Outrage over Vatican request for $1.1 million to fund sisters investigation

by Thomas C. Fox

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The comments section on our news articles is always lively, and, frankly, often contentious. Deep divisions of opinion quickly come to life. So it is rare, and says something pretty dramatic, when virtually all the comments sing in a common chorus. Such seems to be the case in the comment section of the article I posted yesterday.

We’ve known for some time the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of U.S. women religious has not gone down well in many parts of the church here in the states. With the revelation yesterday of the call by Cardinal Franc Rodé to have the U.S. bishops fund the investigation -- meaning, of course, that U.S. Catholics are being called to cough up, a new round of anger has erupted. Now the process, in addition to the substance, of the effort is receiving new and wider scurtiny.

Readers are raising all sorts of new questions: Like how can Rome possibly begin a major investigation without first securing funding? And why should U.S. Catholics be called to pay for it if they were never consulted about the study to begin with? Many readers are wanting to know if their bishops are sending their money to Rome for this cause.

I suggest if you have not checked out the news article's comments section, go there. The outrage if palpable.

A sample of comments:

Submitted by Sue Rakoczy:
Any US bishop who agrees is collaborating in the social sin of the oppression of women. But of course they will agree and will continue to oppress women in the church. The hierarchy is as corrupt now as it was at the time of the Reformation. At the first session of the Council of Trent Cardinal Pole of England told the bishops that all of them should be sitting in sackcloth and ashes because they were responsible for the rupture in the Western Church.

Submitted by M. Stumpf:
You helped me make an important decision: My money is going to support the community to which I once belonged who cared for the poor, instructed the ignorant, among them probably some bishops who did not learn their lessons!
Any bishop who contributes deserves to have his flock send their monies elsewhere

Submitted by Mary O'd:
This is more than we can really take. We know many bishops will send their parish's money to this severly misguided man. Here we are helpless and angry---again and again and again. These are certainly not the times to test us like this.

Submitted by Kate W:
They've got to be kidding. No way are the faithful going to be OK with their donations being used for this.

Submitted by Scott Sella:
We should all send messages honoring the wonderful work of the sisters in our country and those in our lives to the congregation along with NO MONEY!

Submitted by Anonymous:
Let's see if I have this right... After the scandal of the pediphyles, and after the Church handles it by naming this the "Year of the Priest", the Vatican wants the Catholic people to pay for a ludicrous, unnecessary investigation to see if our faithful, hard=working religious women are being "faithful to Rome"? Seems like the group that should be investigated is being honored and the group that should be honored are taking the heat.

Submitted by Aileen:
For those wishing to write a letter, FAX or email, in support and solidarity with our women religious (MINUS inquisition money), the following information is from the Vatican Website:
Franc Cardinal Rodé - Prefect
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
00120 Vatican City State, Europe
FAX +39. 06. 69884526
E-mail: civcsva.pref@ccscrlife.va (Prefect)
civcsva.segr@ccscrlife.va (Secretary)
vati059@ccscrlife.va (information)

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