Peggy Noonan is the Reaganite Wall Street Journal columnist specializing in musings on American values. Maureen Dowd leans decidedly more to the left, and likes to serve up her New York Times columns with a side of snark. To top it off, the Journal and the Times are in the midst of a more or less publicly-declared war. To put it plainly: the two ladies are an odd pair to find agreeing on anything. Yet agree they do on one matter: the Catholic church needs more women leaders.
Granted, Noonan doesn't quite go as far as Dowd ("Yup, we need a Nope. A nun who is pope," declared Dowd back in March). But she does think "the old Vatican needs new blood." What's more, "they need to elevate women." Why?
As a nun said to me this week, if a woman had been sitting beside a bishop transferring a priest with a history of abuse, she would have said: "Hey, wait a minute!"
Or as Maureen Dowd said last week, "no wonder that, having closed themselves off from women and everything maternal, they treated children as collateral damage, a necessary sacrifice to save face for Mother Church." She put it even more clearly in her earlier column: "The nuns have historically cleaned up the messes of priests. And this is a historic mess."
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