Current Affairs · Women

Another bug up its bonnet

The Vatican has another bug up its bonnet; this time going after the nuns in the United States.  Heaven forbid these well-educated, worldly aware, spiritual women of faith and calling don’t fall nicely in line with everything the guys in Rome say they should.   I think they protest too much…

From here it looks like the Pope and the Vatican are a lot more concerned about control and compliance–of women in a country and in a culture that is not theirs, I might add–than they are in honoring what true spirituality, faith, and the sacred calling of these women (and each one of us) is about.

Vatican II, also part of the Roman Catholic tradition, especially of us Baby Boomers, upheld that a person’s informed conscience is the ultimate moral authority in one’s decisions.  There are significant moral issues, very personal ones, the sisters have chosen to remain silent on.  “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.”  Or maybe they’re just focused on doing what they’re being led / called to do–from a lot higher and deeper power than the Pope or the Vatican–to heal spirits, minds, and bodies, deal with day-to-day lives they touch, and be who they are.

Love this statement from the Miami Herald:

Nick Cafardi, a canon lawyer and former dean of Duqesne Law School, said he has worked over the years with many nuns and that the description in the report does not reflect his experience with them.  …”I don’t know any more holy people,” Cafardi said of American religious sisters. “I see a lot more holiness in the convents than I see in the chancery.”  Read more on that here.

I have this vision of big tom turkeys, prancing around with all their feathers puffed up and displayed, thinking all their posturing is impressive.   Guys, you look and sound like arrogant, egotistical, and controlling stuffed shirts; and definitely not attractive or impressive.  Catholics don’t stay catholic because of stuff like this….especially the women.

5 thoughts on “Another bug up its bonnet

  1. For Christians, of course, conscience goes beyond those elements of the natural law that are accessible to every human heart (cf. Rom. 2:14-15): The more our conscience is formed by the teachings of Christ and his Church, the more our conscience becomes finely attuned to all that is true, good, and beautiful.

    And conscience is not merely a window to the natural law, but a place where we actually encounter the living God. The Gospel warns us against professing belief in the Lord while failing to do what he says (Luke 6:46). What good would it be, for example, for our conscience to tell us it is wrong to defraud our creditors if we have no intention to act upon such guidance? It would be like driving at night without using our headlights. Such a culpably reckless approach would inevitably lead to disaster.
    more at:
    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/more-than-a-feeling

    It is not loving to allow those who are in error to continue teaching error; their immortal souls are at stake. So the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit (and 2,000 yrs of deep thought) tries to help those in error to reform and repent. If you don’t like being Catholic (and all that that entails), then you are free to leave. But don’t continue calling yourself Catholic if you do not believe all the Church teaches. Simple.

    1. I think the Catholic nuns, the good sisters being challenged, are very much Catholic and Christian. They are seasoned women of wisdom and spirit, well-versed in theology and scripture. They hear it as women, though, in the trenches of life. That Jesus guy made waves and helped those it was ‘against the law’ to help…in ways that did not please the church leaders. The woman caught in adultery (where was her partner, by the way–the name being written in the sand maybe?), lepers, gentiles. And what was the role of Mary Magdalene, and all the other women in his circle. The same Spirit that guided him, guides us, and those Catholic nuns. There are different brands of Catholic. It’s part of a heritage and a different way of imagining that never completely leaves, even when we leave the church of our childhood. It will always be a part of my heritage and imagination that I appreciate–along with the American independence, freedom, and feminine spirit. It’s just that I–and apparently Catholic nuns–and many others who have left or stay on their own terms, see and interpret the teachings and example of that Jesus guy and our Catholic roots differently…the Spiritual gift of tongues, maybe? We each hear the Spirit’s call in language we understand clearly, even though we are a very diverse people and speak different languages. Love and blessing and happiness.

  2. “They are seasoned women of wisdom and spirit, well-versed in theology and scripture. ”

    A key tenet of Christianity is obedience. I guess they might need to study up on that one a bit more.

    Did you read the article, http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/more-than-a-feeling ?

    That “Jesus guy” sacrificed ALL for all humanity, for all time, including those who reject Him. He was truly God’s Son, not just some guy who had a few nice things to say about how we should live and made waves.

