Today’s Catholic Nuns: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
No Big Surprise
It’s not a big surprise to see that the liberal media prioritizes liberal dissident Catholics over faithful Catholics when they cover Catholics at all, and prioritizes liberal dissident Catholic nuns over faithful Catholic nuns when they cover Catholic nuns at all.
Catholic teaching frowns on much of the modern liberal agenda as immoral, so it would be self-defeating for liberals to cover Catholic beliefs in an accurate or persuasive way.
Media prefers to highlight dissident Catholics like Biden and Pelosi, implying that these renegades are representative of real Catholics. In this way, the media seeks to legitimize the radical progressive agenda.
What is the Future of the Catholic Church?
Related questions include forecasting the future of the Catholic Church. Will that future be liberal or will that future be conservative? Will the Catholic Church change to accommodate liberal society, or will liberal society realize the Church’s wisdom and return to the teachings of Christ? These questions are of particular interest now, as the Catholic Church has just elected a new Pope, with the potential, the media thinks, for a new direction.
The media would like to think that the Catholic Church is composed primarily of liberal dissidents, who will eventually pressure Rome into making changes on big questions like female ordination, definition of marriage, and acceptability of promiscuous and gay lifestyles. They like to paint the picture of a large “enlightened” laity (and nuns) led by archaic and out-of-touch patriarchs in Rome.
|The problem with this picture is that the laity (and nuns) are not as dissident as the media would like us to think. Society has liberal elements, but there are plenty of conservative and faithful Christians, too. Also, the patriarchs in Rome are not old out-of-touch men, but are the heroic representatives of Christ, who refuse to bend Truth under pressure, and will go to heroic lengths|
to protect the 1.2 billion souls entrusted to their care. It wasn’t easy or possible to kill Christ, and it will not be easy or possible to kill His Church. Both live on, despite attempts throughout history to defeat them:
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
– Matthew 16:18
Dissidents have been trying to change Catholic Church teaching for over 2,000 years, with no success.
The other problem with the picture painted by the media is media neglect of God’s role in the world and in the Church. God inspires not only Popes and Cardinals, but He also inspires us humble everyday people, and we people are turning to where our hearts lead us, to the Truth. The Holy Spirit guides good people and faithful groups within the Church, and they thrive.
Among Catholics today, faithful groups are thriving and attracting new and youthful members.
Conversely, liberal dissident Catholic groups are dying out and are struggling to attract new young members.
The overall number of Catholics in the United States, and worldwide, is not diminishing, but is growing. So the dismal picture often painted by the media for the Church’s future is either wishful thinking, or dishonest warfare against the left’s biggest opponent, the Catholic Church.
Faithful versus Dissident Catholics
Like every other group in society, Catholics have both liberals and conservatives in their midst. This split is not reserved for the people in the pews. Although Church doctrine and Church teaching are clearly conservative, there are still some theologians, Church leaders, and in fact there are entire orders of religious nuns and priests, who, influenced by modern society, wish to change the teachings of the Catholic Church. They do not realize that the teachings of Jesus Christ cannot be changed by the Church.
||The media loves to report on these dissidents in the Catholic Church. They love to report on anything that makes the Catholic Church look bad, including selective reporting on child abuse scandals. The Catholic Church is the largest and most organized group that poses an obstacle to the liberal redefinition of morality, the redefinition of right and wrong. If the left can discredit the Catholic Church, their opposition has been weakened. So the media goes to town whenever they can on the Church.|
Recent media emphasis on dissident nuns is the main focus of this article. We look at media reports on dissident nuns, and ask whether the reporting is accurate and truthful, or whether it is dishonest, and calculated to attack and discredit the Catholic Church.
As Lent began here in my home town of Madison, Wisconsin this year, the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) started reporting on nuns.
The WSJ was not writing about the faithful nuns we all know and admire and have grown up with, nor about the majority of Wisconsin nuns or majority of American nuns, like the Schoenstatt Sisters of Madison pictured below. They were also failing to write about the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lay Wisconsinites, who are humbly observing the prayer, fasting and charitable works customarily practiced by Catholics and Christians during Lent.
