Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Liberal Media Love Affair With Nuns

I have posted very favorably in the past about the New York Times, despite their reputation as the most liberal, secular, humanistic newspaper in the United States.  Well, today they lived up to their liberal reputation with not one but two editorials decrying the Pope over his "mistreatment" of liberal nuns.  For background on this issue, according to
After a four-year “Apostolic Visitation,” during which the condition of female religious communities in the United States was assessed, the Vatican released a Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). LCWR is an “association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States” – or, at least, of a good percentage of them.

For decades, US Catholics have been concerned about the direction many Catholic women religious have gone. Donna Steichen’s Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism was published in 1992; Ann Carey’s Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Orders came out five years later. It is no secret that new vocations to the older, established communities are rare, that many professed religious have abandoned those communities, and that among those who remain, there are a startling number who promote anything and everything except Catholicism. The newer, traditional communities, by contrast, are vital, growing, and passionately committed to Church teaching.

Shortly after Easter, the Vatican assessment of the LCWR confirmed what the laity have been averring for so long, namely that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious congregation in other parts of the world.” The Vatican looked at three particular “areas of concern,” citing “problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal, errors” at LCWR assemblies, policies of dissent, and a prevalence of “certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic Faith.”
According to the actual document released by the Vatican:
Addresses at the LCWR Assemblies. Addresses given during LCWR annual Assemblies manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal errors. The Cardinal offered as an example specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink’s address about some Religious “moving beyond the Church” or even beyond Jesus. This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life. Such unacceptable positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR, which should provide resources for member Congregations to foster an ecclesial vision of religious life, thus helping to correct an erroneous vision of the Catholic faith as an important exercise of charity. Some might see in Sr. Brink’s analysis a phenomenological snapshot of religious life today. But Pastors of the Church should also see in it a cry for help.
Jeanine Gramick: co-foundress of
the homosexual, lesbian

activist organization
New Ways Ministry.
Policies of Corporate Dissent. The Cardinal spoke of this issue in reference to letters the CDF received from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, among them LCWR Officers, protesting the Holy See’s actions regarding the question of women’s ordination and of a correct pastoral approach to ministry to homosexual persons, e.g. letters about New Ways Ministry’s conferences. The terms of the letters suggest that these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves outside the Church’s teaching.
Radical Feminism. The Cardinal noted a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some of the programs and presentations sponsored by the LCWR, including theological interpretations that risk distorting faith in Jesus and his loving Father who sent his Son for the salvation of the world.  Moreover, some commentaries on “patriarchy” distort the way in which Jesus has structured sacramental life in the Church; others even undermine the revealed doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture.
The LCWR was completely stunned, and many in the liberal mainstream media and other liberal arenas are running to the defense of these nuns, saying that all the nuns want to do is help people and the Vatican are just a bunch of sexist misogynistic bigots who care nothing about women. 

Leading the pack of defenders of the LCWR is The New York Times.  Here is the always dependable Maureen Dowd, who never misses an opportunity to bash the Church.  Maureen just can't understand why the Church is so upset with nuns who thumb their noses at Church teachings and insist on following their own rules.  Maureen uses the pedophile scandal to say that the Church has no right to criticize the nuns and discipline them for disobedience.  This will always be the mantra for all who want to destroy the Church, and the enemies of the Church have been and will continue to use it every chance they get.

What is most interesting about Maureen Dowd's editorial is that everything she writes about her now beloved nuns bolsters the Vatican's report on them and their radical disobedience to church teachings.

Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns 


IT is an astonishing thing that historians will look back and puzzle over, that in the 21st century, American women were such hunted creatures.

Even as Republicans try to wrestle women into chastity belts, the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns.  [With liberals, it is always ultimately about sex.]

Yet the nuns must be yanked into line by the crepuscular [I had to look this word up.  It means:  of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct], medieval men who run the Catholic Church.

“It’s not terribly unlike the days of yore when they singled out people in the rough days of the Inquisition,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.” [Liberals just love to use the word "Inquisition" when it comes to the Catholic Church]  
How can the church hierarchy be more offended by the nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia? [This is such a bogus, worn-out argument.  Let's ignore one crisis in the church because something else is happening over here.  So what if nuns are leading people into spiritual oblivion.  They're just trying to "help" people.]

