WaPo has a story on the recent efforts of the CDF and USCCB to help the poor confused women of the LCWR to faithful, orthodox Catholicism. The piece was written by a political writer, the deeply confused, Melinda Henneberger in a column called “She The People“.
I love the headline.
The instructive timing of the crackdown on nuns [ROFL! Whenever liberals see Holy Church do something that is exactly within its job description, they boost it up to a “crackdown”. If this thing with the LCWR is a “crackdown”, then I’m a Cardinal.]
By Melinda Henneberger
There were two Santa Maria! stories out of the Vatican this week. [So, she starts out with flippant blasphemy: words or gestures, also thoughts, which show contempt for God or dishonor God regardless of whether the person intends that contempt or dishonor or not.] First, the bad news: [And the objectivity gets up and heads for the door.] The ultra-traditionalists of Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X are another step closer to being welcomed back into the fold — though church fathers have yet to sort out the problem of the dissident group’s Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson, whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI lifted two years ago. [Who could see mean by “church fathers”? Surely from her this is a rather arch term.]
Then there was the even worse news, by my votive lights, that the Vatican is cracking down on American nuns – who as one of my fellow Catholics noted over a cup of unconsecrated wine last night, [Boy, she’s pretty clever with that religious imagery, isn’t she! And note the error of fact: the CDF and USCCB’s efforts are directed at the LEADERSHIP of the LCWR, not American nuns.] “Only do what Jesus told us to do,’’ in their hospitals, schools and orphanages, “so no wonder they’re in trouble.’’
After a lengthy investigation by the office formerly known as the Inquisition, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been signed up to oversee a forced reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 Catholic nuns in this country.
That’s because, according to the Vatican report released Wednesday, a number of the good sisters appear to investigators to have been influenced by “radical feminism” and to have fallen out of step with church teaching on homosexuality and women’s ordination.
Maybe timing isn’t everything, but the juxtaposition of these two announcements on the same day was perfect. [The first thing she has gotten right! But I seriously doubt that this was coordinated.] If, that is, the intent was to send the message that while schisms may come and go, feminism won’t be tolerated. [HUH? Or, otherwise the CDF’s efforts are both aimed at bringing people back into clearer unity, in a canonical sense for the one and doctrinal and spiritual sense for the other.] Or that a man who says, as Williamson did, that history is “hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed” will be waved back in, but women accused of dissent can leave if they like. [This is silly.]
In fact, with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council coming up in October, what better time to remind people how far we still have to go, five decades since Pope John XXIII promised to throw open the windows of the church and let in some fresh air?
Some things about the Vatican report do leave me torn: I can’t, for instance, decide if my favorite part is where they dare to indict the sisters for silence on abortion. (If memory serves, the Vatican itself has now and again been accused of keeping quiet when it shouldn’t have been.) Or maybe it’s the part where they describe one sister’s language about “moving beyond the Church’’ as “a cry for help.’’
[… I cut out some dopey stuff….]
It also looks like payback. [ROFL! It’s a vast right wing conspiracy!] Some American bishops openly criticized the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’s support of the Affordable Care Act, which the bishops strenuously opposed.
And though it’s probably a coincidence, the LCWR [a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns.] approved of President Obama’s compromise with religious institutions over providing their employees with insurance coverage that covers birth control — a proposal the bishops have not accepted.
Some of the complaints go back much further, suggesting ancient grievances polished to a high shine: “The LCWR publicly expressed in 1977 its refusal to assent to the teaching of Inter insigniores on the reservation of priestly ordination to men,’’ the Vatican report said. “This public refusal has never been corrected.”
[… I cut out more dopey stuff here… ]
Melinda Henneberger is a Post political writer and anchor’s the paper’s ‘She the People’ blog. Follow her on Twitter at @MelindaDC.
Watch for more of this sort of thing in the future.
This is the sort of thing readers of the WaPo, like those of Hell’s Bible (NYT), expect and that is what they get.
Speaking of Hell’s Bible, Laurie Goodstein has this. It is a lot smarter than the piece, above, but you can tell where she is going with it: Bishops are mean meanies picking on women.
April 18, 2012
Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein [at least it isn’t a “crackdown”!] in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”
The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, [a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns] had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”
The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters, many of whom belong to the Leadership Conference, signed a statement supporting it — support that provided crucial cover for the Obama administration in the battle over health care.
Word of the Vatican’s action took the group completely by surprise, Sister Sanders said. She said that the group’s leaders were in Rome on Wednesday for what they thought was a routine annual visit to the Vatican when they were informed of the outcome of the investigation, which began in 2008.
“I’m stunned,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby founded by sisters. Her group was also cited in the Vatican document, along with the Leadership Conference, for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.
“I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad,” Sister Campbell said. “We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.” [That could use some parsing.]
Again, this is the sort of thing that NYT readers expect. And it what the NYT gives them.