Tuesday, April 24, 2012

'Radical feminist' nuns

It's no secret that the Catholic Church is hemorrhaging members in much of the western world and it being an out of touch organization run exclusively by theoretically celibate old men, it's little wonder why.

A good example of this came recently when the Vatican slammed a group for promoting 'radical feminism.' The organization slammed was not Planned Parenthood or NOW but... a group of nuns.

The nuns' grave sin is related to social issues. It's not that they are promoting women's or gay rights, but  it seems that they are complicit in promoting decent treatment for such pariahs. The nuns argue such 'radical' positions as in favor of the ordination of women and ministering to gay people.

In an NPR interview, Sister Simone Campbell chastised the priorities men running the institution, pointing out that those things "are big issues, but they aren't at the heart of the faith." In other words (my words), Church leaders are obsessed with sex and keeping women submissive.

And Sister Campbell offered wise counsel to her judgmental co-religioners: "When you don't work every day with people who live on the margins of our society, it's much easier to make easy statements about who's right and who's wrong."

Update: As Garry Wills opines in The New York Review of Books, the nuns are interested in the powerless. The bishops are just interested in power. 

Further update: A reader pointed out this story where a Catholic school teacher was fired for receiving fertility treatments. So it's not enough to pro-create within the bounds of a faithful heterosexual marriage. Apparently there is a 'right' and 'wrong' way to do it... just like everything else the Church tries to micromanage.

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