Sister Florence Deacon and Sister Pat Farrell

The leaders of the nation’s largest group of nuns sidestepped a confrontation with the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, announcing Friday that they would “dialogue” with the archbishop appointed by the Vatican to take over their group, but not “compromise the integrity” of their mission.

Pat Farrell, the departing president of the nuns’ group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said at a news conference that the members of her organization wanted to be “recognized as equal in the church,” to have their style of religious life “respected and affirmed,” and to help create a climate in which everyone in the church can talk about “issues that are very complicated.”

“Their expectation is that open and honest dialogue may lead not only to increasing understanding between the church leadership and women religious,” the nuns said in a statement, “but also to creating more possibilities for the laity, and particularly for women, to have a voice in the church.”

…Cardinal William J. Levada, an American who until June was in charge of the church’s doctrinal office, called the nuns’ approach a “dialogue of the deaf…”

The decision to seek a dialogue came after more than 900 nuns spent four days doing what they call “listening to the Holy Spirit” inside a hotel ballroom. They represent about 80 percent of the 57,000 Catholic nuns in the United States. They were responding to an edict issued in April by Cardinal Levada’s office, which ordered three American bishops to rewrite the Leadership Conference’s statutes, evaluate its programs and publications, and revise its liturgies and rituals…

The standoff between the Vatican and the nuns has become a proxy for the struggle between the church’s right and left flanks. As the nuns were reminded this week, many Catholics who want to see their church reformed are looking to the nuns to be their voice.

Like the American politics these nuns reflect, the confrontation is between reactionaries whose ideology resides in a mythical world somewhere in the distant past when the population as a whole and women in particular obeyed a small group of self-centered men.

  1. orchidcup says:

    Thus sayeth the Lord God:


    3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

    3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

    1 Corinthians 14:34-36
    Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    1 Timothy 2:11-15
    Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.


    4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them.

    Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.

    • orchidcup says:

      The decision is unanimous.

      The consensus among all three monotheistic religions is the same:

      The women shall zip their lips and submit to the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

      Allah thinks they should be scourged. Not a bad idea when you think about it. Scourging has always been an effective deterrent to dissent.

      • kerpow says:

        Sounds like rules written by a bunch of men to me.

      • Of course, the outspoken nuns are just the tip of the iceberg in the phenomenon of modern-day boldness among Christian women. If a cherry-picker like Michele Bachmann would spend less time reading her favorite scriptures and more time reading the entire Bible, she would know that her proper place is in the home (possibly as punishment to her husband) and not out in public expressing her inferior opinions on issues of the day and making laws for men to follow. If Bachmann really loved the Lord, she would eagerly be more obedient and submissive as ordained in the Holy Scriptures.

        On the other hand, the blessed Holy Scriptures might just be a large steaming pile of crap, as I have observed on many occasions.

        • orchidcup says:

          Book of Mormon

          9:26 And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.

          2 Nephi 13:12

          And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.

          2 Nephi 13:16-24

          Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet –

          Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.

          In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon; The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers; The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings; The rings, and nose jewels; The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins; The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.

          And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty.

  2. The Pirate says:

    Thus sayeth the Pirate:
    God isn’t a misogynist, the ignorant men attempting to speak for Him are. God’s true being is only revealed through science, religions are for ignorant people who cannot handle reality or charlatans desiring a societal control device.

  3. JimD, Boston, MA says:

    The Vatican “Dialog” with mere underlings ??? More like the
    “Religious” want the Nuns to SUCK THEIR WET WILLIES !!!


    • orchidcup says:

      Book of Mormon 9:30-33

      Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.

      Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

      And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.

      And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.


      • Perhaps when Romney heals the American economy, misguided Christians who previously rejected Joseph Smith’s claim as God’s legitimate prophet will finally see the error of their ways and repent, converting to Mormonism instead. The healing of the economy will be known as the “Romney Miracle” and it will take its places alongside the “Miracle of the Gulls” in Mormon lore.

        Or not. Gullibility (no pun intended) is hard to predict.