Women have caused Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley a pain. Lisa Wangsness reports:
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, said Wednesday that he is worried and saddened that the controversy over the Vatican’s rebuke of a US nuns’ group may have fostered a perception the church is inhospitable to women.
“It’s a great concern. The last thing the church needs is more controversies.”
…O’Malley said he was not concerned that the sisters had spent too much time on social justice work at the expense of other efforts, but said he agrees with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that there is little room for discussion or debate on the church’s fundamental beliefs.
“To simply contradict them or dismiss them, and to embrace the values of the secular culture over what the church has taught for 2,000 years, is not acceptable,” he said.
“I feel terrible that these difficulties between the [Leadership Conference] and the Holy See have come across as being any kind of indictment of women religious in this country,” he said. “That’s not true. I think we have nothing but affection for them.”
And, he said, it is unfair to link any of the recent clashes between the church hierarchy and individual women or women’s groups: The Vatican’s rebuke of the Leadership Conference; the condemnation of a sexual ethics book written by Sister Margaret Farley, a retired Yale Divinity School theologian; or the US bishops’ decision to investigate the Girl Scouts of America.
“Obviously, when people are trying to portray the church as being antiwomen – it’s very disturbing and hurtful.”
Starting a “doctrinal investigation” of the non-Catholic Girl Scouts for supporting birth control and allowing a transgender girl into a chapter? Conducting another “doctrinal investigation” of Catholic nuns for not mentioning the evils of contraception and lesbianism often enough? Installing a male leader of the nuns’ order to give them new rules to live by? Not letting women become leaders of the Catholic Church? How could anyone think that means the Catholic Church is inhospitable to women?
No, no. You disturb and hurt Sean O’Malley to point out Catholic actions to subordinate women. You are insubordinate, and how disturbingly hurtful that is. These activities only indicate that a group of old men in robes has “nothing but affection” for the women under their charge. Pat, pat, pat. Let us pray.