How to skew a story with images

On the site of The Guardian there is a ridiculous piece the clueless Victoria Bekiempis about the CDF’s reforming efforts regarding the Leadership Conference of Women’s Religious (LCWR – a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns, indeed, the Nuns gone WILD!).

I find the picture amusing.

While focusing on some bishops (who knows in which country) the sister on the right is clearly not in any American city.  My money is on Poland.

Beyond that, the article is good for a couple of chuckles.  That’s about all.

Perhaps the article should have had this photo, of Sr. Donna Quinn, acting as an escort at an abortion clinic.

I, for one, am waiting for my special invitation as a guest at the LCWR’s big upcoming Assembly in August.

Mystery Unfolding: Leading in the Evolutionary Now
Keynote speaker: Barbara Marx Hubbard
Panelists: Tom Fox; Jennifer Gordan, SCL; and Jamie Manson

I can understand why they would have one of their big supporters Tom Fox of the Fishwrap, and also of the Fishwrap the openly lesbian Jamie Manson, and I have no idea who Gordan is.  But Hubbard!   Intriguing!

Hubbard, of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, is into Ascending Humanity and the Wheel of Co-creation – Entering the Cosmic Mystery Together.

I mean… think about it!

What the hell is that, anyway?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    I am sure that Sr. Donna Quinn has been excommunicated, suspended or an interdict imposed. Right?

  2. Long-Skirts says:

    “Hubbard, of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, is into Ascending Humanity and the Wheel of Co-creation – Entering the Cosmic Mystery Together.”


    Beware goddess green
    Mother earth’s pagan queen
    She’ll recycle man’s faith
    Unto doubt.

    They will question their existence
    Contracept with persistence
    If man does not wake…
    He’s waked out!

  3. OrthodoxChick says:

    acardnal has me wondering too. Why are politicians, nuns, and others who openly violate Church teaching still allowed to call themselves Catholic and confuse people about what it means to be a Catholic? Has any bishop threatened to excommunicate Sebelius? If not, why not?

    And in a similar vein, I worry about all of the women who have had abortions over the years and go on these healing retreats. Does anyone absolve them of excommunication at the end of the retreat if they’ve made a contrite confession? If they haven’t been absolved of excommunication, they still can’t receive Communion, can they? How come no one ever talks about the dire consequences of these kinds of actions? Maybe if we did, some people might think twice about the harm they are placing themselves and other souls in by going down that road.

  4. kallman says:

    The red and white vestments appear to show in red the 5 stars of the Southern Cross constellation and look like those worn at World Youth day in Sydney Australia in 2008

  5. Joe in Canada says:

    I think as long as Donna Quinn is still considered a (Sinsinawan) Dominican Sister, she should be nun of the year, always with a picture in her “nuns for choice” t-shirt. Front and center, every time. She might even single-handedly have brought about the visitation and report!

  6. JohnE says:

    I’m afraid some of these sisters don’t have a whole lot of “now” left in which to “evolve”.

  7. shanasfo says:

    Good heavens, here I’ve been trying for self-evolution all this time and I was COMPLETELY unaware that there were 52 higher frequency Codes I needed, maybe with a dog’s hearing or something.

    No wonder it hasn’t been working. I’m so grateful to the Infinite Potential that Barbara Hubbard can hear those frequencies and wrote that book.


  8. Elizabeth D says:

    This story about sisters affects more than just the sisters. I am concerned that another sister Sr Linda Haydock who has given talks on “conscious evolution” etc to the LCWR and runs an interreligious progressive social justice advocacy group Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, that among other things has promoted the “Affordable Care Act” but with no apparent concern about the contraceptive mandate or religious freedom, is an announced speaker at the National Meeting of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, according to a recent email from them. I am a member of that organization and very concerned, because they have been saying they expect every member to get on board with an agenda of “systemic change” to “end poverty”, and though I am all for reducing poverty, I am still waiting to see evidence that this “systemic change” agenda is adequately informed by (for instance) Catholic doctrine on right to life, marriage and sexual morality. I contacted the SVDP national director and he replied by email that SVDP does not use LCWR “Systems Thinking Handbook” but nothing about how those aspects of Catholic doctrine and natural law were being integrated. There is no real social justice without those being truly respected, above all I think today it needs to be emphasized that population control by immoral means is not a legitimate antipoverty measure. If you click my name, my blog has a recent long article related to this.

