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Entries in Catholic Church (37)


American Nuns Hold Tight To Social Activism As Pope Francis Offers Hope Of SOME Change In Their Voice

1. The last time AOC wrote about then archbishop, now cardinal Raymond Burke, he was accusing Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley with being under the influence os Satan, “the father of lies.” The reason was Cardinal O’Malley’s decision to not only permit Senator Ted Kennedy to be buried with a Catholic mass, but also to preside over it. 

Cardinal Burke took the opportunity on Dec. 12 to publicly disagree with Pope Francis about the commitment of the American bishops to stand firm on talking publicly and negatively about gay marriage, abortion and other social issues.Rejecting the pope’s statements that social issues are too front and center in church dialogue, Cardinal Burke said “But we can never talk enough about that.”

Pope Francis responded on Monday in a major shakeup of the Congregation for Bishops. Francis removed Burke, replacing him with another American, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC.

NPR writes that Rocco Palmo, author of the “definitive Vatican blog Whispers in the Loggia, called the move

2. The best way to understand Pope Francis is through his own words and a trusted source. America magazine, a Catholic publication, interviewed Francis earlier this fall in an article titled A Big Heart Open to God.

When asked about the role of women in the church, Pope Francis answers that it’s necessary “to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church”, referring to the reality that the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of ‘machismo’. “Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops,” says Francis.  “We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.”

Pope Francis celebrated his 77th birthday yesterday and was interviewed today by ABC Good Morning America, broadcasting from the Vatican.

3. In late November, Pope Francis issued an 84-page document called an apostolic exhortation. In marketing and branding speak, the document can be considered an official platform for his papacy. The document created a major stir in American Republican politics, with Pope Francis attacking the “idolatry of money’ while pleading with politicians to guarantee citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare.”

Francis was blunt in his comments, calling unfettered capitalism “a new tyranny” and underscoring the need for rich people to share their wealth. The new pope went to far as to cite a common them among progressives of the pro-life community. Being pro-life should be about far more than preventing abortions. An economy of exclusion and inequality is an economy that kills asserts Pope Francis.

Francis called on the church’s “entrenched hierarchy” to “hear the call to pastoral conversion.”

“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote. 

4. RH Reality Check offers a cautionary consideration of Pope Francis in ‘The People’s Pope’? If By People, You Don’t Mean Women.

Writer Adele M. Stan reminds readers that especially after being named Time magazine’s person of the year, many issues remain around Pope Francis’ treatment of women and women’s reproductive rights.

In the previously discussed papal manifesto, the Evangelii Gaudium, the pope says that the topic of women priests “Is not a topic open to discussion.” He also affirmed the church’s position on abortion including to save the life of the mother.

Chua-Eoan, who co-authored with Elizabeth Dias Time’s profile of Pope Francis, admits as much in the video. “Everyone’s saying he’s going to allow divorced Catholics to have Communion, he’s going to open the church to gay people, he’s going to be much more open about abortion, but he actually never said any of that,” Chua-Eoan says in the video. “He was just being more open so that these people are willing to come back to the church, without having to deal with the actual rules.”

5. In the trailer above, Sister Simone Campbell — founder of NETWORK and a key figure in the recent Nune on the Bus movement — steps into the very public glare of news media. Anne has met Sister Simone Campbell and greeted the sisters in July 2012 when they rolled into Philadelphia.

Along with Mary Fishman’s film “Band of Sisters,” which is currently showing across the country, news about other documentaries profiling women religious has been circulating around the Internet and social media, writes The National Catholic Reporter.

Sister Simone, along with members of the LCWE [Leadership Conference of Women Religious], is a key figure in the Vatican investigation of American nuns that began in 2009 and culminated with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s report on them in April 2012.

Cardinal Burke, ‘fired’ yesterday by Pope Francis, called the LCWE a “rogue organization”, saying that it should be shut down if it fails to implement fully the reforms demanded by the Vatican. It’s said that the sisters preach radical feminism.



David Bowie's 'The Next Day' Video Savages Un-Christ-like Catholic Church

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

David Bowie’s latest video ‘The Next Day’ is back up on YouTube after being taken down from the Google-owned website a few hours after being uploaded. The video in which David Bowie is dressed as Christ, accompanied by Gary Oldman as a debauched priest and Marion Cotillard as a prostitute was said to have “breached YouTube’s terms of service.”

The Independent reports that former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey called the video “juvenile”. 

He told The Telegraph: “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.”

“I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery - I very much doubt it.”

There is no doubt that the video for ‘The Next Day’ is heavily critical of the Church. Imagery includes a Cardinal dancing with a bare-breasted woman, stigmata wounds erupted in the hands of Cotillard, and a figure engaged in self-flagellation.

‘The Next Day’ video is directed by Italian photographer Floria Sigismondi, who began her career as a fashion photographer.

