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Sisters’ Conference rejects Vatican report as ‘flawed’

By on Friday, 1 June 2012

People demonstrate in support of the Sisters' conference outside Seattle Cathedral

People demonstrate in support of the Sisters' conference outside Seattle Cathedral

The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has said the assessment that led to a Vatican order to reform the organisation “was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency.”

“Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their [board members'] ability to fulfil their mission,” the board said in a statement. “The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the Church community and created greater polarisation.”

The board released the statement the morning after it concluded a special meeting in Washington on May 29-31 held to review and plan a response to the report issued to LCWR by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In April the doctrinal congregation had announced a major reform of LCWR to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality. The congregation cited “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life”.

The Vatican appointed Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work” of LCWR.

LCWR’s board members raised concerns about both the content of the doctrinal assessment and the process by which it was prepared.

The board said in its statement, issued on June 1, that LCWR’s president Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell and its executive director Sister Janet Mock would return to Rome on June 12 to meet Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Sartain, “to raise and discuss the board’s concerns”.

  • JabbaPapa

    The degree to which it is permissible to disagree with Vatican II, and on which of its precise teachings, is very unclear — but it is greater than nil.

    Quite apart from which, personal opinions on doctrinal theology that do not conform 100% with the Magisterium exist in every single Catholic.

    Ben denies nothing infallible — bearing in mind however that the degree of Authority of some of the V2 teachings remains very unclear.

    I do not necessarily agree with Ben’s rhetorics, but I do listen to the heart of what he’s saying, which is that a state of crisis persists in the Church whereby certain modernist extremists (several examples thereof in these very forums) are actively seeking the destruction of any core Catholic doctrines that disagree with their own prejudice.

    There is nothing wrong of course with Novus Ordo as such, where it is faithful to tradition, but it has to be said that it has in many places become the locus for all manner of abuses that are destructive to the Faith. Furthermore, some translations of the Order of Mass into some of the vernacular languages have been the occasion for various Bishops Conferences, including that of England & Wales for the old English Missal currently being phased out, to deliberately mistranslate the texts of the Mass so as to include Protestantised contents contrary to the Catholic requirements of the Mass.

    As for mistakes by the Curia, the attempt to completely abolish the old Mass was a huge one ; and the often successful attempts to hinder the development of the Society and the renewal of its bishops in an orderly manner, as well as to attempt the prevention of its reconciliation with Rome, will probably be enough for starters.

  • JByrne24

    I too am in my 70s and agree with all that you have said (and I was never a hippie in the 50s or 60s).
    But the cause for “change” is strong in Rome and elsewhere. I use the word “change” for  convenience as much as anything else – for we HAD taken the right road many years ago now, and it is that road to which we need to return.
    The postings on this website often give a very false impression of opinion and attitudes in the Church – and the choice of commentators by the Catholic Herald very largely reinforces this impression. This is unfortunate in the extreme, as it provides a respectable sounding board for ignorance and those who do not wish to till the field of ideas.

    Yes, of course, the Church in effect changes its teaching, even through our lifetimes and massively over longer periods – and this is nothing of which to be ashamed; it is an indicator of vibrant life (well hidden at present!).   The phrase “changes its teaching” is itself shorthand for “reinterprets its teaching so as to have meaning in each age” – (and the “ages” come and go so much more rapidly in today’s world).
    Those who understand this are (still) probably in the great majority – as when the strong recommendation was made to Paul 6th by his Commission on Contraception – let us hope and pray that they will find the necessary courage, soon!

  • JByrne24

    But don’t, please, let them scare you. They are nothing to be afraid of. 
    Their strident and arrogantly expressed opinions are nothing more than that: i.e. strident and arrogantly expressed opinions.

    In days past it was seen to be advantageous to scare the opposition, in battle, with large head-dresses, feathers etc. and this is emulated in the natural world by puffer fish (who literally blow themselves up with air, so as to be impressive and scary) and many other creatures.

    Not so much “gas & gaiters” these days, but rather wind-baggery, hot air and ignorance.

  • Kyriakos

    Pathetic spinsters! Lord have mercy on them. Holy spirit  enlighten them.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “It is somewhat laughable that the Church is going to celebrate the 50
    anniversary of the opening of Vatican II with a year of faith, when they
    are trying so hard to put the genie back into the bottle.”

    That is a lie. The Pope is a Council Father and he is simply promoting an honest application of Vatican II.

    And there is no “attack on sisters”, except on certain journalists’ wild imagination. The Holy See is simply reforming the LCWR (the leadership) so they become Christian again.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    I have nothing against disabled people.
    I was just pointing out (maybe a bit rudely, I apologize) that the Gospel is much more fertile than any political ideology.

    The Gospels wins in the end.

  • Jae

    As yet again, I agree with most of what you have said, however, the degree of Authority of VII varies with each document but at the end of the day, we as abiding Catholics still have to submit our obedience to it. Secondly, I don’t know if we can afford to have less than 100% agreement with the Magisterium, to me, my family and friends we give 100% of our obedience, we don’t pick and choose which one is orthodox or not.. Lastly according to VII Latin Mass is not to be abrogated in fact encouraged its celebration. So if what you were saying some in the Curia tried to abolish TLM? then they are against the clear teaching of VII. Can you mention their names? I would like to know.

