Priests with Balls
They are better known as nuns, and are a dying breed. The Associated Press reports: “Battle of wills: Tiny order of French nuns takes on Vatican.” Priests and bishops are totally subservient to the Pope. We have seen recent examples in America and in Africa. But the Little Sisters of Marie of France are defying Pope Francis, and seem to be succeeding.
Priests and bishops take an oath of submission to the will of the Pope, and repeatedly demonstrate their lack of balls. For example, Pope Francis has been calling for zero tolerance of child abuse for years. Though he has done nothing to meet this goal, it is good PR. Following his lead, the American bishops planned to vote for zero tolerance. Again, this proposal was for show, and lacked teeth to enforce it. But for some unknown reason, at the last minute Pope Francis forbid them from voting. They dutifully obeyed.
The priests of Ahiara in Nigeria were victims of tribal politics. Church officials never appointed a member of their tribe as bishop. The priests refused to accept a carpetbagger bishop, and prevented him from taking office for years. But when Pope Francis threatened to fire (laicize) them if they did not submit to his will, they folded.
The Vatican wanted to remove the Mother Superior of this order, but virtually all the nuns threatened to resign if this happened. The Associated Press was unable to determine why the Vatican wanted to remove the Mother Superior. The nuns thought it was a political power play, and it seems likely.
The nuns of this order run homes for the aged in rural France. France has 9.3% unemployment, and lots of cheap, immigrant labor. But nuns are apparently paid so badly that they are irreplaceable. So they have fought the Vatican to a standoff, unlike groups of priests with grievances.