Worshiping the Idol of 'Woman's Experience'

October 2009By Anne Barbeau Gardiner

Anne Barbeau Gardiner, a Contributing Editor of the NOR, is Professor Emerita of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York. She has published on Dryden, Milton, and Swift, as well as on Catholics of the 17th century.

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the notorious full-page advertisement in the October 7, 1984, New York Times, in which nearly a hundred Catholics, including some two dozen nuns, tried to boost the presidential campaign of Democrats Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro by claiming that there is a "diversity" of lawful opinion about abortion inside the Catholic Church. When the Vatican objected, many of these nuns played a cat-and-mouse game with Rome for nearly two years. In A Just and True Love, a collection of essays published earlier this year by the University of Notre Dame, Sr. Anne Patrick, S.N.J.M., states that twenty-two of the sisters held out until they were able to "clarify" their views "in a way that both their consciences and Rome could accept." She adds that they managed to "retain community membership without backing down from their claim that signing the statement had been appropriate in view of the situation in the United States at the time."

But two nuns, Barbara Ferraro and Patricia Hussey, grew more radical as time went on and ended up resigning from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to help found new pro-abortion groups. They even wrote a book about their descent into the Culture of Death entitled No Turning Back: Two Nuns' Battle with the Vatican over Women's Right to Choose (1990). Their work reveals the grave danger that "Catholic feminism" poses today.

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Anne Barbeau Gardiner's articles are always fresh, insightful, and timely. She always strips away the nothingness that captures so many. In particular, this loathsome female self-worship displacing the Lord is particularly virulent in many nuns. How wonderful then to see young women joining traditional orders whose focus is on prayer and God. God bless them and Prof Gardiner. Posted by: tomnewoxford
October 19, 2009 01:07 PM EDT
The problem with those who live by radical feminism is that they vainly hope to find a path by the blinding light of an arrogant and sterile intellectualism rather by humility and the surrender of the heart. The former leads to a secular path with all its attendant woes and errors, the latter leads to God. It is the crisis of our age. Instead of seeing a broken and bruised Christ only in one half of humanity (women, homosexuals, the "transgendered), they might also try to see the same Christ in the helpless child in the womb rather than denying its humanity. Posted by: wiseprotector
July 19, 2012 09:50 PM EDT
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