Religious Purity in Rome

Did Pope Clement VII Father Alessandro de Medici with a Nigerian Slave Girl? AOC Sensual Rebel

This attempt to focus didn’t last. When the goddess knocking begins, it’s futile to try to beat it back. Accepting that there is a reason why I flew off to Florence in my Italian-inspired burst of creativity last week — and it has nothing to do with my glorious, sexy existence in and out of the country for years — I began Googling. 

Ask and you will receive! Within minutes I was on PBS Frontline, reading about Alessandro de Medici, the great 16th century Italian Renaissance figure whose Medici prince remains are buried in the famous tomb of Michaelangelo.

Without even trying to mount my religious hypocrisy soapbox, enter stage right one 17-year-old Cardinal Giulio de Medici, as the father of Alessandro. The later Pope Clement VII, is believed by researchers to be the father of a bastard child conceived with a North African slave girl.

Good goddess! A Catholic pope is unintentionally besmirched by my flower pots in this accidental bout with the creative truth.

Doomed | 2Ps in a Pod

Believing in Birth Control Doesn’t Make Me Un-American AOC Sensual Rebel

I just watched a PBS segment on family planning in the Philippines. In it the Catholic bishop spoke aggressively against controlling population, saying that it was fine that women have as many children as possible. We both know the Catholic Church believes it is a woman’s duty. It’s the world’s challenge to figure out how to feed all these babies, not for women to have fewer children argues the bishop who has never had a baby in his life.

(This wandering essay was part of Anne’s short-lived 2012 blog with a Catholic brother. Brother Dennis assured her that he would stand by her, as she was called a whore and every other despicable name in the book. Instead, the brother threw her to the wolves. Based on Anne’s most recent skirmish with the Catholic Church, the new David Bowie video ‘The Next Day’ got her attention.)


Vatican Confirms That Reform of American Nuns Will Proceed Under Archbishop Gerhard Mueller

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Was I prescient today? Hardly. It’s just that Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz says that fashion designers are a little like Catholic nuns, grinding away in the trenches and not leading glamorous lives. Elbaz seems pretty off the mark, but we so love him that he’s forgiven. 

That quote led me to circle back with an exceptional interview given by Sister Simone Campbell to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after the ordination of Pope Francis. 

Sister Simone’s interview was followed by this one on 60 Minutes with Sister Pat Farrell, previous head of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Bob Simon.

The headlines are working their way around the world with news that Pope Francis has spoken. The Inquisition of American nuns will continue. This news doesn’t come as a surprise, although it dashes the hope of American nuns like Sister Simone and Sister Pat Farrell, who will be forced now to speak aggressively against birth control, abortion and women priests in the future. 

AOC writing on crackdown of American nuns.

Vatican Crackdown Continues

Pope Francis has affirmed that the investigation of American nuns will continue, dimming the hopes of American nuns that a Jesuit pope with shared values on the poor might take a different approach than Pope Benedict. 

The Vatican imposed an overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious after deciding that the American nuns were taking positions that undermined Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality. The sisters were accused of embracing “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

While praising the nuns’ humanitarian work, investigators accused the of ignoring critical social issues.

Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, who is in charge of implementing the crackdown on American nuns, met today — Monday — with officials of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, informing them that the reorganization and reforms will be implemented. 

Catholic Culture reports: In his remarks at the meeting, Archbishop Müller reminded the LCWR leaders that their group exists to promote cooperation among the individual orders and with the hierarchy. “For this reason,” he said, groups like the LCWR “are constituted by and remain under the direction of the Holy See.”

All bets are off in what the sisters will do next. They have vowed not to compromise their group’s mission. Exactly what that mission is remains to be seen. 

History of Vatican Conflict

August 11, 2012

Barbara Marx Hubbard was the featured speaker at this week’s Missouri meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The main focus of the meeting was drafting a response to the Vatican’s claims that American nuns are “radical feminists” out of step with the church’s teaching. Of course, the members of LCWR don’t see themselves in this light.

June 11, 2012

Both sides in the discord between American nuns and the Vatican described yesterday’s talks in Rome as open and cordial. But the Vatican wasted no time in reiterating that it expects the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to change its way to energetically promote church doctrine “as Faithfully taught through the ages”, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Vatican charges that the LCWR has been “silent” on those issues that are most important to the church leadership: abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and the ordination of women.

April 20, 2012

The sisters were reprimanded for making public policy statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” The disagreements have been acute over President Obama’s healthcare legislation and most recently the contraception mandate compromise.

January 23, 2012

Investigation of American Nuns

It’s noteworthy that on Jan. 4, Cardinal Franc Rode resigned as head of the Vatican’s ‘cabinet office’, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, that deals with religious orders, including nuns worldwide. 

Writing for Huffington PostAmerican nun Maureen Fiedler says that Cardinal Franc Rode is an arch-conservative with an archaic view of religious life that resonates with the 18th century, rather than the 21st.