Some notes to review before the LCWR Assembly in St. Louis

The long-anticipated annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will soon begin in St. Louis, MO.  The local ordinary, Archbp. Robert Carlson is slated to speak at the assembly.  There is an article about the assembly at the site of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  At the end of the article is a brief timeline for the LCWR:

Timeline of LCWR

  • 1956: The Conference of Major Superiors of Women was founded as the sole canonical conference for U.S. superiors of women religious.
  • 1970-71:
  • The Conference of Major Superiors of Women is restructured and changes its name to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
  • 1971:
  • Some nuns who disapprove of LCWR’s new directions create a new organization, the Consortium Perfectae Caritatis. In the early 1970s the consortium seeks recognition from Rome as an alternative conference to
  • the LCWR.
  • 1974: The Vatican Congregation for Religious calls representatives of the two groups to Rome to try to sort
  • out differences and improve dialogue. The Vatican rules that LCWR will remain the sole canonical conference for U.S. superiors of women religious.
  • March 1989: At a Rome summit, Cardinal James A. Hickey of Washington gives a talk on the “crisis” in U.S. religious life. He says women who do not belong to LCWR “desire some representation with the Holy See.”
  • Fall 1991: A group of superiors, led by Carmelite Mother Vincent Marie Finnegan, decides to form a new council that will receive canonical recognition from the Vatican.
  • June 1992: Cardinal Hickey and Mother Vincent Marie jointly announce that the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious has been approved by the Vatican.
  • April 2008: Toledo Bishop Leonard P. Blair Vatican is named by the doctrinal congregation to carry out a “doctrinal assessment” of the “activities and initiatives” of LCWR.
  • April 2012: Vatican announces major reform of LCWR, citing “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life.”

I invite the readers to review the following:

Nuns Gone Wild: A Trip Down Memory Lane

The reason for that is to familiarize you with the prominent sisters who shaped the leadership of the LCWR.  Know them and know the present leaders.  The leaders of the LCWR are unwilling to work in the public square in support of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and abortion.  This year they are honoring a public lesbian by having her address their assembly.


Sr. Sandra Schneider’s NunThink, or, Why The CDF Is Picking On The Magisterium of Nuns

The leaders of the LCWR are more social workers than they are theologians.  They obtain their “theological” (if we can use the term loosely) underpinnings from women such as Sr. Sandra Schneiders.  Her book is a bizarre twisting of texts of the Council and post-Conciliar documents until they have no resemblance to their actual meaning.  The leaders of the LCWR have been formed by Schneider’s work.   They aren’t theologians.  They channel Schneiders, who is a bad theologian.  This year the LCWR is giving their Outstanding Leadership Award to Sr. Schneiders.  What this reveals is their radical stance against the actual documents of the Second Vatican Council.  For all their bluster about how they are upholding the Council, they are actually upholding ideas that are a distortion of what the Council said about consecrated life and the institution of the Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    And, sadly, the subject of sexual abuse by the sisters appears to have fallen completely off the radar. Score another victory for the lesbian dissidents.

  2. John 6:54 says:

    So the problems started back in 1970 and it only took 40 years to even try and address it. 4 words can describe it. Asleep at the wheel!

    Come on Bishops what are you doing?

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    John 6:54,
    It’s a long, long story with a lot of crazy parts. The best account is “Sisters in Crisis,” by Ann Carey. I really recommend it. The story is too convoluted and crazy for a comment-box to even begin to hold it.

    [I warmly recommend Carey’s book. Click HERE.]

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