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American Nuns Call Vatican Charges "A Flawed Process" | Ideology Drives Perception of War on Women

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Sister Claudia Bronsing takes part in a vigil at St. Colman Church in Cleveland, Ohio, in support of Catholic nuns who were criticized by the Vatican. Michael McElroy for the New York Times The Vatican awaits American nuns who will travel to Rome in an effort to open discussions and their defense against charges that American nuns are “radical feminists” and not committed to upholding core Catholic values.

Concluding a week of meetings in Washington, the 21 board members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the nation’s dwindling 57,000 nuns, spoke today in strong terms. Sister Pat Farrell, president of the conference helped draft a response to the Vatican calling recent charges based on “unsubstantiated accusations” and a “flawed process”. The sisters added that the charges have caused scandal, pain and polarization in the Roman Catholic Church.

“Even large sectors of the church itself have legitimate concern and want to continue to talk about the place of women in the church, and rightful equality between men and women,” said Sister Farrell, who is a member of the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis, of Dubuque, Iowa. “So if that is called radical feminism, then a lot of men and women in the church, far beyond us, are guilty of that.”

The National Catholic Reporter interviewed Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell today. She shares details of this week’s meetings and the desires of American nuns to forge an honest, high-integrity dialogue with Rome. Read also the New York Times.

Related reading: Catholic child abuse cover-up case heads to jury CNN

Jurors began deliberating today in Philadelphia in the “landmark trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric charged with endangering children by allegedly helping cover up sexual abuse.”

On trial besides Lynn is Rev. James Brennan, who is charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old. Both Brennan and Lynn claim that they are innocent.

Women’s Pay Growth

Forbes reports that a new analysis from PayScale confirms that today’s full-time American female college grads initially earn a median of $31,900 and male college grads earn a median of $40,800. From ages 22 to 30 their salaries growth similarly in percentage terms.

At age 30, women’s earnings growth slows substantially. “By age 39, college-educated women working full-time stop getting raises and see their salaries peak at about $60,000. Their male peers, on the other hand, continue seeing wage increases through age 48, when they earn a median of $95,000 a year.”

For plausible reasons why, read on at Forbes.

Conservative Women Say “No War on Women”

A new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation says that three in 10 women (31 percent overall believe that there is currently a “wide-scale effort to limit women’s reproductive health choices and services, such as abortion, family planning, and contraception” in America.

Nevertheless, 42 percent of women polled reported that they took some action in the past six months in reaction to a news or feature item in the media.

This includes attempting to influence a friend or family member’s opinion (23 percent), donating money to a non-profit working on reproductive health issues (15 percent), and contacting an elected official (14 percent).

Six in 10 women voters say the economy is the top election issue and concern.

Writing for The Washington Post, Suzi Parker points out that the real dividing line is ideology.

Nearly half of liberal women (49 percent) said there was a war on women’s health with only 18 percent of conservative women thinking the same.


US Child Poverty Rate | French President Hollande's Gender Parity Cabinet | Women's Strike Force in VA Hits Home

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Global spending cuts are certain to impact child poverty rates, putting children’s future health, education and employment prospects at risk, the UN’s children’s charity UNICEF warns.

Poverty rates are determined by whether a child lacks two or more of a list of 14 basic items such as three meals a day, a quiet place to do homework, educational books at home, or an Internet connection. The highest rates of deprivation are found in countries that include Romania, Bulgaria and Portugal (with more than 70%, 50% and 27% respectively), though even some richer countries, such as France and Italy, have deprivation rates above 10%. The Nordic countries have the least deprivation among children, all with rates below 3%.

The second measure scrutinized in Report Card 1/0 looks at relative poverty, examining the percentage of children living below their national “poverty line” – defined as 50 per cent of median disposable household income.

The combined analysis results in a lineup of countries in which the United States ranks second from last among developed countries with a child poverty rate of 23.1%.

