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.
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.