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Entries in Vatican (30)

Saturday
Feb232013

Will Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Run for Political Office? | Girls' Brains & Language Development

1. Republicans in the US House of Representatives have redrafted the Senate’s bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), stripping protections of LGBT Americans and a clause involving Native Americans who victims of sexual assault or abuse. Read more on Republican opposition in an earlier RedTracker.

Republicans argue vehemently that the Native American protections are unconstitutional. The House bill allows the states greater discretion in deciding which populations are being under-served and are therefore more deserving of funding than others. 

Huff Po provides a link to the House version of their 288-page bill. 

2. The New York Times writes: In Paid Femily Leave, U.S. Trails most of the Globe. America joins Papua New Guinea, Suriname and Liberia as countries having no paid maternity leave at all. 

Individual corporations like Google have stepped in where the federal government has not. And some states have laws that mandate paid maternity leave. 

Perhaps America can learn from France, a country that supports new mothers with a generous paid parental leave policy and childcare services. As a result France now has a birth rate of 2.0 — putting it with Ireland in top birth rates — and also the lowest rate of unemployment among women among European Union Member States. 

3. BBC reports that the Vatican accuses media of trying to profit from a time of disorientation and confusion in the Catholic Church, promoting ‘gossip’ and ‘slander’, writing:

An unconfirmed report in one of Italy’s biggest newspapers, La Repubblica, suggested that the Pope had resigned shortly after being presented with a dossier detailing a network of Vatican priests, “united by sexual orientation” who were being blackmailed.

We reported in July 2010 that Panorama, a publication owned by Silvio Berlusconi caught three Catholic priests inside a gay nightclub and having sex outside a church building. The expose titled ‘Gay Piests’ Nights on the Town’ followed priests with secret cameras for a month. (cont)

(Vatican cont) Italy’s prominent paper La Repubblica, Thursday published a report of similar scandal around the Vatican. USA Today also covers the story. 

Britain’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has gone on record saying that the next pope should review the marriage ban on priests. Lest we think Cardinal O’Brien is a progressive, his moderate views are confined to this particular topic. 

In Germany, Catholic bishops have announced that “Catholic hospitals can provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims, as long as the pills prevent the fertilization of an egg and do not stop the implantation of a fertilized egg”, writes The Catholic Reporter. 

4. The public weighs in on sequester cuts, with four in 10 Americans saying let the sequester happen. With barely a week to go, even one in three Democrats, says let the cuts happen, writes Pew Research.

Both parties say that the president and Congress should focus on a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the budget deficit. Only 10% of Americans agree with Republican leaders that tax increases should be off the table. Only 42% of Republicans surveyed said that deficit reduction should come from spending cuts alone. 76% believe in a combination of both spending and revenue increases, with 54% supporting “mostly spending cuts” and 30% saying equally balanced.

Take Note

Girls and Language Development

Girls may be naturally more gifted in language skills because their brains contain considerably more of the gene called FOXP2, considered essential for the production of speech. Since it was first discovered in 2001, studies have confirmed that girls learn language faster and earlier than boys, as well as maintaining a larger vocabulary.

Scientists caution that the nature vs nurture argument remains critical to the discussion. And there are other genes critical in the production of speech.

An examination of levels of FOXP2 in male and female rat brains confirmed higher levels of FOXP2 in the male brain regions linked to emotion, vocalization and cognition. Mother rats responded to male babies who called nearly twice as frequently in the less vociferous girl babies. The mother rats also carried the boy rats back to the nest first. 

Researchers reduced the FOXP2 in the male pups’ brains and increased it in the females’ with the opposite result. 

And in a study of 10 recently-deceased human children, girls exhibited 30% more FOXP2 in their brains than boys.  Researchers concluded that among both rats and humans, the gender with the most FOXP2 in its brain was the most communicative.

