See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Religious Women in T's and Capris: Making Vatican II Irrelevant.


The Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
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When religious orders get rid of Superiors, Reverend Mothers and Mothers General - they get a leadership conference of equals - with no leadership.  Thus explains the chaos of women religious congregations enlisted in the LCWR.  No leadership - no followers = no vocations.
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A friend sent me an NCR article dated August 12 on the LCWR speaker Richard Gaillardetz, Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo, and his address to the 750 U.S. women religious leaders gathered for the conference.  The theologian told them, "You are on an ecclesial tight rope with no net" as he praised their adventurous risk-taking in pursuance of  'creative fidelity', otherwise known as dissent.
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Working without a net.
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Drawing on his theological background and basing his talk on lessons learned by studying the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Gaillardetz said he was appearing before the women not to recommend concrete responses to recent Vatican interventions into the LCWR organization and women’s communities, but rather to guide them to act with “creative fidelity,” a hallmark, he said, that has characterized professed religious life in the U.S. over the least five decades.
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“The people of God are watching you, looking for a way forward in their own ecclesial difficulties. As I am sure you know, you are not the only ones experiencing the pain of ecclesial tensions. There are other faithful Catholics who struggle with abuses in ecclesiastical authority on many fronts. They know well of certain bishops who chose the protection of abusing priests over the protection of victims. They see young clerics who emerge from the seminary more preoccupied with their own ontological uniqueness, clerical garb and proper title than with the genuine pastoral needs of God’s people. They suffer under an enforced Eucharistic fast necessitated by a decision to place the weight of longstanding practice above the sacramental needs of the people of God. They find themselves ashamed when one of their most precious convictions, the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death, is effaced by church actions that suggest that the rights of the unborn eclipse the rights of the already born.”
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The theologian continued: “Many of us in the church are doing today what we have done for so long, looking for you to show us a way forward. We are looking for you to model what authentic discipleship looks like in the face of ecclesial conflict. As catechetical leaders are wont to say, this is a teachable moment.” - Women Religious

I'm not looking at these women or taking instruction from any of them.  The majority of these women are  amongst that dying breed of dissidents who have made Vatican Council II irrelevant.  Maybe Gaillardetz was a good student under their tutelage, but his speech does little more than flattering the vanity of elderly women.
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'Ecclesial dysfunction' - exploiting their interpretation of battered wife syndrome.
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However, he noted that “in the current situation it is getting very difficult to avoid the impression that we are now veering dangerously close to an instance of ecclesial dysfunction. If this is the case, then it suggests that the ecclesial tensions you are experiencing in the present moment may have a significance that goes well beyond your own circumstances.
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“The increasingly dysfunctional character of the current tensions,” he said, “appears more likely to be the result of a failure (by the bishops) to recognize the distinct and complementary role of professed religious life within the life of the church.”
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Vatican II taught that professed religious do not belong to the church hierarchy, he said. “This means that the unique contributions of professed religious cannot be subsumed under the magisterium’s own responsibility to make fidelity to the apostolic heritage its singular concern.” - Women Religious experiences have implications for the entire Church

See what I mean by "making Vatican II irrelevant?"
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H/T Paula 

21 comments:

  1. Let me tell ya...and I know this first-hand;
    the Superior of these dissident congregations/orders is "peer pressure"...any Sister who actually wants to live the vows she made, according to communal life, habit, fidelity to the Church, etc. is made to feel like one who is betraying "her Sisters"...and the nasty, petulant, ignorant and downright uncharitable ways these Sisters (many of them elderly) are treated is a crime against humanity (so much for social justice, eh?)
    I just about wretch when I read or hear about "battered wife syndrome" regarding apostolic women religious;
    yeah, tell it to the Sister who wants to wear a habit and live the communal life, b****. You're battering your own; you won't own up to the many reports of abuse now coming out; you're just hypocrisy through and through.
    It's the leadership that makes me crazy; there are saintly Sisters living lives of absolute abnegation within these "covens" with no one, literally no one to come to their rescue.
    Tell it to somebody who cares, LCRW.
    You're a bunch of "pharisees".
    I hope I didn't hold back too much...I suffer from "repression", you know:<)!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Drawing on his theological background and basing his talk on lessons learned by studying the Second Vatican Council

    Hmmmm. Another old guy, weaned on the Vietnam War and Student protests and the bogus Spirit of Vatican II, incredibly upset because he didn't get his way. So he wants to take millions to Hell with him.

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  3. Father - we know the same people! LOL! I always forget about the other sisters who had their religious life taken away from them. Thanks for the reminder.

    Ray - I thought the guy might be younger than the nuns.

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  4. He's in his mid to upper 60's.

    I don't know why, but when I see those LCWR gals in their T's and capri's, that song "I'm Too Sexy" runs through my head...

    "I'm...too sexy for my habit....too sexy for habit...I'm just too sexy for my habit!"

    I bet no one else thinks that...until now!

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  5. Yeah, Terry, we must know common folk...
    AND (taking a deep breath)...
    the embarrassment of the century (of the millennium) was that the head of LCRW (Sr. Marlene, FSPA), from the once prestigious apostolic community headquartered in our Diocese, someone who I actually once respected, gave some cockamamie address about nothing...words multiplied to the tenth, "Church-speak"...which is about as meaningful as cotton-candy and deadly as cyanide,...this woman is smart, she's educated, she's nobody's fool; but she has absolutely swallowed this Bull**** and to me, is "lost"...
    I mean; how can you thumb your nose at Rome, talk like you're doing fine, act as if everything is based upon "hope" (which, if you ask me is presumption, but that's another post)...aiiiiiii!
    This gal is not an idiot; she's a heretic and probably a schismatic with the "give the F finger" to Rome type of attitude.
    Sheesh.
    My biggest problem here is how to pay the damn bills.
    These gals are makin' all kinds of trouble where you don't need to...at all. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  6. May Pope John Paul the Great find himself living in God's mercy.

    Morons like these were given authority by somebody. And they continue to be in authority by the new somebody in charge.

    Our Lady of La Salette stated Rome would lose the Faith and become the seat of the anti-Christ.

    Looks like that includes these Nuns.

    Do you need a breath of fresh air after seeing these gals?

    Catch a breather at:

    http://dominicansisterswanganui.blogspot.com/

    Currently, they are looking for a place to locate a Convent in the U.S.A.

    They are joyous Nuns, a real treasure.

    God has not abandoned us to our sins; I hope He allows a Convent for them in America.

    *

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  7. Here's a palate cleanser after looking at that horrible picture...

    http://www.sistersofmarymotherofthechurch.org/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maria8:31 PM

    Oh,Dear Lord, grant that we may
    never see
    another nun in short capris.

    Oh,Dear Lord, grant that we may
    never see
    another nun in polyester, please.

    Oh, Dear Lord, grant that we may
    understand who's who with greater clarity,
    Oh, Dear Lord, we get confused,
    we see them in plain clothes around, should they be home or out,in town?

    Oh, Dear Lord, it used to be, we'd see our nuns in reverie,
    before you, Lord, in sweet accord, now their job is 'posing war.

    Oh, Dear Lord, we are confused, no more they are on bended knee , they cry no more for faith you see,
    they all need big time L-I-B-E-R-T-Y.

    Oh, Dear Lord , can't you see, I'm all angst out Parker's poetry,
    These nuns, you see, they make me sick, they make tired,
    No inpsiration do they proffer,
    they just drone on in endless ire.

    Oh, Dear Lord, they all want P-E-A-C-E , they all want J-U-S-T-I-C-E,
    they want their rights, they want their power,they just don't want no holy hour.

    Oh, Dear Lord, they made us stand, single file and silent see,
    can't you grant us sweet revenge. and let us bury them,
    in long lost cowls and rosary beads?
    Oh, an indulgence, please

    ReplyDelete
  9. Maria8:33 PM

    Oh,Dear Lord, grant that we may
    never see
    another nun in polyester, please.

    Oh, Dear Lord, grant that we may
    understand who's who with greater clarity,
    Oh, Dear Lord, we get confused,
    we see them in plain clothes around, should they be home or out,in town?

    Oh, Dear Lord, it used to be, we'd see our nuns in reverie,
    before you, Lord, in sweet accord, now their job is 'posing war.

    Oh, Dear Lord, we are confused, no more they are on bended knee , they cry no more for faith you see,
    they all need big time L-I-B-E-R-T-Y.

    Oh, Dear Lord , can't you see, I'm all angst out like Parker's poetry,
    These nuns, you see, they make me sick, they make tired,
    No inpsiration do they proffer,
    they just drone on in endless ire.

    Oh, Dear Lord, they all want P-E-A-C-E , they all want J-U-S-T-I-C-E,
    they want their rights, they want their power,they just don't want no holy hour.

    Oh, Dear Lord, they made us stand, single file and silent see,
    can't you grant us sweet revenge. and let us bury them,
    in long lost cowls and rosary beads?
    Oh, an indulgence, please

    ReplyDelete
  10. Regarding the Sisters that are looking for a place ... perhaps the old convent and former college, Barat, in Lake Forest in IL. Drove by there a few weeks back and it has been empty for over a year it seems. I know there has been a little property war going on about it ... but what a beautiful location and the gorgeous chapel might be saved.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Terry, I think you are right about the lack of leadership leading to bad things; these nuns are way off on a tangent. It's really too bad that they have gotten away from the original charism of their order.
    However I'm not going to get on the habit = holiness bandwagon. I have known a lot of good nuns, both with and without habits. The ones who go about quietly doing good never get in the news; but I really believe they are in the majority.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Melody - I actually agree with you about the habit or lack of one. At my parish we have two sisters like these, and they are very faithful, one in particular is rather saintly and charity oozes from her whenever you encounter her. If she was in a traditional habit she would be roundly applauded as a saint by all who met her.

    I get a little miffed at myself that I take cheap shots about clothing and and appearance while resorting to ageism in my criticism.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Maria8:00 PM

    Melody--remember, the habit does not make the monk. The habit is the outward visible sign of many, many things. That is another post.
    My post was tongue in cheek.
    Terry--a little mift at thee or me?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Maria: Amen.
    Good, holy, saintly Sisters don't wear the habit, for one reason or another (and most often it is to "keeping the peace" or avoiding complete "disaster"...the "peer pressure" in some of these communities is ghastly; I'm not exaggerating).
    The habit is only a symbol; and if these good, holy Sisters cannot wear one, they may wear the virtues and goodness of their consecrated lives upon their very beings.
    Fr. J. Hardon, SJ, would agree with this, I believe; he dealt with so many Sisters, aggrieved at the actions of the leadership of their communities, so abandoned, like Jesus in the Garden; they are truly white martyrs.
    Religious life can be lived without a habit; but to deprive without cause, the important symbol of one's consecration, out of complete spite and hatred, is an abominable sin...I know of such circumstances; and the leadership of these communities is going to be accountable before God, the Lord, for this.
    The habit does not make the monk;
    but when you deprive someone, without cause, you bring damnation unto yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Maria and Father, I agree, a nun who wants to wear a habit should of course not be hindered from it. And I would think that a nun whose order had become seriously dysfunctional would be justified in transfering to another one where she could live in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Maria7:30 PM

    Mother Teresa
    The Person, Religious, and Channel of Grace
    by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

    "If there is one thing that is certain, it is that Mother Teresa’s phenomenal influence on the modern world has been possible only because she is first and foremost, and unembarrassingly a religious.

    The Constitutions of the Missionaries of Charity could not be more plain. I quote from the section on “External Signs of Our Consecration.”

    As a sign of entrance into a new state of life by religious consecration, and of our desire for self-effacement


    We receive a new religious name at the time of profession.


    We call each other “Sister.”


    We cut our hair completely.


    Our religious dress consisting of:


    A simple and modest white cotton habit;


    A cincture of rope and sandals;


    A crucifix and rosary


    WILL BE A SIGN OF:


    Our consecrated love for God and the Church;


    Our dedication to the world’s poor;


    A REMINDER OF THE EDIFICATION EXPECTED FROM ALL THOSE WHO WEAR THE HABIT.

    Padre:
    I think it has been so many decades since we knew nuns, in habit, that their meaning is a memory for most. The habit has no significance in and of itself. It is what the habit symbolizes: humility, obedience, a sign of love and consecration and contradiction... Hardon used to love to tell the story of a woman he met on a plane who was using contraception. She wanted to talk to a priest. There was Fr Hardon. He explained its evil and he instructed her to become pregnant. A year later she gave birth.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maria7:46 PM

    American Religious Life in Historical Perspective
    Chapter 9
    Silence, Habit and Daily Order
    --John Hardon SJ

    Religious Habit

    "I doubt if any phase of religious adaptation has aroused more controversy or produced more heartaches than the change of religious habit prescribed by the Vatican Council Decree on Religious Life.

    Before we go any further let us read the simple words of the decree:

    The religious habit, an outward mark of consecration to God, should be simple and modest, poor and at the same time becoming.
    In addition it must meet the requirements of health and be suited to the circumstances of time and place and to the needs of the ministry involved.
    The habits of both men and women religious that do not conform to these norms must be changed. [12]
    Who would have thought that these few words could ignite such a conflagration?

    I think a few words of commentary are called for before we get any deeper into the subject. First of all the decree does not say that all existing habits of all religious communities must be changed. It sets down certain norms and then says that where these norms are not satisfied the habit should be changed accordingly.

    It would be very strange if every religious habit in the world was not a mark of religious consecration, poor and simple or modest, and did not meet the requirements of health nor was suited to circumstances and the needs of the ministry.

    Moreover the change contemplated was to satisfy these norms and not, in fact or equivalently, to do away with the religious habit".

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you, Maria.
    Blessed Mother Teresa and the saintly Fr. John Hardon, SJ, gave us a wonderful witness and understanding of the real meaning and symbolism of consecrated religious life.
    I know Fr. Hardon, SJ attempted to help many women religious "trapped" in their congregations, in which they made perpetual vows, according to a real and approved charism of the Holy Spirit, which was changed, perverted and absolutely changed during their lifetimes.
    These women deserve our love, homage and due respect; they are living witnesses to a "white martyrdom"; may they receive every grace and blessing as they live out their final days, in such sadness, darkness and betrayal; may the power of their prayers and sacrifices give life to their congregations, forgive the sins and betrayals of their superiors, and give life and hope to our Church.
    They are true heroines; I know many of them; they are such loving, wonderful and saintly women who belong to Christ and His Church Alone.
    And they've been sold out by "thirty pieces of silver".
    I am in awe of their witness and love.

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  19. At the Second Vatican Council, then Cardinal Ratzinger tossed aside his cassock, and wore a business suit to the council meetings. He set a deadly president.

    Many Priests and Religious do not want to wear anything that might be an outward demonstration of their Faith; the white collar is a yoke.

    The cassock represents the cry of the Priest: "Clothe me, O Lord".

    Black signifies the Priests goes to the place of Death; souls in mortal sin are dead. (They are already in Hell, but their bodies have not yet died).

    Nuns Habits have a scapular incorporated in them to signify their relationship to the Holy Mother.

    *

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  20. Pablo: I believe that the "dress" for theologians in Germany was not the cassock, but the tie, shirt, and suitcoat.
    I may be wrong; this may have had to do with secularist influences and the relationship between Church and State...I'm not sure.
    But Cardinal R. has worn a soutane since being made a Cardinal and serving in Rome.
    I think it is more of a "practice" rather than rejecting Tradition.
    In this country, priests were forbidden to wear the cassock outside of the Church properties; they were to wear a suit and clerical collar.
    It had to do with the Protestant prejudices against the Church; it was legislated, in fact, by the Council of Baltimore.
    Religious priests, as well, were forbidden to wear their habits; they were to wear the "clerical attire" for diocesan priests.
    That is no longer in practice; I wear my religious habit in public, with no problem (in the Midwest, people are very respectful...in the Northeast and in Europe, not so much!).

    ReplyDelete


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