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The Deacon's Bench

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has evidently been sharpening her stiletto, to take another stab at the Church, but the point is really pretty dull. In every sense.

There is so much wrong with her latest column, I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll let you all take a look and have at it.

A snip:

dowd-ts-190.jpg(Pro-life Rep. Bart) Stupak got in hot holy water when he told Fox News, “When I’m drafting right-to-life language, I don’t call up nuns.” He followed that with more scorn for sisters, telling Chris Matthews that the nuns were not influential because they rarely try to influence — which makes no sense — and because “they’re not the recognized spokesperson for the Catholic Church.” He listens to the bishops, he said, and antiabortion groups.

We might have to bang Bart’s head into a blackboard a few times before he realizes that in a moral tug-of-war between the sisters and the bishops, you have to go with the gals.

The nuns are giving the Democrats cover. As Bob Casey, an abortion opponent who helped negotiate the abortion language in the Senate bill, observed, quoting Scripture: “They care for ‘the least, the last and the lost.’ And they know health care.”

On Friday, Tim Ryan, an antiabortion Democrat from Ohio, took to the House floor to say he had been influenced by the nuns to vote for the bill.

“You say this is pro-abortion,” he said to Republicans, and yet “you have 59,000 Catholic nuns from across the country endorsing this bill, 600 Catholic hospitals, 1,400 Catholic nursing homes endorsing this bill.”

For decades, the nuns did the bidding of the priests, cleaned up their messes, and watched as their male superiors let a perverted stain spread over the entire church, a stain that has now even reached the Holy See. It seemed that the nuns were strangely silent, either because they suspected but had no proof — the “Doubt” syndrome — or because they had no one to tell but male bosses protecting one another in that repugnant and hypocritical old-boys’ network.

Their goodness was rewarded with a stunning slap from the über-conservative Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican is conducting two inquisitions into the “quality of life” of American nuns, trying to knock any independence or modernity out of them.

The witch hunt has sparked the nuns to have a voice at last. Vulnerable children were not protected by the male hierarchy of the church, which treated sexual abuse as a failure of character rather than a crime. The men were so arrogant it never occurred to them that they should be accountable to the secular world. In their warped thinking, it was better to let children suffer than to call the authorities, embarrass the church and risk diminished power.

Now the bishops think that it’s better to deprive poor people of good health care than to let the church look like it’s going soft on abortion.

Read the rest at the link.

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