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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Levada slaps down the nuns

The former Catholic archbishop of Portland, now a big hat in the Vatican, tells the few remaining female religious in the United States that they'd better stop asking questions if they want to stay recognized by the church. Why they still want anything to do with the organization is beyond us.

Comments (31)

Levada has "publicists"? Really? I wonder what Jesus would say about having publicists?
Leave it to a bunch of cloistered, silly, old men to try and tell the ladies what to do. The Catholic church will never change and becomes more anachronistic every day.
It is all about money and power.

Here come the anti-Catholics. Always popular in Oregon.

Some of us are recent converts to anti-Catholicism. Inspired by the scuzzy bankruptcy.

And rampant child abuse!

The child abuse has been around for decades, if not centuries. Claiming that it didn't have enough money to pay the victims was a recent innovation.

John -

You'll find that many many many of the folks you term "anti - Catholics..." are in fact both Catholic and anti Curia, not at all anti Catholic.

From the link:

"The conference is an umbrella organization of women’s religious communities, and claims 1,500 members who represent 80 percent of the Catholic sisters in the United States."

from this link:

http://cara.georgetown.edu/CARAServices/requestedchurchstats.html

there are nearly 56,000 religious sisters in the U.S.. If they mean the conference represents 80% of the orders, that's one thing. But the way it's worded grossly distorts the issue.

If you don't like the rules, don't play the game.

"I wonder what Jesus would say about having publicists?"

Too funny to pass up. Jesus would probably call them apostles...

PDXlifer... "if you don't like the rules..."

It's not really that simple. As far as most women religious in the US believe, they ARE playing by the rules! Many orders of sisters are still on the front lines of healthcare, poverty and education in this country, often in the poorest areas. These are the issues that inspire their beliefs.

Sadly, the US conference of ass... er, bishops have decided that all church political efforts should be focused on abortion and gay sex. Weird, right?

Most sisters, and I've spoken with many both in Oregon and back east, have no desire to be subsersive or political. They just want to devote their lives to doing good and praising God.

Levada is a monster. And sadly, he's become exceedingly powerful. There is a reason Ratzie chose him for the role of "enforcer."

pacnwjay, I appreciate and agree with most of what you say. What does that have to do with same sex marriage?

"...bishops have decided that all church political efforts should be focused on abortion and gay sex." Seriously? Where does that gem come from?

I'm not disagreeing that Levada is a concern. But the anti-Catholic sentiment is part of what brought me back after a long, long hiatus. Having been part of the Church since Archbishop Howard, closely associated with the chancery, involved at Mt. Angel and almost a seminarian, involved in more Church politics than I can stomach... I am saying that too many smaller factions try to undermine the basic tenets of Catholicism. And if you don't like them, why are you part of it?

PDX...
While my language might have been a tad glib, the US Council of Bishops has, over the past decade refocused itself as a political organization focused primarily on abortion/contraception and gay marriage.

I am a life long Catholic. Church teaching is not, nor ever has been static. Not only can church teaching change over time, different trends happen over time. For a time, it appeared that great reform and liberalization was coming to the Church in the 60s and 70s. Conservative factions didn't go silent, pick up their marbles and go home! No! They redoubled their efforts, got one of their own elected pope and turned the tide back in a conservative direction.

But to bring it back to the nuns... I point out one part of the NYT article... the bishops don't claim that the nuns were being particularly pro-gay or pro-abortion. They weren't focusing their efforts on those issues. They weren't adequately anti-gay and anti-abortion. And that is what makes this ridiculous.

And, quite frankly, like most Christian denominations, the basic tenets of the Church are the 10 commandments and the Golden Rule, not a burning desire to keep gays from marrying or women from getting the pill.

In regards to nuns, the corrupted bishops and cardinals suffer from Jesus envy. Sadly, the all-male hierarchy has been on a crusade to get rid of the orders of sisters since the time of Vatican II. It's all traceable all the way back to that sick unit, Augustine.

Jon Stewart had the exact same skit on his show last night.

Years ago, my lovely, sweet, Catholic mother-in-law told me the difference between Catholic and catholic. I have looked at all religious types through that lens ever since. I have also met a few sisters since then and found them to have the same warm, catholic heart as my mother-in-law. Bankrupt souls can be found in any church and any group of humans. What is that saying about power? Maybe the fact that nuns have not been religious leaders has kept them from having as many notorious bad apples.

I worked at the chancery when Levada became Archbishop in Portland. As soon as it became evident he was going to dismantle lots of the good work that was going on I got out. He always struck me as one of those ambitious churchmen who are only interested in power and not in serving the least among us. I was glad to see him leave Portland but sad when he got what he ultimately desired, a powerful position at the Vatican. Men like him are what is wrong with the Catholic church today.

A lot of nuns have substituted liberalism for catholicism. Fortunately their orders are dying out and we won't have to suffer from then in a generation they've betrayed the church and their founders. If you want to see young vibrant orders of sisters see the ones that wear habits and are loyal to the magisterium.

John:Yikes!!!

Can't say I'm an ex-Catholic, but I am a lapsed, non-observant, no-Mass-for-me Catholic. Never understood how ritual and reading from prepared scripts constitutes "prayer." But one can't be an ex-Catholic any more than one can be a former Jew. The church has done an excellent job of ingraining that religious identity.

Having said that, however, it should be pointed out that the Catholic Church has been under fire for centuries, and often for good reason (the Inquisition, as one appalling example) and the recent conservative turn of the pope and his minions has coincided with an uptick in the number of men and women taking religious vocations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And while I don't doubt the existence of pedophile priests, I also question the veracity of some of the plaintiffs, particularly when the alleged abuses occurred decades ago and the accused is either long dead or otherwise unfit to defend himself.

In some cases, and I mean a minority, one cannot help but suspect that the abuse complaint is given credence by a general anti-Catholic sentiment pervading certain sectors of society (like sensation-seeking media, for one) and is exploited and promulgated by avaricious lawyers and plaintiffs who see a deep-pocket defendant and money to be made.

And self-cloistered elitist, cold, corporate Torquemadas like former archbishop Levada do little to help.

The Catholic Church is not an organization where membership is compulsory and PDXLifer is entirely correct in the position that if you don't like it, you are free to get the hell out. New strains of Christianity (often called sects or even cults) are formed virtually every day and there is nothing stopping one from organizing a new Catholic Church.

The problem with that is most Catholics can't bear to leave no matter what, at least in my experience. Some years ago, when I was still active in the church, I attended a conference in Seattle of people purporting to be "radical" Catholics that devolved into a long, tedious litany of complaints against church law—priests should be allowed to marry. women should be ordained, the paternalistic hierarchy should be dismantled, blah blah blah—during which I suggested to the group that if the partisans had disagreements with church teachings on such a fundamental level, perhaps it was time to form an American Catholic Church, independent of Rome, that would incorporate those very ideas while keeping those traditions held sacred. Well, turns out the radicals weren't THAT radical and responses were along the lines of my attempting to foment heresy.

But one can't be an ex-Catholic any more than one can be a former Jew.

I am most certainly an ex-Catholic.

Without meaning offense, ex-bartender:

The fact that you felt the need to mention that confirms my point.

I agree with what Jesus said about abortion and homosexuality. Nothing.

Perhaps I worded that poorly. I in no way identify with the Catholic religion anymore. But your point is well taken.

ex-bartender:

Thank you. We are of like mind here.

Ex-bartender
We will believe you when you can prove that in you dreamlife you never reenact your first communion, never see those fabulous exuberant theater sets that line the walls of churches you have seen, etc

The other day I was in the hamlet of aurora, and stopped at a salvage place. There, awaiting me, was the salvaged Madonna that I have been anticipating for seven years. She's a beautiful one, holding her robe open to show you her heart, which looks remarkably like a dissected cadaver specimen's. She graces the entry to the master bath, reflecting the early light, as I greet her every morning.

Catholicism never leaves, it hibernates.

Re: "Jon Stewart had the exact same skit on his show last night."

Allan L.,

Do you mean the "vagina manger" skit? If so, perhaps Mr Stewart will, like the Catholic League's Mr Donohue, have "'have something definitive to say, one way or the other'" this evening:

"A 'Daily Show' segment that criticized Fox News for ignoring the GOP's 'war on women' while highlighting the left's 'war on Christmas' has drawn the ire of the Catholic League."
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/catholic-league-threatens-jon-stewart-boycott-over-vagina-135012202.html

No, I didn't mean that one, but the one where Jason Jones assembles a panel of women and then ignores them.

I love being Catholic. The Catholic church comes to us from the apostles. Read the early church fathers and you will see that they celebrated the mass, had bishops and priests and understood that the successor of Peter was the head of the church. Oregon has a long history of anti-Catholicism. My grandparents saw the democratic party's alliance with the Ku Klux Klan in the 20's try to destroy the Catholic Church here in Oregon. It continues today without the white hoods.

Maybe that last glass of zinfandel just kicked in, but this sure appears to be a good conversation among good people.

A toast to us all!

(Good Catholics do enjoy their wine in moderation!)

I agree with PDXLifer.

It is indeed refreshing to have an online discussion without it degrading into a virtual competition to vociferously promote one's own viewpoint as the only correct one—indeed, the only one worthy of being spoken out loud—while dismissing all who do not share it unconditionally as rogues, fools and knaves.

There is plenty of room in the tent, if one is only willing to consider the validity of a reasoned argument that may be counter to one's own instead of reflexively gainsaying another's position and adding an ad hominem attack. Which, unfortunately, tends to say more about the attacker than the attacked.

Just my opinion.

Now come the nuns, and for their answer say:

"'The presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was stunned by the conclusions of the doctrinal assessment.'

It added the group may give a lengthier response at a later date."
http://news.yahoo.com/catholic-nuns-group-stunned-vatican-slap-141447455.html

"Academics who study the church said the Vatican's move was predictable given Pope Benedict's conservative views and efforts by Rome to quell internal dissent and curtail autonomy within its ranks.

'This is more an expression of the Church feeling under siege by trends it cannot control within the Church, much less within the broader society,' University of Notre Dame historian Scott Appleby said."

In memory of all the women the RCC hierarchy has not known what to do with, perhaps a local concert will foster solidarity:

"The third and final concert of the season will celebrate the works of Hildegard von Bingen, 12th century visionary, composer, author, and philosopher whose music is inspiring today as they were in her own time."
http://www.inmulieribus.org/season.html

"In Mulieribus (the Latin phrase meaning “amongst women”) is a female vocal ensemble dedicated to the promotion and enrichment of community through the art of music with a focus on works written primarily before 1750."


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