The other day in the National Catholic Register, I read a piece about the upcoming annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR – a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns). The writer, Ann Carey, is all over this topic. She has commanding knowledge of the LCWR types. Check out her fine book Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities.
In her NCReg piece, which you should read in full, there is this interesting bit (my emphases and comments):
The LCWR board responded to the mandate in a June 1 press release, complaining that the assessment “was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency.”
[LCWR Pres.] Sister Pat said Archbishop Sartain [appointed by the CDF to over see the LCWR’s overhauling…] will not attend the assembly, but the LCWR will inform him of any decision the assembly reaches before that information is released to the press.
According to Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the bishops’ conference, [NB:] Archbishop Sartain offered to come to the assembly, but he was told his presence “would not be helpful.” [Get that? Can you imagine? But they don’t want him there because they are going to dialogue about dialoguing. I, by the way, am still waiting for my invitation.]
One reporter referred to a July 24 NPR interview with Bishop Blair that was a follow-up to the Sister Pat interview. In that interview, Bishop Blair was asked about Sister Pat’s wish to dialogue on the issues in the mandate. He had replied that if the LCWR wanted to negotiate the doctrines of the Church that was not the kind of discussion the Holy See envisioned. The reporter asked Sister Pat if that was an accurate representation of the LCWR position, and she replied:
“I would also say that there are very few doctrines in the Church that are not discussable, that are absolutely infallible. [?!?] And I think those kinds of commentaries [the NPR interviews] are a reflection of a slightly different perspective that we have on obedience.
“And as I have stated in other interviews, one of our concerns is that questioning is seen as defiance, and that’s not healthy for our Church, nor is it our intention. And that our sense of our own fidelity [Our Fidelity – Our Selves] means that we continue raising and responding to questions, according to our own consciences and according to new information and questions that arise in our day.” [Tota mea!]
Sister Pat told the press conference: “The one thing that I think we’ve constantly communicated is that we … in however we respond to this [CDF mandate], we want to help create a safe and respectful environment, [There’s that “safe” BS again. This is feminist code language gleaned from the Andrea Dworkin types.] where Church leaders and grassroots Catholics can raise questions openly and search together for truth freely to the very complex issues of our time.
“Anything that we can do in the way that we respond to this that could contribute to the climate of open and deeper dialogue in the Church is one of our greatest hopes.” [And the buzz words just pile up higher and higher and higher.]
What a farce this assembly is.
Friends, no matter what the nuns claim, this whole mess with the CDF and American bishops is not about bishops having power over nuns, or men being over women.
The problem is that the LCWR types are “moving beyond Jesus”. They are drifting out Christianity.
That looks like hyperbole when I state it this starkly, but this is really where they are going.
I don’t think these nuns even realize where they are going.
When you come right down to it, their problem is – ironically – with the documents of Vatican II! They really have a problem with Lumen gentium on the constitution of the Church. They don’t know who the Church is and who they are in the Church. They no longer understand what consecrated life is (they think they are “prophetic” and therefore are allowed to “question” any teaching and are free from the “institutional” Church and hierarchy) and they have forgotten who their Lord is (they are moving beyond Jesus).
And their real enemy is Vatican II. They have more problems with Vatican II than the Lefevbrists have. We will probably reach an accord with the SSPX before the LCWR is squared away.
I know where they are going. The LCWR gals are on a train, zooming down the track straight toward a canyon, and the bridge is out.