A good portion of the American episcopate seems to be declining participation in Cardinal Franc Rodé’s investigation of women religious. Maybe waving the magna cappa for dollars will net better results. I bet a few Sunday takes from a large American parish could be wrapped up in that piece of cloth. A short and tart editorial from South Africa:
This is the Cardinal who has said that Vatican II triggered the “greatest crisis in church history” and who is in charge of the Vatican investigation (inquisitition I term it) of American women religious in over 400 congregations. This includes my own congregation, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
How can a Cardinal who has such a negative judgement about Vatican II stand in judgement over thousands of sisters who have renewed their life and ministry according to the vision of Vatican II?
It’s gotten to the point where I’m beginning to feel sorry for the Congregation for the Religious. Asian women religious support their sisters in the States. Tom Fox at NCR publishes photos that depict the cardinal as a lover of preconciliar extravagance. His paper polled some dioceses and more bishops than fewer seem disinclined to support this visitation financially.
My suggestion for Cardinal Rodé is to appeal directly to the blogosphere. Really. He could set up a site, put that little PayPal button up on the sidebar, and bypass the prelates entirely. The SCGS* set will surely get the ball rolling for him.
Meanwhile, Rock posted on the Vatican “pushback” against its critics, including a lengthy quote from the Cardinal. And feminism is a problem, eh? Commonweal had a pushback of its own from Kathleen Sprows Cummings:
Feminism has three components. First, feminists believe that men and women are inherently of equal worth. Second, feminists seek to accommodate innate sexual difference (that is, biological differences between men and women) but to dismantle historically contingent, and thus inessential, differences of gender (defined as the meaning that society attaches to biological difference). Third, feminists recognize that oppression based on gender is intertwined with other forms of oppression, such as those based on race or class.
The problem would seem a grave ignorance and a shocking lack of curiosity on … well, what’s going on in the world outside of silk and tassels and lace and such. I think the new Vatican “policy” is a good one. It presumes there’s a conversation of sorts going on with the world. I’m sure that Catholics and non-Catholics alike will respond in turn when the Vatican addresses important issues. A two-way conversation implies somebody’s doing some listening. And listening to the world can’t be a bad thing.
* small church, getting smaller