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 Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover 
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Post Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover But Seek Dialogue On Difference

ST. LOUIS (RNS) American nuns facing a Vatican takeover of their leadership organization on Friday (Aug. 10) rejected Rome's plans to recast the group in a more conservative mold, but declined -- for now -- to respond with an ultimatum that could have created an unprecedented schism between the sisters and the hierarchy.

Instead, the nuns said they wanted to pursue a negotiated solution to the showdown that has galvanized American Catholics in recent months and prompted an outpouring of support for the sisters that left the Vatican with a black eye.

The statement from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious came at the end of the LCWR's annual assembly here and was the first formal response to the Vatican from the entire organization, which represents most of the 56,000 nuns in the U.S.

The Vatican announced in April that it was assigning a team of bishops to take control of the LCWR in order to make the organization -- and by extension, most U.S. nuns -- hew more closely and publicly to orthodox teachings on sexuality and theology.

Sister Pat Farrell, the outgoing president of the LCWR, on Friday read the official response that expressed the organization's "deep disappointment" with Rome's verdict. But the statement also said the nuns wanted to keep talking with the hierarchy in hopes of "creating more possibilities for the laity and, particularly for women, to have a voice in the church."

"Dialogue on doctrine is not going to be our starting point," Farrell told reporters.

Farrell added, however, that the sisters will reconsider their options if the LCWR "is forced to compromise the integrity of its mission." That indicated that if the Vatican does not relent on at least some of its plans to revamp the organization, the sisters could make good on the threat to disband the LCWR and reorganize it as an independent body beyond the reach of the Vatican.

The sisters' pointed but measured response seemed to reflect the approach that Farrell outlined in a powerful address on Friday morning to the 900 sisters gathered here. Her talk detailed the nuns' public "struggle to balance our life on the periphery with fidelity to the center."

snip

Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/11/american-nuns-reject-vatican_n_1766852.html

Ruts - I am at a loss here. What are your thoughts on this situation? Can you explain this to us?

TIA

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:45 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
I'm steaming, but I admit I haven't kept up on this as I should. I'll give you a very immediate response, but I will look into the whole situation and try to give a more in depth report soon.

Pope Benedict, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before he was elected Pope. His role here was defending and reaffirming official Catholic doctrine, but he took an overly conservative and narrow view of this role. He attacked Liberation Theology as it grew in Latin and Central America, out of the struggle of the people against oppression and tyranny, gave no leeway in the issues of contraception, and was again narrow in regards to inter-faith dialogue. He is closely tied to Opus Dei, which is an ultra-conservative organization within the Catholic Church which is answerable only to the Pope, deemed so in 1982. Therefore the actions of Opus Dei members throughout the world are outside the control of local bishops.

I know first hand of the work of Opus Dei in Peru, as it affected friends working in one of the prelatures in the altiplano. They are missioners who have been working with the people of Peru for over 75 years, but an OPus Dei member was appointed bishop of the district in which they were working. That OPus Dei bishop unceremoniously banned all of them from the diocese and reversed much of the good they had done over many years because they are "too liberal".

There is a movement toward conservatism, and reversing all the good done by Vatican II throughout the world, but it is very evident in the US. As an example, the wording of the English liturgy, especially in the Mass, has been revised "to make it uniform throughout the world", but actually takes it back to the cerebral, formal feel of the "old days". There is a resurgence of the mass in Latin, which serves to separate the people from the liturgy. Along with these surface signs, every effort is made to stifle voices of dissent which stray from Pope Benedict's narrow, conservative views.

The religious (nuns) of America are for the most part on the cutting edge, the front vanguard so to speak, of the Catholic Church, which strives to serve the people better and more realistically, without judging but only seeking to heal and help, both spiritually and physically. They are a serious threat to the rigidity of the Church as Pope Benedict sees that it should be and he is moving to control them, to silence the voices of those who do not agree with him. Many women in the church would like to serve God and the people as priests. The church has lost many good priests over its refusal to even discuss the issue of married priests. Anyone who speaks out on these issues (whose voice is loud enough, has the audience to be heard) is silenced. As an example, a priest who is a friend of mine, who is vocal on these issues, and who has taken part in liturgies where a former priest (laicized by the church because he wanted to marry, but who is still a priest) celebrated the Mass, has been threatened with excommunication. His superior is being pressured to cast him out of the order to which he belongs. (So far he has held out against this pressure.)

