Tom Zimmerman: Nuns doing their jobs

April 26, 2013 

Nuns doing their jobs

In 2012 the hierarchy of the Catholic Church found fault with the spiritual direction of U.S. nuns and instigated an effort to reform them. Basically, the nuns were criticized for being too focused on social outreach and not enough on supporting the political agenda of U.S. bishops in their opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.

After a symbolically promising start to his papacy, it is disappointing and sad that Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of his predecessor by supporting the crackdown on the nuns (“Pope upholds reproof of U.S. nuns’ group” April 15).

A core message of Jesus was His exhortation for us to reach out to those in need. It is apparent that the nuns are demonstrating authentic religious leadership by actively living out this message of Jesus. By contrast, their all-male hierarchy are the ones who have lost their spiritual direction.

Pope Francis has a window of opportunity to reform the hierarchy and to recast the church more in the image of Jesus. If he squanders this opportunity and pursues misguided policies of the past, he will further erode the credibility of the church hierarchy and further disillusion more Catholics who are looking to him for authentic religious and moral leadership.

Tom Zimmerman, Raleigh

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