With interest, I have been following the ongoing battle between the ‘Catholic Nuns and Vatican.” In brief, the Vatican is essentially stating the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is promoting a “new kind of theology that is not in accordance with the faith of the church.” As such, approximately four years ago, the Vatican began an in-depth assessment of the LCWR, in essence reviewing the whether the nuns were acting in accordance with the teachings of the church.
Off the bat, my first reaction is ‘Jesus Christ! A four-year assessment? Holy s**t!” Oops sorry Lord. Forgive me. Man, that’s like suffering through a week-long colonoscopy. With current reports of human trafficking, financial swindling by CEOs and banking establishments, continuing sexual misconduct of the clergy, an endless worldwide recession and poverty, one would figure such an investment of time would have been better spent.
As such, the Vatican claimed the LCWR undermined Roman Catholic teachings on homosexuality and birth control and promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” It also reprimanded the nuns for hosting speakers who “often contradict or ignore” church teachings and for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”
According to Sister Pat Farrell, the President of the Leadership Conference, “… the mandate is more critical of positions we haven’t taken than those we have taken.”
Being an excommunicated Catholic from the church I loved, I believe there is a significant variance between tradition and the current world. I love tradition. I honor and respect tradition! Yet I recognize the world today is wholly different from that of Christ’s.
There is a need for genuine dialogue where none exists. The church’s climate seems to cling to the past. As Buddhist, the problems facing us here today must be addressed and the faith of our past will not address the needs of those Christ commanded us to assist.
Need an example? Ok! While I personally believe faith can move mountains, 35.5 million Americans are underfed each night. Thus, it may be wise to remember an old Buddhist quote:
“If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.”
Our past cannot be our current life. We cannot relive the past. And my recommendation to the Vatican is simple: Publicly engaging in this battle is pathetic. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses. The only real winners are those who achieve illumination of the inner self.
Dudes, take a look around.