Instead, the WSJ wrote about and promoted two ex-nun deserters (NOT pictured at right), who have abandoned their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, who transferred ownership of Benedictine real estate to themselves, who welcome the (unchaste) gay lifestyle among their “flock,” and who pledge obedience to no organization outside themselves. These are the founders of the new Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, Wisconsin. which WSJ also promoted at a similar time last year.These (no-longer-nun) ladies still label themselves Benedictines, despite having asked the Vatican for release from their Benedictine vows, and despite their unwillingness to fulfill the fundamental Benedictine requirement of obedience to the Catholic Church.
The faithful Schoenstatt Sisters my kids grew up with-
Sister Jessica and Sister Marcia
The Holy Wisdom ladies’ continued use of the title Benedictine after leaving the Benedictines presumably represents an attempt to attract the religiously untrained marginal Catholic fringe of Madison, which doesn’t know what real Catholicism is, into attending their ceremonies. The ceremonies at Holy Wisdom resemble a counterfeit Catholic Mass, but lack a priest or valid Eucharist. Any other counterfeit product misrepresented so blatantly would be subject to screening by the FDA, or would become subject to litigation for forgery and misrepresentation.
(Not suggesting government control over religion for a moment; just pointing out the level of deception and misrepresentation offered at Holy Wisdom “Monastery.”)
The two rebellious dissident ex-Benedictine nuns at Holy Wisdom were covered by the WSJ as though they represented a legitimate religion. The WSJ gave these ladies more respect and more space than WSJ gives to Madison’s Catholic Bishop, who heads a flock of 275,000. The WSJ has even promoted their events, by printing event ticket availability information in WSJ articles.
WSJ also promoted another tiny minority of nuns, the rebel leaders of the equally misleading and counterfeit Nuns on the Bus tour in summer 2012. These are nuns who broke their vows without officially renouncing them, and who opposed Church teaching publicly. Some of these nuns support abortion, and all of them blatantly oppose the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (the legitimate authority of the Catholic Church in the United States). WSJ promoted this rebel minority as well, and gave their book deals free publicity.
Nationally and Globally
The same thing goes on nationally and globally; the media, dominated by liberals,
primarily reports on liberal dissident Catholics, citing them as authorities even when they are minorities, thus misrepresenting the Catholic Church.
Recent examples include articles like The New Inquisition by gobalpost and As Church Attendance Drops, Europe’s Most Catholic Country Seeks Modern Pope by MSNBC.
Although these articles are not primarily about nuns, they misrepresent the Catholic Church, exaggerate dissent in the Church, and include material about women and about nuns that is very misleading. The title alone, mislabeling a Vatican doctrinal correction as an Inquisition, is about as laughable as labeling a math teacher an Inquisitor for correcting student homework.
But I get ahead of myself. Some background would be good.
We will get to the errant ladies soon enough; but first some background.
Following that, the Good Nuns deserve precedence, and finally, the Bad Nuns and the Ugly Nuns will follow.
|..Beginning with the 2-year-old who has just learned to say “No!” we all have a tendency to rebel against established authority. Even in adult society, the contest continues between the liberal push for extensive and rapid change, and conservative defense of the status quo. No sphere of society is exempt from this struggle; neither government, nor the workplace, social institutions, or religion.|
All Religions are Divided
Divisions between liberals and conservatives exist everywhere; in politics, and in all religions- in Judaism, in Protestantism, and in the Catholic Church. Catholicism, despite being the largest and most organized religious denomination in the United States and, until 2008, largest religion in the world, is not immune to dissidence or to division. Islam, too, now the largest religion in the world, suffers from a liberal-conservative split (Islamic Modernism).
In the light of this human tendency towards dissidence, it does not come as a great surprise that there are some dissident Catholic nuns. What should really surprise us, is how they are getting such exaggerated press, compared with the loyal and faithful nuns, and compared with dissidents in other religions.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Hence this attempt to set the record straight on Catholic Nuns.
Catholic Nuns: they can be Good, they can be Bad, and they can be Ugly.
We also ask: which ones are winning, and which ones represent the future of the Church?
