Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nuns, medals, Mars


The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is meeting today in Washington D.C. to formulate their response to the Vatican's decision to appointment an Archbishop to oversee and vet their activities and statements. (For background on this, see previous posts here and here.) LCWR will probably release a statement on Friday, and I'm intensely curious about it. This could be a make-or-break moment for the Catholic Church in the US.

For a taste of how the nuns might respond, read this paragraph from a recent interview with Sister Pat Farrell, President of LCWR, with Terry Gross on NPR. Gross asks Farrell how she feels about the things the Congregation for the Doctrine on the Faith (the lovely people who brought us the Inquisition, back in the day) have said about LCWR, and Farrell says:

Deeply saddened and angered, and I think that's just offensive. And I think it reflects a serious misunderstanding and misinterpretation of who we are. And I think it reflects the impoverishment of the church that has not held the leadership and the voice of women in a place of equal prominence. I think that's what we're seeing reflected there. And to call that concern radical feminism I think just reflects the fear of women in the church and the fear of what could happen if women were really listened to and taken seriously.
Do read the whole transcript. I don't think LCWR are going to take this control of their organisation by bishops quietly. And I don't think they'll be alone. The Franciscan friars of the US have declared their support.


I'm feeling happily patriotic when I contemplate the Olympic medal table (especially as two Yorkshire lads from my neck of the woods just increased the haul). At some other time I'll go into what that means, and why, but today I just want to watch lovely bodies doing extreme things while British people shout their throats raw. Great, uncomplicated stuff.


And finally, Curiosity has landed on Mars. It cost several billion dollars. It used a daring landing technique. It's a one-ton mobile lab on another planet. I feel as though I should be more excited about this but while I'm perfectly happy that it's landed successfully, I just can't beat myself into a froth about it. After all, it's the seventh probe sent to Mars. I do hope it finds something nifty, but I'd be more breathless if it was Leigh Brackett's Mars they were landing on.
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