LCWR 'Stunned' by CDF

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious issued a short response to yesterday's CDF Doctrinal Assessment:

The presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was stunned by the conclusions of the doctrinal assessment of LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically-approved statutes, we were taken by surprise.

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This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church. We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response.

 

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Anne Chapman
6 years 6 months ago
Amy, #14. I suspect that the questions you pose have already been asked, and most likely answered, by the leaders of the religious orders involved.  It is my understanding that most of the orders - if not all - have already taken steps to protect their assets from seizure by the hierarchy in the event a bishop or cardinal or pope decides its in the order's ''best interests'' for them to take what rightfully belongs to the sisters - ensuring  care for their elderly is most likely part of their overall financial planning. These women are highly educated and most are very savvy. 

I hope that they create a new organization that is not subject to the heavy heel of Rome, so that they can continue to work together for the good of the church. These women have been a prophetic voice in the darkness that has overcome the Roman Catholic church during the last 34 years. Perhaps this is the push they need to take the next step - to create a new path for the future for religious women - perhaps a model that includes both vowed and not vowed - and one that frees religious women from the male domination of Rome and the chanceries. 

The Beguines were distrusted and eventually persecuted (some in ''heresy'' trials) centuries ago by the men of the church who did not like the idea of women doing ''church work'' and living in communities without the ''supervision'' and control of the male hierarchy (control being the operative word).  Hundreds of years have passed since the founding of the Beguinages - but how much has changed for women in the church?

 It's time. It's long past time.
Stephen SCHEWE
6 years 6 months ago
I wonder whether commenters complaining about apostasy (#18, #19, #22) have a divining rod that allows them to point at the comments and to determine which ones were written by Protestants?  I suspect many of those you would accuse, like me, are former Catholics, perhaps Catholics gone searching for a church still practicing the teachings of Vatican II.  The surveys suggest there are a lot of us.  Many of us think the church left us as it changed so dramatically in the last twenty years.  I, for one, am commenting here because I’m still interested in answers to the questions raised by fellow Christians like those represented by the LCWR.  For example, if God made people of homosexual orientation as well as heterosexual orientation, and all that God makes is good, what of the Church’s current teachings and laws proclaiming homosexuality “objectively disordered” needs to change?  In a church which celebrated women deacons in Scripture and only instituted male celibacy to deal with contemporary challenges of the 11th century, what of the Roman Church’s current teachings and laws proclaiming that only celibate men can be ordained needs to change?  In a Roman Church historically suspicious of science and technology, one which ignored the recommendations of its own Pontifical Commission when it issued Humanae Vitae and then has seen its teachings on contraception almost universally discounted in favor of individual conscience, what about those teachings on contraception needs to change?
In addition to Anne’s reading suggestions (#17), I recommend John Noonan’s A Church That Can and Cannot Change, which offers historical examples of when the Roman Church has done an about-face on its moral teachings (e.g., slavery, lending money at interest.) You may have read about the standing ovation offered by the Roman Catholic parish in Seattle when its pastor announced that they would not have to participate in Archbishop Saratain’s political campaign against the new marriage equality law in Washington State; some of the “apostates” are still in the Roman pews.  Rather than simply challenging the authority of its leaders, I imagine we’re going to see the LCWR do what people of faith and conscience have always done:  to raise questions of what is God’s will, and to discuss whether what the Church teaches aligns with God’s will (see the many examples in Acts of the Apostles).
God is doing something new in our time, and it’s neither too soon nor too late to engage the discussion.  What an opportunity for the leadership of the Roman Church to participate in a dialogue with its people, rather than to reach for the tools of what some describe as the “spirit of the Counter-Reformation.”
Thomas Farrelly
6 years 6 months ago
Steve, I think the pastors who did this were wise.  Some press reports said they were defying the Archbishop.  They were not.  
Thomas Farrell
6 years 6 months ago
Nobody should be stunned by this latest development. For years now, the popes, the Vatican, and the Catholic bishops have been trying to show everybody who's boss. In the Roman Catholic Church of Male Patriarchy and Male Dominance, the bishops are the bosses. The bishops are vigilant warriors defending the Roman Catholic Church of Male Patriarchy and Male Dominance with their religious zealotry against any possible changes in Male Patriarchy and Male Dominance.
Gregory Popcak
6 years 6 months ago
Stunned indeed.