What is a Nun, anyway?
How do you figure out which nuns are good and which ones are bad?
Let’s review the definition of a nun:
A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically one living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. – Wikipedia.
Poverty, chastity, and obedience!
Being a nun is obviously a lofty goal, and a very special calling to prayer and to service in the Church. It’s not for everybody, but it’s a calling that has always commanded a great deal of respect and gratitude from the community, much like a spiritual military service.
The title of nun should therefore not be misused. Those who abrogate the duties of a nun no longer deserve that title, anymore than deserters from the army deserve the same respect as faithful soldiers.
There are many nuns in the United States, about 57,000 of them, and most of them are very good nuns.
Good, Great and Holy Nuns
Good nuns abound in the United States and in Wisconsin. These holy women live out their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in religious communities. They pray, sacrifice and work for the salvation of souls. They teach, nurse, and perform services for all who need them-families, children, the old, and the sick. Here is just a partial list of the wonderful outstanding nuns I have encountered personally:
- The Cistercian Nuns of Valley of Our Lady , who bake our altar breads and pray for all of us in their cloister. These sisters live the real Rule of St. Benedict, in true poverty:
- The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Madison, who specialize in educating women and families in Catholic formation:
- Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist – see their reaction to Pope Francis’ election:
- The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, who have been supplying altarbreads since 1910:
- Trappistines who follow the rule of St. Benedict and make Trappistine Creamy Caramels to support themselves:
- Our Lady of the Angels Monastery Home of Mother Angelica, who began EWTN Catholic television:
- The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles , who pray for priests and sew priestly vestments:
- Caramelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm:
We have only touched the tip of the iceberg here; there are about 12,000 nuns in the very faithful Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSW), which was established over 20 years ago, and which is flourishing and growing today. 100% of these 12,000 nuns are completely faithful to Catholic Church teaching. Moreover, nationally, faithful orders of religious such as these, as well as faithful Catholic dioceses and parishes, are thriving, while dissident/cafeteria/dilute groups are dying out.
There are also innumerable great nuns among the 46,000 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) which is less conservative. Although the LCWR does include some dissident groups, LCWR still includes numerous very good and faithful nuns. It’s important to note that only about 60 LCWR nuns, about 0.1% of nuns in the U.S., or 4% of LCWR leadership, rebelled openly against Church authority last summer by opposing the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
This leaves a potential up to 96% or 99.9% of LCWR who might be faithful nuns.
The suggestion made by the rebellious (60 out of 1500) LCWR leaders that they represent all 57,000 nuns in the United States was preposterous. They don’t even represent much of LCWR. But the media lap these things up without checking facts, and try to portray a Church threatened by mass rebellion and a Church which oppresses women.
The good nuns are the nuns who rarely make it into the media. Liberal media, as mentioned earlier, only seeks out nuns who fit their liberal agenda. That would be ladies who don’t fit the definition of “nun” very well.
Catholic Nuns of The Future: Will they be Liberal or Conservative?
Of the two organizations representing Catholic nuns mentioned above, LCWR and CMSW, the more conservative CMSW separated from the more liberal LCWR 20 years ago, and now numbers about 11,000 – 12,000 nuns. These sisters still wear habits, take new names in the convent, and are extremely loyal to church hierarchy. This group of more conservative nuns is flourishing and growing, and appears they might represent the future of the Church.
The conservative CMSW nuns have a much greater growth rate than the more liberal LCWR nuns. Although both groups attract a similar number of new nuns per year, 500, that 500 represents a 5% growth rate for the smaller CMSW, while 500 only reflects a 1% growth rate for the larger LCWR. Conservative convents are growing five times as fast as are liberal convents.
In addition, new recruits entering conservative convents tend to be in their twenties, while the new recruits entering liberal convents are much older, are often pursuing second careers, and sometimes have marriage and children in their past.
The larger growth rate and ability to attract younger members that is typical of conservative convents indicate that future prospects are much better for conservative convents than for liberal convents. More details at Nuns NOT on the Bus.
So – the future of the Church in the U.S. most likely lies with conservative, young nuns, and not with the aging Gloria-Steinem vintage dissidents.
