Shorter LCWR: “We still don’t have a clue”

The LCWR has published some reactions to the meeting of Sisters Pat Farrell and Janet Mock with Cardinal Levada and Archbishop Sartain. It’s so helpful that the LCWR continues to produce documents that can also double as exhibits explaining why the correction was necessary. Here’s the entire thing:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2012

[Silver Spring, MD] The board members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held a special session on Friday night, June 15, where they were briefed by conference president Sister Pat Farrell, OSF and executive director Sister Janet Mock, CSJ on their June 12 meeting in Rome with officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The LCWR leaders had requested the meeting at the Vatican to address their concerns about the doctrinal assessment report of LCWR conducted by CDF and released on April 18.

While the LCWR officers reported that they were able to express their concerns during the meeting with openness and honesty, they acknowledged that the meeting was difficult because of the differing perspectives the CDF officials and the LCWR representatives hold on the matters raised in the report.

Since the release of the findings in April, some Vatican officials and US bishops have publicly claimed that the report is not a reflection on all US Catholic sisters and is directed only to LCWR, the organization of leaders. The board noted that the actions of CDF are keenly felt by the vast majority of Catholic sisters who have elected, and therefore feel a close identity with, their leaders. Moreover, the statements and gestures of solidarity from men religious and from conferences of Catholic sisters in other countries, as well as the letters and petitions from thousands of lay supporters worldwide, indicate that many others are also concerned about how to live as people of faith in the complexities of these times. The concerns they have shared with LCWR will be part of the conference’s discernment of its response to the CDF report.

LCWR members will continue their careful, prayerful discernment in their geographic regions throughout June and July, and at LCWR’s annual assembly in August.

Do you mean you’ll talk about it at the assembly that’s structured around the views of New Age Gnostic Nut-Ball Barbara Marx Hubbard? However will you find the time in between pondering zero-point energy and the Naissance to talk about being, y’know, Catholic nuns.

I love how “statements and gestures of solidarity” are summoned as some kind of proof of their rightness. They are operating under the mandate of the Church, and the Church is telling them what they expect. There is no “discernment” of a response. They don’t get to speak for how “to live as people of faith in the complexities of these times.” They don’t have magisterial authority. Did someone (say, Jesus, or maybe the Holy Spirit) give them the authority to summon a Vatican III and redefine the faith as “whatever the culture of the time thinks is groovy”? Were they given the authority to teach and promote things counter to consistent church teaching?

Their monstrous arrogance just continues to amaze. The people in control of the LCWR are not nice, humble little workers in the vineyard of the Lord (to quote a man they detest). These are women filled with brazen hubris. I’ve known these kind of nuns. I’ve sat through enough of their lectures about the evils of bottled water and the virtues of fair trade coffee, and none about the fundamentals of the faith. I’m done.

I know far too many nuns who go about the hard work of being women religious–doing the teaching, serving in the hospitals, praying–to stand for this grotesque scene of the nun-as-activist seizing the bully pulpit and claiming to speak for all sisters. They do not. It was the sisters themselves who requested this investigation in order to de-politicize the over-reaching grasp of the LCWR leadership.

The press release tries to make much of the fact that the sisters voted for the leadership. Really? Who else was on the ballot? I’m facing a vote for either an incompetent buffoon or a corporate lackey for president. Does either of them speak for me? Not even a little. So don’t make too much of your mandate, sisters. You were elected from a tiny pool of potential candidates. You weren’t voted any kind of charism. Magisterial authority didn’t come with your simple majority. You may well have been the least-worst candidates.

 

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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.


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