Does the LCWR have any intention to work with the CDF? No evidence so far.

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In the National Catholic Register the expert on what has happened to women religious in the last few decades, Ann Carey, comments on the LCWR.

LCWR 2013 Assembly: Little Evidence Yet of Any Reforms


Now the question is: How long is the CDF willing to have the apostolic delegates continue those conversations when the LCWR has not yet agreed to any of the reforms mandated in the doctrinal assessment?

That eight-page mandate is very explicit and readily available on the Internet, even though some LCWR members have claimed that they don’t know the details of the document. Among issues identified in the mandate are areas of “corporate dissent,” “serious theological, even doctrinal errors,” various “theological interpretations that risk distorting faith in Jesus and his loving Father,” and commentaries that “undermine the revealed doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture.”
The mandate directs the bishop delegates to take no more than five years to direct a revision of the LCWR’s statutes; review and reform LCWR plans and programs; create LCWR programs to help member congregations receive deeper formation in Church doctrine; review and guide application of liturgical norms and texts; and review LCWR links with the affiliated organizations NETWORK and Resource Center for Religious Institutes.
Reportedly, several meetings and/or teleconferences between the bishop delegates and LCWR leaders took place over the past year, but no information has leaked out. From all indications, none of the mandated reforms have yet begun, even something as simple as taking the LCWR Systems Thinking Handbook off the LCWR website. The CDF mandate had directed that publication to be “withdrawn from circulation pending revision.”
Rather, this sentence in the Aug. 19 LCWR press release indicates that the sisters continue to look for a “third way” to avoid reform of the LCWR while still retaining status as a canonically erected superiors’ organization:
“Although we remain uncertain as to how our work with the bishop delegates will proceed, we maintain hope that continued conversations of this depth will lead to a resolution of this situation that maintains the integrity of LCWR and is healthy for the whole Church.”
A similar message was issued at the end of the LCWR 2012 assembly: “The [LCWR] officers will proceed with these discussions [with the apostolic delegates] as long as possible, but will reconsider if LCWR is forced to compromise the integrity of its mission.”

Read the rest there.

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  1. shoofoolatte says:

    Does the CDF have any intention of working with the LCWR? No evidence so far.

  2. netokor says:

    “The mandate directs the bishop delegates to take no more than five years to direct a revision of the LCWR’s statutes;”

    Five years? What’s the rush?

  3. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    When Hell freezes over?
    Continuing demands for dialogue are a form of passive-aggressive behavior, as is the claim that they are uncertain or confused as how to proceed.

  4. jrpascucci says:

    Something occurred to me recently, while praying Matins to which I do not know the answer.

    How many of these sisters’s orders retain the Vow to say the office, including the little hours?

    My question is two parts: is it entirely unreasonable to question, even superficially, the practice of the orders in their prayer praxis, and secondly, perhaps more importantly, (this goes to priests too) might there be something lacking in the new office?

  5. I will refrain from commenting on the quote from the order’s latest press release, for fear of being, or at least seeming, uncharitable.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  6. McCall1981 says:

    I doubt that any of the current leadership of the LCWR will ever truly work with the CDF at all, I think they are far too gone into their own pride and delusions, and are lost causes as individuals. The CDF probably knows this and is trying to reform the organization itself, rather than individuals involved.

  7. TimG says:

    I do not think it is a stretch that much like the FGP, the LCWR is taking a chapter from Saul Alinksy…
    “Alinsky’s tactics were often unorthodox. In Rules for Radicals Alinsky wrote, “[t]he job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.'” According to Alinsky, “the hysterical instant reaction of the establishment [will] not only validate [the organizer’s] credentials of competency but also ensure automatic popular invitation.”

  8. TimG says:

    Here is a better quote from Saul’s rules;
    “But to the organizer, compromise is a key and beautiful word. It is always present in the pragmatics of operation. It is making the deal, getting that vital breather, usually the victory. If you start with nothing, demand 100 per cent, then compromise for 30 per cent, you’re 30 per cent ahead. — P.59”

  9. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “Does the CDF have any intention of working with the LCWR? No evidence so far.”

    Ya! Dontcha know, the “Magisterium of Nuns” *expects* the doctrinal arm of the true Magisterium to acquiesce to them?

