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Sunday, June 03, 2012

American Lay Catholics "Honk" in Support of Women Religious Under Concerning Scrutiny by Vatican

American Roman Catholic religious communities are the unlikely focus for the Vatican's austere Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 


In lay language, it's like putting a Global Positioning System (GPS) on people under house arrest.  


Religious nuns will be unable to be totally independent under the scrutiny. 


It appears church leaders want religious nuns to work less helping the underprivileged and become, instead, advocates against contraception and abortion.  Yet, vigils of lay Catholics are organizing to demonstrate solidarity with the sisters.


Articles in this week's National Catholic Reporter (May 25-June 7 2012) report the public response to how the Vatican, in Rome, has increased resources and oversight of women's religious orders affiliated with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization with headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.  


Archbishop Peter Peter Sartain of Seattle Washington was appointed by Rome to be the unwelcome overseer of the LCWR. Given the decline in the numbers of American Roman Catholic parishioners, this appointment seems a waste of time, to say the least. Shouldn't the Archbishop's time be put to more efficient use?


And there's more. The independent news source National Catholic Reporter also reported on the Roman Catholic Church's affiliation with the Girl Scouts being under scrutiny, because of the organization's programs sometimes might contradict church teaching opposing abortion and artificial contraception.


Roman Catholic Bishops' are apparently obsessed with women's sexuality.


Thankfully, many Catholic lay people - those of us who pay for Bishops to behave badly, are honking in support of women religious.  "From Alaska to South Texas and from Oakland California to Washington DC, people gathered outside Catholic churches and cathedrals in about a dozen cities...to support...the American nuns criticized in a recent Vatican report." (Alice Popovici reports in NCR) Some Catholic priests are supporting the pro-nun demonstrators.  "There's a widespread feeling on the part of Catholics and from non-Catholics that the sisters are not being treated properly..."


Vatican officials are out of touch, to say the least. They're pushing American Catholics to the tipping point with their cumulative anti-women policies.  A group of men living in Rome Italy have little understanding and less influence over how American women work to provide for their families - including their right to access contraception to improve their quality of life.  


Hopefully, the Vatican will have even less influence over how American religious nuns conduct their important charitable work, after LCWR representatives meet with Archbishop Sartain and officials in Rome, to discuss the group's response to the administrative scrutiny.


It's entirely possible the honking by American lay Catholics will lead a cacophony of outrage against Rome for this ridiculous interference with women's religious work.  


Nuns have been spokespersons for the faithful, many who are often powerless to speak for themselves. Now, it's time for Catholic faithful to become advocates for these women who deserve praise and recognition, rather than being pushed back into cloistered convents, like they're under house arrest.


Obviously, the Vatican learned nothing about the futility of keeping people under house arrest when Galileo was ineffectively restrained for going against Church doctrine about how the Universe was organized, in the 16th century.


My bottom line analysis on the Vatican and women's issues is quite simple.  What would Jesus do?


















Roman Catholic church leadership is becoming increasingly irrelevant regarding women's issues. They're wasting their time.


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