Where Are New Nuns Coming From?
Regarding “Where Have All the Nuns Gone?” (Aug. 6-12), the news report on the new book by Kenneth Briggs, Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns (Doubleday):
I haven’t read Double Crossed. However, having read two similar works — Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America by John J. Fialka (St. Martin’s Press, 2003) and American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America’s Most Powerful Church by Charles R. Morris (Knopf, 1998) — I continue to marvel that so-called experts seem to miss the fundamental dimensions of the exciting renewal building in contemporary Catholic religious life.
At the Sisters of Mary motherhouse
And the sisters’ two primary schools are filling a very fortunate generation of children (and their parents) with unalloyed love for Our Lord that is truly awe-inspiring and most extraordinary in its implications for the future of these little souls and for our Church.
It is not at all hyperbole, when measured against the landscape of the Vatican II fallout, to characterize the rapid growth of communities like these as truly miraculous.
Perhaps Messrs. Briggs, Fiala and Morris — and those others who are not fully familiar with the lovely Christ-centered texture of these spiritual jewels within our Church — might benefit greatly from a visit to either of these “centers of holiness” and others like them.
These are not quaint throwbacks to an earlier time. Rather, they are the very future of our Church. Bishops from all over the country are avidly recruiting these women to help minister to their respective dioceses.
The powerful and deeply spiritual leadership of Pope John Paul II, encouraged along and augmented by Pope Benedict XVI and guided by the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit, is just the beginning of an irresistible sea change that will lead the Church into that “springtime” of spiritual growth that the Holy Father frequently cited before the Lord called him home.
Readers of the Register who read the page-1 report on Kenneth Briggs’ new book, Double Crossed, which looks at the exodus of nuns from religious orders since Vatican II, should be aware that Briggs’ book represents another in a long line of attacks on the Catholic faith and its doctrines.
We Catholics should be grateful to him, however, for calling our attention to this phenomenon, in that any analysis of this vast exodus of nuns also sheds some light on the exodus of many lay Catholics and the creation of so many “delicatessen Catholics” in this same period.
But those Catholics who want a soundly researched, carefully written, objective analysis of why so many nuns left their convents or orders, should get a copy of Ann Carey’s first-rate study of this development, Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities (OSV, 1997).
Legal Advocates for Life
Kenneth Briggs is a one-time religion editor of The New York Times. When has anyone who worked for that super-secular newspaper been a credible witness as to anything to do with religion — especially as to the Catholic Church?
Donkey Kick in Life’s Face
Regarding “Senate Passes Interstate Abortion Ban” (News in Brief, Aug. 6-12):
Included in this Catholic News Service brief was the fact that the Democrat leadership, after voting for this legislation, scuttled it by preventing it from being sent to a House/Senate committee for resolving minor differences with the version passed by the House of Representatives.
The legislation, known as the Child Custody Protection Act, would make it a crime to transport a minor across a state line for an abortion in order to avoid a state law requiring a parent be told of a minor’s abortion.
There is a great need for such legislation as parental-involvement laws are proven to reduce teen pregnancies, abortion and rampant teen sexual abuse. Teens need parental help in stressful situations. The Child Custody Protection Act is favored by 80% of the people.
The truly unfortunate action by the Democratic leadership indicates Democrats are anti-parent, anti-family, anti-life, pro-abortion and pro-sexual predator. They have sold out families and children to the profits of the abortion industry and sexual predators.
I don’t see how anyone can consider Democrats pro-life.
Villains and Victims
Where was the photo of the killing
of innocent civilians, including women and children, with the firing of 1,500
rockets (1,500! Mama Mia!) by
the Hezbollah terrorists who don’t even belong in
Don’t get the villains and victims mixed up, editor. Hezbollah are the criminals and the Israelis are the victims. Please keep that in mind. It’s not rocket science, just commonsense morality.
I do expect commonsense morality from a national Catholic newspaper. Or am I expecting too much from you?
Joseph N. Sabatini
Still Time to Turn Back
Regarding “Mass Translation Matters” (Letters, Aug. 6-12):
I agree that new words are needed, but, unless more is done, this will only mean another financial windfall for publishers of missals and financial hardships for small chapels and parishes.
If changes are going to be made to the Mass, let’s see about getting some reverence for the Blessed Sacrament back into the liturgy. Start with more genuflections, especially at the consecration; priests holding the thumb and finger together after the consecration; ablutions. Reduce or eliminate extraordinary ministers of Communion; instruct the people on reverence during Benediction, especially double genuflections before the exposed Sacrament; require genuflections when passing in front of the Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle.
Encourage kneeling to receive Communion. Restore the Communion rail. Make the church a place of holiness and not a place for shows and socializing.
Printed media and publishers could again capitalize pronouns that refer to the Deity.
We have gone through several generations that will need to retrained, but there are enough of those who remember what it was like to get it done.
Is Flynn Pro-Hezbollah?
I read the column by Raymond Flynn titled “Catholics Must Unite Behind the Pope for Peace” (Commentary & Opinion, Aug. 6-12).
I agree with Mr. Flynn on that point. But I expected the next sentence to say that Hezbollah must stop the indiscriminate bombing and killing of civilians. I found no such call.
Am I to understand that Mr. Flynn feels that Hezbollah is justified in killing innocent civilians? Does he not condemn Hezbollah’s actions because they have not killed as many civilians?
Am I missing something? I ask this sincerely.
The Great Commission Still Holds
I was disappointed by the recent
article on the tensions between Islam and Christianity in
I have no doubt that the priest who was interviewed is quite knowledgeable about Islam and its various forms. But I was troubled by his philosophy, as it seems to embrace diversity and toleration above truth. He states that, “If a society is without a Muslim community, then something is missing” — as if all the world religions are somehow like pieces necessary to complete a puzzle.
What his observations fail to reflect is that, as Catholics, we hold that there is one true faith and that we are called to convert, albeit non-violently, others to that faith.
Michael T. Cibenko
Jesse Jackson for Life?
In “Democrats Woo Religious” (Aug. 6-12), Reverend Al Sharpton described “abortion” and same-sex “marriage” as being “small-minded causes.”
It might be of interest for Sharpton to recall that, during the earlier days of the
abortion controversy, Rev. Jesse Jackson described legal abortion as
“genocide,” since, according to
Thomas E. Dennelly
Nothing Else Matters
I wish to commend, most highly, Jennifer Roback Morse on her essay “Defending Crisis Pregnancy Centers” (Commentary & Opinion, July 23-Aug. 5).
Jennifer was right on target and didn’t miss an issue. The only “affront” I saw was the naming of our people as “little old ladies.”
I’ve been in this movement for 36 years, so now I guess I am one of them. But we were called that 36 years ago, too — and I really was younger once.
The pro-aborts never have really had an argument. They always want things both ways.
The “life” issue is the only one upon which all others depend. Nothing else matters. It really is that simple.
Denise F. Cocciolone
National Life Center, Inc.