Add to this headline: Reform of the Reform of Seminary life, priestly life and religious life of men and women's religious orders
The mantra of the LCWR and those who support the radical group of sisters who man this organization is that the Vatican is misogynist and hates women's rights in the Church and wants to control women.
In fact that is a lie. In the 1980's in this country, all the American seminaries were investigated with conclusions and recommendations made for their renewal. It occurred again in the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal.
Men's religious orders were investigated as well after the sex abuse scandal.
Women's orders were investigated in the 1980's and again most recently. Most recently, though, the radical politics of the LCWR, both secular and religious, have been dramatically highlighted by the investigation and called for what they are. In other words, the LCWR is having its "Come to Jesus" experience and they may well disengage from the hierarchy as a Vatican approved organization and go it alone--which is what they have been doing, but now they may be forced to admit it publicly and to be honest about it.
Having another officially recognized organization for religious orders may well be in the best interests of all involved.
But a scathing report on the Irish Seminary College in Rome was just released and as with the LCWR recommendations, it has released a firestorm of criticism. Keep in mind, this is the Vatican investigating a seminary in Rome for Irish seminarians and run by the Irish Church which is embroiled in its own sex abuse scandal which makes the one in the USA look rosy compared to theirs:
Apostolic visitation: Quotes from Cardinal Dolan's report:
“The trustees of the college – the four archbishops of Ireland, the actual owners – seem disengaged from college governance, with meetings, minutes, agenda, and direct supervision irregular.”
“Some of the graduate priests are less than positive examples of priestly life and are not attentive to even the minimum demands made upon them.”
“The dress of the students borders on the sloppy and excessively informal . . . ”
“The apostolic visitor noted, and heard from students, an ‘anti- ecclesial bias’ in theological formation.”
“The staff is critical about any emphasis on Rome, tradition, the magisterium, piety or assertive orthodoxy, while the students are enthusiastic about these features.”
“The college suffers from the reputation of being ‘gay friendly’, however unjust such a reputation might be.”
“The apostolic visitor is eager to underline that he did not find any evidence of rampant immorality or a homosexual subculture, and that the overwhelming majority of the seminarians are committed to a faithful, chaste lifestyle . . .
“Likewise, he is convinced that the staff in no way condones such conduct.”
My comments: The ones who are ultimately responsible for this debacle are four archbishops in Ireland and they are called on the carpet by this report. None of these archbishops are women by the way. They are though four of the highest ranking prelates in Ireland:
The trustees of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome: Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Dermot Clifford and Archbishop Michael Neary.
The Vatican visitation made the following recommendations:
The findings contained the following observations by the Holy See:
“For the further improvement of the seminaries, it has been proposed, wherever necessary:
a. to ensure that the formation provided is rooted in authentic priestly identity, offering a more systematic preparation for a life of priestly celibacy by maintaining a proper equilibrium between human, spiritual and ecclesial dimensions;
b. to reinforce structures of Episcopal governance over the seminaries;
c. to introduce more consistent admission criteria – this would involve the seminary, in consultation with the dioceses, examining and deciding admissibility of candidates;
d. to show greater concern for the intellectual formation of seminarians, ensuring that it is in full conformity with the church’s magisterium;
e. to include in the academic programme indepth formation on matters of child protection, with increased pastoral attention to victims of sexual abuse and their families;
f. to re-evaluate the pastoral programme, ensuring that it is sacramental, priestly and apostolic, and duly concerned with preparing candidates to celebrate the sacraments and to preaching, to ensure that the seminary buildings be exclusively for seminarians of the local church and those preparing them for the priesthood, to ensure a well-founded priestly identity.”