Friday Fish

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Caught in the net this week:

Nuns on The Bus in the USA. Read a great post on it here.
Phyllis Zagano from NCR on internal division in the Catholic church asks Can We All Get Along ? from here

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), formerly known as the Inquisition, has issued a "notification" against Sr. Margaret Farley's book, Just Love. It is intriguing how the book's back cover recommendations comments here are at odds with the CDF view.

An article from Religion Dispatches well worth a read from here

and A great article on this from here with supportive statements.

From Commonweal magazine’s Grant Gallicho, who posted the following message on Twitter
“The Vatican-condemned book by Sr. Margaret Farley has reached 138 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Up from 147,982 just a few hours ago.”
According to another one of his tweets, the book eventually reached the No.21 position !!

In a blog post on the dotCommonweal blog, Michael Peppard, a professor of early Christianity, offers a good chronology of the investigation of Sister Farley’s work and also a critique of the Vatican’s comments on it.  His conclusion:
“If even the Pope — whose every word and move is watched globally — is permitted to step out of his office and write as a spiritual seeker and theologian, what about a woman religious with a Ph.D. and forty years’ experience in the classroom? The Pope draws from contemporary philosophical currents (historical criticism derived from an Enlightenment consciousness) and contemporary experience (of anti-Semitism and its horrific effects) in the course of his presentation of Jesus. Just as with the Pope’s books on Jesus, attentive readers of Sr. Farley’s book on ethics know that she clearly states when she is speaking her own opinion about the principles of just relationships. It’s hard to imagine how Catholic readers would be in danger of mistaking her assessments for those of the Catechism.
And after over forty years as a professor at a prominent seminary, Sr. Farley knows that she is not giving the faithful questions that they don’t already have.  The faithful know what the Catechism says, and if we don’t, it’s easy to find out.  But the faithful also have close, personal experiences with faithful Christians who, for example: divorced a spouse because the relationship was unjust and causing grave harm; or lived in a relationship of vastly unequal power and wanted to end it but couldn’t; or were raised from childhood to be men or women of stalwart faith and morality by their faithful parents, who happened to be of the same sex. Sr. Farley’s book results from years of study and witness to the questions raised by men and women who tried to live their Christian lives with faithfulness and righteousness.”
On America magazine’s In All Things blog, Fr. James Martin, SJ, writes the following praise of Sister Farley in his most recent post:

“Margaret Farley is an immensely well respected theologian and scholar, and is a revered mentor for many Catholic theologians.  It would be difficult to overstate her influence in the field of sexual ethics, or the esteem in which she is held by her colleagues.  With this stinging critique, the Vatican has again signaled its concern about theologians writing about sexual morality. This Notification will certainly sadden Sister Margaret’s many colleagues, her generations of students, and those many Catholics who have profited by her decades of reflection on the faith.  It will also, inevitably, raise strong emotions among those who already feel buffeted by the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of Catholic sisters in the US, and its intervention into the LCWR.”

Eugene Cullen Kennedy from NCR compares the way the Vatican have dealt with SSPX and  the US Nuns here and finds certain deficiencies. 
He says: "So the men of SSPX who still reject a general council of the church and have switched sides of the bargaining table with the pope will let him know whether his latest proposal to create a niche of their own in the church is acceptable or not. The women religious who have given their lives to implement the pastoral vision of Vatican II are told, in effect, to shape up or ship out."

On LGBT issues this article discusses a new documentary film depicting a Jesuit priest's struggle for LGBT rights.

"Taking a Chance on God," by Irish-born filmmaker Brendan Fay who the article says "reminds us that not only is this struggle relatively new in church history, but the momentum behind the movement began with one courageous priest and his groundbreaking book."
Filmmaker Brendan Fay and John McNeill 
Filmmaker Brendan Fay and John McNeill

 The film offers a portrait of John McNeill, the Jesuit priest who was silenced in 1977 for his book The Church and the Homosexual and, nine years later, was expelled from his order for refusing to stay silent in his ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics. 

The film had its New York City premiere last weekend as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the New York chapter of Dignity USA, a community McNeill helped found. The film includes a number of insightful interviews from fellow priest activist Dan McCarthy, theologian Mary Hunt, openly gay priest Bernard Lynch, gay rights activist Ginny Appuzzo, and the late activist Jesuit Fr. Robert Carter."

Human rights is very much on the agenda this week and this article on the expulsion of Jesuit priest Fr. Paolo dall'Oglio from Syria is a sober reminder of how easy it is for us to take for granted our own liberty to speak out against injustice. Another article here

Fr Paolo dall'Oglio source

Interesting to see that Godzdogz Blog are planning to do a new summer series of postings on Women in The Old Testament.

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