LCWR Assembly Update: How did keynote speaker Hubbard do?

I posted a video of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly’s keynote speaker, Barbara Marx Hubbard, HERE.  If you were able to get through even part of it, you have an idea of what NunThink involves and why the CDF undertook their doctrinal assessment of the LCWR.

How did it go?

At the National Catholic Register, an expert on women religious in the USA, Ann Carey (see her good book), wrote a piece about what happened at the opening of the LCWR assembly.

Futurist Addresses LCWR Assembly  [Perhaps "futurist" is too neutral a term.  Watch the video I linked and make up your own mind.]

by ANN CAREY

[...]

Just to be sure everyone knows who we media are, [I wasn't invited.] we were issued bright neon green name tags with matching ribbons emblazoned with “MEDIA.” (For this former English teacher, the badge reminds me of Hester Prynne’s “Scarlet Letter.”) And, to make us all feel welcome, we were told, we media were asked to stand up and be recognized at the first open session so that LCWR members could thank us for our good work covering their story this year. [Ha!  They did that so that the media would be more easily recognized, not so that they would be welcome.]

The LCWR members, on the other hand, have white name tags that are their tickets into the “executive sessions” where the CDF mandate will be discussed. But even the members were warned this afternoon before the first executive session about the need for confidentiality. LCWR president, Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, told the assembly that the LCWR style was “transparent,” but since this was a “critical moment” for the organization, confidentiality was necessary: [So much for transparency.]
If in your own conscience you cannot understand or perceive confidentiality as anything other than total transparency, we ask you to think about not coming to the executive sessions, not in the interest of ever excluding anyone, but in creating the kind of environment we need to really discern with each other in freedom and openness.” [They usually only accuse men of creating an unsafe environment.  Perhaps this is a tacit acknowledgement of SNAP's concerns?]
In the first open session, the featured speaker, futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, was led through the assembly hall at the Millennium Hotel by several sisters who were waving orange scarves draped over their arms. [?!?]
Once on the stage, the sisters moved in a circle around Hubbard as they raised and lowered the scarves and the assembly was asked to extend their hands in blessing while singing, “Spirit of vision, Spirit of life! Spirit of courage, be with her now! Wisdom and Truth be on her lips!

["Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."]

Hubbard is an engaging speaker, and she knew how to connect with her audience, though the futurist terminology she used left this journalist reaching for a dictionary to look up “noosphere,” “cosmo genesis,” synergistic convergence” and “Christification.”
Hubbard believes that we are at a critical time in humanity, a “tipping point” that will lead to either breakdown or evolutionary [?!?] breakthrough. She made vague references throughout her talk to the “crisis” the LCWR was facing and encouraged the members by saying that breakthroughs often happen only after chaos or crisis. Furthermore, she proclaimed, the LCWR members were just the kind of people to lead humanity to this breakthrough because of their “evolutionary capacities” that had guided the organization over the past 40 years. [So, she pandered.]
“So my conclusion is that you are the best seedbed I know for evolving the Church and the world in the 21st century,” [Without seed.] Hubbard said.
“Almost all structures are top down,” Hubbard continued, giving the examples of nations, states, organized religions and corporations. “So what is needed today,” she continued, “is a radical reform of existing institutions from their top-down version.
I might be wrong, but I believe she was talking about that elephant in the room, and if so, I have to think that is not what Jesus had in mind when he said “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church.”
Maybe I’ll find out tomorrow, for Hubbard will offer her response to a panel on the topic of “Religious Life in the Future: What Might It Look Like?” with Tom Fox, publisher of National Catholic Reporter, Jamie Manson, a columnist for the Reporter, and Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Sister Jennifer Gordon, who is active in Giving Voice, an organization of younger sisters.

Stay tuned.

 

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52 Responses to LCWR Assembly Update: How did keynote speaker Hubbard do?

  1. frjim4321 says:

    Am away from broadband this week so can’t watch.

  2. anilwang says:

    Let’s see “noosphere,” “cosmogenesis,” “synergistic”, “convergence” and “Christification.”, “tipping point”, “evolutionary capacities”, “radical reform”.

    Bingo! I win! (see http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Buzzword%20Bingo )

  3. Clinton says:

    “So my conclusion is you are the best seedbed I know for evolving the Church and the world
    in the 21st century”
    Hubbard said (er, pandered).

