Vatican scrutiny puzzles some nuns; Skepticism, mistrust surround visitation

I worked with European Latin missionaries, and when I came home, my local church was preparing to receive a new archbishop. I met new people at the chancery, one a modern sister who finally admitted to me that they were indeed ‘chipping at the hierarchy’. This time frame was 1975. She later left the religious life and became a mayor of a small town in a rural area of the state.

I stayed at a retreat house with sisters from a local congregation, and they were highly educated with great social skills. They wanted to be more independent, have a job, and wear executive business clothes. In time, several of them left…have you heard what happened to the Immaculate Heart sisters in L A, and what the Carl Jung sensitivity training sessions did to their order? Sensitivity training sessions were the ‘in’ thing in the late 60’s and 70’s…a Jesuit shared with me his experience in Chicago with Saul Alinsky…it is all about breaking down your psychological and moral foundations, so you can be more you and provide authentic change to society to make it better. President Obama was a student of Saul’s.

The sisters who remained in the archdiocese then began demanding, in constant, weekly pressure that they were called to priestly ordination. Some got on vocation boards to decide which man could enter the seminary and those who couldn’t…one was asked by these sisters his stand on ordination. Everything was going OK, he thought. He replied it was OK with him, just let the Pope decide. And then the interview ended and that was the end of him…they were looking for those in the groove, open to change.

The pro women ordination sisters had a strong hold on the diocese. Finally, a priest friend of mine was appointed chancellor. The sisters had a meeting with the clergy, demanding priestly ordination, as well as the gradual ceasing of daily Mass. Strange…they don’t want to be spiritual mothers, but fathers, and yet also deny daily Heavenly Food to their children if they were priests.

After settling in office, the young chancellor had these sisters removed.

There are a number of women who inquired into women religious apostolic houses, but got a sense these places were not leading them to true religious life and the way to heaven. A number of women married, but carry heavy crosses, and pray most deeply for the church and clergy, their children and the world through Adoration, catechesis, serving the sick and dying and living a simple life. We pray ongoing for vocations.

Finally, I moved out of state and considered homeschooling. I met a woman who did it some time ago and we conversed. She told me years ago she was a New Ager. She went to a meeting in Seattle. The main spokesperson was a Catholic sister. She told the audience that the Catholics would be shocked at how many cult practices were being done in convents across the country.

Did you wonder why it has been said that if you want your children to keep their Catholic faith, to keep them out of Catholic schools? My previous one was excellent, with daily Mass. Mine went to several here, and the main focus was worldly success and compromise of the faith that embraces the cross, prays and fast.

I agree that it is not helpful to gossip or hold the sisters in contempt.

I have given 40 years of my life to the Church. I am taken aback by the things that are being said from the outside looking in. Have we forgotten Jesus’ command to love one another as he loved us! Please, it would be much more helpful if you got on your knees asking the Holy Spirit to be with both the communities and the Visitation teams. Every Contemplative community received a letter from the visitators asking us to pray for all those involved. That is what I am doing, not criticizing either group.

I am sorry if this offends anyone. Jesus’ command to love does not change because we are differently about an issue.
Sister Judith Ann

With all due respect to your vocation, those of us fighting the good fight in the world, have seen heterodox among the religious. Be it explaining to seven year olds about the host “representing the body and blood” of Christ, to seminars in “choice” on Catholic campuses, to being called to be holy “even more than being called to Christ”, many of our sisters have forgotten obedience. The lack humility demonstrated in publicly challenging Rome doesn’t do much for their image, either.

It’s not a matter of contempt or gossip to delight in a commission that may speed a rebuking of evil or lapses, and the reconciliation of belief and obedience to the orders.

I have religious in my family. Most are loyal servants, but there is at least one who took a sharp left turn into intelligentsia, and is for all intents, a secularist. She is of course, in complete opposition to the Vatican “poking around”. For me, it’s about 40 years too late…it should have been done when the renegade movement of the IHM started in LA.

Well, from what I’ve read in the Catholic World Report, the nuns in the LCWR want to transform the Church into something else. They absolutely do NOT want it to remain what it has always been, that is for sure! Not to worry, even without the visitation, they are all of a “certain age” and are not attracting new vocations, so eventually they will die out. Recently someone inquired about religious life of a nun I know and the sister tried to get the young woman to consider her own order. The reply was no! you do not wear habits, do not live in community and do not pray together. She is looking for a traditional order, and that is where practically all of the young people are going these days. There is a traditional order near me which has so many vocations, they had to buy more property to accomodate everybody! Yes!

