“How Can There Be Too Much Focus on Poverty and Injustice?”

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A reader of the NY Times sent in this letter to the paper after reading about the Vatican’s condemnation (see here) of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest organization of U.S. nuns:

I am a lifelong Catholic, 80-plus years, and will die a Catholic. But I will not be silent in my support of the tireless work and dedication of the wonderful nuns who serve the poor and the helpless, the sick and infirm, the children and elderly, who even go to jail for the cause of protesting the evil of war and nuclear threats to humanity and the world.

I will speak out loudly in protest at the Vatican document’s citing of nuns for, as your article says, focusing “too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping ‘silent’ on abortion and same-sex marriage.”

How can there ever be too much focus on poverty and economic injustice? And how can the Vatican justly rebuke women busy selflessly carrying out Christ’s work caring for the least of our brethren for being silent on abortion and homosexuality, while for decades bishops were silent about grave sins against the innocent in their care?

The full letter from Ms. Patricia Burns is available here.

It is baffling that the Vatican would condemn women religious for public statements “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” (Source here.)  The bishops were responsible for the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse of children.  “Authentic teachers of faith and morals”  No, human beings who are interested in maintaining power and control, and the Vatican is now reprimanding an organized group of women who have the courage to question those human beings.  These women are working squarely within their faith — as insiders, deeply committed to work on behalf of the most disadvantaged members of society.  Lay Catholic support will rally behind the nuns, IMHO.

Advantage, Sisters.

-Bridget Crawford

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