and said, it must be in a parish church and not at the motherhouse, you must have altar boys come in to assist me, and no sister may carry the cross at the beginning of the procession. With real regrets, [after passing around those fake beards] they met as a group, they really prayed about it and decided not to have liturgy. [Because that is their decision.] They didn’t want to disinvite the bishop, so they said that their plans had changed. They should have said, we are disinviting you, because so many of us have experienced being disinvited. When anything is a little bit not quite right, we get disinvited. [You know. I agree with this. So, in that spirit. Sister! I disinvite you from the Catholic Church! The Anglicans, on the other hand, are standing their with tissues to dry your tears. Go! Sister. Fly! Be Free to explore your other-invitedness.]
“But the real tragedy is that a magnificent opportunity is lost for a bishop to gather with a group of women to worship together.
[And whine begins to soar….]
“So women of the 21st century have done what we have done down through the ages. We weep. [A lot.] But we have also done other things. The material from FutureChurch shows that we can do something about this. We are creating new liturgies, a new space for ourselves [Cue gathering song musicness: " Isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer. / Losing my timing this late in my career. / And where are the clowns. / Quick send in the clowns / Don’t bother, they’re here."]
“As a Catholic woman, I continue to hope. Why? At gatherings such as this for these three days, [three … whole… days…] I hear so many women and women who are so open and want to make this a new church. So I go home having been inspired. I don’t really have a need to run back to traditional worship. [Remember that this is a matter of perspective. For her, you could have just about any wacko thing take place, but if there is a male priest, it is "traditional". See how language shifts depending on the context? But remember: they are open! They are sooooo open. Would they be open to a man presiding at their non-traditional self-expression liturgies? I have a learnéd dubitation about that.] There are many organizations that are very much alive, spiritual and Vatican II: Call to Action, Women’s Ordination Conference, Future Church., [AND…] the congregations of women religious ourselves. [That, friends, may suggest a reason for the Apostolic Visitation. Am I reading too much into it?] In many ways we are a counter organization within an organization.
“I’ve had women say to me, ‘How do you put up with those bishops?’
“I say, ‘To be perfectly honest, I really have very little to do with them. How do you put up with your husband?’ [HAR HAR HAR!]
“Women still me stories that are shocking. ‘I can’t drive when he is in the car. He still pays all the bills, and I have to get some money from him.’ This goes on on a regular basis.
“But basically I believe that the congregations of women religious have much more equality and I think that the renewal that took place in our communities brought about that equality. [Minor detail: You are all old now and there are no new vocations.] We worked hard at this for many years. [And look at all the wonderful empty convents you have made.] I think that alternative communities are worshipping and are also ecumenical, which is a major breakthrough.
“And finally I get hope from the words of scripture. In the fullness of time God’s purpose will be revealed. [It sure will. In the meantime, the last sister left needs to switch off the light and lock the door behind her.] The question is, when will the renewal come? In the fullness of time. It may be tomorrow. Maybe next week. But it’s God’s time, not my time. In the fullness of time. I also have the deep conviction that nothing is impossible with God. [So STAY ANGRY.] People will say to me, ‘You can’t do that, it’s not possible.’ With God, all things are possible. And those are the things that give me great hope.”
I can hear the opening song for their made up liturgies, as they vest for … whatever you call it:
Vesti la giubba, …. e la faccia infarina.
Finally, I think it would annoy Sister and the editor of NCR were you to follow me on Twitter or buy me a cup of coffee. Just the thought of it….
UPDATE 1935 GMT:
I am delighted to report that a few people have sent donations through the coffee cup icon! Let the annoying begin!
UPDATE 11 Aug 1342 GMT:
I am even more delighted to be able to report that even more readers have sent liberal-annoying donations using the coffee cup icon below or the button on the side bar!