Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Confidential memo from Bishop Morlino leaked...

Wisdom Well - turns out to be a leaky cistern.*

This story demonstrates - to me at least - though we do not often see public rebukes, corrections, disciplines applied to 'recalcitrant' religious persons or groups, Bishops do indeed take action to correct, admonish, and do whatever else is necessary before canonical censure, interdict, or excommunication is applied.

Bishop Morlino bans Madison Dominican sisters from conducting workshops and offering spiritual direction. 
Two longtime Madison nuns who lead an interfaith spirituality center have been banned by Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino from holding workshops or providing spiritual direction or guidance at any Catholic churches in the 11-county diocese.
Sisters Maureen McDonnell and Lynn Lisbeth, both Sinsinawa Dominicans, have diverged too far from Catholic teaching, according to a confidential memo sent Nov. 27 to priests on behalf of Morlino. A copy of the memo was leaked to the State Journal.

Two other women connected to the interfaith center, called Wisdom's Well, also have been banned as part of the same action.
The memo says Morlino has "grave concerns" about the women's teachings, specifically that they "espouse certain views" flowing from such movements as "New Ageism" and "indifferentism." The latter, according to the memo, is "the belief that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another."

The women "may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church's approach to interreligious dialogue," the memo said.

Brent King, a spokesman for the diocese, said three other potential parish guest speakers, all male, have been banned "in recent years." The women are not prohibited from attending Mass or, if Catholic, from receiving communion, King said. Asked whether they could contribute to parish life in other ways, such as reading Bible passages from the pulpit or chairing a church committee, King said that would be up to individual priests. - Read more here.
I suppose the Wisdom Well Holiday Retreat Cruise is off now too?

* Click here for musical accompaniment to this post.

h/t to Badger Catholic 


  1. It sounds like the second two women banned weren't Catholic, which makes me wonder why they were giving workshops at Catholic churches. I sincerely hope they weren't giving spiritual direction!

    1. You and me both. The spiritual direction business is another reform waiting to happen.

  2. Someone once suggested many possibilities to me for spiritual direction and one was a place that you could pay laypeople to provide you with spiritual direction. Um, no. And ecumenical nuns? Um, no.

  3. OH, the nuns in the pool go splash, splash, splash!

  4. One of the two laywomen was a Sinsinawa Dominican before she left the order and was ordained a Buddist priest. The other lay woman is an oblate of the Benedictine Women of Madison. The Benedictine women have an ecumenical monastery called Holy Wisdom Monastery. One of the sisters is an ex-Presbyterian minister who is now the presiding priest at their Eucharists. The Benedictine Women of Madison provide a variety of ministries including funerals, retreats, wedding for traditional couples and same sex couples. The Sinsinawa Dominicans seem to be very supportive of the Benedictine Women of Madison: one of Dominicans is a member of the Board that helped them to leave the Catholic Church and keep all the property that belonged to the traditional Catholic Benedictine order.

  5. Currently reading Characters of the Inquisition (William Thomas Walsh) and it strikes me, the conspiracy of circumstances events and people whose aim is to pull down the Church is even more active today than it was then. Please be so careful people - "By their fruits you shall know them".


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