Right on, sisters

No longer remote, unapproachable figures of authority, the nuns I know are now women of advanced degrees and warm wisdom – Published on The Boston Globe, by Thomas Farragher, April 14, 2013.

… During a recent luncheon to celebrate some of the nuns’ anniversaries of their call to the sisterhood, my siblings and I returned to the convent, enjoying lunch and cake with the nuns and some of the priests I had served as an altar boy at Sunday Mass. The talk that afternoon turned to the Vatican’s recent effort to crack down on religious sisters who have had the temerity to question the church over issues like same-sex marriage, birth control, and?—?God forbid?—?the ordination of women as priests.  

“Can you imagine Rome taking on women like this?’’ the priest, now a pastor, said that afternoon, waving his arm at a roomful of accomplished women perfectly capable of dissecting the recent gyrations of American politics or the brightened fortunes of the Red Sox bullpen.

No, I told him, I could not.

It is a challenging time to be a Catholic. The clergy sexual abuse crisis has thinned congregations and shaken faith. As the number of priests steadily declines, parishes are being consolidated. From my seat in the pews, I don’t pretend to know how to cure these ills. But I know this: The nuns are not the troublemakers.

A few years ago, after notching a professional milepost, I received a note from an old teacher, Sister Mary Ignatia. “I am proud to say I taught you in Grade One,’’ she wrote. There are few things I treasure more.

On my daily commute on Route 3A, I sometimes find myself behind a woman whose car carries this spare bumper sticker: “I Support the Nuns.’’ More than once I have been tempted to pull up beside her, roll down my window, and shout: I’m with you, sister.
(full text).

Links:

Nonnen in den USA
: beharrlich und couragiert, auf SRF.ch, von Rita Schwarzer, 15. April 2013: Nonnen in den USA würden sich zu viel um Arme und zu wenig um die Kirche kümmern – so der Vorwurf aus dem Vatikan. Nun erhielt gestern die Dachorganisation der US-amerikanischen Frauenorden (LCWR) den renommierten Herbert-Haag-Preis für die Freiheit in der Kirche …;

Ich bin die Kirche, das ist meine Kirche – Herbert-Haag-Preis, auf SRF.ch, von Rita Schwarzer, 14. April 2013;

Jesuit pope offers hope to some U.S. nuns, on UDStoday, March 21, 2013;

Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover But Seek Dialogue On Difference, on Huffington Post, by David Gibson, August 11, 2012.

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