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Wowzer! LCWR to get oversight and desperately needed reform April 18, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness.

I have mentioned on this blog many times how much I love nuns.  That is, women religious who wear a habit, keep a rule, pray the Hours communally, and in general observe religious life as it was meant to be observed  – without radical, worldly, modernist wreckovation.  Knowing that, you may understand how painful it is for me to see women religious who have, for whatever reason, eschewed that traditional observance of religious life.  It breaks my heart to see formerly glorious and storied orders nearing their final end, because of a horrifically erroneous interpretation of Vatican II and its ostensible “spirit” that led to all the grave abuses and problems I mentioned earlier today.  And speaking of, talk about Providence – I just read Amerio’s damning condemnation of the worldly religious last night, and now, today, the Vatican releases a long-expected report on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious – the LCWR, which represents most female religious in the US and, especially, those many orders which have so disastrously lost their way.  I haven’t read all the report, but apparently it is very long, very thorough, and very condemnatory.  Some excerpts from Fr. Z’s coverage below, but with his comments removed and mine thrown in, just to maximize confusion:

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has called for reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its Archbishop Delegate for the initiative.Bishop Leonard Blair and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki also were also named to assist in this effort. [Paprocki is pretty good]

The CDF outlined the call in a “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” (HERE), released April 18. The document outlines findings of the 2008 CDF-initiated doctrinal assessment of LCWR, conducted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, which included his findings and an LCWR response submitted at the end of 2009, as well as a subsequent report from Bishop Blair in 2010

The Archbishop Delegate’s role is to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work of the LCWR,” the CDF document said.

The mandate for the Delegate “will be for a period of up to five years, as deemed necessary,” the document said. It calls for additional advisers – bishops, women religious and other experts – “to work with the leadership of the LCWR to achieve the goals necessary to address the problems outlined in this statement.” It also asked for a formal link between the Delegate and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). [This is going to be ongoing oversight and reform, not a one time event, or, I think, a whitewash.  We’ll see.  But the report, which I scanned, makes numerous references to copious, egregious problems – systemic problems – with the LCWR]

CDF said Pope Benedict XVI approved CDF’s taking action January 14, 2011, two days after a regular session of the CDF decided that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious Congregations in other parts of the world.” CDF also recommend that after the Apostolic Visitation of Religious Communities of Women in the United States, the final report of which was submitted to the Holy See in December 2011, “The Holy See should intervene, with the prudent steps necessary to effect reform of the LCWR.” It also said CDF would “examine the various forms of canonical intervention for the resolution of the problematic aspects present in the LCWR.” [This does sound a bit, as Fr. Z notes, that the greatest concern is for the leadership of the LCWR.  But the leadership is drawn from the ranks.  Fr. Z has intimated at times that the real problem with all these wayward orders is just a relatively few radical feminists at the top.  I’m not certain I agree with that.  The problems are deep and widespread.  Talk to a few orthodox nuns.  They can tell tales that will curl your hair.  While LCWR leadership is, without question, deeply esconced in materialist, radical feminist, and bizaare wicca-inspired environmentalist views, there are more than a few problems with most of the rank and file, as well]

The doctrinal assessment criticized positions espoused at LCWR annual assemblies and in its literature as well as the absence of support from LCWR for Church teaching on women’s ordination and homosexuality. [that’s a delicate way of putting it……..]

CDF said that the documentation “reveals that, while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States. Further, issues of crucial importance in the life of the Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the Bishops, who are the Church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.”  [This is stinging criticism.   These are accusations of apostasy on a score or more of issues, condensed down to some generalities.  I’m glad these enormous problems have not gone unnoticed.  Thank God for the internet.]

……….CDF said, “The Assessment reveals serious doctrinal problems which affect many in Consecrated life,” calling it a crisis “characterized by a diminution of the fundamental Christological center and focus of religious consecration.” 

I know I’ve written some long posts of late, and I know people sometimes struggle to read them. I’m sorry.  But I want to expand on that last quote just a bit.  When I speak of widespread problems, this is what I’m referring to.  Even among some of the more faithful sisters in these, by and large, crazy orders, there is alot of strange earth mother gaia goddess new age worship going on.  There is alot of very disordered theology, theology that confuses priorities, aspects of the natural law, and which is strangely bereft of a firm basis in Christ as Savior, Redeemer, and Fount of Life.  There’s a helluva lot of new age running around.  And new age is not compatible with the Life of Grace – period, full stop. 

So, while we must be careful and not believe that ALL sisters in these orders hold bizaare, even apostate beliefs, it is not unfair to say that most, even the vast majority, do.  There is probably no area of the Church that has been more devastated by the changes of the last 50 years or so than female religious.  It’s been a grave wound to the Church.  We desperately need the constant prayers of good, holy nuns.  I pray this oversight is the beginning of the end for this terrible, unprecedented period of rebellion by female religious.


1. Ryan J Hilliard - April 19, 2012

My hope and prayer is these women will repent and be converted, however too many of them are so far gone, truly believing they are prophets, as they have declared themselves for years at LCWR annual conferences. Like the Pharisees, they have created their own legal fictions like, “responsible dissent,” to assuage their consciences.

In some ways I can’t fully blame the sisters. They were encouraged by many bishops and priests over the last 45 years to continue down this path. And rather than disciplined or taken to task, they were elevated to important positions within diocesan offices, hospitals, universities, seminaries and so forth. I find it hard to believe the heads of the LCWR are “shocked” at this news, but perhaps they truly are, after decades of being rewarded for disobedience.

Nonetheless, it will be an interesting showdown. Who will be left standing when this is all said and done?

-Ryan J Hilliard

tantamergo - April 19, 2012

I’m afraid I have to agree. The response so far is not promising.

2. George - April 22, 2012

The girls I know that have looked into religious life (over the last 10 years) tell me they are looking for the orders where the nuns and sisters wear a habit. Not to be mean, but the pantsuits and necklaces with crosses that were prevalent in the 1970’s and 1980’s do not publicly display witness. Fr. Casey from the Fathers of Mercy can tell you a story about this.

I read about one priest who says that some of the “later vocations” that he has seen from men between 30 and 45 (who usually have a reversion story) were often taught in high school or college by “Sr. Social Justice”. That attitude (particularly in the 1980’s) was often a deterrent to the Catholic church and religious life.

I’m glad to see orders like Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist thriving. I sent them some money because they needed to build a residence hall – they are running out of room, and the majority of these sisters are under 35. The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are doing something right.

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