By Mary DeTurris Poust
Kathryn Jean Lopez gets it right on NRO Online in her column "Sister Maureen Gets It Wrong," when she takes New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to task for portraying women religious in this country as unhappy, unsatisfied and under the thumb of Rome in a way that suggests constant oppression and submission. Writing of religious sisters who blog (even cloistered ones) and who are happily answering God's call, Lopez reminds us that "there are a lot of happy women behind convent walls. They have answered a Heavenly call. Their submission is not to any man, in Rome or anywhere else, but to the will of the Creator. It’s otherworldly, so it doesn’t fit as well on op-ed pages."
I write for several communities of women religious and on more than one occasion I have been asked to focus a fund-raising appeal on obedience. That's right: obedience. Not usually a money maker in the independent-minded U.S. of A. Yet obedience is at the heart of a religious calling. Obedience to a superior, yes. But more than that. Obedience to The Superior. In writing the appeals, I have learned a lot about the freedom that comes from true obedience to God. It's not a style-cramping, spirit-squelching thing. Rather it is a soul-expanding obedience that comes from being freed from the world's rules by obeying God's rules. But, as Lopez points out, that doesn't make a good newspaper headline.
"A Dominican sister in Chicago was recently pictured in the Chicago Tribune standing outside an abortion clinic, where she volunteers as an escort for women who enter to obtain abortions. She belongs to a group of sisters who advocate legal abortion. In case you are confused: This is not Catholic.
"The Catholic Church hasn’t been isolated from the chaos that the sexual revolution wrought. It warned, but that didn’t keep it immune. Yet now, after decades of spirited dissent and too much shameful sin in the headlines, if you look around, what you’ll see is countercultural faith. There’s a rebirth: A 'new evangelization' is what they’re calling it in Rome.
“'Religious community is the visible manifestation of the communion which is the foundation of the Church,' the once Cardinal Ratzinger has written. When some of those communities are so blatantly representing values inimical to the Church, intervention is called for."
Read her full column HERE.