be laicized.rnThe priest bowed to the discipHne ofrnhis order. The nun, however, flouted herrninstructions, tefling reporters that the gagrnorder was “a violation of the basic humanrnright to self-defense.” She added, “Thernpart that I think is particularly unfair is tornsay to someone, ‘You are forbidden tornspeak about this experience.’ How elsernare we to grow as a church, as individualsrnor as a community unless we can speakrnabout and reflect on our experiences?rnThat part I found particularly offensive.”rnOne cannot appreciate the humor of herrnremark without knowing that the processrnof bringing the two into line with Churchrnteachings took 11 years, during which thernnun vigorously defended herself bothrnwithin the Church and in public. ThernChurch finally decided that there hadrnbeen enough talk, and it was time for therntwo to do as they were told. Any parent ofrna quick-tongued adolescent should bernable to sympathize with the Church’srnstance: Sometimes, enough is enough.rnThe rest of the article also resembledrnthe skillful imitation of an outragedrnteenager. A woman from Dignity USA, arnhomosexual pressure group, said, “Tornforce them to make a choice betweenrntheir life in community and their call tornministry is a kind of abuse.” A former coworkerrnof the two called the Vatican’srnmove a “cover-up,” and added, “I can’trnhelp but to ask, ‘What is it the Vatican isrnafraid of?'” (Ah, now I see: It was nothingrnbut fear all along.)rnCharacteristically, the Baltimore Sunrnpresented no rebuttal to the view that thernVatican was wrong and cruel. I presumernthat the reporters involved in this story,rnlike those they quoted, have chosen to ignorernthe fact that no “human right” hasrnbeen violated; the two can speak aboutrntheir situation all they wish, and no jail,rnno fine, no worldly punishment will descendrnon them. If they wish to continuerntheir ministry, they can do so. However,rnwhat these two cannot do is defy the disciplinernof the Church and violate its beliefsrnwhile continuing to function as arnCatholic priest and nun.rnA view of this comedy that those whorndo not hate all religion might understandrnis that this is not an issue of rights, but ofrnkeeping a contract. (I make this argumentrnwith great ambivalence, as it avoidsrnthe substantive issues that are involved.rnBut a contractual argument might succeedrnin the arena in which our argumentsrnare now conducted.) When someonernjoins a voluntary association — andrnmembership in the Catholic Church isrnvoluntary—he agrees to follow the rules.rnBoth the nun and the priest knew whenrnthey entered the religious life that thernChurch took its rules seriously. Moreover,rnin the Catholic Church, the hierarchyrnsets the rules: What they decide isrnbinding. It’s not a democracy. If consciencerndictates that those decisions cannotrnbe followed, you are free to leave;rnsometimes, perhaps, you should do so,rnbut Rmdamentally a deal is a deal. Thernpriest is keeping his side of the bargain.rnThe nun refuses to do so.rnAmerican Catholics frequently sayrnsuch things as “The Church can’t dornthat” or “It’s my Church, too.” Onerncould reply, “It isn’t yours, it’s Christ’s,”rnbut, of course, the dissident would respondrnthat he knows the mind of Christrnbetter than the Church does; and, in thernpast, there have been dissidents who, thernChurch has finally concluded, did in factrnknow better. However, the Church hasrnlistened to this priest and the nun forrnquite some time and has decided they arernwrong.rnAmericans today are frequently confusedrnabout authority. Usually we despisernit, and many of our woes stem fromrnour refusal to exercise it when it is needed.rnWe construe everything as a matterrnof rights, by which we often mean somernkind of license. But when we choose tornbelong to an institution, we owe it thingsrnin return for membership. (Socrates hadrnsomething to say about this.) Sometimesrnwe may owe silence; at times, even anrnAmerican may owe someone obedience.rnThese reasonable points escape this nun,rnthe Sun, and many others with an adolescentrnmindset of rebellion.rnWhat many Americans, including thisrnnun, cannot understand is that some hierarchiesrntake themselves seriously: Thernleaders of the Catholic Church intend tornfollow Her rules and enforce them. Fearrndoes not motivate them; sincerify does.rnThey are not trying to “cover up” something;rnthey are trying to maintain the integrityrnof their organization. An institution’srnauthorities may assert their powerrnnot because they are cruel or becausernthey want to exercise power over otherrnpeople, but out of devotion to the institution,rnthe people in it, and even, sometimes,rntheir love of God as they understandrnHim. Rather like good parents.rnIf this farce evolves in the way suchrnthings so often do, the next step will be arnfederal court. There, the nun’s claimsrnabout freedom of speech might conflictrnwith freedom of religion: Do traditionalrnbelievers have the right to run their ownrnorganization? In a country in which thernBoy Scouts narrowly escaped beingrnforced to accept gay leaders because thernorganization is a “public accommodation,”rnI fear that, in the courts, this issuernwould move in the wrong direction.rnBrian Kirkpatrick is a physician who livesrnin Baltimore, Maryland.rnLetter From Croatiarnby Totnislav SunicrnChanging of the GuardrnThe birth of modern Croatia was closelyrntied to the paternalistic image of onernman: Franjo Tudjman. A self-describedrnnationalist and anticommunist, Tudjmanrnruled over Croatia for ten years untilrnhis death in December 1999. In Januaryrn2000, presidential and parliamentaryrnelections brought to power a motley crewrnof reformed communists, liberals, andrnglobalists. The new leftist governmentrndoes not make any secret of its desire tornreforge links with the former Yugoslav republicsrnand to secure entry into the EuropeanrnUnion. It has demonstrated itsrndesire to cooperate by participating in thernAmerican-sponsored “Balkan StabilityrnPact” that seeks to establish friendly tiesrnamong all countiies in the region.rnThe new government was welcomedrnby Western apostles of global free tradernand multiculturalism. Its landslide electoralrnvictory demonstrated that the Croatianrnpeople wanted change — even at thernexpense of their national sovereignty.rnThe widespread opinion among mostrnCroats is that their country is now poisedrnto join the opulent West.rnUpon taking power, the new governmentrndeclared that “Croatia will make arnradical departure from the Tudjmanesquernnationalist, authoritarian, andrnisolationist past.” Both Prime MinisterrnIvica Racan and President Stipe Mesicrnare determined to turn Croatia into arnmodel of good democratic behavior.rnWith the full blessing of the EuropeanrnUnion and the “international community,”rnCroatia’s leaders now lecture neigh-rn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn