Just a little taste…

Just a little taste… April 24, 2012

…of why the LCWR is so badly in need of reform. From their 2012 keynote speaker:

Although we may never know what really happened, we do know that the story told in the Gospels is that Jesus’ resurrection was a first demonstration of what I call the post-human universal person. We are told that he did not die. He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did. The new person that he became had continuity of consciousness with his life as Jesus of Nazareth, an earthly life in which he had become fully human and fully divine. Jesus’ life stands as a model of the transition from Homo sapiens to Homo universalis.

Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, does the autopsy on this gibberish masquerading as Cutting Edge Catholic Thought. Thomas McDonald likewise helpfully pegs it as “a combination of X-Men comics, techno-fetishizing, narcissism, New Age nonsense, paganism, trite bromides, bad grammar, Gnosticism, and good old heresy.”

You can read a longer excerpt at Thomas’ site. Believe me, it just get weirder. So Why is Rome concerned? Thomas summarizes:

Wow. Just … wow. Folks, that’s not merely crazy: that’s weapons-grade crazy. And this is the keynote speaker for the annual conference of the Leadership Council of Women Religious, set for August in St. Louis, Missouri, and based on the theme Mystery Unfolding: Leading in the Evolutionary Now.

This is plain heresy. It’s bad science, bad psychology, bad philosophy, and, most certainly, bad religion, and the LCWR has structured their entire annual conference around its themes.

So do you still have any questions about the need for oversight of the LCWR?

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  • Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

    Congratulations CDF and B16!!

    Prayers for these wayward nuns.

    • Yes, and prayers for Archbishop Sartain, especially since he has lead efforts in his own Archdiocese through sisters like Sr. Joyce Cox, spiritual director at Pallisades Retreat Center and Archdiocesan Director for Ecumenism and Interreligious dialogue. Just a taste of where she is coming from can be gleaned from her interview with PBS on Feb 26, 2010:

      “What I do in centering prayer is I choose a mantra, which is my sacred word, doesn’t have to have any meaning for me. What I simply do is return to that sacred word as a method of intention and just sit.”

      The Archbishop is being asked to undertake a task, where beginning at home, he has some pretty inappropriate tools for the job at hand.

  • Noah D

    This kind of bad scifi mumbo-jumbo requires an equally nerdish response:


  • Jen

    Whoa… so please tell me this speaker and this conference are now cancelled?!? This will not go forward, right? Good grief.

  • Chris M

    Man.. it’s like being an Episcopalian all over again. Why can’t these folks go link up with Matthew Fox, groove to his Cosmic Liturgy and move on.org with their lives?

  • Cinlef

    Thomas MacDonald is being unfair X-men comics are far more coherent than this rubbish

  • dpt

    “He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did…:

    What about the wounds he showed the apostles following the resurrection?
    Why would he have wounds if he reappeared in a new body?

  • nathan

    I feel for the Archbishop, what an assignment, especially when the un-habited (read: anti-habit)sisters who have been running the retreat center and women’s vocations in his Diocese for decades are themselves candidates for the Renewal spoken of by the CDF.

    • While most of the dissident sisters are indeed what people derogatorily call “pantsuit nuns,” let’s stop that stupid litmus test for what makes a good religious. There are plenty of non-habited, non-cloistered sisters who have done and still do great work for this Church. There are plenty of legitimate things to criticize the LCWR for; let’s not get crazy with accusations.

      • Nathan

        Fair enough Andy. Thanks for adding perspective.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          I’ve had the same perspective given to me, too. I have a kneejerk reaction to “pantsuit nuns” myself, and I have to remind myself that grade school principal was one, and she was an unbelievably holy woman who had a profound effect on my upbringing.

          • Nathan

            I too know a very holy “pant-suited” sister who is a leader in our Respect Life network and is very faithful to the Church. That being said, I think that our “knee-jerk” reactions to “pant-suited” sisters still conveys a certain truth, and I would like to include a few excerpts from George Weigel’s excellent recent article in The National Review Online, titleds “The Vatican and the Sisters” which can be read in its entirety at:


            “…it’s both absurd and dishonest for the media and the Catholic Left to propagate the myth that the 21st-century life of those religious women whose orders are LCWR members is just a modernized version of The Bells of St. Mary’s. Yes, many sisters continue to do many good works. On the other hand, almost none of the sisters in LCWR congregations wear religious habits; most have long since abandoned convent life for apartments and other domestic arrangements; their spiritual life is more likely to be influenced by the Enneagram and Deepak Chopra than by Teresa of Avila and Edith Stein; their notions of orthodoxy are, to put it gently, innovative; and their relationship to Church authority is best described as one of barely concealed contempt…

            The years immediately following the Second Vatican Council saw a mass exodus from American convents; and in the four and a half decades since the Council concluded, American Catholic women’s religious life in the LCWR congregations has suffered various forms of theological, spiritual, and behavioral meltdown. In the face of those two large truths, young Catholic women have quite sensibly decided that, if they wish to do good works or be political activists while dressing like middle-class professionals and living in apartments, there is little reason to bind themselves, even in an attenuated way, to the classic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience — each of which has undergone a radical reinterpretation in the LCWR congregations. So the LCWR orders are becoming greyer and greyer, to the point where their demise is, from a demographic point of view, merely a matter of time: perhaps a few decades down the road, absent truly radical renewal. (Meanwhile, the congregations of religious women that have retained the habit, a regular prayer life, and a commitment to Catholic orthodoxy are growing.)”

            While we both know and continue to interact with wonderful exceptions to “pant-suited” mystery, I think many can share in the dismay that there are enough bad apples to reveal the good ones as quite exceptional indeed.

  • Ted Seeber

    I am a little bit confused. Is it the language or the theory? This idea seems to be garden level Gnosticism to me, no different from what Arian taught before the Nicene Council stepped on him. What is new here?

    • Ted, nothing new at all. . .warmed over heresy with a little New Agey spice thrown in. Like marketing, these quacks use pseudo-scientific language to make their product sound smart and edgy. It’s junk. Pure junk.

      Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  • Telemachus

    I would also add that the idea of evolution has given this crap a new lease on life. Stuff like this comes from trying to spiritualize materialist evolutionary theory. Just browse this lady’s site and you’ll see what I mean: http://www.barbaramarxhubbard.com/.

    God bless,

  • LaVallette

    I get it:

    The Resurrection is no dofferent than the metamorphosis of a cutterpillar into a butterfly with the chrysalis stage being equivalent to the three days in the tomb.

    Now that is very clever and all under the guidance of Gaia no doubt!!! (s/off)