This happened less than a week ago and I am just getting around to it.
[Washington, DC] The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held a special meeting in Washington, DC from May 29-31 to review, and plan a response to, the report issued to LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The board members raised concerns about both the content of the doctrinal assessment and the process by which it was prepared. Board members concluded that the assessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency. Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their ability to fulfill their mission. The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization.
Hey this is great to know since there is actually no problem they will have no problems complying with CDF oversight since it was all just a big misunderstanding in the first place. Really the LCWR has been getting a bum rap since after all they are quite orthodox in their beliefs.
This picture was from the latest LCWR sponsored Papal Pride meeting where they got together to discuss the theology of Pope Benedict XVI along with his writing from when he was a Cardinal. Heated debates often breakout at LCWR meetings as to as which of his books are the greatest contribution to the Church. They also pray for the reform of the reform and the liturgical vision as outlined in then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Sprit of the Liturgy”. Blessed John Paul II is not left out in admiration as they discuss the merits of the Theology of the Body and it significance in regard to the false views of human sexuality as espoused by the culture. In fact this year the biggest selling button was “I ♥ Magisterium”.
I just don’t have any idea why the CDF would persecute the LCWR since they are such a bastion of orthodoxy and supporters of the hierarchy.
Now just what were some of these “unsubstantiated accusations”?
For one it was just a misunderstanding when the LCWR appointed a liaison to the Women’s Ordination Conference and more misunderstanding when they refused a request from the Vatican to not get involved. That many of their members have made public statements supporting women’s ordination just shows we don’t understand the nuance of what they were saying. Just because it appears a first blush that rejected that they rejected this teaching that requires definitive assent is just unsubstantiated just as long as you ignore the public record. In fact it is really quite surprising that the women’s ordination conference fully supports the LCWR when LCWR’s support of them is just a misunderstanding.
After the Vatican intervened with New Ways Ministry and ordered the founders to have nothing to do with this organization which promotes a view of homosexual acts contrary to the truth, again it was all misunderstanding when the LCWR national board agreed in 2002 to write letters in support of New Ways Ministry. You just have to wonder how the CDF can see this negatively?
When Blessed Pope John Paul II approved a document of guidelines titled “Essential Elements in Church Teaching on Religious Life”, it is hard to understand how the LCWR’s repudiating this document could reflect on their obedience. This repudiation was actually a sign of their love for the Pope.
When the LCWR assembly had as a speaker a pro-abortion nun and refused to withdraw the invitation at the behest of the US bishop’s conference, again you have to wonder why the CDF does not see just how fully faithful the LCWR is.
In 1993 the national board of the LCWR issued a statement, “Concerning the Rights of Gay and Lesbian Persons.”, you just have to wonder how that was misunderstood. Obviously the CDF is out for blood for no discernible reason.
Surely the CDF is just cherry-picking when they pulled statements like from Sister Laurie Brink, OP who said “Who’s to say that the movement beyond Christ is not, in reality, a movement into the very heart of God?” So what if this was a keynote speech. Another keynote speaker Sister Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, complained about “patriarchal values that, by any objective measure, relegate women to second-class status governed by male-dominated structures, law, and ritual.” Later this year wacky new age teacher Barbara Marx Hubbard will be the keynote speaker. There just is no pattern here and the CDF makes too big a deal of it.
The National Catholic Register notes that The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith today published a “Notification Regarding the Book ‘Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics’ by Sister Margaret A. Farley R.S.M”. They wrote that the CDF was targeting her just because she is a member of the LCWR. This is obviously true and has nothing to do with the book supporting masturbation, homosexual acts, divorce an remarriage, etc. Why is the CDF getting on her case just for rejecting dogmatic teachings?
No doubt what is really going on is that somebody at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had his knuckles rapped on too many times by an American ruler-wielding nun and is just acting in revenge. After all everything detailed here is just “unsubstantiated accusations” and the result of the lack of transparency. The reality is that the members of the LCWR are totally orthodox and just misunderstood.