On Oct. 7, 873 years after her death, the Vatican finally gave her the highest recognition for her considerable achievements. She was elevated to Doctor of the Church, a rare and solemn title reserved for theologians who have significantly impacted Church doctrine.
The Vatican had nothing to gain by staging a tantrum and humiliating the nuns. Like a cool-headed mom managing a child demanding candy in the supermarket checkout line, the LCWR waited for the histrionics to pass.
I'm with the nuns and their enlightened focus on social justice, civil rights and catholic thinking. They would be better served by leaving and joining -- even starting -- a religious movement that embraces and supports their efforts.
I believe in exacting change from the inside out by trying to make things better rather than abandoning them. But unless I can find a way to express my opposition to all forms of bigotry within the confines of my Church, I'm going to have to sit that pew out.
What's at stake here is not just contraceptive coverage but the value that Catholic institutions place on women's lives. My experiences, and those of my students, make clear that contraception bans will have far-reaching and damaging implications for female students.
All institutional power in the official Church is held by ordained men. These men seem to believe that protecting the institution requires that they demand absolute unity of doctrine and unquestioning obedience to their own decisions.
As more and more cases of child abuse and cover-up emerge and the church escalates actions aimed at controlling women -- and not just Catholic women -- the all-male hierarchy finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.
Cantalamessa talked about the need to end violence against women, which is crucial, but he did so without any acknowledgment of the Church's own culpability in the abuse, endangerment, and intimidation of women.