An obituary in the October 23, 2011 New York Times stirred me. It begins:
Anita Caspary, the onetime mother superior who led the largest exodus of nuns from the Roman Catholic Church in American history, died on Oct.5 in Los Angeles. She was 95.
Caspary’s exodus was both a triumphal march for women’s rights and a protest against laws suppressive of them. I got a chill at this paragraph about Cardinal McIntyre, her “boss.” Here’s how she described him:
In her memoir, Dr. Caspary struggled for nunlike equanimity in writing about [Cardinal McIntyre]. He was “stubborn, paternalistic, authoritative, frugal and puritanical,” she said.
“Stubborn, paternalistic, authoritative, frugal and puritanical:”the underlying characteristics of the current American conservative movement, which I have long viewed—along with all brands of religious fundamentalism—as a “paternalistic” effort to stuff women’s rights back into the bottle.