Speaking of LCWR

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.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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5 Responses to Speaking of LCWR

  1. Thanks for this, more food for thought. I like the quotation that my friend Meredith got me ruminating on today… http://meredithgould.blogspot.com/2012/08/quote-du-jour-religion-department.html

  2. John Drake says:

    Todd, I guess the following excerpt from the CDF doctrinal assessment is “not so much” of a thank you, eh? “The Holy See acknowledges with gratitude the great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States…” It’s only the first sentence of the second paragraph.

    Nice of you to be so concerned about Abp Sartain emerging unscathed. I don’t know that I’ve ever read you being concerned about a Bishop’s “career” before. Nice growth on your part!

    And, speaking of “carefully ignoring”, i see that you carefully skip right over the assessment’s citing of the LCWR’s absence of commentary against abortion and euthanasia, the content of their leadership manual, their close connection with the overtly political NETWORK.

    Good grief, the choice of the recent keynote speaker, Barbara Marx Hubbard, is enough to make the whole organization of questionable value.

    Peruse Ann Carey’s reporting. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/ann-carey/reflections-on-the-lcwr-assembly

    • Todd says:

      Thanks for commenting and correcting, John. Good point that the CDF actually does express gratitude. It’s as careful a point as the welcome and thank you of sisters for journalists and waitstaff.

      I agree with the priority of the sisters to not conform to the political pro-life movement. As you know, I also distance myself from the activists and the bishops in method and style, but don’t consider myself any less pro-life.

      I don’t see any problem with NETWORK, what I’ve seen of the leadership manual, nor Ann Carey’s problems with the assembly. In most all cases, not how I would frame things, not how I would pray, not speakers that would interest me. But I might say the same things about bishops gathering.

      Ms Carey’s complaint about the Liturgy of the Hours is interesting. I wonder if she would be as bothered by a gathering of clergy or bishops. Most people who live outside a cloistered religious community pray the Hours on their own, as a personal act. My own experience at providing music for a diocesan clergy conference was that it was Mass. Period. No Liturgy of the Hours. A gathering of religious might even be problematic for the variety of customs and traditions not shared between Benedictines, Franciscans, and many more modern orders.

      Sometimes people go looking for trouble. Maybe that includes the CDF and the NCReg.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    Dialogue of the bishops:

    We speak; you listen. We command; you obey. We draw the line; you accept it or leave.

    Yes, indeedy: a true dialogue of the deaf.

  4. John Donaghy says:

    However, there are the recent comments of Cardinal Burke which are really disturbing. I am deeply saddened by his manner of treating other members of the Body of Christ.

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