That is what a friend of mine, a recent convert not known for her authoritarian tendencies e-mailed me last night, after reading the news of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s call for the reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. It’s tremendously lazy but ideologically convenient reporting that claims it’s a story of scandal-plagued men slapping down oppressed women who only want to serve the poor. We’re talking about women whose radical feminism leads them to question the very divine nature of Christ, in some cases. It is a free country and you can believe whatever you like and have priestesses or whatever your heart desires. But please don’t insist we call you Catholic.
The under-reported story here — well, one of many — is the consecrated women who have struggled to live within these at times nutty communities, where community has fallen apart, where the Blessed Sacrament is not at the center of their lives. There are heartbreaking messes to deal with. Don’t do these women and the Church a disservice and add to the pile-on. A lot of the hostility to the CDF move has more to do with the hostility to the Church inherent in the religion of secularism than it has to do with compassion for Catholic religious sisters and their mission.