The origin of the word and its usage in Christianity for millennia suggests something quite different from what we might initially think. And what it really means has profound implications for what it means to be a Christian in the world and how we should conceive of being "church."
The current anti-woman pope has declared Hildegard, a nature-based mystic and a fighter for justice inside and outside the church, a herald of the Divine Feminine to a patriarchal world and church, a Doctor of the Church. Do we have the courage to listen to her?
At present there is a standoff between the Vatican and the organization that represents 80 percent of American nuns. The hierarchy likely will break the stalemate right after the noisy election season. But what seems like a straight, rigid line looks more convoluted on further examination.
At a time when religiously motivated concerns make it almost impossible to discuss the warming of our planet, the curriculum in our schools and even the reproduction of our species, we should embrace efforts at dialog, not assault them.
That precedent exists for excluding pro-choice candidates from this event makes it all the more difficult for Dolan to put the kind of spin he needs on his decision to invite the president to the dinner.
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.
Two hundred and fifty Catholics assembled on the first day to hear New York's top priest, Timothy Dolan, celebrate Mass and reflect on religious liberty. It's likely his public relations nosedive has necessitated a few alterations in the plan.
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.
People across the nation have taken to the streets to protest the Vatican's attack on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and show their support for the sisters, according to Nun Justice.