Some may think that as an ex-nun I take liberties in criticizing Pope Francis or have an axe to grind with the Vatican. My early years as a Catholic were entirely positive & I have no regrets at being raised in that tradition. I loved the ritual & ceremony. But I left the convent & eventually the Catholic Church because of Vatican politics about women & over the Vietnam War.

Because of its structure & geographical scope, the Vatican has been able to play an important role in politics around the world & most often finds itself on the side of the most brutal & reactionary forces. The progressive forces in the church are most often priests, nuns, & laity not working under the auspices of the Vatican. On matters of Catholic doctrine I would never question the pope but when he plays a reactionary role in politics he must be challenged precisely because of his influence & authority. Even against the pope we are obligated to stand with the oppressed come hell or high water.