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Women Religious Not Complying With Vatican Study
The National Catholic Reporter ^ | 11/24/09 | Thomas C. Fox

Posted on 11/26/2009 5:27:39 AM PST by marshmallow

The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that is part of a three-year study of the congregations. Leaders of congregations, instead, are leaving questions unanswered or sending in letters or copies of their communities' constitutions.

"There's been almost universal resistance," said one women religious familiar with the responses compiled by the congregation leaders. "We are saying 'enough!' In my 40 years in religious life I have never seen such unanimity."

The deadline for the questionnaires to be filled out and returned to the Vatican-appointed apostolic visitator, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Mary Clare Millea, was Nov. 20. On that day, according to an informed source, congregation leaders across the nation sent Millea letters and, in many cases, only partial answers to the questionnaire. Many women, instead of filling out the forms, replied by sending in copies of their Vatican -approved orders' religious constitutions. A religious order's constitution states its rationale, purpose and mission.

The Vatican initiated the study in January, saying its purpose is to determine the quality of life in religious communities, given the decline in vocations in recent decades. From the outset, the women have complained they were never consulted before Vatican officials announced the investigation and there is no transparency in the process. Some have called the effort demeaning and intrusive.

The decisions by congregation leaders not to comply follow nearly two months of intensive discussions both inside and across religious congregations. They follow consultations with civil and canon lawyers, and come in the wake of what some women religious see as widespread support by laity for their church missions.

With about half of the responses from the nation's 59,000 women religious accounted for, only about one percent answered, as directed, most or all of the questions contained in the study's working paper, officially called an Instrumentum Laboris, according to one informed source.

By contrast, according to the source, congregations representing, by far, the greater majority of women religious decided not to comply and answered only a few, or none, of the questions. Many of the 340 U.S. apostolic congregation heads instead sent letters to Millea stating that what they were sending was what the Vatican was looking for.

"Cover letters [to Millea] have been respectful and kind," one woman, familiar with the responses, told NCR. "Many of the letters have essentially said that what we have to say about ourselves has already been said in our religious constitutions."

The Vatican questionnaire is divided into three parts. Part A attempts to collect quantifiable information about such things as membership, numbers, living arrangements, health, and retirement conditions. Part B and Part C (bottom of Part B) aim to gather detailed information about community governance practices, vocation efforts, spiritual and liturgical practices, ministry and finances.

Earlier in the month, apparently after many complaints from women religious, the Vatican withdrew several questions from Part C, involving the individual ages of the women, assets belonging to the congregations, and recent financial statements.

NCR contacted more than a dozen women religious familiar with the responses. Almost no one would allow her name to be used, citing fear of reprisal against their congregations and the desire to have the apostolic visitator receive their letters before word of the actions became public.

While declining to be identified, one woman said: "What I can say quite clearly is that every leader that I know is trying to answer the survey with integrity. How that integrity works out in each case is up to the wisdom of each leader and her council."

"This was a grassroots response," said another woman religious. "It was not organized. It came out of a widespread sense that the Vatican action was an unjust affront to women religious."

Explaining the attitude in her community, St. Joseph Sr. Margaret Gregg said, "I feel the response was a thoughtful, respectful response to a very puzzling situation. The purpose of this investigation is unclear to me, given the level of the questions. I have always been proud of our community and the many women who serve God's people. The first sentence of our letter [to Millea] says it all, 'As apostolic women religious, we are faithful to the call of the Gospel and to our respective charisms.' "

The Vatican study is being carried out by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The action was initiated by the congregation's prefect, Cardinal Franc Rodé, who received authority for it from Pope Benedict late last year. It is being conducted under the direction of Millea, a Connecticut native, who heads the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an international religious institute headquartered in Rome.

Phase one of the Vatican study involved interviews Millea had with congregation heads. Millea, a number of women religious leaders have said, has always been professional and cordial in carrying out her work as apostolic visitator. Phase two of the study involves the answering of the questionnaires. Phase three of the study calls for individual on site visits by teams of religious, appointed by Millea, to yet to be announced congregations. These are set to begin next spring. Phase four calls for Millea to comb the information and make recommendations to the Vatican for further action.

The Vatican has placed the cost of the study at $1.1 million and has asked U.S. bishops to help raise the money.

Several women religious said that, in discerning their responses to the questionnaire which they felt were intrusive, there emerged a new sense of identity and resolve. One said that for years women religious have focused on the needs of others. This time they had to focus on themselves.

She said women religious have been virtually unanimous in spirit that they have been living out their missions, as directed by the gospels and by the Second Vatican Council, which called upon religious communities to go out in the world to work among the poor and to build more just and peaceful structures.

She explained that in the process church prelates lost the control over women religious congregations they once had. She said many women religious believe the investigation is part of an effort to regain that control.

"Vatican II took us out of the ghettos and into ecology, feminism and justice in the world," she said. "The Vatican still has a difficult time accepting that."

Some of the women interviewed by NCR cite an irony involved in the investigation. One said that it is "unlikely the Vatican wanted us to come out of this being more confident of our identity as self-defining religious agents, but that is exactly what has happened."

Another said: "At first, many women were asking, 'How do we respond? Then we were asking, 'How do we respond faithfully in keeping with our identity?' And soon we were asking, 'What is that identity?' "

Still another said that at first when confronted with the questionnaire, many women religious congregation heads felt isolated. But after discussions within their communities and after regional meetings with other women religious and after consultations with their canon lawyers, they overcame the initial sense of isolation and grew in common resolve.

Several women said canon lawyers told the women they were not required to answer all the questions. Religious, unlike bishops, priests and deacons, who make up the clergy, are not officially part of the church's hierarchical structure. According to this reasoning, women religious are responsible to their congregation leadership and to their constitutions.

NCR contacted several canon lawyers consulted by women religious communities. These canon lawyers declined to be interviewed for this story.

All along, said one woman religious, the challenge has been to respond to the Vatican in a way that breaks a cycle of violence. She said that the women religious communities have attempted to respond by using a language "devoid of the violence" they found in the Vatican questionnaire and within the wider study. She characterized the congregation responses as "creative and affirming," and part of an effort to set a positive example in "nonviolent resistance."

"On the one hand we didn't want to roll over and play dead," she said. "So the question was, "How do you step outside a violent framework and do something new?' That was the challenge that emerged." One congregation, she said, cited a U.S. bishops' statement concerning domestic abuse in its response letter to Millea. "The point is, there have to be more than two choices: Take the abuse and offer it up, or kill the abuser."

Women religious, she said, are asking if there is a "Ghandian or Martin Luther King way" to deal with violence they felt is being done to them.

At issue, according to several women religious, is the role women religious are to play in the world today. As much as any other element in the church, women religious claim Vatican II's documents as a call go out in the world, loved and blessed by God, and to serve within it.

During the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Benedict the XVI the hierarchy, many church observers say, has pulled back from these directives, seeing the world as a more hostile environment. They view the church as a bastion of light and love within this world and want the women religious to work more directly from within church structures.

For example, Rodé told NCR senior correspondent John Allen last month that he believes that Vatican II, while designed to generate a moderate reform, instead triggered "the greatest crisis in church history."

"In the 16th century, during the Reformation, many religious left the church and many convents were closed, but it was geographically limited, more or less to Northern Europe," he said. "In the French Revolution, there was another catastrophe, but it was limited to France. The crisis after the Second Vatican Council, however, was the first truly global crisis."

"We've paid a very steep price due to a secularized, worldly mentality," he said.

Tom Fox is NCR editor. His e-mail address is tfox@ncronline.org.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Theology
KEYWORDS: feminazi; feminazicatholics; feminazis
"Vatican II took us out of the ghettos and into ecology, feminism and justice in the world," she said. "The Vatican still has a difficult time accepting that."

To be more accurate, you've gone from wanting to save souls to wanting to save the planet.

Yeah, I know, this is the National Catholic Distorter so it could be mere wishful thinking. Posted FWIW.

1 posted on 11/26/2009 5:27:39 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

I hope the Vatican publishes a list of non-responders so I can make sure never to contribute a nickel to any of them. Maryknoll and Glenmary are already on my List.


2 posted on 11/26/2009 5:39:18 AM PST by nina0113
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To: marshmallow
I am frankly puzzled by the near-unanimity of the negative response. If they have a justifiable self-respect for their constitutions, their liturgy, their apostolate, their members, then why aren't they pleased as punch to detail their life and work in a questionnaire?

So brittle, defensive and paranoid: hallhardly hallmarks of self-confident, mature communities.

And their numbers have gone down from 180,000 40 years ago, to 59,000 now, with "the average age of American nuns being above 70," according to NCR. Good God, they're dying off.

You'd think they'd manage a smidge of curiousity about "Why is this happening?"

3 posted on 11/26/2009 5:43:44 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights” (James 1:17).)
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To: marshmallow

PERFECT!!!

Close them all down.


4 posted on 11/26/2009 5:46:00 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: marshmallow

Maybe the Catholics should have a Vatican III to get rid of all the changes made under Vatican II. From everything I read Vatican II was a real blunder.


5 posted on 11/26/2009 5:51:43 AM PST by Radl
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To: marshmallow

Do they fall under the governance of the Catholic Church or are they all independent entities?

PS I did not realize how deeply infiltrated the CC is with Anti-Americans.


6 posted on 11/26/2009 5:56:36 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: marshmallow
Vatican II was, by and large, a disaster that has wounded Mother Church. This needs to be rectified.

As for the women religious -- were I Benedict, I'd start punting orders left and right -- yank their funding, decertify them. Many convents have become havens for aging leftist, lesbian militants who are doing more harm than good.

7 posted on 11/26/2009 5:57:22 AM PST by Malacoda (CO(NH2)2 on OBAMA.)
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To: marshmallow

There seems to be a plethora of blather about this questionaire but where, exactly, is the questionaire itself? Everything else is posted somewhere on the Internet so where is this item? I would like to read the questions and assess for myself the tone and nature of the inquiries.


8 posted on 11/26/2009 6:04:14 AM PST by Happyinmygarden (Yes, actually, I have pretty much seen and heard it all before...)
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To: marshmallow

These sisters and perhaps their orders are really ceasing to be in union with the Church.I am sure these are the “orders” that wear civilian clothes.


9 posted on 11/26/2009 6:05:51 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: Malacoda

Sadly, I think you are correct. Also, it’s an unusual Catholic school (elementary or high school) that has a team of nuns actually doing the teaching.

I attended Catholic HS (no, I no longer practice the Catholic faith; I am now Protestant) but I had nothing but respect and admiration for the level of educational excellence of the nuns who taught me (yes, back in the dark ages, I’ll admit...)


10 posted on 11/26/2009 6:08:17 AM PST by Happyinmygarden (Yes, actually, I have pretty much seen and heard it all before...)
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To: Happyinmygarden

The “tone and nature of the queries are irrelevant. The Church is not a democracy and the good sisters don’t get to vote on what parts of doctrine and obedience are to their liking.Given the source, the questions are formal and straightforward and not contentious.


11 posted on 11/26/2009 6:09:52 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
This is natural selection in action on the spiritual plane. The least fit members of the species are dying off. The Vatican is actually trying to help them in an attempt to prevent this from happening but they're so utterly deranged that they're even fighting against that.

It's clear from the quotes in the article that they think post Vatican II women's religious life is actually a huge success.

I fear their stupidity is terminal.

12 posted on 11/26/2009 6:10:37 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow
"Vatican II took us out of the ghettos and into ecology, feminism and justice in the world," she said. "The Vatican still has a difficult time accepting that."

I imagine they would.

Several women said canon lawyers told the women they were not required to answer all the questions. Religious, unlike bishops, priests and deacons, who make up the clergy, are not officially part of the church's hierarchical structure. According to this reasoning, women religious are responsible to their congregation leadership and to their constitutions.

So women religious are not required to make vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience any more?

I guess somebody forgot to send that memo to the Vatican.

Women religious, she said, are asking if there is a "Ghandian or Martin Luther King way" to deal with violence they felt is being done to them. (by this visitation)

My goodness...rape by questionnaire...oh, the horrors...


I, for one, fully support these sisters in their efforts to achieve full autonomy. And I believe that the Holy Father should immediately grant full independence to any congregation that wants full autonomy from the eveeeeeeeeeeel patriarchal influence of the Vatican. Full, absolute, 100%, complete, utter, total independence. (if you get my drift)

13 posted on 11/26/2009 6:19:56 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: marshmallow

Why is it that liberals ALWAYS have to lie?

They lie to get elected. They lie to enter churches. They don’t have enough honesty to say, “Here is what we believe...let’s start a church!” Instead, they pretend to believe something different until they’ve acquired some power within the structure of a group of people who oppose their aims.

Why is honest liberal a contradiction of terms? Is it because the Father of liberals has always been a liar?


14 posted on 11/26/2009 6:24:47 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: marshmallow

This article misrepresents what’s really going on. Yes, the more liberal orders are declining in numbers and are, I’m sure, refusing to comply with the Vatican study. HOWEVER, the stricter orders are actually gaining women who are entering. I talked to a Sister recently, who was in her habit, and she said they have a waiting list. Younger women a drawn to a more stable form of religious orders. One’s that truly live their beliefs.


15 posted on 11/26/2009 6:45:16 AM PST by Jackson57
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To: 1010RD
By secular law, all of these convents are separately incorporated with trustees and by-laws. They run their own finances and own their own property.

By church law, they all are under the authority of their respective bishops to some extent, not in terms of internal governance (the nuns elect their leadership) but in terms of operating in a particular diocese. The bishop could "suppress" them (the word used in this context) --- meaning tell them they cannot operate inhis diocxese --- something that has been done in the US in the 19th and 20th centuries only very infrequently, and in the 21st century not at all, as far as I know.

They have constitutions approved by the Vatican CONGREGATION FOR INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE. Most of their constitutions were re-written in the immediate aftermath of the Second Vatican Council (which was held 1962-1965) and approved then.

Sociologically, I can't help noting that many of these women are like some of the divorced wives I've seen: independent for as long as they can keep up, finding solidarity with other women in the same circumstances, in decline, and deeply unhappy.

16 posted on 11/26/2009 6:46:53 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights” (James 1:17).)
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To: marshmallow

Most of these “orders” are having to join with each other to look like their numbers are still somewhat decent. And their average age is something in the middle sixties.

Whereas the newer, younger orders that are traditional, obedient, faithful and in habits of unity can’t build their novitiates fast enough. And their average age is something around 30. And all their pictures show happy vibrant faces. Not grumpy miserable arrogant ones.


17 posted on 11/26/2009 7:02:31 AM PST by Kandy
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To: Happyinmygarden
I attended Catholic HS (no, I no longer practice the Catholic faith; I am now Protestant)

How sad to give up and never receive the Holy Eucharist. I would never give up being a Catholic just for that alone!

18 posted on 11/26/2009 7:17:27 AM PST by notaliberal (Palin supporter)
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To: marshmallow

There is so much male violence inherent in your post. You need to take a long walk in a labyrinth in order to be one with the ecology.

Freegards, happy Thanksgiving


19 posted on 11/26/2009 7:36:22 AM PST by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Great commentary and I have to agree with your final analysis. It is spot on.

What I am getting at though, is who controls the convents - their officers/directors or the Vatican?

Where will the money go if they are shut down?


20 posted on 11/26/2009 8:19:50 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: marshmallow

Even the Vatican is perhaps unaware of how far the church in the Americas has descended. Perhaps only an ecclesiastical council could address the myriad and longstanding problems of heterodoxy and outright heresy. To do this would require the assistance of likely several of the larger monastic orders just to “survey the damages”.

In some situations, such as the adoration of the so-called “Santa Muerte” in Mexico, it has been noticed and condemned, but has gone so far as to threaten an outbreak of violence those who believe and those who disbelieve the pagan symbol.

In parts of the Caribbean and South America, the doctrines of the church have also been corrupted with witchcraft and its Catholics need to be disabused.

But this is not limited to the poorer regions. Some years ago in Boston, there was a belief among young girls that abortion was preferable to birth control pills, as abortion was *a* sin, but pills were “a sin a day”, perversely equating the two. For young boys, condoms were seen as equally “frequent sin”. Beliefs of this sort are so wrong, for so many reasons, that they clearly need repair.

The grandest of the North American dilemmas is, of course, secularization. Ignored for many years as a “live and let live” form of government, practicing ecumenical fairness, instead it is turning into a Catholic-hostile agency, seeking to undermine, or even prohibit, the doctrines of the church.

More to the point, there is a pressing need to audit Catholic educational and medical institutions, both to insure that they are healthy within, and defended from external foes. Culturally, the church needs to address the “social Catholics”, who embrace Catholic “culture”, but reject its tenets.

There is so much belated work to be done, but it does need to be done.


21 posted on 11/26/2009 10:21:29 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: marshmallow
All along, said one woman religious, the challenge has been to respond to the Vatican in a way that breaks a cycle of violence. She said that the women religious communities have attempted to respond by using a language "devoid of the violence" they found in the Vatican questionnaire and within the wider study. She characterized the congregation responses as "creative and affirming," and part of an effort to set a positive example in "nonviolent resistance."

"On the one hand we didn't want to roll over and play dead," she said. "So the question was, "How do you step outside a violent framework and do something new?' That was the challenge that emerged." One congregation, she said, cited a U.S. bishops' statement concerning domestic abuse in its response letter to Millea. "The point is, there have to be more than two choices: Take the abuse and offer it up, or kill the abuser."

Women religious, she said, are asking if there is a "Ghandian or Martin Luther King way" to deal with violence they felt is being done to them.

-----

Wow, all this talk of violence. All because of a questionnaire? They really sound whacked. No wonder there's an investigation. Nuns gone rogue.

22 posted on 11/26/2009 10:57:17 AM PST by my_pointy_head_is_sharp
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To: marshmallow; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

23 posted on 11/26/2009 10:58:15 AM PST by narses ('in an odd way this is cheering news!'.)
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To: Radl
The Third Secret of Fatima was the direction to hold no more councils whatsoever.

The problem was not so much Vatican II as it was the probably intentional ambiguity of V-II's documents and the ruthless exploitation by agnostic, atheist and Marxist "church"men (the enemy within) under the reflexive reference to "the spirit of Vatican II" (i.e., the personal agendas of each atheist, agnostic and Marxist termite in the Church structure.

24 posted on 11/26/2009 12:14:05 PM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp
Violence??? Let me show them some real violence and answer the question as to stepping outside the framework and doing something new.

1. Each and every congregation of rebellious nuns should be summarily suppressed by the Vatican permanently. It matters not a whit what their previous state of faithfulness had been 100 years ago. If they have become rotted sepulchres, they should be suppressed sepulchres ASAP.

2. On the quite reasonable theory of law that the property (real estate, money, trust funds, stock portfolios, artworks, or whatever are held by whomever in a "constructive trust" for the purposes of the Roman Catholic Church, B-XVI should openly declare those purposes as a preliminary measure to stripping the orders of property they or their lackeys hold for "the order." Follow up with rebellious male orders (Jesuits, Maryknoll priests and brothers and oh, sooooo many more), "Catholic" health institutions and "educational" institutions such as Notre Shame.

3. Let the Church itself take responsibility for those members of such communities who are medically verified to be too old or too infirm to care for their own basic needs. Laicize the rest and leave them to their own devices. If they love the world so much more than they love God, let them find worldly jobs and support themselves (White House, ecofraud organizations, "peace activism," or maybe some honest work as nurses caring for the AIDS victims, the lepers, the genuinely poor, perhaps in Haiti, the elderly and infirm of their own former congregations, etc.)

4. Allow individuals who had belonged to suppressed orders to APPLY for provisional membership in one new order to be established under strict Vatican rule. They may remain while in good behavior and be ecclesiastically vaporized upon a single instance of bad behavior evidencing reversion to the Marxist model. Each applicant must complete an intimidating personal questionnaire, vow absolute submission to papal authority in all things moral, and take the antiModernist Oath of Pope St. Pius X annually or monthly or weekly or maybe daily.

25 posted on 11/26/2009 12:38:21 PM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: 1010RD
"Where will the money go if they are shut down?"

I'm really not sure of the details (which may vary according to different convents' constitutions, by-laws, and articles of incorporation), but I'm pretty sure there's no way their property or assets would go to the Vatican.

There was a painful case around 1970, when the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM's) went off the rails in doctrine and discipline, and Cardinal McIntyre of Los Angeles barred them from teaching within the Archdiocese. The IHM's appealed their case under canon law to the Vatican, which ruled against their radical changes.

It ended up that a minority of them chose to remain faithful nuns, and moved to Kansas to set up a convent and school, having received some percentage of the convent's assets via arbitration. The others (a majority) requested dispensation of their vows, regrouped as an interfaith nonprofit, and sold off the bulk of their properties (including a lot of schools they used to staff, as I remember reading about it).

At this point, much depleted in numbers, I think they run a couple of retreat centers in California, where they get in touch with their inner whatever.

More of that story here. It's really quite sad.

26 posted on 11/26/2009 3:50:11 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights." James 1:17).)
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To: Mr Rogers; marshmallow; yefragetuwrabrumuy; Mrs. Don-o
Why is honest liberal a contradiction of terms? Is it because the Father of liberals has always been a liar?

Well, let me share what the Church teaches on the subject (but what far too many in the Church have decided to ignore, regretfully):

14. If when men discuss the question of liberty they were careful to grasp its true and legitimate meaning, such as reason and reasoning have just explained, they would never venture to affix such a calumny on the Church as to assert that she is the foe of individual and public liberty. But many there are who follow in the footsteps of Lucifer, and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, "I will not serve"; and consequently substitute for true liberty what is sheer and most foolish license. Such, for instance, are the men belonging to that widely spread and powerful organization, who, usurping the name of liberty, style themselves liberals.

15. What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license. The end of all this it is not difficult to foresee, especially when society is in question. For, when once man is firmly persuaded that he is subject to no one, it follows that the efficient cause of the unity of civil society is not to be sought in any principle external to man, or superior to him, but simply in the free will of individuals; that the authority in the State comes from the people only; and that, just as every man's individual reason is his only rule of life, so the collective reason of the community should be the supreme guide in the management of all public affairs. Hence the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority. But, from what has been said, it is clear that all this is in contradiction to reason. To refuse any bond of union between man and civil society, on the one hand, and God the Creator and consequently the supreme Law-giver, on the other, is plainly repugnant to the nature, not only of man, but of all created things; for, of necessity, all effects must in some proper way be connected with their cause; and it belongs to the perfection of every nature to contain itself within that sphere and grade which the order of nature has assigned to it, namely, that the lower should be subject and obedient to the higher.

16. Moreover, besides this, a doctrine of such character is most hurtful both to individuals and to the State. For, once ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is destroyed; honor and dishonor differ not in their nature, but in the opinion and judgment of each one; pleasure is the measure of what is lawful; and, given a code of morality which can have little or no power to restrain or quiet the unruly propensities of man, a way is naturally opened to universal corruption. With reference also to public affairs: authority is severed from the true and natural principle whence it derives all its efficacy for the common good; and the law determining what it is right to do and avoid doing is at the mercy of a majority. Now, this is simply a road leading straight to tyranny. The empire of God over man and civil society once repudiated, it follows that religion, as a public institution, can have no claim to exist, and that everything that belongs to religion will be treated with complete indifference. Furthermore, with ambitious designs on sovereignty, tumult and sedition will be common amongst the people; and when duty and conscience cease to appeal to them, there will be nothing to hold them back but force, which of itself alone is powerless to keep their covetousness in check. Of this we have almost daily evidence in the conflict with socialists and members of other seditious societies, who labor unceasingly to bring about revolution. It is for those, then, who are capable of forming a just estimate of things to decide whether such doctrines promote that true liberty which alone is worthy of man, or rather, pervert and destroy it.

Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Libertas Praestantissimum (On the Nature of Human Liberty) June 20, 1888

Rather prescient for a document written 121 years ago, wasn't it? The rest of it is pretty good, as well. (And, btw, this pope had some pretty severe things to say about socialists, as well)

27 posted on 11/26/2009 4:26:14 PM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: marshmallow

These nuns don’t even realize how wayward they have become in some cases.

We all knew this was happening. I’m so glad the Vatican has stepped into the fray.


28 posted on 11/26/2009 5:52:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
It's really quite sad.

I did not know that story, but it dovetails with all I know about liberalism - me, me, me. My time table, my will be done.

That they cannot see the deleterious effects of their own actions tells you just how fundamentally juvenile they are. They couldn't be more effective if they planned for destruction. It is the work of the Devil.

Thanks for updating me.

29 posted on 11/27/2009 12:46:41 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
More to the point, there is a pressing need to audit Catholic educational and medical institutions, both to insure that they are healthy within, and defended from external foes.

My suggestion would be to start with "Christ Hospital" a Catholic Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois which performs abortions, including "partial birth abortion."

30 posted on 11/27/2009 12:58:24 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: usconservative; yefragetuwrabrumuy
Christ Hospital of Oak Lawn, IL is not a Catholic Hospital. It is not on the membership list of the Catholic Health Ass. in Illinois. I see also that Christ Hospital belong to the Advocate Medical System, which also includes Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

My impression is that Christ Hospital is (probably "formerly") associated with some non-Catholic Christian church. And there's nothing about spirituality and church-affiliation in their Mission Statement, which is where one would look for the God-talk blah-blah.

Would be interested in learning more about this, if you find anything. I remember that Christ Hospital was where Jill Stanek saw the little baby aborted alive, and then left squirming and gasping until it died.

31 posted on 11/27/2009 5:33:59 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("An enemy hath done this." Matthew 13:28)
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To: markomalley
Thanks. I had to cut-and-paste this into my word program and bump it up to font size 14 to read it. Entirely worth it. (Worth font size 72, for that matter!)

(Shouting): Viva il Papa!

32 posted on 11/27/2009 5:39:33 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (What does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God)
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To: marshmallow
Dissolve their orders, then. They are either Catholic, and thus conform to the theology and norms of the Catholic Faith, or they are not. As it is, the ones bucking the investigation are manifestly not Catholic, on many levels. Their continued identification as Catholic religious orders amounts to a fraud perpetrated on a still largely unsuspecting (or at least "undersuspecting" - to coin a word) public.

It's the same thing every solar circle...I mean year. Over the course of a year, practically every Catholic in America who has a name registered in almost any parish gets whole forests' worth of solicitations from these renegade religious. They are usually couched in terms that lead one to suppose they are doing the work of the Church, and show the sisters in full habit more often than not. Once a year, they take turns in many dioceses trundling out Sister Battleaxe in her old habit (the race to just find the darned thing can last weeks before she gets shoved out there) to beg at Sunday Masses for the good, faithful sisters who are tirelessly working arm-in-arm with the pope himself in the Lord's Vineyard. And so forth and so on...

The truth regarding what they're up to in the meantime is usually quite different, of course. They've sponged umpteen million (billion?) dollars off the backs of donators while orchestrating a massively hypocritical bait-and-switch. Removing their claim to the "Catholic" angle is the only way this sort of thing will stop. Well, we could wait until the last of them dies off, which they themselves have guaranteed will happen, if the process is left to run its natural course. But that's still years-away. The fraud should cease now. If they can't support their elderly sisters, that's kind of their own, self-generated problem. And remember, the 90-somethings of today were the 40- and 50-somethings leading the charge back in the 60s, when all hell broke lose in the religious orders. Suppression, and its attendant financial "problems," will let it sink into them that they are only reaping what they sowed. Out with them all! Or let them sign a declaration repudiating all of the nonsense they've dished-out all these years, and we'll talk about maintaining them in their dotage. The younger ones can go find work selling books at a New Age bookstore or something. They're often already doing that with de facto Church sanction.

But the orders involved in the power-dive into heterodoxy must go. All of them. They have long since completely lost sight of their missions and charisms, and are utterly dead weight. Let Benedict suppress every last one of them, and order the start of each of the major ones over from scratch, with an emphasis on a full restoration of original rules, charisms, etc. And everything I've said goes just as well for the priests and brothers of male religious orders. The Jesuits, for example, should be (re)suppressed just on general principles. Many others are nearly as bad. Out with them all, too!

Let the good sisters, nuns, brothers and priests trapped in the rotten wood be liberated to start afresh. There may not be as many as a result, but that will be a short-lived problem. Recent experiences have shown that, if an attempt is made on the part of an order to be faithful to the teachings of the Church and the authentic mission of the order involved, vocations quickly follow. The labyrinth-chasing, Marx-proclaiming, God and Goddess-imitating losers can go follow their karma somewhere else. We can stop subsidizing them. Enough is enough!

33 posted on 11/27/2009 12:48:53 PM PST by magisterium
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Yes, the rebellious Sisters could opt to follow the path of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask the Vatican to dispense them of their vows so they can follow their own agenda. The annual National Collection for Retired Sisters will be held in dioceses around the country, December 12-13. I've heard of a couple bishops who have decided not to take up this collection, but to take up a collection to help the retired Sisters in convents of Sisters who have pledged fidelity to the authority of Pope Benedict XVI. If more dioceses refuse to give these Sisters a cut from this National Collections, the rebellious Sisters will no doubt complain of “more violence” from the Church hierarchy.
34 posted on 11/27/2009 4:00:20 PM PST by Tim Jay
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To: magisterium
Ooh! In touch with your inner Torquemada, I see!

Splendidly well-ranted. I may steal hunks of it, if that's all right with you.

35 posted on 11/27/2009 4:20:04 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Round up the usual suspects.)
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To: BlackElk
"2. On the quite reasonable theory of law that the property (real estate, money, trust funds, stock portfolios, artworks, or whatever) are held by whomever in a "constructive trust" for the purposes of the Roman Catholic Church, B-XVI should openly declare those purposes as a preliminary measure to stripping the orders of property... etc."

That makes perfect sense morally, since most of their donors, both now and in the past, gave money, property, etc. in order to support a Catholic religious order carrying out a Catholic mission for Catholic purposes. Letting apostates retain the assets is fraud: there's some kind of fiduciary responsibility here, no?

But legally, can you do this? I mean, is there any chance? The secular courts would never support the Diocese or the Vatican stepping in and claiming assets, would they?

Small, hopeful voice: Would they?

36 posted on 11/27/2009 4:35:34 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Round up the usual suspects.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
My whole Thanksgiving weekend is wrecked by bronchitis, so I'm in a foul mood!! These people made the mistake of falling into my view while I was under the influence of my albuterol inhaler, and now they must pay!!! BWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

Anyway, go for it as far as stealing goes. I might lift a bit of it myself and stick it into next week's internet radio show. It is "okay" to lift your own stuff, right?

37 posted on 11/27/2009 6:58:31 PM PST by magisterium
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To: magisterium
I sympathize with your bronchitis, really I do. But if its foulness inspires such ardor, I would like you get reinfected— episodically. Occasionally. Mildly. Within reason. :o)
38 posted on 11/28/2009 5:38:08 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Round up the usual suspects.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
I remember that Christ Hospital was where Jill Stanek saw the little baby aborted alive, and then left squirming and gasping until it died.

Correct. Jill Stanek and I are also members of the same Church. A nicer, more grounded woman in Christ you'd never meet in your lifetime.

39 posted on 11/28/2009 5:43:31 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: usconservative

I’m glad to hear this. She has always struck me as a good-headed, good-hearted, courageous woman.


40 posted on 11/28/2009 7:18:37 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (What does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God)
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