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Vatican orders major reform of association of women religious

By on Thursday, 19 April 2012

American women religious attend a meeting of Network (CNS)

American women religious attend a meeting of Network (CNS)

The Vatican has called for major reforms of an American association of women religious to ensure the group’s fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality.

Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the Vatican announced yesterday. The archbishop will be assisted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, and draw on the advice of fellow bishops, women religious and other experts.

The LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of US women’s communities as members, represents about 80 per cent of the country’s 57,000 women religious.

The announcement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) came in an eight-page “doctrinal assessment” based on an investigation that Bishop Blair began on behalf of the Vatican in April 2008. That investigation led the doctrinal congregation to conclude, in January 2011, that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious congregation in other parts of the world”.

Among the areas of concern were some of the most controversial issues of medical and sexual ethics in America today.

“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,” the doctrinal congregation said. “Further, issues of crucial importance in the life of the 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.”

The Vatican also found that “public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the Church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose”.

According to the Vatican, such deviations from Catholic teaching have provoked a crisis “characterised by a diminution of the fundamental Christological centre and focus of religious consecration”.

But the congregation’s document also praised the “great contributions of women religious to the church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor, which have been founded and staffed by religious over the years”, and insisted that the Vatican “does not intend to offer judgment on the faith and life of women religious” in the LCWR’s member congregations.

During his tenure as the Holy See’s delegate, which is to last “up to five years, as deemed necessary”, Archbishop Sartain’s tasks will include overseeing revision of the LCWR’s statutes, review of its liturgical practices and the creation of formation programmes for the conference’s member congregations. The archbishop will also investigate the LCWR’s links to two outside groups: Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, and the Resource Center for Religious Institutes, which offers legal and financial expertise to religious orders.

The doctrinal assessment grew out of the Vatican’s “Apostolic Visitation of Religious Communities of Women in the United States”, a study of the “quality of life” in some 400 congregations, which began in December 2008. The visitation’s final report was submitted in December 2011 but has not yet been published.

  • Benedict Carter

    The photo is of Catholic female religious? Really?

    The only question that needs to be asked is “Why did it take so long for the Vatican to act?”

  • Patrick_Hadley

    I suppose that one of the unexpected consequences of preventing women from becoming priests and bishops is that the Vatican has less control over what they say. Priests can be silenced, bishops can lose their dioceses, but what can they do to a group of nuns? 

    In any case it seems the Vatican is complaining about the LCWR’s silence on some matters. In A Man For All Seasons St Thomas More refused to say anything about the King’s divorce, and used the principle that “Qui tacet consentire”, or “Silence Gives Consent”. The King beheaded him anyway; it seems the Vatican is learning from Henry VIII. 

  • Benedict Carter

    What are you on about? We have had nuns since the Year Dot. 

    If a convent went bad, the convent was suppressed and the individual nuns split up and sent to other houses. 

    However, this problem of outright doctrinal rebellion is a new one, and is a direct consequence of the “renewal” of Vatican II’s aftermath, a link commented upon for decades already and acknowledged by these “Sisters” themselves. 

    I would have much preferred to have seen the LCWR suppressed entirely. How you bring back any professed religious, let alone those who are in leadership positions, who have broken their religious vows to the extent of these women, who actively promote abortion, homosexuality and some of them outright paganism, is beyond me.

  • Alexander I Anderson

    I am surprised that you have chosen to emphasize the important but peripheral problems concerning the LCWR’s attitude towards abortion, euthanasia, the priesthood, sexuality and episcopal authority rather than the more fundamental doctrinal issues raised by the CDF which concern the LCWR’s apparent rejection of the eucharist and unique salvific role of Christ.

    An uninformed reader is likely to read this article and think that the only important issues are ‘political’ and, particularly if of an unsympathetic persuasion, that the CDF is just ‘banging on’ about traditional curial ‘hobby-horses’.  Concentrating on the basic theological problems displayed by the LCWR would make the situation clearer and prevent the story being dominated by the peripheral issues. 

