Journalists Tout Dissident Nuns and Rehash Decades-Old Scandals To Bash Catholic Church Again

Joan Vennochi and Steve Lopez

The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi and the Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez

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.

Loopy Lopez

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?


  1. Jansen says:

    Same old same old with these two.  Probably fallen away, and thus angry, ex-Catholics.

    • Jane Yavis says:

      As a Catholic for 65 years may I tell you Jansen,,,It's my Curch and I'm staying.   No one  has done more harm to the Catholic Church in America than those who have  hi -jacked our church for political purposes.   Take the time to read the posts of a Bully who uses the church for his own political and personal purposes,,,,,,,,Bill Donohue of the Catholic league (Who does not speak for or reprersent the chruch at all) has been on a ten day "Vagina War" with Jon Stewart,,,,,,,and will probably interrupt that only lone enough to praise the Bishop of Worcester, Mass. for dis-inviting a Kennedy to speak at a local College.  
      No loger able to go after a Dead Man,,,he goes after his widow,,,,who has not taken a public stance on anythig — while remaining silent when Santorum supported and endorsed Pro CHOICE Specter over Pro LIFE Toomey in the Pa Primaries.
      Then take another look at the reason the Catholic Church in America (hi-jackied by an anti-catholic by nature poltical party) has lost it's moral authority.

  2. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Regardless of the viewpoint, perspective or interest of the journalists involved, the most important element here is that the Vatican and its male-dominated Church hierarchy throughout the world has simply failed to include the various religious sister orders and their leadership in the growth and leadership of the Catholic Church, particularly since the close of the second Vatican Council.

    • Desdemona says:

      Hey, since when are nuns descendants of the apostles & required to be admitted in "leadership" roles?  I was taught that the apostles passed down the truths Christ taught to their successors and the successors were not women.  They were men, hence the "male-dominated Church hierarchy."  The Church will not change the priesthood or the hierarchy simply because people think it should be co-ed.  The Church is not, thank God, a democracy.  Live with it or leave it.  Go become an Anglican – that's working out so well in Great Britain, isn't it? 

    • Jansen says:

      The nuns have excluded themselves by not abiding by the rules that they had frreely agreed to abide by. Vatican two is long ago.  The liberals have destroyed the church enough already by deeply miscontruing Vatican two.

  3. Doc Kimble says:

    The Obama administration is unfairly punishing a priest, Father Frank Pavone, who is always speaking against the abuses of government against human rights, no matter who is in office. Father Pavone heads Priests for Life. He was critical of government in the Terri Schaivo case, and he was on scene with Terri as much as he could be, during her starvation execution by judicial fiat. On the night Obama was elected Fr Frank warned America of how bad a choice had been made in Mr Obama

    Currently, Father Pavone is restricted by his Bishop to a convent, because the IRS is harrassing Priests for Life, having changed the goalposts on non-profit requirements that then caught his small charity wrong-footed, which is what I expect the administration was going for….a trap of Christian chatities that negatively report on government affairs..

    When a faithful priest is harrassed by the governmaent, the meadia is silent. When dissident nuns are disciplined by the pope, it's all over the news.  I call BIAS.

  4. David Lorenz says:

    I'd call it even if every bishop were put on 2 weeks leave for not reporting suspected child abuse … 2 weeks for every count of failure. BTW, wew would need to open the secure files that each bishop keeps to ensure that we count every failure to report.
    I dare you to post this comment … you won't

  5. JeannieGuzman says:

    What irks me the most about the Vatican's latest stunt in going after the nuns is that the Vatican knew how deeply Priest Pedophilia was embedded in the Church, for DECADES, and yet instead of rooting out this unspeakably criminal sin, the Vatican did everything in Her power to enable bishops, archbishops and cardinals to cover these crimes up and intimidate those who were abused, molested, raped or sodomized. (Why not call it like it is?  Right?)  From the very top of the Vatican a directive called, "Crimen Sollicitationis" was delivered to every bishop on the planet.  In it they were told how to silence and intimidate Survivors and their families under the context of any investigation being a "Papal Secret,"  punishable by excommunication IF the contents of the inquiry were leaked or discussed outside of the inquiry.  Google Crimen Sollicitationis, and then ask yourself, "What could the nuns have ever done which would compare to something like this Vatican Blueprint for Coverups!

  6. jim robertson says:

    You have to be kidding? Why wouldn't the press make an issue of the abuse of women? Why wouldn't the press make an issue of the endemic child rape by the clergy and their enablers? The world in which the Catholic church is never crticized is no more. You lost that "privlige" when the kids were touched and the women were attacked. Your Holy church is on U.S. lists for money laundering. Embezelment and other crimes are reported regularly. The question is, Why are you still defending this mumbo jumbo contraption in the first place?

  7. john son of john says:

    thanks for speaking the truth

  8. Jansen says:

    Lopez is a famous anti-Catholic bigot.   What do you expect?

    • Jane Yavis says:

      If it's a bigot you want to expose -  is Name is William Donohe from the Catholic League – who uses the Catholic Church to make his own very troubling personal Statements.    His posts are a cross between a cry for help with personal issues and a Political Anti-Obama Rant.
      Ther is no greater proof of Anti-catholicism in the Media than to have him as anythying representative of the Catholic Church.
      And because the media is scared to death they will be called anti-christian by this bully,,,,,the back down every time.

  9. BTW, strictly speaking, nuns are cloistered, and religious women who are not cloistered are sisters. But that aside, the Vatican is not persecuting women religious. The Vatican is investigating the fact that many so-called Catholic religious orders are filled with women who hate the Catholic Church and work from within it to try to bring it down.  It is not persecution to say that if you want to work under the auspices of the Catholic Church, you must believe in and promote true doctrine.


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