There were a number of areas of dissension, primarily the Mass, liberation theology, and social justice devoid of the action of our inherent dependency on the grace of Christ.

Note as well, those men and women in religious habits who violated their vocations and abused grade school children in our country and the outside. Also, there is the issue of certain cultures of priests who are abusive and denigrating towards good women religious. I have heard of nuns compelled to teach very large numbers of children who subsequently had nervous breakdowns, or the plight of those in some areas of Africa.

Many of us who had our children in parochial school were being contradicted behind our backs. One fifth grader from parochial school was already into the challenging of authority from his remarks about God to his pastor.

My former parish from the 1980’s did not push the kids into all sorts of frantic activities, where they do not have peace and quiet to focus on Christ’s presence within them. The pastor provided daily Mass, and most freely chose to attend. He took the kids to confession every two months. He used orthodox catechisms. But he said, inspite of all that they did, many former students left their faith. There were those who went on to Catholic high school, and others to public. And those in public high school who attended Mass, would then leave when they reached university age.

All of us need to know where danger is to protect our children. We do not want to repeat the past. We are very grateful to all the sisters and nuns who have been faithful to their vows and practice of religious life, as well as to the vast majority of excellent Catholic priests. Catholics are a minority in this country to this day, it is a reality we forget to teach our children. My sister left the faith, and now she is back, reading Pope Benedict and the Mass. She said those of mine who left will come back. We must hope the same for all our children and loved ones, praying in confidence, because God Himself knows our struggles and how hard it still is.

We are surrounded by so much opposition and so much daily actions forced on us, we have to really work hard just to pray now ourselves. So I think the best any one can do, irregardless of their state, is to pray, depend on the Word of God and the Eucharist, and pray the rosary and fast. And I read a post somewhere today on Catholic Answers that the Church will never appear triumphant to the world…

One additional comment in reference to implying such disclosures are a form of gossip. All the scandals coming out from the last 20 years or so have been a terrible ordeal for all Catholics.

The sources I shared in my previous posts came from priests who actually witnessed such events of the certain clique of sisters wanting to stop daily Mass as well as have priestly ordination.

When it comes to abuse, whether it pertains to God or to human beings, the sacred and the dignity of human life is to be protected.

I know of an individual whose MO was to accuse people of gossiping about her when she was very abusive, fraudulent, or active in her own cult actions. The priesthood has been pretty much purged, and certain women religious circles need to be purged as well in purifying our chuch.

I wish you peace

In all you do

Sister Ann (Sister Judith?)–

I’m very sorry that this visitation has come. I’m sure that you’re one of the good ones, and that will make this whole process difficult for you. Surely, we need to root out the heterodox elements, but sometimes we forget to think of the innocent people whose lives are turned upside down in the process. I hope and pray that this process goes well for you, and I encourage everyone reading this to remember that even the heterodox are God’s creation, and deserving of all the respect and dignity that we afford the orthodox believers like I’m sure Sr. Judith Ann is.

I wish Sister Judith Ann peace and love.

In my thoughts, which while are not prayers are thoughts that I bind with my suffering and offer them in hope that there is a God that will bind these sufferings with a greater good as I am told that he does.

While I do not believe, I can certainly understand being thrust into a situation while not in control.Helpless I guess. If I could offer any thoughts, it would be to stay hopeful.

Peace to you all

The prior diocese I mentioned that had a circle of radical sisters controlling critical aspects of priestly life and catechesis of our young, in 1998 there were over 30 solid men studying for the priesthood out of that local church, many now becoming ordained.

In spite of the national crisis, many non-Hispanics were nevertheless converting to North American Catholic church.

It is Christ Himself Who sustains the church, and we will soon see an influx of vocations for women religious as well. As was written in the Liturgy of the Word this past weekend at Mass, Our Lord will bring us shepherds who will guard and protect His flocks.

How important it is to remove the wolves from our midst. Our local bishop has Ember Days. The injury to the faith and souls of those who have been abused in the church, either by priests, religious or lay, is so profound and permeating, affecting not only the victims but their entire families. God is truly the center of our life, the center of our identity,our well being, our source of overcoming difficulties and going forward. If the relationship in God was destroyed or fragmented, the person himself is destroyed, crippled throughout life. Only ongoing prayer and fasting by the church can heal their wounds. Ember Days is one of the Church’s means to work in healing abuse victims.

There is no smoke without fire…You are either loyal to the magesterium or you are not


That must explain why there can be times no smoke is seen during papal elections.:stuck_out_tongue:

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