    If the Catholic Herald falls into the easy trap of reporting this story from a secular mindset then wider reporting is likely to involve far worse misrepresentation and in this case avoidable bad publicity.

  • Andi

    Whilst I’m sure the Vatican and Bishop Blair are correct in their analysis, why did the Vatican not ask an Abbess to do the investigation. The feminists amongst the LCWR can ignore the Bishop’s comments as Patriarchal agenda but a rebuff from a theologically sound sister would be harder to refute.

  • Scyptical Chymist

    For many prominent members American Catholicism since the reformers took over after Vatican II has had little to distinguish it from the secular culture’s moral viewpoints on sex (especially homosexual relationships), abortion  and trendy “progressive” causes.  The same is true to some extent in Britain and Europe. The Church seems at long last to be waking up to this. As has been remarked in comments another blog (“The TV series Homeland —” by Fr Lucie Smith) by especially “scary goat” and David Lindsay, in the west there is little to distinguish a Catholic from the mainstream. Do ou leaders here and the U.S. need to refocus and act?

  • Patrick_Hadley

    In the Year Dot nobody worried about the fact that all those in authority in the
    Church are of the same sex, but nowadays that does not look so
    good. So the Vatican, for the sake of appearances, would love to have some authoritative female voices preaching the party line on some of its pet issues. If the LCWR are not prepared to sing from the Vatican’s hymn sheet on matters of primary concern to women then one can understand the Pope’s frustration. It makes him vulnerable to the charge that a group of elderly celibate men are out of touch with women if they cannot even persuade nuns of the correctness of their teaching.

  • Simon Ho

    Well, the Church isn’t “preventing” women from being ordained as Priests, as if they could be ordained and the Church is stonewalling them.  On the contrary, it is the doctrine and faith of the Catholic Church that Jesus entrusted the ministerial Priesthood only to men, and so she has no authority to decide otherwise and start ordaining women.  In affirming that women are not called to the Priesthood, the Church is preventing a degradation of the authentic dignity of women and the irreplaceable meanings of male and female in God’s creation.
     
    Also, there is no human power to prevent a dissenting Bishop, Priest, Nun or Sister from speaking and canvassing political support even after a penalty to stop promiting dissent has been imposed as a consequence.  The Church has far less coercive power than the State, or even a University.  It all boils down to whether the dissenting party accepts the authority of Christ claimed by the Church. If he does, that is good: it will at least help repair some of the damage done to the Body of Christ, inflicted by every act of public dissent.  If he doesn’t, at least it will be manifestly clear to the faithful his standing in the Church and what spirit this person is influenced by, and reduce the scandal.
     
    I find the purported analogy with St Thomas More quite inadequate though.  There is a difference between failure to comment on an individual’s failings and failure to speak out against a grave injustice committed against scores of people.  If the LCWR is so strong on social justice (good for them) why do they omit the most defenceless group of human beings from their platform? 

  • Simon Ho

    You do want to be a bit more careful and discerning about what gets reported in the news media nowadays.  Actually, there are plenty of women in positions of authority who abide by the Church’s teachings.  Even in the USA, the LCWR does not represent all the women’s religious groups there; there is another council of women religious superiors who do not have the same difficulties as experienced by the LCWR.  It’s just that the secular media doesn’t do publicity for this group much. 
     
    The Church is, ideally, not concerned about whether people like her teachings or not.  She exists, not for herself, but to bear withness to Christ.  She willingly bears his yolk, and her authentic Teachers should, ideally, have no regard for popularity polls.  Paradoxically, it is precisely in her stubborn fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus that the Church becomes relevant and in touch with men and women of today.
     

  • Simon Ho

    In a separate visitation on the religious life of women undertaken by the Congregation for Consecrated Life (I think that’s the name), a women religious was asked to lead the investigation.  However, let’s just say that she did not always get the best welcome from the women religious also. 

    Women, I have observed, can be very harsh to women also.  I’ve always found all this liberal ideas of inclusivity very, very deceptive – they always claim they are inclusive, but they turn nasty faster than you can blink an eye when they realise you really do not agree with their ideology.