    After all, the CDF have not been trying to work with the LCWR for… oh, decades, right?

    Sure thing! The Magisterium of Nuns will *not* be bullied, right? Right?



  10. St Donatus says:

    Doesn’t the Catholic hierarchy understand the tremendous damage being done to the faith of Catholics due to this Wild Wild West attitude toward the teachings of the Church. So many Catholics are confused. Most think that they can decide for themselves what is right and wrong. This is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Christ about the binding on Earth and the unity of the brothers in Christ. Do they even know there is a crisis in the Church. Maybe not?

  11. anilwang says:

    Of course they’re interested in working with the CDF….to reform the CDF.

    Given their history, I don’t think even an order for the LCWR to disband will be met with more than a yawn. Even if the LCWR is no longer acknowledged by the Vatican, like the National Catholic Distorter, they have no shame about claiming to officially represent Catholic sisters even if they are not authorized to. They already do this (nuns on the bus/moving “beyond Jesus”/pantheism/abortion/etc) so why would they stop now?

    Short of outright excommunication, I just don’t see the LCWR flinching, and I don’t see anyone in authority having the stomach to weather the media witch hunt that would result.

    That being said, vice is its own punishment, and its only a matter of time before the LCWR will go extinct. If the LCWR offers nothing more than a poor imitation of what the world provides, why on earth would anyone go for the imitation rather than the real thing?

  12. Eugene says:

    discuss, dialogue, dissent…blah…blah…blah – enough ALREADY! please oh please Shepherds of the Church be real men for a change and shut this group of pseudo “catholic” religious down…I have had it, show some moral courage bishops, CDF, do the task that has been entrusted to you…stop the damage

  13. ghp95134 says:

    Have they decided yet on the shape of the table? Or, is that discussion going to last for months a la Paris Peace Accords in 1973?


  14. TNCath says:

    I don’t predict anything much coming out of this investigation, although I hope I’m wrong. Five years from now the number of LCWR sisters will have diminished significantly. Whoever is left will eventually die off as well. Communities of Sisters in motherhouse infirmaries will merge out of sheer financial necessity, and soon these communities will be as extinct as the Shakers. Meanwhile the CMSWR Sisters’ communities will continue to thrive, and ironically, end up taking over the former properties of the LCWR orders and taking care of what is left of their members.

  15. Athelstan says:

    This process may live longer than most of the sisters themselves (they’re losing members at clip of about 2500-3000 per annum as it is).

    I don’t see the point, unless the Vatican think it’s simply better to neutralize them for their last years of existence rather than risk PR blowback from actually dropping the hammer on them by yanking their canonical status.

    In any event, the real problem is in the orders themselves. The LCWR is merely a symptom, an extension.

  16. GAK says:

    I had to Google the Sinsinawa Dominicans a few weeks ago to investigate something.
    Ever since, this nickname has passed through my head whenever I think of loopy sisters:

    Sin Sin Wah Wah

  17. robtbrown says:

    jrpascucci says:
    Something occurred to me recently, while praying Matins to which I do not know the answer.

    How many of these sisters’ orders retain the Vow to say the office, including the little hours?

    Many of these Congregations have no tradition of saying the Office. They had Daily Mass, periods of meditation, and the Apostolate.

  18. SpesUnica says:

    First, I highly recommend Ann Carey’s book, “Sisters in Crisis: Revisited,” I am just getting in to it and am already impressed with its fairness. She is careful to point out that all was not peachy for sisters before the Council, and that many orders were in great need of reform, especially in regard to community life and relationship to authority. It seems that some of the leadership of those orders were resisting calls from Rome and concerned authorities to begin those reforms, calls that had begun sometimes even decades earlier. The orders resisted, the pressure was building, and then in the confusion of the post-Council years (AND the general chaos in society: feminisms, sexual revolution, etc.) the dam just burst for many communities.

    I agree with Athelstan’s comments. Rome desires to act as a loving father to these sisters, and is reluctant to lock them out of the house. They are outside and thinking about coming onto the porch. The damage that locking the door would cause to those marginal Catholics who would leave with those poor sisters is scary. Mother Church doesn’t want to leave them out in the cold, but they went out without coats and the snow is really coming down now…

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