Captain Renault:  I'm shocked! Absolutely shocked that there is gambling going on here!

Croupier:  Your winnings, Sir.
David Pasinski
6 years 6 months ago
I know I will join many in allying with the LCWR in prayer about how to react to truly ingracious treatment in the communication of the information let alone all of the process, conclusions, and plans being made FOR them.  There are too many thoughts and feelings whirling around in my head and heart right now and I think so gratefully about all of current religious women I know doing such wonderful service in so many ministries- and those many from my past - and I hurt for the kind of assessment and treatment they are receiving from Church that they serve far better than the hoerarchy who supposedly SERVES and LEADS appreciates or deserves.
Bill Freeman
6 years 6 months ago
This is another unfortunate and ill-conceived move by a misognist and irrevelant hierarchy.  But anyting to deflect from the trial of Kansas Bishop Robert Finn for child endangerment and the Philadelphia trial that has already proven a criminal conspiracy to protect pedophile priests perpetrated by Cardinal Bevilaqua.     

There are wonderful validly-Catholic alternatives to the Roman Chuch.  The American National Catholic Church is one: www.TheANCC.org.
FRANK SIROKY
6 years 6 months ago
Brennan Hill in his "8 Spiritual Heroes - Their search for God.  Concludes that each one of those he mentioned at one time or other ran afoul of higher (church) authorities and this includes Mother Teresa, Dorthy Day, Oscar Romero, etc.  Maybe our glorious "women of spirit
are indeed on the right track.
  Furthermore, I am reminded of former chief Justice Warren's comment:  "Everything I did that was worthwhile, I  cAught hell for."


Jim McCrea
6 years 6 months ago
In this church in this day and age it is a badge of moral courage to run afoul of the Vaticanes and their lesser lap dogs.
 
Theresa Maccarone
6 years 6 months ago
Do our Bishops understand that the ''New Evangelization'' is doomed for failure without these women?
Jack Barry
6 years 6 months ago
I can't make any connection but can't ignore the coincidence.  On this date in 1775, some ordinary people with profound appreciation of what ''liberty'' and ''human dignity'' meant fought the Battle of Lexington and Concord.   They won, many extraordinary efforts followed, and monarchical oppression ended.   Perhaps there is a peaceful metaphorical parallel that offers inspiration.  
 
The process through which the CDF and USCCB put out the LCWR news as reported by NCR hardly suggests a promising start to an intended ''collaborative renewal''.   http://ncronline.org/news/women-religious/lcwr-stunned-vaticans-latest-move
Vincent Gaitley
6 years 6 months ago
I don't agree with the LCWR, but so what?  Frankly, the laity doesn't agree either.  However, the hammerheaded approach from Rome is out of bounds for use on such a small and not very influential group.  The message is clear, and poorly timed while Msgr Lynn is on trial in Philadelphia:  No matter how badly the bishops and the priests acted, the real enemy remains this small group of radical nuns!  Rome never disciplined any priest this publicy during this crisis, and certainly no bishop or Cardinal.  Rome has dirty hands, and this is the priority problem?  Fellas, are you listening?  Uh, no.  
Vincent Gaitley
6 years 6 months ago
Frankly, if I were a nun, I'd just walk away.  We need a Second Reformation.  I hold no brief for abortion, female priests, or the so-called social justice mission of the Church (read collectivist economics). Yet, the male clerics, the bishops especially, have failed utterly and need reforming.  I want to see the money, account for property, and have a say in the disposition of assets.  No more financial lying.  Allow married priests.  Abolish the diocesan seminaries and priests; renew the great Orders of the Church by placing all religious under an Order's community.  Let the bishops be nominated from the Orders and reign in cooperation and communion with others, not as powerful executives.  Then tackle one huge social issue, come to a conclusive approach to homosexuals in and out of the Church.  For or against, this must be done.  Then let the women flourish in Holy Orders, not a priesthood, but as the leaders they can be:  female Cardinals need not be priests or bishops, just religious.  Give them a high level say world wide.  End the mischief, the secrecy, the sorrow and the self-pity the current Church has.  I think every bishop in the US is out of communion with the laity, and until heads roll, I'll pray from home on Sundays.
Bill Taylor
6 years 6 months ago
So, what will happen as the Hierarchy tries to "reform" the sisters?   They have three choices:  Agonize through a so called process stacked against them by the hierarchy.   Surrender and do whatever Rome wants.  Or simply close up shop and reconvene as a new body not shackled by Canon Law. 

