What is the Vatican Thinking?

25 Apr


All my life I have loved any movie or book with a nun in it. I watched every episode of The Flying Nun. I never missed The Bells of St. Mary (who needs Bing Crosby when you have Ingrid Bergman). Then there was The Sound of Music, Agnes of God, Dead Man Walking, and Sister Act. Two of my favorite books are In This House of Brede and The Nun’s Story. I loved nuns even though I had never met one until finally–Sister Maureen. Sister Maureen was my CPE supervisor. She was trained as a Sister of Charity and a Jungian analyst–a very effective combination for a CPE supervisor. Sister Maureen was everything the nuns of literature and cinema were—tough, funny, smart, compassionate. If she could have taken flight, Sister Maureen would have been the perfect nun.

My husband says my admiration (and possible obsession) with nuns is entirely because I did NOT grow up going to Catholic School. Well, maybe. But nuns were and continue to be the heartbeat of the Church. Throughout history and right up until the present day, nuns are the ones who actually do the work of Christ.

So what is wrong with the Vatican? A few days ago, a Vatican watchdog group, anal with orthodoxy (not its real name, but a good description), published a document criticizing/bullying the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for American nuns. The Vatican reprimands the nuns for “certain radical feminist themes that are incompatible with the Catholic faith.” They don’t like the nuns’ focus on social justice or support of President Obama’s healthcare reform.

It makes me wonder what you have to do to get to be a Cardinal or a Bishop? Promise to never read the Gospel?

Jesuit priest James Martin states it very well in his tweet, “Catholic sisters are my heroes.… [we need to] acknowledge the hidden ways that these women have generously served God, served the poor and served this country.”

I know, I know. I’m blogging a tweet. But Martin has it right. Catholic nuns are the heroes of the Church. He puts it better in another tweet: “Catholic sisters teach me what it means to persevere in ministry without the benefit of institutional power.”

And that is the problem. The nuns are without institutional power. They do the dirty work of Jesus while the Vatican does the dirty work of the Pharisees (apologies to the Pharisees–they always get such a bad wrap).

Shame on you, Vatican. Once again you had a chance to stand on the side of social justice, and once again, you disappointed us.


Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Blogging With Jane


Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “What is the Vatican Thinking?

  1. dlutz

    April 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    As the husband…I’m fully on your side with this one. I may have to rethink my memories of nuns!

  2. Laurie

    April 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Loved it. Laurie

  3. Deb

    April 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I am in total agreement with you!

  4. John

    April 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    It is interesting that the nuns work and are on the side of the marginal and weak, and give voice to that portion humanity. As Catholics are arguing today about the true mission of their church and its place in national politics…especially over the role of government programs to assist those in need… the voices of the nuns come to the fore.

  5. janewillan

    April 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I’m always amazed when the institutional church forgets just who Jesus served– the marginalized and the weak not the status quo.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: