Friday, July 01, 2005

What's that!?

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No, Holiness, it's not a talking bat!

It's Sr. Joan Chittister, who was "interviewed" recently in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I say "interviewed," because it is the common practice (or at least as I have been taught at the Scripps School) to ask searching, probing, and even challenging questions when one is conducting an actual interview.

Here are some prize bits:

Best known for her belief that the Roman Catholic Church should be open to women's ordination, Chittister wrote:

"There is no doubt that women need to tell their stories. But at the same time, there comes a time when you are too tired of trying to be heard in a place like the church where no one wants to hear you. Then, you walk out of it, past it, beyond it. And often, invisibly. They think you're still there, but your heart is long gone and your spirit is free. I know."

Hmmmm. I wonder what that is supposed to mean. "Your heart is long gone and your spirit is free"? Gasp! Is Sr. Chittister admitting that she's no longer a Catholic?

Oh, no, no. Neeeever.

None of which means that Chittister plans to formally leave the church or to violate its rules against ordaining women.

As she repeats the answer she has often given, "I have always broached the question; I have never breached the discipline."

:: Slow burn :: We could also say, "I have no plans to violate the rules against adultery. I have always broached the question; I have never breached the discipline of staying faithful to one spouse. So, see, it's all okay!" At the end of the day, there isn't much of a substantive difference between broaching and violating.
But like it or not, as the Roman Catholic Church struggles to find enough clergy to serve its parishioners, the issue of women's ordination, not to mention married priests, won't go away.

Neither will her uncomfortable questions.

"I have simply argued for years that if a woman is not half a person, if she is really a full person ---- if her baptism is really as authentic as anyone else's baptism, and her call to discipleship is as deep as anyone else's, then don't we have to discuss the theological implications of this as a church?

The answers to alllll of Sister's questions can be found in Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which can be read in its entirety here.

If you are so moved, you can read the entire "interview," with Sister at the Post-Gazette site. Don't complain to me about the photo that accompanies the article. I believe I've mentioned before that infidelity is ugly ;) Oooo, low blow! And yet I can't resist.

Thanks to the Angry Twins for the link to the article.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me the irony that the newspaper series in which Sister appears is called "The Thinkers." The Thinkers? More like, the Navel-Grazers?

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