Religious sisters in Poland have accused the country’s mass-circulation newspaper of discrimination after it alleged that they were mainly relegated to “cooking, cleaning and collecting post” for priests. Source: The Tablet.
“We treat these words as discrimination against women and an insult to nuns, who live according to the charisma of their order in line with their convictions,” said the nuns from the St Elizabeth order, which runs schools, orphanages and special needs facilities in Poland, with branches in Africa, Latin America, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
“You write disrespectfully, ridiculing us and our lifestyle, which consists of prayer, sacrifice and devotion to God. Many sisters from our own order fulfil this vocation, while giving daily help to the poor and suffering.”
The nuns, all aged over 60, were reacting to an article in Gazeta Wyborcza which said Poland's Catholic bishops lived “in palaces where nuns work as servants, with food under the nose, laundry done and bills paid”.
They said Poland's parliament-appointed civil rights spokesman had cautioned against gender discrimination, while the criminal code also sanctions slander and attempts to undermine trust.
“With this open letter, we turn to public opinion”, the nuns said. “Let us do everything to ensure cases of discrimination against women, including nuns, are condemned, and their propagators brought to change their discriminatory attitude.”
Poland is home to more than 17,000 nuns and novices from 106 orders and congregations, running hundreds of schools, orphanages and care homes, as well as working in parish and diocesan offices, seminaries, healthcare facilities, charities and colleges.
Polish nuns protest media 'discrimination' (By Jonathan Luxmoore, The Tablet)