Apr 252012

An article with the laughable name “Return of the Rottweiler: Pope Benedict Cracks Down on Women’s Rights” has the typical verbiage about the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning the LCWR. Interesting that women’s rights now include to be a dissenting nun/sister as if error has rights. Another example of rights without corresponding responsibilities.

The article contains the typical boilerplate.

  • Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith use to be called the  Inquisition  – Check.
  • LCWR does nothing but good works and the Vatican is just being mean for no good reason – Check.
  • Lively debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States – Check.
  • “Conservative” bishops on the attack – Check.
  • Priest-pedophilia scandal mentioned for no discernible reason – Check.
  • The Pope was once a Hitler Youth – What they forgot that one?  They are slipping.

The language of the article is as funny as the title.

  • “God’s Rottweiler”—has made a startling comeback. And he’s taking a bite out of a major organization of American Catholic women.”
  • “eliminating those that offend Catholic doctrine, and chivvying these incorrigible liberals back onto the straight and narrow.”
  •  “But the tone of purring approval is quickly replaced by the flashing of naked claws, as the Vatican takes a swipe at the organization’s attitude …”

But there is some positive balance in the article “So far Pope Benedict has not been as ferocious a pope as many liberal Catholics feared.”  Well balance meaning one sentence not being totally condemning.

Oh and one more “Check” the tag of devout used to refer to a Catholic whose devoutness does not included fidelity to the faith.

One devout woman expressed her reaction in the form of a prayer: “Please give me bigger blindfolds and larger earplugs or tell me how to belong to a group that constantly tries to discourage my participation.”

What no prayer for the conversion of the eviiilllll all-male hierarchy? Though it is hard to imagine even bigger blindfolds and earplugs when it comes to dissenting Catholics. Seems they already have that covered. But as far as participations goes, the opposite is true. The Church always wants fuller participation in the faith and the removals and anything that blocks that. Full engagement requires apprehension of the truth.

While most of the coverage is pretty awful, surprisingly NPR ran a fairly decent piece. A The Anchoress wrote:

a three-way interview on the LCWR story with Journalist John Allen, Christendom College’s Donna Bethell and Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK. All three are considerably more thoughtful and balanced on the issue than some print-media reports and Catholic analysts would suggest.

  14 Responses to ““Return of the Rottweiler: Pope Benedict Cracks Down on Women’s Rights””

  1. The sad thing is, I don’t believe it’s as simple as either side is making it out to be. The Vatican crackdown on LCWR does seem to be a very strong-arm reaction to findings from a rather brief and docile “visitation” by a few appointed sisters over a period of a couple of years, so people do rightly wonder why there was no similar crackdown on priests during the height of the abuse scandal. At the same time, singling out this women’s organization over doctrinal matters seems comparatively unimportant to the need to correct those same things — and worse — in parishes throughout the country. It smacks of hypocrisy, and that’s what people notice right now.

  2. Melonie McLaurin,

    For one the word crackdown is pure hype. The LCWR first got a warning 11 years ago and the CDF is very slow to act to ensure the rights of all parties. The CDF document is very pastoral and the implementation is not heavy handed at all. A group that requires approval from the Vatican also need to follow the same guidelines they say they adhered to in the process.

    The abuse scandal is also a different situation. You did not have abusers open about their abuse and making public statements or having conventions proclaiming abuse. The Vatican and the CDF when involved largely took appropriate action which in many cases meant laicizations of abusers. The abuse crisis was the result of negligence among individual bishops and others in a diocese, not the Vatican or CDF.

    The hypocrisy that is involved is mostly on the part of members of the LCWR who do not proclaim the faith they say they believe in. When you have conferences and speakers that talk about going beyond Jesus and have new age speakers give keynote talks – you can’t proclaim yourself fully Catholic at the same time. When you are cozy with members supporting the murder of children you can’t proclaim you are also an approved Vatican organization. They are trying to have it both ways.

  3. Melanie, I regarded this as a crackdown a bit, too, until I read the 2012 LCWR assembly keynote. I don’t claim to know everything about Catholic doctrine, but a Dominican explained the theological implications:


    I liken this to the removal of a catechism teacher from the parish in my hometown. He was a cantor, taught music, and was really a very generous and kind man. However, he believed strongly in reincarnation and taught it as an alternative purgatory, which led the parish priest to bar him from teaching catechism.

  4. “Crackdown on women’s rights?” Are they getting the Pope confused with the media caricature of Rick Santorum? How are any of the things the LCWR is trying to defend, primarily or exclusively the proper sphere of women? I’m not sure the author of this piece was trying to write a real article, but just hit a bunch of bullet points as our gracious host has already delineated.

    Ah, but at least they do lots of charitable works. Might be nice, even tolerable, if they just stuck to their story about focusing on helping the hopeless and kept their mouths shut about all the things the CDF would like them to be more vocally orthodox about.

  5. […] Return of the Rottweiler: B16 Blasts Women’s Rights – Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester […]

  6. “Ah, but at least they do lots of charitable works.” They sure do. They are just whizzes at abortion clinics.

  7. “Purring approval?” Does this writer think the Rottweiler is a cat? What an idiot.

  8. Hey Jeff,
    I read a piece recently, writen by a very high person within the Church, regarding the backlash in Antioch over the circumcision of Gentiles. Apparantly this had created a bit of a stir. The CDF/Magesterium stuck its nose in- as always- and actually had the hubris to claim that they were speaking on behalf of the Holy Spirit. Can you believe that?

  9. The Pope was once a Hitler Youth – What they forgot that one? They are slipping

    Well, it was close to his birthday. Maybe they were tossing God’s rottweiler a bone?

  10. With any stick at hand, beat the Church.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  11. This story brought memories of when I was a strong Canadian liberal supporter and one day I golfed in reality with two men and in a dream that night, these two angels appeared to me and asked me who I wanted as Prime Minister and long story short, back then I picked The Right Honourable Paul Martin. Anyway some time later and/or earlier, I watched on TV a youth ralley and our then good Canadian Liberal Leader Paul Martin was asked in so many words what he thought about a propose bill concerning leagallizing prostitution. Long story short, all I recall is that this good man had a smile on his face that said “IT” all and left because he was late for something without giving an answer. 🙂

    Victor what have ya got against the oldest profession in the world? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Canada

    Give “IT” UP cause this is The Twenty First Century and the skies are the limit and your 3% imaginary spiritual Jesus cells don’t stand a chance against our 97% cells who love pigs, I mean love eating bacon! 🙂

    I hear ya! And you point is sinner vic?

    Two and/or more wrongs has never ever make “ONE” Right! Does “IT” NOW?

    Peace be with ya

  12. Are those nuns high?

  13. “The Pope was once a Hitler Youth – What they forgot that one? They are slipping.”
    The matter-of-fact assertion that “They are slipping.” made me laugh out loud.


  14. Okay, Rilson, I guess in the public sphere today, “lots” is relative. 😉

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