  • Simon Ho

    I don’t know, I kinda agree with Qoheleth, “there is nothing new under the sun”, except, as Pope Benedict reminded us recently, in the Resurrection of Jesus.  (His Easter Urbi et Orbi suddenly made me understand the role of the Book of Ecclesiastes.) 

    Rebellions against the legitimate authority of the Church has been going on since the first centuries.  The difference is that with modern media technology, they have an easier and wider platform to spread their ideas. 

  • Jae

    Nicely said.

  • Jae

    Good points.

  • Jae

    Actually I do mostly agree with you except one, pointing the blame to an Ecumenical Council of the Church again! Besides the fact that until now you haven’t produce a single iota of evidence to support your false accusations against a Church Council (where in V2 teach that nuns can perform Wiccan and other pagan practices, support abortion etc?). Besides the fact according to the Bible and Sacred Tradition ONLY the Holy Spirit can convoke a valid Ecumenical-General Council (recant and repent?).

    Lastly, beside the fact that your position is a typical example of a logical fallacy of Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for “after this, therefore because of this,” or simply put, “Since that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one.” Substitute Vat2 and secularism in the sentence and look how silly the position of SSPX and Sedes.

  • Jae

    I’m addressing my question and comment to Mr. Benedict Carter. Peace.

  • Jae

    To answer your question in a nutshell:

    1. While I agree it’s a bit long to take action but that’s how the Church works, (nature of her business) patiently and forgiving as long as it takes to let the prodigal children come to realize their error and repent. The Church had given given a lot of time for Luther Martin to recant, repent and took more than 6 years of trial before he was declared a formal heretic. The Church gave more than 40 years for the SSPX to sign a doctrinal dispute and we are complaining about the 4 year timeframe of litigation and investigation it took for this group of nuns?

    2. It is because there is a free will of man. As part of his dignity created by God that no one can strip, man has the right to refuse, choose or accept….like sin it is a choice. God cannot force anyone to accept and love Him even though man is in error and could eventually fall to eternal fire that’s his choice not the fault of God or the Church. The rest of the answer just read the posts below by our fellow Catholics.

  • Benedict Carter

    No more debate with you, Jae. 

  • Benedict Carter

    Bollocks.

  • Recusant

    Not, I think, your best contribution ever.

  • teigitur

    They should just leave them alone. These types of nu-nuns are a dying breed anyhow. Just ignore them, and, in a couple of decades they will be no more. The tradional orders, are, of course, flourishing.

  • teigitur

    In a couple of decades they will be extinct anyway. They attract very few vocations, unlike traditional, faithful orders. No prizes for guessing why.

  • Andi

    Thank you for the information. Sadly, your comment about women is true. I’ve always assume female lack of sisterhood is a biological survival trait but the world would be a better place if women co-operated as hunting male packs do.

  • sisterofmartha

    Andi, We are human beings not a pack of hunting animals.It also beggars belief that you employ the comparison of a group whose intent is to kill and apply it to how people of faith should act. Your comments are unbelievably simplistic.

  • Benedict Carter

    “Sisterofmartha” for the reader’s information is one of the many sock-puppets of a militant feminist on the Damian Thompson blog in the Torygraph. 

  • David Lindsay

    Most people, even including most Catholics, have no idea how
    sunk in 1970s radical feminism is the Religious Life of women in the United
    States, though also elsewhere. It is therefore on the brink of collapse.

     

    Pro-abortion, very overtly lesbian in that first generation
    “out” way, and exactly as concerned as one might therefore expect for
    children in general and for boys in particular, they have used the privileged
    position accorded to them in many dioceses where the selection of candidates
    for ordination is concerned.

     

    Specifically, they have used that position to pack the
    seminaries with men whose sexual interest was – and, again, how Seventies is
    this? – in teenage boys. Not small children. Not girls. Teenage boys, whose
    abuse by men is regarded as mainstream behaviour in media circles on both sides
    of the Atlantic and is duly depicted as such literally ad
    nauseam
    . It is only considered a problem when Catholic priests do
    it.

