Citing "serious doctrinal problems" found over the course of afour-year study of the umbrella-group representing the majority of the US' communities of nuns, the Holy See has announced a thoroughgoing shake-up of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), naming Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its delegate to conduct an overhaul of the group.This is very welcome by orthodox Catholics who have bemoaned the practices of these nuns for years.
Among other concerns raised in an eight-page summary of the doctrinal inquest released today, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cited addresses at LCWR conferences that, it said, manifested a "rejection of faith," protests of church teaching on homosexuality and the ordination of women by officers of the group, and a "prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith" in some of the conference's events.
A Case Study in the Wreckage of American Catholics by Liberal Teaching Nuns
Take my friend Marie. Raised in a strict Catholic home of five children who prayed the Rosary every night, with a mother whose only outside work was playing the organ at Mass in the local parish, Marie was a devout, pro-life Catholic, thanks to her parent's heroic sacrifice to send all five children to their parish school.
I met Marie in a convent school on Long Island discussing how she picketed Bill Baird's abortion mill. Together we began the school's first Pro-life Club, and went to the March for Life in 1978. We both chose Catholic colleges, me, traditional St Anselm College, where I continued to grow in my faith, thanks to the Benedictine's motto, "faith seeking understanding". Marie chose the liberal College of New Rochelle which is run by sisters who made her into a social justice only Catholic.Marie traveled to the Bowery site of the Catholic Worker Movement's mission run by Dorothy Day. She attended mock 'weddings' of lesbians officiated by sisters. She began to experiment apologetically with premarital sex. She graduated school to run a shelter for undocumented immigrants in Texas, marrying one of them (whose Mexican wife and children attended the ceremony) to give him papers. To this day, she is unmarried, and a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage political agitator in the Haight district of San Francisco. Her law degree is unused because, as bright as she is, she was never organized enough to pass the bar, her counselors told her to blame it on her mother.
She won't remain in contact with me because I am too traditional. My views have never changed, but she doesn't see how far she has moved to the left. Last time I called her, her answering machine has a message that she was attending a gay pride parade in San Francisco.
I followed the path of social justice in becoming a social worker, then a teacher of minority students, but thank fully my moral and spiritual foundations were more or less intact, thanks to good doctrine taught at St Anselm.
Marie's parents only fault was trusting the liberal nuns at CNR with the soul of their innocent, devout Catholic daughter. Their other daughter became a fire breathing anti-Catholic Evangelical who thinks her parents are going to hell for belonging to the Whore of Babylon (the Catholic Church) and a son who attends Latin Mass with the Society of St Pius X. So, two of five children of good Catholic parents remained in the Church. Thankfully, the son who attends Mass at St Pius X Chapel may soon be returned to the fold by another recent action of our wise and gentle Holy Father, according to Vatican Radio. He has raised five children who are homeschooled by their devout mother, but he has contempt for the leadership of the Catholic Church.
I love this family, and pray for their healing and reunion in the Church. The parents are brokenhearted victims of liberal nuns.
Dissenting sisters sowed seeds of rebellion in their students. They supported abortion and illicit sexual relationships. They taught me how to use and obtain contraception in high school, telling me "ignore the old man in Rome on contraception".
On the day before the 2004 election a liberal sister who is the Hispanic apostolate leader on Long Island handed out paper in Mass with abortion support John Kerry's photo on the cover.
The list goes on and on. It is a spiritual act of mercy to correct these sisters before they are responsible for more souls being lost, because Our Lord said "it would be better to tie a millstone around their neck and be cast into the sea than to corrupt one of my little ones".
May God give these sisters the humility they need to accept correction and regain their original charism, the one which made religious sisters one of the most powerful forces for good in America. One notoriously rebellious sister has spoken out in a way which bodes ill for the outcome of the corrective measure;
Despite the lack of official comment, a former LCWR president -- and quite possibly the body's most celebrated member -- Benedictine Sister of Erie Joan Chittister told the National Catholic Reporter that "When you set out to reform a people, a group, who have done nothing wrong, you have to have an intention, a motivation that is not only not morally based, but actually immoral.