Mark Pinsky at RNS thinks the LCWR took the high road at last week’s meeting. He cited a comment from Fr Thomas Reese:
Now it’s no longer a food fight. They’re talking; they’re having a conversation. It’s like couples counseling. … That’s a big step forward from where they were in 2011.
I don’t think anyone had a clear choice otherwise. The bishops risk egg on their face–and that would be a delivery of their own making. Archbishop Myers wouldn’t stand up to a careful moral review, and perhaps he should be grateful he’s not the target of a CDF looking for people who have publicly damaged the Catholic faith.
The pope is clearly focused on the mission. The sisters weren’t going to antagonize the bishops–there is clearly no need. That everyone can backpedal is good: save face in public and work behind the scenes to repair relationships.
If the Catholic Right doesn’t disengage, they risk being marginalized further in a Church that, hopefully, has moved beyond petty gossip and encouraging pajama journalists to be prissy tattletales.