Daily Beast Suggests Feminist Nuns Speak for All Catholic Sisters In Praying for More Liberal Pope

It's no secret that the liberal media are heavily sympathetic to liberal-leaning feminist nuns who have a habit of challenging or disregarding Church teaching. But the Daily Beast seems to think that said liberal nuns speak for all women religious (and lay Catholic women for that matter) in the church.

In her February 13 story, "American Nuns Hope for Sister-Friendly New Pope," Daily Beast writer Barbie Latza Nadeau hyped as a the most divisive "scandal" of Benedict XVI's papacy " the so-called clampdown on American nuns last April." "Its no wonder, then, that sisters across America are hoping that the next pope gives them a fairer shake," Nadeau continued, hyping her "exclusive interview"  with " the head of the largest group of American nuns," Sister Florence Deacon, whom the New York Times hailed last October as the "rebel nun."


Of course, at no point in her story did Nadeau turn to any conservative, traditionalist Catholic women like say Elizabeth Scalia, a prolific blogger who is the managing editor at the Catholic portal of Patheos.com and a Benedictine oblate.

In December, reacting to a pro-women priesthood editorial by the liberal National Catholic Reporter, Scalia defended the Church's doctrine in her First Things blog post, "Is the Church Suppressing God's Will?" (emphasis mine. Emphasis with underline's Scalia's):

The editorial board of the National Catholic Reporter this week endorsed the ordination of women. Basing its position on a 1976 vote by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, on “countless conversations in parish halls, lecture halls and family gatherings,” and on the supposed support of myriad unnamed bishops, the Reporter calls “for the Catholic church to correct this unjust teaching.”

It offers a brief history of “Rome’s response to the call of the faithful to ordain women” that reads rather sourly—all intimidation, bad-faith and litmus tests. The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as keeping the good people down and—in this case—suppressing the will of the Holy Spirit.

The Reporter does not explicitly make that last charge. In fact, the editorial does not mention the Holy Spirit, or “God’s will” at all, but if we accept that God is All-Justice, then in arguing that Church teaching on this issue is “unjust” the paper is making an implicit suggestion that the Church has been working against the will of God.

To suppress the will of the Holy Spirit—to suppress the will of God—is a wicked thing. To charge the Church with doing so is to make a serious accusation of wickedness—one bound to have repercussions lasting beyond the heat of a moment. It is to label the Church as antichrist.

So the Reporter does not do it. Instead, the editorial board rests the crux of its argument on the wisdom of Roy Bourgeois, the recently laicized Maryknoll priest:

Bourgeois brings this issue to the real heart of the matter. He has said that no one can say who God can and cannot call to the priesthood, and to say that anatomy is somehow a barrier to God’s ability to call one of God’s own children forward places absurd limits on God’s power. The majority of the faithful believe this.

If “no one can say” who God can and cannot call to the priesthood, then why do we have interview, testing, and discernment processes? Why can’t we all just be priests, any time we want? If corporeal anatomy is completely unconnected to a human being’s essential nature (and this is an argument put forth by feminists and the gender-fixated, who will often pronounce it in one breath only to promote the “sacred feminine” in the next) then why did God design differences at all? By doing so, he created boundaries and barriers, which are clearly unwanted things. Why didn’t God fashion just one human type, without limits to what that type can do, in order to free humanity from the constraints of form and function which impact “God’s [own] ability to call one of God’s own children forward . . .” to do the things they really want to do, whether the Church thinks they ought to, or not?

Golly, I think the Reporter is arguing that God should stop making rocks so heavy that He can’t lift them. Or something.

The editorial board makes an oddly Protestant (dare I say it, Evangelical) argument; it rejects the authority of tradition (and the philosophical ponderings of Holy Men and Women who—we say we believe—were imbued with wisdom by the Holy Spirit) in favor of trending thought. Then it goes sola scriptura, arguing a negative by quoting the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s assessment that “Scripture alone does not exclude the ordination of women,” all of which leads to the pronounced conclusion: “unjust.” The reasoning the Reporter puts forth here, by the way, is identical to the reasoning offered by many on the issue of same-sex marriage: tradition is not authority and the New Testament does not explicitly forbid it. Secondary points are usually social: the sentiment of the times demands it; the expedience of utility demands it, and therefore the teaching of the Church is discriminatory and unjust.

Agree or disagree with Scalia, it's clear that she brings an intelligent voice to discussions on the direction of the church and the selection of a new pope, and it's a voice in favor of the Church's adherence to tradition and orthodoxy.

But, alas, the Daily Beast is not interested in a fair presentation of competing schools of thought in the Catholic Church. No, the Daily Beast, like most secular liberal outlets, is actively cheering the side that wants to make the Church conform to the world outside it, rather than stand as a transformative witness to the world around it.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters