Nuns vs. Bishops

My money’s on the nuns:

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 80% of America’s 57,000 nuns, was the subject of a lengthy of investigation led by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio.

The resulting report noted the good work they did with the poor and in running schools and hospitals, but also documented what it called a “grave” doctrinal crisis.

It said the sisters were promoting radical feminist themes and criticised US nuns for challenging the bishops, who it said were “the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals”.

The Archbishop of Seattle, Peter Sartain, is to lead a reform of the LCWR.

This will include a review of ties between it and its close partner, Network, a social justice organisation involved in healthcare and poverty programmes.

Network was singled out for criticism in the report for “being silent on the right to life” and other “crucial issues” to the church.

Sister Campbell suggested that her organisation’s vocal support for President Barack Obama’s healthcare bill was behind the slapdown.

“There’s a strong connection,” she said. “We didn’t split on faith, we split on politics.”

And not just because I was taught by nuns and YOU DO NOT MESS, son, and all the other too-easy jokes about how mean nuns are and ha ha ha.

Putting things bluntly, Catholic nuns have been doing the actual work of keeping the church alive while the bishops sat on their asses and complained. They staffed the schools and ran the hospitals, teaching the faith and caring for the sick, day in and day out, when nobody was watching. The bishops get all the pomp and all the press, but you know who wins things like this? You know who wins these fights?

The people who have the patience to outlast the latest loudmouth Your Grace blathering on about obedience and one’s proper place. The people who’ve been there before him and will likely be there after. The people who show up to work and keep showing up long after the fanfare’s over.


7 thoughts on “Nuns vs. Bishops

  1. The crosscut scene in “Doubt” ahowing dinner at the rectroy and dinner at the convent was such an indictment of the separate ways the church ran the sexes. I know it reflected the mores of the 60s but I have a feeling in many corners of the Catholic world, it hasn’t changed all that much: the boys get to go out in the world and trade witticisms and the girls go out and do their duty without glory.

  2. The nuns are the Catholic church’s 99%. They do the heavy lifting, while the men, who get to advance to lots of money and disobey the rules applicable to ‘others’ take any credit and castigate the women for not doing enough. WTH?!!?

  3. Ironically — or perhaps not surprisingly — Peter Sartain is the same dude who is facingan open rebellion over gay marriage in Washington.
    Watch this, people. The church leaders are facing an open rebellion from their church members. I think the leaders will lose. They always have.

  4. Peter Sartrain can rail all he wants, but 89,000 nuns can’t be wrong. I think the nuns should tell the Vatican to go to hell. Let them shut down all the schools, programs, hospitals, etc, that these women have been running for years and see what the jackasses of Rome do, as they sit with their feet up!!!

  5. As an unreligious person, the fact that women can stay in religions that treat them like shitat all seems weird to me. It’s like a textbook example of false consciousness. If the nuns and the collective female laity walked en masse (no pun intended), the Catholic Church would collapse.
    And given how sick I am of the institutional Catholic Church and its various crime syndicates, ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

  6. Frankly, the nuns I’ve had most of my experiences with were cut pretty much from the bishops’ cloth–but that having been said, Athenae, you make a very cogent point. Because of declining numbers of new priests in the U.S., you have numerous parishes with almost minimal pastoral care. Moderate to small Catholic congregations, or churches in rural areas, must often share priests. I’ve attended little churches in the country where actual Masses with Communion are once a month because that’s when the priest comes by. As often as not, the ones filling in the gaps are lay women–acting as lectors, arranging and conducting and playing music, serving at Communion, teaching catechism, counseling, advising, fund-raising, and ministering directly to the parishioners. The women at my late mother’s tiny church in Northern Michigan are who you ask to find out when the electrician is coming to fix lighting in the parish hall–you sure don’t call the priest!

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