The LCWR (Magisterium of Nuns) v The Bishops

A lot of liberals whined about the Apostolic Visitation of communities of women religious.

“Why should they have to be subjected to this investigation?”, they whinnied.


I didn’t catch this the other day,  10Feb, but it doesn’t surprise in the least.

From the group’s website:
Contact: Annmarie Sanders, IHM
LCWR Director of Communications
301-588-4955 (office); 301-672-3043 (cell)

Public Statement from the LCWR Officers on the February 10, 2012 White House Resolution

[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is grateful that President Obama and the administration listened to the concerns raised about providing effective healthcare coverage in a way that respects and honors the conscience rights of religious institutions. We believe the resolution the President made is a fair and helpful way for us to move forward.

We are grateful to the many individuals and organizations who courageously voiced their concerns on this critical matter and worked together to find a resolution. Such collaboration and mutual respect model an effective way for our country to deliberate on the many complex issues we face.

LCWR supports the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act so that the urgent needs of the uninsured can be met.

Issued by Sister Pat Farrell, OSF, LCWR President; Sister Florence Deacon, OSF, LCWR President-Elect; Sister Mary Hughes, OP, LCWR Past-President

Elsewhere, I wrote:

The American bishops should meet in a special plenary session to discuss matters relating to the President’s attack on religious liberty and on the Catholic Church.

One of the action items should be to issue a statement that Catholics United and the Catholic Health Association may not use the word “Catholic”.

Perhaps they should also have an agenda item about the LCWR.

The Magisterium of Nuns is coalescing.

And let us not forget that the LCWR, while criticizing bishops, have consistently stonewalled any attempt to get information about abuse of children by women religious.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. Kathleen10 says:

    Father Z, are we not likely approaching the “end times”? Given all that is currently going on, presidents assaulting our religious freedom, “performers” on television committing outrageous acts of blasphemy against our God, faith, and church, and the public mostly approves…combined with the blatant resentment and vitriol that comes from the public at large…how long can this go on…
    Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

    Or maybe I’m just tired…

  2. Dr. K says:

    LCWR supports the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act so that the urgent needs of the uninsured can be met.

    Including free contraception for all?

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    I forgot to mention…nuns giving us headaches by acting more like feminists than nuns….
    As a woman, I object to this type of activity by these nuns…you are out of line with our Catholic faith…leading others to error….
    This weekend I had my two beloved great-nephews in tow at Mass, only to hear once again from a visiting priest that we must not treat those with a different sexual orientation differently, we must not “exclude” them.
    I don’t want to exclude anybody, but how am I to explain to my babies that they must discriminate against behaviors that God does not favor for us? Given our current environment in the schools, where children are indoctrinated with pretty blatant propaganda, often under the guise of anti-bullying materials and classes….
    With all the topics that we might hear preached on….respect for life, why marriage must remain between one man, one woman…we have to hear the same old thing, almost a defense of homosexuality……
    why? What am I supposed to do to give these children what they need in the Mass? What am I supposed to do…this is all very discouraging and fatiguing…
    Then there was the Grammy’s….

  4. The Astronomer says:

    The LCWR (Magisterium of Nuns) and the hubris-laden heterodoxy of their fellow travelers is just another example of the steadily advancing ‘soft apostasy’ the RC Church in the USA has been witnessing for decades.

    It began with the late Cardinal Bernardin, but its tentacles reach far and wide….

    St. Padre Pio, pray for us..

  5. acardnal says:

    What I find confounding is that although the Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of USA Women Religious is not expected until Spring of this year, Archbishop Tobin, the Sec’y of the Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL), has made public statements that all is well. Huh??

  6. acardnal says:

    NOTE: correction on above post, delete “the Sec’y of “.

  7. Clinton says:

    It’s not clear to me what options our bishops have regarding organizations like the LCWR
    that have gone off the reservation. What recourse, consistent with canon law, do our bishops

  8. Andrew says:


    “What am I supposed to do…this is all very discouraging and fatiguing…”

    One thing that has worked for me is this: when I hear talk about “love” and “not excluding anyone” and letting them “love” – I point out that this is all about “sex”. No one objects to men loving other men: there are many men I dearly love: my brothers, my sons, my friends: but I have no desire to invade their privacy for my sexual pleasure under the pretense of “love”. When they say “love” I try to point out that they actually refer to “sexual acts of the most disturbing kind”.

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    What on earth kind of nuns would approve of their insurance companies being forced to cover them for sterilization, abortifacients, contraception? Should not they, above all others, be offended?

    Should not they, above all others, be witnessing to chastity?

  10. tcreek says:

    Nuns loyal to the Faith began this organization about 20 years ago.
    From their website:
    The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is a canonically approved organization founded in 1992, to promote religious life in the United States. Its statutes were definitively approved by the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on October 26, 1995.

    Composed of major superiors of women religious with communities in the United States, the group is dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church and Patroness of the Americas. Members of the Council wish to serve the Church and to foster the progress and welfare of religious life in the United States.
    We should support these member communities.

