US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Weekly Roundup: Spinster Nuns, Dirty Hands, and Dennis Rodman

By Kira Dault | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

This week in the news:

Nuns made yet another showing, as Cardinal João Braz de Aviz who oversees religious life for Vatican came forward, saying that not included in Vatican crackdown on women religious. The Vatican refuted the claims, issuing a statement that all of its congregations collaborate. Then Pope Francis, in remarks to the sisters gathered at the Vatican, told them not to be spinsters. (See Elizabeth Lefebvre's comments on the pontiff's remarks here.)

Speaking of nuns and fights, Sister Meghan Rice, an 83-year old Sister of the Holy Child Jesus was put on trial for breaking into a nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where she and two other protesters painted slogans and splattered human blood. The Sister Rice and the two other protesters were convicted of sabatoging the nuclear facility as well as damaging federal property. Sister Rice has no regrets, commenting that the facility is "manufacturing that which can only cause death." The sabatoge conviction could carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

On Tuesday, Delaware became the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. During debate on Tuesday, State Senator Karen Peterson came out on the floor, becoming the first openly lesbian senator in the state.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Dolan of New York had some cleaning up to do when a group of protesters gathered outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The group showed up with ashes rubbed on their hands in protest of Cardinal Dolan's remarks that compared homosexuals to people with "dirty hands." The protesters were denied entrance to the cathedral, and a spokesperson for Cardinal Dolan told them that the police would be called and they would be charged with criminal tresspassing if they did not wash their hands.

The fallout from the Newark, New Jersey scandal involving Archbishop John Myers continued this week, and the criticism keeps on rolling in. Then, Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, who is the president and CEO of St. Luke's Treatment Center, (where many clerics have been treated for adiction, sexual problems and other emotional problems) resigned on Monday, amid allegations of an improper adult relationship as well as potentially criminal financial transactions.

In Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation that would give students the same interest rate on their loans that big banks get on theirs. This would help out a few priests in the U.S., 26% of whom carry educational debt according to a recent survey.

After some extended controversy and six days in a funeral home basement, Boston Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was quietly buried. Before the burial on Thursday, the family had been turned away from multiple cemetaries. (Thomas Lynch reminded us why we bury even criminals and terrorists—because the burial of the dead “is sort of Humanity 101.” Here’s his interview on NPR.  And here is U.S. Catholic’s interview with Lynch from 2002.)

Kenneth Bae, a Christian U.S. national who was arrested in North Korea and sentenced at the end of April to 15 years of labor remains imprisoned. There may be hope for Bae, however, as former NBA star and U.S. diplomat to North Korea Dennis Rodman, took to the Twittersphere on Tuesday, asking Kim Jung Un to "do me a solid" and release Bae. 

So please, do me a solid, and have a good weekend!