Peggy Noonan

Did anyone read Peggy Noonan’s column in the Wall Street Journal? After she wrote John Paul the Great, I was convinced she was on the side of the Church. Now she’s calling for the “woman’s touch” to solve the problems in the Church? Really? I can see her with Carol Keehan and Marlene Weisenbeck of LCWR, holding hands, and singing Kumbaya.

Me too. Just when I think she is a good, traditional Catholic girl, who stands up for the Church, she writes something goofy like that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wish that she would not state some of hers in a respected national newspaper.

So…you’re saying that St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila should have kept their mouths shut about the Church?

The Lord made it clear that only men are to be priests, but He never forbade women from thinking and having good ideas. Consider the Old Testament examples like Rahab and Jael and Ruth and Judith.

Considering Ms. Noonan’s stellar public Christian testimony over the years, it’s highly unlikely that she’s slipped off into the “mother goddess” way of thinking. Give the woman some credit, please. And perhaps we would do well to hear her out in context.


I agree with everything it said. Thank you much Cat!

(By the way, I’m a guy-if it matters)

Here is the recent article that Peggy Noonan wrote:

I dunno… it seems a heartfelt complaint that the leaders of the Church haven’t been taking the sex abuse problem seriously enough. Whether she is right, I can’t assess, but I don’t think her voicing feelings about this (a feeling which is shared by many faithful Catholics) is reason enough to group her with the LCWR.

From an column she wrote earlier this month:

There are three great groups of victims in this story. The first and most obvious, the children who were abused, who trusted, were preyed upon and bear the burden through life. The second group is the good priests and good nuns, the great leaders of the church in the day to day, who save the poor, teach the immigrant, and, literally, save lives. They have been stigmatized when they deserve to be lionized. And the third group is the Catholics in the pews—the heroic Catholics of America and now Europe, the hardy souls who in spite of what has been done to their church are still there, still making parish life possible, who hold high the flag, their faith unshaken. No one thanks those Catholics, sees their heroism, respects their patience and fidelity. The world thinks they’re stupid. They are not stupid, and with their prayers they keep the world going, and the old church too.

I have to admit, I’m ambivalent about her. I didn’t think John Paul the Great was all that great itself–a good topic, but not well done. It struck me as kind of wishy-washy, sort of the way I feel about her columns over the past few years.

I agree. I don’t think the request for a “woman’s touch” means that Noonan is calling for priestesses or anything like that. That’s not what I gathered from the WSJ article anyway.

I’m not sure her desire would necessarily have the effect she anticipates, though. There are (and have been for years) many women working in our local curial offices (AKA diocesan chanceries), but this didn’t seem to stop these things from happening. :shrug:

Wow! This is the first time I have used this forum and had no idea I would get such a response so quickly! It’s great to see interest and such varied opinions! Just to clarify, I think the good, holy men in our Church can and will heal this wound. Yes, yes, transparency is critical and we will always have sinners in the fold. However, to say that women are any more likely to fix it than the men like Our Holy Father and those men truly loyal to the Magisterium is flawed. Being a woman myself, I know our weaknesses and strengths and in my humble opinion, this isn’t where we are needed at this time. Thanks for all the perspectives!

I lost all respect for Peggy Noonan when her response to allegations of torture was "“Sometimes in life you want to just keep walking,” Noonan said, adding, “Sometimes, I think, just keep walking… Some of life just has to be mysterious.”

That disqualifies her as a good an courageous Catholic in my view.

I agree she has a legitimate grip because the Church did a major cover-up which harmed families within the Church. Shame.

Women within the Church will correct it; I don’t believe that as some nuns have had their own issues. It certainly hasn’t worked out well in the secular world.

It is a battle for “all” Catholics, to keep the Church from corruption.

So I was listening to a podcast of Catholic Answers with Phillip Lawler. He is so eloquent on this subject and spoke to the fact that Our Holy Father has been the strongest, most vociferous proponent of cleaning the “filth” out of our Mother Church. I was wishing he agreed with me about Peggy Noonan. Lo and behold, there he was on Raymond Arroyo’s show this weekend saying he thinks Noonan is wrong this time. Thanks, Mr. Lawler, I needed that!

Have you ever meditated on the Pharisees in any of the NT gospels? It’s a highly effective technique for confronting one’s own demons.:slight_smile:

I don’t know about holding hands with Keehan, but Noonan did, I believe, announce her support for Obama in the 2008 election. Took my breath away.

Really? I missed that one. That is rather shocking and sad.

EDIT: I found this article on Noonan’s website: Obama and the Runaway Train. In it, she says some favorable things about Obama, but also about McCain. And she has some critiques as well. Are you sure it wasn’t that some people misconstrued this as an endorsement?

Are you saying he agreed with what you wrote in the OP?

No, no, no. He just maintains the same position as I. Lawler said he thinks her article in the Wall Street Journal was disappointing and just plain wrong. You can see him on The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo from last week on EWTN. I admire him - you know how you can feel a little vindicated when someone you admire holds the same opinion? Yes, Noonan waxed poetic over Obama after the election. She’s been all over the map lately. BTW to previous post- whose demons?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit