Are the LCWR and lefty mainstream media distracting attention from abuse of children by women religious?

My friend The Motley Monk has a must read piece at American Catholic about the LCWR and what is, and isn’t, behind the recent “hostile takeover” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Read the whole thing THERE, but here is the clincher:


Is the “crackdown,” as it’s being suggested, “pay back” for the grief the LCWR has caused the American hierarchy for the past several decades?

The Motley Monk thinks maybe not. [Fr. Z thinks not.]

With the leftist media linking the hostile takeover of the LCWR to the pedophilia and ephebophophilia scandal, The Motley Monk wonders whether operatives of the American Catholic left and their media outlets are [Here it is:] attempting to distract attention away from what’s a very important question that’s not being asked, at least in public: What was the LCWR’s role, if any, in a glossing over—if not a coverup—of pedophilia and ephebophilia on the part of Catholic women religious? [Yep.]

Check out how Sr. Joan D. Chittister, OSB, the 1976 LCWR President,  avoids the question (begin at 9:05) [I advise you to put down your WDTPRS coffee mug lest you throw it through your monitor.]

Promoting the narrative that the women religious were 100% “pure as the driven snow” as they set about effecting greater “peace with justice” in the post-Vatican II era, the media’s sole focus became the alleged machinations of evil clergymen who engaged in an unconscionable covering up of the pedophilia and ephebophilia scandals.  There’d be little reason to suspect that women religious—and especially the LCWR—would ever engage in similar heinous behavior. [Is that so?  I have in the past posted about that issue here.]

Perhaps CNN’s Christiane Amanpour didn’t do her homework. [There’s a shocker.]

Doctrinal heterodoxy may not be all that’s problematic with the LCWR.  It may very well be that the “Nuns [are] on the Run from the Truth,” as Frances Kissling observed three years ago and as Daily Kos article has detailed.  There’s also a long list of allegations posted

Just ask the folks at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) about how the LCWR treated them when they started asking questions.

  • To read The Motley Monk’s post at The American Catholic, click HERE.
  • To read about Robert Micken’s report, click HERE.
  • To read Frances Kissling’s article in, click HERE.
  • To read the Daily Kos article, click HERE.
  • To read the National Catholic Reporter article about SNAP’s experience with the LCWR, click HERE.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I’m glad I wasn’t holding a hammer or a mug. There are just so many opportunities for fun here.
    My favorite line may be ‘from the LAW to the STREETS.’ Yeah, we’re taking it to the streets, baby!
    That may very well be where these ladies find themselves. Oh yeah, there’s another dandy..we’ll survey our members and let the mean ol, wymyn hatin’ patriarchs know how it’s gonna be.

    Arrggghhh, bleccchhh, where is the Pepto?

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Where does one start? The sisters “corporate mind” comes out of the Gospel…where the tension is, says Sister Joan. Well, she has chucked out the Teaching Magisterium of the Church as there are no women writing documents, so of course the teaching is flawed, says she. Sounds Protestant to me.

    She makes a distinction between the law and the people, the Medieval Mind and the Modern Man
    (ah she HAS read my list of cultural Marxists), which is based on Hegel and everyone since including my list on another post here.

    She says she and all the nuns are pro-life but skirts the real issues and keeps mentioning poverty.

    Every Benedictine monastery bar one I have visited in England has her books in the library. Why?

    Interesting that she quotes Cardinal Bernadine, who did more damage to the Church in Chicago than anyone including Jeremiah Wright.

    Amanpour is so dumb, always has been and uses terms which she does not understand herself.

    And what is this call to ministry modeled on Jesus in the Gospel? Sister is confused. She acts as though the entire Church is not responding to modern issues. She got bogged down on that point a bit.

    I heard the same argument from the Humility nuns that in the old days intelligent women could only find a place in the nunnery which is why vocations are down. Arrgghh.

    She is wearing pants. (oops sorry).

  3. Dave N. says:

    Wow, this article has something for everyone: Cdls. Law and Burke, links to SNAP, Francis Kissling and the Daily Kos, the appalling…thing…that CNN has become. My.

