A religious studies professor at Fairfield University in Connecticut says ordinary Catholics are alternately “hopping mad” or “confused” about recent Vatican interventions regarding U.S. nuns.
“The people in the pew are somewhere between completely confused and hopping mad at this point, because [nuns] are people you just don’t go after. It doesn’t matter if you are a moderate or conservative or a liberal Catholic - we all love our nuns,’’ Paul Lakeland, director of Fairfield’s Center for Catholic Studies and holder of the endowed Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies, tells the Boston Globe
story is about a supposed “backlash” among lay Catholics because Rome is attempting to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and has notified Sister Margaret Farley that her book Just Love
contradicts Church teaching. The Globe
also notes that U.S. bishops last year condemned a book by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a theologian at Fordham University, because of “misrepresentations, ambiguities, and errors’’ regarding Church teaching. It seems that all the "anger," however, is coming from the chattering classes, many of whom have an ax to grind with the Vatican.
While it is certainly to be hoped that Catholics admire and respect nuns, it doesn't follow from this they are angry that the Vatican is attempting to uphold Church teaching.
The article also quotes Donna Bethell, chairman of the board of Christendom College, who has a decidedly different point of view from Lakeland’s:
Donna Bethell, chairwoman of the board of Christendom College in Virginia, said the Vatican did not even punish Farley; it merely barred her book from being presented as Catholic teaching.
“It doesn’t send her to the guillotine; they haven’t threatened to imprison her in a dungeon,’’ she said.
She added: “The big point I think that people don’t understand is that the church teaching on sexual morality and marriage ethics doesn’t just fall from the sky,’’ she said. “It’s completely bound up with what we believe about the human person.’’
Read the whole article here
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