    I don’t see how they’ll be evolving anything, since if they don’t turn things around soon neither
    the LCWR nor the congregations it represents will exist. You can’t wave an orange scarf at
    demographics and make them go away…

  4. deliberatejoy says:

    I think that the orange scarves are supposed to represent tongues of fire, reminiscent of the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles at Pentecost. The implications of these ‘sisters’ presumption of choosing their own versions of bishops aside (who died and made THEM Popes, or God, for that matter??) the call for ‘renewal’ and ‘reunification’ seems to me to be a direct order to the Almighty to redefine His original design for His Church in LCWR’s preferred image. Not that the Almighty has anything to do with their visions; I’m getting, rather, visions of golden (orange?) calves and bacchanalian unseeded orgies. Oh, and do not get me *started* on such words as ‘Christification.’ My uncharitable thoughts there make me want to head straight to Confession.

  5. Animadversor says:

    So, Father Jim, you have left a comment to advise those of us awaiting your remarks that there are none? If so, I beg to thank you for your courtesy in sparing us the anxiety we should otherwise have felt.

  6. Will D. says:

    At the risk of appearing uncharitable toward Fr. Jim, I’m relieved that he can’t comment on the subject.

  7. Bea says:

    Oh, Father Z., you are too funny…

    “Eye of newt, and toe of frog,………..”

    Loved that.

    Color Meaning ( http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html )
    Orange
    Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

    To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

    Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.

    Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.

    Hmmm
    I wonder if they picked orange because
    “orange increases oxygen supply to the brain”?
    or
    “Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust”?

    Maybe they forgot to add the color “black” (which denotes Halloween)?

  8. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Once on the stage, the sisters moved in a circle around Hubbard as they raised and lowered the scarves and the assembly was asked to extend their hands in blessing while singing, “Spirit of vision, Spirit of life! Spirit of courage, be with her now! Wisdom and Truth be on her lips!”

    Amateurs!

  9. Father Z, you made me laugh so hard with that spontaneous witches’ spell. It just had that “pop out at you” quality to it. I can really see the nuns breaking out in that, perhaps invoking Sacred Mother Earth and God the Mother as their muses.

    And I have to agree with anima and Will D…

  10. catholicmidwest says:

    I believe that many people don’t really realize how incredibly far out some of these sisters are. Some of them have left Christianity entirely without leaving their religious congregations.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    If they were in habits, they would not need silly New Age scarves for spiritual identification. All of this is years and years and years of disobedience, some activities tolerated by bishops.

  12. Stephen D says:

    I believe that they have ‘over-stepped the mark’ to such an extent that those participants, who are not yet totally blinded spiritually, will recoil from this nonsense and sense the danger that is apparent to the rest of us. I really cannot believe that some (hopefully many) will not now seek a way out of this organisation or to radically change it. They could have played a couple of dvd’s of Mother Angelica at almost no cost and gained infinitely more in the way of truth applicable to leadership and spirituality.

  13. Kerry says:

    Media…shouldn’t that have been Medea?

  14. Kerry says:

    Animadversor, “A hit! A very palpable hit!”

  15. acardnal says:

    Maybe Fr. Jim is at the conference.

  16. TNCath says:

    At one point, I thought it might feasible that the Episcopal church might court these sisters to swim the Thames and join up with them. After reading this, I am beginning to believe that even the Episcopal church would find them off-the-wall. Perhaps Archbishop Sartain should have crashed the party, regardless of the LCWR’s wishes.

  17. Supertradmum says:

    I am hoping that Michael Voris, Knight of the Church Militant, will show up outside with his camera crew.

  18. Jack Regan says:

    “Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog”

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it… If we take the **** out of these people all we will achieve it to alienate them more. We won’t change their hearts!

  19. Scott W. says:

    Wow. Giant green cards with MEDIA on them and being singled out for recognition. Delphi Technique on steroids!

  20. Scott W. says:

    4th Century–I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it… If we take the **** out of Arius and is cronies we will achieve it to alienate them more. We won’t change their hearts!

