Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pope Francis: More of the Same

Tom Kingston in the LATimes, in an article headlined Pope Francis reaffirms crackdown on U.S. nuns:
The Vatican said in a statement Monday that Francis had reaffirmed the doctrinal evaluation and criticism of U.S. nuns made last year by the Holy See under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The assessment accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization that represents most U.S. female Catholic orders, of promoting “radical feminist themes” and ignoring the Vatican’s hard line on same-sex marriage and abortion.
At the time, the Vatican dispatched an archbishop to rewrite the group’s statutes and set up reeducation programs to bring nuns back into line, alleging that leaders of U.S. orders had challenged the church’s teachings on women’s ordination and ministry to homosexuals.
The move was denounced by Pat Farrell, then the head of the organization, as creating “pain and scandal.” Protest vigils were held outside churches, and a petition attacking the Vatican’s decision attracted 50,000 signatures.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious represents about 57,000 sisters, or 80% of U.S. nuns.
Ed Kilgore has it right:
There’s no reason for anyone to attack Francis for “backsliding” or “hypocrisy.” Behaving more like a servant than a monarch during the early stages of his reign, and even taking seriously challenges like Vatican reform or the child abuse scandal, never for a moment meant this Pope was going to abandon teachings and disciplinary actions systematically entrenched by his two predecessors over decades. Had that been a real possibility, he would have never been elected in the first place.
It was fun for a couple of weeks, though, to think maybe, just maybe ....

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