We must make room for all the lenses in our church

Looking over Catholic news lately, I find much that is confusing and, alas, much cause for lament. First, there is the reality of Catholic teachers being required to sign expanded six-page contracts that are essentially loyalty oaths as conditions for employment. Then there is the threatened censure of the respected Asian theologian Jesuit Fr. Michael Amaladoss by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Amaladoss is an expert in interreligious dialogue and Christology who, according to colleague Peter Phan, "has made an enormous and lasting contribution to the elaboration of a genuinely Asian theology."

Close to my own heart is the doctrinal congregation's recent harsh criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for, among other things, having the audacity to decide on its own to honor a deeply loved and internationally respected theologian, St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, with its Outstanding Leadership Award. Come on, guys. Do you really need to tell the sisters to whom they can and cannot give awards? It's not like the women aren't competent. I haven't counted, but I'm guessing there is a higher percentage of master's degrees and doctorates among LCWR members than among most other groups. Their main problem seems to be that they are, um, women, and even worse, women with minds of their own.

Yep, a lot of fodder there for extended weeping and gnashing of teeth. But wait: There is some good news. Spoiler alert: This news may confuse and confound even as it is cause for celebration.

Read the full story at National Catholic Reporter.