Another liberal writer turns on Pope Francis

The repulsively lefty Maureen Dowd has a piece in the Irish Times… it’s like a perfect storm, no?… in which she lays into Pope Francis.

This is how the Liberal catholic Left will be talking about Francis before too long.

Let’s have a peek at her green-inked piece with my emphases and comments:

American nuns at rough end of Pope Francis’s mixed messages

So much for all the cozy hugs and soothing cold calls and fun selfies and humble gestures and talk of mercy, love, inclusion, equality and justice. Pope Francis appears guilty of condoning that most base Vatican sport: bullying nuns.  [We don’t, of course, accept her absurd premise.  But we are sure that she believes what she wrote.] The cool pope suddenly doesn’t seem so cool, allowing Rome’s grand inquisitors to torque up the derogation this Mother’s Day [Ummm… Maureen?  This happened some days before Mother’s Day.] of the American sisters who have mothered so many – even as an endless parade of ghoulish priests were shielded as they defiled vulnerable kids in their care. [She conveniently leaves about the part about nuns who violated children.]
Pope Benedict XVI’s Vatican was determined to rein in American nuns inspired by Vatican II, accusing them of pushing “radical feminist themes” [which is true] and caring for the sick instead of parroting church teaching opposing contraception, gay relationships and the ordination of women. [“parroting”?  Fidelity to the Church’s teaching is mindless repetition, it seems.]
Although some conservative American bishops have politicised the abortion issue, [HAH!  There she goes!  Now she is parroting liberal talking points.] punishing liberal pols who were pro-choice, [“punishing” liberal pols?  Name 10 who have been “punished”.] they were furious that some uppity nuns supported the president’s healthcare plan, including his compromise on contraception for religious hospitals.  [She has conflated various issues into one, hasn’t she?  The Holy See’s CDF recently addressed the LCWR leadership about doctrinal and spiritual issues.  That is not the same thing as concern about how some American nuns gave cover to pro-abortion politicians so that they could betray their Faith and vote for ObamaCare.  BTW… has your insurance been cancelled yet?]
On Monday, we learned that German cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican orthodoxy watchdog, upbraided the officers of the largest group of American nuns, [I doubt Maureen actually read Card. Müller’s remarks.  In no way can he be fairly described as having “upbraided” them.] the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which has been investigated and reprimanded by Rome.
He objected to their plan to honour Sr Elizabeth Johnson, a Fordham theology professor, who has written that women are uncomfortable with “the dominant images of God as father, lord and king” and would prefer “non-authoritarian” female language for God. [But, Maureen, try to follow… that’s not all she wrote.]
Last year, Francis said he would let the Vatican’s coercive reform of the nuns’ group continue. And this past week, he was silent after Müller’s mauling of the nuns. [So?] The odd thing, as his biographer Paul Vallely told me, is, “He basically agrees with the nuns.” [Now turn the sock inside out.  If someone like Pope Francis wants his deputy to talk to you like that, then how far off the rails are you?] The new pope’s focus on the poor and social justice, his “Who am I to judge?” cri de coeur on gays, [I suspect Dowd has no clue about the actual context of that remark.] his critique that the church has become too “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception [That is a mischaracterization.  He has never said that “the Church has become too ‘obsessed’ with abortion”.] – all these shocking and refreshing moves echo the Gospel-infused spirit for which the nuns are being punished.

Butterfly of delight
“This latest slapdown raises a big question about Pope Francis’s character,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns. “Is he content projecting a Mr Nice Guy image while giving the green light to the Vatican big boys to pursue a hard line? Is he the butterfly who delights everybody, or is he also the strong arm?[The Left are turning on Francis.]
Although the 77-year-old pope has said that women could gain greater power in the church, other comments have been typically atavistic. While praising women for their “sensitivity,” “intuition” and mothering skills, he said flatly that women’s ordination to the priesthood “is not a question open to discussion”.

It is fitting that she ended with that last point.

The holy grail of the catholic Left is the ordination of women.  They will never be content until that happens.

