William Coulson and the LCWR: “We Overcame Their Traditions and Their Faith”

This week the Vatican released its doctrinal assessment of the LCWR, the Leadership Council of Women Religious. The statement read, in part:

On June 25, 2010, Bishop Blair presented further documentation on the content of the LCWR’s Mentoring Leadership Manual and also on the organizations associated with the LCWR, namely Network and The Resource Center for Religious Institutes. The documentation reveals that, while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States. Further, issues of crucial importance to the life of Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching.

But if the LCWR’s membership—which includes, according to their statistics, 80% of women religious in the United States—are off-track theologically, that has not always been the case.   The “angry feminist nun” seems to be a citizen of the modern era.   Once it seemed that the life of a Sister was a life of piety and prayerful service, not theological dissent and left-wing political causes.

Things have changed, to be sure.   But why? William Coulson may have an answer to that question.

* * * * *

The Sixties—that loosely defined “cultural decade” that began around 1963 and ended around 1974—was a time of great social turbulence.   Our country was at war in Vietnam; rock and roll was king; the sexual revolution lured youthful heads away from traditional morality toward a new permissiveness.

In that “anything goes” climate, in 1966-67 Dr. William Coulson embarked on a mission to change the Catholic Church.   With his mentor, influential American psychologist Carl Rogers, Coulson inundated Catholic religious orders with humanistic psychology— “nondirectional therapy” which they termed “Therapy for Normals” or TFN.

They began with the IHMs, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   Speaking later with great regret, Coulson explained how they had influenced the Sisters to look not to the Commandments, to the Church, or to God, but to look instead within themselves to find their own personal truth.

Rogers, Coulson and their team had a three-year grant; but they suspended the project after only two years, because they could see what a negative effect it had had.   In 1986, Naiad Press published a tragic book called Lesbian Nuns, Breaking Silence by Rosemary Curb and Nancy Manahan, which documented part of their effect on the IHMs and other orders who had participated in “sensitivity sessions” or “encounter groups.”

Asked about the effect of their inundation, Coulson later said:

Rogers and I…called it Therapy for Normals, TFN.   The IHMs had some 60 schools when we started; at the end, they had one.   There were some 615 nuns when we began.   Within a year after our first interventions, 300 of them were petitioning Rome to get out of their vows.   They did not want to be under anyone’s authority, except the authority of their imperial inner selves.

Coulson and his group offered workshops for other religious orders including the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Sisters of Providence, Sisters of Charity, and the Mercy Sisters. Coulson spoke to the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and the National Catholic Guidance Conference.  They conducted encounter groups for dozens of Catholic religious organizations because, as he explained, in the excitement that followed Vatican II, “everybody wanted to update, everybody wanted to renew.” Humanistic psychology was a way for people to “renew” without having to study.

Coulson came to see his work, and his wide influence in Catholic education, as a great failure. As a case in point, he cited Immaculate Heart College, which was founded by the IHM Sisters in Los Angeles in 1916.   The college served Catholics in southern California until the late 1960s, when William Coulson and researchers from the Esalen Institute conducted therapy experiments there.   The Sisters, following what they believed to be guidance from Pope Paul VI, conducted an extensive review of their structure and proposed changes in how they prayed, worked, lived together and governed themselves.   However, Cardinal Francis McIntyre, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, was opposed to their proposed changes.   He ordered the removal of all IHM sisters teaching in Los Angeles diocesan schools, and presented the community with an ultimatum:   either conform to the standards of traditional religious life, or seek dispensation from their vows.

In the end, 90% of the IHM sisters—encouraged by the humanistic, person-centered psychology of Rogers and Coulson—sought release from their vows.

Coulson deeply regretted the impact they had had on religious communities. He said,

“…it destroyed Catholic religious profession, just as it would destroy the practice of medicine if medicine took seriously the idea that all the answers are within the students; so, too, did it destroy the vows of the nuns. There were many priests who didn’t even bother to get laicized. They just left, saying, “My vows don’t count for anything, because they came from somewhere else; they didn’t come from within.”

The field of psychology, Coulson taught, consisted of three “planes” or “floors”:

1. Psychology One – The work of Sigmund Freud;
2. Psychology Two – Behaviorism, the work of Skinner and Watson; and
3. Psychology Three – Humanistic psychology.

