Out with the bad air, in with the good. Another point about the LCWR and their future.

There is an Italian proverb that when a door closes a window opens elsewhere in the house.

NCR’s McElewee is really burning up his keyboard as he posts notes on the Fishwrap‘s site. The latest picks up on what we knew had to be the next step: the Sisters of the LCWR (a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns) have two options in the face of the CDF’s and USCCB’s move to reform them: they can clean of their act or they can disband and regroup under some other umbrella in order to dodge the impact of this latest development.

There is a third option involving the relentless biological solution. The leadership of the LCWR is, how to put this gently, … seasoned. If they decide to work with the CDF and the bishops or if they decide to go back to their enneagrams and cauldrons, they are probably not going to be around very long either way.

In the meantime, the non-LCWR groups of women religious, you know… the gals with the clear apostolates, identities, habits, faithful to the true Magisterium, are far younger and will be around a lot long.

Back to the proverb. As the LCWR is on its way out, the SSPX is on its way in.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Four Last Things, Linking Back, Magisterium of Nuns, Our Catholic Identity, Pope of Christian Unity, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Denita says:

    This is good news. I’m really glad to hear it. I’m tired of seeing “Sisters” who don’t look like “Sisters”

  2. Dr. K says:

    As the LCWR is on its way out, the SSPX is on its way in.


  3. Lastsupperbusboy says:

    19 April 2012 at 6:13 pm
    This is good news. I’m really glad to hear it. I’m tired of seeing “Sisters” who don’t look like “Sisters”


    When I was three or four years old (1969-70) I met my aunt, a CND sister, for the first time. A rather tall woman. I was confronted by, to my young eyes, a large very friendly penguin asking me many questions. Fast forward eleven years and she comes for a visit. My hazy childhood memories of a stately woman in an immaculate habit had been replaced by the order’s revised habit. Powder blue polyester, sensible shoes, and a hairstyle that could only be described as penitential. I didn’t even have the heart to ask mom, “did she quit?” Funny, that was the last generation of my family to produce a vocation. The clothes really do make the man…err…Priest…religious…

  4. Springkeeper says:

    But doesn’t that mean that the younger more traditional orders are going to have to support retired sisters who despise both them and The Church? Too bad there isn’t a way to remove them from the rolls, so to speak. I read some of the LCWR sister’s comments on this issue and they were vile and hateful to say the least. The only reason they say they stay is to destroy the patriarchy of the Catholic church and “empower” women (I think money is an issue as well but I may be being cynical). I think women are far more empowered when we emulate the Blessed Mother instead of copying Judas.

  5. mibethda says:

    Should the LCWR move to disband and re – form as a new entity, some of their constituent orders might choose not to go along. That could result in a much reduced organization – in terms of numbers and influence.

  6. MissOH says:

    But doesn’t that mean that the younger more traditional orders are going to have to support retired sisters who despise both them and The Church?

    Springkeeper, no. Orders are responsible for taking care of their own so the CMSWR orders will not have to take care of the LCWR “I’m a sister, see my pin” orders.
    As someone else had stated in a post I read, if the LCWR chooses to disband to “escape” the attempts to help insure their charisms (or that is left of them) do not disappear from the world, then they should not receive any of the funds from the yearly offering for women religious.

  7. NoTambourines says:

    This has been a long time coming, so long that I think the LCWR is in shock it ever actually happened.

    There are good and faithful sisters in the order that taught my high school, but I also heard there (from a sister) that other religions are “different paths to the same place,” and there was the one who took us to the chapel to try transcendental meditation. Maybe I was a slow kid, but that set me back in my approach to prayer for longer than I care to admit. Not to mention all the grousing about not being able to be priests and not having any “power” in the Church.

    That was in the ’90s. Can’t imagine much has changed, but I daresay now that it may change yet.

  8. catholicmidwest says:

    Lots of sloppy thinking all over on this. There are a lot of people making assumptions about religious orders that just aren’t the case.

    The LCWR is a Council of women’s religious congregations. It’s not a congregation in itself. The congregations who are represented by the council have separate standing, either in the local diocese or at the Holy See, depending on whether they are recognized as Diocesan Right or Pontifical Right.

    There is at least one other Council of women’s congregations called the CMSWR which dates from only about 10 years ago. It’s more conservative, but some congregations belong to both councils, in fact.

    The LCWR is not responsible for the upkeep of any congregation. It’s an advisory thing, a sharing thing, and a publicity arm. Understand? Things that have been published under the auspices of the LCWR at their conferences appear to be the big things that have instigated this particular crack-down. One of these, as I understand it, was a rather shocking presentation given in about 2007 on “going non-canonical,” along with some other political programs and alliances the LCWR has had. There are some process partners that the Holy See is objecting to, etc, in addition to its increasingly defiant stance toward the CDF.

    Now, in a *separate matter,* it remains to be seen whether any congregations will have their canonical approval pulled over the results of the investigation of 2009. *That* report hasn’t become public yet.

  9. pcstokell says:

    And then there is the National Coalition of American Nuns, who make even the LCWR look rational and well-ordered.

  10. pm125 says:

    Leadership – have dues, will lead
    Conference – C is for conference, not catholic, conference …
    Women – hear us roar about not what we should – influence(d)
    Religious – religious, we once were, but we confered with feministas on influence and then gave them executive positions of influence
    Seat at the conference table, not humility.

  11. Indulgentiam says:

    “The leadership of the LCWR is, how to put this gently, … seasoned.” LOL! that’s a classic Father. I’m grateful i’d taken my last sip of coffee before i read that or i would have spewed it all over my screen. I remember the year we got a new principle in our Catholic School. Until then all of the Nuns we had ever been exposed too wore a full and beautiful habit. Not so the new principle she wore a FORM fitting white polyester only came to her knees dress and some kind of bonnet type head covering, sometimes. This was in the late 60’s and i recall a tension in the air thick enough to see. The Sisters once so ready with a smile where silent and somber and a few where replaced by secular teachers. It seems like Divine Justice that Our Lady should raise up a tidal wave of pure Brides of Christ who, not only, are not afraid to be identified as a Bride of Christ but seek it with all their being and will wash away the unsightly remains of those unfaithful spouses. As for the SSPX news only one word comes to mind YAAAAAAA! I will continue to pray for them b/c we need them and they need us “Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are.”(John 17:11)

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