All of this puts the Catholic Church in a very bad light, and many good Catholics have left the Church. The way I see it is that these are only men, humans like all of us, and though I will fight against what I see as wrong and harmful beliefs and practices of the hierarchical Church, I will not cast the baby out with the bath water. The Church was instituted by Jesus, not by a pope or bishop, and there are still many good priests, religious, and lay people who are loyal to the Church as Jesus instituted it. I prefer to work within the Church to change it and bring it back to its roots, to its integrity as it was first meant to be.

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:40 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
As I suspected. Again a conservative movement fighting against progressive forces to maintain the status quo.

Opus Dei, huh?

Thanks, Ruts. I long to hear more on this matter. I've seen first hand some of the changes in my DD's church near San Antonio. The difference between the oldest DGS's first communion and DGD's this past May was astounding. With both older grandsons, their first communion was more of a celebration by the communicants. They actually "set the table" by that I mean they placed the cloth on the altar and added the cup and the communion wafers. Not so with DGD. Basically, those communicants had to just sit there and listen to the priest talk about how wonderful it is to be Catholic and what the Church should mean to them. Nothing wrong with that but you can imagine how bored 70 seven year olds were. :crylaugh

The other interesting thing with DGD's was the fact that older first communicants were also in the group. This didn't happen with the older two. Older first communicants were given their first communion at a separate mass. Frankly, they looked ridiculous sitting there amid all the tiny "brides of Christ" and all the tiny "men of Christ."

I also heard the change in the mass liturgy. DD is not a happy camper to say the least.

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Here is some info on the nuns' Leadership Conference:

From their website:

Quote:
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has more than 1500 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.

http://lcwr.org/

from Wikipedia:

Quote:
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is a canonically approved membership organization which serves as a support system and voice for leaders and women religious in the United States.

As of 2012, the group is pending investigation by the Holy See under Cardinal William Levada, for ecclesiastical and doctrinal issues and alleged radical feminism which counter the doctrinal teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

For those interested, this Wikipedia article details the steps leading to this year's pronouncement by the Vatican, year by year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership ... _Religious

Comments from various sources:

* Among the alleged offenses of the LCWR is that their programs are infected by "radical feminism" and that the sisters have shown a predilection for advocating church teaching on social justice, while failing to speak on the "biblical view of family life and human sexuality." (IOW, the Pope's view)

* The St. Louis gathering (which ended yesterday) is the first time the organization has assembled since the release of the doctrinal assessment, which said reform was needed to ensure LCWR’s fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas that include abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality. The organization’s canonical status is granted by the Vatican. (Thus the organization's need to decide if it can dialogue with the Vatican, or will have to disband this group and start again as an organization which is not chartered by the Vatican.)

* In its assessment of the group, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the leadership conference is undermining Roman Catholic teachings on homosexuality and birth control and promoting "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." It also reprimanded the nuns for hosting speakers who "often contradict or ignore" church teachings and for making public statements that "disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals."

In their own statement, the nuns said the Vatican's doctrinal assessment of the group was based on "unsubstantiated accusations" and may "compromise" the ability of female nuns to "fulfill their mission."

* Among the options on the table ...are fully complying with the mandate, not complying with the mandate or seeing if the Vatican will negotiate with them. "In my mind, [I want] to see if we can somehow, in a spirited, nonviolent strategizing, look for maybe a third way that refuses to define the mandate and the issues in such black and white terms," she (the outgoing president) says.

* "We're not talking about the risk of excommunication or leaving the church. That's not our intent. ....The one and only underlying option for us is to respond with integrity with however we proceed. That is our absolute bottom line in this.