Coulson and other Catholics who became involved with humanistic psychology believed—wrongly, he now says—that this third force could be easily integrated with Catholic ideals, with the belief that every person is precious.   We have human potential, Coulson taught, because we are children of a loving God Who has something marvelous in mind for every one of us.

Coulson warns that practitioners of humanistic psychology, having wreaked destruction with their self-centered theories, have now moved on to a “fourth plane” that he calls New Age psychology.

  • http://www.kathleenscatholic.blogspot.com Kathleen’ Catholic

    Thanks so much for sharing this information. Back in the mid-80s, I attended a Catholic women’s college run by the Sisters of Charity, founded by Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton. What I was expecting was a Christ-centered student life and education. I found the exact opposite. In fact, my freshman advisor was a psychologist, who took my fellow freshmen and me through a round of exercises that would assist us in getting in touch with our feelings. This was indeed the mode of the school. Yet, the rosary, stations, the Divine Office, scripture study (the Bible was studied as an historical book) or any other devotions or observances that focused on putting ourselves aside, was never offered to us. I longed to learn my Faith, yet I was too young to understand and express my desires. Looking back, I realize what was clearly missing from the school–a devotion to Christ and His Word. It simply wasn’t present. With this article, I understand a little more about why the school went in this direction. Many of my teachers were former Sisters of Charity; one even dressed like a man. Very sad, indeed. I left after 3 semesters. The school continues to struggle financially and has since become co-ed. Thanks so much for this insight. God bless!

    • Jeannine

      I think I know the school that you are discussing. The sisters who are faithful to Catholicism feel like strangers in their own community.

  • tz

    It should be remembered that these sisters grew up with the Tridentine Mass, Bishop Sheen, and the Catholic triumphalism. Everything is blamed on the “spirit” (sometimes wrongly the “letter”) of “Vatican II”. But if the church was so healthy before, why wasn’t any part of the hierarchy strong enough to deflect this error? At best there were many reactionaries that simply disliked the new things – rarely explaining any heterodoxy or error in any spirit of charity or reason, but only as shrill denouncements. The churches may have been populated, but they were in a real sense more empty than they are today. I’m sure the IHMs were catechized as well than any in their day and had all the sacraments. Yet they fell like the straw house in the nursery rhyme.

    I think it wasn’t so much they caused rot but exposed the internal invisible dry rot. Ungrounded spirituality. Culture without true faith. Works being done for man and not God.

    And that is the greatest reason for hope today. The new or renewed religious orders of today, and seminarians aren’t going to be moved and persecution is only strengthening the core of hard stone of what is today’s Catholic Church is not going to be moved. There is a way to go before a full restoration, but it will be a real, living, holy, faithful, evangelical church when it is restored.

    • Scott W

      tz,
      The Church collapsed because it was such a demanding faith and then everyone was told, “Oops, everything you’ve been told is wrong!” If the faith had been mushy and then was “revised” in another mushy way, it would have not collapsed (all things being equal). I agree that God is not interested in cultural catholicism, but don’t discount the faith of past generations–you don’t know why they prayed, fasted and volunteered so much more then…

      • http://www.rosaryvictory.blogspot.com Mary De Voe

        GOD IS EXISTENCE, BEING. Let the atheist explain his existence without reference to the
        FIRST PRINCIPLE. GOD IS LOVE. If one reads the Old Testment, one realizes that the GOD OF LOVE is real and works through Jesus. To have this knowledge of God surpressed and removed from our knowing is criminal.

    • Blake Helgoth

      Fr. Groeschel has much to say about this. Religious life was far from healthy before the council. Brothers and Sisters were treated as second class citizens, obedience was blind obedience and don’t you dare ask why. The Jesuit structure took over much of the more sound organizational structure of many orders and crushed the natural freedom of living the vows. Many were still suffering the effects of the elightenment and the suppression of monasteries and religious life in multiple countries. While this was not universally the case, it was wide spread. More traditional religious life today continues to struggle with these issues.

      • Robert Schwendau

        Blake is correct in saying that religious life before the Council was not always healthful, not always in tune w. the spirituality and goals of its founders. Yes, the numbers in religious congregations were fantastic in the late 1950s and well into the 1960s. Formation often still reflected medieval and 18th century European customs and spirituality. Too many postulants and novices that way outnumbered the number of directors and directresses. Sometime, there were sixty novices for a director and his/her assistant, hence superficial formation and spiritual guidance. But, these young religious men and women populated thousands of elementary & secondary schools, colleges, hospitals. The Bishops were happy; the laity was happy. Then the walls began to crack in the late 1960s, and we know the result.
        The causes were many, and we won’t really understand all of this for another thirty years when historians can better reflect back on the latter half of the 20th century.

    • Shan Gill

      You are right in noting how people ‘formed’ in the faith of old rejected it for a more modern model. That is a brutal reality. But holiness trumps psychology every day of eternity. Think Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Her rules are anything but ‘feel good’ or solipsistic. The ways of the saints were/are hard. The Catholic Church has an invaluable resource in its history and lives of the saints, from which we learn the hard truths of self-sacrifice and martyrdom. The easy road isn’t necessarily the path to salvation.

    • http://www.rosaryvictory.blogspot.com Mary De Voe

      Jesus Christ was abandoned as on the cross for inner self. Obedience and LOVE of Jesus Christ IS one’s inner self. Jesus Christ’s church is “the rock”. New Age, call it what you will, abandoning Jesus Christ is called atheism. Shortly thereafter, 1962, atheism was defined as a “religion” by Engel v Vitale in the Supreme Court and prayer was banned in public. Religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. Atheism overruled our First Amendment freedoms, the freedom to worship God, to speak to God, write about God, peaceably assemble with God. The state defines the human being as a beast of burden and slave with no soul. Abortion comes next, denying the rational, immortal soul created and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights to LIFE, denying our founding principles, human existence as the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights, freedom, free will, informed consent. The PROFESSIONALS and PROGRESSIVES have seduced our people into the bottomless pit. and it is just the beginning. Obama has arrogated to himself the unauthorized power to seize all pivate property in America under Rural Councils Executive Order 13575, erasing the Fifth Amendment’s taking clause that all private property taken at eminent domain be compensated according to it s value. Obama has removed from the National Defense Authorization Act after Congress OKed it and before Obama signed it into law on New Year’s Eve from Hawaii, that phrase the protected American citizens, making all persons liable to imprisonment indefintely without charges, erasing Magna Carta, and Habeas Corpus. Only the Catholic Church stands in the way of Obama. Obama has the power to seize all church property, every Catholic school that refuses to teach homosexual behavior as normal. “I love my mother and father”, by a five year old is HATE speech. Our Declaration of Independence is HATE speech. “the blessings of Liberty and our constitutional posterity ” is HATE speech. The war on humanity.

  • Anthony

    So that’s why my novitiate consisted the enneagram and AA’s 12 steps! The Order I entered had completely lost confidence in the way it had followed for 800 years. The seminary was worse. Anti-intellectual and pro-gay – diocescan seminarians coming to class in fluffy slippers with bunny ears on them.

    Thank God I got out, and thank God the church is renewing itself now.

    • Robert Schwendau

      Anthony, I know of what you speak — the superficiality of your years of formation. I think provincials, directors of postulants, novices & scholastics threw their hands up in the air because they did not know what to do w. so many changes and ideas being propagated. I feel bad for those formation people back then because I saw the confusion and questioning of so much of the past.
      Let’s remember God is still in charge. We need to renew our own faith in the providence of God. Church institutions have been around for 1700 years, and there have been worse messes in the church in the past than in the present. If you study the history of religious orders in the church you will see cycles of holiness, prosperity, and then of great laxness and sinfulness.

  • RGB

    Wow. This little article is devastating… It show the reason, who and exactly when the destruction of the great nun orders in the U.S. took place. Illuminating, great article.

  • Kevin Orlin Johnson

    It’s caused by exactly the same thing that has caused the epidemic of sexual crimes among our clergy: America’s bishops are in schism from the Catholic Church. It’s that simple. And that obvious. None obeys his vow of obedience to the Holy Father. None. Not one. That’s schism. Look it up. There’s your answer.

    • Dee

      What a narrow-minded, merciless comment.

      • Byzcat

        Dee, why is it narrow minded and merciless? If you can refute his comment, present the evidence rather than launching an ad hominem attack.

        • Ethan

          It’s not up to Dee to argue her side. The original comment was Kevin’s – so it’s up to him to prove his theory.

