Friday, April 20, 2012

The Vatican's Problem With Women Continues

We've been noticing the more aggressively conservative positions of the Catholic Church hierarchy, especially since Joseph Ratzinger was installed as Pope Benedict XVI. While the Vatican's opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage have been long standing, the recent dust-up over the access to contraceptives by workers in Catholic institutions (who may be Protestant, Jewish or another faith) under the Affordable Care Act exposed a more political thrust.

In her column today, the Kaplan Daily's Melinda Henneberger -- a Catholic herself -- notes the timing of a Vatican report obviously approved by the Pope:
"There were two Santa Maria! stories out of the Vatican this week. First, the bad news: The ultra-traditionalists of Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X are another step closer to being welcomed back into the fold — though church fathers have yet to sort out the problem of the dissident group’s Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson, whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI lifted two years ago. Then there was the even worse news, by my votive lights, that the Vatican is cracking down on American nuns – who as one of my fellow Catholics noted over a cup of unconsecrated wine last night, 'Only do what Jesus told us to do,' in their hospitals, schools and orphanages, 'so no wonder they’re in trouble.'"
She's referring to the Papal criticism leveled at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 80% of America's Catholic nuns, for focusing on social welfare and poverty issues, rather than speaking out against gay marriage and abortion. The Vatican has deemed this as a "source of scandal," to which Henneberger provides the appropriate response:
"The Vatican, of course, knows a lot about scandal — to the point that the nuns are the only morally uncompromised leaders poor Holy Mother Church has left. Keep right on like this, your excellencies, and before you know it even more Catholics will be 'moving beyond the church.'"
Well said.

BONUS: What have we here? Catholic Bishop of Peoria, IL, Daniel "Junky" Jenky has some hitherto unknown historical Obama-Hitler connections for you. Must be a graduate of Glenn Beck University.

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