Stands taken by the Conference in response to the Vatican's April document:

On the criticism from the Vatican regarding human sexuality

"We have been, in good faith, raising concerns about some of the church's teachings on sexuality. ... the teaching and interpretation of the faith can't remain static and really needs to be reformulated, rethought in light of the world we live in. ....Women Religious stand in very close proximity to people at the margins, to people with very painful, difficult situations in their lives. That is our gift to the church. Our gift to the church is to be with those who have been made poorer, with those on the margins.

On women's ordination

"The position we took in favor of women's ordination in 1977 was before there was a Vatican letter saying that there is a definitive church position against the ordination of women. Since then, the Leadership Conference has not spoken publicly about the ordination of women.....the document [just released by the church] goes back 30 years to talk about our position on the ordination of women.... we are in a position to continue to be very concerned that the position of women in the church be recognized."

On the phrase "radical feminist themes"

the phrasing ... is based on fear — a fear of women's positions in the church. ... women theologians around the world have been seriously looking at the question of: How have the church's interpretations of how we talk about God, interpret Scripture, organize life in the church — how have they been tainted by a culture that minimizes the value and the place of women?"


On abortion
(The Vatican's complaint is that the LCWR does not speak out enough about abortion.)

There's so much being said about abortion that is often phrased in such extreme and such polarizing terms that to choose not to enter into a debate that is so widely covered by other sectors of the Catholic Church — and we have been giving voice to other issues that are less covered but are equally as important.

"Our concern is that right-to-life issues be seen across a whole spectrum and are not narrowly defined. ... To single out one right-to-life issue and to say that that's the only issue that defines Catholic identity, I think, is really a distortion."

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/17/156858223 ... ndemnation

NB: I welcome questions, comments, dialogue, requests for more information. I will be speaking with some Maryknoll priests and sisters in the next few weeks and will get their views on this issue, from the inside.

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:28 pm
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Quote:
There's so much being said about abortion that is often phrased in such extreme and such polarizing terms that to choose not to enter into a debate that is so widely covered by other sectors of the Catholic Church — and we have been giving voice to other issues that are less covered but are equally as important.

"Our concern is that right-to-life issues be seen across a whole spectrum and are not narrowly defined. ... To single out one right-to-life issue and to say that that's the only issue that defines Catholic identity, I think, is really a distortion."


:clap Bravo! Absolutely BRAVO!

:clap :clap

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:44 pm
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Catholicism :roll

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:26 pm
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
fr33kSh0w2012 wrote:
Catholicism :roll


What about it, fr33k? You don't have to be afraid to voice your thoughts.

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:57 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Bluebonnet wrote:
Quote:
There's so much being said about abortion that is often phrased in such extreme and such polarizing terms that to choose not to enter into a debate that is so widely covered by other sectors of the Catholic Church — and we have been giving voice to other issues that are less covered but are equally as important.

"Our concern is that right-to-life issues be seen across a whole spectrum and are not narrowly defined. ... To single out one right-to-life issue and to say that that's the only issue that defines Catholic identity, I think, is really a distortion."


:clap Bravo! Absolutely BRAVO!

:clap :clap


You can see why the Vatican and Pope Benedict especially, are freaking out! The women trump the men for sure, don't they?

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:59 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Catholicism is such an over-rated and over glorified religion In reality it's Lucifer worshipping

the black sohne

Image

Image

Willie Martin's

Bibliocapleyades: Vatican satanic roman order

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:22 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Yep, Ruts, and I think THAT is what is really at the bottom of this whole mess.

I found a good (at least to me as a non-Catholic) background piece:

Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: April 18, 2012


The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters, many of whom belong to the Leadership Conference, signed a statement supporting it — support that provided crucial cover for the Obama administration in the battle over health care.

snip

Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html?_r=1

I also found some discussion that the Bishops want the nuns to:

a. Stop practicing Reiki - calling it "unscientific and unChristian.."

b. Wear habits again and live in convents - not independently as many American nuns do now.

It appears to me (again, a non-Catholic) that a lot of this goes back to Vatican II. It appears American nuns fully embraced the challenge to them to modernize while the current Pope was aghast at the changes.

Am I right, Ruts?

This is so sad. These dedicated women are doing so much good in their communities. They are helping WOMEN and children in ways the patriarchial Church can never do. Please note that I am not just singling out the Church in Rome here - plenty of Protestant churches have the same antiquated ideas about women, too.

