Some key quotes from the past few days. First, from outgoing prez Sr Pat Farrell:
Dialogue on doctrine is not going to be our starting point. Our starting point will be about our own life and about our understanding of religious life.
The sticking point, Sr Farrell said, was the “misrepresent(ation)” of the CDF. I think that’s fair. This isn’t about doctrine. The CDF had to turn back the clock thirty-five years to find a statement that moved toward the ordination of women. That’s a pretty deep fishing expedition. And Rome carefully ignored the LCWR’s call to prayer when the 1994 “final” judgment was handed down on the matter. If the concern is about vowed religious life, it needs to start there. And then there’s this whole issue of gratitude. Every bishop, and even the pope have been careful to rush to the words, “Thank you,” when speaking of women religious. Except the CDF in its official statement, not so much.
Archbishop Sartain, I’m not sure about this guy. Did his brother bishops sucker him into this assignment? How on earth is he going to emerge from this assignment unscathed? The USCCB site has this statement up from last Friday. Key words:
Along with the members of the LCWR, I remain committed to working to address the issues raised by the Doctrinal Assessment in an atmosphere of prayer and respectful dialogue. We must also work toward clearing up any misunderstandings, and I remain truly hopeful that we will work together without compromising Church teaching or the important role of the LCWR. I look forward to our continued discussions as we collaborate in promoting consecrated life in the United States.
He seems to concede the misunderstandings. That’s a starting point.
On the other hand, I’m convinced that little good is going to come from this. Some of the Catholic laity have been galvanized on the assessment/takeover. Granted, just a segment. But a larger chunk of Catholicism than usual on these internal tussles. Some half of them will go away disappointed by the result. Progressives will be dismayed if a bishop is the next head of the LCWR. Conservatives will see any sort of conciliation as a sign of weakness, decay, or even outright sin. In the bigger picture, this is not good.