American Papist reminds us of this story:
Last July, 15 nuns from a schismatic convent in Washington state rejoined the Catholic Church. They left the motherhouse of the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), located on the outskirts of Spokane, to form a new congregation: the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. They formally renounced their state of schism, made a profession of the Catholic faith, became a private association of the faithful under the care of Spokane Bishop William Skylstad, and recognized the legitimacy of the popes from Paul VI through Benedict XVI.
Their former order, which still has approximately 35 sisters, holds to the sedevacantist position that popes elected since John XXIII are invalid and that Vatican II was a heretical council.
Which brings us to another story
he nuns’ Dec. 12 letter says the Vatican’s action “has diminished our Church.” They believe that “excommunications depend not on edicts or laws, but on compliance” by the faithful. If the faithful do not exclude or shun someone from the community, they are not excommunicated. The letter asserts that Bourgeois is not outside the community because they “embrace him wholeheartedly.” The letter was organized by the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN).
“In the first century, Christians resolved their disagreements about following traditions such as circumcision and kosher dietary laws by dialogue and discussion,” said Sister Beth Rindler, speaking for NCAN. “We need to follow their example by promoting public discussion about the ordination of women,” the Franciscan Sister said.
“We hope the excommunication is not issued,” said Dominican Sister Donna Quinn, one of the coordinators of NCAN. “The medieval punishment of excommunication serves only to embarrass our Church in the eyes of the world and fuels further anger and resentment among the U.S. faithful.”
“Many of the signers have served the Church for more than 40 or 50 years. Many are prominent leaders in their fields,” said Loretto Sister Jeannine Gramick, another NCAN coordinator. She pointed to Mercy Sister Theresa Kane, who made worldwide headlines when she asked Pope John Paul II to open all ministries to women on the occasion of his first visit to the U.S in 1979, and Dominican Sister Carol Coston, who founded Network, a Catholic social justice lobby. She also noted the signatures of Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, a prolific writer in the field of spirituality, Notre Dame Sister Ivone Gebara, a noted Brazilian feminist theologian, and Loretto Sister Maureen Fiedler, host of the public radio show Interfaith Voices.’
Of course Jeannine Gramick was previously restricted by the Vatican pastoral work with lesbian and gay persons and then changed to a different religious order that was more open to disobedience to continue her outreach to confirm people into sin. The only surprising thing from NCAN is that they only had a hundred signatures.
“”The medieval punishment of excommunication serves only to embarrass our Church” shows they understand the issue of excommunication as thoroughly as the issue of women’s ordination – that is not at all. Excommunication is certainly no medieval punishment, but a ecclesial remedy to help focus someone on repentance that has been used since the beginning of the Church. The idea of excommunication is certainly rooted in the steps Jesus tells us to take when we need to rebuke a sinner that ends with “if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. ”
“If the faithful do not exclude or shun someone from the community, they are not excommunicated.” Yeah that would really have worked during the Arian or other heresies in the Church. There is always some community willing to embrace a heretic. Besises excommunication is not shunning in any way. Excommunicatin as a censure that affects the person’s right to receive the sacraments and has nothing to do with removing someone from the Church.
As you would expect we once again get the constant call to dialogue as if this issue can never be settled unless they get their way. Get with Vatican II sisters which restated in Lunem Gentium.
This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.
Or as Pius XII said in Humani Generis:
But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.
Disobedience to the magisterium of the Church will never be a path to holiness, but a path that can lead straight South. Disobedience to the Church is disobedience to Christ no matter how prophetic you say you are.
I do think these stories make a nice contrast. One group gave up the belief that there was no pope, NCAN needs to give up the belief that they are the pope.
In other news Sister Carol Keehan, the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association issued a statement praising Obama’s pick of Sen. Tom Daschle for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Yes the same Tom Dashle who was once pro-life who voted for cloning, ESCR, and abortion in almost every case (except for partial birth abortion). Looking at what she has written in the past no doubt she fully approves of Dashle’s vision of socialize health care and so what if he supports killing the innocent? You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet and you have to support child killing politicians to get socialized health care. Though to be fair she has written in the past “Our ethical standards in health care flow from the Catholic Church’s teachings about the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.” Too bad Catholic Tom Daschle does not believe the same.