I think many of us will cheer as the Sisters take the final option.   Close down the LCWR.  Create a new organization that will allow them to continue to share vision and share goals.  Create something never seen before:   A community of strong spirit-empowered women who know they are Catholic but do not need to knuckle under to Rome and its minions.

  
 . 
Amy Ho-Ohn
6 years 6 months ago
Nuns getting by without the LCWR is like doctors getting by without the AMA, approximately? Except that doctors need the AMA to license them, but religious congregations are "licensed" by the Church. And doctors need the AMA to negotiate huge salary and benefit deals with the hospitals, whereas the average religious woman lives on what the average doctor spends on surfboards.

But all of us who have aging parents can't help but wonder: who is going to turn off the lights for the orders which are "dying out?" When an order is reduced to three very old, disabled women in a nursing home and a medium-high-value piece of property, who will ensure that the property is sold at a good price and the proceeds used to pay the nursing home bills? Isn't this something the LCWR would be best qualified to take care of?

If there is no LCWR, the task would have to be entrusted either to the Church or to some secular organization of lay people. Could the bishops really be trusted to do it right? Wouldn't they probably move the three old women to some sqalid, subhuman hovel for the indigent, sell the property, and spend the proceeds on a ski holiday for their seminarians? ("The annual ski trip is one of our most important vocational discernment events," his Excellency intones. "We must think of the future of the Church, and let the dead bury their dead, you know.")

These are gloomy questions, but all experts agree that refusing to think about them practically guarantees bad outcomes.
KEN LOVASIK
6 years 6 months ago
Some of the comments here raise an interesting possibility.  There are already religious communities of men and women in the Church which are not 'canonical', i.e., not under the direct jurisdiction of the hierarchy.  They do not enjoy the ''status'' of the so-called ''canonical'' communities that are recognized 'officially' by the hierarchy, but they are still living a religious life and engaging in ministry.

Perhaps the experience of religious women over the past few years vis-a-vis the hierarchy will lead them in the direction of becoming 'non-canonical' communities.  This may be the future of religious life, a future in which they can be charismatic and innovative as their founders and foundresses were.  I can't think of any group in the Church that has provided more loving witness and service to the People of God than our religious sisters.  I don't like the way they are being treated.
Anne Chapman
6 years 6 months ago
Maria, it might be a good idea for you to take up some serious study of church history, and also of biblical history.  Generally prophets are/were not welcomed by the religious authorities (look what they did to Jesus!).  Most OT prophets did not die a natural death either. The Roman Catholic church has often persecuted (and too often turned over to the state for execution) genuine prophets and saints in their ranks, only belatedly (often hundreds of years belatedly) and grudgingly acknowledging that the persecuted one, the heretic, the dissenter, might have been right after all.

 The sisters whom Rome wishes to control and silence have been quietly living the teachings of Jesus and the gospels, while the men in the fancy robes, living their luxurious and worldly lifestyles, too often act more like the pharisees. There is danger in accepting the self-aggrandizing definitions of fallible male human beings who will do and say almost anything to cling to their own power, Maria, while ensuring that women are kept ''in their place''.  There are indeed false prophets.  As Lord Acton observed in reference to the man who declared himself and his successors ''infallible'' (only God is infallible - not a pope, not a ''magisterium'' composed of fallible human males) - Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those who equate human beings and human institutions with God, who replace God with human beings and human institutions make a very serious mistake.

