The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”
The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”
The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters, many of whom belong to the Leadership Conference, signed a statement supporting it — support that provided crucial cover for the Obama administration in the battle over health care.
Love the Vatican's approach here. Facing dramatically declining numbers of nuns, priests, and plain ol' ordinary lay people, what's a poor, anachronistically hierarchical leadership to do?
Tell everybody that they're doin' it wrong. I mean hey it's been working for the last two thousand years!
In related good news, the nuns are almost certainly younger than Benedict, and will probably also outlive most of the bishops.
The overarching concern of the doctrinal Assessment is, therefore, to assist the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States in implementing an ecclesiology of communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the Church as the essential foundation for its important service to religious Communities and to all those in consecrated life.
The second KKK preached "One Hundred Percent Americanism" demanded the purification of politics, calling for strict morality and better enforcement of prohibition. Its official rhetoric focused on the threat of the Catholic Church, using anti-Catholicism and nativism. Its appeal was directed exclusively at white Protestants.
I think it's well past time for liberal american Catholics to leave the roman church behind.
Yeah what's it gonna take for another schism to break out over here? Between S.J. and nuns, it's gotta be brewing, right?
I feel like at some point we should stop defining the Catholic Church by what the Pope and a handful of Cardinals say and look at the actual makeup of the Church body-- 98% of Catholics use or have used birth control, so it seems safe to say that that RCC is not opposed to the use of contraceptives, just for example.
This shift makes them compete with more conservative, more fundamentalist Christian sects, an already highly competitive sector. Liberal Catholics will be pushed elsewhere. And we'll all be the poorer as the RCC is more in union with the religious right, as the stupid, divisive, useless parts of politically powerful religion overtake the socially redeeming parts.
If the RCC loses parishioners, there are lots more people out there who might take their places with the proper encouragement. If they lose the functionaries who put it into motion, the whole machine breaks down. Whether the carrot or the stick is a better tool for reasserting Papal authority is left as an exercise for the reader.
I wish I could congratulate you on the anniversary of your election and the unprecedented renewal of the Church your leadership has brought, but since you have not in fact led us to an unprecedented renewal congratulations are not in order. Instead, I write to you to chastise you for your callous and heavy handed treatment of women religious here in the United States, some of whom I count among my dearest friends.
By all means, Your Holiness, let us have an investigation. Not of religious sisterhoods in the United States, but of your complicity in the worldwide outrage for which the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is now best known whether you choose to acknowledge that fact or not.
Rather than celebrate, you should use this opportunity to come clean with Catholics and admit to the Church's role in covering up the abuse of children. Then you should step down, and encourage all members of the Curia aged 60 or over, i.e. everyone old enough to bear any iota of guilt in the cover up, to step down as well. With this act of contrition, perhaps when future generations remember you they will revere you for the sacrifice you made that lead the church to genuine renewal across the world.
Leave the Sisters out of it, Your Holiness. They are not the problem with the Church in America or in The Vatican. You are.
With Bitterness and Anger,
Campbell added that she wished she knew "what was in [the Vatican's] mind." But she surmised that what was happening is that the "leadership doesn't know how to deal with strong women and so their way is to try and shape us into whatever they think we should be."
Campbell said it was a "struggle of culture." And that it could also be that the Vatican is used to a monarchy and nuns in the United States are living in a democracy.
"When you don't work everyday with people who live at the margins of our society, it's so much easier to make easy statements about who's right and who's wrong," Campbell said. "Life is way more complicated in our society and it's probably way easier to be 8,000 miles away in Rome.
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