Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nuns Under Fire

I wrote back in April about the Vatican's sanctioned inquisition of American women religious. Today the New York Times reports on the status of the Vatican's investigations.

The article claims that Sister Sandra M. Schneiders (a member of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, MI, and professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA) urges the sisters not to cooperate with the investigation. That is not completely accurate. In a letter she wrote to her colleagues, she encouraged them to not be discouraged and to show the inquisitors into "the parlor but not give them the run of the house."

The article also refers to the Vatican's condemntation of the practice of Reiki, calling it non-Christian and nonbiblical. In 2003, the Vatican warned Catholics against practicing a variety of "New Age" habits, such as yoga and feng shui. This explains why my friend Roy, who wrote a book about Christian yoga, had his book so heavily edited by a Catholic publisher (with references to things such as "Sophia" as spirit [hich is in the bible!] removed).

I am sad for the many people I know who faithfully stick with the Roman Catholic church in spite of such condemnation and rejection. Whether one is a woman-with-a-calling, a gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered person, a divorcee, an unwed mother, a Catholic sister who works against injustice, or someone who practices yoga, it can't feel good to be condemned or considered somehow less than worthy by one's church.

My vision of the love of God is an inclusive, welcoming, and compassionate one. This witch hunt (and the complete ignoring of the priest sex abuse scandal) is a heresy and an attempt to distract faithful Catholics from the real problems in the church in this day and age.

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