  11. Clinton,

    Very simple solution: transfer them all to the Episcopal or the Lutheran Churches. They are very inclusive and free thinking, if you want to call it that.

  12. Denis says:

    So the LCWR and the head of the CHA are endorsing a policy that would force the Catholics to do something that is immoral and violates Church teaching. These are no longer just a bunch of goofy nuns expressing quirky liberal ideas; they are participating in a direct attack on the freedom of conscience of their fellow Catholics.

  13. Johnno says:

    @ Kathleen10

    Adding to what Andrew said. It should also be pointed out how narrow and flawed most modern understanding of love is. When Christ and the Church and even ancient philosophers spoke of love, they spoke of it as an ideal that we must struggle to achieve. Today people speak of love as merely ’emotion’ which comes naturally and could mean anything. Emotions as everyone knows are not aways good. They are two sided. Let us take ‘anger’ for example. Anger is seen as a universally undesirable emotion. usually because it leads us to act rashly or violent. However does not God get angry? Yet God is good. So we cannot say ‘anger’ is bad. in fact anger is necessary in life.

    For example say you saw someone doing something evil. The first thing that you’d feel is likely anger at what is happening. And that emotion of anger then motivates yoiun to act to fix or correct the situation! Without anger it is likely most people woiuld stand back and let bad things flourish. however it is also true that anger, even righteously felt, can if not controlled, lead us to go overboard in how we respond.

    Similarily when speaking of love as an emtion, love has two sides. It can and often can result in something good. But love can also lead someone to do immoral things, to become jealous, to committ adultery, to murder, to covet, to be too selfish and controlling etc.

    So emotions are not simply good or bad in and of themselves. They must be chained to reason. They must adhere to a moral code that can only exist outside of them, and therefore is not inherent in them. So how people ‘feel’ even if those feeling may genuinely be a real emotion of ‘love’ does not justify all actions or behavior.

    Today people have turned the emotion of love into a false idol, a god who justifies all their subsequent actions done in its name. They have returned to the worship of the pagan Eros. “Make love a god, and it will soon turn into a demon” – C.S. Lewis.

  14. anilwang says:


    “What am I supposed to do…this is all very discouraging and fatiguing…”

    As a parent with two pre-school children, I sympathize and am preparing myself.

    I think the key thing to focus on is keeping the message simple, since if the message is too complicated children (and adults) will forget it or use one part of the message to rationalize away the other part when tempted.

    I like the Eastern Catholic understanding of seeing everything, and I mean everything, as being the love of God. What is love? Not the wishy washy stuff of Hallmark cards or the demonic stuff of the culture of death. It’s captured in John 3:16 (which is best translated as “God loved the world in this way, he gave his only son”) and John 15:13 (“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”). In essence, love is total self donation for the sake of the other. That’s what happens in the mass and penance and fasting. That’s what must happen in marriage an why anything less is not true love. That’s what happened in the incarnation and crucifixion and creation itself. Love is sacrifice and in sacrifice we can find true joy and the true meaning of life. Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body attempts to re-present Eastern Theology in personal terms, but I prefer the simpler Eastern Theology since it starts with God rather than in man so it is more immediately obvious that it can be applied to everything.

  15. wmeyer says:

    Kathleen10: if the fertility rate in this country drops much more, then like Europe, we will be on our way to the end times, not necessarily as we might once have imagined. When a society loses the will to reproduce, it is dead already.

  16. HeatherPA says:

    What I would like is sanctions started to be doled out, refusing of Communion to these dissidents, and the removal of “Catholic” from any and all dissenters. If Real CatholicTV has to remove “Catholic”, then surely these places should too, regardless of whether or not they are “canonically approved”. A review is definately needed of all these congregations, places, publications. Sigh. So disheartening… Come Lord Jesus, Come.

  17. EXCHIEF says:

    It has always puzzled me why the Bishops seem to be so convinced of the need for political correctness when Christ himself showed no inclination to political correctness when he threw the money changers out of the temple. The dissidants in today’s Church are nothing more than money changers. They are destroying the temple (Church) by their actions. Throw em out as Christ did and make no apology for it….but then I’m a traditionalist, conservative, and long time cop so what do I know?

  18. Stephen D says:

    Surely some Vatican department can intervene and instruct these stupid women not to make comments that might be interpreted as coming from the Church. This sort of thing is giving aid and comfort to the enemy and is treasonable in secular terms.

  19. dep says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is not this action by the LGBT nuns or whatever they call themselves the very definition of scandal? To say nothing of apostasy, disobedience, and heresy . . .

  20. ContraMundum says:

    See, they’re trying to correct an historical imbalance. Throughout history, heresies have tended to be named after MEN: Marcionism, Manicheism, Arianism, Nestorianism, etc. Surely, though, women are half the species! They just want a heresy named after a woman.

  21. Ernesto Gonzalez says:

    @Johnno, Kathleen10…

    Thank you for your wonderful comment!

    I would just like to add we are not just called to struggle to love, but to actually love (to seek the good for the other for the sake of the other). That most of us have to struggle to reach this is not essential to love, and that struggle does not add any worth or merit to the act of love itself. Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of love is that it does things easily and freely.

  22. Denise says:

    We must be clear that we are speaking of the LCWR nuns. Both the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and the Nashville Domincans have issued statements in opposition to the HHS mandate and in support of the bishops.

  23. Joseph-Mary says:

    I would guess that none of the ‘nuns’ in this heterodox organization are seeing new vocations; they will die off….although the damage they inflict is still very much in evidence.

    But all the women I know who are looking at a religious vocation are looking at Orders that wear habits, just for starters.

  24. anna 6 says:

    From their website, the following is LCWR’s press release on the election of Pope Benedict…it must have pained them to have to write this:
    The Leadership Conference of Women Religious offers its prayer and blessings for the new pope as he assumes the leadership of the Catholic Church. We hope that like his predecessor, he will be a courageous advocate for peace, an unwavering champion of the oppressed and an untiring voice for the protection of the rights of all persons.

    We hope that Pope Benedict XVI will continue to uphold the value of religious life and will make the promotion of vocations to the religious life a priority and urgent mission of the church. We look forward to working with Pope Benedict XVI in continuing to build a church that is inclusive of the gifts and wisdom of all of its members.

  25. tcreek says:

    There are 2 associations of women religious in the United States. The links to their congregations are below. Check these membership rosters so as to ensure that any contributions go to “the right ones”.

    Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)

    This association was formed about 20 years ago because it was felt that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) did not represent the views of many nuns. About 20 percent of religious women in the United States now belong to CMSWR member organizations. They are faithful to the Vatican and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB). Their members wear an identifiable religious habit.

    The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and the Nashville Domincans belong to the latter as does Fr. Groeschel’s Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal.

  26. NoTambourines says:

    The alarming thing to remember is that the Magisterium of Nuns has much of the primary and secondary schools, where they haven’t run out of enough sisters to even have a token presence.

    “Why should they have to be subjected to this investigation?”

    Oh, I know why. The bishop of my hometown diocese apparently undertook his own investigation a couple years ago. The catechesis at my high school in particular was hit-and-miss, with some major misses. And when you’re an impressionable youngster, it’s like having a fly in your soup, but not knowing enough to tell which is the fly and which is the soup.

    Some of the gems I got in my Catholic high school were that other religions were “different paths to the same place.” I learned all about liberation theology in “social teachings” class. I finally learned it was a problem about 7 years out of high school. And it was a serious setback to my prayer life when our religion teacher took us down to the chapel to try transcendental meditation. Of course, there was also plenty of grumbling about their not being able to be priests.

    Something I’ve been meaning to read: “Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism”:

  27. Captain Peabody says:

    The really sad part is that this isn’t even a surprise, or out of the ordinary for them. They betray the Faith not out of malice, fear, or hatred, but merely out of habit*. They’ve gotten so used to submitting to the World that they do it almost without thinking.

    St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

    *Pun not initially intended, but is it appropriate? Yes, I think so.

  28. Widukind says:

    I believe that the LCWR would have some kind of canonical mandate from Rome,
    just as the other group does. While in Rome, Cardinal-to-be Dolan should look up the proper office and get the ball rolling in undoing that mandate. Then the US bishops should send to the LCWR a “prophetic”, but “nuanced”, unadorned (“unhabited”) and “compassionate” statement that the LCWR is now closed for business. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. Nada. Zilch. The fat nun has finally sung.

  29. Sister H. says:

    Please don’t write off all Sisters because of the congregation in which they reside. I know countless beautiful, faithful, amazing Sisters whose communities have crumbled around them.
    Now they are at an advanced age & are unable to do anything to change it, so they live as the very best Sisters they can be, even if virtually on their own.
    This is heartbreaking and truly tragic…but, please, NEVER say “those Sisters are bad-unfaithful-etc.”. Rather, look at it as “the leaders of group X have destroyed the congregation/order…how sad for those good & faithful Sisters who remain in that group after giving 50 or more years of their lives & now are unable to do anything about the situation, other than pray.” The good ones suffer silently…they are truly more faithful than someone who has it easy in a group of like-minded good Sisters. :(
    P.S. No offense to the excellent groups! Just don’t insult the good Sisters in the bad groups!

  30. irishgirl says:

    @Widukind: I’m totally with you on that score! The LCWR should be closed for business! And I liked your last sentence: ‘The fat nun has finally sung’! Perfect!
    The Bishops should be aiming to suppress these dissident congregations instead of going after RealCatholicTV, for starters.
    @Kathleen10: I’m also with you in your weariness and fatigue. I’m also sick and tired of all the trashing and bashing of the Faith we hold dear-by the government, the media, and even from within our own ranks (the liberals who support Obama and his evil agenda–the LCWR [Magisterium of Nuns], for instance)! As one of my good Catholic friends often says (and a real smart cookie she is): ‘Come Lord….please, please come…’

  31. ScholaLady says:

    To ContraMundum: I suggest “Chittisterism.”

Comments are closed.