Since when have journalists been so concerned about internal doctrinal matters in the Catholic Church? Why are journalists suddenly fretting about the status of nuns in America?
It has been no secret that many Catholic women religious (nuns) in recent years have been in open dissent of a number of gender-related components of Church teaching, such those regarding the all-male priesthood, celibacy requirements, and, in some cases, abortion.
Because of this open dissent, the Vatican has finally taken efforts to review and monitor the leadership of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). These efforts simply seek to align the conference – a Church-recognized body – with the teachings of the Church and with Church law.
Now it seems that the Vatican's actions have journalists worked up all over the country.
The Boston Globe's 'Pope Joan'
The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi rarely misses an opportunity to plaster the Catholic Church. In her latest diatribe, Vennochi accuses Pope Benedict of acting "swiftly" to "crack down" on nuns but dragging his feet in efforts to protect children.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth. The Church's efforts in recent years to create safe environments for youth are unprecedented among comparable institutions that deal with youth.
Can Vennochi say the same about the efforts at Boston Public Schools? Just a few months ago, when a school principal apparently broke the law and failed to report the suspected abuse of a special needs student by a teacher's aide, the district merely leveled a two-week suspension on the principal and allowed her back to work. This episode has not seemed to bother Vennochi, however.
Just like Vennochi, the Los Angeles Times's angry Steve Lopez rarely misses an opportunity to take swipes at the Church.
Lopez’s bleary-eyed piece follows the predictable theme of "Bad-Catholic-Church-pounds-on-innocent-nuns-who-help-the-poor-but-have-'ignored'-child-abuse."
But Lopez also allows his interview subjects to mislead his readers. Lopez quotes a Sister Simone Campbell, who claims that the Vatican's measures are "payback" against some nuns who supported President Obama's healthcare legislation.
In truth, as the Catholic League has correctly pointed out, the decision by the Vatican to assess the LCWR was announced in April 2008, when George W. Bush was President. Meanwhile, U.S. legislators did not introduce President Obama's healthcare initiatives until September 2009.
But why let the facts get in the way of a good anti-Catholic hit piece?