Friday, April 20, 2012

Liberal nuns at the mercy of patriarchy

Antoinette Kelly,; Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: The "legs" are stools, the photo a joke (; unfortunately, the man above is not kidding about anything (

Vatican attempts to silence group of liberal thinking US nuns
First they came for the priests, then the "feminists."
The Vatican's ongoing international crackdown on liberal-minded priests has opened up a new front: nuns.

This week it was revealed that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been secretly investigating the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States.
It appears that Pope Benedict, who once led the Vatican's powerful doctrinal office, has lost none of his enthusiasm for the job. Once derisively nicknamed "God's Rottweiler" for his tendency to confront any liberalizing tendency within the church or its theology, his election has been greeted by conservatives in the church as "the end of the progressive project."

Monty Python: Did anyone say, "The Spanish Inquisition"?

On Wednesday the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Cardinal William Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco, announced that a secret investigation into the nuns group had found "serious doctrinal problems."

The Vatican claimed that members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and had promoted what they called "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."

According to a report in The New York Times the nuns were also strongly reprimanded for making statements that "disagree with or challenge the bishops... More

Are Buddhist nuns any better off?
Seven and Amber Dorrian, Wisdom Quarterly (COMMENTARY)
Women suffer everywhere, including the abbey. While it's better in some Buddhist schools than in most other religions, it is far from equal. The future of the Dharma is a return to the original equality the supremely Enlightened One established.

This Dharma would not be complete until four groups of people were established -- lay men, lay women, monks, and nuns.

Nuns exist in the Mahayana (Chinese) tradition, valiant Western women ordain in the Vajrayana (Tibetan), and progressive women have revived the oldest living tradition, Theravada (SE Asia).

The Bhikkhuni Sangha (Nuns' Order) is growing thanks to the early efforts of Ayya Khema and the modern efforts of Ayya Tathaaloka, two Western pioneers. But countless women need to be thanked.

One that comes to mind is in Thailand, Maechi Wadi, who at great personal risk insisted on gaining full ordination. The world for the past 26 centuries has not been without ten precept nuns, which are technically novices (samaneris).

Now the world has fully ordained nuns (bhikkhunis) again -- with the added benefit that they are NOT SUBJECT TO A PATRIARCHY, apart the one operating in general society. And the internal colonization. But other than that, there is is no established corporate body like the Vatican ordering Buddhist nuns around.

The eight additional rules (garudhammas) utterly subordinating nuns, now that's the question.

() Ayya Tathaaloka explains the controversy.

Can it be shown with certainty that they are later additions, as Ayya Tathaaloka has asserted and other nuns with knowledge of the nuns' texts have agreed? What will scholar-monks say in the face of the evidence?

Neither American Bhikkhu Bodhi, British Ajahn Brahm, Sri Lankan Bhante G, nor Czech Ven. Dhammadipa have yet countered the nuns' liberating assertions. And they are four of the wisest monks we know.

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