AP article: Crackdown on US nuns continues under Pope Francis


I wonder what would happen if one of the members of NOW started writing approvingly of Sarah Palin… ?

What? I thought women’s ordination was right around the corner?


You really do have to wonder sometimes. If you’re more interested in channeling the goddess within than you are in worshiping Christ in the Eucharist, what’s the point of even BEING a catholic religious?

Are they really so unable to tell Catholicism from “create-your-own-religionism?”


Like the CDF is sending out the dogs and water cannons? Talk about a biased headline.

Protip to the nuns: If you don’t want to follow Catholic teachers, why are you Catholic?

As an aside: Anybody else notice that that every person in the pictures included with the article is old? Read on Father Z’s blog that the LCWR’s average age is like 70 or something. The other women’s religious group that split from the LCWR’s average age is like 32. Hopefully some of these dumb ideas will die out as those who push them do.

And the Archbishop’s letter was pretty awesome.

I would really like to nuns to at least look a little like they are nuns.

I could have sworn that I posted this already, but for whatever reason my posts seem to vanish. Anyway, I can understand a condemnation of the sisters if they work against life (for abortion). I can also understand the need to condemn them if they work against traditional marriage.

What I do not understand is stuff like this, from the article:


Investigators praised the nuns’ humanitarian work, but accused them of focusing too much on social justice and ignoring critical issues, such as fighting abortion.

What the heck does “focusing too much” mean, exactly? What do these people think, we’re going to be standing before Jesus and he’s gonna be all like, “hey, would love to take you into heaven but you spent wayyyyy too much time on those corporal works of mercy. That stuff is nice and all, but I never intended anyone to take it that seriously. Just seems to me you’ve fed too many hungry and housed too many homeless when you could have been doing better things.”


You should know the media better than that.

Show me where the “investigators” said this in this context of the article.

My bet, the article is being fast and loose with what the investigators really meant.

Hi Veritas. I think that journalist was probably trying to paraphrase this part of the Doctrinal Assessment:

On June 25, 2010, Bishop Blair presented further documentation on the content of the LCWR’s Mentoring Leadership Manual and also on the organizations associated with the LCWR, namely Network and The Resource Center for Religious Institutes.** The documentation reveals that, while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States.** Further, issues of crucial importance to the life of Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the Bishops, who are the Church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.

Or perhaps this one:

The Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation of Religious Communities of Women in the United States (July, 2011) found that the formation programs among several communities that belong to the LCWR did not have significant doctrinal content but rather were oriented toward professional formation regarding particular issues of ministerial concern to the Institute. Other programs reportedly stressed their own charism and history, and/or the Church’s social teaching or social justice in general, with little attention to basic Catholic doctrine, such as that contained in the authoritative text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. While these formation programs were not directly the object of this doctrinal Assessment, it may nevertheless be concluded that confusion about the Church’s authentic doctrine of the faith is reinforced, rather than corrected, by the lack of doctrinal content in the resources provided by the LCWR for Superiors and Formators. The doctrinal confusion which has undermined solid catechesis over the years demonstrates the need for sound doctrinal formation—both initial and ongoing—for women Religious and novices just as it does for priests and seminarians, and for laity in ministry and apostolic life. In this way, we can hope that the secularized contemporary culture, with its negative impact on the very identity of Religious as Christians and members of the Church, on their religious practice and common life, and on their authentic Christian spirituality, moral life, and liturgical practice, can be more readily overcome.

Full paragraphs provided for context, but for the whole assessment:

Yes. We have long known that social justice has sadly been code for “leftwing progressive”

It is truly too bad. Because True Social Justice is very very holy. While “social justice” usually just means “welfare” In this debate.:shrug:

The Assessment didn’t criticize the LCWR at all for how they promote social justice, so IMHO, I would be careful to conclude there is a scandal there.

Here is the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR by the CDF, which explains in very diplomatic language some of the problems with the group, which tends to dissidence against Catholic teaching. It is the dissidence which is the problem.

ETA: More detailed description of problems with LCWR

A nun is a cloistered religious who takes the three vows of poverty, chastity , and obedience. Many women religious are sisters, not nuns, and have different traditions regarding their attire.

Some wear a habit and some don’t. Neither is right or wrong, and a layman certainly doesn’t have a say in the matter.

I don’t mean to confuse things, and technically I agree with everything you said, but I just want to point out that many religious sisters (technically speaking) are colloquially referred to as nuns. Like Sr. Simone Campbell, who refers to herself as The Nun on the Bus. I’m just pointing it out because people often say “What?? Sr. [Name] wasn’t a nun? But everyone including herself called her one!?!” In my understanding, everyone including Sr. [Name] weren’t wrong, they were just using a colloquialism.

Card Kasper has undercut Card Muller’s statement:


I get so confused - is Cardinal Kasper a close ally of Pope Francis? Yikes!!! :eek:

In my opinion, the prevalent mindset (i.e., progressive dissent) of the LCWR has done so much damage to the Church - it’s just poison. They’ve basically killed off nuns in the USA and for what? Why?

It says in this article that the big, continuing “crackdown” is that LCWR officers were “reprimanded” because the group is set to honor in August Fordham professor and theologian Elizabeth Johnson.
Johnson had been criticized by US bishops who say her book, "Quest for the Living God, has “doctrinal errors”.

So…what errors does this book have?

Cardinal Kasper says he holds Johnson in high esteem and says the CDF sometimes “sees some things a little bit narrower.”

He says criticism of Johnson “is not a tragedy and we will overcome,” and he compares her to St. Thomas Aquinas, who was also condemned by bishops.

“So she is in good company!” Kasper said of Johnson.


The CDF is essentially the last word on doctrinal issues, both regarding the 2007 book and the recent statement by Cardinal Muller, its prefect.

But regarding the book:


I don’t think it is good to listen to much of what he has to say.

I know Pope Emeritus Benedict criticized some of his ideas, and that his recent statements about divorce/remarriage/Communion drew a lot of criticism from other Cardinals. But he is a Prince of the Church, so I’m not comfortable with simply warning people away from him. I alternatively suggest people just read up on the critiques of his ideas, so they understand him in better context. :slight_smile:

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