Skip to comments.Recalcitrant LCWR Digs in Its Heels at Nashville Meeting
Posted on 08/18/2014 2:22:44 PM PDT by NYer
Fireworks this week, as the Leadership Conference of Women Religious met in Nashville for their 2014 annual meeting.
The meeting marks the first time the women’s religious had met since Vatican officials imposed a requirement last April that the group pre-clear its speakers’ lists with Rome.
LCWR leadership had snubbed their noses at that request–instead presenting their highest award, the Outstanding Leadership Award, to Fordham University’s Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, who is considered one of the architects of feminist theology. Sister Johnson’s book Quest for the Living God has been called by the U.S. Bishops Conference seriously inadequate as a presentation of the Catholic understanding of God.
One might have hoped that the sisters, realizing that they’d irritated the Vatican with their seeming forgetfulness about the “pre-clearing speakers” thing, might have had a low-key conference. Not so much!
The Tablet reported on the opening address by Sister Carol Zinn, LCWR president:
Sr Carol Zinn, president of the LCWR, urged sisters to cry out for justice, inclusivity and compassion in her presidential address on the first full day of the assembly.
Perhaps we’re singing in muted tones the authentic and radical message of the Gospel and the vision of a Second Vatican Council church as the People of God, all the People of God, walking together,” she said. “Likely, we’re only whispering that Oneness from within and beyond the national world to the most meaningful and sacred relationships, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or belief system.”
The Tablet published this photo of the sisters leading a prayer service in multi-colored “vestments”:
Sister Johnson, in the weeks leading up to the conference, had deflected the criticism for her book–first claiming that the bishops clearly had not read the book or didn’t understand it or something. (The USCCB issued a statement, reiterating its specific criticisms of the book’s theology.) But Johnson made light of the disagreement in her speech this week, saying, I think both of us are caught in a situation not of our own making.
She reiterated the sisters’ demand for autonomy and change, insisting that religious congregations must evolve to meet the needs of a changing society and Church. “Religious life,” she said, “is always a radical response to the Gospel in a particular historical and cultural context. It is always a response to where you are, making the Gospel present where we are. I want us to be clear about where we are.”
Sister Carol Zinn hinted that the LCWR may, by continuing to resist the Vatican’s directives for the organization, lose its canonical status–but that if that happens, they will push forward with their perceived ministry. “When many of us started in religious life,” Sr. Carol said, “our congregations were serving in an institutional way,” running schools, hospitals and other large institutions. “That’s shifting. We’re not doing the shifting, God is.” Religious congregations might have to change how they live their charisms, she said. “It might not be consecrated life the way we’ve lived it.”
My colleague at the Catholic Portal on Patheos, Joanne McPortland, wrote a stirring reflection on St. Clare of Assisi, wondering what Clare might say if she were invited to address the LCWR. Joanne noted that the saint was both insistent and humble, and offered a prayer for guidance in the “nun wars”:
As Clare died to her family, slipping out the secret stairway of death, so may we recognize that our journey only really begins when we die to self, to ego, to winning.
May we turn our eyes and hearts, as Clare did, to the Eucharist, the utterly transformative wedding feast of Christ, without which there is no religious life and no life for the religious.
My we be strict with ourselves, and easy with those we love and lead.
May our lives be the place of solace and asylum where despair turns to joy.
May we never be afraid to engage in sincere dialogue with those who differ with us.
May we recognize the walls of the cloisters in which life places us, often against our will, as enclosing the very heart of peace, found only in surrender.
Santa Chiara, prega per noi!
But they won't wear habits.
Ladies, as a fraternity alum, I can tell you there’s a limit to how long you can tell Nationals to go fly a kite before they start orbiting the thing around your position and dropping bombs.
Stylized rainbow on their logo?
I'm guessing she doesn't know or accept what the real gospel is and that her I deal of 'radical response' is something well outside of normal Christian life.
Unfortunately the rack, public drawing and quartering and burning heretics at the stake have gone out of fashion. Oh well, given the near total lack of recruiting postulants into these old Stalinized orders and the very advanced age of the old blue hairs, this bunch will be dead in twenty years and the Church can decide whether it is worth the effort to revive these orders by recruiting young and actually Catholic. Personally, I think they will not be missed.
Apparently their prayers have not been answered.
They revel in self, ego and winning.
What’s the big deal? Another group of Catholics that don’t like the fact that Catholicism is established on what bishops, cardinals and Popes of the past see as Absolute Truth. So instead of just leaving the church and finding a community of faith to flourish in, these fine sisters have decided to stay and make everyone else in the Catholic church bend to their whining and complaining that they don’t like Absolute Truth. Kinda like Progressives, Socialists, Marxists and every other registered Democrat in this country when you get right down to it. They hate the Constitution, they hate the rule of law, they hate free speech when it contradicts their politically correct world view, and they absolutely hate anything remotely connected to Christianity and it’s Christ. But instead of just dividing the country and making their own states with all the laws and regulations that would make their heart content, they have decided in their unimaginative brains to make all the rest of us suffer interminably by having to live with their self induced insanity right with beside them every long, insufferable day in and day out.
In other words, those of us who quietly serve the Lord in the duties of our state in life aren't really following Jesus. Being radical and going to meetings with other radicals who want to do community organizing is a lot more fun than changing diapers or teaching first graders.
and a hell of a lot safer than volunteering to nurse ebola patients in Liberia.
I have a friend who's quite liberal. An avid Obama supporter and Jim Wallis fan. His theology is stuck in the 7o's 'Jesus people' mode. Thinks Jesus would be crossing the border with the illegals and such. I believe he would celebrate the LCWR efforts. Sad reallly.
These wymyn are an embarrassment to the Church (and to any thinking person, really). Their nonsense has been allowed to go on for far too long, for a number of reasons which, as socialist political agitators, they do not understand.
These wymyn think of everything in terms of Power and Dialectic. They do not understand how the Church functions. It is not a corporation, the Pope is not a CEO and the College of Cardinals is not a Board of Directors. Church discipline is not frank punishment but repeated calls to repentance. The Church is not interested in punishment but in trying to save these poor people's souls - every lost sheep by any possible means.
But the wymyn think that their evasions and disobedience have been effective, and they happily believe that they have gotten away with it. Wrong.
The wheels of justice grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine. The assignment of a commission and putting Abp. Sartain (who is an iron fist in a velvet glove) in charge is the beginning of the end.
I am not a bishop and not in the CDF, and that's a good thing because I would have called in air strikes by now.