Pussy Riot Feminism and the Orthodox Church


The arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of three members of Pussy Riot have been used around the world to highlight the political repression of Putin’s Russia. But for me, the Pussy Riot incident was a sharp reminder of trouble closer to home. The sight of women protestors crossing themselves and prostrating in the traditional manner and […]

Why the Bishops’ “Religious Freedom” Argument Is a Lie


The recent Huffington Post article by Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) tells us quite a bit about the veracity of its claims that religious freedom is under attack in the United States. Sister Walsh portrays Catholic institutions as just wanting to be able to give away services as acts of charity without […]

The Bishops’ Fortnight–Whose Religious Liberty Are We Talking About?


When members of the Catholic community, armed with placards declaring “Nunsense” in response to the Vatican’s investigation of American nuns, arrived at the office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in early May, they were met with a protest larger, in a sense, than their own. The bishops had wrapped their entrance sign entirely in black […]

Rush Limbaugh Adds Catholic Nuns to “Feminazi” List

support the sisters

Who isn’t a raging “feminazi” to notorious misogynist Rush Limbaugh? During his June 13 show, the right-wing political “entertainer” griped about how Catholic nuns and the reaction engendered by the Vatican’s recent “doctrinal assessment” of their leadership conference (in other words, its attack on them)—including Nun Justice rallies, a Change.org petition and an upcoming nine-state […]

The Bible, Biology and Bigotry

The Bible, Biology and Bigotry

In 1964, when I was 13 years old, my family’s summer vacation consisted of a drive from our home in New York to the apartment my grandparents had just bought in Miami Beach.  That’s right, along with hundreds of other Northerners streaming south for Freedom Summer, my family decided that it might be a fun family event […]

Defund “Immoral Institutions?” Let’s Start with the Catholic Church


Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who has problems of his own in his former Milwaukee archdiocese, is leading a procession of lawsuits opposing a national requirement of health insurance companies to cover contraceptives.  The cardinal called it “totalitarian incursions against religious liberty.” His principle argument is that religious institutions should not “… be forced […]

Predators Are Telling Children “You Are Special.” Why Aren’t Our Communities?


The most powerful three words of a child predator are: “You are special.” When a predator tells a child she is “special,” he is using the ultimate con, filling a huge void in a vulnerable child’s life. This grooming behavior allows a criminal full access into a child’s psyche to make it easy to sexually […]

Lessons for the Catholic Church from an Unlikely Source—Penn State


During the past week, the media and the American public could not help but draw comparisons between the recent child sex abuse scandal at Penn State and the endemic sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. But there are major differences that are hard to ignore. At Penn State, the predator and those who covered […]

Occupy the Vatican?


Father Roy Bourgeois, a beloved Catholic priest who has supported women’s ordination, was briefly detained in Rome yesterday after he and about a dozen women marched on the Vatican. The marchers held a banner reading “Ordain Catholic Women” and chanted: “What do we want? Women priests! When do we want them? Now.” Bourgeois and two […]

More Priests, More Abuse


The world waits with bated breath to see if the International Criminal Court will take up a case filed by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) against the Pope and three other high-ranking Vatican officials over sexual abuse cover-ups. Meanwhile, more allegations of both priest abuse and […]