First of all, have you ever met a Nashville Dominican?
I have. They used to shop a religious goods store I managed. They are probably the coolest bunch of young women consecrated to Christ I have ever met. They exude joy and love for Christ - and enthusiasm for the Gospel - they are 'normal' and 'with it' young women. Nothing phony about them. They are well educated teachers - did I mention enthusiastic - as well as kind, friendly, loving, caring, and so on?
These women are not at all like the stereotypical mean old nuns who taught me in school. Not. At. All.
I never met Sister Jane Dominic Laurel*, but I just read that she is under fire from what may be just a 'clique' of students who resented a speech she gave at their school, presenting Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality. The students and their parents appear to have launched a letter writing campaign, and or petition protesting Sr. Jane Dominic's remarks. I don't know enough about the story to really comment, but my bets are the audience over-reacted. I also believe it is a pretty good sign of what I've been saying all along - though chanceries and bishops reject such "ministries" - New Ways Ministry and other organizations such as Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities have influenced progressive Catholic educators and education, and the results are showing up in situations like this one. Of course, pop-cultural influences play just as serious a role - its influence not lost on teachers as well as students and their parents.
Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican nun based in Nashville, Tenn., addressed a student assembly on March 21. Days later, some students launched an online petition that called her comments “offensive and unnecessarily derogatory.”
A record of the comments was not available. But students attending told their parents she criticized gays and lesbians and made inflammatory remarks about single and divorced parents.
The Rev. Tim Reid, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, sent an email lauding the nun, saying “she represented well the Catholic positions on marriage, sex, same-sex attraction and proper gender roles … The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.”
The division over Laurel’s speech is a reflection of the culture wars being waged within Catholicism and in society at large. Conservatives point to the denomination’s traditional teachings against homosexual behavior and divorce. - Charlotte ObserverObviously the kids are not okay.
*Sister's speaking engagement may be linked to Sisters on the Road, a program sponsored by from Aquinas College, Nashville.