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Dear Pope: Now You've Done It!

May 03, 2012 — Categories: ,

In going after the nuns in the U.S., you have struck a rock. You are attacking the church’s representatives who are the face of the church where it matters most--- in the hospitals, the schools, the parishes...

Dear Pope:  well, now you’ve done it!  In going after the nuns in the U.S., you have struck a rock.  You are attacking the church’s representatives who are the face of the church where it matters most--- in the hospitals, the schools, the parishes --- the representatives of the church who actually still have moral credibility among the people.  You have said that the work of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (the national organization of nuns) and of NETWORK (the public policy organization in D.C.) is incompatible with Catholic teaching (i.e. what the Bishops think).  If this is true, you might want to revisit the current “Catholic teaching” which would then seem to be incompatible with the Gospels.

These are the women who take the Beatitudes seriously, who serve the poor and hungry, heal the sick, stand by the oppressed and dare to question the unjust social structures that perpetuate these realities.  These women are the church being the church --- faithful, persistent, and unwavering in their commitments to God’s people.  You seem to equate the label of “radical feminist” with “devil’s handmaiden.”  A radical feminist is merely any woman who refuses to be a doormat and organizes to do something about it.

Last time I checked, we Christians are called to heal the brokenness of this world.  If you believe that orthodoxy rather than the Gospel is the strategy to accomplish this end, you have sadly lost your way.

Finally, if this effort to target the nuns in the U.S. is an attempt to distract the church from your inaction on holding bishops accountable for the child abuse scandal, it isn’t working.  If anything, the contradiction merely heightens people’s awareness that the bishops who protected pedophiles suffered no consequences while the nuns are being sanctioned and silenced for simply doing their ministries.

A bit of unsolicited advice:  instead of putting the bishops in charge of the nuns, maybe you should put the nuns in charge of the bishops.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute

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Deare Pope

Posted by Fran Ferder (a nun) at May 15, 2012 10:36 PM
Way to go Marie (again)! Thanks for supporting us. You really seem to hit the nail on the head, or put the Head on the nail, so to speak.

Here's the thing.

Posted by Ellen at May 15, 2012 10:36 PM
Dear Rev. Fortunato,
A friend of mine linked me to your blog entry from a discussion on the LCWR. I am not Catholic, I do not believe in the infallibility of the Pope (or anyone else), and I have great respect for the work that the women religious do, as you outlined.
But here's the thing. Being a Catholic means a person, as a matter of doctrine, has accepted the authority of the Pope on faith and practice. Being a Catholic nun means a peson is are part of the public face of the church. The Pope does have the right to oversee what Catholics are teaching in the name of the church. If a Buddhist monk was reputed to have opened a McDonalds franchise and repudiated the oneness of all things, I think his spiritual authorities would be right to check into that. If an officer in the US army was reputed to be a correspondent for Al Jezeera, I think it would behoove the Pentagon to check on that. Nobody is required to be Catholic. As your existence proves, no woman has to be a nun in order to follow a spiritual calling. So why is this a problem?

Dear Pope: Now you've done it.

Posted by Emily Fischer at May 15, 2012 10:37 PM
Amen to that, sister!

Kindest regards,

Emily Fischer