I identify entirely with my friend and colleague Melinda Hennenberger’s excellent take on the Vatican’s crackdown on American nuns. Indeed, I also liked what one commenter on her piece had to say: “The American Bishops should be washing the feet of American nuns and sisters!” Actually, all of us who are Catholic should honor the nuns. The Church would be lost without them. I hope to have more to say on this unfortunate Vatican statement next week.
It’s especially odd that a criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for apparently placing too much emphasis on Catholic social teaching came in the same week that the Bishops offered strong criticism of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget (without mentioning Ryan by name). A letter signed by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire on behalf of his fellow prelates called on Congress to “protect essential programs that serve poor and hungry people over subsidies that assist large and relatively well-off agricultural enterprises.” He also said: “Cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment. These cuts are unjustified and wrong.”