  21. Jack Regan says:

    Scott… do you wanna stand next to all the things the Church has done in the past to tackle it’s enemies? Do ya really? Okay, so it might have proved successful in the end, but I am forever being told that the end doesn’t justify the means with God!

  22. Scott W. says:

    Yes. But you need to demonstrate that what Fr. Z did there was objectively wrong. I’ll save you some time: you can’t.

  23. Suburbanbanshee says:

    They’d never use Shakespeare for a chant. Shakespeare scans, and in this case, rhymes. The essence of a bad hymn today is to have limp, buzzwordy lyrics as well as banal music.

    Re: confidentiality — There’s no confidentiality in a hotel or convention center function room. If you were really interested, it would be a matter of laughable ease to put transmitters or recorders in every function room on a convention schedule. If you were really bored, most hotels and conference centers have tons of alternate ways to get around the place, designed for the staff’s convenience. And of course, there’s usually so much noise coming out of function rooms, both through the walls and the doors, that you don’t actually have to attend a panel to know everything that’s going on in it. And with today’s wireless microphones, there’s even a convenient radio broadcast of every miked word. So exclusion of reporters and pretend fear is just a playbaby game they’re playing to make themselves feel brave and daring and in-the-know.

    If you don’t want outsiders to know what you’re up to, don’t hold a convention. Duh.

  24. TNCath says:

    I am reminded of the interview John Allen had with Cardinal Levada this past June. It’s not like they didn’t know this was coming…

    John Allen: Speaking of Barbara Marx Hubbard, LCWR officials have said they went ahead with their assembly in August because you gave them permission to do so. Is that accurate?

    Cardinal Levada: Yes, mea culpa! At the time, I hadn’t been aware of who was being invited to speak or to get an award. I appreciated their concern that everything was already in place, and I said that’s fine, we’re OK with that. We haven’t asked them to do an about-face. I feel comfortable in saying, however, that I wish they hadn’t made these choices.

    John Allen: By that, you mean the choice to invite Hubbard?

    Cardinal Levada: Yes, and also to give an award to Sr. Sandra Schneiders for a view of religious life which has nothing to do with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council or the post-conciliar church.

  25. Jack Regan says:

    Not really.

    I’m not saying that what Fr. Z did was objectively bad. He’s a good guy who runs a good site, and what I say is hopefully given and taken in charity.

    I can fully understand why people get frustrated and why this makes them lash out from time to time. It’s understandable, and it’s human. I’m not trying to designate anybody as being objectively in the wrong. Rather, just talking tactics.

    My point, I guess, is that if you can approach people in charity it goes a long way. If these people believe that we really love them and that we are trying to lead them towards a truer expression of Christian faith which will better fulfil them and better empower their work then we have a much greater chance of changing them, than simply making jokes about exercise rooms and witch chants and the like.

    After all, surely we would prefer the LCWR to change and become more Orthodox. We’re not trying to beat them or score points against them just for it’s own sake.

    I’ll leave it there, but maybe it’s something we can all take to prayer :)

  26. acardnal says:

    The heterodoxy of the LCWR has been going on for decades! Negotiation, consultation, talking has not worked. You can only negotiate for so long and then the hammer must come down (same applies to Iran).

    Read Ann Carey’s book which Father Z has been promoting. Get the facts.

  27. contrarian says:

    Hi Jack,
    I appreciate your angle, and I appreciate your desire to be sensitive. I really do. But I think the approach taken here is precisely the right one, if one is interested in the salvation of souls. To paraphrase Ed Feser, if you treat nonsense respectfully, you give the illusion that these are ideas to be taken seriously, and maintain the false idea that these people might in fact be on to something.

    Ridiculous ideas need to be treated as if they are ridiculous, precisely because to not treat them as such is to cause scandal for the faithful and confused and vulnerable.

  28. Springkeeper says:

    Jack Regan: We certainly must pray for them because they are in extreme danger of being condemned to hell for all eternity and taking far too many with them.

    acardinal: Ann Carey’s book is wonderfully informative albeit depressing. The hammer must fall against these heretics (NCWR); willful and deliberate mutinous evil must be purged from our ranks.

  29. acardnal says:

    Remember, these sisters have been and still are teaching our youth. The poison they have spewed is evident in its results: poorly catechized Catholics who do not know the one, true faith and who are now in positions of leadership, e.g. Nancy Pelosi.

