Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Catholic Free Press and Eco-Feminist Sister Kathy Sherman, CSJ

Donna Steichen, the author of Ungodly Rage, explains the identifying characteristics of Eco-feminism.  She writes, "Religion is the heart of the Catholic school curriculum. But in today's Catholic schools, it may not be the Catholic religion. Feminist spirituality-the religion of WomenChurch-is pushing Catholicism out of the heart of the parochial curriculum in many places. Its identifying characteristics are the gradual displacement of traditional Catholic doctrine, culture and practices with a subtle but relentless infusion of feminist theology, steady but stealthy movement toward the worship of a female deity in feminist rituals, inappropriate if not obsessive focus on sex education, and fanatic environmentalism..."  (See here).

Writing in this week's edition of the dissent-friendly diocesan newspaper The Catholic Free Press [Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts], Mary Donovan, a member of the Worcester Commission for Women, an organization which promotes New Age relativism with the blessing of the diocese, promotes yet another speaker who will be appearing at the Commission for Women's "Gather Us In" conference to be held this November.  Writing about Kathy Sherman, CSJ, she says, "She has a strong commitment to earth issues, to saving and healing planet Earth.  She works to help others understand that the universe is an interconnected whole that is sacred and in need of our protection..." (See here).

Actually, Sister Sherman does more than that.  She promotes the Eco-feminism described by Donna Steichen above.  And, as this article explains, "Eco-feminism is basically the same as the earth-centered and feminist centered belief of Wicca (witchcraft).  Note how Mary Donovan capitalizes the word "earth" even though it comes at the end of the sentence.  For the Eco-feminist, the Wiccan, worships the earth.  Eco-feminism embraces not only a fanatic environmentalism but relativism.  As Pope Benedict XVI has warned, "There is..a consciously antirationalist response to the experience that 'everything is relative,' a complex reality that is lumped together under the title of New Age. The way out of the dilemma of relativism is now sought, not in a new encounter of the 'I' with the 'Thou' or the 'We,' but in overcoming subjective consciousness, in a re-entry into the dance of the cosmos through ecstasy. As in the case of Gnosis in the ancient world, this way believes itself to be fully in tune with all the teachings and the claims of science, making use of scientific knowledge of every kind (biology, psychology, sociology, physics). At the same time, however, it offers against this background a a completely antirationalist pattern of religion, a modern 'mysticism': the absolute is, not something to be believed in, but something to be experienced. God is not a person distinct from the world; rather, he is the spiritual energy that is at work throughout the universe. Religion means bringing my self into tune with the cosmic whole, the transcending of all divisions...Objectifying reason, New Age thinking tells us, closes our way to the mystery of reality; existing as the self shuts us out from the fullness of cosmic reality; it destroys the harmony of the whole and is the real reason for our being unredeemed. Redemption lies in breaking down the limits of the self, in plunging into the fullness of life and all that is living, in going back home to the universe....The gods are returning. They have become more credible than God. Aboriginal rites must be renewed in which the self is initiated into the mysteries of the universe and freed from its own self. There are many reasons for the renewal of pre-Christian religions and cults that is being widely undertaken today. If there is no truth shared by everyone, a truth that is valid simply because it is true, then Christianity is merely a foreign import, a form of spiritual imperialism, which needs to be shaken off just as much as political imperialism. If what takes place in the sacraments is not the encounter with the one living God of all men, then they are empty rituals that mean nothing and give us nothing and, at best, allow us to sense the numinous element that is actively present in all religions. It then seems to make better sense to seek after what was originally our own than to permit alien and antiquated things to be imposed on us. But above all, if the 'rational intoxication' of the Christian mystery cannot make us intoxicated with God, then we just have to conjure up the real, concrete intoxication of effective ecstasies, the passionate power of which catches us up and turns us, at least for a moment, into gods..." (Truth and Tolerance, pp. 126-128).

Related reading here.


ShrewsburyCatholic said...

Catholic Citizens has an excellent article on women religious agitating for women's ordination. Sister Sherman, herself an advocate of women's ordination, is quoted as having said that, "If women in the Catholic Church ever boycotted for a couple of weeks, the church would be in trouble."


This is the kind of fringe element that is very much welcome in this diocese. We have a Bishop who, it would appear, is entirely sympathetic to the radical feminist demand for women's ordination as well as the radical new age spirituality which so often accompanies these fringe types. This should be reported to Rome.

Michael Cole said...

Sherman is associated with FutureChurch:

FutureChurch is a radicalized feminist organization which dissents from the Church's teaching that only a baptized male may be ordained (CCC, 1577) and argues for women's ordination:

Bishop McManus is allowing dissident religious to appear as Keynote speakers and Guest speakers at a conference which is being held in his diocese. He should be investigated by the competent ecclesiastical authorities.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Dissent from received Catholic teaching is the result of selfishness. As Pope Benedict XVI explained back in 2009: "Conflict and lack of reconciliation in the world stem from the fact that we are locked into our own interests and opinions, into our own little private world. Selfishness, both individual and collective, makes us prisoners of our interests and our desires that stand against the truth and separate us from one another. Awake, the Gospel tells us. Step outside, so as to enter the great communal truth, the communion of the one God. To awake, then, means to develop a receptivity for God: for the silent promptings with which he chooses to guide us; for the many indications of his presence..." (Christmas homily 2009).

Dale said...

Eco-Feminism is defined by Rosemary Radford Reuther: "What is Ecofeminism? Ecofeminism represents the union of the radical
ecology movement, or what has been called 'deep ecology', and feminism.

The word 'ecology' emerges from the biological science of natural
environmental systems. It examines how these natural communities function to sustain a healthy web of life and how they become disrupted, causing death to the plant and animal life. Human intervention is obviously one of
the main causes of such disruption. Thus ecology emerged as a combined socio-economic and biological study in the late sixties to examine how
human use of nature is causing pollution of soil, air and water, and destruction of the natural systems of plants and animals, threatening the base of life on which the human community itself dep ends.1 Deep ecology takes this study of social ecology another step. It examines the symbolic,
psychological and ethical patterns of destructive relations of humans with nature and how to replace this with a life-affirming culture. Feminism also is a complex movement with many layers. It can be defined only as a
movement within the liberal democratic societies for the full inclusion of women in political rights and economic access to employment. It can be
defined more radically in a socialist and liberation tradition as a transformation of the patriarchal socio-economic system, in which male domination of women is the foundation of all socio-economic hierarchies."

Eco-Feminists view the Church as "misogynistic" and "oppressive of women." Apparently Bishop McManus is open to such ideas because he has personally approved speakers like Sister Sherman and Elizabeth Dreyer to speak in his diocese.

The Church founded by Jesus is seen by Eco-Feminists as "evil" or "sinful" because it is viewed as subjecting women to male tyranny.

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