Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sister Mary Ann Walsh's Irony Challenged Moment

So this week, the National Catholic Reporter runs an editorial reflecting on the challenges U.S. women religious face in light of the Apostolic Visitation and a doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Opines the NCR:

The social sciences have a term for the situation of women who feel compelled to be compliant with the men who are bent on demeaning and humiliating them: They call it battered wife syndrome.

If there are battered wives, there have to be wife beaters, and in this instance, the wife beaters would have to be His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI who appointed the Apostolic Visitation, Cardinal Franc Rode whose office is undertaking it and Cardinal William Levada who ordered the doctrinal assessment.

Levada’s investigation is further called a “shameful betrayal of trust,” the Apostolic Visitation described as “a setup” and “The Vatican” is accused of “hypocrisy” and “duplicity”.

In another NCR article this week viciously attacking the entire Vatican and the very Apostolic structure of the Church, Eugene Cullen Kennedy compares the Holy Father to Philippe Petain, Head of State in Vichy France.

Those two articles are only just a taste of a whole smorgasbord of attacks and snide accusations against the whole leadership and traditions of the Catholic Church that can be found this week – or any other week – at NCR.

Enter USCCB Director of Media Relations Sister Mary Ann Walsh. She is asked a question at NCR by Michael Sean Winters:

What does the Shirley Sherrod episode tell us about race and politics and the media in the age of Obama?

And Sister Mary Ann rightly thinks that Sherrod was subjected to “reckless accusations and shoot-from-the-hip responses from leaders you’d think would know better.”

Then she continues:

In recent days, new journalistic hit squads have emerged on the U.S. scene, even in the church. Where once only a few church newspapers engaged in character assassination, today these attacks seem ubiquitous.

And when she says ”where passionate self-righteousness, minus basic journalistic fairness, runs amok,” I’m loving it, cause I can see she’s getting ready to hit NCR right between the eyes. Here it comes:

Many such groups claim the word “orthodox” for themselves. They dismiss those who do not agree with them or their approach as “unorthodox.” People of a different opinion or approach are accused of setting up a “parallel magesterium.” These are serious condemnations in a church which holds fidelity to its teachings as paramount. Despite the fact that theology and canon law are matters of careful analyses, these groups bring the subtlety of a meat cleaver to church discussions.

Take that NCR!

Ummm, wait a minute?