The Other Catholic Church

Posted by – April 28, 2010

A nice piece on “the other Catholic Church” which is still out there, still doing cool anti-poverty work, and still taking a lot of risks:

This is the church of the Maryknoll Sisters in Central America and the Cabrini Sisters in Africa. There’s a stereotype of nuns as stodgy Victorian traditionalists. I learned otherwise while hanging on for my life in a passenger seat as an American nun with a lead foot drove her jeep over ruts and through a creek in Swaziland to visit AIDS orphans. After a number of encounters like that, I’ve come to believe that the very coolest people in the world today may be nuns.

So when you read about the scandals, remember that the Vatican is not the same as the Catholic Church. Ordinary lepers, prostitutes and slum-dwellers may never see a cardinal, but they daily encounter a truly noble Catholic Church in the form of priests, nuns and lay workers toiling to make a difference.

It’s high time for the Vatican to take inspiration from that sublime — even divine — side of the Catholic Church, from those church workers whose magnificence lies not in their vestments, but in their selflessness. They’re enough to make the Virgin Mary smile.

I know I’ve said more than once that when Catholics are cool, they’re cooler than many.

(h/t to Doug for the link)

1 Comment on The Other Catholic Church

  1. jadecath says:

    Probably every huge organization suffers the problem of entrusting the worst people with leadership while some of the best ones work heroically in obscurity. For all the spiritual talk wrapped around it, I think the church’s problem comes down to no more and no less than a bad case of pointy-haired-boss-itis. And strict gender restrictions sure don’t help with that!

    It’s pathetic when the PHB is bungling a company that’s supposed to make widgets and quarterly earnings reports; it’s searingly painful when the job being bungled is that of helping connect people with God.

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