Why are Young Women Preferentially Joining Conservative Convents?
Why would the 20-year-olds of today flock to conservative Catholic convents?
(Aside: conservative seminaries for priests are flourishing equally.)
Young people today are survivors not only of abortion (Abortion: A Much Bigger Deal than You Think), but also of a childhood in the “liberalized” new world.
They have felt either directly, or indirectly through friends, the pain of neglect, which “liberation” of adults generates in the family. When adults get more “choice,” kids get less stability.
When adults are not home, when adults divorce, when teachers join unions to ensure that their lives at work are quite comfortable, and when adults who are not a child’s parent care for children, children get less of the sacrificial love, attention and care that only a parent can provide.
These children of workaholic parents, single parents, broken homes, latch-key children, childcare children, single children, and children from schools where priorities were directed by unions, not by the needs of children, these children, whether poor or rich, experience the loneliness and neglect that is inevitable when something other than children is prioritized by a society.
It is not surprising that this generation of abortion-survivors and latch-key children appreciates the conservative traditional child- and family-centered values on which Judeo-Christian civilization has been based. They appreciate God, His law, and His Church. They want to be part of the solution to our modern problems, because they have lived the pain that prioritization of adults can generate.
They want to be nuns and priests, they want to pray for the world, to set an example of selfless service, and they want to teach the world what it’s been missing.
Conservative convents and seminaries are starting to burst at the seams.
An Aside on Madison, WI, Seminarians and Nuns
For the Madisonians reading this blog, the Diocese of Madison is bursting at the seams with seminarians. Thanks to Bishop Morlino of Madison’s courageous and faithful leadership, we are up to 35 seminarians, from the 6 we had ten years ago when Bishop Morlino arrived. We have ordained 23 men to the priesthood in the past 10 years. Faithful Catholicism is booming in the Diocese of Madison:
Here’s the story of just one Madison seminarian, describing his motivations for becoming a priest:
The Diocese of Madison also lists convents which women from our Diocese have entered. These include the Cistercians, the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, the Sisters of Charity, the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia, the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and the Trappistines.
But mainstream media has no interest in covering flourishing Catholicism. The Wisconsin State Journal is not interested in covering the Catholicism flourishing right under their noses in Madison. MSNBC is not interested in covering Catholicism accurately. And George Soros, billionaire champion of the liberal agenda to whom we will get later, has no interest in funding balanced reporting on the Catholic Church.
How Do You Define a Bad Nun?
Now that we’ve covered real Catholic nuns and Good Catholic nuns, let’s get to the Bad Catholic nuns.
By the previously mentioned definition, a bad nun would be defined as a nun who has left her religious community. A bad nun would also be defined as a nun who has rescinded her lifelong vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
There are very few nuns who fit into this category. Even most rebellious dissident nuns remain in their religious community, and continue to live most of their vows, despite their struggles in some areas, particularly in the area of obedience to the Catholic Church.
Most good Christians would also hesitate to label a particular nun a “bad” nun, since we don’t know what goes on in each nun’s head, or how well meaning or misguided that nun might be.
Good Christians would leave that judgment to Christ, and Christ will be judging each of us, for sure. We also remember that His judgment of ourselves is contingent on our mercy for others: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” So we try to be merciful in our judgment of others, particularly of nuns.
So we pray for, and try to love all fellow humans, including dissident nuns. And try hard not to label anybody a “bad nun.”
It might be fair to say, however, that a nun who has publicly abandoned her lifelong vows of poverty, chastity and obedience might be a “bad nun.” Not necessarily a bad person, depending on what confusion reigns in her head, but certainly not a good nun. In the same sense that I am not a good neurosurgeon or a good airplane pilot. Whether I imagine I am or not is not relevant; in actual fact I am not a good neurosurgeon or airplane pilot. I am a bad neurosurgeon and a bad airplane pilot.
