Posts Tagged Global Sisters Report

Women in church leadership: 40 years after Sr. Theresa Kane’s request to pope / Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

“… some sisters see signs of hope in the advancement of women religious and other laypeople to leadership roles. They are also heartened by the pastoral approach of Pope Francis, who shares their desire to dismantle clericalism and create more decision-making roles for laity.” (Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter)

On an October day four decades ago, Sr. Theresa Kane, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and head of the Sisters of Mercy in the U.S., stood before 5,000 other sisters gathered to greet Pope John Paul II at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. She spoke of the sisters’ ‘profound respect, esteem and affection’ for the pontiff.

‘Then Kane uttered these memorable words: ‘Our contemplation leads us to state that the church in its struggle to be faithful to its call for reverence and dignity for all persons must respond by providing the possibility of women as persons being included in all ministries of our church. I urge you, Your Holiness, to be open to and respond to the voices coming from the women of this country who are desirous of serving in and through the church as fully participating members.’

“Kane’s televised statement, a politely worded but direct challenge to the pontiff, drew intense media coverage. Just days before, in an address to an audience of vowed religious men and women in Philadelphia, John Paul had reaffirmed the ban on women priests, saying that an all-male priesthood ‘was the way that God had chosen to shepherd his flock.’

“But many American nuns and some Catholic laypeople saw a pressing need for the church to reform itself. For sisters, in the wave of enthusiasm that followed the Second Vatican Council, “there was a sense of hope that change was going to come, hope for reform. Change was coming, and the sisters could be a part of the change,” said Sandra Yocum, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Dayton, in an interview.”

By Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Women survivors speak of church authority structure facilitating their abuse / National Catholic Reporter

The three harrowing accounts were part of a Nov. 27 testimony-sharing and panel discussion event in Rome, held less than a mile east of the Vatican and meant to raise up women’s voices in the revived discussion of clergy sexual abuse after a spate of revelations globally this year. (Global Sisters Report in National Catholic Reporter)

“Three women survivors of clergy sexual abuse shared deeply personal stories during a Nov. 27 storytelling event, each revealing layers of pain, sadness and hurt exacerbated by the realization that they were trapped within a male-dominated structure that ignored their stories and demanded silence.

“Peruvian Rocio Figueroa Alvear, once the head of the women’s branch of a burgeoning but now disgraced lay religious movement, recounted being forbidden to speak of her abuse by its male second-in-command, and threatened with publishing of false claims against her own conduct should she disobey.

“American Barbara Dorris, long known as a leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, spoke publicly for the first time about her rape by a priest as a 6-year-old girl, and how it continued for years afterward.

“Saying she did ‘everything in my power’ to hide her pain from her devout parents and family, Dorris only came forward as a parent when she recognized warning signs in the behavior of another priest on a playground with children.

“And German Doris Wagner tells of the calamitous fifth year in her mixed-gender religious order, when a male superior came into her room at night and raped her.

“‘Instantly, I knew … that if I spoke about this, the community would blame me and not him,’ she says. ‘And so I kept silent.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, Global Sisters Report, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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The ending should have been the beginning / Global Sisters Report – National Catholic Reporter

I learned somewhere that ‘All spirit starts at the top.’ The attribution may be apocryphal, perhaps, but in this case true, nevertheless.

“Tuesday, in fact, I saw the truth of that with my own eyes.

“Tuesday’s release of the final report on the apostolic visitation of American nuns launched in 2008 by Cardinal Franc Rodé, then prefect of the congregation for religious life, takes on a completely different tone than at its inception …

“Like the drop of a medieval guillotine ordered from above and subject to no review, the harsh imposition of the process was met by appropriate resistance from one end of the country to the other …

“Nevertheless, today, six years later, under Cardinal João Bráz de Aviz, this final report issued in response to that national evaluation has all but leached out the negative and punitive spirit that unloosed it. The spirit at the top has changed. The tone has changed. The degree of collaboration has changed …

“In fact, Tuesday’s report, with its recognition of the momentous effect of the American sisterhood on the development of the church in the United States, is precisely the document that should have opened the discussion rather than ended it.”

By Joan Chittister, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read this entire article.

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U.S. sisters’ apostolic visitation report to be released Dec. 16 / Global Sisters Report

The Vatican will be releasing the results of one of its controversial and contentious investigations of U.S. women religious at a press briefing in December, a priest who assists the Vatican’s press office has said.

“Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian who frequently helps the Vatican with English and French language press, said the Vatican will release a report on the investigation, known as an apostolic visitation, Dec. 16.

“The visitation, one of two separate investigations of U.S. women religious launched by different Vatican offices in recent years, sparked protest from both the women and lay people throughout the country who said it was based on unfair and unfounded judgments about the women’s lives.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Global Sisters Report, a Project of National Catholic Reporter

Renewing the Conversation between Faith and Science
By Ilia Delio, OSF, May 8, 2014

“In his recent conversation with leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), expressed a concern about the LCWR focusing attention on the concept of conscious evolution, a concept fundamental to the work of Barbara Marx Hubbard who addressed the LCWR assembly in 2012. Cardinal Müller said that ‘such an intense focus on new ideas such as conscious evolution has robbed religious of the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia (to think with the Church and embrace its teachings).’”

Jesus and Women: ‘You Are Set Free’
By Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, Apr. 22, 2014

“There is a powerful scene in the gospels that shows in a flash how life-giving the encounter between Jesus and women can be. As Luke tells the story: Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, and a woman came in who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight and began to praise God. (Lk 13:10-13)

According to its website, Global Sisters Report is “an independent, non-profit source of news and information about Catholic sisters and the critical issues facing the people they serve. Our (National Catholic Reporter) network of journalists report about their lives and works and sisters write commentary from their perspective.”

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