          Besides, Dee’s wasn’t an ad-hominem attack. If she had said something negative about Kevin, then it would be ad-hominem.

    • Ren

      Kevin, I’m not trying to pick a fight, but, can you truly say that every single Bishop is in schism with Rome? Where is your proof? Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW a great deal of them are / have been and continue to be. BUT, do you know the soul of every Bishop, newly ordained or otherwise? I think there is a lot of inherited mess as well and I think some of the “newer” bishops, priests etc. are working to turn the boat around. Just My two cents….

      In any case, let us all never forget we need to PRAY FOR OUR PRIESTS…OUR BISHOPS….whether they are in schism or not, they ALL need our prayers. Let us not sow the seed of dissent but rather work to keep the body united in prayer….

    • Robert Schwendau

      1. You begin your paragraph with the prepostion “It’s” caused by….. What is the antecedent of the prounoun ‘It?”
      2. There are over 500 bishops in the U.S. Can you name those whom the Vatican has said are in schism?
      3. Strictly speaking, bishops do not have a vow of obedience. At ordination every priest promises obedience to his Ordinary and his successor. The pope is the Bishop of Rome.
      4. If you think the sexual abuse and activity of the clergy is bad now, you need to go back and do some research and reading on the lives of the clergy, the monks, the nuns of the medieval church and the church of the Renaissance. A recent lecturer on the Council of Trent indicated that the condtion of the Catholic Church at that time was much, much worse than that of today’s Church

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  • Shamrock

    I can witness to this phenomenon. In the 60′s I was part of a Masters’ Program at the University of Rochester in New York where eventually I dropped out it got so bad. Yes, there was a nun ( an IHMS from California)
    without habit, who by the time I left was sitting on the lap of the married professor during these encounter
    sessions. It was bogus education and much worse! These people were all teachers who at the end of the
    program would be returning to the classroom or assuming counseling positions…all steeped in the theories
    of Carl Rodgers, et al. It was a place of moral confusion and a morass of twisted thinking…the blind leading
    the clue-less. I believe anyone indoctrinated for two yrs in this program would be totally up-ended spiritually
    by the time they finished. And did not our Bishops give as one of their defenses for shifting homosexual priests around from parish to parish that they believed the findings of the psychologists whose help they employed… that these men could be rehabilitated? Yes indeed! Therapeutic psychology a la Carl Rodgers
    et al…..a replacement for religion. A lie bought by many…and still is happening! The LCWR is loaded with
    these narcissistic individuals.

    • http://www.rosaryvictory.blogspot.com Mary De Voe

      Professional malpractice.

  • Ann

    I have heard Dr. Coulson apologize at a Conference about this subject. I attended IHM and believe that pride played a large part in this, also. Whether that pride was fed by Carl Rodgers’ conferences, or existed previously I would not venture to say. I also know many ex-nuns from different religious orders who have the same liberal leanings. Wonder if their relationship with their fathers had anything to do with this? It’s difficult to relate to God as loving Father when your own is anything but…with professional guidance, prayer, and conversion of heart, it can be done. Are these women too old for this? Hope not.

  • kirsten

    i must say that this is in all likelihood a great deal of it… and yes instead of reasoned rebuttal they got shrill demands.. which never helps…
    BUT one of the above commentators says “they were well Catechized” (regarding the nuns) i protest that i know of many priests and nuns pre Vatican 2 that were NOT well Catechized at all! they just looked the part because they had the trappings of authority…
    the Priest who denied my brother and sister in law entry into the local Catholic school “because their last names were not Italian”? thats hardly real Catholic teaching, but thats what happened….
    i hear story after story of this from the 50s and 40s… of Priests and (sometimes) nuns who taught “with authority” but without any actual basis for what they taught.
    dry rot indeed

    • Ethan

      Hearsay. The only evidence that you have is from people with bias – no actual evidence to support your claim.

      • Kathy Schiffer

        Ethan,
        One part of the story that I omitted is that I’ve actually met William Coulson, and have heard his testimony firsthand. He has spent his life trying to undo the wrong that he did.

        • Anne (Seattle)

          Everything Kathy has printed is absolutely true! I grew up with the Coulson family. Bill and his wife were among my parents’ closest friends; they are the god parents of my sister.
          My parents watched this unfold with horror as their organization (Western Behavioral Sciences Institute) were running encounter groups. After Carl Roger’s death Bill became very public about all of this. But he had long known and profoundly regretted the damage done. Abraham Maslow also realized near his death what damage had been wrought as he began to see the products of TMP (too much psychology-Bill’s term) come through his college classroom. He found his students were unteachable, unwilling to acknowledge any absolutes (having been taught for all the years previous that truth lies within each individual). Bill hoped to get him to publish this but alas he didn’t. We have encouraged Bill to publish too, but I think it won’t happen beyond a few interviews.
          Keep him in your prayers. I think he will finally be at peace with himself as he sees the LCWR being reigned in by our dear Archbishop Sartain (keep him in your prayers too as he will have a very difficult task.) Hopefully it will not be too late to save some of these wayward souls but it is imperative to begin dismantling their stranglehold on our children’s faith formation in schools everywhere. It is probably a good thing most elementary schools no longer have orders running them!

  • Bo

    Thats is true. In the 50s some of the religious sisters at my mother’s school tried to force my her to write with her right hand because using the left hand was a sign of the devil or something to that effect. It was so bad she had to be taken out and placed in a public school. Well Catechized? I don’t think so. However, that is not to say all were as ignorant as that. A few of them were very kind. Its a shame most were too ignorant and duped by such a superficial philosophy. Sophism at its best. Ignorance usually breeds pride if it does not realize it is ignorant and lacks humility. I am glad to hear Mr Coulson repented. May God have mercy on his soul.

  • Elleblue

    My experience in religious life in the 1970′s was exactly this nonsense. To this day if someone says, “it’s a group experience”, my heart starts beating faster. Over a seven year period I could feel my vocation being eroded and I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to change any of it. What really angers me is that the people who stayed put up with a watered down version of consecrated religious life and don’t seem to care how it affects others. No wonder so many congregtions have little to none vocations. By the time I left my community I was so turned off of religion and religious practices I left the church. It’s taken 15 years to find my way back home.

    • Robert Schwendau

      Elleblue, I know of what you speak about religious life in the 1970s. I had spent time in religious life in the 50s and 60s when things were much more settled, but not necessarily good.
      Some commentators explain that the demise of women’s congregations began in the early 1970s when left-wing feminist nuns took over the leadership of so many Congregations. They grabbed the power in the General Chapters, pushed their views on the middle-aged and older nuns who sat passively at the Chapters, agreeing to what the “experts” were telling them. I often wonder why did so many religious congregations and institutes do so well for 300 years, and then in 30 years seem to diminish.

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  • Jim from Utah

    The project was funded by the United States Navy as an experimental intelligence exercise. Abram Maslow later admitted that he regretted the efficiency of the operation.

  • lay person

    Um, if 80% of a group is going “the wrong way”, then perhaps YOU are driving the wrong way down the interstate.

    Seems obvious enough.

    • Elleblue

      Excellent point, well made!

      • Pete Gowing

        So if 80 % of the lemmings are jumping of the cliff then….?

    • wendy

      Tell that to the Jewish people of Germany during Hitlers reign. The Africans owned by slaves. The middle-easterners struggling for freedom in their respective countries. The majority has often been wrong in our history, and with all due respect, so is your argument.

    • SouthofReality

      If all 12 of your friends leave you and betray you, then well, you’re probably wasting your time on that cross.

    • Paul O.

      Your argument is is a logical fallacy called the argumentum ad populorum (argument to popularity). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

  • Magdalene

    The agenda is not ‘just’ the remaking of the Catholic Church but the remaking of society and its very fabric. The Catholic Church stands in the way of that as it clings to the natural law of things. So therefore the attack on it and the religious because if priests and nuns can be brought to teach and endorse dissenting things or to cause scandal, they take many souls with them to perdition.

  • Jay McNally

    Cathy, good review of a sad story.

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  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com Diane K

    Wow, Kathy – this was very interesting.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com Diane K

    I just found this on EWTN’s site on Coulson. This is the first time I’m hearing about this and I’m sure I’m not alone. http://www.ewtn.com/library/PRIESTS/COULSON.TXT\

  • JL

    Valuble article. We were living in the LA area during the 60′s and know the story first hand. It is very difficult to educate others on just how bad things were during that time frame. One would have to conclude you had to experience it to believe it! Keep in mind that Coulson and his ilk brought the group therapy techniques into the Catholic schools without the knowledge of Cardinal McIntyre. His first knowledge was brought to his attention when he saw

    an article published in Readers Digest. He showed us a stack of letters he was sendiing to all priests in the diocese forbidding them to take the sensitivity classes at Loyola, Marymount, etc. However, those letters were circumvented and never sent. The effects of the whole Human Potential Movement permeated the Catechetical curriculum and helped to confuse and destroy the faith of a generation of chiildren.
    Many of our religious orders were destroyed on the altar of “obedience” Do keep in mind the effect of active infiltration by Communists in the seminaries and colleges. Dr. Bella Dodd testified that she herself put a thousand men in seminaries as per orders from Moscow.
    Stalin, himself, testified that there were 2 obstacles standing in the way of a complete world-wide take over by Communism: The Catholic Church and the moral strength of the American people! Put it in perspective and it is easier to understand what has happened to the Church today.

  • RJ

    This is part of the “smoke of Satan” Pope Paul VI said invaded the Church. Just think about the timing of all this was the end of the Prayers After Mass which included the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.
    Also, go back and review the vision Pope Leo had when he wrote that prayer. It was a conversation with our Blessed Lord and Satan. Satan told Him he could take His Church. Our Lord gave him so many years. It was so frightening that Pope Leo collapsed and immediately penned the prayer to Saint Michael and ordered it be prayed after every Low Mass. All that ended coincidentally at the same time all this psychobabble was going on. There is a real spiritual war going on and we need the Traditional Mass to help our team win.

  • http://www.dymphnaswell.blogspot.com Dymphna

    Even though I lived through some of this (we were taught to “meditate” in religion class…and shown a film that talked positively about self-sex–in a CATHOLIC high school…retreats in our CYO had 1 Mass where it was all about holding hands during the Our Father–never a mention of adoration or the Rosary. I had to learn about the Divine Office in the Episcopal Church) I hadn’t connected this to the vitriol I am hearing/reading today from so many of my (often formerly) Catholic friends and relatives. Now, their point of view makes complete sense. This hatred of the Church is what they were taught–IN CHURCH!!!!!!

  • http://www.patheos.com Elisabeth McDonald

    So what are these men doing to amend for their destructive work? Are they on the road explaining to each one of these orders how they were wrong and used by Satan to ruin their vocations? Are they tracking them down one person at a time to try to rescue them? With St. Paul as a patron, I hope they are doing this for the sake of their own souls and those they led astray.

  • SQ

    The Holy Mass is what we need, indeed. The Extraordinary form, the Ordinary form, the Divine Liturgy, and all other Liturgies of the Holy Catholic Church – all those that offer the perfect Sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to our Heavenly Father for the expiation of sins. Amen!

    We also need to be united as Christians with the Holy Father, who understands and teaches that all these Liturgies are valid for this purpose.

  • Therese

    My heart is breaking. I now understand a lot of things. I am the only one of my 10 brothers and sisters who has not left the Catholic Church. My older siblings were in a convent or seminary at this time. They are no longer Catholic (or even Christian). The rest of them lost their Catholic faith because of exposure to nuns like this . THey are now active protestants.
    I didn’t realize what was going on. I sent my own children to a Catholic grade school and was dumbfounded when I realized that I had to teach them the Catholic faith – they were getting heresy or nothing at the school. The worst is the Catholic High School I sent 3 of my daughters too. It is run by some sistsers who were founding members of the LCWR group. Two of my daughters also lost their Catholic faith. I AM ANGRY.

    • Tom

      Therese,

      I empathise completely. I am 48, and the youngest of 7, only three of us are still Catholic, the others are on varying levels of Protestantism…one of my sisters is a Presbyterian Minister! The reaction of my mother is the strangest, she thinks this is just wonderful (that my sister is a minister). All of the ones who are not Catholic were educated in Catholic schools prior and during the council. Obviously the damage started before the council, but this article goes a long way to explain the out and out SABOTAGE that was perpetrated at supposedly Catholic Schools. And it continues today. My oldest Son went to a Jesuit prep School that had a flippin Marxist for their 4 year Ethics (Nope not theology), he is devoutly Catholic INSPITE of his education, and my other son has effectively lost his Catholic identity after 4 years in a Catholic HS and 3 years at a (again) Jesuit College. My Daughter, did not go to Catholic School and I personally handled her Catechism training using the Baltimore Catechism and the Compendium of the Catechism to teach her. The only good thing is that it taught me much of the faith that I never learned in the 70s because it was more important to do banners and sing folk songs than learn the faith! My youngest two will be likewise educated as I don’t trust any religious or lay person in this diocese to teach in an orthodox manner. I try not to be angry, but I feel a sense of betrayal at those who led me and mine astray in the past, and those who continue this legacy today. I do thank G*d that Pope Benedict is Pope. He is a marvellous teacher and his writings have helped to educate me and my children. I am also hoping that the biological solution clears up (as it seems to be) much of these problems, because I do not see the perpetrators changing their ways. Dis-obedience was the greatest sin to come out of the “Spirit of Vatican II.” May we live to see it an end to it before it is too late for the Church in America.

  • Ren

    WOW Kathy,

    Thanks for this very informative piece. It’s. Just. Mind Boggling. AND. WOW.

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  • Elleblue

    After listening to some older sisters after I entered in the early 70′s it seemed to me that some of the practices within religious life were long overdue for change. It appears that some congregations went overboard. And yet some managed to hold to the middle by questioning everything and keeping essentials which would support a more relevant form of consecrated life. It seems that these ‘middle of the road’ congregations plus the newly emerged communities are the ones who are attracting the most vocations.

    Keep in mind today’s sister, nun, priest or brother is better educated and has more life experience than their previous counterparts. They have many more choices when it comes to living in the world and yet they freely choose to follow Christ’s call to relgious life. This inspires me and I pray that many more people will respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give up everything to follow Our Lord and to serve His Church and His people.

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  • V

    There is (or was) a Women’s Spirituality Conference at Notre Dame sponsored by a group of nuns. To my experienced Neo-Pagan educated eyes, it was indistinguishable from a neo-pagan conference. I don’t remember what the panels were about, but I do remember thinking that they’d fit right in at the local big pagan convocation. In the dealer’s room they sold tarot cards and “healing crystals” and all the things you’d see in a “metaphysical bookstore” with maybe one booth for saint’s cards. I saw statues of “the goddess” but no statues of Mary. At Notre Dame! Granted this was in 2002, so things may have changed… I certainly have, since then.

    Knowing that one of the most insidious sources of rot was from the psychological front explains a lot. For some reason, a lot of “new age” tries to approach as self-help and pop-psych. Magical thinking, which is easy and feels good, substitutes for “know thyself” which is a hard teaching. A lot of psychology is not really psychology at all but delusion. Unfortunately, psychology is a rank source for many pseudo-religions that don’t even acknowledge their dogmas to the average practitioner. It is hard to know where to turn when it is so deeply penetrated and often deliberately disguises its origins from patients/subjects/customers.

  • Irish 41

    My dentist’s wife had a gathering of Franciscan Nuns at her house in the mid ’80s. They opened the meeting with a centering prayer to the “goddess” Sophia, whoever she is !! The wife immediately took over the training of her children from the school they attended. My wife and I stayed at the most conservative Church in Toledo until 1997 when we escaped to the SSPX in Detroit and the TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS. The Diocese of Toledo put every possible roadblock in our way when we requested the TLM. We eventually gave up and have never looked back. We go out of our way to travel where the TLM-SSPX is available. As Sister Lucy of Fatima is supposed to have said….” until Russia is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (BVM) the Church will suffer “diabolical disorientation”….. And so it has with willions falling away outside the Church. Truly the smoke of Satan has entered the Church as told by Pope Paul VI. He should know as it was he and his liberal friends who brought it about. St. John Chrysostom said that such bad Bishops/Popes will be the blocks on the floor of Hell for their crimes. Paul VI surely deserves to be there so, pray for him, as he needs it, if he’s not in Hell now.

  • coca

    A well known catholic moral theologian – Germain Grisez – featured on EWTN – said in one of his paper published in 1996 Catholic World Report – that
    “The wife’s complete sexual satisfaction (orgasm)
    is not necessary for sexual intercourse insofar as it
    is a reproductive function, but it does contribute to complete marital
    intercourse as a mutually satisfying experience of one-flesh communion”.
    How would a man like to be forced to stop his orgasm in the middle ?
    Is this a catholic teaching?
    No wonder women reject this kind of church teaching on sexuality.


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