Or, what happened after the apostolic visitation?
They came, they saw, they reported, and now the reform begins.
The visitation is over and the studies concluded and now the LCWR has to account for themselves. Some poor sisters in their congregations must be thanking God their prayers have been answered and the religious spirit may once again be restored to their particular order.
.- The Vatican called for reform amid a doctrinal “crisis” within the U.S.'s Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), appointing Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to lead renewal efforts.
The appointment was made as the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith revealed the findings of its multi-year doctrinal assessment of the women's conference, which has more than 1,500 members throughout the country.
The assessment document explained, “it is clear that greater emphasis needs to be placed both on the relationship of the LCWR with the Conference of Bishops, and on the need to provide a sound doctrinal foundation in the faith of the Church.”
Initiated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2008, the assessment was carried out by Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, a member of the U.S. bishops’ doctrine committee.
Among the key findings of the assessment were serious theological and doctrinal errors in presentations at the conference's annual assemblies in recent years.
Several of the addresses depicted a vision of religious life that is incompatible with the faith of the Church, the assessment said. Some attempted to justify dissent from Church doctrine and showed “scant regard for the role of the Magisterium.” - Finish reading here.Sr. Joan Chittister is pissed...
God bless her. Sister says the action is immoral:
"Within the canonical framework, there is only one way I can see to deal with this," said Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, who has served as president of the group as well as in various leadership positions. (Chittister also writes a column for NCR.) "They would have to disband canonically and regroup as an unofficial interest group.Very seriously, it must be remembered that within each congregation of women religious, whose superiors are members of the LCWR, there are very good religious who want to be faithful to the religious charism of their founders, as well as Roman Catholic teaching. I'm convinced there are generous, faithful, hidden souls even amongst the most progressive and secularized of congregations. Likewise there may be weaker souls, who 'went along' with the changes, who are most in need, and have been looking forward to such an intervention, offering direction and guidance.
"That would be the only way to maintain growth and nourish their congregational charisms and the charism of the LCWR, which is to help religious communities assess the signs of the time. If everything you do has to be approved by somebody outside, then you're giving your charism away, and you're certainly demeaning the ability of women to make distinctions." - Finish reading here.
Citing a passage from the Gospel of Luke -- "I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned to me, you must strengthen the faith of your brothers and sisters" -- the document says the pope gave Levada the authority to show his "pastoral concern" for women religious, "who through the past several centuries have been so instrumental in building up the faith and life of the Holy Church of God."
In his letter Wednesday, Levada writes that Sartain's appointment is "aimed at fostering a patient and collaborative renewal of this conference of major superiors in order to provide a stronger doctrinal foundation for its many laudable initiatives and activities." - NCRPrayers for the success of the reform and renewal of religious life in the United States. I think Teresa of Avila would be a good intercessor for this cause. Check out the movie "Teresa of Jesus" and at 6:35 or so into the clip, you will see how the nuns reacted to her reform. Teresa returns to the Incarnation as prioress. It's literally a riot. Click here. It's in Spanish but easily understood if you know the story.
Link to the actual document:
Photo: Scene from Ken Russell's film The Devils