Practicing Religious Chauvinism

The investigative office of the Roman Catholic Church, which was known in the Dark Ages of history as the Inquisition, has recently reinvigorated its investigation of women in its ranks (nuns) who, the men who are comfortable in priest dresses declare, are infected with “radical feminism.”  The male-run Inquisition office is totally convinced that Jesus told them two thousand years ago all that they ever needed to know about women’s spiritual quality and all that is necessary to know about the complexity of feminine physiology.  After all, Jesus ran around only with the guys, so he knew all about such things.

The brouhaha kept in constant agitation of late from the male-only hierarchy in the Vatican, especially in regard to the 57,000 American nuns, has been that these sisters of logic, shall we call them, are deemed as opening the church to serious scandal for being “incompatible with religious life!”  Why?  Because the bulk of these women happen to see the intelligence in religious institutions providing their employees with insurance coverage, but that insurance would also happen to cover birth control.  Oh my!  Responsible breeding!  Jesus said nothing in favor of that, and so the Vatican says, “…do only what Jesus (allegedly) told us to do…” in our orphanages, schools and hospitals.

Numerous sisters have found only frustration in this constricted approach to human need.  Indeed some have even dared to express a need to “move beyond the Church,” and dare to point out that Jesus did mandate that impartial consideration and intelligent treatment must be freely extended toward the unfortunate.  To the Vatican male-only club, however, they see it as their duty to indict the sisters for their silence on the abortion concern which accompanies the insurance coverage.  Forgotten, apparently, are the long centuries of brotherly silence over brotherly indiscretions that should have been faced morally by the Church.

The male-only club of “investigators” thus choose to see “a rejection of faith” in the nun’s suggestion of moving beyond the church.  The alleged “rejection of faith” is trumpeted as being “…also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life.”  How conveniently these self-appointed male-only judges forget that even the beloved Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) thought that it was time to “…throw open the windows of the church and let some fresh air in.”  That wise advice obviously flew over the Vatican like a lead balloon.

Since burning people at the stake is frowned upon nowadays, the Vatican board of Inquisition has been instructed to force a reform upon the representative arm of the nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religion (LCWR).  No one is more vindictive than a bunch of spiteful priests, and they are still bent out of shape over a 1979 run-in with the LCWR.  In that episode Sister Theresa Kane, R.S.M. presented Pope John Paul II with a plea for the inclusion of women in all ministries of the church, including the ordination of women.  That offended priestly egos.  So, in priestly assessment of the stand by the sisters of logic in regard to their support of the 2010 health reform that would provide insurance coverage for employees, the Vatican pouted aloud that “This (the former 1979 affair) public refusal (regarding male-only ordination and silence on abortion) has never been corrected.”  In other words, it was a guy-gang call for holy payback.

So all stops are being pulled out by the Vatican male-only hierarchy to force a full-scale overhaul on the nun’s umbrella group.  The rumble out of the Vatican took form as a reprimand for making public statements which allegedly “…disagrees with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”  Really?  Authentic teachers of faith and morals?  Maybe a few former altar boys would like to comment on that.  Still their excellencies insist that they have “…a mandate given by the Lord to Simon Peter as the rock on which He founded his church.”  But didn’t Jesus, who never married, hang out and travel around the country with a ragtag gang of guys, and didn’t some of those married boys just up and take off with Jesus and leave their families behind?

Well, that’s another story.  Closer to today, in 2009, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which was dreamed up by the Vatican, conducted a “doctrinal assessment” of the LCWR to assess the “tenor and doctrinal content” in the various addresses that had been given in the LCWR organization’s annual assemblies from 2001 to that date.  Thus three years later in April 2012 that investigative panel determined that the “tenor and doctrinal content” had been radical.  Thus it appointed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain as Archbishop Delegate with the mandate to oversee adjustments to the LCWR’s statutes, programs and affiliations to make it conform more closely, as determined by an all-male panel, to “the teachings and discipline of the Church.”

The mandate of the Archbishop Delegate includes the following points:    1) Revision of the LCWR Statutes, and those revised Statutes are to be submitted to the male-only Holy See for approval.  2) The scope of the LCWR plans and programs have to fulfill its mission in accord with the male-only controlled church teachings and discipline, which include: a] the withdrawal from circulation the Systems Thinking Handbook pending revision by male-only judgment; b] programs for future Superiors and “Formators” of the LCWR must be reformatted; c] speakers and presenters at major programs of the LCWR are to be subject to approval by the male Delegate.  3) New LCWR programs must be created that are judged (by a male-only board) to provide “a deepened understanding of the Church’s doctrine of faith.”  4) Liturgical and text “norms” must be reviewed and must include, for example, “that the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours will have a place of priority in the LCWR programs and events.  5) Affiliated organizations such as Network and Resource Center for Religious Life are to be reviewed by male-only controllers.

This is nothing more than chauvinism at its lowest spiritual level.  You can almost hear Satan chuckling.  After all, he has more former priests, bishops, popes and that ilk shoveling coal for him in his domain of hell than there are similar former church officials plucking away at harp strings in heaven.

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