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Are Americans in the Vatican – including disgraced Cardinal Law – behind the Nuns Crackdown?

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As Joe reported here, the Vatican has opened a new front on the war against women with a crackdown of the largest and most influential organization of nuns in the U.S., the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

From Joe's story, quoting the NY Times (please click to get the full picture):

The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” ... Word of the Vatican’s action took the group completely by surprise, Sister Sanders said.
That's the background. Now comes news of who's running this Vatican operation — a bunch of American priests, possibly including disgraced Boston Cardinal Bernard Law (my emphasis and [bracketed notes]):
When the Vatican last month announced a doctrinal crackdown on the leadership organization representing most of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S. [see above], the sisters said they were “stunned” by the move. Many American Catholics, meanwhile, were angry at what they saw as Rome bullying women whose lives of service have endeared them to the public. ...

[I]t turns out that conservative American churchmen living in Rome—including disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law—were key players in pushing the hostile takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, which they have long viewed with suspicion for emphasizing social justice work over loyalty to the hierarchy and issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Vatican observers in Rome and church sources in the U.S. say Law was “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting” the LCWR investigation, as Rome correspondent Robert Mickens wrote in The Tablet, a London-based Catholic weekly. Law was the “prime instigator,” in the words of one American churchman, of the investigation that began in 2009 and ended in 2011. The actual crackdown was only launched in April.
Also named in the story are Cardinal Raymond Burke, former archbishop of St. Louis; Cardinal William Levada, a former archbishop of San Francisco; and Cardinal James Stafford, a former Denver archbishop.

Conservatives all. Levada has Ratzinger's old job as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal watchdog."

At issue is not just the fact that Bernard Law and Raymond Burke were given "asylum" in Rome after being driven out of the U.S. in the wake of the child abuse scandal. It's that the Vatican dragged its feet to protect its priests while putting its female community into receivership:
“American Catholics have not forgotten how long it took bishops to wake up to the sexual-abuse crisis they created. And now they see that the Vatican took just three years to determine that it had no other option but to put 80 percent of U.S. nuns — whose average age is 74 — into receivership, an effort led in part by Cardinal Bernard Law,” Grant Gallicho, an associate editor of Commonweal, a liberal Catholic periodical, wrote on the magazine’s blog.
The average age of nuns in the U.S. is ... 74 years old? Man, do these guys owe them.

Is it safe to say that, like all troglodytes, these males hate women? Is it safe to say that if this weren't a "church," most of these types would be serving time for sexual abuse of minors in prisons around the world? I would say Yes on all counts.

The good news? There really are good Catholics — Catholics who are also actually good — Fr. Daniel Berrigan types, who live and breathe under the Bush-like dictatorship of the conservatives who control their organization.

What do you call a religious leader who loves power more than doing right? Not-religious.


(To follow on Twitter or to send links: @Gaius_Publius)

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