The top five positions in the league table are occupied by Iceland, Finland, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Norway (with Slovenia and Denmark close behind). All of these countries have relative child poverty rates below 7%. Read on at UNICEF

More reading from AOC

Status vs Money | A Third Look At Happiness, Gender Equality & Taxes

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Women’s Strike Force Soars

“Our organization is not even three months old, yet activists across Virginia are clamoring to get involved and help raise money,” the group’s director, Rebecca Gellar, boasted recently. “In our first two weeks, we raised a breathtaking $100,000.” According to public documents, that includes $20,000 from a single donor in Charlottesville — as well as four-figure contributions from as far afield as Massachusetts and California.

Anne’s ‘Operation Spittin’ Out the Pitts’ is watching the new VA-based Women’s Strike Force, a political PAC formed after VA infamous vaginal ultrasound bill probed the private parts and public conscience of a few too many American women.

WSF is gaining such momentum that the Richmond Daily saw a need to write a critical op ed piece, deriding a PAC that would form around the single issue of women’s reproductive health.

Related Reading:

Ronald Regan, The Silent Scream and the Slow Rise of Fetal Pain The Daily Beast

Anti-Sex Ed Curriculum Makes the List: Don’t Blame Obama, Blame the System RH Reality Check

Republican Rep. tries to save Planned Parenthood Politico

Conservative bishops court the disdain of Catholic Women LATimes

Gender Parity in Hollande Ministers

VOA News writes that France’s newly-elected president Francois Hollande has ushered in the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet. Olivia Cattan, journalist and founder of the feminist organization ‘Paroles de Femmes’ or ‘Words of Women’ advises Hollande on women’s issues. A new ministry of women’s rights is headed by 34-year-old Najat Vallaud Belkacem.

“It’s a fantastic gesture for Mr. Hollande. It’s like a page has been turned. It’s the first parity government in France. He’s really turned a page in terms of French feminism,” Cattan said.


Fiscal Plunge of New York Times Financial Fortunes | Will Chaos at Vatican Make A Pink Smoke Bonfire?

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Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty (Sulzberger, Robinson); Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine (all backgrounds). Illustration by John Ritter.In an astounding new low for American journalism, Fox News top guy Roger Ailes called New York Times reporters a “lying bunch of scum” and the Times itself a “cess pool of bias” in a speech to journalism students at Ohio University last week.

Clearly, those comments hit way below the belt — a real kick in the balls if you will — coming at Ochs-Sulzberger family members who control the New York Times and chairman/publisher Arthur Sulzberger, who leads the organization. 

Joe Hagan’s New York Magazine in-depth expose on the New York Times organization is more gentile but equally high-impact.

At the center of Hagan’s story is former Times CEO Janet Robinson who abruptly left the organization last December with a $24 million payout that represented half the company’s dismal profits for 2011. Writing ‘A New York Times Whodunnit’, this in-depth piece interviews more than 30 people intimately familiar with the Times business, but always off the record.

Who slew Times CEO Janet Robinson? Was it Arthur Sulzberger’s new girl friend? The advertising market? The frustrated web guru? Or the ambitious Sulzberger cousin?

It’s impossible to ignore the romantic entanglements: Robinson and Sulzberger as the platonic power couple ‘married’ to the Times empire. Yet the publisher was ‘available’ after separating from his wife in 2008.

When Sulzberger met Claudia Gonzalez, he fell hard and remains a man very much in love, writes Hagan. In the midst of Janet Robinson’s fall publicity tour to promote the Times, Capital New York picked up a story on the new romance from Mexico’s Quién calling Gonzalez “the Mexican woman who moves the New York Times.

Writing about Robinson, Hagan writes a not so pretty picture, saying that she earned a reputation for “ruthlessness” and pushing out anyone who was disloyal. 

By 1999, one of Robinson’s most trusted protégés was a woman named Jyll Holzman, whom she had plucked from the magazine world and elevated to senior vice-president for advertising  … During a period of tension between the newsroom and the advertising division, the Times’ then–deputy managing editor, John Geddes, represented the news and Holzman the advertising side. Robinson believed Holzman was championing their cause—until she discovered that Holzman had begun dating Geddes.

In a stunning admission of just how financially unsuccessful the Times organization has become uner the Robinson-Sulzberger union, the once wide-ranging media empire of newspapers, TV stations, websites and a baseball team worth almost $7 billion is now two newspapers and a website valued at less than $1 billion. 