It is never going to happen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Francis, Green Inkers, Liberals, Women Religious and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. tjtenor2 says:

    I did find this particularly funny: “allowing Rome’s grand inquisitors to torque up”. Though perhaps funny is not what she was trying to achieve…

  2. Iacobus M says:

    I always suspected that the Pope was Catholic . . .

  3. Lisa Graas says:

    Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Maureen.

  4. rtjl says:

    …choice, [“punishing” liberal pols? Name 10 who have been “punished”.] they were…

    Name 10 who have been punished? Name 1.

  5. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “Atavistic” – ah, the pseudo-evolutionary-socio-biology approach!

  6. aviva meriam says:

    I’d feel sorry for Maureen’s disillusionment, except for the fact it was created by her wishful thinking and intellectual sloppiness.

    Who will be the NEXT leftist to turn on Pope Francis?

  7. Traductora says:

    ‘The odd thing, as his biographer Paul Vallely told me, is, “He basically agrees with the nuns.”’

    More of the usual leftist papal-management technique of attributing things to Francis through reliance on some source “close to the pope,” ranging from this supposed biographer to Cardinal Kasper to probably the canary on the Vatican balcony, if such exists. The left is working so hard to cast him in their mold that they just ignore the things he actually says and go for hints and rumors circulated by other leftists.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    And then there’s “all these shocking and refreshing moves echo the Gospel-infused spirit” – have there ever been libertine antinomian groups in the history of the Church before the last couple decades who thiught like this? (I suspect there have, but how small or obscure? All the major heresies that spring most readily to mind – Arians, Nestorians, Monothelites, Donatists – seem to have a lot more in common with orthodox antropology, and natural law teaching than, for example, such as yet not obviously “punished” nuns.)

  9. LarryW2LJ says:

    Mom always said that “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, then keep your mouth shut”.

    So regarding Maureen Dowd, I will keep my mouth shut.

    Wonderful woman, my mother was.

  10. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Since she likes using worn out political buzz words and phrases, I’m surprised she didn’t use “war on the nuns.”

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    In the video game Sim City Societies you can build an “Inquisition Office” and when you “activate” the building’s power it sends out a team of “zealots” to physically beat up totally random passersby and make them go to the nearest worship building (there is a nice Gothic Cathedral you can put, besides a religiously indifferent array of Eastern religion structures, etc). Some people think that type of repellant caricature interpretation of the Catholic Church is real.

    [“Inquisition Office”? For real? Good grief! I wonder if the Catholic League knows about that.]

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  13. KevinSymonds says:

    Ask most of the LCWR folk if they are to be called “nuns” or “sisters.”

    Miss Dowd needs to do some homework.

  14. Gratias says:

    The cri de coeur – Who am I to judge? – is now a centerpiece of Pope Francis’ pontificate. The context on which it was said does not matter anymore. In fact, concerning the Pope’s context Monsignior Ricca, who brought shame to the nunciature in Uruguay, remains as administrator of the Casa Santa Marta papal residency and papal delegate to the Vatican bank as far as we know.

    The story of our extreme left-wing nuns could be compared and contrasted to that of the monks and nuns of the Franciscans of the Immaculate who have been implacably persecuted for their faith.

  15. James Joseph says:

    In all fairness to Mz. Dowd.

    She is rather under-credentialed; quite lucky to have the job she has with her lack of higher-education whilst she was a young spinster of 22 years old. I mean, she barely has a bachelorette degree It is no surprise then that she is only semi-literate and under cultured.

