Left-wing Catholic media pundits have attacked a powerful pro-life speech by the army surgeon-turned-mother superior who spoke at the Republican Party’s National Convention last night.
Massimo Faggioli, a professor of Catholic theology at Villanova University took to social media to protest the appearance of Sister Deirdre “Dede” Byrne, POSC. He posted several messages on Facebook in response to her speech where she called Americans to “stand up for life against the politically correct or fashionable of today” and described Biden-Harris as “the most anti-life presidential ticket ever” because together they support even “late-term abortion and infanticide.”
Faggioli’s first critique of the American nun, written over a video of her speech, was “Ho il voltastomaco”, i.e. “I’m sick to my stomach.”
A few hours later Faggioli added: “The Catholic Church has rules for the participation of clergy and religious in the election campaign and party politics, but obviously here in the USA now nobody cares.”
To this, he posted a page from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that clearly applies only to priests:
Priests are usually forbidden from partisan politics, including running for public office or joining unions, “unless, according to the judgement of the ecclesiastical authority, the rights of the Church and the defence of the common good require it. Even then, however, the Church deems the activity “foreign to the clerical state.”
Religious sisters, even mother superiors like Sister Dede Byrne, are not clerics. They do, however, take oaths of obedience to their religious superiors. Byrne has indeed already circumscribed her civic activities at the behest of her religious order, having retired from the military’s Medical Corps after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
In response to objections that America magazine’s editor-at-large Fr. James Martin, S.J. had spoken at the Democratic Party’s National Convention, Faggioli said that there was “there is a substantial difference between delivering a prayer to a party convention and a partisan speech like this.”
The professor was then informed by other Twitter-users that Sister Simone Campbell had appeared at the DNC on more than one occasion. At the 2012 DNC, she gave a short speech. Sister Simone, when recently asked about her organization’s stance on legal abortion, replied: “That is not our issue. That is not it. It is above my pay grade….”
The above comes from an Aug. 27 story on LifeSiteNews.