“We don’t want to gobble up a woman a day.”

The Religion News Service made this their Tuesday quote of the day.

How about the quote of the week, maybe even the year?

“Gobble up a woman?”

Who talks like that?

Unfortunately, the cardinal leading the church’s so-called “nunquisition” does. That’s the Vatican’s two-year-old investigation of American nuns for their alleged subversion of church doctrine. And as Crux has reported, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller insisted to the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper that, lest anyone suspect otherwise, “we are not misogynists” for demanding complete control over this dwindling number of mostly middle-aged and elderly women. As apparent proof, he used that stops-you-in-your-tracks phrase, “We don’t want to gobble up a woman a day.”

Maybe he thought we’d all feel relieved?

The Vatican has also criticized the nuns for being too feminist and too Obama-care friendly while failing to crusade hard enough against abortion. Yet in their legendary service to the marginalized and the poorest of the poor, these same nuns seem quite in tune with Pope Francis’ renewed emphasis on social justice. They are also a proud symbol to disenchanted Catholics looking for examples of true spirituality and holiness within the church. Mueller, meanwhile, seems to be operating in a different century, practically antediluvian in his condescension.

Progressive Catholics had hoped Francis would call off this bizarre crackdown, particularly since he has yet to crack down on bishops who aided and abetted criminal priests in the sex abuse crisis. Failing that, they’d hope the pope would find a less divisive point man than Mueller. But the pope has done neither, and here we are. Yet another member of the hierarchy embarrasses himself – yet another reason for lapsed Catholics to cringe, and turn away.