RedTracker | Femen Feminist Arrested At Vatican | Quiet End To American Nun Investigation | Pope Francis Rebuke
Anti-Social Vatican Behavior
1. Femen activist Iana Aleksandrovna Azhdanova is chilling out in a Vatican cell, awaiting possible trial for “disturbing the peace, obscene acts in a public place, and theft.” Her crime? Naked from the waist up in traditional Femen fashion, Azhdanova stormed the Vatican’s nativity scene and plucked the baby Jesus statue out of its crèche. The message “God Is Woman” was written on her torso.
In equally dramatic but less onerous fashion with regard to the object of female activists’ actions, three Belgian women of LilithS, the renamed Belgian branch of Femen, threw soggy french-fries and mayo at Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michele, as he commenced an address to a business conference. The women, who were not bare-breasted in Femen tradition, said they were protesting the “criminalization of the poor”.
More Femen on AOC
2. Earlier in the week Pope Francis delivered a scathing rebuke to the Roman Curia, accusing the Catholic male hierarchy of greed, jealousy, hypocrisy, cowardice, and ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’. Read Pope Francis’ entire speech here. A refined list of 15 spiritual ‘sicknesses’ identified by the address are listed on CatholicCulture.
Some media outlets described the Roman Catholic Cardinals and other members of the Vatican bureaucracy as sitting in a stupefied state of ‘shock and awe’ over the stern lecture from the reform-minded Pope Francis.
Out of the Dog House?
3. We will never know if the Vatican investigation of American nuns launched by former Pope Benedict six years ago would have reached the same conciliatory conclusion as the report presented by a panel of Roman Catholic leaders operating under Pope Francis.
Note that this generally positive and supportive report does not conclude a separate and ongoing investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group that represents about 80 percent of American nuns.
Speaking after the release of the current report, Mother M. Clare Millea, the American nun who directed the investigation, said “Sorry, folks. This is not a controversial document.” Note that some American nuns, who enjoyed an outpouring of support from their churches and communities, refused to even answer the questionnaire sent to them. The report did cite the fact that some nuns felt that bishops and priests did not solicit or welcome their input and opinions on “pastoral decisions which affect them or about which they have considerable experience and expertise.”
The report did not carry forward a critical judgement that American nuns suffered from a rising ‘secular mentality’ and ‘a certain feminist spirit’, as more than one Vatican official warned at the 2009 inception of the study.
Also: Vatican diplomatic successes with nuns, the US and Cuba National Catholic Reporter
Download entire report at Georgetown Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate
‘Get Thee To A Nunnery” No Longer Holds Holy Water
4. Hamlet’s infamous admonition to Ophelia is falling on deaf ears, based on a Pew Research article and statistical focus on Catholic nuns published in August 2014.
The number of American Catholic priests has decreased by 35% in the last five decades, leaving one in five parishes without a holy man in charge. Priests aren’t getting any younger, writes USA Today. The average age is 63.
However, the number of American nuns has fallen by 72% over the same period. The average age of American nuns is in the mid-to-late 70s, a full decade and more older than priests.
5. Salon reprinted an article from June 2014