Are you properly angry at the Vatican for badgering our nuns? Have you the proper moral outrage? Are you disgusted?
Why do you feel that way? Are you confident that you have all the facts of the case? Are you sure that the way information is coming to you is balanced and complete?
The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a salacious article concerning these matters written by Maureen Dowd. Here are some quotes from her column entitled “Misguided Vatican takes on sisters” dated 30 April 2012:
“Who thinks it’s cool to bully nuns?”
“Yet the nuns must be yanked into line by the crepuscular, medieval men who run the Catholic Church.”
“How can the church hierarchy be more offended by the nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia?”
“Instead of looking deep into its own soul, the church is going after the women who are the heart and soul of parishes, schools and hospitals.”
“The stunned sisters are debating how to respond to the Vatican’s scorching reprimand.”
“. . . it scares the church hierarchy to have ‘educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.’”
If this was all that knew about the situation I would be embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed of the Catholic Church. Indeed there is no local paper willing or brave enough to give a broader perspective and so the cultivation of animosity toward the Catholic Church continues to be planted and nurtured.
But what if there is more to the story? Take these quotes from Elizabeth Scalia’s article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “The Vatican’s Corrective to Liberal Catholics” dated 27 April 2012:
“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s first duty is to assure that the doctrines of the church are being accurately reflected and communicated to the church body by those canonically representing the faith.”
“. . . Sister Laurie Brink (the then president of the Leadership Conference) had acknowledged that while many sisters walked unevenly with Rome, some had moved, ‘beyond the church, even beyond Jesus.’”
“But concern is not the same as condescension and there is an unmistakable pastoral tone permeating the entire assessment.”
“Yet the corrections and reforms prescribed to the Leadership Conference are few in number and not extraordinary. They include liturgical prayer, Eucharistic focus, putting away “other” minds in order to form more closely to Christ’s and – a genuine challenge for all Christians – obedience to primary church teachings that remain unchanged even after Vatican II.”
One might wonder if Dowd and Scalia were talking about the same situation – the same country – the same century. If one or the other was your primary source of information on this news item, it would greatly sway your position.
What I offer is this: be very careful about forming an opinion from single source or similarly biased news sources. Always wonder if there is more to the story than is being told.