Some of my parishioners got caught on camera as the religious sisters’ summer road trip commenced. I was sorry to miss it. Monday mornings I’m usually on the road with church errands. Plus my wife sent me to pick up cat food and I dropped off my bike at the repair shop since both those stops were on that end of town.
I see the RNS is calling CDF vs NCWR a standoff. (Amazing how much is communicated in ten capital letters and a link, eh?) This is not going down particularly well for the hierarchy. It seems that a pattern has been established: an event puts the women/men issue into the news. A bishop usually pounces in pretty early on the publicity front. The women usually wait a bit, meet up, talk it over. Maybe discern. And their statement usually makes more sense.
Case in point, Cardinal Levada channelling his inner pharisee:
Too many people crossing the LCWR screen who are supposedly representing the Catholic church aren’t representing the church with any reasonable sense of product identity.
Didn’t we cover this already?
And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him.When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Mark 2:15-16)
Others have commented on his curious phrase, “dialogue of the deaf.” That presumes both sides are deaf to what the other is saying. Or maybe his long years in the States have rendered Cardinal Levada rather inclusive in his outlook. It’s rather shocking for a Vatican bureaucrat to even accidentally concede his side doesn’t always listen. And if one is not prepared to hear, how can one discern?
Really, I don’t see the issue with the LCWR closing up shop, and the sisters deciding to hold an annual conference, or start a group blog, or what-not. And just jettison the official association with the institution on that level.