It’s not very often that a Vatican official confirms my underlying suspicions so directly. But Cardinal Rode actually admitted that a “certain feminist spirit” among American nuns is part of the reason for his investigation.
If that’s what he’s after, we nuns could save him more than a million dollars. Of course, lots of us nuns are feminists – because the gospel calls us to that!
It was Jesus, as I recall, who broke all kinds of gender taboos in his day, treated women as equals and commissioned Mary Magdalene to preach the Resurrection to the community. It was Vatican II that said, “every type of discrimination… based on sex… is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent.” (Church in the Modern World, #29).
So, yes, I and thousands of other nuns describe ourselves proudly as “feminists,” i.e., women who believe in the social, political, and economic equality of women and men, and who believe that the gospel calls our church to respect that equality in its laws, practices and ministries.
This month, I wrote an article for MS Magazine on the Vatican Investigation, and it is titled: Bad Habits? Two surprise Vatican investigations of U.S. nuns may be attempts to root out—gasp!—feminist beliefs.
Thanks, Cardinal Rode. I did not expect such a direct confirmation, at least this soon, of the suspicions I expressed in that title.