 God gave all a mind and a conscience and expects us to use them. The sisters have an opportunity to begin leading the church out of the darkness and back into the light. Let us pray that they have the courage to take this step.
Colin Donovan
6 years 6 months ago
I envision one of two glorious futures for the Catholic Church in the United States. In the first the dear sisters recognize that the protection of the unborn is a first principle of observing the commandments with regard to human beings (obviously not excluding the love we owe the born), that whatever the sexual orientation of the human being, all are called to chastity and that any sexual union outside the purposes for which God created it is gravely immoral, that deliberate obstruction of life through contraception is contrary to the purposes of marriage, that God is not Gaia, than women are not bridegrooms, and thus cannot be priests, that the new age is occult and not religious, etc. etc. etc... Alternately, they and all their fellow travellers leave the Church in peace so that She can get about the business of the salvation of souls, her actual mission, for which the Lord instituted her. I hope and pray for the former, but will accept the latter.
Alfred Chavez
6 years 6 months ago
I'm amazed that so many protestants show up on a Jesuit magazine's comment page.  The spirit of the Counter-Reformation has clearly been lost.

Not a word here about the specific complaints of the Vatican.

I get the impression that the drive to bring down the male hierachy won't be satisfied until the male head of the Church, Jesus, and perhaps a few apostles, are declared to have been female, a la Joan of arc. 
Thomas Farrelly
6 years 6 months ago
Having read the eight-page letter from the CDF, I still have very little idea of the specific issues involved.  In general, it appears to assert that the LCWR has shown a tendency to ignore or reject orthodox Church teachings, and to defend this by claiming it is being "prophetic".   The LCWR's refusal to accept John Paul's ruling that the ordination of women is not open to discussion seems to be a very sore point.

It also implies that the LCWR is ok with homosexual sex and perhaps with abortion, though this is not clearly spelled out.

I think it impossible to come to an objective judgment on this matter without knowing much more than we do.  Most of the comments here are simply angry outbursts reflecting the commenters' biases. 

I am also curious as to how well the 1500 members of the LWRC reflect the opinions of the 55000
nuns in the US. 

My own opinion is that many undiscussable subjects need a great deal of discussion - for instance the gap between the Vatican's position on contraception and its almost universal use among the laity, the ordination of married men, the ordination of women, the fully human status of a fertilized egg.
Thomas Farrelly
6 years 6 months ago
I should have added to my list of subjects in need of discussion the institution of the Pope as an absolute monarch - something very difficult to defend on a Scriptural or historical basis, and universally rejected by all other Christian denominations.
Juan Lino
6 years 6 months ago
I don’t think anyone in the America Magazine blog community (although I might be wrong about this!) will say that any group is above critiquing.  Additionally, isn’t it possible that some of the corrections noted in the critique of the LCWR are necessary and valid.  
I realize that many are in love with the “the true Catholic Christian women religious once again struggling with the bad old Vatican” narrative, but aren’t calls to start one’s own Faith, or invitations to apostatize, a bit extreme?  Now, if one actually imagines that the LCWR is going to police their own members, then I strongly encourage them to watch the movie Serpico again.
Wouldn’t it be better to wait for the dust to settle before engaging in knee-jerk reactions?  
Mike Evans
6 years 6 months ago
This will become a salient and marked moment in time, much the same as Humanae Vitae was. It will prompt wide-spread discussion about the role of women, of religious life in general, of clerics and clericalism, of the possibilities of ordination of women at least to the diaconate, of centralized power and asset ownership, of governance and discipleship. The Vatican cannot even imagine the fuse that has been lit and the aftershocks this new explosion will cause. See in this issue also the results of the survey of non-practicing Catholics in the Trento Diocese. No shortage of complaints and contentious problems to address. The entire world is watching.
Tom Maher
6 years 6 months ago

Yes there is a very serious control issue with a significant group of nuns who are acting in contradiction to the authority of the Pope, the Bishops, the teachings of the Church, the moral stands of the Bishops in America and the unity and moral iintegrity of the Church while maintaining that they, the nuns,  are Catholic religious leaders.  This is big problem of who controls the Catholic Church and its authentic Gospel message that urgently cries out for correction. 

No, the well-publicized, written contradiction by the nuns of the U.S. Bishops' request to  Congress in 2010 to modify the text of the health care legislation to explicitly prohibit the use of federal funds  for abortions was a scandal that will  long be remembered.  The nuns actions against the Bishop's moral stand underminded the central moral stand of the U.S. Bishops agasint abortion while encouraging the passage of a flawed health care legislation and dividng and confussing everyone on who speaks for the the Church.  Do the  nuns speak for the Church in America or do the Bishops?   Who's in charge?  Who has the authority to speak for the Church?

The public impression left by the nun's actions is the Church is divided and its stand against abortion or any other moral issue is unimportant since its own religious leaders freely contradict the Bishops whenever they please.  The blatant contradiction by the nuns of the Bishops' moral messages is unacceptable.   The nuns' destructive actions agasint the Church must cease and desist.  

The Vatican's conclusions only further confirms what the public already knows about the nuns' free-wheeling actions and attitudes.   
Thomas Farrelly
6 years 6 months ago
"You may have read about the standing ovation offered by the Roman Catholic parish in Seattle when its pastor announced that they would not have to participate in Archbishop Saratain’s political campaign against the new marriage equality law in Washington State..."

This needs clarification.  The Archbishop had asked pastors to read a letter at Mass that supported a petition for a referendum aimed at annulling a new state law allowing gay marriage.  Three parishes asked the Archbishop to allow distrubution of the letter wthout reading it, and permission was given.  I was present at Mass in one of the parishes when the pastor said he had done so out of apprehension that it would be a source of division among the parishioners.  He suggested people read the letter and make up their own minds.  Many people applauded; many did not.
Stephen SCHEWE
6 years 6 months ago
Thanks, Tom.  I appreciate your first-hand account.  In my opinion, Archbishop Saratain's permission showed commendable generosity, a generosity that seems to be missing in a parallel campaign here in Minnesota.
6 years 6 months ago
Steve,
 
I wrote comment #22 so I am going to respond to your comment (#26).  I realize that wide spectrum of people read and comment on this blog and yes, I do not have a divining rod nor am I interested in having one either.  But I, like you, know how to read; and, thanks be to Christ, the Catholic Church has given us a great gift called the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I call it “a great gift” because that book was invaluable to me once I actually believed that Christ was actually God!  Why, because I wanted to know exactly what he taught and not what others thought that he taught, etc.  (If you are interested, what I believe about Christ and His Church is beautifully summarized in the declaration "DOMINUS IESUS”.) And yes, I looked at what Protestants claimed but I found their claims to be lacking. 
 
When I use the word “apostasy” “I” use it as a synonym for “deserting the one true faith” even though I realize that in canon law it has a more precise meaning (BTW, this is an interesting document about that ACTUS FORMALIS DEFECTIONIS AB ECCLESIA CATHOLICA).  Since it’s a valid baptism that makes a person a Christian, I am not saying that people who become Protestants are not Christian; I am declaring that I think they’ve made a mistake.  This is analogous to friends who think I made a mistake when I became a Catholic Christian.  From their point of view, they are right, and I am too. 
 
Now, you wrote: “…if God made people of homosexual orientation as well as heterosexual orientation, and all that God makes is good, what of the Church’s current teachings and laws proclaiming homosexuality “objectively disordered” needs to change?”  What of it?  I am a young man with SSA and I firmly believe what Christ, through the Church teaches; and I, like many others (e.g., those in Courage) strive to adhere to the teachings of Christ.  People with SSA have their cross and those who are straight have theirs – what’s the problem?
 
In your post you are claiming to be the expert of when a church (sic) is practicing the teachings of V2.  Well, the current Pope was there (and the former Pope too) and they assert that the Catholic Church is faithful to the teachings of V2.  Why shouldn’t I believe them, especially since they were there and the Holy Spirit selected them (through sinful beings called humans) to be the Vicar of Christ?
 
And yes, I studied Church history and, believe it or not, it was actually the scandals that helped me believe that the Catholic Church was the Church that Christ said He would build and sustain.  Unlike some, I do not believe in the 3 bars theory.
 
While your opinion, my opinion, Mr. Noonan’s opinion, etc., are interesting, in the end they don’t mean anything.  The ONLY opinion that really matters is Christ’s.  After all, He is the One who we both hold most dear!
Juan Lino
6 years 6 months ago
Steve,
 
I wrote comment #22 so I am going to respond to your comment (#26).  I realize that wide spectrum of people read and comment on this blog and yes, I do not have a divining rod nor am I interested in having one either.  But I, like you, know how to read; and, thanks be to Christ, the Catholic Church has given us a great gift called the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I call it “a great gift” because that book was invaluable to me once I actually believed that Christ was actually God!  Why, because I wanted to know exactly what he taught and not what others thought that he taught, etc.  (If you are interested, what I believe about Christ and His Church is beautifully summarized in the declaration "DOMINUS IESUS”.) And yes, I looked at what Protestants claimed but I found their claims to be lacking. 
 
When I use the word “apostasy” “I” use it as a synonym for “deserting the one true faith” even though I realize that in canon law it has a more precise meaning (BTW, this is an interesting document about that ACTUS FORMALIS DEFECTIONIS AB ECCLESIA CATHOLICA).  Since it’s a valid baptism that makes a person a Christian, I am not saying that people who become Protestants are not Christian; I am declaring that I think they’ve made a mistake.  This is analogous to friends who think I made a mistake when I became a Catholic Christian.  From their point of view, they are right, and I am too. 
 
Now, you wrote: “…if God made people of homosexual orientation as well as heterosexual orientation, and all that God makes is good, what of the Church’s current teachings and laws proclaiming homosexuality “objectively disordered” needs to change?”  What of it?  I am a young man with SSA and I firmly believe what Christ, through the Church teaches; and I, like many others (e.g., those in Courage) strive to adhere to the teachings of Christ.  People with SSA have their cross and those who are straight have theirs – what’s the problem?
 
In your post you are claiming to be the expert of when a church (sic) is practicing the teachings of V2.  Well, the current Pope was there (and the former Pope too) and they assert that the Catholic Church is faithful to the teachings of V2.  Why shouldn’t I believe them, especially since they were there and the Holy Spirit selected them (through sinful beings called humans) to be the Vicar of Christ?
 
And yes, I studied Church history and, believe it or not, it was actually the scandals that helped me believe that the Catholic Church was the Church that Christ said He would build and sustain.  Unlike some, I do not believe in the 3 bars theory.
 
While your opinion, my opinion, Mr. Noonan’s opinion, etc., are interesting, in the end they don’t mean anything.  The ONLY opinion that really matters is Christ’s.  After all, He is the One who we both hold most dear!
Juan Lino
6 years 6 months ago
Hmm... sorry about the double post Tim, my computer is acting up!
Stephen SCHEWE
6 years 6 months ago
Thanks for your comment, Juan.  I know  you're sincere and well-intended in your critique.  By the way, what's the 3 bars theory?
Vince Killoran
6 years 6 months ago
The women religious are not "in dissent."  That is a hamhanded effort to marginalize them.  They should offer themselves as mentors to our U.S. bishops.

 As for Juan's "the Holy Spirit selected them (through sinful beings called humans) to be the Vicar of Christ?": do we need to list the awful, sinful popes through the ages? It's telling that Romans called P. John XXIII "the Good Pope."

What has happened is that the Bishop of Rome and his allies have created a kind of mutant understanding of the role of the office in the Church. 
  
David Van Etten
6 years 6 months ago
 
I am appalled at the Vatican "crack down" on religious women in the Catholic church and deeply saddened to hear that our Archbishop is cooperating with that misguided effort. I am a life-long Catholic, a former minister, who has been taught by and worked alongside Sisters of many different communities for 70 years. These women have been almost without exception wise, compassionate and holy, deserving of both respect and support. For 50 years their Leadership Conference, now under seige, has been a voice for justice, an ear to the poor and vulnerable in our inequitable society. Why a dwindling church chooses to spend energy attacking their most faithfilled members  is beyond comprehension. It becomes more clear each day how desperately both Rome and local chanceries need women among their ranks.

L. Patrick Carroll
2460 Canterbury Lane E, 1a
Seattle, WA. 98112

206-694-3933
 
 
Violete Stevens
6 years 6 months ago
I thank God that the Vatican and the Bishops finally responded to the dissident Nuns and (similarly to the dissident priests and theologians) regarding doctrinal issues on Faith and Morals.  For years, many of us (the lay faithlful) were distubed, harassed and intimidated by these nuns and priests who challenged the Church in the areas of Faith and Morals such as women ordination, abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, celebacy, and others areas so clearly layed out in the Catechism and by the Holy Father(s).  We, the lay faithful, prayed for courage to follow the Church inspite of these dissident clergy and intellectuals.  We will continue to pray that our Bishops will do their pastoral duty to speak up and defend us all in the areas of Faith and Morals so clearly spelled out by the Church in the Catechism and by the Holy Fathers. 
In JMJ,
Violete Stevens
Grand Junction, CO
Richard Dubiel
6 years 6 months ago
I really do enjoy the fulminations of the Vatican and the pronouncements of the Bishops. But why get all upset?  A second reformation needed?  What was wrong with the first one?

Friends ask me why I am  still a Catholic. My quickest reply is that the ELCA Lutherans don't yet have a 4:30 Saturday service.

Rich Dubiel





 
Jim McCrea
6 years 6 months ago
Amy @ #13:  LCWR is a consortium canonically recognized by the Vaticanes.  The same function can be performed without canonical sanction.

These nuns are well advised to not rely on "Holy Mother" church to have their best interestes in mind. 

Reform as non-canonical institutes; set up their own umbrella group; and get on with their lives.

They are over 21; they do NOT need a bunch of crotchety old men telling them what, where, when and why to do ANYTHING.
david power
6 years 6 months ago
Oh Dear,

"All comments will be reviewed before posting", now I feel guilty for past postings.
Anyway, I really liked the comments by Amy who is I have to say far more interesting than Peggy Noonan ,Weigel,Dionne, et al put together.
Juan Lino is also a pleasure to read.
Vince makes a good point about the Romans calling Roncalli the "Good Pope".Having lived in Rome for some years I can tell you that his interpretation is correct.Romans know where the bodies are buried and have a very cynical view  of the Papacy.Kinda like you would view a cop who pulled you over , you would not neccessarily get lippy with the guy and fear would be the predominant emotion .Fear of his power.Roncalli was the one Pope who saw himself as less a semi-divine figure , a historical link in a glorious chain but in far humbler setting."Your Brother" was his self-title .No wonder the world got lost in it all.That Said I think that the Nuns do not exhibit so much love for Jesus as hate for Rome.When the Jesuits went toe to toe with Rome it was usually because they discerned greater things in the Spirit than what the Vatican was capable of ,not always of course.These nuns seem quite often just to have authority issues.      
Juan Lino
6 years 6 months ago
Thanks Steve!  Ditto for you too.  
 
The 3 bars theory is a theory that a friend of mine, which I think he derived from the writings of Vassula Ryden, keeps bludgeoning me with.  Here’s a summary of it from a Vassula Ryden sites:
 
God gave Vassula Ryden a vision of three thick iron bars, saying that these were examples of the three main divisions of Christianity - ORTHODOX, CATHOLIC and PROTESTANT. He said these iron bars would all have to bend towards each other, for Unity to take place, so that the divided Christians would all return to the one Church He had Himself laid down, with Peter as its head; He wanted His Holy Mother honored; and He wanted His Perpetual Sacrifice of Body and Blood accepted in His Church.
 
