Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't Bully Nuns!

Somebody needs to tell the Holy Father not to bully nuns. According to a recent New York Times article and according to the Vatican itself, it has become necessary to reign in a national network of nuns for their outspoken commitment to the poor, the uninsured, and the unemployed.
This is some kind of sin?
It is no wonder that so many of us are seeking God in another venue. We feel driven away from the institutional church in so many ways.
The Holy Father also invited disaffected Episcopalians to come over to Rome if they disagree with the notion that God's love extends to women and gay folk! What???
Yes, Episcopalians have opened ministry and membership to all without regard to gender or orientation. But to any reasonable person, doesn't it make sense that if we are to extend God's Grace to all races, ethnicities, classes; that it also follows that this Grace also extends itself to women as well as men, to gay folks as well as straight?
Somebody needs to remind the Holy Father that the fellow whose chair he occupies made it clear in one of his earliest sermons that "God show no partiality". The Easter reading we proclaimed in church just a few weeks ago said as much. Peter went on to say that "In every nation, anyone who does what is right is acceptable to God".
Your Holiness, please notice that Blessed Peter said "Anyone". There were no exceptions built into that statement according to orientation or to gender. And yet you will provide refuge to Episcopalians who cannot abide the idea that a priest or a bishop might be gay or straight, male or female. Peter did not make exceptions for any of the convenient pigeonholes we like to place people into. We are all one flesh, we are all one blood.
So now these wonderful faithful people who love their church and who love their Lord and who heed the Gospel on behalf of those who are poor and bereft of hope, these people you now seek to reprimand and reign in.
Frankly, I thought it a bit of a cheap shot at us when you invited disaffected Episcopalians to become Roman. There has been a trickle. But I might make bold to say that such a pastoral and theological can backfire. There may be a disaffected Roman Catholic or two who is shocked and dismayed over the whole child abuse scandal and how the church handled it. Some Roman Catholics may be divorced and find themselves excommunicated. Where are they to find refuge? Some have gay children; where are they to look for unconditional love. Many of your priests seek to love someone in a wholesome and faithful kind of way. Where can they look for a kindly welcome?
And then there are your faithful nuns who seek to tend to the poor without bulling for a harsh hierarchy. Imagine, they supported health care for uninsured Americans!
There is a new and emerging church out there based on the notion that God is Love! It is not a church organized around the notion of denomination.
It is organized around the notion that God is Love, and that Love is Unconditional.
Fr. Paul

1 comment:

Billy said...

My livelihood is now tied to the Church, as I am Maintenance Supervisor at my parish. That and my firm belief that our forebears should have fought harder to reform the church keep me where I am, trying always to remind my fellow Christians what Jesus said. I've read only 2 of your blogs so far, but both tell me I am on the right path.