  16. Elizabeth D says:

    Certainly for real. The game Sim City Societies is from 2007 so it is not very current, though that misinterpretation of the Catholic Church seems to continue to be in vogue. The “Inquisition Office” has a high level the game’s “social” characteristics of Spirituality and also Authority, and it also interacts somehow to enhance function of government buildings (ie, it makes for a more “authoritarian” society in general). The game centers on interplay of different aspects of society, but it is religiously indifferent and nonsensical. For instance, the presence of a “stupa” which is some kind of Buddhist shrine with the remains of deceased monks enhances worship buildings such as the Cathedral. It does make one ponder how one would design a similar game that depicted real life religious dynamics, like placing a Sisters of WomenJustice Motherhouse sucks visitors away from the Cathedral and Diocesan Catechetical Institute and enhances religious indifferentism while reducing the effectiveness of Parochial Schools in producing churchgoers, and making it easier to build Reiki Centers, Ashrams and WomenSeminaries which then spawn non Catholic WomenChurches, before eventually the Sisters of WomenJustice Motherhouse goes out of business, leaving its trail of wreckage behind. In this version of the game, the action of the Inquisition Office, which is called the Doctrina Fidei Office, is “Dialogue” and it very mildly slows down the action of the WomenJustice Motherhouse while drawing all the city’s hippies into angry street demonstrations against the Cathedral. Without actual souls or actual sin, love, grace or mercy, any game version of religion is 100% hopeless waste of time that can only portray something that looks like political and ideological wrangling.

  17. dontex says:

    The LCWR and their supporters would do well to read and digest what Pope Frances told the priests he ordained last week:
    Pope Francis also reminded those seeking ordination to be faithful to the Gospel they were taught rather than creating their own ideas.
    “Teach that which you have learned in the faith, live that which you have taught. A nourishment to the people of God will therefore be your doctrine, which is not yours: you are not owners of doctrine! It is the doctrine of the Lord, and you must be faithful to the doctrine of the Lord!”

  18. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    I want to see clarity from Pope Francis on the ordination of women to the diaconate, because I’m very tired of Voice of the Faithful, FutureChurch, etc.’s harping on that issue.

  19. Kerry says:

    Is Maureen pining for the fjords?

  20. teejay329 says:

    “The holy grail of the catholic Left is the ordination of women. They will never be content until that happens.
    It is never going to happen.”
    Oh, Father Z, thanks be to God for that. Thank you for that consolation. Troubling times…troubling times.

  21. incredulous says:

    Just typical leftist and feminist lies and spin. Why can’t rational discourse ever occur with these people? It’s like an argument with the wife…

  22. Scott W. says:

    Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Maureen.

    Katherine Zeta-Jones Douglas, Maureen.

  23. Sonshine135 says:

    Yet another example of why I don’t waste brain cells on these national reporters. One could have their head completely in the sand and come up with better conclusions than most reporters who don’t “report” anything. These editors are equally sloppy. Hard news does not exist any longer.

  24. Dienekes says:

    Who is this Dowd woman you speak of?

  25. mbabc123 says:

    Has the Church betrayed these nuns or have they betrayed the Church? Anyway all of this rhetoric from the left is silly as members of the LCWR make up less than 3% of all women religious in America.

  26. Gratias says:

    Thank you Elizabeth D for your always interesting posts.


  27. terryprest says:

    @aviva meriam “I’d feel sorry for Maureen’s disillusionment, except for the fact it was created by her wishful thinking and intellectual sloppiness.”

    Did not the same “disillusionment” of the political and secular “left” happen with Blessed Pope Pius IX and Blessed John Henry Newman ?

  28. Lori Pieper says:

    The Daily Beast’s take on the Pope beating up on the nuns: “No More Mr. Nice Pope”!–politics.html;_ylt=AwrBEiHLyHFTYxQARVXQtDMD

    Yep, they are starting to turn on him.

  29. teejay329 says:

    “Who is this Dowd woman you speak of?”
    Ultra-left columnist who writes for the NY Treason Times. If you have ever read any of Ann Coulter’s books, you will become very acquainted with her…and you will want to vomit and wish you never heard of her name!

  30. Jacqueline Y. says:

    Dear Maureen: I am a Catholic woman, and I love the Biblical language which calls God “Father, Lord and King”. “Female” and “non-authoritarian” language for God makes me sad when liberal Protestants use it, and annoyed when some Catholics use it. As for your citing the United Methodist journalist Kenneth Briggs as an authority on American sisters in crisis, I’ll take Ann Carey’s writings over his any day. Briggs has a huge axe to grind against authentic Catholic teaching, dating back to the pontificate of John Paul II, if not before.

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