I confess my surprise at the candor in this interview with Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin. Some quotes from the secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life:
I believe a visitation has to have a dialogical aspect, but the way this was structured at the beginning didn’t really favor that.
It’s like preaching; it’s not what you say, it’s what they hear … and what a lot of these women heard was someone telling them their life was not loyal and faith-filled.
And the big surprise for me, a criticism of a cardinal predecessor:
The fact that Cardinal Rode had decided the visitors’ reports would not be shared with the individual communities was only “part of the real harm done at the beginning,” Archbishop Tobin said. The situation was exacerbated by “rumors and, I would say, some rather unscrupulous canonical advisers exploited that” by sowing fear that the Vatican would replace the leadership of some communities or dissolve them altogether.
It’s like Fox News, they keep people coming back because they keep them afraid.
The conservative blogosphere seems to be in total retreat on their glee at seeing the ideological sheriff called in to clean up What They Don’t Like. I have to admit my own glee at the collective silence.
I like the call for reconciliation and dialogue among women religious. Keep the Vatican out of it and let these dedicated people get on with their apostolates.