It never changes! :flame

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:45 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Freak - your views on Catholicsm are your views.

Please understand that Ruts is a devout Catholic and has worked in her Church for many, many years.

I have all the respect in the world for the Church in Rome. As a Protestant, I also have issues with some of the Church's doctrine.

I do not in any way, shape or form believe the Church in Rome is Luciferian or Satan worshipping. That is ludricous and more than a bit ignorant and prejudicial. Perhaps you would be better served spending a bit more time learning about the Church and its long history than simply repeating ignorance and prejudice.

Jest my two cents...

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:50 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
No this is about the crackdown I'm talking about. It isn't the separate catholic Entities (churches) I'm talking about I've been to a few I can tell you.

It's about the Vatican. :shakehead

and it's not about Femininity vs masculinity Either nor feminism vs Masculinism.

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:39 am
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
Quote:
It appears to me (again, a non-Catholic) that a lot of this goes back to Vatican II. It appears American nuns fully embraced the challenge to them to modernize while the current Pope was aghast at the changes.

Am I right, Ruts?


You hit it right on, Blue. Male-dominated structure, threatened by women, want to keep the power in male hands, and especially with the current power on the throne, revert back to pre-Vatican II. The faithful must believe without questioning what comes forth from the mouth of the Holy See.... well, that ain't happening!

I must add that although I praise the women leadership of religious congregations, there are MANY priests and brothers who are on the same wavelength, but they aren't as visible, because for the most part they work quietly in their parishes, or their mission lands to guide the faithful without embracing the rigidity and conservatism of the Pope and his confreres.

Fr33k, Blue said it for me, (thanks, my friend). I won't add more, except to say that as always, the noisy, very visible few paint the whole with a bad brush. Look deeper; you are smarter than to be taken in that way.

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:02 pm
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Post Re: Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover
rutsuyasun wrote:
Quote:
It appears to me (again, a non-Catholic) that a lot of this goes back to Vatican II. It appears American nuns fully embraced the challenge to them to modernize while the current Pope was aghast at the changes.

Am I right, Ruts?


You hit it right on, Blue. Male-dominated structure, threatened by women, want to keep the power in male hands, and especially with the current power on the throne, revert back to pre-Vatican II. The faithful must believe without questioning what comes forth from the mouth of the Holy See.... well, that ain't happening!

I must add that although I praise the women leadership of religious congregations, there are MANY priests and brothers who are on the same wavelength, but they aren't as visible, because for the most part they work quietly in their parishes, or their mission lands to guide the faithful without embracing the rigidity and conservatism of the Pope and his confreres.

Fr33k, Blue said it for me, (thanks, my friend). I won't add more, except to say that as always, the noisy, very visible few paint the whole with a bad brush. Look deeper; you are smarter than to be taken in that way.


I don't paint the whole with a bad brush I know many *charismatic catholics* I just hold the evildoers accountable Geez.. saying the nuns can't do Reiki because it's unchristian.

:crylaugh

So according to them I must be the most vile being in existence because I play Violent video games, Which is a good way of venting steam especially when your in physical pain (Irritable Bowel Syndrome and it's lets play fake appendicitis for 30 minutes I know it's fake because It starts in the very lower right side of my abdomen and shoot upward then back down and then across to the other side I feel everything moving down afterward then it's a mad dash to the toilet *Because I ate a Snickers bar with PEANUTS and I know I shouldn't*) the guy at the service (gas) station had them on sale for 99c a bargain when they are usually $3 a bar :oops that and I swear a LOT especially when I'm being harped at for things my sister loves the "when are we getting X" where X is the thing she wants at the spur of the moment, she also say "Get me X" where X is the thing she wants At that point in time I tell her "Get off you F@t Lazy F :censor @r$e, and get it yourself!" :slap she looks at me like :huh then like :shock: then she goes :oops and does it herself. I hate having to say that but she won't budge until I do :shakehead she's about 18 stone and 5.4" I'm about 12.5 stone and about 5.8" of course I'm the one running around everywhere.

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:10 pm
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