    Also, locally, at the Madison Farmer’s Market here last Saturday some people (their table sign says “Pax Christi”) who it turns out attend the Sunday service at “Holy Wisdom Monastery” the Benedictine nuns group here that went “non canonical”/”ecumenical” and now has a lay led (essentially protestant) “eucharist” that attracts disaffected Catholics and protestants, were gathering signatures from clueless passersby “in support of the Sisters” versus the CDF (I had a long conversation with these deeply, sadly confused people; they are very enthusiastic about Vatican II… until you tell them what Vatican II says, which they actually have little clue about, then they argue vigorously against it). Apostate Catholics are using this for all it’s worth.

  9. jflare says:

    In the past few minutes, I’ve been debating whether to establish a profile at The Guardian or not. I’m not sure it’s worth the fuss. Until I decide otherwise, then, here’s what I’d want them to read:

    Perhaps the most charitable thing I can say regarding Ms. Bekiempis’ remarks might be that her comments likely will look VERY foolish in about 20 years. Perhaps sooner, with God’s grace.
    While some nuns MAY be charged with social work, most nuns that’re worth the term are NOT social workers. They are, in fact, nuns first, social workers second. Aside from the habits or lack thereof, we might distinguish between them based on the hours each group spends in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament or a crucifix or cross. If the secular press weren’t so eager to transform Catholics into something else, they might begin to realize that.

    Though Ms. Bekiempis fairly fawns over the radical feminists in the Church, it’d be well if she’d be informed of this: Those orders who’ve gone the route she praises tend to have average ages over 50. Those orders who’ve insisted on Catholic ideals tend to have average ages..considerably younger. Younger and more, um, disciplined, orders may be fewer and farther between right now, but by most accounts, they’re still GROWING faster than their counterparts.

    No surprise, really. My generation will soon approach middle age; those of us still practicing Catholic faith have been subjected to radical feminist ideas–and many other attitudes!–for most of 25 years or so. We’ve come to understand that youthful enthusiasm and passion will only go so far with near pure idiocy. After we grow weary, we need the real meat of the faith to sustain us.

    Ms. Bekiempis and many others seem incapable of understanding this.
    What a pity.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    The pictures are funny. The nun looks as if she is praying “please God, protect us from thy evil male Bishops”. Poor nun’s photo got misused.
    You know it’s always surprised me how out of touch people are about “New Agey” type things. To me, it sticks out like sore thumb, but it seems to fly under people’s radar. When I hear the buzzwords consciousness, light, levels, higher power, radiant circles, shimmering wavelengths (ok now I’m making them up) but you get what I mean, these are clearly not Catholic terms. A big, red light should go off in everyone’s heads when they hear these, but, it’s just not the case.
    I remember a few years ago I spoke to our local sister, head of religious ed in our parish, about the masons. She had no idea the masons were in any way contrary to Catholic teaching.
    I would assume most religious would know this. Never assume I guess.

  11. Michal Barcikowski says:

    Photo on the right was taken in Poland, during Corpus Christi procession in Warsaw.

  12. marknelza says:

    One has only to read Victoria Bekiempis profile to understand why she has written such nonsense in the Guardian. According to her profile, she is apparently preparing to climb Kilimanjaro. I wonder if she could be persuaded to stay up there?

  13. asperges says:

    Although it has its good points, The Guardian is rather like a secular Tablet. On religious matters it is unlikely to be pro-Catholic. In politics it is left-leaning.

    Nevertheless, apart from the disappointingly superficial article and its irritating style, the comments box on the other hand is remarkably interesting. One writer (clearly not sympathetic) says, ” Liberalising the church won’t pull the wool over the members eyes. “Ooh look God’s changed his mind on all the things we didn’t like, we believe again!” ” And he is right. The Liberals are self-defeating by their very nature: they sow nothing concrete and their off-the-wall ideas fool nobody except themselves. We give them too much importance perhaps.

    As for “only 2/3rds of US Catholics going to Church, in the UK it’s more like 3/4. If it was a business, it would have been wound up long ago. Yet our Bishops drift along and think that (for example) abolishing the Hail Mary at the Bidding Prayers is a matter worthy of their serious attention and that the answer to shrinkage is just to close churches.

  14. Father K says:


    She cannot be suspended as she is not a cleric. I am not aware any other penalty has been applied to her – I doubt it.

