A reader sent me a photo of an interesting lawn sign.

Someone is treating the Pope in a pretty shabby way.

Shame on them.

We salute the sisters too.

I salute the sisters who are faithful to the teachings of the Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Theodorus says:

    Our Holy Father Benedict XVI has every right to launch an inquisition to clean the house and expose those minions of the devil.

  2. Can’t help but recall Fr. Erik Richtsteig’s post on the visitation. It still cracks me up every time :-)

  3. Hans says:

    Wouldn’t “Sisters of the United States” be daughters of George Washington, as he was the “Father of the Country”? (Somehow I suspect he’s not called that anymore.) Since he died before 1800, they must be quite elderly by now.

  4. ghlad says:

    I can just see the car carrying the detachment from the Vatican on their way to evaluate the local nunnery, driving past that sign, and all of them hanging their heads in shame for the undue pressure and judgment to which they are subjecting The Sisters of the United States.

    The outrage of expecting our nuns to act Catholic! How abhorrently traditional and out-dated!

    PS – I’m also very thankful that they have the courage to further expound on the fallacy of war for Benedict’s enlightenment.

  5. Greg Smisek says:

    I’m “re-imagining”…
    [Foreground sign] We salute the Inquisitor, Benedict XVI! Stop the wayward Sisters!
    [Background sign] Sniveling is not the answer!

  6. Gabriella says:

    Well, really!

    The Magisterium has full right to keep a check on the faithful.
    The ‘faithful’ who are not happy with this are totally free to leave – what’s stopping them?

  7. catholicmidwest says:

    I like the “War is not the answer” sign in the background. Isn’t war what they declared on us in the 60s and isn’t war what they’ve been waging on us for 40 years? War–their kind of war is not the answer. They need to read their own signs more carefully!!

  8. ckdexterhaven says:

    Instead of spending the money on that offensive sign, they could have given it to the poor. Or the time it took to create that spiteful sign, they could have spent in prayer.

  9. Tim Ferguson says:

    I bet that lawn is a nuclear-free zone.

  10. Scott W. says:

    My dad was a bailiff and once said he didn’t mind prisoner tatoos–it made them easier to identify. Same goes with this sign. To wit: An order rooted in faithfulness to the Church’s teachings has nothing to fear.

  11. Seraphic Spouse says:

    How annoying that the sign-poster assumes that Benedict XVI does not himself salute the Sisters “of the US”. In fact, the whole visit is a salutation, is it not?

  12. TNCath says:

    This is going to sound terribly blunt, but I think it needs to be said. Things are going to get really nasty regarding the Apostolic Visitation. The Sisters being “supported” by these folks with signs (many of whom have no clue as to what they are supporting) are armed and ready, not only with signs, but also with their canonists as well as their civil lawyers. Do not underestimate the meanness of these orders. They aren’t going to back down, and I hope and pray the Church won’t either. Externally, these communities and their superiors put on a show of serenity and a desire for “charitable dialogue” with Church leaders. Internally, they are mean-spirited, hateful women who despise the institutional Church and, in their meetings, are constantly looking for ways to introduce “systemic change” which is their vain attempt to undermine the Pope. The last pope they liked was John XXIII, whom they mistakenly believe is their rightful defense of all that has taken place the last 45 years.

    The tragic victims in this whole mess are the very elderly Sisters in these communities who still wear a habit and try, either alone or in small groups, to maintain some semblence of religious life. There are some still who no longer wear the habit but would go back to one tomorrow if the social pressures within their community weren’t so strongly opposed to it. I hope and pray that the Apostolic Visitation vindicates these unsung heroes of the Church, who are literally prisoners of their communities, with no one to turn to and nowhere to go.

  13. bookworm says:

    Was this sign outside a convent by any chance? Or a parish office where one of the “Sisters of the United States” serves as an administrator or pastoral associate or something like that?

  14. Has anyone ever done a study or tried to estimate how much longer we will have to wait until many of these dying, dissenting religious orders die-off or lose all their members? Are we within 10 years? 20 years? It certainly seems most of the members of these orders are at least in their 60’s now, if not older.

    Anyone have a guess how much longer the U.S. Church has to endure their war against the Church from within?

  15. Jon says:

    Save time, money, and souls.

    Suppress them subito!

  16. Not to be invidious, but can anyone imagine this happening under the papacy of John Paul II? While JPII might focus on individuals, Pope Benedict is asserting his authority over whole groups! THAT is why Traditional Anglicans have approached this Vatican to be reconciled. They would never join an institution which mirrored their tired, shallow Anglicanism.

  17. Amy MEV says:

    Something tells if you pan out there is an Obama sign to the left.

  18. irishgirl says:

    Vincenzo strikes again!

    These ‘ladies’ are loony, if you ask me!

    Jon-Yeah, I’m with you…suppress them subito!

    Give me the good faithful young communities anytime!

  19. Dan says:

    Does anyone recall if there was a similar uproar during the visitation of U.S. seminaries?

  20. TNCath says:

    Dan: “Does anyone recall if there was a similar uproar during the visitation of U.S. seminaries?”

    As I recall, no, not as much. After the sexual abuse scandal hit, the seminaries (and the priests) were so shell-shocked by the fallout that I don’t think they felt like they had a leg to stand on.

