Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ratting on Ratzi

The Nuns’ Story
Published: October 24, 2009

There is no love lost between lifetime Catholic Maureen Dowd and the current Vicar of Christ in Rome.

In 2004, the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners, resisting any adversarial roles with men and cultivating “feminine values” like “listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting.”

Nuns need to be even more sepia-toned for the über-conservative pope, who was christened “God’s Rottweiler” for his enforcement of orthodoxy. Once a conscripted member of the Hitler Youth, Benedict pardoned a schismatic bishop who claimed that there was no Nazi gas chamber. He also argued on a trip to Africa that distributing condoms could make the AIDS crisis worse.
Her particular beef is with the treatment of nuns who dare question the increasingly reactionary orthodoxy of The Church.
The Vatican is now conducting two inquisitions into the “quality of life” of American nuns, a dwindling group with an average age of about 70, hoping to herd them back into their old-fashioned habits and convents and curb any speck of modernity or independence.
She contrasts this Inquisition (and nobody ever expects the Spanish variety) with the rather light wrist-slapping sexually straying male clergy endure.
The church can be flexible, except with women. Laurie Goodstein, the Times’s religion writer, reported this month on an Illinois woman who had a son with a Franciscan priest. The church agreed to child support but was stingy with money for college and for doctors, once the son got terminal cancer. The priest had never been disciplined and was a pastor in Wisconsin — until he hit the front page. Even then, “Father” Willenborg was suspended only because the woman said that he had pressed her to have an abortion and that he had also had a sexual relationship with a teenager. (Maybe the church shouldn’t be so obdurate on condoms.)
She accurately assesses the recent overtures to ultra-conservative breakaway Anglicans as appeals to anti-feminism and homophobia.
As the Vatican is trying to wall off the “brides of Christ,” Cask of Amontillado style, it is welcoming extreme-right Anglicans into the Catholic Church — the ones who are disgruntled about female priests and openly gay bishops. Il Papa is even willing to bend Rome’s most doggedly held dogma, against married priests — as long as they’re clutching the Anglicans’ Book of Common Prayer.
In the age-old doctrinal debates over the celibacy of the priesthood and the ordination of women, Dowd clearly sees what the current Church position is.
Nuns were second-class citizens then and — 40 years after feminism utterly changed America — they still are. The matter of women as priests is closed, a forbidden topic.
And that, ladies, is a dealbreaker.


thomas tucker said...

What a crock. This lady doesn't even understand the things she is writing about. Shame on her for such wilful misunderstanding and her attempt to attack a man who is holier than she could ever hope to be. Shame on her for even bringing up the word Nazi when young Joseph Ratzinger was coerced into joining the Nazi youth groups, like every one of his age and generation. This from a lady whose experience of suffering is having to walk instead of taking a taxicab.

Anonymous said...

Oh, some people called Ratzinger "God's Rottweiler" or the "Enforcer"?

That reflects on the subject, the pope, (rather than on the name callers,) about as much as would reporting that some right wing bloggers refer to Dowd as "Mo-Dodo" or "that plagiarizing slut," reflects on the actual Dowd.

I'm disappointed, Dowd's column used to be a witty, now she's just nasty, (about targets on the right and left,) and too often lazy with her thinking and sloppy with her facts, (celibacy for Catholic priests is, as i understand it, a "discipline" nothing like a dogma.)

Mary Ellen said...

Dowd is doing what she always does, throwing out misinformation (lying) and trying to make it look like she knows what she's talking about.

I already covered this crock of a story on my blog and pointed out that Pope Benedict was not a Nazi, but people like Maureen will continue to use that crap to bolster her point...because she doesn't have the facts to do it.

Mary Ellen said...

Oh, and I must add, a woman doesn't have to be a priest to be considered a first class citizen. That statement diminishes the roles of nuns within the Catholic church. They are a vital part of the church, and to call them "second class" after the work they do is ridiculous.

There are MANY nuns who don't want to be priests and who went into their orders knowing what the job entailed. They were never promised priesthood, being a nun wasn't a stepping stone toward that end. The trouble with those who think it is, is that you are trying to change the church into what YOU want it to be.

Ferde said...

Dodo said the Vatican is conducting two inquisitions into two gaggles of alleged nuns averaging age 70. Dodo doesn't get it. Their average is 70!!! You think the Vatican might want to know why they aren't getting any more vocations? Also, there's an alleged Dominican nun escorting pregnant women into -- that's INTO an abortion mill. That's automatic excommunication from the Church. You think the Vatican might want to know what these alleged nuns believe?

You say dodo is a Catholic. What makes her a Catholic?

Anonymous said...

Here's an analysis of some of Dowd's points (and indead Dowd herself) that might clear up some misinformation: