Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thank you, Sister!

The Associated Press reported today that the “Pope [is] Investigating US Catholic Sisters For Not Holding Vatican Line On Homosexuality.”

Read It Here
"If you wish to wage war successfully or to lead a people successfully through a difficult period of its history you must have no doubts whatever on one point—namely, any individual who in such times tries, either actively or passively, to exclude himself from the activities of the community, must be destroyed."

-Adolf Hitler
7 June 1942

"You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society."

Vaclav Havel
1936-, Czech Playwright, President

It seems to me that the truth does not need to be “imposed.” It is rather like a cowlick that pops up regardless of how hard one attempts to suppress it. We should not fear an open discussion of ideas; such an open and honest discussion will reveal both the merits of various arguments that are presented as well as the truth itself. Recourse to fear, intimidation, and reprisals are unworthy of those who act in the name of God. Such tactics serve neither God nor the truth. They breed not love and understanding but hatred and suspicion.

Countless people in America have received an education because of the selfless dedication and personal sacrifices of religious women. They taught us a dedication to the pursuit of the truth and to speak with the courage of our convictions. They are still doing so today by living what they teach.


FranIAm said...

*copious weeping*

What are they thinking? Your quotations are priceless.

Despite the image of the mean nun that prevails in our culture, many of us are well aware of the powerful passion, commitment and beauty of womens' religious communities.

Mother Angelica aside, many women religious have really struck out on a path of intelligent, honest and committed Catholicism often seen lacking in diocesan structures and the hierarchy of the Vatican.

I think of the long line of women who have given their life for others... Some names spring immediately to mind, Dorothy Stang, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel...

I think of women like Joan Chittister, Macrina Wiederkehr, the recently deceased Jose Hobday.

I wish I had time to link to each one of them and to so many more.

Welcome to Salem on the Tiber, that is my fear.

However, in this Easter season, I must turn to another way and focus on what comes to life. They can try to kill us all but it just won't work.

Kevin said...

Another great post. I had a dear cousin who was an IHM nun. She and I were very close. When I came out to her, I asked what would Jesus say about me being gay. Her response was this: "Okay, fine, but what are you doing for the poor, for your neighbor? Get out of here and stop dwelling on such insignicant things!" After the chatacism came out, my mother asked her if they should get it for us kids? Her response, "they should burn it! It's a slap against women and its dragging us backwards, not forwards!" She was a great lady and I'm so grateful that God put her into my life. Cheers Fr. geoff!

Bill said...

Compelling quotations, including yours.

Thanks for your work.

Марко Фризия said...

Does the Vatican want nuns to get pitchforks, torches, and form gangs to implement a roving inquisition? Pope Benedict is such an intelligent man, warm, and very compassionate. I've seen him speak at a few papal audiences and I actually like him and respect him. But as a human being, he seems as though the topic of homosexuality sets off an intense emotional trigger in his mind that makes him behave in ways that come across as irrational and even cruel (and in the Church he is not alone in this regard). And this all gets amplified and very hurtful because of his position as a church leader. I guess we all have our trigger points, weirdness, and vulnerabilities (For example, I have my own trigger points when it comes to Republicans). I hope that sanity, reason, and compassion prevail when the women's communities deal with their official visitors from the Vatican. I am a male. But when I was a very little boy, I told my parents that I wanted to be a nun! I was drawn to the love, kindness, and intelligent gentleness of the women religious I knew. And, of course, I had the idea from seeing Sally Field on TV that sisters could fly... I just finished reading Sister Elizabeth Johnson's "She Who Is." I wish some of the folks in the Vatican would prayerfully study this text. Prayers for you and much love to you Father Geoff. I think about you a lot and hope all is well with you.

Grandmère Mimi said...

What you say about the RC sisters is quite true, Geoff. They taught me for 12 years. They were, for the most part, kind and intelligent women of great faith and integrity.

My prayers are with them as they meet the questioners from the Vatican.