Simply clothed woman are making headlines. The Vatican is ripe with scandal, gossip and controversy: ValetGate -- the arrest of the Pope's butler for allegedly leaking stolen embarrassing information; SexPartyGate -- the unsolved mysterious disappearance and alleged murder of Emanuela Orlandi the daughter of a high ranking Vatican official who, according to the exorcist priest for Rome, was abducted by Vatican guards for sex orgies; PrivatesExposedGate -- the publication of the bestselling book with the Pope's letters; MafiaGate -- an investigation of money laundering for the Mob, by a priest using the Vatican Bank; MurderGate -- the Death of God's Banker (Roberto Calvi) who was found hanging from a bridge in London, and now to top it off in the theater of 'you can't make this up' -- NunGate.
In case you did not watch The Colbert Report on June 11, 2012 about "radical feminist nuns" and Stephen Colbert's interview of one such nun Sister Simone Campbell, you may have missed the fact that recently the Catholic Church through its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has targeted with laser-like precision the real terrorist threats to world peace -- Catholic Nuns. This radical American association of approximately 57,000 woman of the habit, whose median age is 74, making them too old for jury duty in most states, is spreading fundamentalist feminist themes by helping the sick including AIDS victims, advocating for human rights by promoting tolerance of homosexuality and same sex marriage, and taking care of the poorest of the poor. A Vatican hissy fit has ensued. Instead, according to the Vatican, these women should be campaigning against true evil: fighting against any movement of their sisters becoming priests, abortion, contraception and homosexuality. This assault by the Vatican now has engendered a twitter handle #WhatSistersMeanToMe started by a Jesuit priest in support of the nuns.
And those in charge of the doctrinisms of the Church cannot tolerate it any longer. An investigation, a report, and punishment have ensued -- otherwise know as a crackdown. It was primarily directed against one group: The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). It is the largest group association of nuns. Its members represent about 83 percent of the religious woman in the United States. They seek to achieve societal systemic change by acting in a leadership capacity on issues such as helping people who are the victims of violence and oppression. It now appears that the LCWR needs an LCWR to help them in this recent assault by the men in charge of the Vatican. These nuns have been told since the inception of the nunnery that the men are in charge -- and that is that. I need not repeat here what others have written...
A little history should be reviewed to understand the full import of the Vatican action against the nuns. In 1542 the Catholic Church established the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition "to maintain and defend the integrity of the faith and to examine and proscribe errors and false doctrines". In short: THE INQUISITION. This office staffed with the elite of the Catholic Church --Cardinals -- was responsible for punishing heretics. As the Supreme judicial supervisor, it controlled the local inquisitional bodies such as the Roman Inquisition -- the prosecution of Galileo in 1633. Labeled a heretic, charged and convicted because of his view of heliocentrism, that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe; he remained under house arrest his whole life. It did not matter that Galileo was a man of science who was correct; it only mattered that the powerful men of the church remained in control of an outmoded doctrine force fed to the uneducated masses to swallow without question.
After hundreds of years, the Church decided that a marketing change was necessary. That office name morphed into its modern day moniker: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A change of a title is not necessarily 'Change You Can Believe In.' The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, was once previously headed by one Josef Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI. His long tenure ran from 1981 until his election to Pope. Then Cardinal Ratzinger staunchly upheld the Church's failure to allow the ordination of the female sex as priests. Not only did he uphold it but said it was against mortal law -- not even the Pope could counteract this deposit of faith. Now as Pope he has approved this smackdown of these radical feminists and whether women can be priests is one of the issues forefront.
The churches assault on woman is not new. In an early case of pedophilia whistleblowing in 1875, it was a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Mary MacKillop, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart in Australia reported a popular priest to the church hierarchy as a serial sexual child molester. Her reward? She was excommunicated. There, too, a Jesuit priest came to her rescue and gave her support and shelter. Some things never change. Pedophilia appears to have a long doctrinal tradition of cover-up in the Catholic Church. This new victimization of women who toil in the trenches, and whose ranks are not being resupplied is also beyond senseless.
I was raised Roman Catholic -- a product of Catholic school education through Grades 1-12, taught by the nuns, Sisters of Mercy. I regret that in the past I never understood their real value. I do now.
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