    Someone posted this quote previously,
    “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.”
    –Pope St. Felix III

  30. acricketchirps says:

    @acardnal: The heterodoxy of the LCWR has been going on for decades!… You can only negotiate for so long and then the hammer must come down (same applies to Iran).

    Agreed. I don’t know why Iran still even pretends to be Catholic!

  31. Joe in Canada says:

    “noosphere” and all that comes from Teilhard de Chardin. Whatever use was made subsequently of his writings – and whatever errors he made – , he himself was trying to do what Lonergan did more successfully; show the unity of the Christian faith with observable reality and science.

  32. WorkInProgress says:

    This segment from Hubbard gave me a chill:
    Hubbard believes that we are at a critical time in humanity, a “tipping point” that will lead to either breakdown or evolutionary [?!?] breakthrough… she proclaimed, the LCWR members were just the kind of people to lead humanity to this breakthrough because of their “evolutionary capacities” that had guided the organization over the past 40 years.
    Just this morning I had discovered a flyer inserted in our local paper with very similar wording, calling for a global education campaign to prepare the world for the new future of humanity that is being birthed. The paper directed readers to a website mutualresponsibility.org which is full of one world, we can unite all people in peace if we reject everything that we think we know, etc.
    Having just finished reading Robert H Benson’s Lord of the World, the parallels are striking. Perhaps the book has made me paranoid, but it does further confirm the impression that the LCWR is lining up on the wrong side of the great battle.

  33. Bryan Boyle says:

    Jack Reagan: “My point, I guess, is that if you can approach people in charity it goes a long way. If these people believe that we really love them and that we are trying to lead them towards a truer expression of Christian faith which will better fulfil them and better empower their work then we have a much greater chance of changing them, than simply making jokes about exercise rooms and witch chants and the like.”

    40 years of ‘charity’ and tolerance has brought us to this point. Even the Lord himself took up a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple precincts. Just like you don’t bring a soup spoon to a gun fight, at some point, when it’s painfully obvious that all the charity, tolerance, and love in the world is not going to change anything….strong, stern, and blatantly obvious to even the most dense bystander measures are called for. Tough love, not roll over and try to sing Kumbaya with them. The damage is too far gone to wring hands over this.

    These ladies are/have been/will continue to pervert and attempt to twist the Faith to their own ends. They must be called out for what they are. With prayers that they reform their lives, certainly, but no tolerance forever more of the fact they are so far off the path that even GPS will be of little use to find them.

  34. cnaphan says:

    Some more Shakespeare that comes to mind:

    “Tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed;
    Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely.”

  35. Southern Catholic says:

    Bryan Boyle spoke the truth when he said.”40 years of ‘charity’ and tolerance has brought us to this point.”

    That is the truth.

  36. Bea says:

    Tolerance should be a mortal sin.
    It only encourages and promotes evil and error.
    The Inquisition had it right, maybe not to the point of death, but to the point of excommunication.
    Many “excommunicate themselves” but they don’t know it.
    It takes a formal excommunication to either wake them up or at least wake up their “followers”
    Prayer, yes,
    Tolerance, no.

  37. trleith says:

    I should like to point out to our dear sisters that evolution is, by definition, a meaningless, mindless process…

  38. benedetta says:

    This whole debacle represents several giant steps backward for the dignity of Catholic women everywhere. For shame.

  39. McCall1981 says:

    I’m reading St. Augustine’s City of God right now, and this passage made me think of the LCWR “doctrines” that are unfortunately being proclaimed.
    “When, therefore, man lives according to man, not according to God, he is like the devil. Because not even an angel might live according to an angel, but only according to God, if he was to abide in the truth, and speak God’s truth and not his own lie.”

  40. acardnal says:

    McCall1981: I am adding that quote to my collection.

    Congrats on reading the “City of God”. I hope you are in a study group.

  41. MuchLikeMartha says:

    Something wicked this way comes…

  42. Indulgentiam says:

    If the CDF was giving LCWR enough rope to see what they would do with it, i think that they can now safely say they’ve hung themselves with it. These wicca circle walking, scarf waving, incantation chanting, hormonal imbalanced regenopausal women are a scandal. They are clearly entrenched in their stiff necked refusal to obey their vows. How many school children is the CDF going to allow them to take down, the same diabolical road their on, before they do something?

