Wednesday, April 25, 2012

She’s a Witch… Burn her!!!

History has a way of repeating itself… Once again the Catholic Church is persecuting women for the heretical nature of how they practice their faith. Recent actions taken by the Holy See bring up metaphorical connotations of medieval and colonial witch hunts. The historical search for witches or evidence of witchcraft (often involving moral panic and mass hysteria) resulted in the infamous witchcraft trials, sanctioned by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Witch hunts in Europe and North America occurred between 1480 and 1750… culminating in an estimated 45,000 executions of women, accused of witchcraft.

This time around, the Vatican is sanctioning the largest organization of nuns in the US… the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The LCWR is a canonically approved membership organization which exists as a support system and corporate voice for leaders of institutes, or congregations, of women religious (Roman Catholic sisters) in the United States. This is by far the largest organization of nuns in the US, with a membership of over 45,000 women.

The Vatican has decreed that the nuns' organization “had 'radical feminist' tendencies and had not taken a strong enough stance in support of Catholic doctrine against women's ordination, ministering to homosexuals, and abortion and contraception.” The Vatican's Suspicions against the Conference date as far back as 1979 when its former leader, Sister Theresa Kane, appealed to Pope John Paul II to consider women's ordination.

In a statement, the presidency of the LCWR, which represents most of the US's 55,000 nuns, said it was ''stunned'' by the findings of the assessment, conducted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict led before his election.

The LCWR announced this afternoon that the board of the group will meet in an "atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue" in May to discuss news that the Vatican has ordered it to revise its statutes and has appointed an archbishop to oversee the revision.

The announcement comes on the website of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which was the subject of the April 18 order from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and is signed by the group's president, president-elect, and past-president.

The statement says the national board of the group will meet from May 29-June 1 to "begin its discussion" on the matter… "The board will conduct its meeting in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue and will develop a plan to involve LCWR membership in similar processes," the statement continues. "The conference plans to move slowly, not rushing to judgment. We will engage in dialogue where possible and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. We ask your prayer for us and for the Church in this critical time."

...cooler heads.

Although no one has been burned at the stake… yet… the U.S. bishops appear to have become completely identified with right wing Christian politics in recent years. Now the Vatican has joined the current "war on women" that also is dominating the presidential race on the Republican side… shades of the Spanish Inquisition. As readers of this blog (and any scholar of tekgnostic literature) knows well… “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Amongst their weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope… and nice red uniforms!