How do you take spiritual direction from a church that seems to be losing its soul? [In some instances, Maureen has a point here, but not for the reason she would like.  Too much of the Church hierarchy has ignored dissidents throughout the last 50 years, and now the chickens have come home to roost, and we all have to deal with the disastrous consequences.]
It has become a habit for the church to go after women. A Worcester, Mass., bishop successfully fought to get a commencement speech invitation taken away from Vicki Kennedy, widow of Teddy Kennedy, because of her positions on some social issues. [Some "social issues"?  Like abortion and contraception and same sex marriage?] And an Indiana woman named Emily Herx has filed a lawsuit saying she was fired from her job teaching in a Catholic school and denounced as a “grave, immoral sinner” by the parish pastor after she used fertility treatments to try to get pregnant with her husband. [Maureen knows this is condemned by the Church as inherently evil.  Gimme a break!] 
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York recently told The Wall Street Journal that only “a tiny minority” of priests were tainted by the sex abuse scandal. But it’s a global shame spiral. The church leadership never recoiled in horror from pedophilia, yet it recoils in horror from outspoken nuns. [Again, the church is reaping the terrible consequences of ignoring the dissidents within her own midsts over the past decades.]   
In Philadelphia, Msgr. William Lynn, 61, is the first church supervisor to go on trial for child endangerment. He is fighting charges that he may have covered up for 20 priests accused of sexual abuse and left in the ministry, often transferred to unwitting parishes. [What does this have to do with nuns who flaunt church teachings and refuse to conform to the Magesterium?] 
Somehow the Philadelphia church leaders decided that the Rev. Thomas Smith was not sexually motivated when he made boys strip and be whipped playing Christ in a Passion play. Somehow they decided an altar boy who said he was raped by two priests and his fifth-grade teacher was not the one in need of protection. [Again, this has nothing to do with the discipline of dissident nuns.  To use Maureen's argument, why in the civil world should we go after white collar crime when there are murderers out there?]
Instead of looking deep into its own heart and soul, the church is going after the women who are the heart and soul of parishes, schools and hospitals.  [Is that why all of these "parishes, schools and hospitals" are closing?  I guess these women have lost some of their "heart and soul".]

The stunned sisters are debating how to respond after the Vatican’s scorching reprimand to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main association of American Catholic nuns. The bishops were obviously peeved that some nuns had the temerity to speak out in support of President Obama’s health care plan, including his compromise on contraception for religious hospitals. [Yes, Maureen, the bishops were a bit "peeved" that the nuns are going against the Church and against their own bishops.]

The Vatican accused the nuns of pushing “radical feminist themes,” and said they were not vocal enough in parroting church policy against the ordination of women as priests and against abortion, contraception and homosexual relationships.  [You know, Maureen, these are the rules of the Church, and for good reason, which you will always refuse to admit.  If the nuns don't like the way the Church is run and the Magesterium, they are always free to leave.  They are not free to destroy souls.]

In a blatant “Shut up and sit down, sisters” moment, the Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, noted, “Occasional public statements by the L.C.W.R. that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.”   [Again, Maureen, you and the nuns are free to go off on your own and ignore what the Church teaches.  But the nuns are not free to break their vows and still be nuns.]  
Pope Benedict, who became known as “God’s Rottweiler” when he was the cardinal conducting the office’s loyalty tests, assigned Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to crack down on the climate of “corporate dissent” among the poor nuns.  

When the nuns push for social justice, they’re put into stocks. Yet Archbishop Sartain has led a campaign in Washington to reverse the state’s newly enacted law allowing same-sex marriage, and he’s a church hero. [Maureen, do you give any thought at all to what you write?  What does one have to do with the other?]

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic lobbying group slapped in the Vatican report, said it scares the church hierarchy to have “educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.”

She told NPR that it was ironic that church leaders were mad at sisters over contraception when the nuns had committed to a celibate life with no families or babies. Given the damage done by the pedophilia scandals, she said, “the church’s obsession, at times, with the sexual relationships is a serious problem.” [This nun proves that she has no concept of church teaching and does not belong in the position she occupies.  Why wasn't she booted out long ago?]

Asked by The Journal if the church had a hard time convincing the flock to follow its strict teachings on sexuality, Cardinal Dolan laughed: “Do we ever!”  [Our "let's not offend anyone" Cardinal strikes again.]

Church leaders behave like adolescent boys, blinded by sex. That’s the problem with inquisitors and censors: They become fascinated by what they deplore. 
The situation with the nuns, who have gotten so deeply involved in "social justice" and gone off the deep end spiritually is a prime example of what our Holy Father spoke of on Wednesday, April 25 in his weekly audience and which I posted here.  The Holy Father said that unless prayer is at the center of our lives, unless we give first place to prayer, we become the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal spoken of in I Corinthians 13, works with no substance of love.  As the Holy Father said:  " Without daily prayer faithfully lived out, our activity becomes empty, it loses its deep soul, it is reduced to mere activism, which in the end leaves us unsatisfied."  One can only surmise that the Pope may well have been thinking of these poor unfortunate nuns when he made that statement. 

I truly fear for Maureen Dowd's soul, and certainly for the souls of all these dissident nuns.  We need to be praying for these people.  We can sit around and criticize them, but what they really need are our prayers so that they will repent and turn away from the devil, who seems to have them firmly in his grasp. 

Pray for all souls

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