The Deacon's Bench

This week, in her Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan looks at all the men crowding the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and says, in effect, “Enough”:

Once, leaders of the Vatican felt that silence would protect the church. But now anyone who cares about it must come to understand that only speaking, revealing, admitting and changing will save the church.

The old Vatican needs new blood.

They need to let younger generations of priests and nuns rise to positions of authority within a new church. Most especially and most immediately, they need to elevate women. As a nun said to me this week, if a woman had been sitting beside a bishop transferring a priest with a history of abuse, she would have said: “Hey, wait a minute!”

Tellingly, Noonan doesn’t flat-out say, “Ordain women.” She’s talking about “elevating” them.  She also seems unaware that the “younger generations of priests and nuns” are decidedly more tradition-minded, more orthodox, more conservative in their outlook — and less inclined, I think, to want to construct “a new church.” 

But she does raise some very good points about the role of power and secrecy in this whole sorry mess.  Read the rest and see what you think.

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