Generous Orthodoxy  




Saturday, March 20, 2010

All is not lost for the Roman Catholics

The front pages have been filled, the last few days, with fresh news of the horrors of childen sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and--far worse--the systematic cover-up that invariably seems to follow.

It is therefore a cause for thanksgiving that The New York Times has seen fit to print two very favorable and encouraging articles about Roman Catholics. The first is called "Giving Up, but Also Taking On, for Lent." It's about a business executive who is doing volunteer work this Lent at a nonprofit employment agency. The article is full of Christian testimony:

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In volunteering four hours a week at a nonprofit employment service called Jubilee Jobs, Mr. Hisle aspired to more than doing good; he aspired, in the spirit of the season, to approach an understanding of Jesus’ mission and sacrifice.
“I’m hoping that somehow or other by helping with a résumé, treating him with respect, showing him we care, that even though he’s had a hard life, maybe things can get better,” Mr. Hisle said after the appointment. “In doing this work, I try to see what we call in our church, ‘Christ in our midst.’ Meaning I believe that God is with us. And that no matter what we do, God loves us.”
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The article about Mr. Hisle is well worth reading from beginning to end. Click here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/us/20religion.html?ref=todayspaper

The news in the other article is probably available in many other sources besides the Times, because it is about some nuns who are supporting Obama's health care plan in spite of their opposition to abortion. However, the Times article includes some good quotes. You gotta love these nuns. Here are some tidbits:

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“It is an utter mystery to me” how religious groups that oppose abortion could read the same bill so differently, said Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization that supports the bill. Sister Simone, who described herself as anti-abortion, said she did not believe that the Senate version of the bill would make abortion more widely available. She did not directly criticize the [Roman Catholic] bishops, but said “some people could be motivated by a political loyalty that’s outside of caring for the people who live at the margins of health care in society.”

....Mr. Stupak [Congressman from Michigan] hit back at the nuns on Thursday, saying they did not have much influence. “With all due respect to the nuns, when I deal or am working on right-to-life issues, we don’t call the nuns,” he said on the MSNBC program “Hardball.”

The divide between the nuns and the bishops reflects a larger one nationwide among those who both oppose abortion and believe that the nation’s health care system must be overhauled.
“When I read the Gospel, where is Jesus? He’s healing the lepers,” Sister Simone said. “It’s because of his Gospel mandate to do likewise that we stand up for health care reform.”

As for Mr. Stupak, he is in a fair bit of trouble with nuns for his remarks.

“We have a number of nuns in his district, and they’ve been calling him,” said Sister Regina McKillip, a Dominican nun who lives in Washington. “Who’s been on the ground, in the field? Who knows the struggles people have to deal with? It’s the sisters.”

Here is the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/health/policy/20abortion.html?ref=todayspaper