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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Catholic Nuns Muzzled for Not Espousing Vatican's Bigoted Form of Christianity

Posted by on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Anna mentioned this in morning news but it bears repeating: The Vatican is censuring the U.S.'s largest, most influential group of nuns because they "challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith,'" according to a letter sent by the Vatican yesterday.

How so, you ask? Have the ladies of the church replaced daily prayer with bra burning? Maybe they're honing castration techniques on stray pets to prepare for the inevitable war of the sexes? In a word, No:

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.

Even though nuns have given their lives to their faith, they can't authentically represent Catholicism because of their sex. And according to Catholic Bishops—our compasses of morality—the Christianity they're practicing isn't homophobic, anti-abortion, or anti-healthcare enough to qualify as true church teachings. In essence, the nuns are all but forcing the Pope to send a flock of Bishops, lead by Seattle's very own Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, to come muzzle them. (It's for their own good! Uppity women!)

That's some over-the-top, comic-book style evilness right there.

Hat tip, Kate.


Comments (33) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
Why the hell would catholic bishops be opposed to the health care plan? Wasn't Jesus all about healing people?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 19, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
Allyn 2
@1 Yes. He was also against condemning women more harshly than men.

The Catholic Church may not be as pro-Jesus as they want you to think.
Posted by Allyn on April 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 3
@2, I think they replaced Jesus with a googly-eyed sock puppet long ago.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on April 19, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
Considering the average age of American Nuns, they will most likely just turn off their hearing aids and smile pleasantly when hectored by Sartain.
Posted by ratcityreprobate on April 19, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
I wonder if this is what Ross Douthat is talking about when he says religious heresy is destroying American.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 6
Religion only works if you have a flock of blind followers. Any questioning of the faith must be shut down immediately.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on April 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Banna 7
Time for a schism.
Posted by Banna on April 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Keister Button 8
In a September 1940 broadcast, the Vatican called its policy "neutrality," but stated in the same broadcast that where morality was involved, no neutrality was possible.(18) This could only imply that mass murder was not a moral issue.

Yet the sisters' support of the health care overhaul of 2010 is, according to the Vatican.

The Vatican and American Catholic archbishops sure have some disordered attachments about moral issues and politicizing. Lent didn't do them any good at all.
Posted by Keister Button on April 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 9
That's a good question. Why did the Bishops specifically oppose the health care reform bill?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on April 19, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Was there formal opposition to ACA back in 2009/2010? I don't remember. I do remember that various individual bishops opposed it.

I think such opposition would be best understood as part of a broader strategy for securing greater political power through an alliance with the GOP. In essence, the Catholic hierarchy is envious of the clout enjoyed by evangelicals and they want a piece of that action.
Posted by Alden on April 19, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Vince 11
If you are not going to do what you are told, why be a nun? The pope is their boss. Do what you are told!
Posted by Vince on April 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
The current Bishop of Rome exploited his own sister as his unpaid live-in cleaning lady all her grown-up life. So no surprise here, really.
Posted by Tree of Life on April 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM · Report this
9/10 the us council of bishops opposed the healthcare plan, as they did not think it was adequately anti-abortion. It came down to a small group of catholic democrats in the house -- and the nuns gave them good cover to vote for obamacare when they issued their letter.
the bishops were not amused.
Posted by pacnwjay on April 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 14
I for one welcome the return of "Old Time Catholicism" It's time to burn those at the stake who disagree and start up some old fashioned religious wars against other factions of Christianity we don't like. And we can start up another Cursade to save the holy land from the godless arabs.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on April 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
They were cited "for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage." What the hell? This is why the Catholic church will slowly (but surely) die out, unless reform is made. This will make me angry all day.
Posted by barfy cute on April 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 16
wow, this makes me reconsider my catholicism! love, andrew sullivan & ross douchehat.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 17
@3 - And they've been misquoting the sock ever since.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
OuterCow 18
@7 Amen!
Posted by OuterCow on April 19, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 19
Hm...I don't remember any "radical feminist" nuns when I attended St. Anthony of Padua elementary school.

