On Saturday 24 October I put up a post about Sr. Donna Quinn OP & the fact that she was an escort an an abortion clinic. (Why Does Her Order Even Allow Her to Stay???
) I also wrote a letter to our local newspaper decrying that fact. I was contacted by the TH on Monday 26 October to confirm I sent it. The letter was published last Tuesday, 3 November 2009. I will admit that I was surprized that it took that long to publish it as a letter is usually appears within 3 -4 days after I have been contacted in the past. I suspect that they contacted Sr. Patricia over at Sinsinawa to get her reaction, but I can't confirm that. More on why later.
Here is that letter:
Sinsinawa sisters' actions deplorable
(Note: The TH is who came up with the title & chose the word deplorable. I never used the word, not that I don't agree
I recently came across an article about Sister Donna Quinn, OP, a Dominican nun from Sinsinawa, who was escorting women into abortion clinics so that they could get abortions.
As I read the article, I was more saddened that the prioress, Sister Patricia Mulcahey, approved of her actions and even justified them. In an e-mail response to LifeSiteNews, she said Sister Donna sees her volunteer activity as "accompanying women who are verbally abused by protesters." Her stance is that "if the protesters were not abusive, she would not be there."
My experience has been that about 99.9 percent of the verbal abuse comes from those who support abortion and is aimed at the pro-lifers. What abortion supporters define as abuse is any attempt to give the women information about what abortions really are or to offer them alternatives to murdering their child.
Even the very rare verbally abusive pro-lifer doesn't justify these actions. Simply put, what Sister Patricia has said is that she is condoning the fact that one of her nuns is involved in the formal cooperation with someone's attempt to procure an abortion. In doing so, she is just as guilty as Sister Donna.
They are both giving scandal by their support of abortion.
Their actions are a betrayal of everything that the Venerable Father Mazzuchelli, who founded the convent, stood for.
Let Sister Patricia know that her inaction is not acceptable. Express your concerns to Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino as well, and be respectful in doing so.
The same night this appeared in the TH, I got a call from 1 of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. Simply put, the whole call was an attempt to justify Sr. Donna's actions . Many times during the conversation I asked her to "stop playing me for a fool". She started out by bringing up the fact that some of the Dominicans work at Maria House & Teresa Shelter that help women who have "chosen to keep their children." Many of the women who go there have been abused & they do provide a much needed place to go. She emphasised the abuse factor to make it sound like I wasn't concerned about women being abused. & she also used it as an opportunity to try & sell me a ticket to their upcoming fundraiser dinner where I could here stories of those abused women. At that point I laid it point blank on the line that I was abused when I was younger. It came across to me that she was trying to use the fact that the work at these shelters made up for & even justified what Sr. Donna was doing.
At another point she defended Sr. Donna's actions by saying we don't know if they were going in for an abortion. True, but we also don't know that they aren't. She pointed out that they clinic does more than abortions. I told her that there were plenty of other alternatives & that Sr. Donna should be helping them find these alternative places. I also mentioned the recent story of Abby Johnson
& her talking about how PP is pushing abortions, not the other services.
I also got confirmation from the comments that they supported her dissent of Church teaching on issues like women's ordination. When I mentioned her dissent & esp on women's ordination she told me the were told not to talk about that. if they support Church teaching why would the be told not to say anything?
She kept tying in the death penalty & war. She said they were all terrible. She refused to admit that abortion was evil. She also brought up the old cannard about not judging as well as claiming that they were trying to keep it within the family. I will admit that at 1 point I went into my Mother Angelica mode. I was getting tired of her use of code words & the way she was being so condescending & treating me like I was a dummy who didn't know anything.
She also told me that Sr. Patricia was sending a response to my letter to the TH. The next day I got a call from the convent. I had my phone off & was unaware of it. No message was left.
They did put up a message on their website
that was dated 2 November. That they used that date along with what was told me is why I think the TH did contact her before publishing the letter. I suspect that until then, they thought they could ride the storm out. While not trying to brag, or take a lot of credit, I suspect my letter was the straw that broke the camel's back. At that point they knew it would come out locally. & that there would be negative consequences. & that they were finally going to have to take action.
I also suspect that it wasn't actually posted until after my letter appeared in the TH & that the date was ment to make it seem like they were being proactive rather than reactive. Part of that is the fact that that an e-mail wasn't about it wasn't sent out until late Tuesday afternoon as a result of reaction to my letter.
Here is the statement they issued:
Public Statement of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation
Several months ago, the leadership of the Sinsinawa Dominicans was informed that Sister Donna Quinn, OP, acted as a volunteer escort at a Chicago area clinic that among other procedures, performs abortions. After investigating the allegation, Congregation leaders have informed Sr. Donna that her actions are in violation of her profession as a Dominican religious. They regret that her actions have created controversy and resulted in public scandal. They are working with Sr. Donna to resolve the matter appropriately.
Congregation leaders offer the following statement on behalf of members of the Congregation. We as Sinsinawa Dominican women are called to proclaim the Gospel through the ministry of preaching and teaching to participate in the building of a holy and just society. As Dominican religious, we fully support the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the dignity and value of every human life from conception to natural death. We believe that abortion is an act of violence that destroys the life of the unborn. We do not engage in activity that witnesses to support of abortion.
I am happy to see that they have stopped her for now. But I find this response very weak. It comes across like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I find it very hard to believe that they only knew of her actions several months ago because, as the original LifeSiteNews story (Nun Volunteering as Abortion Clinic Escort in Illinois
) made it clear, this has been going on for 6 years. Also, she has been vocal in her dissent from Catholic Church teaching on abortion & other areas of Catholic doctrine for decades.
& it is clear from their Peace & Justice section
of their website that they they don't see abortion as the serious justice issue it is. There is no mention of abortion anywhere, ecology, war, & promoting a feminist theology, yes, abortion no. FYI the Sinsinawa Women's Network has Sr. Donna as a member. This makes the claims about supporting Church teaching sound very disingenuous to me.
I am convinced that what little action was taken is because of the LifeSiteNews story & the reaction across the blog-o-sphere. I also suspect that they are hoping the pressure will die down now & that they will not be forced to do anything more. So we must keep up the pressure.
Beyond the reaction from the Mound (as Sinsinawa is often refered to here) I have had mostly posititve feedback. The usual hate filled abortion supporter comments from Planned Parenthood's playbook have popped up in the comment section for my letter, but even there it has been mostly positive. I did get 1 letter that I am not entire sure was real. It was a while I am personally opposed to abortion, Planned Parenthood does other good things. The fact that it mentions Planned Parenthood by name when it was never mentioned in my letter is part of why I am suspicious that it was a real letter.
Anyhow, I want to end by saying we must keep up the pressure & let them know at Sinsinawa that more must be done. But I also want to publicly thank LifeSiteNews for the excellent job they do in getting this information out there so that we can take action to fight the "culture of death" & build a "culture of life" instead. That is where any credit for what has happenned must go.
Links to LifeSiteNews coverage over the past few days:
Update: Added 6 Nov 2009 @ 5:02 am - I was told by the Dominican that called me Tuesday night that a statement from Sr. Patricia was sent to the TH & would appear in Wednesday's edition. That statement, which was the same 1 as they put on their website, finally appeared in today's Letter's to the Editor.
Labels: Sinsinawa Dominicans