Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dissident nuns deny charges of heresy, step-up cat sacrifices

'This Vatican censure may be beyond the power of eye of newt',
said Sr. Simone Campbell, in dismay. 

(Dissociated Press) Dissident nun Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, asserted recently in a Washington Post op-ed that she was "hurt" by the reaffirmation of the Vatican censure of the Leadership Conference of Women religious (LCWR) by Pope Francis.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed the 2012 censure of LCWR and NETWORK as undermining the Catholic faith.

The dissident nun complained about being excluded from the corridors of power:

[Actual quote] "From my vantage point (excluded from the halls of power and never consulted before being named as a problem by CDF) it appears to me that these actions continue to be about both church and U.S. politics. Women religious are a soccer ball between competing church departments. None of this is really about faith. The Vatican officials continue to say that they like our work when we do direct service, but they do not like our politics when they do not align with some U.S. bishops’ hard right views."
The U.S. Bishops' recent controversial "hard right views" include advocating world peace, nuclear disarmament, reduction of military spending, protection of the environment, the preferential option for the poor, aid programs for the underprivileged, advocacy for immigrants, support for poor families and protection of innocent human life.

Sr. Campbell, a Benedictine nun vowed to chastity, poverty and obedience, insisted that "admission to the corridors of power" is central to the Gospel message.

'The acquisition of personal power is what Christian life is all about. It's what the Lord taught us' intoned Sr. Campbell, holding up her tattered copy of Dreams of My Father.

Sr. Campbell and the nuns on the executive committee of LCWR also rejected Vatican findings that the organization's activities were politically motivated. 'We have served the poor for so many years, and that gives us the right to say anything we want." Sr. Campbell said. 'We may not be allowed to let our left hand know the good works our right hand is doing, but we can sure let the news media know what it's doing.'

Sr. Campbell offered her explanation for the Vatican censure:
[Actual quote]"The censure of our organization NETWORK is rooted in the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March of 2010 and the fact that I wrote a letter signed by 59 leaders of women religious congregations. This letter is credited by President Obama as being a tipping point in the passage of the bill. The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops opposed the bill because their staff claimed that there was federal funding for abortion in it."
The dissident nun expressed consternation as to why the Vatican would censure nuns who slavishly toe the line of a political party devoted to the contraception mandate, the KKK-derived doctrine of separation of church and state invoked for a century and a half by anti-Catholic bigots, gay marriage, eugenics, infanticide and abortion on demand.

'I mean, all of these positions are straight out of Scripture' Sr. Campbell said, brandishing her copy of the Democratic Party Platform.

Sr. Campbell also rejected the Vatican findings that some of the LCWR activities bordered on heresy. 'This has caused us great heartache, and has even shaken our faith' she said. 'We prayed for days that the Holy Male Patriarch would would see things our way. We even increased our cat sacrifices and sprinkled eye of newt and immolated bat on our goat-head pentagram. '

'That usually works" she said, in dismay.


  1. 'The dissident nun complained about being excluded from the corridors of power'.

    No she didn't. She just noted that she wasn't privy to the reasons why the Vatican CDF had renewed its criticism of her organisation, because she's not part of the Vatican nor in its hierarchy of authority.

    She also notes that Pope Francis (not 'Frances' as was given twice in the Washington Post article) had been in office for just a month, and probably hadn't had time to give consideration to her organisation's dispute with the American bishops. Which was solely about Obamacare, nothing more.

    I know you don't like Obamacare (as an Australian, I think it was bizarre replacing a broken ramshackle healthcare system with something that's only just slightly less broken and ramshackle - America should have adopted something similar to Australia's system which manages to cover the entire population for just over half the cost). But I'm amused that you criticise one of your coreligionists, unfairly, and also in your usual humourless manner.

    1. She just noted that she wasn't privy to the reasons why the Vatican CDF had renewed its criticism of her organisation, because she's not part of the Vatican nor in its hierarchy of authority.

      Not being in the Vatican or its hierarchy of authority is simply a rephrasing of "excluded from the corridors of power."

      She's complaining that she was rebuked from above. Sorry, happens where I work too. That doesn't means that they let me sit on the board of directors so I can have a say in my rebuking.

      She was certainly privy to the Vatican's reasons why the CDF has renewed their criticisms--because they took a position that was opposed to the Church. There's no mystery there. I know that she and you may not like that reason but let's not pretend that she's being kept in the dark as to what the reason is.


    2. Ben,

      No. Egnor, in his usual not very funny spoof had the implication that the nun wanted to have a share of the power and authority of the Vatican. And had her disagreeing with the tenets of the Catholic Church in many more areas than Obamacare - which isn't actually a tenet of the church, just the American bishops.

      If the Vatican ever tried to interfere in the Australian healthcare system, Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the shit would really hit the fan with the public protests.

      In Australia, taxpayers' money pays for elective abortions, which are legal up to about 20 weeks gestation. It's uncertain how many elective abortions are performed per year, it may be around 70,000 - but it's uncertain because the Medicare item number also covers D & C.s for incomplete spontaneous abortions.

      Taxpayers' money also subsidises the cost of oral contraceptives once a certain number of scripts are filled in a year (a woman prescribed just OCs alone pays the full cost).

      It's slightly similar to the situation in America where people who might have a religious objection to abortion or birth control could consider to have some of their money being spent on these items. Similar to the way I had no say in my tax money being spent on Australia's involvement in the illegal and ill advised invasion of Iraq in 2003. Which subsequently made 200 Australians a target by Islamic terrorists in Bali.

    3. You really are all over the place, Bachfiend. I have no idea what you're talking about. I do know however that the reasons for the nuns' rebuke has never been a secret.

      I'm also having a difficult time discerning which parts of this post are humorous parody and which parts are based on the reality of what happened.


