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Pope Francis ~ We’re ALL counting on you.

“Our gift to the church is to be with those who have been made poorer, with those on the margins. Questions there are much less black and white because human realities are much less black and white. That’s where we spend our days. Sister Pat Farrell

This past Sunday, July 17th, I heard Sister Pat Farrell on NPR—she is the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and vice president of the Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque Iowa. I like what she has to say about  a lot of things,  especially leaders inside institutions. She could be talking about any number of fiefdoms when she says: the hierarchy must not be insular and too far removed from the concerns of the poor. The institutions have to remember why they were “instituted” in the first place. “Our lives with people on the margins cannot happen in a vacuum.”

~ Amen to all of this, Sister. I certainly hope pressure will be put on Pope Francis to properly handle the legacy of sexual abuse within the Catholic church, ie, fire a bunch of priests and put them under the jail.

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Sister Pat Farrell; “Can you be Catholic and have a questioning mind?”

“It’s horrific. ..the sexual abuse scandal is deeply painful to us all and absolutely unacceptable. The healthiest thing is that its
all coming to light so that it can be dealt with.” — Sister Farrell on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Sister is shaking things up—in a way that is filled with grace—with some very good questions. Like so many, she has hope that Pope Francis will live up to his name.

His namesake, 13th Century Italian friar, St. Francis of Assisi,  gave up a worldly life to live in poverty.

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Terry asked the tough question: why stay in the church if you’re not treated fairly as a woman?

“I have faith that the church can respond and change…why would you stay in a country in which you disagree severely with the leadership of the president? I’m an American. I am the Church. I will continue to work for the rightful place of women in the church…easier said than done to walk away.”  —Sister Pat Farrell

What do you think? Sounds like Sister might not be an Obama supporter. I’m just saying…