By this criterion, the Holy Wisdom pair of “nuns” from Madison, who have rescinded their vows officially but still call themselves Benedictines and Sisters, could be called “bad nuns.” And yes, the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) is not only reporting on them in preference to reporting on Wisconsin’s real and good nuns, but is even promoting their activities, complete with phone numbers where tickets can be purchased for their events. No equivalent free press for the conservative Latin Masses currently flourishing in Madison; that would not fit the liberal media’s anti-Catholic Church agenda.
Holy Wisdom Monastery- Who Are They and What Do They Teach?
A bit more detail on the “Bad” Holy Wisdom nuns.
Decades ago, these Holy Wisdom nuns used to be Benedictine nuns, belonging to a Benedictine Monastery near Madison, which used to operate a school for girls. Now with the school long gone, and down to two elderly nuns, they retracted their vows, simultaneously transferred the Benedictine real estate ownership to their own names, and operate the newly-named Holy Wisdom Monastery together with a female Presbyterian priest, still using the misleading name of Benedictine Women, now the title of a Corporation not affiliated with the Catholic Church. They continue to celebrate liturgies that are very similar to Catholic Masses, yet where no priest presides. They deprive Catholics of a real Mass and a real Eucharist, while drawing on their Catholic historical roots to recruit under a pseudo-Catholic umbrella. They welcome those Catholic homosexuals who advocate promiscuity (Dignity), they support Nuns on the Bus, and they support female ordination.
The Holy Wisdom ladies depart so significantly from Catholic teaching that they can no longer be called a Catholic Church. Yet the WSJ reports on these ladies, and relegates the statements of the Catholic Bishop of Madison and statements of faithful Catholics on Holy Wisdom Monastery to a last paragraph entitled “detractors.”
Such unprofessional misrepresentation and departure from journalistic ethics is becoming common, a tactic used by the left (Alinsky Tactics). Journalists now write propaganda instead of reporting the truth. Journalists are no longer neutral; now most of them are controlled by the radical and progressive left.
Recently, Sr. Simone Campbell of Nuns on the Bus fame came to speak at Holy Wisdom Monastery on Ash Wednesday. Again, Sr. Simone was covered by the WSJ, who called her a “rock star.” The labor union conference associated with her appearance was promoted , and Sr. Simone’s book was pitched by the WSJ.
The Religious cocktail offered at Holy Wisdom Monastery goes even beyond counterfeit Masses with invalid Eucharist. The Holy Wisdom trio (the two ex-nuns and the Presbyterian minister) dabble in New Age beliefs and other dubious theology.
Their website features the writings of a future Holy Wisdom retreat leader on “21st century spirituality,” with references to “accessing that primeval dimension of psyche through our wild and animal bodies” and “The Dancing Animal Woman.”
Their website also features a first Sunday of Lent homily which quotes Jesus Christ Superstar lyrics. Yes, quotes Tim Rice, the author of Jesus Christ Superstar lyrics, who describes his religion like this:
Technically I’m Church of England, which is really nothing. But I don’t follow it. I wouldn’t say I was a Christian. I have nothing against it. – Tim Rice
So if ever pressed to identify some bad nuns, it is fair to select the Holy Wisdom ladies for this distinction.
Whatever their misguided intentions might be, they are NOT “members of a religious community of women living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.” They left their religious community, they own an 8 million dollar facility on 138 acres of land , they welcome the gay lifestyle, and they are subject to no religious authority other than themselves.
Are Nuns on the Bus Bad Nuns?
The press had a field day publicizing, and grossly exaggerating, the dissident Nuns on the Bus tour during the summer of 2012.
In actual fact, only two feisty, elderly, dissident nuns, who would have been transported more appropriately in a Smart Car, made that much-publicized Nuns on the Bus tour. Yet the press, which completely ignored the 650,000 –strong March for Life in Washington this year, reported with exaggerated ardor and admiration on these two elderly rebels.
What was the elderly rebels’ beef? The Vatican had completed a doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR, mentioned above), and issued a correction, against which one small contingent of Gloria-Steinem-era graying nuns rebelled. These nuns appear to be entirely unaware of the problems which the primitive Gloria Steinem brand of feminism poses for women, for children, and for marriage. The primitive feminism which fails to take into account the love women have for their children, and the societal necessity of providing a nurturing environment for the raising of the future human race. These elderly nuns seem to be quite unaware of the new redefinition of feminism taking place today.
