Friday, 1 June 2012

LCWR Heads For Rome

LCWR National Board

You will recall that recently the Holy See mandated a reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) following a doctrinal investigation, which was conducted under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). (You can read what Jimmy Akin had to say about this at the time.)

Of course, as was to be expected, the LCWR has not taken kindly to the Holy See’s mandate. They have accordingly made quite a fuss about it. I think that they may believe that they should be reforming the CDF, rather than the CDF reforming them.

I don’t know about you, but I really am so sick and tired of groups like this, who use every possible opportunity to take a contradictory position to the Church. Here in South Africa we have the ‘We Are All Church South Africa’ group who has a similar dissident agenda. (They’re affiliated to that dissident international movement, We Are Church, who has called Catholics to holy disobedience.)

Today the LCWR, true to form, instead of agreeing to work with the CDF to bring about reform, released this statement on their website. [My comments are in red]

LCWR Board Meets to Review CDF Report

[Washington, DC] The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held a special meeting in Washington, DC from May 29-31 to review, and plan a response to, the report issued to LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The board members raised concerns about both the content of the doctrinal assessment and the process by which it was prepared. Board members concluded that the assessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency. [Unsubstantiated…really? One just has to read what people like Sr. Joan Chittister write in the National Catholic Reporter to know that they are indeed substantiated accusations.] Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their ability to fulfill their mission. The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization. [I think that when the LCWR, and similar dissident movements, promote views that are directly opposed to Church teaching, while also being openly confrontational and calling for holy disobedience, there can be no doubt that it is them, not the Holy See causing scandal and pain.]

The board determined that the conference will take the following steps:

       On June 12 the LCWR president and executive director will return to Rome to meet with CDF prefect Cardinal William Levada and the apostolic delegate Archbishop Peter Sartain to raise and discuss the board’s concerns. 
       Following the discussions in Rome, the conference will gather its members both in regional meetings and in its August assembly to determine its response to the CDF report. [Maybe after this visit they will eventually realise that the Holy See is indeed serious. Hopefully, they will then begin reforming.]

The board recognizes this matter has deeply touched Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world as evidenced by the thousands of messages of support as well as the dozens of prayer vigils held in numerous parts of the country.  It believes that the matters of faith and justice that capture the hearts of Catholic sisters are clearly shared by many people around the world. [Yes, but is it shared by the Pope, the successor of Peter, on whom our Lord chose to build his Church, and by the Bishops, the successors of the Apostles? That's the true test!] As the church and society face tumultuous times, the board believes it is imperative that these matters be addressed by the entire church community in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and integrity. [Hopefully that includes an equivalent openness to the fact that it may be the LCWR who is out of line and who must agree to reforms!]

Contact: Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM – LCWR Director of Communications - 301-588-4955 (office) - 301-672-3043 (cell) -

June 1, 2012

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