[quote="JReducation, post:12, topic:273830"]
There are two points here.
There is a distinction between a religious community of Pontifical Right and the organization that it runs. If the organization belongs to the community, then the bishops are bound by Canon Law to protect it and the laity is bound to finance the apostolic activities of the organization.
However, if the organization belongs to a diocese or the conference of bishops, those running it are employees and must run it according to the policies and goals of the employer.
The Council of Trent decreed that Religious of Pontifical Right were not to be tampered with by either the bishops or the laity. The exemption is actually given to the individual religious, not to the community. Every religious who belongs to such a community is exempt from intervention from bishops and laity.
However, the Council of Trent also established that the pope would not interfere in the internal affairs of exempt religious and would allow the major superiors to deal with those issues. The pope remains the highest ranking superior of every institute of Pontifical Right, but he does not involve himself in their affairs, except to ratify elections and promulgate their constitutions. Every sister that you see in a business suit has the seal of approval of the pope. Several popes have made it clear that they are not interested in resolving the problems of exempt religious, unless they go up the chain of command. They apply the Principle of Subsidiarity.
The exemption only applies to the way that the religious live, work, dress, pray, form their people, where they live, the ministry they do and to the running of their houses and institutions. It does not apply to work that they do for someone else, such as a diocese.
On the other hand, the Conference of Bishops and the dioceses cannot ask exempt religious to do anything that is contrary to the rules and constitutions of their community. When these religious are hired to take over these posts, there is an understanding of what the religious is allowed to do and what he or she is not allowed to do. The community cannot impose its will on the employer and the employer cannot impose its will on the community.
One has to be very careful with this type of thing. When dealing with an exempt religious there are lines that neither the laity nor the bishops can cross without violating the Canons of Trent, which are still in effect. No one, except the major superior can call an exempt religious to task. If I do so or you do so, we are violating a regulation set up by Trent that has not been changed in 500 years. The Code of Canon Law still recognizes the existence of exempt religious.
One can safely communicate a concern and make suggestions. A Catholic cannot violate the law in order to protect another law. By that, I mean that you can't call an exempt religious to task. Communicating a concern and making suggestions is a canonical right. Calling a religious to task is a right reserved only to a select few. Pontifical Right means that the Pontiff himself is your protector and advocate. One has to be clear in expressing one's concerns, but remain within the boundaries allowed by the Church.
There are many people, including religious who have said to Sister Carol, "Try this" or "Have you thought about that?" or "This concerns me, because . . . " Notice, no one is calling her to task. Besides, unless you're in the board room, you really don't know what Sister said or is thinking. You only know the little that you pick up here and there.
Br. JR, OSF :)
I appreciate the response Brother as always. However, I don't believe it is "calling someone to task" to request that they consider Church teaching in the formulation of policies for organizations that they are involved with, and in this case manage. I also don't believe it is "calling someone to task" to request that they consider the impact on the faithful and the Church at large and the potential scandal which exists if thing are handled improperly.
I agree that it needs to be handled charitably, but I still believe it needs to happen. You are right of course that there is no way for me or anyone else to know what is in Sr. Carol's heart. However, what is painfully easy to see are the fruits of her actions. Furthermore, if anyone who has the authority has stepped in, it has apparently been done in a non-public fashion. Unfortunately however, the scandal is one of a public nature.
Every time something like this happens, more of the laity who are unsure about where the Church stands are confused, and the ones who are sure and trying to live their lives properly are disillusioned. This has been going on for way too long, and it is time for it to stop. Past time.