My friend the nearly-ubiquitous John L Allen Jr (still alas with the Fiswrap) has a fascinating and long interview with the Prefect of the CDF Card. Levada about the LCWR and Sr Farley and “being mean to nuns”.
Here is an excerpt:
ALLEN: You said a moment ago that this is not about “the sisters,” but LCWR. Yet looking at recent events, including the apostolic visitation of women’s orders in the States, the LCWR crackdown and the notification on Sr. Margaret Farley, many people can’t help concluding that there is a broad attack underway on nuns in America.
CARD L: I’ve read some articles along those lines, but it’s just not the case. These things take a lot of time, and they all have their own logic. For instance, we didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Let’s go after Margaret Farley.” [I love it.] Frankly, this came up because of an interview she gave in Ireland. She was there for a conference, and said something along the lines that Ireland ought to approve same-sex marriage. Someone in Ireland objected, asking, “Why is this sister coming from the States and pushing same-sex marriage?” [This is why Fr. Z suggests that sometimes it is a good idea to write to the CDF.] We wrote to her superior and got a vague response about how she’s a wonderful person who enjoys great esteem. That’s how Margaret Farley came onto our radar screen. It had nothing to do with the LCWR. We then found [her book] Just Love, read the reviews, and the process developed from there.
I don’t see any conspiracy. All of us as Catholics have responsibilities, but especially bishops, priests and religious, to speak the good word that is the faith of the church, which is that God is revealed through Jesus Christ. We have nothing to say about the “Gospel according to Maureen Dowd,” [LOL] of course, but Margaret Farley is a woman who represents the church.
If anything, [the Farley case] collaterally gives another example of why this LCWR assessment is taking place. Too many people crossing the LCWR screen who are supposedly representing the Catholic church aren’t representing the church with any reasonable sense of product identity.
I’ve gotta hand it to both of them. Read the whole thing!