Are We About to Map the Entire Human Brain? Psychology Today

 

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg

Writes ‘Lean In’

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

This week Kevin Roose of New York Magazine predicted the Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will leave the company within the year AND run for political office. Roose’s comments come in response to Jodi Kantor’s New York Times article about Sandberg’s new book ‘Lean In’. Talking about her book-slash-manifesto on women in the worplace, Sandberg said that she reread Betty Friedan’s classic ‘The Feminine Mystique’, now 50 years old.

When her book is published on March 11, Sandberg hopes to orchestrate her own version of feminist consciousness-raising groups. Sandberg has developed a curriculum of how to create career success including videos on how successful women speak and even sit at work.

Ms. Sandberg will grant her first book interview to the CBS program ‘60 Minutes’. “I always thought I would run a social movement,” Ms Sandberg, 43, reflected in an interview for ‘Makers’, a new documentary on feminist history. Take a listen. 


Tuesday
Jan152013

W Magazine February 2013 Probes Women's Rights in 'Heavenly Creature' Starring Cara Delevingne by Mikael Jansson

American fashion media is notoriously apolitical, making it rare to see editorials like ‘Heavenly Creatures’ coming out of W magazine, let alone American Vogue. For once, we have a Euro style intellectual commentary on real-life issues for American women, rather than the rah-rah aspirational you, too, can be Barbie if you only try hard enough. 

Photographer Mikael Jansson’s ‘Heavenly Creatures’ images of Cara Delevingne hit head-on the conflict between female sensuality and rights to exist as a free person within the Vatican’s perceived role of women in American society. W is about three years late, but I say welcome to the debate and for heavens sake, put some skin in the game, will you please!

Congressman Paul Ryan Introduced Personhood Bill Again

Just last week, Romney vice presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan introduced again the personhood bill into the House of Representatives. This bill equates model Cara Delevingne — or any woman standing in her place in these images — with a fertilized egg.

We are the same in Congressman Ryan’s eyes — and that of the entire Republican party. The rights of that one-celled egg and those of Cara Delevingne or any grown woman with three children and a loving husband are the same. They are identical ‘Heavenly Creatures’. 

At a time when America faces total gridlock in Washington and a Republican party threatening to start a global economic collapse unless they get their way on the debt ceiling crisis — which is only an action to pay for the bills that THEY passed — the Republican party is focused on taking away birth control for American women as a top priority. 

Most forms of birth control will be eliminated if Republicans succeed in overturning a 50-year-old Supreme Court decision on Griswold v. Connecticut which said American women are entitled to birth control as a basic right. Today, Republicans seek to turn back that decision at the behest of Catholic bishops and the Vatican who argue that birth control is a sin and women will go to hell for using it.

The Vatican and other right-wing groups want a theocracy in America — a fear that was paramount in the minds of the founding fathers, who banned Catholicism in 10 of the 13 original colonies. 

Former presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister Micke Huckabee blames birth control -- which he calls abortion — as a reason for 20 innocent children dying in Newton, Conn. God is punishing America, argues Huckabee, Ryan and the entire Republican party who supports the personhood amendment. 

American Fashion Media Needs to Stand for Women

It’s time for American fashion media to take some lessons from Vogue’s in other countries, not only the edgy fashion press. American Vogue is behind Muslim country Vogue Turkey in it’s refusal to stand up for the real world of its citizens and not some glossy abstract of the perfect life. 

I’m thrilled with Edward Enninful’s styling vision and the entire ‘Heavenly Creatures’ team for taking on this topic about three years too late. Without saying a word, the images speak volumes and can’t be criticized by social conservatives.

Perhaps W agrees with the Vatican! In putting the topic out there for public consumption, Mikael Jansson strikes a neutral chord while entering the world of American women and transvaginal probes. 

I expect other controversy-avoiding fashion media to also stand for the hard-won rights of American women before we lose them all.

This attack plan is for real, people, and the assault on American women must stop. Anne

 

 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug112012

American Nuns Respond With Barbara Marx Hubbard Style Vision | Nuns Ask Romney To Spend A Day With Poor

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.

The response to Rome’s doctrinal assessment is more eastern, writes Thomas C Fox for The National Catholic Reporter. 

