Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Church Men Crackdown on Church Women.

The Vatican has determined that women cannot be priests, they cannot preach, and now they can not be trusted to run their own religious organizations. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Levada, has called on Archbishop Sartain, with Bishops Paprocki and Blair, to revise and oversee the work of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LWCR) – an umbrella organization of women religious leaders that represent nearly 55,000 sisters in the US. The US bishops have been complaining that their priorities (anti-birth control, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage) haven’t been the priorities of the sisters. They are more concerned with social justice, disobedience and “radical” feminism. Chicago journalist and editorialist Carol Marin asks that the Vatican stop “waging a war against US Nuns.”

Vatican waging a war on nuns

Last Modified: Apr 22, 2012 02:38AM

You decide if this makes sense.

There is a criminal trial under way in Philadelphia in which a Catholic priest is charged with attempted rape of a minor, and the priest’s codefendant, a monsignor, is charged with covering up clergy sexual abuse.
There is a bishop in Peoria who recently saw fit to compare the actions of President Barack Obama to those of Adolf Hitler.

So how is it that the Vatican last week issued a decree that American nuns are the ones in big trouble for what they’ve said and done? And the nuns need a tighter leash?

Yes, if you thought things could not get more surreal or insulting for the women of the Catholic Church, you may have underestimated the lengths the Curia will go to alienate American Catholics from a faith they love and from a hierarchy that has compromised much of its moral authority.

In a scathing rebuke, the Vati­can ordered the overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization that represents most of the 57,000 sisters in the United States.

What sins have these women committed? According to the Vatican, these nuns have been too focused on issues of poverty, war, health care and homosexuality. And not fixated enough on what the bishops think is most important — women’s wombs.

These nuns — “radical feminists,” says the Vatican — have failed to understand that the bishops are their “authentic teachers.”

Does that include Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law who, after obstructing justice in one of the most horrific chapters of the pedophile scandal, now lives in Rome as a prince of the church?

Three bishops, including Illinois’ Thomas Paprocki, have been appointed to rein in the nuns’ group by reviewing its policies, approving speeches and monitoring obedience to — you know — the bishops.
A spokeswoman for nuns’ group would say only that they were “stunned.”

“Sisters will respond with sadness but not fear,” predicted Kathleen Sprows Cummings, an expert on women religious who teaches at Notre Dame.

“I don’t know what the sisters will do. It will take some really creative response,” Cummings said, “but they’ve been responding creatively to challenges in the church for a long time.”


One of the recent challenges was the ex-communication of Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, by Bishop Thomas Olmsted. Her crime was to permit, as a member of the hospital’s ethics committee, a gravely ill mother of four to terminate a pregnancy that would have resulted in the death of her baby and herself.

Those of us who have been educated by Catholic sisters or have witnessed their work know the hierarchy has never given them the respect they deserve.

Surely, there are thoughtful bishops who recoil at what the Vatican is doing here. Why they don’t speak up, I will never know.

At mass this week, one of the readings was from Acts 5:29. The apostles Peter and John were ordered by the temple’s high priest not to teach. And their response was, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

The nuns of this church are doing God’s work. They deserve gratitude and respect.

Not the Vatican’s unpardonable scorn.

Copyright © 2012 — Sun-Times Media, LLC

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fr. Pat Brennan: I was denied pastorate after critiquing new Roman Missal

As a part of a scripture reflection, Fr. Brennan revealed the following...

(POSTED: 3/28/12) About five months ago, an Archdiocesan official asked to see me. He told me that he thought it would be a good idea for me to try to become a pastor again, that indeed I am a good pastor. I mentioned a parish that was opening up for a pastorate that I was interested in, and he thought I would be good for that role. We closed our time together very amicably.

Subsequently, I wrote in for three parishes, one in the Diocese of Joliet, where I currently work on weekends, and two in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

We are all trying to get accustomed to the new Roman Missal. During a homily in Naperville, I recently confessed to the people my frustration in using the Roman Missal. I mentioned that the style of writing in the missal was difficult to follow and understand. The people gave me a standing ovation, but someone in the congregation called the Bishop of Joliet about my remarks. The pastor of the Naperville parish was called by the bishop’s office to find out what happened. I did not hear much about this matter until recently.

Last week, I received a phone call from an official in the Joliet diocese telling me that I did not receive the pastorate of the parish in Naperville, where I was working. I was told it was because two Joliet priests applied for it, and they had a greater chance of getting it because they were Joliet priests. I accepted that. I waited for word about the parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago that I applied for. The other priests who were applying for pastorates were informed on Thursday or Friday of that week about their future. It was already Sunday, late morning, and I had not heard anything from the Archdiocesan Priest Placement Board. I called one of the members on the board. He said that I did not receive the pastorates of the two Chicago parishes, and that someone was going to call to explain that.

I received a phone call on Sunday afternoon from an Archdiocesan official. He informed me that I did not receive a pastorate at either of the two Chicago parishes. When I asked why, he said: “You did not get the Naperville parish because of a homily you gave critiquing the new Roman Missal, and that reason factored in the Chicago decisions also.” The next day I had a discussion with another Archdiocesan official, who told me that I probably would not be allowed to be a pastor in the Archdiocese of Chicago again. I must say that this whole experience has jarred me a great deal and made me very anxious and sad.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mrs. Ted Kennedy Dis-invited

Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, is a lifelong Catholic who has received honorary degrees from two Catholic colleges. So why is a Massachusetts bishop prohibiting her from serving as a commencement speaker this year?

Kennedy had accepted an invitation from Anna Maria College to speak at this year's graduation, but Worcester Bishop Robert McManus forced them to withdraw the invitation. According to his office, Catholics who disagree with church teaching should not be honored by Catholic institutions -- a standard that conservative bishops seem to apply only to Democrats.

Bishop McManus even refused Kennedy's request to meet in person to discuss his concerns. As she put it, "by objecting to my appearance at Anna Maria College he has made a judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic. This is a sad day for me and an even sadder one for the Church I love."

Bishops have consistently remained silent when conservative figures like John Boehner, Antonin Scalia, and George W. Bush are honored by Catholic institutions despite flouting church teaching on war, the death penalty, torture, and other issues. This time, let's show that everyday people of faith won't accept their campaign of selective censorship and intimidation towards progressive Catholics.

Sign a petition telling Bishop McManus to allow Vicki Kennedy to speak.