    Yes, I think LCWR is clearly one pretty big player in an even bigger nun sex-and-violence-abuse cover up. I’m unsure whether anyone in the media is actually knowledgeable enough about these issues to intentionally do any covering-up themselves.

    And I ask: So when exactly does the investigation begin? And is the current investigation of nuns simply a distraction to a distraction?

  4. Mike says:

    Sister is a useful idiot for the dark side. Alas.

  5. I couldn’t stomach all of the video. From Monday I will be staying with some American sisters in Assisi on pilgrimage and it will be interesting what will be said. I don’t know if they are LCWR. Some posters have been asking how the sisters got to this point, where did it all start. I read Donna Steichen’s Ungodly Rage and the Ann Carey’s Sisters in Crisis years ago but they don’t get to the roots. I would recommend Cardinal Siri’s Gethsemane: Reflections on the Contemporary Theological Movement (Franciscan Herald Press, 1982). He lays the ground work for an answer. Many of the sisters who received theological training imbibed the theology of Rahner, Schillebeeckx, Kung et al. They passed this stuff on into their communities and brought in priests, brothers, other sisters and laypeople who also purveyed these theologies to the congregations. The sisters lapped it up. The bishops did little or nothing and we end up with Sr. Chittister and co. There’s always a starting point. There’s always a leak where the sewerage gets in.

  6. Burke says:

    Her precise, technical definition of ‘radical feminism’ comes from a bumper sticker. No wonder she can’t agree with the teaching of the church … too many long documents for the poor sister to wrap her wee head around. Mean old patriarchal hierarchy writing long, complicated documents that are clearly designed to bamboozle simple, Gospel loving sisters who are living their witness on the streets (did I miss anything?).

  7. New Sister says:

    I did find watching this cathartic. It gave flashbacks to the type of teachers/coaches/camp counselors that so damaged the Vatican II (my) generation of girls – destroying our faith and femininity as best they could. Explains a lot – why we in our 40s are finally, by God’s grace, rediscovering who we are. I can’t even begin to comment on the interview, as its errors and falsehoods are legion. I kept trying to see what she was wearing around her neck – one would think, for the sake of lending credibility to the title “Sister” she would wear something religious, but no. It was some sort of stone — and I don’t want to know any more about it.

  8. MrTipsNZ says:

    I would simply say that the Catholic Church needs the LCWR like a fish needs a bicycle!

    But seriously, so much anger in her eyes, can’t be good for you.

  9. Scarltherr says:

    Feminists and their catholic counterparts took over the service of domestic violence and sexual abuse decades ago in the ‘spirit of Vatican II.’ They then spent years skewing statistics to show that heterosexual men were more than 3 times as likely to be violent and abusive as any other group. The gay agenda is a big part of promoting this notion. In terms of likely abusers, you will still hear advocates for victims and domestic violence ‘experts’ say the ranking is as follows: 1. Straight men. 2. Straight women. 3. Gay men. 4. Lesbians. Sometimes 2 and 3 are swapped if the skewer of information is female. Really, the predatory perversion of any sexuality is the root cause. Given the LCWR statements that reflect both a predatory nature against orthodoxy and a perversion of the Magisterium, I expect there’s plenty to uncover. After all, thoughts lead to words, and words lead to actions.

  10. frjim4321 says:

    But seriously, so much anger in her eyes, can’t be good for you.

    Thank goodness the lack of venom in these nine posts validates your statement.

    Amanpour is so dumb that she only managed to graduate summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island.


    I met her once as a seminarian and found her to be an intelligent, articulate and formidable woman of faith who did not suffer fools. She was doing a visitation of a Benedictine of Erie who was on the faculty in Field Ed. Also a formidable woman who was rather psychic in predicting who would succeed and who would not in ministry. This is way back in the late 1970’s. I found that many of the seminarians, classmates and others, resented her accomplishments very much, so I’m not really surprised reading all this here that nothing much has changed.

    [When in 2005 I was in the TV press corps for the death of JP2 and election of B16, I met her and watched her work on many occasions. I have a very different view of Christiane Mohammad Amanpour. I found her to be … well… I was not favorably impressed.]

  11. wmeyer says:

    frjim4321: Why is you seem always to favor the dissidents, in preference to the faithful??