     

    A generation on, the Sisters have a ready-made excuse to go
    bleating to Rome for their own, doctrinally impossible, “ordination”,
    which is mercifully never going to happen, since the See of Peter cannot fall
    into heresy.

     

    But enormous pain has been caused in the meantime. Though
    only to boys. So who cares?

  • srdc

    Some of us like Jesus, and don’t mind him being male. If you do not believe in the basics of Christianity, then why are you even Christian, never mind a nun.

    I detest feminism in it’s current manifestation and think they have gone mad. 

    And after emptying all the convents, seminaries, and churches, liberals still have no shame.

  • srdc

    Their usual response is that V2 allows them to have their conscience above church rules.

  • srdc

    The average age of these nuns is 75. The younger ones are more Orthodox. So age or celibacy is not the issue. 

    You might want to go out more.

  • Benedict Carter

    Excellent post. This is the truth of it. 

  • Kennyinliverpool

    What ever happened to the idea that the belief of the people to some extent dictated doctrine or does that argument only get used when the hierarchy finds it useful to do so? mmmmm

  • Benedict Carter

    And in which post-Vatican II Christmas cracker did you pull that one from?

  • srdc

    Kenny,

    If the belief of the people is that Jesus is not God, and the Eucharist is not real, then why do they even want a priesthood? They might as well pack their backs and stop living a lie.

  • Benedict Carter

    Got what it deserved though.

  • Benedict Carter

    I see the spokeswoman (complete with pearl necklace and twinset) of these benighted “nuns” has come out to issue a challenge to the Vatican’s team that’s been put in place to try to help these wymmin back to a semblance of Catholic faith. 

    “They don’t know what they’ve taken on”, she threatened. 

    Oh, I think they do: the Church has been battling the devil and all his demons for 2,000 years.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    Kenny, I assume you mean the Sensus Fidei (sense of faith) or Sensus Fidelium (sense of the faithful) which is referred to in the CCC #92   “The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.”

    For example when the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was dogmatically defined in 1854 and the doctrine of the Assumption in 1950 Popes Pius IX and Pius XII respectively referred to the fact that faithful as a whole already believed these doctrines.

    The idea of the Sensus Fidei is that the Holy Spirit guides the faithful so that they can remain in harmony with the faith. 

    Until 1968 when Pope Paul VI rejected the findings of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control it was undeniable that the faithful as a whole accepted the teaching of the Pope on matters of morals as true without question, and the Magisterium was in harmony with the Sensus Fidei and there was universal consent to all papal teaching. Since that time with a large majority of Catholics who attend Mass every week reject papal teaching on contraception and other moral issues, and the Pope has been out of step with the Sensus Fidelium. Obviously this cannot go on for ever, so there are four possible outcomes. 
    1) The 98% of over a billion Catholics who do not see anything wrong with contraception change their minds on this and other moral issues and fall in line with papal teaching. 
    2) A future Pope is going to change the teaching on these issues and fall in line with the Sensus Fidei 
    3) Those Catholics who do not accept papal authority on moral issues will leave the Church, either voluntarily or under excommunication. 
    4) The doctrine of the Sensus Fidei is declared to be false and the idea that there has to be universal consent from the faithful to papal teaching called a heresy. 

  • Benedict Carter

    The  Sensus Fidei has nothing whatever to do with the passing fads and/or the manipulation of the Faithful and in no way supposes that a majority view is what the Faith consists of.

    The moral law rests on both natural and divine law and cannot change. Even if there is only one man or one woman in the world who retains the fullness of the faith and the rest fall into your progressivist line, the Church would exist solely in that one man or woman. 

  • Patrick_Hadley

    We need not worry about the faith being reduced to just one man, since we know that the power of the Holy Spirit will keep the truth alive in the great mass of the faithful. God will not allow a rogue and arrogant papacy to destroy His Church, and we know for certain that any teaching not accepted by the Universal Church cannot be true.

  • srdc

    Patrick, when the very Creed and sacraments are under attack, by priests and nuns who do not believe in them. I don’t think this is the Holy Spirit.

