I missed this the other day. On review, it is important enough to post about.
Over at Fishwrap, the National Schismatic Reporter, there is an interview with the head of the LCWR, Sr. Florence Deacon, from 7 May, while she was at the international meeting in Rome of leaders of women religious. Sr. Deacon’s interview was after João Card. Braz de Aviz from the Congregation for Religious spoke to the meeting of the UISG, but before Pope Francis came and explained that “sentire cum Ecclesia” cannot be thought of apart from the Church and her hierarchy.
The first part of Sister’s odd interview is less important. Along the way, however, something emerges that needs attention. Let’s dive in in medias res.
Q: This meeting has really focused on servant leadership. In many of the speeches, there has been mention of questions of obedience, power, and authority. Bruna Costacurta spoke of how Esther used her power; this morning we heard about the “authority of the suffering.” Is that raising any new thoughts for you about obedience, or about authority, or about structures of church power?
DEACON: They’re explaining them in a different focus, but I don’t know that they’re raising any new questions in my mind. But the imagery is beautiful. It’s a way that I have perceived power an authority my whole life.
Vatican II was 50 years ago. These are Vatican II concepts. To me, they’re not particularly new.
Q: This morning, Sr. Martha Zechmeister mentioned that the final authority for religious rests with God.
DEACON: And listening to God — since Vatican II, we’ve looked at authority as listening and obedience as listening to God. They’re putting it in the context of listening to God through the voice of the poor.
I have to go back and reread Esther, because that was an eye-opener for me, in the sense of how she [Bruna Costacurta, a professor of biblical theology at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University] used Esther as a symbol of scriptural authority.
The imagery has been new to me, and I do want to go back and look at that. But the Vatican Council talked about the Spirit among all of us. If the Spirit speaks among all of us or is in all of us, then authority is listening to others too.
You listen to the voice of God as expressed in the community, as well as the will of God expressed through life situations, as well as the will of God expressed through scripture.
So you listen to the will of God in a whole lot of ways. And listening to God through established authority. You look at it all those ways.
Q: There’s different aspects?
DEACON: Yes, right. And then if you’re hearing some different things from them there has to be some real discernment as to what does the Spirit seem to be calling you to — what does God seem to be calling me to at this point, at this time? And then you make the best decision you can and you just leave it in God’s hands.
This is complete subterfuge.
You’re initial reaction is that this is gobbledygook. You would be right. But, once you get past the word salad, you find something very bad at the heart of her responses.
What does this mean? It is NOT sentire cum Ecclesia, that’s for sure.
Why is Florence Deacon saying this? She is manifesting yet another dimension of the Magisterium of Nuns.
She is using the “poor”, and the poor can be translated loosely, as a hermeneutic for just about everything they want to justify doing. La Voz de los Pobres, The Voice of the Poor (it’s just better in Spanish), is a cover for setting aside Magisterial teaching.
This is how this works.
First, I take the “experience” of the person I am talking to. That person, who has some sort of conflict or problem, is in the category of “the poor”, or “the marginalized”, no matter what their income is. When that “poor” person speaks, I am listening to the voice of God, because the voice of God is heard in La Voz de los Pobres. So, the “poor” person’s experience, and then my “experience” of listening, become the grounding of interpretation of God’s will. See?
Then, after this listening, I interpret what the person wants to do. For example, the “poor” person wants to have sex with someone of the same sex, or wants to simulate ordination to the priesthood, or wants to vote for pro-abortion politicians who support certain social justice programs, or even wants to have an abortion.
Then, because the “poor” person told me what they want, and because I, the interpreter of La Voz de los Pobres have listened, I give the “poor” permission to do what they want. I have effectively bypassed the Church and the authentic Magisterium. I, wielding the Holy Spirit, have listened to God in La Voz de los Pobres and that listening has given me all the authority I need no matter what the “official” Church says.
Say for the sake of this exercise I am a LCWR nun. I encounter another “gay” person. I listen. I can now affirm her in her “gayness”. I can affirm her because I listened to the voice of God in La Voz de los Pobres.
This blah blah from Sr. Deacon, reveals what these nuns are after: they seek to set aside the defined teaching of the Church and simply affirm their own desires. They are seeking to supersede the Magisterium of the Pope and bishops with their own Magisterium of Nuns, rooted in whatever the hell they want to do.