Vatican talks with LCWR leadership – ‘open and cordial’

From CNA:

Farrell & Mock in the park lot outside the Palazzo del Sant'Uffizio

Vatican City, Jun 12, 2012 / 11:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has described talks with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious [a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns.] as open and cordial.

“The meeting provided the opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality,” said a statement issued by the Vatican press office June 12.

In April 2012 the Vatican called for a reform of the body after a four-year audit or “doctrinal assessment,” which concluded there was a “crisis” of belief throughout its ranks.

On June 12, Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell and St. Joseph Sister Janet Mock, who are respectively the president and executive director of the conference, went to the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and met with officials there for approximately 90 minutes.

They discussed matters with Cardinal William J. Levada, the congregation’s prefect, and Archbishop Peter J. Sartain of Seattle. He has been charged by the Vatican with leading the renewal of the LCWR.

“We are grateful for the opportunity for open dialogue and now we will return to our members to see about next steps, and that is all we have to say,” Sr. Farrell told CNA upon leaving the meeting.  [Remember?  I said HERE they would talk to the press as soon as they walked out the door.] They said they will now take the matter to their annual assembly in St. Louis this coming August. [Interesting speakers at that conference, too.  I am waiting for my invitation.]

Earlier this month the group. Whose leaders represent approximately 80 percent of women religious in the U.S., [From what I understand the LCWR actually is comprised of the leadership of different communities of sisters.  It does NOT therefore represent all the sisters who might belong to those groups.  Therefore, it seems to be a misrepresentation to say they “represent … 80 %”.   Take a look at THIS.] described the Vatican’s doctrinal assessment as “based on unsubstantiated accusations” and “a flawed process that lacked transparency.”

In their statement today the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reminded journalists that the religious conference “is constituted by and remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See” according to canon law.

They also explained that the purpose of the doctrinal assessment had been to “assist the LCWR in this important mission by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ” and also on “the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium.”

The assessment had found serious theological and doctrinal errors in presentations at the LCWR’s annual assemblies in recent years, with many showing “scant regard for the role of the Magisterium.”

Concern has also been expressed at the conference’s choice of new-age author Barbara Marx Hubbard as the keynote speaker for the annual assembly this August. A non-Catholic, Hubbard advocates a worldview entitled “conscious evolution.” [She is not the only troubling speaker.]

Her talk to the assembly is billed as helping religious communities become “open to the new levels of consciousness, even as that revelation exceeds the boundaries of present day understanding of one’s faith.”  [Do you suppose she helped Pres. Obama evolve into the First Gay President?]


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  1. Titus says:

    I would believe that representatives from 80% of women religious congregations are members of the LCWR. But 80% of women religious has always seemed bananas. How many dozen LCWR-affiliated orders would you have to collect in order to match the number of Nashville Dominicans?

  2. norancor says:

    Beautiful habits, no?

  3. DavidR says:

    Perhaps it would be best if the LCWR honestly admits they can no longer be Catholic, and separates from the Church.

  4. iPadre says:

    Did they really have to fly all the way to Rome to figure out what’s wrong? All you have to do is ask a child raised by a good Catholic family!

  5. WaywardSailor says:

    Soooooooo, does membership in the LCWR make Sister Janet a “Mock” nun?

  6. acardnal says:

    Sr. Simone Campbell, Exec. Director of the social outreach “NetWork” was on the “Colbert Report” last night. She is associated with LCWR. Here is the link to the show and the interview starts around the 3:40 minute mark.

    Note what she says about why they don’t wear habits anymore (7:20 min. mark). Something about them “returning to their roots. We dress in the dress of the day in order to touch people more directly . . . People are intimidated by big habits and all that. . . We couldn’t really walk with them in their life experience.” sigh. . .

  7. FranzJosf says:

    The Holy See moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes, for the sake of avoiding full-blown schism, they move slowly in the extreme, yet inexorably even if some of us are impatient. Will Archbishop Sartain exercise his authority over their approaching August meeting or not? What would a prudent man do? It could be argued either way. Will the gathering, with the heterodox speakers, continue as planned or not? If it does, is Archbishop Sartain’s appointment only window dressing, or will the axe fall later? Again, given man’s fallen nature, the way forward could be argued either way. It’ll be interesting to watch and observe. Is the Assessment from the Holy Office an exercise in hand-wringing, or do they really mean to proceed, come what may? People like me, in sympathy with the SSPX, are waiting to see.

  8. Kerry says:

    Homer Simpson, “Doh! Stupid flawed processes….”

  9. frjim4321 says:

    Well in the days of Skype when I conduct at least half of my pre-marital pastoral counseling via teleconference because the kids are in different states I don’t understand why the expense of two trans-Atlantic flights was necessary especially for a pre-meeting meeting.

    Nevertheless I’m glad to hear that there was a spirit of openness.

    Hopefully cool heads will prevail and this will be resolved civilly.

  10. trespinos says:

    Update: Cdl. Levada, in an interview with John Allen, makes it clear that the CDF is not interested in a “dialogue of the deaf”. If the LCWR doesn’t follow through with actions to satisfy the CDF’s concerns, His Eminence leaves open the possibility that the LCWR could be decertified from its canonical role and replaced. Excellent. Don’t know whether Abp. Sartain will now play “good cop” to Cdl. Levada’s “bad cop”, but this is promising. They are not going to let this string out for another four years.

  11. HeatherPA says:

    In the explanation of Conscious Evolution that she includes on her website, Hubbard writes: “Although we may never know what really happened, we do know that the story told in the Gospels is that Jesus’ resurrection was a first demonstration of what I call the post-human universal person. We are told that he did not die. He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did. The new person that he became had continuity of consciousness with his life as Jesus of Nazareth, an earthly life in which he had become fully human and fully divine. Jesus’ life stands as a model of the transition from Homo sapiens to Homo universalis.”

    Are these “nuns” really, truly in possession of their faculties??
    Why in the world would this woman be their keynote speaker????

  12. mariadevotee says:

    Maybe Archbishop Sartain will attend the LCWR conference to see for himself what he has to deal with. He would then have first hand knowledge of their promoted ideas. No chance for any misunderstandings. I doubt they have issued him an invitation.

  13. pseudomodo says:

    Farrel and Mock don’t look so scary – they actually look cute and cuddly like a Wombat….

    Oh… wait a minute…

    “Humans who accidentally find themselves in an affray with a wombat may find it best to scale a tree until the animal calms and leaves. Humans can receive puncture wounds from wombat claws as well as bites. Startled wombats can also charge humans and bowl them over, with the attendant risks of broken bones from the fall.”

  14. Supertradmum says:

    “I am waiting for my invitation.” Father, you are SO funny. Well, I wish the Holy Father would tell them not to see him next time until they put their habits back on….why I am not in the diplomatic core.

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