    Just curious.

  12. frjim4321 says:

    Reverend and Dear Blogmaster, I will defer to your f2f because I never met her. You never know about public people. E.g, I was told by someone who met him that Tony Randall (who seemed delightful on tv) was a very nasty man in real life. Who knows?

    The recent bio of Mr. Shriver seem to confirm that he was really good to everyone, from presidents to table servers.

    Anyway, is there more you can share about why you feel her on-camera persona is so at-odds with her true self? [I deny your premise. In any event, from what I understand from my friend Greg Burke, the biography of Shriver is very good. I saw his son interviewed recently (don’t recall where) and the way he spoke of his late father impressed me. I shall read the book. It is on my amazon Kindle wishlist.]

  13. wmeyer: I’m curious about that s well. It’s almost inevitable, like the changing of the tide, that you will read a comment under the title “frjim4321” on the side of the blog that has something to do with either criticizing the faithful or praising liberals or dissidents, or liberal, dissident causes.

  14. frjim4321 says:

    … Not sure where we disagreed? I tought I was agreeing with you there.

    [I don’t find anything admirable about her on-camera persona.]

  15. MrTipsNZ says:

    I was talking about Sr Joan Chittister, not Amanpour (the host).

  16. iPadre says:

    Arrogant! She makes me want to vomit. I should not have watched this after eating. Talk about wolves in sheep clothing. Oh, I forgot, they no longer have a clothing that sets them apart from the world. As I said in my homily this weekend: “We Catholics have failed to evangelize the world, the world has evangelized us!”
    Now I have to go clean my keyboard!

  17. robtbrown says:

    Although John Burns used to leave everyone else in the dust, I used to like Amanpour’s reporting on the Middle East, but I’m not so sure that she is well enough informed to report on US domestic politics, esp ecclesial matters. I think the networks just think selecting someone who is a Catholic is adequate for reporting on the Church. Most, however, know as little as the non Catholics, excepting Greg Burke.

    My understanding is that Sargent Shriver was a fine man.

  18. acardnal says:

    CNN is in last place in the ratings and their President just resigned. This kind of reporting is one of the many reasons why.

    If I recall accurately, they used to have a female religion reporter several years ago who was very knowledgeable. She was also doing reporting for “Inside the Vatican” magazine. I think she had an Irish sounding name.

  19. Southern Catholic says:

    @ JonathanCatholic

    I agree, that is all I ever see, along with criticism of Fr. Z . I figured he was an dissident priest and was out about it.

  20. Lori Pieper says:

    Frjim4321, Ms. Amanpour’s on-camera persona is that of someone who scorns the Catholic Church and is at the same time completely ignorant about her. I presume that’s her off-camera persona as well. Perhaps that is what Fr. Z meant, perhaps not.

    Tell me the truth: how do you explain such spectacularly stupid statements as her “the present Pope and his predecessors are saying there is to be no more Vatican II”?? Seriously? Anyone with the brains of a gnat and any intellectual curiosity at all, who is capable of doing the necessary research (which Ms. Amanpour evidently does not believe is necessary) could figure out what is wrong with that statement. Or her conclusion that the concern of the CDF that the Sisters are departing from various doctrines of the faith simply means that “they are straying from the Vatican party line”?

    Do you think she’s correct? Are you prepared to defend her statements? I could give you a dozen more if you like, so I’m sure could almost anyone here. What do you think?

  21. robtbrown says:

    acardnal says:

    If I recall accurately, they used to have a female religion reporter several years ago who was very knowledgeable. She was also doing reporting for “Inside the Vatican” magazine. I think she had an Irish sounding name.

    Delia Gallagher. Unlike Amanpour she actually knows something about the Church, having studied theology with the Dominicans at Blackfriars, Oxford. [I remember her from the Holy See Press Office. Flashy dresser! Better informed than most. Cheerful.]

  22. acardnal says:

    YES, Delia Galllagher is the one I was trying to remember. Thanks.

  23. acardnal says:

    sic “Gallagher”

  24. frjim4321 says:

    Oh – ok. I think on cam she is attractive, but that is purely subjective. [Subjective? It sure is.]

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