The LCWR goat rodeo continues

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has been in a demonstrable doctrinal tailspin for years.  The LCWR has been strange enough that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith got involved.  The LCWR has its charter from the Holy See.  If the Holy See says “jump”, the sisters ought to get out their jump ropes.

The Holy See, especially the CDF, has plenty to do.  They don’t get involved unless they have to.  As a matter of fact, they often operate on the principle cunctando regitur mundus.  When they act, it is for good reason.

Of course the LCWR sisters, not wanting to give their odd notions, fought back.  They twisted the story into a issue of “power” and played on the wonderful things people know many sisters have done in the past.  They also conflated, through a willing press, the visitation of all US religious communities of women through the Congregation for Religious.

Now, at a international meeting of women religious in Rome, the Prefect of the Congregation for Religious made strange statements which have all the liberals quivering with excitement.  In nutshell João Card. Braz de Aviz said he wasn’t in the loop about the CDF’s mandate for the LCWR, and when he heard about it he had “much pain”.  He said that this isn’t the way it is supposed to work, and we have to change the way we do things.  Frankly, it sounded like he was playing to his audience.

On the other hand, today the Vatican press office released this statement (I’ll edit out the blah blah at the top…:


The initiatives of the Holy See in this area are concerned primarily with the faith of the Church and its expression in Religious Life. The Church’s faith—in the loving plan of the Father who sent his Son to be our Savior, in the inspiration of Sacred Scripture, in the gift of grace through the Sacraments, in the nature of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit—this faith is at the heart of the Evangelical Counsels. It motivates the passion for justice shared by so many Religious women and men, and it seeks ever to be expressed in active charity towards those most in need.

Recent media commentary on remarks made on Sunday May the 5th during the General Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, has suggested a divergence between the CDF and the Congregation for Religious in their approach to the renewal of Religious Life. Such an interpretation of the Cardinal’s remarks is not justified. The Prefects of these two Congregations work closely together according to their specific responsibilities and have collaborated throughout the process of the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR. Archbishop Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Braz de Aviz met yesterday and reaffirmed their common commitment to the renewal of Religious Life, and particularly to the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR and the program of reform it requires, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father.

This statement is trying close the gap that, in the press at least, opened between Religious and the CDF.

Also, on CNA (I’ll cut out some of the blah blah at the top):

Vatican doctrine office confused by cardinal’s LCWR comments
By Estefania Aguirre


Commenting on [Cardinal Braz de Aviz’s] statements about the doctrine congregation, the inside source said, “One does not do this. [EXACTLY.] I don’t know how his comments benefit him or the Church, and he makes it seem that injustice is being done.”

“This was a very slow and objective process and our members are extremely professional theologians and philosophers who consult weekly with the Pope,” he explained.

But according to the source, “there is a lot of pride and one always wants to believe they are right.”

“People are very misinformed theologically, philosophically and academically” about the positions taken by the LCWR, he added. [Misinformed by the quisling catholic press.]

The doctrine official believes that “the most important part has already happened, which is that Catholics have been informed that these women are wrong.”  [Repetita iuvant. On the other hand, some of these women, with obvious bad intent, will take that statement and say “See!  This is about women.” It is not.]

He explained that the LCWR follow the “gender ideology” and “have developed an exacerbated ultra feminism which makes them reject all type of male authority.”

“They have been fired in many parishes because they teach things that provoke great discomfort within communities,” he said.

Referring to the April 15, 2013 statement from the doctrine office in which Pope Francis confirmed the finding that the sisters’ conference must be reformed, the source underscored that “this is not an issue about a Pope being spoiled.”

Attempts by CNA to obtain comment from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life were referred to Cardinal Braz de Aviz who was unavailable.

It sounds like the CDF official was given leave to talk to the press, but the official’s name was to be kept out of it.

What we have here, friends, is a full-blown goat rodeo.

But the fact remains that the LCWR has bizarre stuff going on.  They are strange enough that even Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap thinks that there enough for the CDF to get involved!  So, the fact remains that the Holy See underwrites their charter and the CDF is looking at the LCWR’s doctrinal problems.  The fact remains that Pope Francis signed off on the CDF’s process, and backed the CDF in this matter.

All this other stuff going on is a goat rodeo.

And for

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Oh thank you for this, although I haven’t read it yet.

    All the media reports were so confusing I just knew Fr. Z would have something coherent to say about it.

    I hope! Off to read it…!

  2. Ray says:

    This could be what all the talk about Curial reform is about. Just Saying! [That is how the supporters of the LCWR will spin this. Just saying! Actually, I think this was a case of an imprudent Cardinal going to the ZOO!] These are the kind of things that keep us regular Catholics in the pews dumbfounded. Thanks for your enlightenment, Father. Hope you feel better soon and get good reports from the Doc.

  3. VexillaRegis says:

    Sigh. At least the problem will resolve it self in ten years or so.

  4. majuscule says:

    And now for something from the fishwrap:

    For sure, some of those commenters have gone way “beyond Jesus”.

    [The comments are a lesson in the unbeatable combination of ignorance and arrogance glued together with heresy. If there were any need of more proof that the Fishwrap is the National Schismatic Reporter, you would not have to look any farther.]

  5. Ambrose Jnr says:

    I’m happy to hear this…It’s good that the authority of the CDF prevails…with all the craziness in the catholic church’s German-speaking lands (women deacons, Medjugore, women priests, practising homosexuals in church councils, Austria’s rebellion etc) lately, thank God we have a strong & capable CDF Prefect in Archbishop G L Mueller.

    Ad multos annos…

  6. LarryW2LJ says:

    And I receive “much pain” when a person or persons in the Vatican go and say things that cause even more confusion pertaining to a delicate or possibly inflammatory subject. Common sense dictates that if you feel you are out of the loop, that you keep your mouth closed and go and get the information you need before you make any kind of statement that might be deemed “official”. (Grandpa always told me that “If you’re not sure what you’re talking about – keep your mouth shut!) To do otherwise is either grandstanding or pandering.

  7. Ray says:

    What you are saying is exactly what I meant. The Curia has been in disarray for decades. This South American Bishop seems to speak to the extent of the disarray. If you are of the mind that the Curia needs no shaking up, I’m not with you Father Z. They have been an embarrassment for years. They almost rival the fishwrap for spewing non-Catholic information.

  8. CharlesG says:

    I don’t like to speak ill of a prince of the Church, even an iffy one, but this Cardinal Aviz is ridiculous. There wasn’t enough “dialogue” with these errant sisters who want to move beyond Jesus? For heaven’s sake, they have been given carte blanche for fifty years to throw Catholic teaching into the garbage can with impunity and have driven many once great religious orders of women into the ground. They have very nearly succeeded in destroying the Church’s treasured patrimony (matrimony?) of consecrated female religious life, and this Cardinal thinks they weren’t given a fair shake? The Church has bent over backwards for decades to allow them to continue their Church-deconstruction mission. This just makes my blood boil. Oh, must stay calm…

  9. Tradster says:

    I wonder why the LCWR isn’t simply rolled under the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) and let the latter deal with them. I grew up in pre-Vatican II parochial grade schools run by the good sisters. I have no doubt they can easily handle whatever nonsense the wiccan-sisters try to throw at them.

  10. Ray says:

    Tradster, I grew up as you did. The thing is the good sisters we had growing up are now the wiccans.

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