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Why is it that the same Catholics who will fall all over themselves reminding each other that, however frustrated they are with individual bad priests, they must be careful to remember and respect the dignity of the priesthood because priests always remain alter Christus have no problem ridiculing brides of Christ, however unfaithful some of those brides have been? The same Catholics who would be enraged at anyone putting together a video of nutty priests to the tune of Rush Limbaugh’s Barney Frank update theme howl with laughter at this mockery of women religious.
Mainly because with the priests, they were largely PRIVATE sins and they weren’t trying to overthrow the Vatican in favor of pushing all the heterosexual males out of the Church.
The sexual sins of abusive priests are less heinous than the doctrinal sins of dissident nuns because those sins were committed in private? And therefore it is okay to publicly uphold the dignity of priests while publicly ridiculing the dignity of religious sisters? Excuse me, please. I need to find my jaw, which just dropped off and rolled away.
Even the worst pedophile priest affects maybe 400 people negatively. Total worldwide number of victims of Catholic Clergy Abuse, for the entire history of the church, is maybe a couple of million. If these nuns got their way, they’d affect 1.1 billion people negatively.
” And therefore it is okay to publicly uphold the dignity of priests while publicly ridiculing the dignity of religious sisters?”
Well, strictly speaking, it is radical feminism. And I have been known to accuse radical feminism of *CAUSING* the sex scandals, by removing sexual morality from the general culture and tempting a *few* priests to violate their vows of celibacy. If these nuns are truly involved in that (and it increasingly looks like they are, given the LCWR’s official support of lesbian marriage) then there is a significant issue to be looked at.
The only people harming the sister’s dignity, near as I can tell, are the American Press and the Sisters themselves.
Only 400 people, huh? And what about those billions of others who are disgusted and repelled once the news is reported worldwide? Those who have their worst fears about Catholicism seemingly affirmed, those whose faith is shaken, those who have a new tool with which to beat the Church? In short, all those people riding the priestly abuse scandal for well over a decade now?
I’m afraid that you are merely affirming my theory: The reason supposedly orthodox Catholics are willing to defend the priesthood over and against sexually-abusive priests while merrily joining in the bashing of nuns over the doctrinal sins of some of their ranks is because sexism and clericalism are still alive and well in the modern Church, even among (perhaps especially among) the laity.
Question: Do you recognize that the sisters are in fact sinning or does your use of the phrase “doctrinal sins” mean that you don’t see them as real sins?
Amy, I had decided I was done with this thread, but I think your concern justifies a final clarification. I am not arguing against the Vatican’s action against the LCWR, or against the fact that many sisters have scandalized the faithful with their disobedience to the Church and their embrace of heterodoxy. What I am arguing against is the idea that orthodox Catholics will vigorously defend the priesthood when presented with the spectacle of abusive priests (as they should), while at the same time heaping scorn and ridicule upon women religious in the name of denouncing the doctrinal sins (yes: real, true sins) of a few among them. In other words, I’m saying we have a double standard at work here.
Wouldn’t Mark’s posts on Fr. Corapi and Fr. Cutie contradict your charge of a double standard?
No, Michelle. No one is ridiculing the institution of nuns here. That is just plain wrong. If anything I believe everyone here is DEFENDING the institution by saying those who are tarnishing it are worthy of ridicule/admonishon.
Actually, what those priests did is arguably worse, devastating so many lives and souls, even leading to suicides. The Church considers abuse of minors as among the most serious sins a priest can commit. However, like Amy said, the horrendous nature of that sin is precisely why we don’t make light of it. Her mention of the “Black Sheep Dog” debacle is also relevant: when a priest does something worthy of ridicule he does get ridiculed, as Corapi was. I don’t think we need to jump immediately to the charge of sexism. Mark has been just as critical of “with-it” priests in the past as with liturgical-dancing nuns.
In some ways, you make a valid point. They are vowed religious and as such deserve a level of respect even if their words and actions completely contradict their vows and religion.
However, there are major differences between the situation of these sisters and the priests you refer to. First, the sisters have also willingly made a spectacle of themselves, inviting public comment. Any priest who advertises his sin would open himself up to similar mockery (like Corapi’s Black Sheep Dog video that got a lot of laughs). Second, LWCR’s errors and sins are lauded by themselves and their supporters as good and holy. No one pretends the sexual abuse by priests is anything other than sin. Third and most importantly, the LWCR’s errors are laughable, abuse of minors is, I’m sure you would agree, not.
Lots of pictures of religious sisters, and nary a young gal in sight. You’d think they’d learn something from that fact.
We had a young (I think 20s-ish) novice-sister come to our parish for the first time this Sunday wearing her habit. I noticed not a single woman of a certain age (Woodstockholm Syndrome runs rampant in our parish) would talk to her, so I went up and actually *thanked her for wearing her habit*!
If we don’t encourage vocations among the young, they WILL die out.
Actually, traditional orders (priests, monks AND nuns) that wear their habits are surging in numbers. But shhhhhhh! It’s a dirty little secret no one likes to admit.
You GO girlfriends! Power to the Labia!! Down with the vaginally-challenged, patriarchal meanies!!!
@Michelle – as someone who was raised around nuns (both good and bad) I have nothing but respect for nuns and holy orders. But many of those represented by the LCWR are not at all practicing Catholics. They hide behind the title of “nun” while living a very good, secular life funded by the donations of generations past (i.e. selling off valuable property) or the funds of very profitable industries (i.e. hospitals). Their “communities” are hardly that, since most live in single-unit apartments with their own car, high-speed internet access, yoga memberships etc.
Luckily they will be dying off in another generatio or so, leaving the real nuns to regain their place of prominence and respect.
My suggesstion to the LCWR is to hire a bunch of good looking young chicks, present them as members of their own orders in contemporary dress and see if these old men of both sexes who seem to despise them as much because they are senior citizens than for anything else might have to change their tune. If all the aegism were filtered out of criticism of these nuns, I might begin to listen to the critics.
The point behind their age is that the orders are not attracting younger women and so are dying out. It’s not so much hatred of old people as pointing out what dissent does to a religious order.
I meant to say “The point behind comments about their age….”
As Rosemarie ponts out, this is absolutely not about age, it IS about a certain mind-set that was spawned in the 60’s and is pervasive throughout many of the communities which eventually formed their demise and self-destruction. The younger nuns tend not to belong to these communities, precisely because they are of that mindset (i.e. the newer generation are more orthodox and do not identify with the LCWR). When I see an elderly nun in a full habit, it almost brings a tear to my eye. God bless them.
I was not raised Catholic so there are things about Catholic culture that elude me, but I simply dont get why these radical Sisters would give up all they had to sacrifice to become vowed religious to enter an organization that they seemed to have so much distain for. These ladies look like they have been around since the beginning of time, so (I am not trying to be mean but) time will surely create a cease-fire on most of this.
The mailings I get requesting donations to build bigger convents to hold the burgeoning convents full of novice nuns show young, vital, habit-wearing conservatives with nary a rainbow sash or prochoice sign to be found.
I feel bad for these old gals, they seem to have painted themselves into the most awkward of corners. If they had stayed laity, they would at least have children to torment in their declining years but they have neither a Church who agrees with them or family who is bound to them…sounds awful to me.
As the saying goes, marrying the spirit of the age soon leaves you a widower.