A friend directed me to Maureen Dowd's article in The New York Times, which discusses the divide between Catholic nuns and Catholic bishops on the health care reform bill. (You should be able to read the article for free; The New York Times allows anyone to read a NYT article when it is linked to from a blog.)
On Friday, Tim Ryan, an antiabortion Democrat from Ohio, took to the House floor to say he had been influenced by the nuns to vote for the bill.
“You say this is pro-abortion,” he said to Republicans, and yet “you have 59,000 Catholic nuns from across the country endorsing this bill, 600 Catholic hospitals, 1,400 Catholic nursing homes endorsing this bill.”
For decades, the nuns did the bidding of the priests, cleaned up their messes, and watched as their male superiors let a perverted stain spread over the entire church, a stain that has now even reached the Holy See. It seemed that the nuns were strangely silent, either because they suspected but had no proof — the “Doubt” syndrome — or because they had no one to tell but male bosses protecting one another in that repugnant and hypocritical old-boys’ network.
Their goodness was rewarded with a stunning slap from the über-conservative Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican is conducting two inquisitions into the “quality of life” of American nuns, trying to knock any independence or modernity out of them.
The witch hunt has sparked the nuns to have a voice at last. Vulnerable children were not protected by the male hierarchy of the church, which treated sexual abuse as a failure of character rather than a crime. The men were so arrogant it never occurred to them that they should be accountable to the secular world. In their warped thinking, it was better to let children suffer than to call the authorities, embarrass the church and risk diminished power.
Now the bishops think that it’s better to deprive poor people of good health care than to let the church look like it’s going soft on abortion.
Under the semantic dodge of ideological purity, the bishops also are doing the bidding of the Republicans, trying to kill the bill and weaken the president. But the nuns are right when they say that “the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions” and that its protection of pregnant women is the “real pro-life stance.”
The nuns stepped up to support true Catholic dogma, making sure poor people get proper health care. (Which would lead to fewer abortions anyway.)
I feel Maureen Dowd's sentiment in feeling fan-fucking-tastic that the Pope would rather bully American nuns with his heinous "investigations" instead of the pedophiliac exploits of his good old boys.
I think that a lot of people allow Catholicism to be defined by its most vocal and powerful members. But they do not speak for all Catholics.
Labels: catholicism, politicsscribbled mystickeeper at 10:46 PM