It almost makes one nervous that family members could vote a buyout by Ruperb Murdoch, if the price is high enough.

FRN Pope Under Pressure

Paolo Gabriele rides in the “Popemobile” with Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square in March 2011. via CNNVatican Denies Cardinal in Heist

CNN reports today that Pope Benedict XVI’s spokesman denied today that a cardinal or a woman were being investigated for potentially devasting leaks, along with the pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele, who remains “imprisoned” at the Vatican and formally charged with “aggravated theft for allegedly stealing private documents.”

Last month, the Vatican gave Cardinal Julian Herranz a “pontifical mandate” to uncover the source of hundreds of personal letters and confidential documents that have been released to Gianluigi Nuzzi, an Italian journalist and author of “Sua Santita,” a book that translates to “His Holiness” and includes the documents.

National Catholic Reporter reports that Vatican Bank president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi resigned last week. Tedeschi, along with the bank’s general director Paolo Cipriani has been under investigation for alleged money laundering.

Nuns Convene in DC

Women march in support of Catholic nuns Wednesday near St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York via CNNAmerica’s largest group of Catholic nuns will meet for three days in Washington this week to draft a response to the Vatican’s reprimand that they group embraces “radical feminist themes.’

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious “plans to move slowly, not rushing to judgment” when the group’s 21-member board meets Tuesday, writes CNN

“The board will conduct its meeting in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue and will develop a plan to involve LCWR membership in similar processes,” the group said in a statement. “We will engage in dialogue where possible and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. We ask your prayer for us and for the Church in this critical time.”

It’s expected that there will be no major announcements this week. Rather the sisters are expected to prepare a plan that will be reviewed by their entire membership in August.

CNN senior Vatican analyst and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter John Allen says the nuns could do one of three options this week: they could go along with the Vatican’s demands; they might offer to work and negotiate with the Vatican in an effort to promote dialogue or the nuns coud say “we’re not going to play ball and we’re going to walk away.”

The last option would involve disbanding the LCWR.

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican

The documentary Pink Smoke Over the Vatican (featured above) will screen June 2, 2012 in Lexington, Ky;June 7, 2012 in Albany, NY and June 22 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Karlina Caune & Monika Sawicka | KT Auleta | Vogue Italia May 2012 | ‘Pool Days’

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Julia Dunstall and Daniela Mirzac | Txema Yeste | Marie Claire US June 2012 | Summer School

Florence Welch | Tesh | Marie Claire US June 2012 | Rock Goddess

Lise Olsen | Steven Chee | Cosmopolitan Australia June 2012 | ‘Ray of Sunshine’

Olivia Palermo | David Burton | Elle France May 2012 | Beauty Queen

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Alyssa Miller, Anouck Lepere, Christina Kruse, Constance Jablonski + | Yelena Yemchuk | TAR | Retro Pin-ups

Sara Sampaio | Xavi Gordo | Elle Spain June 2012 | Verano a la Habana

Eniko Mihalik | Glen Luchford | Vogue China June 2012 | ‘Natural Lines’

Iris Egbers | Philip Riches | Tush Summer 2012 | Klima Wechseln

Martha Hunt | Enrique Badulescu | Elle UK June 2012 | The Nature Of Things

Jefimija Jokic | Dusan Jaukovic | Morfium Couture | For Your Eyes Only

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Gisele Bundchen | Inez and Vinoodh | Vogue Paris June/July 2012 | Perfect Girl

SN Living

Jessica Hart | Benny Horne | Maison Scotch “Été Blanc” | ‘Summer Essentials’

Ieva Laguna | Koray Birand | Harper’s Bazaar Turkey June 2012

David Bellemere | Vogue Paris Supplement June/July 2012 | La Piscine

Caroline Corinth & Tessa | Daniel Jackson | Teen Vogue June/July 2012 | Grand Slam

Rachel by Aline & Jacqueline Tappia Reynaud | Grazia India May 2012 | Pampered Pets

Clara Alonso | James White | Glamour Spain May 2012

Caroline Corinth | Seiji Fujimori | Marie Claire Spain June 2012 | Sensorium

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