Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Frank Cocozzelli on Why Hierarchy Fears Nuns: Lived Faith as Opposed to Mouthed Faith

And on the nuns and their bus tour protesting the Ryan budget (and challenging us to see the faces of the least among us): don't miss Frank Cocozzelli's powerful statement right now at Talk to Action (with a cross-posting to Open Tabernacle).  Frank asks why the hierarchy fears the nuns.  

His answer: "It's simply because the good Sisters have the ability to redirect the Church to a place where conservative men do not want to go."

Frank notes that Chris Hedges once observed that "faith is how we treat each other," and he points out, 

Perhaps no other group of Catholics embodies Hedges' definition of faith than the various orders of Catholic nuns. The women's orders and individual nuns perform a wide range of services; from teaching in parochial schools; to providing health care; to making great contributions in theology.  It has often been nuns who reported their suspicions of priestly pedophilia and forced transparency in how these matters were handled.

And in a period marked by brutal reaction at the top levels of the Catholic church, it's that lived witness--it's the definition of faith according to how we treat each other and not what is decreed from the mouths of hierarchs--that frightens church leaders.  Hence the attempt to whip the nuns into shape, to shame them publicly, to stigmatize them and set the watchdogs of "orthodoxy" on them.

Frank's conclusion: 

These brave sisters should be a rallying cry for every one of my co-religionists who are tired of the bullying, the lack of transparency on issues such as hiding pedophile priests and the absurd notion that the Church is to be a co-belligerent with Protestant evangelical theocrats in a culture war in order to advance the economic agenda of the Republican Party.  In short, the nuns' fight is our fight. Let's lend them a hand.

I very much agree.

The graphic: supporters of the Nuns on the Bus tour greeting the tour in Des Moines, from Washington Post.

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