Caroline FlackI am sure Caroline Flack thinks it was kind of clever to declare herself a nun after rumors about her relationship habits. Flack, the TV cohost of “reality companion show” The Xtra Factor (another Simon Cowell production), reportedly tweeted, “Decided I won’t make eye contact with a male human being again. Going to become a nun.” (source)

But you know, Caroline, many have tried to pull the nun card when they were in similar situations. Think Sinead who got married shortly after making her nun declaration. Think Emma Pooley (one of your country women) who declared her cycling fail to riding “like a nun in a habit”. In fact there was even a Facebook group dedicated to people declaring their nunhood after a bad relationship, too many relationships, or no relationships at all! Dear Natalie Portman and Heather Graham have also wrangled with nun-related issues.

Sure it’s a fun publicity stunt to draw attention, but in the meantime, you manage to reinforce a rather disrespectful stereotype of Catholic sisters and nuns. It sounds something like this:

  • “My boyfriend/girlfriend left me so I’m going to become a nun.”
  • “Since I can’t get a man then I guess I’ll become a nun.”
  • “If I’m not in a relationship (or several) then I must be a nun.”

Basically being a nun is equated with not having a romantic relationship or not having sex. Never mind those pesky distractions like prayer, mission, ministry, and community. Consecrated celibacy, which is what we Catholic sisters and nuns profess, fits into a whole life commitment that is dedicated to God, and it is an adventure the likes of which would blow your mind!

I encourage you, Caroline, to understand what a nun’s life is really like before you make comments such as this one. Perhaps then when you declare yourself a nun, it will be because you have reached beyond yourself to help another person, or because you have immersed yourself in loving kindness, or because you have noticed the great beauty in your life and in the world around you.