Skip to comments.USA: "Rebel" nuns and the Vatican, the tug-of-war continues
Posted on 04/18/2013 2:26:22 PM PDT by NYer
The "honeymoon" of American "progressive" Catholics with Pope Francis could be over: this is the comment by USA Today (and by other media) after the prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Gerhard Müller, has confirmed the desire of the Pope to continue with the reform of the US sisters.
It is the first "substantial" action of government about an open problem, and it is significant that the Pope is following and confirming what was arranged by the previous management. At the same time, on the National Catholic Reporter (the outlet of Catholic progressives), the voices of influential nuns criticizing the Vatican's decision have already been raised.
The facts: last Monday the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a press release. Müller, the Congregation's Prefect, had met with the leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an organization that brings together about 70% of US nuns. Other religious orders have left the LCWR and have formed another group. Müller praised the work done by sisters. But at the same time he reported the Pope's thought. That is, he reported that Pope Francis has re-affirmed the need for a reform of the group; that he has approved the critical "evaluation" written after an apostolic visit (an inspection, in lay terms) to the LCWR and that the nuns must cooperate both with individual bishops and with the US Episcopal Conference.
The main criticisms were actually launched by US bishops. In recent months, the Holy See had appointed a US bishop, James Sartain of Seattle, to preside over the LCWR reform, after it was noted that "the current pastoral and doctrinal situation of the LCWR is difficult and a subject of serious concern". The Vatican's decision (which, we must reiterate, has deep roots in the local Church) was welcomed with suffering by the LCWR. The meeting of the representatives of the progressive sisters with Müller was aimed at expressing the reasons for this suffering.
The accusations against the nuns on the basis of the inspection were serious. "Serious doctrinal issues" were detected in many sisters; many nuns, according to the "evaluation", had moved away from "the fundamental Christological centre and from the focus of religious consecration". Among other things, it was noted that the LCWR organized conferences inviting speakers who "often contradict or ignore the teaching of the magisterium."
If the nuns had hoped that Francis would undo what Benedict had done, the press release by the Doctrine of the Faith must have been a great disappointment. And Sister Maureen Fiedler, of the Congregation of the Sisters of Loreto, echoes it on the "National Catholic Reporter" arguing that the Pope is not well informed. Sister Maureen anchors "Interfaith voices" a radio program broadcasted on 62 radio stations, and, as it is written in her biography, "she has been involved in interfaith activities for more than three decades as an active participant in coalitions working for social justice, racial and gender equality, and peace.
"I am frankly very sceptical of that information." writes Sister Maureen, referring to the note by Prefect Müller. "First, I doubt this issue is on the top of the new Pope's agenda or that he had much knowledge of this when he was an archbishop in Argentina". The nun clearly puts the good faith of the Prefect into question: "It could be a case of the 'good 'ole boys' in the Curia wanting everything to remain the same and trying to make the new Pope go along on an issue about which he knows little". In reality Müller has been in the Curia only since July 2012 but Sister Maureen's suggestion is that a group of leaders from the LCWR should seek a private audience with Pope Francis "to explain the full story."
It is difficult to believe that Pope Francis would give blank mandates. It is more believable and coherent with his character and history that, being aware of the problem (about which there has been talking for a long time and not only in the United States), he has confirmed the work already done by the local bishops and by Rome.
you know it has to be said....
petitioning for change is one thing,
constant agitation and embarrassing the church are other things....
perhaps some of these nice sisters should reconsider their vows
I think the Pope should give them a few months to consider if they want to return to seminary school or turn in their wedding rings and become community organizers.
Many did. These are the holdouts and the source of the many appeals to “help the retired sisters.” The traditional orders don’t have problems taking care of their elder members because the traditional orders get more young candidates than they can handle. The defiant lefty orders draw little new blood. Young women of a religious bent are not likely to join an order that is simply social work and leftist politics. Girls who want that go into government.
Now if Francis will take a look at “Catholic” universities in the US too.
The Catholic church will kick them out and they will become Episcopalians. Don’t flame me...I am a recovering Episcopalian.
but may God have mercy on us all!
Please please please please, please PLEASE no more “community organizers!!!!!!!!,}..... whatever the hell a “community organizer” actually may be........ (One is way more than enough!!)
Please, no more “community organizers!!!”
Oh I see. that is very interesting (that the radical socialist orders don’t attract new young sisters)
that is, to my old-fashioned way of thinking, a very good thing
I’m always puzzled: why on earth do they want to be Catholics at all? Why not just be Episcopalians?
Last night on EWTN, I watched a program celebrating Mother Angelica’s 90th birthday. It was such a pleasure see two Poor Clare sisters dressed in full garb, and they were a hoot besides. Their great sense of humor reminded me of all of my grammar school sisters who were just as humorous.
Some skewed situations, when left alone, take care of themselves over time.
Those rabblerousers are sisters, not nuns. Big difference.