The statement simply absorbs the misunderstanding, pain, violence and abuse the women who gathered here find within the doctrinal assessment. Not unlike a Japanese Jujutsu move that manipulates an opponent’s force rather than confronting it with one’s own, the statement asked Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the apostolic delegate appointed by CDF to oversee LCWR, to move forward with the women in more conversation.

Reporting on the statement from our American nuns continues below.

First, a short fashion film ‘Sisterhood’ by Json Adriani, with styling by Federica Salto and featuring Masha @ 2morrow model and Malgosia @ Urban Management.

This little gem expresses this moment in history at which humanity stands. Simply stated, the world finds itself in a battle over the truth and validity of more feminine principles versus holding on to primarily patriarchal ones. Perhaps subconsciously, Json Adriani’s new short identifies the reflection and contemplation required about the future vision of America, and the type of planet we seek.

‘Sisterhood’

Mitt Romney’s announcement today that Wisconsin Rep Paul Ryan is his running mate crystallizes dramatically the coming dialogue around American values. In response to the Vatican’s condemnation, American nuns have placed themselves as leaders in the discussion about the future of our country.

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

American nuns have responded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith with a request for more dialogue and a vision of Christianity in the future. Sister Pat Farrell’s address also captures a 21st century vision of women as leaders in creating a sustainable planet.

Continuing his explanation of the nuns’ mindset, National Catholic Reporter publisher Thomas C. Fox writes:

The U.S. women religious have slowly come to imagine the hand of God in the very doctrinal assessment that has caused them so much anguish. As misrepresenting as they feel it is in describing the nature, mission and values of LCWR, the women, after much processing, are now seeing it as a kind of “trigger” moment, one that is forcing a uniquely public look at what LCWR is and what it has come to represent. The women do not see themselves operating in opposition to the hierarchy, but rather as a timely, needed pastoral complementary, feminine voice within the church.

LCWR’s president Sister Farrell’s closing address focused on the message and vision of the Second Vatican Council, a vision that is repudiated in many ways by Pope Benedict, who argues that the 2nd Vatican Council has been misinterpreted with any suggestion that it opened the door to an acceptance of homosexuality, sacraments for the divorced and re-married, women priests, or birth control.

The Vatican is using the 50th anniversary of the 2nd Vatican Council to reeducate Catholics about the real messages in a Year of Faith. Bottom line, the Catholic Church is facing major dialogue among its members in the coming year, and the nuns seek an active voice.

The LCWR board meets for two hours today with Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the head of a three-bishop team chosen by Rome to overhaul the LCWR over the next five years.

“There is an inherent existential tension between the complementary roles of hierarchy and religious (the nuns) which is not likely to change,” Farrell told the sisters. “In an ideal ecclesial world, the different roles are held in creative tension, with mutual respect and appreciation, in an environment of open dialogue, for the building up of the whole church.”

Stating the obvious, she said the Vatican’s mandate over the LCWR “suggests that we are not currently living in an ideal ecclesial world.”

The sisters say they will keep on talking with the Vatican “for as long as possible” but will reconsider if the sisters are “forced to compromise the integrity of (their) mission.

Sister Sandra M. Schneiders, professor emeritus of New Testament studies at the Jesuit School of Theology/Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Ca, told Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times: “There is definitely a desire to de-escalate the conflict, because fight is not what we’re about.” But there are also non-negotiables, she continued, including the sisters’ belief that God speaks through many people, not just through the bishops.

Paul Ryan Budget

Huff Po’s Senior Religon Editor Paul Brandeis Raushenbush has already responded to Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential pick with the same thought that went through my mind on hearing the news.

Nuns on the Bus, and the voice of American Nuns just got a big boost. It is the American nuns — far more than American bishops and priests as a group — who have challenged Ryan and the Ryan budget. I listened to Sister Simone Campbell here in Philadelphia a few weeks ago in a Nuns on the Bus stop.

Sister Simone Campbell argues that Ryan’s budget “rejects church teaching about solidarity, inequality, the choice for the poor, and the common good. That’s wrong.”

In a tearful moment between Sister Simone and myself, she fiercely pronounced: “We must get our country back.”

Catholic leaders who are more focused on social policy and the poor than the Vatican’s priority of contraception, homosexuality, no women priests and abortion have been aggressive in criticizing Paul Ryan. When scheduled to speak at Georgetown University, more than 90 faculty members including over a dozen Jesuit priests signed a letter about the Paul Ryan budget:

“Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.”

Nuns Challenge Romney

Earlier this week, Sister Simone’s social justice lobby NETWORK openly invited Republican candidate Mitt Romney to spend a day with them, learning about the needs of struggling families and low-income communities. The official press release from NETWORK said:

“Recent advertisements and statements from the campaign of Governor Romney demonize families in poverty and reflect woeful ignorance about the challenges faced by tens of millions of American families in these tough economic times,” stated Sister Simone Campbell. “We are all God’s children and equal in God’s eyes. Efforts to divide us by class or score political points at the expense of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters reveal the worst side of our country’s politics.”

As NETWORK demonstrated in their recent “Nuns on the Bus” tour, budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and endorsed by Mitt Romney will hurt struggling families throughout the nation. The Romney-Ryan budget would devastate services such as nutrition assistance, childhood education and job training that provide pathways out of poverty for millions of families.

Anne of Carversville

Cuttalossa Farm on Cuttalossa Road in Lumberville, Pa.Thinking about Sister Simone and the message of the American nuns, I discovered the delightful and artistic English tent company Field Candy. (See images bottom of page). The tent Animal Farm immediately made me think of my beloved Baby Doll sheep on Cuttaloosa Road and the memorable moment I experienced one day watching the animals came marching out of the small barn as a band of merry revelers. Looking now, I see that Cuttalossa Farm is for sale.

Next up was the tent 10,000,000 Fireflies. They, too, are deeply rooted in my imagination and private identity. A video from the cancelled FOX show ‘Fireflies’ deeply captured my imagination and always inspires me in the fight for social justice.

The second essay shares a dream I had years ago — a dream about risk, fear of failure and ascending into the light. Thinking of all the people who have stood up for the Catholic nuns — and it’s a huge number — I just have to share the always inspiring video ‘Firefly and Serenity: Defying Gravity’.

Whenever my spirit needs a boost, I go for it. Today I share the video in honor of America’s nuns.

The Merits of Going Through Life Thinking You’re a Firefly

Slowly, consciousness returned to my sleeping brain functions. “This is impossible,” I whispered in my dream, as I floated now in a state of total awe. “I’m defying the law of gravity. I should be dead, a crumpled, bloody mess of a corpse in the cactus garden.”

My shocked, dreamstate mind regained control. Awareness and a plan of action returned to my sleeping mind. I was still in charge on my skyward journey, if I faced my fears. Looking at myself from the corner of my dream, I saw tears streaming down my face.

“Look up, Anne,” a voice told me.

Carversville, Cuttalossa Road, Cuttalossa Farm and a Peaceable Kingdom

Out of nowhere, the formation appeared … a simple, bucolic scene unfolded before my eyes that I will never forget.  I don’t remember who led the parade … probably one of the dogs, but they came two by two.

Unlike Noah’s Ark,  they were not matched pairs. The dog ambled along with the rooster; one of my precious Babydolls was frolicking with a duck…

The scene polarized me for several minutes, burning a vision of hope in my mind. It sounds so trite and overly simplistic to say this, but I remember thinking to myself: “If they can get along and have such a good time together … well, why can’t we humans do the same thing?”

These animals couldn’t be more different, but they had surmounted their differences to create unimaginable delight.

J’Adore: Field Candy classic design limited edition tents. Made in England. Field Candy Limited Edition Tents: 10,000,000 Fireflies

Field Candy Limited Edition Tents ‘Animal Farm’

Firefly and Serenity: Defying Gravity