  • Aussie Seminarian

     Well ‘Sistas’ I reject you and everything you stand for. I will quote a famous Protestant here “In the name of God Go!!” Go live your liberal fantasy somewhere else and stop pretending to be Catholic. Do the honourable thing, form your own schismatic heretical community.Consecrate your own de-facto Popeess, ordian your own Priestesses, write your own catechisim. Really, it will be the best thing for you and leave the rest of us to try to repair the damage you have done.  

  • JabbaPapa

    No names, sorry — 100% agreement with the Magisterium is of course the ideal, but it is of course a practical impossibility at the individual level.

  • rjt1

    Have seen attitudes like those of the sisters from the inside of a (male) religious congregation in Britain. It was generally the less intellectually capable brothers who fell for this guff, particularly if they had been sent to America to do some course, no doubt at a ‘Catholic’ university. Perhaps their critical faculties weren’t able to spot the difference, so they assumed what they were being taught was ‘new and improved’ Catholicism, when really their faith was being hijacked and handed back to them as an adulterated substitute. This is the way the disease spreads.

  • H2oplyer7

    Just wait 30 years and these orders will all be gone. GO TEAM BENEDICT!!!

  • Tridentinus

    I was in Rome in the late 50s as a young religious and I encountered several young, American nuns. My eyes were opened as they were totally different to European nuns (English and Italian), they were just like ‘normal’ girls rather than nuns. At the time I thought this quite refreshing. Although at the time Vatican II had not been mooted, publically anyway, I sensed that there was something afoot within the Church, a feeling shared by many of my colleagues although we didn’t have a clue what was going to happen although no one expected the traumatic changes which occurred after the Council, changes which were to eventually drive me out of the pursiut of ordination and out of the Church altogether for some considerable time.
    I digress. These ‘normal’ girls will, if they are still in vows, will be the superiors, sorry, leaders of many of the orders and congregations. With the benefit of hindsight I can understand how these ‘Papal groupies’, were not perhaps what they seemed.
    Americans were better educated in those days than Europeans. Also their concept of ‘religion’ was totally different to ours. As we generally accepted without question, obedience as a necessary part of the religious life or if we couldn’t we left, it would appear that American religious did neither.
    This may explain the almost total collapse of female religious orders on the continent yet their American ‘sisters’ seemed to have flourished. American nuns, not all by any means but some of those represented by the LCWR have drifted into the feminist movement.
    The feminist movement is the work of the devil as are many other movements which are regarded as sacrosanct by modern liberals. Everything in modern society seeks to divide. We are now divided into communities. The ‘this’ community or the ‘that’ community. Every single tiny group of people bound together by common views, virtues or vices, though they consist of only 3 or 4 members can lay claim to being a community.
    The nuns I encountered in my very young days were lovely, kind and brilliant, those representing the LCWR today are horrendous.

  • maideqi

    tinyurl.com/73huk6r

  • Cjkeeffe

    I’ll support the sisters when they start supporting my right to recieve authentic catholic teachings as taught by the church and not Fr Bonjaggles and Sr Mirth’s own theories. My rights to this are priority over their conscience.

  • pagnol

     Bravo, well said!

  • TRADANDGLAD

     Bravo, well said BC. As you say “the catastrophe lies all around…” I might add owing to the “Smoke of Satan”, and I hope you will never be discouraged or intimidated by advocates  influenced by that smoke who disparage you and the faithful and unchanged catholic teaching you defend. Thank you.

    FYI I am formally pagnol. I changed my account profile because of possible hacking.
    Obviously my new name TRADANDGLAD refers to being quite satisfied in being a traditional catholic which correctly and entirely reconciles with the true Church, the Catholic faith, and deposit of that faith.

    Instaurare Onmia in Christo

  • TRADANDGLAD

     Bravo, well said BC, as you say “…. evidence of catastrophe lies all around….” and I might add owing to the “smoke of Satan” which smoke has obviously influenced those who disparage you and the true faith in this forum. I hope you will never be discouraged or intimidated by that Novus Ordo mentality. Thank you.

    FYI I am pagnol but I changed my account profile because of possible hacking. My new profile name TRADANDGLAD obviously refers to being a faithful TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC who is properly, correctly, and entirely reconciled with the Catholic Church and Her deposit of faith which can never be changed.

    Instaurare Omnia in Christo

  • steve5656546346

    The Vatican report was indeed flawed:  it was not harsh enough in condemning utter rebellion and fraud.

  • Benedict Carter

    Hear, hear!

  • Benedict Carter

    No, I won’t do your research for you. 

    Myriad examples of their desertion of the Catholic Faith exist and go back decades – to the middle 1960′s.

  • Benedict Carter

    Thanks Tradandglad. I am indeed attacked, and was for years on the Telegraph’s “Holy smoke” blog. And always by Vatican II Modernists and neo-protestants. Sometimes I HAVE wavered in strength and courage in the face of it: please God He will make us all strong and firm in defence of our Holy Faith against the wolves!

  • Tradandglad

     Take heart in knowing you’re not alone in standing with other faithful catholics worldwide, though not as many as you (and I) would like to see, we still all know the Church we defend cannot fail.

  • renming328

    tinyurl.com/cyrj7eu

  • David Camilleri

    It is typical of American clergy to disobey authority…….