A Correction from Rome
Correction of doctrinal error is part of the Church’s job, providing necessary course corrections to individuals and groups that drift from Catholic teaching. This correction maintains the accuracy of the teachings of Christ, which have been preserved and transmitted by the Catholic Church for 2,000 years.
These corrections are routine; for example, throughout the entire United States, changes are presently being made in language and in liturgy to preserve the accuracy of what is passed on to future generations.
Good Catholics choose to be subject to direction from Rome, and they welcome this direction. Good Catholics welcome direction from our Church in the same way that secular people welcome direction from their personal trainers, physicians, golf coaches and college profs. The Nuns on the Bus involved a group of rebellious nuns led by Sister Simone Campbell, who did not take kindly to doctrinal correction from Rome, or to the rebuke their lobbying group Network received for supporting the HHS Contraception Mandate and their ties to pro-abortion organizations. These sisters organized a 9-state bus tour in protest of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal in June/July 2012, in competition with the US Catholic Bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom effort, which opposed the HHS Mandate. Time magazine even picked up on the antagonistic attitude of these nuns : “Nuns on the Bus can seem like Campbell’s personal act of retaliation against the Vatican for its virtual takeover of the nuns’ leadership conference and its rebuke of Network.”
Despite media speculation on LCWR conflict with the Vatican, more than 900 nuns gathered in St. Louis in August 2012 for their annual assembly, and voted to continue the dialogue with Rome; overriding the dissident leaders like President of the LCWR Sister Pat Farrell and the Nuns on the Bus Sister Simone Campbell. Despite much confusion in the LCWR, including even confusion on whether the Church needs to “move beyond Christ,” the final vote was still to cooperate with Rome. Sisters Farrell and Campbell continue to oppose the Vatican, but clearly the majority of the 1,500 LCWR leadership do not support the dissident tone. A more balanced picture on the complex and mutli-level LCWR conflict can be found at the National Catholic Register, and at Father Z’s blog.
Rebellious nuns might not be bad per se. They could be errant, mistaken, dangerous and misleading, struggling with error or with pride, but they are not necessarily innately bad.
Catholics acknowledge that all people struggle with error and with sin, including nuns, and that sin can be forgiven. So we should hesitate categorizing rebellious nuns as bad nuns, just as we hesitate categorizing rebellious children as bad children. As Catholics, we exercise patience and hope, praying that rebellious nuns see their error, stop scandalizing the young and the uninformed, and that they return to the obedience they vowed to be guided by the wisdom of Church teaching.
Nuns Challenging Priorities
A common ploy used by dissidents and “cafeteria Catholics” (Catholics who pick and choose which elements of the Catholic faith they choose to adopt), whether they are dissident lay Catholics in the pews, or dissident nuns, is to substitute their own priorities for the priorities taught by the Church. So, for example, if a dissident Catholic or nun wants to support something forbidden by the Catholic Church, like supporting abortion or supporting the gay lifestyle (which celebrates promiscuity), they use the tactic of choosing another “social justice” issue, and elevating their chosen issue to higher importance, while criticizing the Church for not giving sufficient attention to their chosen cause, and thus proclaiming themselves morally superior to the Church. This is a common human tactic, aimed at undermining the authority of those whom we do not wish to obey. We ridicule police for eating donuts; we ridicule teachers for their“dirty looks,” so that we could justify our own speeding or our own neglect of our homework.
In this spirit, some “Catholic Social Justice” groups like Network, to which these nuns belonged, misrepresent their true agendas. They do not advocate true social justice, as their name implies. Instead, they very selectively pick and choose which social justice issues are useful toward their chosen agenda. For example, they neglect to advocate social justice for the 1 million infants who are aborted every year, a social justice prioritized by the Catholic Church and by most American Christians. Instead, they prioritize criticizing the deaths of about 300 professional American soldiers per year, whose heroic deaths are the voluntary price they pay to defend us from terrorism. The dissident Catholics prioritize military deaths over abortion deaths and they condemn the Catholic Church for not following their lead.