Virginia Edman
6 years 6 months ago
I heard an interview on the PBS Newhour.  A feminist theologian spoke about the complaints of the Vatican.   Jeannine Hill Fletcher said that the sisters were being judged on what they did not say rather than what they said.  The Vatican wants the sisters to speak up more often on the subjects of abortion, homosexuality and what the bishops feel is important.

Fletcher said that it appeared that the Vatican was trying to silence the sisters, and stop them from thinking and ultimately from discussion or dialogue.  Are they not allowed to have decenting views?  Silence is consent.  The sisters are looking at modern life and trying to adapt and serve the community.  They have consciences and those consciences must be followed.  The sisters are doing what they know they have to do.   They have done nothing wrong.
Virginia Edman
6 years 6 months ago
I listened to the Newhour and the debate about the Vatican.  Here is what I took from that discussion.  The Vatican wants the sisters to preach the doctine of the Church: i.e. The Catechism, the Church teaching on the reproductive system, and Church teaching on homosexuality.  If the sisters have decided that the signs of the times causes change in these doctrines then they should betray their thinking and perhaps their consciences, and maintain Church doctrine, even if they no longer agree with that teaching. 

Many of the sisters are old, and therefore have a lot of experience in the world, with poverty, evil, and experiences of various kinds that the bishops do not have.  Also, they are women, and therefore have the experience of being overlooked, undervalued and ignored.  At sixty or seventy they have acquired a wisdom that is unique to them.  In light of this wisdom, they speak out for compassion, charity and a change of view that will challenge a bishop or two.  This annoys the Vatican, and the hierarchy of the Church would like to return to a former time when nuns were silent and subservient.  Is this a good thing to perpetuate?  In the 21st century, can we allow these faithful servants of God to be silenced like the theologians who raised questions in the past or even today?  That is the question for the Church today.
Richard Cross
6 years 6 months ago
Consider this: if enough Catholic women become disaffected to the point where they leave (joining the millions who no longer practice), the church will implode.  The hierarchy is dispensable; the wives and mothers bringing up the next generation are not.
Rick Fueyo
6 years 6 months ago
Yes there is a very serious control issue with a significant group of nuns who are acting in contradiction to the authority of the Pope, the Bishops, the teachings of the Church, the moral stands of the Bishops in America and the unity and moral iintegrity of the Church while maintaining that they, the nuns,  are Catholic religious leaders.  This is big problem of who controls the Catholic Church and its authentic Gospel message that urgently cries out for correction. 

I think the bolded terms are not conceded by history or the sensus fidelium, including the hsisters

Alfred Chavez
6 years 5 months ago
In case anyone has read through all these comments-just want to point something out that I said at #19.  To #24-Steve's-point about Protestants-note that I used a small "p."  I was not referring to formal Protestants but to Catholics whose positions on many issues stand in opposition to official Church teachings.  I've been a protestant in that sense in the past-I strongly disagreed with Humanae Vitae....until I read it.  I then realized it was a well thought-out document.  One btw, whose predictions have largely come true.
Vince Killoran
6 years 5 months ago
"I've been a protestant in that sense in the past-I strongly disagreed with Humanae Vitae....until I read it.  I then realized it was a well thought-out document."

It's not well-reasoned at all-it looks to natural law but, in order to be credible on this basis, it must be based on natural reason. It isn't.
Thomas Farrelly
6 years 5 months ago
To Virginia Erdman:  You do not have to rely on a feminist theologian to find out the complaints of the Vatican.  Why not just read them at
http://www.usccb.org/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=55544  ?

I have some difficulty with your saying that at 60 or 70 these women have unique knowledge and experience of the world's poverty and evil.  It is rather hard to generalize about the 1500 members of the LCWR.  Some appear to spend a great deal of time traveling and writing rather than serving the poor and downtrodden.

While I certainly favor full discussion of some of the matters that the Vatican considers settled, it is unwise to idolize any group and simply assume that it represents enlightenment and progress.

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