    If someone hears voices in their head this does not mean that God talks to them.

    On the bright side, younger Catholics are more religious than their parents, so the embracing of NFP, theology of the body is only going to increase not decrease.

  • srdc

    Patrick,

    You cannot change the sacraments anymore than you can create a new sun in the sky. Thanks to years of bad teaching, people do not understand this.

    Study sacramental theology, everything else will start making sense to you.

  • theroadmaster

    it is better late than never in regards to the decision taken by the CDF to bring the LCWR into line with Catholic orthodoxy in relation to doctrine, liturgy, theology and moral issues.  This body has been largely following a heterodox direction for over 40 years and seems to be indistinguishable from the radical feminist lobby which grew out of the politico-social turmoil of the 1960′s.  This is not to berate or generalize in relation to every religious sister who are members of this organization as many of them have given years of meritorious service in the name of the gospel to the most destitute and marginalized members of society.  But it is clear that this body needs to be reorganized and reconstituted so that it can rediscover the true essence of the foundational biblical faith and doctrine which should be at it’s core.

  • Benedict Carter

    No, we do NOT know that. Arianism was held by a majority at one time, and all the prophecies of the Great Apostasy tell us that the overwhelming majority will fall away.

    And that is what we are seeing the advanced beginnings of now.

  • Apostolic

    Trendy religious orders of nuns are literally dying out. Only the traditional orders are recruiting and in many cases flourishing. In 40 years or less, trendy nuns will be a distant memory of a crazy time when Tradition and authoritative teaching were weakened.

  • Simon Ho

    2 important things should be mentioned with regard the so-called sensus fidei, sensus fidelium, sense of the faithful:

    (1) The sensus fidelium cannot contradict the Chuch’s Magisterium This sensus fidei arises from the anointing of the Holy Spirit (1 Jn 2:27) which has been poured forth on the faithful through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. This sense of the faithful, our instinct of the faith, can help us differentiate between that which is of God from what is not of God in our lives; it is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that guards us from being deceived by the seductive voice of the devil in the choices we have to make in our lives, provided that we are docile to his inspirations (1 Jn 2:26f). The same Holy Spirit, who arouses the sensus fidei in the faithful, also inspires the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him to teach the faithful and the world the doctrines of Christ. This guidance of the Holy Spirit for the Magisterium, unlike the inspiration bringing about the sensus fidei, is sure and certain, guaranteed as it is by the One who is Truth himself (cf e.g. Matt 16:19). Since both the teaching ministry exercised by the Church’s Magisterium and the sensus fidelium have the one and same Spirit as their source, there can be no contradiction between the two.

    In fact, not just is it impossible for the sensus fidelium to contradict the Magisterium, the former is also, by its very nature, subject to the latter. According to the Second Vatican Council, this sensus fidei occurs under the guidance of the Magisterium and always in obedience to it (LG12). Through submission to the authoritative teaching of Christ witnessed to by the leaders of the Church, the sensus fidei is cultivated and discerned. Those who try to set the sensus fidelium against the Magisterium is, in essence, subsribing to a secular, democratic understanding of power and consent from the people; this may be a reasonable position in secular governance and club politics, but it is logically inconsistent with the nature of the Catholic Church who understands herself as the Body of Christ with Jesus as her Head. Only Satan confuses because he is the father of lies, anything that clearly contradicts authoritative Church teachings cannot be an authentic witness to the sensus fidei.

    (2) The sensus fidei is related to the prophetic office of each baptised which is directly primarily ad extraThe faithful are established by Christ through the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses in the world; through this sensus fidei, the power of the Gospel shines forth in their daily and social life (LG35) and thus brings about the evangelisation of the world also. Through their adhering to the sensus fidei, daily rejecting sin and making choices for the Kingdom of God, the Gospel becomes incarnate in the life circumstances of the faithful, including the Pope and the Bishops (LG12), and attracts others to Christ. This lived faith in turn deepens the Church’s insight into the Faith and contributes to the authentic and organic development of doctrine.  In this light, the role of the sensus fidelium contributed to the dogmas of the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: under the guidance of the Magisterium, the faithful’s deep veneration of and love for the Holy Mother of God and pondering on the marvelous work of God led the whole Church to appreciate and celebrate these privileges given by God to Mary as fitting in the economy of salvation.

