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the pope who showed up

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 06, 2006

Sr. Mary Ann Hinsdale, I.H.M., associate professor of theology at Boston College, was part of a faculty panel of theologians evaluating the first year of Benedict XVI's pontificate:

Hinsdale opened her segment by giving the pope a "C+++" as an overall grade. She explained that "a C is gentlemanly. It means that not much significant has happened, but you showed up." Also, the three pluses stood for the three main topics she discussed: "culture, consultation, and continuity."

Her apprehension and concerns came from Benedict's dealings with culture. While all panel members called Benedict a great listener, citing that as the reason he was elected, Hinsdale brought up a concern about his ability. "My concern is if he will continue to listen to culture," said Hinsdale. "The church is in danger of becoming irrelevant to the youth."

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  • Posted by: Eleazar - Apr. 10, 2006 11:13 AM ET USA

    The Church is in danger of becoming irrelevant, not just to youth and not for the commonly supposed reasons. In a world awash on the changing tides of culture and fad, the Church, with two millennia of history should be a rock solid foundation of morals and values on which culture can anchor. However, because it wants to be “relevant,” the Church has cast itself afloat on those same tides, run aground on priestly pedophilia and is being ripped asunder by those who dissent from its teachings.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Apr. 09, 2006 12:32 AM ET USA

    Grandma - Is the quote inaccurate? Whether it is or not, I've long since ignored the political and theological opinions of female religious who eschew the wearing of the veil. The symbolism of her uncovered head speaks more than all the books behind her. She lives to make the world a better place and advance the cause of the brother/sisterhood of humanity. Somewhere along the way, however, eternal priorities usually get shuffled to the side, never again to be addressed.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 08, 2006 11:02 PM ET USA

    My pardon Grandma, the church is becoming irrelevant with the youth precisely because of this "we are church" crowd and nuns who refuse to wear habits. I have been working with young people for the past 20 years, and have never seen them enthusiastic about watered down theology or parents who try to be "down with the younger generation." They are children of divorce and a fragmented world, and they want absolutes, genuine faith, and tradition. They loved JPII because he was a spiritual father.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 08, 2006 9:03 PM ET USA

    "These uncharitable respondents could stand to read it, especially in Holy Week." If true, that would be the Hermeneutics of Contrition.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 08, 2006 7:42 PM ET USA

    I was at this talk. Sr. Hinsdale was very positive about the pope. It's too bad that Diogenes takes undergraduate reporters as such a source of "truth." She particularly endorsed "Deus Caritas Est" --These uncharitable respondents could stand to read it, especially in Holy Week.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 07, 2006 11:17 PM ET USA

    The Hermeneutics of Addition: plus, plus, plus...

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Apr. 07, 2006 5:34 PM ET USA

    The Church isn't irrelevant, but I'm not so sure about Sr. Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM. Like all the other modernists who have come and gone before her, she will one day moulder in some God-forsaken and unknown grave while young people are clamoring for "The Way, the Truth, and the Life" they receive from Holy Mother the Church. Please, Sister, embrace the Truth and live the Life before the Way is closed to you!

  • Posted by: rpp - Apr. 07, 2006 3:28 PM ET USA

    To answer Lynne's question. I think the theologians are missing the only the first and last part. In the same way some deny Creation and the Final Judement, they deny only the first and last letters of "No".

  • Posted by: coach1 - Apr. 07, 2006 3:09 PM ET USA

    Altho my time in was brief, I was in the Dominicans back in '59. So I had a taste of real convent life before all hell broke loose in the '60's. Imagine your husband comes home one night at says I don't want to be married any longer. Happened that way to a friend. Sister is married to Christ thru the Church. Everything she loved about religious life is going away and she can't do anything about it. The bishop doesn't care what is going on at the motherhouse so she becomes bitter and passes it on

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 2:33 PM ET USA

    What part of 'no' does these 'theologians' do not understand?! ""Because he is such a fine theologian, I predict that he will do something about women being ordained," said Groome. " No! No, no, no, no, no. NO.

  • Posted by: rpp - Apr. 07, 2006 12:35 PM ET USA

    It is a tribute to our Holy Father to have such as these as his critics and enemies.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 12:27 PM ET USA

    This is a cause for grave concern. Such an evaluation by a distinguished panel of Boston College faculty should not be taken lightly. His Holiness should be advised immediately that although he shows great promise, at this point he is barely passing. Notwithstanding his extensive publication record, if he does not show substantial improvement during the next review period, a note should be sent home to his parents.

  • Posted by: Convert1994 - Apr. 07, 2006 12:06 PM ET USA

    I see a positive slant to this story: If the faculty at Boston College gives Pope Benedict a C+++ then he must be doing something right!

  • Posted by: Gino - Apr. 07, 2006 10:15 AM ET USA

    Why are there so many bitter nuns? She is certainly in the right place; Boston College. The motto of people like the good Sister and the Jesuits at BC should be "All the Doctrine that we see fit to tint".

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 07, 2006 9:23 AM ET USA

    "Hermeneutical and Socio-critical Perspectives" Hans George Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur please call your office.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 9:05 AM ET USA

    She won't go away willingly; so why not just ignore her.

  • Posted by: parochus - Apr. 07, 2006 3:08 AM ET USA

    Given her thesis topic, it's doubtful she'd receive a passing grade from Doctor Ratzinger. http://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/theology/faculty/mhinsdale/ B.A. '70 Marygrove College (Theology/German); M.A. '71 Catholic University of America (Religious Education); S.T.L. '83 Regis College (Toronto); Ph.D. '84 in Systematic Theology, University of St. Michael's College (Toronto). Dissertation: "Hans Küng's Use of Scripture: Theological, Hermeneutical and Socio-critical Perspectives.

  • Posted by: Cantor Rich - Apr. 07, 2006 1:59 AM ET USA

    Who died and left Sr Hinsdale in charge? Or elected her pope? The Audacity! The last time I checked, Associate Professor at BC was still lower on the totem pole that Professor at Tuebingen, eh wot?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 12:31 AM ET USA

    Sister should not hope that "culture" will be the ultimate norm for judging morality. Our morality as Christians, in particular, Catholics does not follow custom or a specific culture but rather the revelation of the Commandments,etc. from God. Relativism is what she believes in I suppose. The common denominator is how the majority thinks. Not a valid conclusion. It can not be right. It could be right today and wrong tomorrow. It must be a constantly correct standard.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 6:24 PM ET USA

    Oh how prophetic of Sister!She is nothing more than a modernist. Why do we even waste our time on such troublesome persons?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 06, 2006 5:02 PM ET USA

    Time to start parting the hair on the right.

  • Posted by: major - Apr. 06, 2006 4:40 PM ET USA

    Maybe the good Sister can learn from His Holiness' example and listen. Perhaps a good place to start is to listen to his words on religious habits.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 4:15 PM ET USA

    got news for you, lady. The Youth are busy learning latin.

  • Posted by: TYC127 - Apr. 06, 2006 4:04 PM ET USA

    Who is this person?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 4:01 PM ET USA

    And we are supposed to take theologians from Boston College seriously?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 3:53 PM ET USA

    What? Either I don't know what she means by "youth" or I don't know what she means by "culture." Which culture is Benedict listening to too much, in her opinion? A C+++ -- that's classy.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 3:17 PM ET USA

    Doctor whys is it every time I see a picture of a conceited liberal academic posing in from of her bookcase I fantasize about it falling over on her? Can you help me?

  • Posted by: principle not pragmatism - Apr. 06, 2006 3:11 PM ET USA

    Just remember what BC stands for; "Barely Catholic"

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 06, 2006 2:51 PM ET USA

    Fish with fingers. Watch it do pushups.

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