  43. theidler says:

    Father Z, it might interest you to know that I saw this comment on a youtube video of hers:

    “In her book Happy Birthday Planet Earth Hubbard describes Christians as the regrettable cancer that must be? cut out”

    I wonder if this is true…

  44. catholicmidwest says:

    Indulgentium,

    Most of the sisters in the US haven’t taught school children in DECADES. They’re too old. And most of them finished their careers in other fields anyway.

  45. Kathleen10 says:

    So it’s not them that has to change, it’s the Vatican. Of course! The hubris is hard to take, really. The obvious and unmitigated arrogance. Feh!

    It is not coincidence that so many “prophets”, even odd ones like Mz. Hubbard, see the end or the beginning just around the corner. The reason they see things in this cataclysmic way have something to do with their own reality. They know they are going to buy that farm fairly soon, and the mind clings to some reassurance that this will not actually happen, they will be the first of a generation who does not have to die, because of this cosmic “thing” that is pending. Poppycock.

    The mental image of a group of crones circling each other with orange scarves, chanting, is so far out, I don’t know. Anybody not in their cov….group…surely must have said what on God’s green earth is this. This is really unbelievable. If they do not get a thumbs down from Bishop Levada, then it will be very discouraging. Very. What cattle prod does Bishop Levada have that would bring these gals into alignment?

    Their request for media to identify themselves by standing up so they could be “thanked” is a transparent cover so that members don’t say anything to a visitor that might not reflect well on the group’s actions, although what that could be in light of the bizarre Mz. Hubbard, I don’t know. They’d have to stretch realllllly far to top her comments. If the media were present, I could be wrong on this, but I’m wondering if the media has a more clear idea of what the concerns are about the LCWR. They are not just a wee off, they’re WAY off! Not that they would admit this, of course. We have no friends in the mainstream media. Unless the Catholic League was there? Now that would be interesting!

  46. Athelstan says:

    Hello Jack,

    I’ll happily stand next to everything the Church did to tackle the Arians.

    Charity has been tried for forty years to nudge the sisters out of their manifest errors. It has it’s limits. At some point, the danger to souls in the flock that may be misled by such people for lack of proper warning or discipline has to be considered.

  47. Indulgentiam says:

    @catholicmidwest—-true but she has great influence over those Sisters who still do.

  48. Midwest St. Michael says:

    @catholicmidwest – again. :)

    “Most of the sisters in the US haven’t taught school children in DECADES. They’re too old. And most of them finished their careers in other fields anyway.”

    Respectfully, cm, and adding to Indulgentiam’s point – while it is true many of these sisters have not taught in a *school setting* in decades – they have been, and continue to be, teaching in “religious ed” programs at the parish and diocesan level. (with disastrous results)

    Yes, the biological solution is happening – however, *their disciples* still teach, to a certain degree, much of what LCWR type religious believe/think.

    These sisters still lead catechetical “workshops,” retreats, seminars, etc… with the blessing of many parish priests and diocesan bishops. I know, I have seen it first-hand and have attended these things (for a time, then I simply stopped going for fear of osmosis or something).

    It is the same old song and dance:

    The doctrines of the Church have changed over the centuries, so…

    One day women will be ordained priests and bishops
    Capital punishment is just as much an evil as abortion
    It is alright for married couples to use the birth control pills
    Sometimes abortion may be the only answer
    War is always evil and can never be justified
    Reiki is just another way to pray and be alligned with God(dess)

    Hope you get my drift, cm. (with all due respect and charity towards you)

    Make no mistake – the effects of these sisters and their false “gospel” (see Gal. 1:9) will be felt for *decades* to come.

    MSM

  49. tkirn1 says:

    Here is an article of the event by the Archdiocesan newspaper: The St. Louis Review.

    http://stlouisreview.com/article/2012-08-08/lcwr-keynote-speakers

    Fr. Teilhard de Chardin S.J.’s book “The Phenomenon of Man” is mentioned as inspiring the speaker to “[find] myself shifting from my role as the procreator towards the role of cocreator.”

    I hope the competent Ecclesial authorities can clear this up.