  15. magister63 says:

    Actually, there has been quite a plethora of news stories with pictures of traditional Sisters in habit about the “crackdown on nuns”. Very misleading. They should feature the angry, greying, pant-suited, truck driver gals in their pictures to give an accurate presentation.
    Here is just one of many, many examples showing faithful Sisters along with an article about the “oppression” of quite a different group:

  16. Maltese says:

    From the Guardian:

    The Catholic Church is shedding US members. Those who have left they [sic] church say they don’t like the Church’s conservative approach toward birth control, homosexuality, and female ordination. The Church has decided not to reconsider these policies – a move that could help maintain membership. Instead, the Holy See has decided to attack the one prominent and popular group among the clergy because they back the modern ideas demanded by believers.

    The liberals just don’t get it, do they? Like perennial morality is democratic!

  17. acardnal says:

    Kudos to Elizabeth D.

  18. John V says:

    Not to judge them by their covers (well, maybe), but to my eye those books by Barbara Marx Hubbard and the whole “Ascending Humanty” thing bear an uncanny resemblence to the works of another Hubbard, i.e., L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology. Samples here and here.

  19. OrthodoxChick says:

    Kathleen10: By “shimmering wavelengths”, maybe you mean sarcadian rhythms (whatever the heck those are)? I hear the term a lot but like you, I’m always shocked to find out that anyone actually believes in anything “New Agey”. I’m not a rocket scientist, just a person of average intelligence, descended literally from western european peasants, but even I can tell that the New Age stuff is a bunch of fictional hooey. How can anyone seriously buy into it, especially professed religious?

  20. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I think I have just been crushed under the wheels of co-creation. ow.

  21. Luke Whittaker says:

    After reading Victoria Bekiempis at the site of the Guardian the major thing that sticks in my mind is that many Catholics do not exercise their faith in the appropriate way through prayer. Without prayer all that is left in the exercise of faith is intellectual assent. That intellectual assent is meant to be paired with a personal seeking of God through prayer, which leads to obedience and authentic love. Without prayer we remain as outsiders looking in and therefore do not come to know the Church as a loving mother. Without prayer obedience either to God or to the Church is largely impossible because without opening our minds and hearts to God our intellectual assent remains stagnant, it lacks the breadth which the revelation of God is meant to give to man through the personal relationship that grows in prayer. A revelation that is public and not private and therefore was meant by Christ himself to be handed down through the Magisterium. Without prayer it is impossible to put on the mind of Christ and to come to know the mind of the Church, who calls us to authentic love, which love sees freedom as entrusted to us by God as an essential instrument for us to do his will and not to serve concupiscence.

  22. jflare says:

    “Kathleen10: By “shimmering wavelengths”, maybe you mean sarcadian rhythms (whatever the heck those are)?”

    I believe you’re referring to “circadian rhythm” in the human body. Without being terribly technical, this generally refers to a person’s sleep cycle.

    BTW, if someone wants to know how a professed religious can buy this stuff, well, we could ask the same of various scientists. In but one example–there are many–scientists worldwide insist on the right to use fetal tissue (from aborted children) for embryonic stem cell research. Said research has produced exceedingly little useful result, while adult stem cell research (NOT from morally decrepit means) has produced literally dozens of therapies and other good.
    One need only deny the even a small part of the fullness of revealed Truth.

  23. tech_pilgrim says:

    “Hubbard, of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, is into Ascending Humanity and the Wheel of Co-creation – Entering the Cosmic Mystery Together.

    I mean… think about it!

    What the hell is that, anyway?”

    “What the hell is that, anyway?” It seems like the answer to this question in contained within the question….and it’s not “what”, “the”, “is” “that” or “anyway”.

  24. OrthodoxChick says:


    “circadian rythm” – yes, that’s it. Thank you for the correction.

    Good thing I’m a Catholic ’cause the whole New Age thing is just weird.

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    OrthoodoxChick, lol, I was just making up New Agey terms. They even sound weird, and space age. It is astounding to me to see the occasional program on tv where people are sitting rapt around a man or a woman who is going on and on and on about “celestial lights” and other New Age matters. It amazes me because there is so much of a body of evidence for Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Savior, and comparatively little for these other belief systems. If you are going to believe in something, it makes sense to avoid something relatively unknown. Statistically speaking, it seems to make more sense. But there are all kinds of people, and all kinds of reasons to have a belief system at all. The scripture that says people will turn from truth and “tickle their ears with fables” applies here. That is sure what happens.

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