by Joan Chittister, OSB
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
The BBC just called, an incident that in itself may well be a measure of the larger import of the situation. It’s a strange moment in history: Suddenly everyone in the world, it seems, wants to know what is happening to the nuns and what they can do next. “Next,” of course, means what they can do now that the Vatican is back to questioning both their intelligence and their faith.
In fact, what self-respecting journalist could possibly skip the story? After thousands of years of life-giving service to the church at poverty level — building its schools, its orphanages, its hospitals, its missionary outposts, its soup kitchens, its homes for the indigent, its catechetical centers — the nuns are told the problem with their work is that it has been “tainted by radical feminism”? And that by a group of men whose chance of knowing what the term “radical feminism” even means is obviously close to zero.
So what is going on? Especially at what seems to be a moment of the great change in the church of the autocrats and monarchs to the church of the Jesus who walked among the people and loved them?
Well, for one thing, what’s going on is the same thing that’s been going on for more than 1,500 years: Nuns everywhere are working with the people, hearing their stories, attempting to meet their needs, having a presence in their lives, simply intent on being the caring face of a merciful church — their ministers in the midst of confusion. Not their dogmatizers, not their judges, only witnesses to the Gospel of unconditional love.…
2 thoughts on “REFLECTION: ‘Tainted by radical feminism’? More like ‘living the Gospel’”
The nuns are doing what others in the church are not doing. They are following gospel points.
I agree with Joan Chittister that the the upper echelons of Jesus’ Church do not behave like Jesus’ servants but like monarchs. But one thing she and other commentators seem to ignore, in my opinion, is that the LCWR does not truly represent or lead all sisters and nuns. The “Leadership” and some followers, including Network, have their own agenda that is contrary to some precious doctrines such as regards abortion of unborn babies. The LCWR should not complain or be afraid to fulfill their duty of accountability to our Church. I have yet to see anything less than profound appreciation for all the wonderful works of lay and religious women over the centuries and in modern times.
All of the previous commentators are missing the point and wasting their energy on mean and futile bickering with each other.