    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMay 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      backfire, not to put too fine a point on it, you are blazingly, gloriously, ludicrously ignorant of the facts. I'm surprised a former professional could be such a knuckle-dragging gullitard.

      The American Catholic Bishops have no beef against "Obamacare" as you claim. The issue the Bishops (and the leadership with other denominations) have raised is the regulatory structure forcing Church-owned and operated charities and hospitals to violate Church doctrine by mandating free provision of abortifacients:

      The beginnings of this confrontation lay in an obscure provision of Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which stated that all insurers will be required to provide “preventive health services.” When the law was passed, “preventive” was not defined but left to be determined at a later date.

      This past August, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally got around to explaining the administration’s interpretation of the phrase. Based on a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine, the administration would define “preventive health services” to include contraceptives, morning-after pills, and female sterilization. And they would interpret the “all insurers” section to include religious organizations, whatever their beliefs.

      -- J. Last (2012)

      The use of abortifacients and elective sterilization is most assuredly a doctrinal issue among Catholics and other denominations, you blazing moron. And people in this country, at one time, had a Constitution that protected their innate human right to free exercise of their religion. That is why private companies like Hobby Lobby (privately held, Protestant), Houston Baptist University, and Wheaton College (interdenominational), have been joined by over 70 other organizations in lawsuits filed all over the United States.

      Finally, in fact and contrary to ideas you may have picked up on the invisible gorilla grapevine, if most of the Bishops were asked about the law in general, I suspect most of them support it to some degree if not wholeheartedly.

    5. Apparently the Iraq War is what made Australians a target in Bali. I wonder if Bachfiend would fault taxpayer funded abortions, or abortion generally, for abortion clinic bombings. We musn't make the terrorists angry.


    6. I was under the impression that the US Council of Catholic Bishops was strongly in favor of Obamacare until it actually passed and--as Nancy Pelosi once said--we got to see what was in it. The bill allows lots of leeway to the HHS secretary (Sebelius, currently) to make policy. It's scary in that sense. She can now make decisions that affect the lives of millions of people without first going through the legislative process.

      The contraceptive mandate was not explicitly listed in the bill because, if it had been, it wouldn't have passed. They pretended that forcing people to buy contraceptives for their employees was never their intention so that they could score a legislative victory then unveil their true plans. "Liberals" always score their biggest victories through the back door.

      The bishops opposed the contraceptive mandate, not Obamacare.


    7. The issue the Bishops (and the leadership with other denominations) have raised is the regulatory structure forcing Church-owned and operated charities and hospitals to violate Church doctrine by mandating free provision of abortifacients:

      A fight that the bishops lost a long time ago when State programs made such regulations mandatory. At this point, the bishops are just engaging in political posturing.

    8. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMay 2, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      Well, maybe you're right and it is just posturing. If so, they should take a lesson from the Posturer-In-Chief, President "Red-Line" Lackwit, CINC of the Benghazi Choom Gang. A real Profile in Courage. :-)

    9. Ben,

      You're having difficulty in discerning which part of this post is humorous parody because none of it is humorous. Including the last part which has the slander that the nun engages in witchcraft to get her way.

      Anyway, I stand by my statement. The disagreement is just about Obamacare. I realize that the disagreement is about insurance companies being required to fund birth control measures, the money in some cases coming from religious bodies, so indirectly people and organizations with a moral objection to birth control are having some of their money used to fund it.

      Little different to what happens in Australia with the provision of abortion services and oral contraceptives. Except that the funding comes from the taxpayer not insurance companies. And religious organizations are exempt from paying tax (but not their employees) so the funding is even more indirect.


      If birth control is such a doctrinal issue amongst Catholics, then why do so many Catholics prevail themselves of oral contraceptives, sterilization and even elective abortions? I'm certain if you look you will be able to find a YouTube video discussing the attitude of American Catholics, not bishops, to these issues. Failing that, there may be some reputable surveys available.


      Could you rewrite your comment? It's more unintelligible than usual.

      You're just arguing for individual rights to be abolished in favour of those of the more powerful.

    10. Damn! The last sentence was addressed to Georgie of the plastic bathtub navy.

    11. Joey,

      Yes agreed, the Bali terrorists were directly to blame for their murder of 200+ Australians. But John Howard's decision to take part in an illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 on the basis of nonexistent WMDs was contrary to the opinion of a very large minority (if not majority) of the Australian population - as shown by the very large public anti-war rallies.

      My point was that, as a taxpayer, we are often asked to pay for government expenditure we disapprove of. Such as an illegal war for fraudulent reasons. Or birth control and abortions for some taxpayers. It's not possible to 'pick and choose'. You can't pick one expenditure as being allowable and then refuse to pay your share of tax for expenditure you regard as wrong.

  2. "'The acquisition of personal power is what Christian life is all about. It's what the Lord taught us' intoned Sr. Campbell, holding up her tattered copy of Dreams of My Father."

    This sums up Egnor The One-Trick Pony. Liberals bad, conservatives good. Ho hum.


  3. Apparently there are right ways to slander Catholics, and wrong ways to slander Catholics. How is it that Egnor always get’s it right, and I always get it wrong?


  4. Is the key slicing out a group pf Catholics? Am I too general? Is pedophile priest too encompassing?


    1. KW,

      Egnor believes it's justifiable to slander Catholics who disagree with him on some point. I wonder what he'd write if the American bishops' hard right agenda of 'protection of the environment' included mitigation of anthrogenic global warming, as is current Vatican policy. As shown by Pope Bendeikt XVI giving a speech in 2011 praying for global agreement on measures to prevent dangerous AGW at the Durban meeting - noting that it's the poor in poor countries who will bear most of the bad effects despite not being the cause of them. And the rich in rich countries will be relatively unscathed, despite being mostly the cause.