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Bishops play Church queens as pawns


Maureen Dowd

It is an astonishing thing that historians will look back and puzzle over, that in the 21st century, American women were such hunted creatures.

Even as Republicans try to wrestle women into chastity belts, the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns.

Who thinks it’s cool to bully nuns? While continuing to heal and educate, the community of sisters is aging and dying out because few younger women are willing to make such sacrifices for a church determined to bring women to heel.

Yet the nuns must be yanked into line by the crepuscular, medieval men who run the Catholic Church.

“It’s not terribly unlike the days of yore when they singled out people in the rough days of the Inquisition,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.”

How can the church hierarchy be more offended by the nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia?

How do you take spiritual direction from a church that seems to be losing its soul?

It has become a habit for the church to go after women. A Worcester, Mass., bishop successfully fought to get a commencement speech invitation taken away from Vicki Kennedy, widow of Teddy Kennedy, because of her positions on some social issues. And an Indiana woman named Emily Herx has filed a lawsuit saying she was fired from her job teaching in a Catholic school and denounced as a “grave, immoral sinner” by the parish pastor after she used fertility treatments to try to get pregnant with her husband. [More]


Maureen Dowd/New York Times



  1. John says:

    Whomever keeps posting this TRASH on Catholic News USA should be given the boot! Obviously he is pushing his on, NON-CATHOLIC agenda since he has failed to read the statement from the Vatican or understand it in context to the Catechism of the Catholic Faith. Then again, most of the posts here are by the equally un catechised, ignorant Catholics who will have to recon greatly when they are judged by our creator. Ignorance of the truth when the truth is so readily available is no excuse.

    • Carl says:

      Oh John, I get it. Your remarks are comic irony, drawing us to he picture of ideal Catholic life, sort of an eternal second-grade Catholic classroom where we are smacked about, denigrated, humiliated by the authorities. LOL.

  2. Thomas Merton says:

    Anybody here not been bullied by nuns? I think not. However, these women are not being picked on as much as led back to the path of Faith. If they don’t want to be part of what they have taken on voluntarily, then out they go. If blame be told it is the bishops who have allowed these liberal women a voice that should be punished also. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    • yolanda says:

      It is sad to read all these postings. I sometimes wonder if we are following Jesus the Christ who gave his life for all of us. Like Adam and Eve, we blame the next but do not look at what we, each one individually, have done to make the church more Christ-like.

  3. Paul Skizinski says:

    Susan & Maureen, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. You both ought to be ashamed of yourselves for thinking up such an inaccurate description of our religious women.

    • Deacon Rich says:

      Paul, unfortunately the description is not inaccurate. The LCRW has not been obedient to the Magisterial teaching of the Church. They have not lived lives of humble service and have adopted radical feminism as their model. We have seen and are continuing to live under the devastating effects of the sexual revolution of the 1960′s which the Church has stood against but has also been hurt by this grievous distortion of the human condition. These poor women (the LCRW) have fallen into “the snare of fowler” and have been propounding the enemies arguments. The goal is not to “punish” or “hunt” these women, the goal is to save their immortal souls. If you truly love them and want the best for them, then you will see that this is what the Church wants. Ms. Dowd has no business speaking to this matter other than to stir the pot and present more of the enemies erroneous arguments and lies.

      • Recovering Catholic says:

        It amazes me how men think it is their duty to save the immortal souls of women. I think the real issue here is men’s need for “control.”

      • Carl says:

        “The goal is not to “punish” or “hunt” these women, the goal is to save their immortal souls. If you truly love them and want the best for them, then you will see that this is what the Church wants.” Deacon, this reminds me of the remark by the inquisitor in The Name of the Rose (F. Murray Abraham) who tortures and punishes someone to save the soul.

  4. Susan Varenne says:

    It is NOT because of the bishops that there are so few vocations to progressive liberal religious orders. It is because they have no prayer life, no community life, and make a mockery of Church teachings. Don’t blame the bishops–the “good” sisters brought the vocation crisis on themselves. The more traditional orders are full to the brim–both for men and women.

    • Maureen says:

      Amen to that, Susan. Community life is no more and the lack of vocations to progressive orders shows that young women do not wish to embrace a life of sacrifice with no sacrifice in it.
      Traditional orders are still in good shape because that call to servitude is in tact.
      Maybe the “good Sisters” need a wake-up call from the Vatican and fear that the consequence may be that they will be obliged to, once again, assume the vocation they vowed to follow.


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