LCWR Responds

Predictable. Here’s the text of a statement that was posted this morning:

[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.

The board determined that the conference will take the following steps:

  • On June 12 the LCWR president and executive director will return to Rome to meet with CDF prefect Cardinal William Levada and the apostolic delegate Archbishop Peter Sartain to raise and discuss the board’s concerns.
  • Following the discussions in Rome, the conference will gather its members both in regional meetings and in its August assembly to determine its response to the CDF report.

The board recognizes this matter has deeply touched Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world as evidenced by the thousands of messages of support as well as the dozens of prayer vigils held in numerous parts of the country. It believes that the matters of faith and justice that capture the hearts of Catholic sisters are clearly shared by many people around the world. As the church and society face tumultuous times, the board believes it is imperative that these matters be addressed by the entire church community in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and integrity.

When you’re innocent, you argue the facts. When you’re guilty, you blame the process.

There is no discussion. Talk time is over. You had decades of discussion. The result? This.

What the good sisters fail to realize is that they have exceeded their mandate, which was leadership formation and networking, and injected themselves into politics to the detriment of the church. If their mission is what it was supposed to be (supporting the leaders of women’s religious group), then how on earth could the very mild oversight outlined in the report affect their ability to do their work? If, however, their true “mission” is reshaping the church and advocating for every left-wing political cause and trendy theological nonsense that comes down the pike, then, yes, I guess I could see where oversight might be a problem.

And never forget that American nuns requested this intervention because LCWR was at odds with clear and consistent Church teaching.

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  • Matt

    Do you really think going after nuns and girl scouts will do anything to slow the rapid decline of Catholicism in the West? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. If atheists had leadership of the church they could scarcely find a better path to lead it off a cliff. At the present rate of decline, after another few decades Catholicism will be a small, very conservative sect in the US.

  • Dennis Mahon

    Wow. You really think those old left-wing talking points are going to keep on working, don’t you, Matt?

  • Matt

    My local Catholic church has closed as did the Catholic school I went too. Talking points are pretty convincing when they are so thoroughly backed up by the statistics. The Catholic Church in America will end with a couple elderly Hispanic woman saying Pater Nosters in a church we can no longer afford to heat.

  • Dennis Mahon

    The Catholic Church in America will end with a couple elderly Hispanic woman saying Pater Nosters in a church we can no longer afford to heat.
    And you think this is what’s important? Numbers? Popularity? Riches? The purpose of the Church is to preserve and spread the Gospel of Christ, not how big a footprint we leave on the political landscape. The Church in America got into this mess by worrying about how many were in the pews rather than attending to the teachings of the Magisterium.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    You’re like a teenager desperate to sit at the table with the cool kids. Where on earth did you get this idea that faith is a numbers game, with the winner being the religion with the most votes?

    You seem to have the standard progressive delusion: we have surmounted our old worn-out beliefs and embraced new, improved beliefs. But those “new, improved” beliefs are just the same old sins and errors with new packaging. Why should a Church founded by the incarnate Christ himself and teaching consistent truth for 2000 years suddenly embrace error just to keep a few more asses in the pews? As if that would even work. As if every church that has done that (such as the mainline Protestants) haven’t been hemorrhaging members.

    If those 2 Hispanic ladies you deride are all that’s left, it doesn’t make them any less right. Truth isn’t put up for a vote. I’ll take small and right over big and wrong, and so will millions of others. You’re projecting your fantasies: there are more people who want and need the consistent truth of the church as a bulwark against a depraved age than there are people who want to embrace the zeitgeist.

  • Matt

    How bright a beacon is a Church of shivering old Hispanic ladies? The Church and even great Catholic thinkers like Thomas Aquinas have held views on topics like the treatment of heretics that the church would abhor today. While some truths are eternal everything in this world that remains stagnant rots away. The Church is for all (wo)men. Some people seem to want to hoard blessing unto themselves and seem too enjoy watching the church whither away (

  • Oregon Catholic

    Like so many others you think people’s opinion is what guides and builds the Church. It’s the Holy Spirit that guides the Church and if He wants to pare it down to “two shivering Hispanic ladies” and rebuild it again He will. And it will be more glorious with 2 faithful parishioners than the ‘American catholik church’ like you and the LCWR wish for with millions of morally relative apostates in the pews. Knock yourselves out.

  • Sister MM

    You could at least give people some hope by never failing to mention that there is another leadership organization, the CMSWR, which is nothing at all like the LCWR. There are still faithful religious working in schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other legitimate ministries. We are in the minority – now – but we are getting young vocations. There is hope, people! Alleluia!

  • Mike

    Thanks for the information Sister,
    And thanks for being a light in the darkness.
    Take care and God bless.

  • Ron19

    “The Catholic Church in America will end with a couple elderly Hispanic woman saying Pater Nosters in a church we can no longer afford to heat.”

    This already happened in Spain, a few decades ago.

    Those elderly “Hispanic” women birthed the Cursillo movement: