The Instructive Timing Of The Crackdown On Nuns
There were two Santa Maria! stories out of the Vatican this week.
First, the bad news: The ultra-traditionalists of Marcel Lefebvreâ€™s Society of St. Pius X are another step closer to being welcomed back into the fold â€” though church fathers have yet to sort out the problem of the dissident groupâ€™s Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson, whose
Pope Benedict XVI (Getty Images) excommunication Pope Benedict XVI lifted two years ago.
Then there was the even worse news, by my votive lights, that the Vatican is cracking down on American nuns â€“ who as one of my fellow Catholics noted over a cup of unconsecrated wine last night, â€œOnly do what Jesus told us to do,â€™â€™ in their hospitals, schools and orphanages, â€œso no wonder theyâ€™re in trouble.â€™â€™
After a lengthy investigation by the office formerly known as the Inquisition, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been signed up to oversee a forced reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80Â percent of the 57,000 Catholic nuns in this country.
Thatâ€™s because, according to the Vatican report released Wednesday, a number of the good sisters appear to investigators to have been influenced by â€œradical feminism,â€ and to have fallen out of step with church teaching on homosexuality and womenâ€™s ordination.