These “social justice” Catholics also neglect to advocate for social justice in the area of marriage. They prioritize the wishes of a small minority, homosexuals who want to be sexually active and who want to marry, over the welfare of rest of society, over children and families who are negatively impacted by redefinition of marriage. Redefinition of marriage is a social justice issue which is opposed by most American Christians. Dissident Catholics focus instead on promoting the redistribution of wealth in the United States, a controversial principle which violates the Constitution of the United States, and threatens the seventh commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”
This diversion of attention to topics of their choice allows dissidents to criticize the Church and to broadcast their own virtue, while they ignore the larger and more important social justice issues championed by the Church (abortion and preservation of marriage and the family), with which they disagree. The net effect of their imbalanced attitudes actually damages social justice overall, since their prioritization of the comfort of adults and of the powerful over the welfare of the young, the weak and the old, causes all of the vulnerable to become more expendable and powerless in our society, as the agendas of abortion, euthanasia and redefinition of marriage and family are advanced. The dissidents fail to recognize that the Church has always, and will always stand up for the weakest and the most powerless; this is the definition of true justice. To defend an infant from being put to death by her own mother is a much more important social justice issue than defending that mother’s desire for the more luxurious lifestyle which she might have if the child is not permitted to live.
Progressive political groups, incidentally and not surprisingly, love to pay for this “social justice” agenda.
They use dissident Catholics to further their own causes, while claiming the title of humanitarian for themselves and while condemning the Judeo-Christian values embodied in the Bible and in the Ten Commandments as anachronistic and bigoted. Progressives attack their enemy (religious America) mercilessly with ridicule, because religion forbids what they value most- selfishness, abuse of power, and absolute power for men, not for God.
Why Don’t Bishops Just Excommunicate Dissidents?
In secular (non-religious) life, in government, in business, a dissident who publicly opposes their boss gets fired. Duh. Imagine Hillary Clinton publicly opposing President Obama when she was Secretary of State. If she got fired, would everybody shout discrimination against women? Or would they say that she should have followed instructions from her boss? But in religious life, it’s different. Christianity is a family, with a goal of saving souls. All souls.
Bishops are spiritual fathers and shepherds. They are no more likely to excommunicate a dissident than a good parent is likely to throw a rebellious child out on the street. Few options are available to bishops when Catholics misbehave. Bishops have no army, no prisons, no police force. Bishops have only two tools—persuasion, and excommunication. Excommunication is very extreme; it deprives a soul of eternal life with God. A Bishop who loves his flock is not quick to exercise that prerogative. They do use persuasion, but in 2013, few people respect authority, or appreciate the expertise and wisdom represented by the Church. They don’t listen.
Bishops also stand in representation of Christ, our merciful Shepherd, who taught us to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” So the Bishops prioritize their role as shepherds of souls over their power to excommunicate dissidents, and they talk to public dissidents privately, giving them the opportunity to mend their ways.
Incidentally, you don’t need a Bishop to get excommunicated. Some offenses are grievous enough to carry automatic excommunication as soon as they are committed. Abortion is one of them. So some Catholics excommunicate themselves.
So in the hands of Catholic dissidents, “social justice” means an excuse to act superior to the Catholic Church, to challenge her teachings, and to act holier than thou while you do it.
Instead of leaving the Catholic Church, dissidents stay and try to hijack the Church for their own purposes. In some cases, they even take the Church’s real estate. In many cases, they keep a “Catholic” facade which is very useful for recruitment purposes.
Damage to the Church and its hierarchy via this process is not just collateral, but is welcomed by dissidents, since it strengthens the power of the dissidents and of those who payroll them – the radically progressive politicians of the United States. So the small number of misguided gray-haired rebel nuns who have abandoned their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to embrace the progressive agenda, are actually pawns being used in big politics by powerful people.
How Many Nuns Were on the Bus?