    Those who think of the sensus fidei as if it is an alternative authority to and against the Magisterium of the Church puts the misemphasises the prophetic office of the faithful by turning it ad intra.  Blessed Pope John XXIII convoked the Council in the hope that it would strengthen the Church to preach the Gospel to the world; unfortunately, due to misinterpretations of the Council, its aftermath have been one in which much of the Church’s energies have been turned inwards and have distracted her from boldly witnessing Christ to the world.  I am of the opinion that this ad intra preoccupation (trying the change the Church to make her more relevant, lay ministry being predominatly understood and experienced as lay liturgical ministry, dissent over the settled doctrines of the Catholic faith, etc) cannot be the work of the Holy Spirit.

    In summary, anyone who tries to drive a wedge between the sensus fidei and the Magisterium, as if the sensus fidelium can be contrary to the authoritative teachings of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him inevitably has failed to comprehend the Catholic understanding of the sensus fidei and its relationship to the teaching authority of Christ through her authentic Teachers and its prophetic role in the world.

    So to come back to Patrick’s scenario, the difficulties some laity in Europe and Americas (less so in Asia and Africa – so I have serious doubts about that 98% figure) have with the Church’s teachings on contraception is not an authentic manifestation of the sensus fidei.  In fact, it contradicts the earlier generations of Christians who had no difficulty with that teaching.  It is a pastoral problem and the Church needs to find new ways to help the the people understand and abide by this teaching.  Interestingly, evangelical Christians, who used to laugh at the Catholic teaching against contraception, are starting to have a second look and the tide is turning against contraception even among evangelical Christians, according to a NYTimes article.

  • Simon Ho

    Well, the Faith really depends on just one man, if you think hard about it.  The man who is also God, Jesus Christ.  The question is who authoritativey witnesses to Christ and his teachings, handed on once and for all, to the Church and to the world.  In this regard, Catholics believe that the role of Peter and his successors is indispensable, including his teaching authority.

    I also have difficulty trying to understand which teaching you appear to object.  From what I have culled from your posts, the teachings you seem to have difficulty are seemingly related to the intrinsic evil of contraception and the reservation of Priestly ordination to men.  But both of these have been taught by Popes and Bishops for many centuries.  Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is an exercise in collegial teaching responsibility of the Bishops with the Pope, affirms these.  Or maybe you meant to write that God wouldn’t let a generation of dissenters destroy his Church?

  • Simon Ho

    I would be careful with the second paragraph.  Probably every generation thinks that the great apostasy is happening right before their eyes.

  • Benedict Carter

    Excellent post.

  • Benedict Carter

    It’s of course a personal opinion Simon, but one that’s held by very many people today.

  • Alan

    Today there was a BBC radio interview with a spokeswoman for these “wiccan pagans”, so I was interested to hear what she had to say.  It turned out she was genuinely perplexed by the Vatican’s action, she claimed to be in no way against the Church’s teachings, and the only thing she could think of to explain the action was supporting Obama’s healthcare bill.  So I think your insulting language is completely uncalled for.  Unless, of course, you can provide evidence that she and her organisation are barefaced liars.

  • Honeybadger

    The Obama healthcare bill requires abortion and contraception to be included and paid for by US taxpayers (including Roman Catholics) and for ALL US health insurance to include these heinous things – no exemptions, no exceptions, not even for Roman Catholics! 

    US RCs – including Cardinals and Bishops worth their salt - are fighting this through the courts and with lawsuits because their freedom of conscience and true practise of their faith is being attacked.

    So, good on the Vatican for taking this stand.

    And - with a couple of noteable exceptions – I wish to God that our bishops would stand up and be counted like their fearless brother bishops, priests and cardinals in the USA on these important issues.

  • Honeybadger

    Yep, and not before time!