Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fired nuns speak out

3 older nuns were replaced as campus ministers by younger "peer ministers" while a 73 year old nun at one campus was kept in place. The 3 fired nuns are claiming age and gender discrimation. What is really going on is part of a larger story within this diocese and the Church in general. The job shifting really doesn't have to do with age and gender so much as orthodoxy and tradition. The Diocese is trying to reach the young college age students and keep their faith alive. The nuns, from interviews in the past, seem to be concerned with interfaith services, social justice and counseling. The Catholic teachings and traditions did not have a special place of value at least from I have read. The Diocese seems to want to focus on the type of ministries that have worked throughout the country, with a focus on Church traditions, sacraments and teachings. Although I am very sympathetic to anyone who loses their job, the 3 nuns will not be in danger of being homeless, as their orders are able to support them and they will find work. Although I am very interested in seeing this Diocese overcome its horrible past under Bishop McGann, I would hate to see the Church treat people as corporate America treats people. So, although this sounds like a good move on the part of Fr. Barr, I had hoped the nuns were treated fairly. One fact that I have not seen before confirms that the Church has been more than fair:

"Moreover, Dolan said, the bishop, who met with the sisters in September, offered to rescind their terminations, keep them on the diocesan payroll and the diocese would find them a job -- but not in campus ministries."

"It's really not rescinding if you're not offering us a position within campus ministries," Riordan said. "This is the job we wanted to do and we didn't want to take away other people's jobs in the diocese."

This sounds just like Bishop Murphy - he would rescind their terminations, keep paying them and find them other jobs. What could be more Christian than that? That is certainly not treating these nuns like "dirt" as one of the nuns claimed. It sounds like the Bishop bent over backward to help the nuns out, but they just couldn't take being replaced. I could understand the feelings involved, but ultimately this is going to help keep campus ministry in line with the New Evangelization.

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