    I invite you to join the discussion at http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=666901.

    MDW

  3. Oh, and after reading the book, Ungodly Rage a few yrs ago, I have to side with the Vatican on this long-overdue investigation. It was a real eye-opener as to the radicalism and outright paganism that had infiltrated the Church in the US. But Jesus promised that His Church would prevail.

    1. Ahh…and he didn’t say what form that church would take. So you know, I’m not responding to argue or convince you of anything. You’re providing an interesting catalyst for writing. On the far side of 50, I’d say both of us are adult, grown-up women of spirit. Our lenses on life and our dance with the divine is very different though. As a parent and as a sibling, I’m sure you know children of the same family can be very different. And what works for one, doesn’t fit another. It’s a giant jigsaw puzzle. We each have our place in it, even if our pieces look completely different. Every piece is a perfect fit and necessary to complete a much bigger picture. I’m okay with that. You’re not responsible for my soul; I am. And I’m not responsible for yours. That’s your sacred journey. You are sharing your perspective; I am sharing mine. Again, not to convince you of anything; only to share because you seem to have asked. There is only peace and calm in me as I write this; no pushing, just sharing.
      The word ‘pagan’ actually means “of the earth” and “country dweller.” I grew up on a farm, in the country. Nature has always been my teacher. ‘Pagan,’ cycles, seasons, natural laws like gravity, energy, the moon and stars, oceans, weather, life and death. The five-star pentacle of pagans represents the elements of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Native Americans also come under the definition pagan. They honor the great spirit and cycles and seasons and the earth and the laws of nature. These are very much a part of my spiritual heritage. I was and am especially drawn because the laws of nature, of the earth, apply universally to and include all. No exceptions because of race, color, creed, or country.
      The church of our childhood has many good things in its traditions…and like scriptures, there is more than one tradition found in it…depending on the writer, and their objective, perspective, and audience. Matthew, for example, was writing to an audience with a Jewish background and framed Jesus as a parallel to Moses, someone well-known to those with a Jewish background. Luke was writing to gentiles, who had none of that background. So his references were more humanitarian…feeding the people, healing. And John, written much later, to a different audience, was more mystical in nature. And there are several other gospels that were written at the time that didn’t make it into the scriptures. All depended on who was making the selections. Even the version of scripture my Lutheran friends use is different from the one Catholics use.
      I was single, thirty, and female when I returned to college as a religious studies major. And I was listening a lot differently and reading between the lines a lot more by that time. I also had some wonderful teachers who brought scripture to life, and also our Catholic history. And I was asking different questions and looking for answers–as a woman who knew she was called to ministry…in a church that barred women from priesthood…and a woman who had just spent ten years in a law office.
      We each pay attention to what ‘connects with our pieces.’ So I heard and searched for and was attracted to pieces of our Catholic tradition and scripture passages and scripture scholars and writings and much more that helped build more bridges of understanding, find more pieces and connections to the calling I had (and have).
      Again, like siblings or children of the same family, there is diversity in what strand of our Catholic tradition and heritage one connects with. It’s also not all pretty.
      The man who is now in leadership of the church of my childhood was once head of the same department of the church that sanctioned the brutal torture and murder of hundreds and thousands of women over a four-hundred-some year period in our history. His words and actions, in his former role or now, have not served the health, spirit, lives, or roles of women, from where I’m sensitive. I see and hear the overtone of ‘controlling’ in the behaviors. And again, sensitivity and awareness in my background of controlling behaviors and domestic violence.
      My point is, there are many components of Catholic, depending on what Catholic traditions we connected with. Vatican II was huge for me. Popes ever since have been downplaying it… Work of the spirit? Or controlling behaviors?
      And yes, there are eye-opener books for me too, ones that connected to pieces of my life and spirit and experience and questions and calling and brought me to who I am now. I’m happy and love life and who I am and the sacred dance with the divine that is mine. I hope all of that is true for you too, that your path makes your heart sing and dance and that you’re filled with joy in being who you are. Take care, love your life, and thank you for being a catalyst for my writing and thoughts today. Love and light.

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