Posts Tagged LCWR

Notes for Sunday’s sermon (on clericalism) / National Catholic Reporter

 … A few weeks ago, approximately 800 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious gathered in Nashville, Tenn. Against a backdrop of Vatican criticism of their organization and of the sister who would receive LCWR’s annual award, the sisters listened as a Vatican representative listed eight points for their reflection.

“A letter from the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life — the acronym they use is CICLSAL — challenged the sisters, asking: 1) about their return to the sources of Christian life; 2) had they adapted in an evangelical way to the changed conditions of the times; 3) if their supreme rule is to follow Christ in the Gospel; 4) do they preserve their founding charisms; 5) do they “think with the church”; 6) are their members made aware of the needs of the church so they may live in communion with others; 7) is each member loved personally; and, 8) whether obedience and authority are dimensions of the life of true fraternity amongst them or instruments of power and of enslavement, perhaps disguised by an unhealthy spirituality?

“My friends, can we not surround clericalism with this octagon of statements? Can we not consider the specter of an unfeeling church bureaucracy that ignores real situations? Can we not reflect on the ways some clerics personally and institutionally treat others?”

By Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column

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Sister Elizabeth Johnson: ‘The waste of time on this investigation is unconscionable’ / Religion News Service

‘When the moral authority of the hierarchy is hemorrhaging due to financial scandals and many bishops who … cover up sexual abuse of children, a cover up that continues in some quarters to this day, and thousands are drifting away from the church … the waste of time on this investigation is unconscionable,’ (Sister Elizabeth) Johnson said (to LCWR 2014 National Assembly).”

By Heidi Hall, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

“Let a female speculate”: Full text of Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s LCWR talk, By David Gibson, Religion News Service

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Johnson to LCWR: Sisters ahead of hierarchy in living Vatican II renewal / National Catholic Reporter

Sister Elizabeth Johnson, “… the tensions are ecclesiastical because women religious have undergone the renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council and the hierarchy has not.”

Johnson to LCWR: Sisters ahead of hierarchy in Living Vatican II renewal

The Vatican and women religious are caught up in a tension with historical, sociological and ecclesiastical roots, but a solution could be found, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson said …

“Johnson was honored Friday (Aug. 15) with the Outstanding Leadership Award by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest group of women religious leaders in the nation, representing about 80 percent of the 51,600 sisters in the United States …

“Johnson is widely admired by LCWR members, and she urged them to hang on despite an ongoing investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

“‘Certainly, the LCWR and the sisters they lead are far from perfect, but they have got the smell of the sheep on them,’ she said to heavy applause. ‘Post-Vatican II renewal has not taken place at the [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith].’”

By Dan Stockman, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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LCWR speakers: Failure to Listen leads to judgment, cynicism, fear / National Catholic Reporter

The largest leadership organization for U.S. women religious began its first full day of its annual assembly Wednesday (Aug. 13) by focusing on one of the criticisms leveled against it: the contemplative, collaborative process for making decisions … The process is in stark contrast to the hierarchical decision-making process used by the Catholic church.”

By Dan Stockman, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Stakes are high as LCWR heads into annual assembly / National Catholic Reporter

As the largest leadership organization for U.S. women religious prepares to gather for four days in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 12-16, the group appears to stand on a precipice.

“But what lies on either side or what path the membership will choose to follow, no one can say.

“The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has been under the shadow of a Vatican-ordered doctrinal assessment since 2009. Following the investigation in 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered it to reform its statutes and appointed a bishop to oversee changes.

“Now, the situation is starker: In April, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the congregation, ordered that after this assembly, speakers at the group’s events must be approved by Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who heads the five-year reform agenda for LCWR.

“But will LCWR members choose to follow Müller’s edict that Sartain have approval power over speakers at major events? Or will the group decide to stick to its contention that the sanctions are ‘disproportionate to the concerns raised and compromised the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission'”?

By Dan Stockman, Dawn Cherie Araujo, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Cry out, sisters; cry out / National Catholic Reporter

Next week, Aug. 12-15, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents more than 50,000 U.S. women religious, will meet for their 2014 National Assembly. LCWR has been under Vatican mandate to change for two years. Here is Sister Joan Chittister and Sister Mary Lou Kownacki’s take on the nuns’ situation.

Cry out, sisters; cry out

Next week, for instance, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will face decisions that will move the question of the agency of women in a man’s church either forward or back. Strange as it may seem in the 21st century, the issue is whether or not women are capable of hearing diverse speakers and still remain faithful Catholics. The issue is whether or not women religious may discuss various points of view on major issues and still remain faithful Catholics. The issue is whether or not women religious can manage their own organizations and still be faithful Catholics. The Vatican’s answer to those questions is no. For the last 45 years, however, LCWR’s answer to those same questions has been a clear and persistent yes.”

By Joan Chittister, Mary Lou Kownacki, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Support the sisters by offering prayers for an appropriate resolution to this situation. You can click here to access the Nun Justice Project’s prayer resources. You will also find there an open letter to Pope Francis, asking him to intervene and “to remove the unjust mandates imposed on LCWR over two years ago.” You can download the letter and mail it to the Pope.

Voice of the Faithful’s support for our sisters is unflagging.

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Conflict with Vatican shadows upcoming LCWR assembly / National Catholic Reporter

U.S. women religious leaders face an uncertain future as they gather Aug. 12-16 in Nashville, Tenn., for their annual assembly. More than 800 elected congregational leaders will discuss how they plan to react to continued charges of infidelity leveled by the church’s top enforcer of orthodoxy, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as to the congregation’s plans to take over the organization after the assembly …

“The issues are multilayered, involving disputes over the role of religious life, the relationship between religious and bishops, questions of obedience, and differing visions of church priorities and mission.

“Beneath these is one more: the role of women in a church that maintains a gender-determined authority system. The conflict between LCWR and the doctrinal congregation has become the most visible manifestation of this highly charged issue.”

By Thomas C. Fox, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Pope Reportedly Receives Letter Criticizing Treatment of LCWR / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has received a letter from a number of prominent U.S. theologians and nonprofit Catholic groups criticizing the Vatican’s treatment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), according to a group that organized signing of the letter.

“The effort, announced Monday (June 23) by the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, may represent the first direct appeal known to be received by the pontiff regarding LCWR, a group that represents some 45,000 U.S. Catholic sisters and has been placed under a sort of receivership by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

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

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Priests Criticize Head of Doctrinal Congregation for Rebuke of LCWR / National Catholic Reporter

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests in a letter to Pope Francis criticized the head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for his recent comments chastising the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

“The Seattle-based association, which claims 1,000 U.S. priests as members, focused its letter to the pope on comments made by the congregation’s prefect, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, in an April 30 welcoming address to LCWR leadership.”

By Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The U.S. Sisters & the Holy See / Commonweal

Why hasn’t Pope Francis stepped in to get the Vatican off the nuns’ backs? After all, he has said he wants a more collegial church, in keeping with the vision of the Second Vatican Council. He urges priests and bishops to focus on encounter and outreach. He talks about leadership roles for women.

“And yet the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 2012 “assessment” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious stands, and the LCWR—composed of the heads of some 80 percent of U.S. sisters—is still under orders to reform its ways to the satisfaction of the CDF. If Francis really wants a less authoritarian, more mission-focused church, shouldn’t he have called this whole thing off already?”

By Mollie Wilson O’Reilly, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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