Nuns vs. Bishops
April 22, 2012 7 Comments
So, I read a little bit about the Catholic Bishops chastising American nuns for, you know, caring about what happens to poor people, and crazy stuff like that, but did not pay particularly close attention, just thinking “there they go again.” But then I read this post by Amy Davidson and got really annoyed. The “problem” of the nuns is not that they are advocating for gay marriage or abortion along with caring about poor people. Apparently, they are just insufficiently committed to the anti-gay, pro-life agenda. Of course, all you need to do is check the Gospels. Jesus spends all his time railing about the evils of gay marriage and legal abortion and hardly even mentions concern for the poor and oppressed. Anyway:
What is striking, though, is the absence of a smoking gun in the Congregation of the Defense of the Faith’s findings on matters of faith, other than faith in bishops (which is presented as one of the Church’s doctrines). What seemed to bother the Vatican’s investigators was not that nuns were speaking out on political matters, but that they were failing to engage politically in the way the Church wanted them to: the L.C.W.R. had been
silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States. Further, issues of crucial importance to the life of Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching.
The Congregation also noted
the absence of initiatives by the LCWR aimed at promoting the reception of the Church’s teaching, especially on difficult issues such as Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis and Church teaching about homosexuality.
In other words, instead of just talking about “social justice,” the nuns should be out on the barricades, agitating against abortion and gay marriage. And, again, they need to listen to the bishops.
Davidson also recounts the case from a few years back when a nun/administrator at a Catholic hospital approved the termination of a pregnancy that literally saved the life of a mother so she could go home and care for her already born four small children. The nun got excommunicated for that (here’s my link from back when this case happened). So long as the nuns are the ones following the stuff Jesus actually talked about, I’ll go with them over the bishops ever time.