    As for the sisters, well, they do have one valid point: why did it take 45 years for the Church to finally get around to confronting these sisters about their lifestyles? I realize that Vatican documents were published such as “Essential Elements of Religious Life” and “Vita Consecrata” which exhorted religious to lead faithful lives in loyalty to the magisterium, etc., but these were either ridiculed or routinely ignored by hosts of religious communities in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong: I’m overjoyed the Apostolic Visitation is taking place, but I am also sorry and puzzled that it didn’t take place sooner.

  21. Andrew says:

    “Imprimisque hominis est propria veri inquisitio atque investigatio.” (Cicero, de Officiis)

    (Our first duty is the search and investigation of truth).

    Who would be opposed to inquisition? Inquisition is what we live for. Oh if people only knew a little Latin they would not be as confused.

  22. RichR says:

    Sorry, couldn’t resist………..


  23. ray from mn says:

    I am a little schizophrenic on the visitation. The real problem is the leadership of those orders. Many of the sisters in the orders are still trying to remain faithful to their original vows.

    The incompetence and irresponsibility of the “leadership” of many of those orders is the reason that once a year every parish in the U.S. contributes money to support their elderly members. They neglected to enroll them in Social Security and Medicare. They didn’t set aside money for retirement for them.

    Who’s going to be supporting those “leaders” when there are no sisters working to support them? The Church is.

    The Pope has every right to request a report on their status. He will have to provide financial for them since they can’t do it theirself.

  24. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Benedict’s inquisition puts me in mind of that old Monty Python skit:

  25. Girgadis says:

    I wasn’t aware that there was an order of nuns belonging to the United States. I thought nuns were brides of Christ. And the sign’s author doesn’t even have the respect to address the Holy Father by his proper name. I wouldn’t have the effrontery to address my pastor by his first name, let alone the Vicar of Christ.

  26. William says:

    A moribund group of religious sisters here in Wisconsin once put up a sign on the outskirts of the town declaring it to be a nuclear free zone–and then the radon detector went off in the convent’s basement! The sign is gone but this dwindling bunch of lunellas still bray in the moonlight as they dance about their labyrinth. The Grand Inquisitor best come with a ready supply of straight jackets.

  27. joecct77 says:

    Mass Catholic….


    Our weapons are three:
    And an almost fanatical devotion to Jesus Christ

  28. ssoldie says:

    To bad there wasn’t one in 1978-1979 or 1980, of all of the Catholic monastary’s and seminary’s in the american catholic church, and also inclued the usccb. God bless Pope Benedict XVI. Just clean them all out, for the good of the many.

  29. Margaret says:

    I salute the sisters who are faithful to the teachings of the Church.

    Seriously. On a very positive note, despite all these aging sisters who stopped believing the Catholic Faith a long time ago, we are so blessed with scores of (mostly young) faithful sisters who are doing terrific work. I am grateful that my children have the opportunity to attend a really substantial CCD program, largely staffed by the IVE sisters (you can see them at ) They are pious, kind, cheerful women who truly show forth the love of Christ.

  30. Gabriel Austin says:

    There seems to be much confusion about the nature of the original Inquisition. It was a good institution until taken over by the government. [No surprises there].

    From its rules and regulations come many of the modern protections for those accused: a number of witnesses, careful records [who said what, where, and when] which still exist, punishment of false testimony, and the like.

    The Inquisition was considered so easy that many criminals began preaching heresy so that they would be tried by the Inquisition, rather than the civil courts.

  31. Warren says:

    When you clean house you start by tossing out the trash. The religious in Canada and the U.S. harbour a lot of “trashy” ideologies that hardly resemble the Catholic Faith. In Victoria, B.C., the Sisters of Saint Anne, a former teaching order with a long and happy history in the Diocese, are so aged and so few in number that they cannot keep their beautiful retreat centre in operation. However, in addition to hosting many questionable new age presenters, the sisters themselves have been offering reiki courses, enneagram workshops, “women’s spirituality” (read wiccan) workshops and a myriad of (anything but Catholic) social justice conferences to try and drum up support for their failing enterprise. The latest brochure presents every kind of new age pablum while Catholic spiritual practices are largely ignored or given token representation. Needless to say, their order is dying. Vocations are nonexistent. Perhaps their former legacy could be preserved if they were to deed the property to the Diocese so that it could be put to use to house seminarians or used as a Catholic college.

  32. MargaretMN says:

    It takes a special kind of fanatic to have a law sign printed for such a narrow cause. The peace sign lawn sign in combination with that is LOL.

  33. Dave N. says:

    Dan: “Does anyone recall if there was a similar uproar during the visitation of U.S. seminaries?”

    There was a GREAT DEAL of uproar at our local seminaries–until they realized that nothing would come of the visitation–and everyone promptly forgot about it. I’m guessing we’ll see the same results with the sisters that we saw with the seminaries: a report will be filed, some sort of initial outcry of protest will ensue, and then everyone and everything will continue on as before.

  34. Supertradmom says:

    How many young women in the 1970s and 1980s could not find orthodox orders to join? These types of nuns are personally responsible for the lack of vocations.

  35. Bruce says:

    “In contrast to the great theologians of the last generation who were subjected to pressure by the Holy Office and bore it silently, today, though such pressures have ceased, they whine like children at the dentist’s even before their teeth are touched”

    Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church (1974)

Comments are closed.