From John Allen:
One of the paradoxes about Mother Angelica is that although she was generally seen as a bête noire to Catholic progressives, there’s a strong case they too should celebrate her. First, she proved that an independent, lay-led enterprise can pack a greater punch than officialdom in communicating a Catholic message. She and EWTN relativized the power of the hierarchy in America, not by attacking it, but simply by showing they didn’t need it to succeed. Second, she also showed that a woman can stand toe-to-toe with powerful clerics in the Church and give every bit as good as she got. Today there’s a great deal of ferment about how to promote leadership by women in the Church in ways that don’t involve ordination, a conversation Pope Francis himself has promoted. In a way, however, debating that question in the abstract seems silly, because we already have a classic, for-all-time example of female empowerment in Mother Angelica. Rita Antoinette Rizzo, Mother Angelica’s given name, was many things: A lightning rod, a force of nature, an impresario, an entertainer, a deft commentator and pundit, and, beneath it all, a faithful and pious nun. Love her or hate her, she will be sorely missed – the Church just isn’t as much fun without her around to stir the waters, raise our blood pressure, get us to think and remind us to pray.
There’s more. Read it all.Good stuff.