Nuns vs. Bishops

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.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

7 Responses to Nuns vs. Bishops

  1. Since you like most catholics would presume to speak for God without actuallty bothering to see what He says himself, here is what the Bible says about homosexuality. Just saying..

    Leviticus 18:22-30
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
    24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
    30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.’”

    Romans 1:21-32 (King James Version)

    Romans 1:21-32
    King James Version (KJV)

    21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    • Steve Greene says:

      As for Leviticus… get back to me when you stop eating shellfish and pork. It is literally the least convincing book in the bible from which to quote. Paul, admittedly more problematic, but the nuns are not denying these teachings, just not choosing them as a point of emphasis. Again, it is very clear what Jesus considered important.

  2. I am sorry all those translations were added when I pasted in the bible verses

  3. Mike says:

    Well, if you are going to make laws based on the Bible in the USA, I’m moving down so I can take advantage of owning a slave.

    After all, its in the Bible. Its ok. Don’t worry, I’ll let them have Sundays off.

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