But I do remember that in 2nd grade, Sister Mary Richardine used to take an apple and twist it in half using her bare hands...just to show us what might happen to wayward boys and girls.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on April 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
jp 20
I think it's worth noting that this is coming from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the modern name of the good ol' "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition" (yes, *that* Inquisition).

Posted by jp on April 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
knobtheunicorn 21
@20 well that's unexpected.
Posted by knobtheunicorn on April 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Fnarf 22
Does this mean that Sartain isn't in Seattle at the moment? Can we bar him reentry?
Posted by Fnarf on April 19, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
@6 "Heirarchical, dogmatic religion only works if you have a flock of blind followers."


Believe it or not, there are actually denominations where people are encouraged to discuss and explore spiritual teachings. Not all religions are petrified bugs stuck in amber, or hell-bent in rolling back the centuries. In Judaism, I think there's even a directive to discuss (Deut. 6.7?) and grow. Not all Christian denominations are authoritarian or even heirarchical. Every Quaker meeting is autonomous and many don't employ a minister.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 19, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
The catholic church truly has gone round the twist. In Illinois there was this this weekend…
These people need their tax-exempt status revoked!
Posted by ruthw on April 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
@21: *OF COURSE.* No one expects the Inquisition.
Posted by POH on April 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
jp 26
@25 Not the Spanish one, anyhow....
Posted by jp on April 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Joe M 27
One of the "church's authentic teachers of faith and morals" is the Bishop of Peoria, who directly compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin in his homily last week.
Posted by Joe M on April 19, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
knobtheunicorn 28
Python aside, it would seam to me that an inquisition is infact what all those motherfuckers on the right are openly attempting to implement on us all. We ARE heritics to them. Remember these are the same people who proudly called our wars of the last decade "crusades".
Posted by knobtheunicorn on April 19, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this

The Pope may be their boss, but Jeebuz is their husband. And you know what the Bible says about obeying your husband...
Posted by COMTE on April 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Skye Blu 30
Radical Feminist thought- ah yes the one about women being people too and having rights of self-determination.
So why haven't all the nuns packed up and left and taken Mary with them? They'd have ALL of Mexico and South America behind them... The church of the Holy Mother, caring for all the world's children and the sick, feeding all of the hungry. It would be perfect, I might even go back to church if it were like that.
Posted by Skye Blu on April 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
brocaine 31
@11: most nuns hate the pope like he's a stupid, bigoted older brother.

@25: Spanish Inquisitors sent you a letter warning you they were coming, actually. I wish people would stop fucking saying that.

Posted by brocaine on April 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM · Report this
Grrr 32
And the reasons for not attending Sunday mass continue to pile up in my list. I attended Catholic elementary school. It was managed by CICM nuns. They stood for social justice and helped the poor. Fuck Rome and their dogmatic stance.
Posted by Grrr on April 20, 2012 at 7:51 PM · Report this
Leo N. Egashira 33
As a progressive Catholic educated by nuns who ingrained in me the social justice teachings of our faith, I find the hierarchy’s inquisition against women’s empowerment, women’s rights and women who enter the Catholic religious life utterly despicable and, sadly, totally contrary to Christian ethics. The hierarchy is using the excuse of “tradition” and “morality” to preserve power and privilege; indeed, even the most casual observer of The Vatican and its minions would easily assume that the hierarchy’s sole purpose for existence is Darwinian self-preservation.

Control of territory, exclusion, and the exercise of absolute authority are predominantly male traits in nature. Is it surprising, then, that a thoroughly artificial, insular, all-male, celibate hierarchy would act any differently?

“What would Jesus do?” is exemplified by selfless Catholic nuns—teachers, social workers, hospital staff and missionaries—who are actively alleviating the inequalities in our society. They deserve our respect, admiration, support and prayers.
Posted by Leo N. Egashira on April 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM · Report this

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