Naughty Nuns

When seeing a title like “Pope Condemns ‘Radical’ Nuns” at CNN, no rational person should think it refers to, say, the order Sisters of Mercy, who had to pay $193 million to sexual abuse victims in Ireland. That would be silly. God doesn’t want us to handle real problems. God wants us to focus on fake things, like the “purity” of the arbitrary rules used to perpetuate an ancient patriarchy that has no place in the modern world.

The assessment said that a Leadership Conference of Women Religious conference yielded “manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal errors,” that went unchallenged.   It also said the event promoted “radical feminism”and decried the “prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some programs and presentations sponsored by the LCWR…”

Whenever someone from some limp dick right wing patriarchal dunce-factory (like the Catholic Church) complains of “radical feminism”, read that as “any form of feminism whatsoever.”  The so-called “radical” ideas that are “incompatible with the Catholic faith” include terrifying notions like Women should share positions of authority with men.

You know, “radical” feminism.  And who’s in charge of investigating these “radicals”?

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the church’s doctrinal watchdog, on Wednesday announced the conclusion of a years-long “doctrinal assessment” investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80% of the Catholic nuns in the United States.

Ah, yes, the Inquisition. They’re certainly known for their reasonableness and tolerant attitude. For instance, look how understanding they are on the issues of abortion and gay rights:

While the assessment praised the social justice work of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Network and the Resources Center for Religious Life, it said the groups were “silent on the right to life from conception to natural death” and on the Church’s view on “family life and human sexuality.”

So just simply not saying anything about abortion and gay rights is “radical”. The only way to be non-radical is to be vocal in one’s homophobia and misogyny. Got it?

Pope Benedict XVI approved the request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to intervene and the implementation of their recommended changes, the doctrinal office said in its assessment.

Yes, Luke! Let the hate flow through you! Now release your anger!

Cardinal William Levada, a former Archbishop in the United States and now the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, said in a statement that the the Vatican process is aimed at “fostering a patient and collaborative renewal of this conference of major superiors in order to provide a stronger doctrinal foundation for its many laudable initiatives and activities.”

Make no mistake. There is not a single woman on the Inquisition. It’s just a bunch of old white male bigots like Cardinal Bill here. And “fostering a patient and collaborative renewal…in order to provide a stronger doctrinal foundation” means nothing other than “putting those bitches back in their place.

This ties in to one of my biggest complaints about not just the Catholic church, but religion in general. It elevates the doxastic over the pragmatic, the traditional over the personal, the abstract over the concrete, the afterlife over life, the empty realm of doctrines and scriptures over the actual experience of real flesh and blood human beings. The more intangible it is, the more valuable it is, and vice versa. Fuck the actual experiences of real women trying to work in a system where they’re prohibited from having any real authority or influence. Saint Paul said “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (1 Timothy 2:12)”, so you non-penis-having folks are just gonna have to sit down and shut the fuck up.

But it’s not just the Catholic church and the Bible’s sexism that’s to blame here.  CNN deserves some blame for how horribly written this fucking article is.  The vast majority of the article is devoted to quoting all the horrible “crimes” committed by these nuns. Of course, all these quotes come from men. A woman isn’t quoted at all, until we get this, an anonymous announcement from someone within the nun’s order that I presume (or at least hope) is a woman:

The sisters, for their part, expressed surprised at the findings. “Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically-approved statutes, we were taken by surprise,” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said in a statement.

“This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church,” the statement continued. “We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response.”

Where do we find this, the first quote from a woman in the article? At the very end. And it’s barely even a statement at all, but rather just a milquetoast and sheepish attempt to express surprise that their male masters have chastised them, and a typical call for “prayer”, which as anyone knows will do jack shit.

CNN seriously couldn’t find a single Catholic female willing to weigh in on this topic in any meaningful way? Not one? I find that hard to believe. More likely, they just didn’t look. Which makes them partially complicit in reinforcing the patriarchal assumptions that create this bullshit situation. Let the men do all the talking. You ladies speak when spoken to, then go back being a sandwich-making dick receptacle. At least, that appears to be the view of Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor. Any shocker that the author of the article is a man? Well, I guess it does remind me of one kind of shocker, anyways.

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One response to “Naughty Nuns

  1. Personally, I’d have said, “Yes, Luke! Let the hate flow through you! Now release the Kraken!” I know that’s mixing two movies but I live on the edge. Anyway, good stuff.

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