The Nuns on the Bus dissidents were a small group:
- only two nuns made the entire made the entire trip on the bus tour
- only two nuns arrived to protest Paul Ryan in Janesville
- there were never more than 6 sisters on the bus at one time
- the dissident nuns grossly overstated whom they represent
- only 60 of the 46,000 LCWR nuns signed the letter to Congress supporting the HHS Contraception Mandate i.e. about 0.1% of LCWR nuns were involved in the protest
- the Nuns on the Bus protest received media relations assistance and funding from pro-abortion groups funded by billionaire atheist George Soros.
Bottom line: the Nuns on the Bus nuns were a miniscule minority of United States nuns, who are not at all representative of U.S. nuns.
However, media preferred to sensationalize that miniscule minority and to misportray how many nuns were actually involved. Media reports showed a giant bus with opaque windows painted with billboards, and neglected to mention that the 4-mile-per-gallon luxury vehicle, complete with kitchen, carried only two elderly dissidents, who would have been more appropriately accommodated in a Smart Car.
Who Publicized and Paid for the Nuns on the Bus?
And who paid for these ladies (who had sworn to lives of poverty) to travel in such luxury? Anybody’s guess. But one very good guess would be George Soros. George Soros is a progressive billionaire who has sworn to use his billions to reshape society, and who has spent over $4 billion dollars on this project so far. George Soros recently funded Catholic groups which misrepresent Barack Obama as being pro-life, in order to gain Catholic votes for Obama, who is actually radically pro-abortion. Evidence indicating that Nuns on the Bus was a Soros-funded publicity stunt is growing rapidly- see Catholic World Report and NationalCatholic Register . In fact, the publicist traveling with the two Nuns on the Bus was Casey Shoenberger, a media relations assistant employed by pro-abortion organizations which receive funds from George Soros.
George Soros is a big backer of Barack Obama, has visited the White House numerous times, and has publicly stated that he wishes to burst the “bubble of American supremacy,” because he says our preeminence in the world is a detriment to global “equilibrium.” This is who funds the Nuns on the Bus.
We do pray for dissident nuns, and our prayers can be answered.
Some rebellious nuns actually do see their errors and retract their erroneous positions. This is rarely reported by the mainstream media, which does not want to publicize the wisdom of the Church. Such was the case with Sister Carol Keehan. Sister Carol Keenan was the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association who publicly supported President Obama’s Contraception Mandate, thus publicly opposing the position taken by the Catholic Church and by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Eventually, Sister Keehan realized her error and made a course correction. She now understands the Church’s position and she now opposes the Contraception Mandate. But most media is not interested in reporting that, so few people know that Sister Keehan reversed herself.
Nuns NOT on the Bus
Meanwhile, not on the bus, but praying and caring for the needy, sick and underprivileged of our society, and obediently fulfilling their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, were an unknown number, perhaps even a majority of the other 46,000 nuns of the LCWR, as well as the 12,000 nuns belonging to the other, more conservative organization of nuns, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSW).
Sixty nuns signed a rebellious document, six nuns participated somewhat in Nuns on the Bus, only two took the whole trip, and the media portrayed it as though the rest of US nuns, the 99.9%, had been involved.
And now, we finally get to the ugly nuns.
Not being in a rush to be judged as I judge, I hedged earlier on calling any nuns “bad” nuns.
Similarly, I would hate to call nuns “ugly.”
But there is one area where I think few would disagree- that a man would make an ugly nun. A very ugly nun.
Think- a nun with a beard!
And George Soros would make a particularly,particularly ugly nun.
You think I’m being flippant?
We’ve already discussed progressive atheists like George Soros funding the “work” of dissident Catholic nuns.
We’ve also had Catholic Nuns advocating female ordination, abortion, and promiscuity.
As well as Catholic nuns abandoning their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
In the secular world, men’s and women’s roles are becoming interchangeable; we now have women in combat, and universities are even providing sex-change operations through student health plans. Soon, sex-change will be covered by ObamaCare. Sex is no longer something determined at conception, nor a limiting factor in life; it’s something to be chosen, redefined, and altered at will.
One of the few obstacles left unchallenged is the requirement for a nun to be female. There is little else left unchallenged in this progressive world. And who best to do it?
Meet Sister George Soros, everyone!