Friday, December 4, 2009

Pope Trying to Lead is met by some with the same old story! It's time to get out of the 70's and with the Church and be Obedient!

This is what we are up against today!

This is a news report from a Tuscon newspaper: It is very telling:

Tucson Region
Study of Catholic sisters focuses on religious role of women
By Patty Machelor
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.04.2009
A Vatican study of Roman Catholic sisters in the United States is discouraging and intrusive to some local women while others say it is a chance to emphasize good works and call more women to religious life.
The $1.1 million study — which some view as more of an investigation — includes hundreds of questions on the spiritual and personal lives of this country's 59,000 Catholic sisters. U.S. bishops are being asked to fund the three-year undertaking. Topics range from finances to attracting new members to nuns who dissent publicly from church teachings in such areas as civil disobedience and sexuality.
"We are closing schools and churches and they are asking the diocese to spend money on this type of thing?" said Sister Lil Mattingly, a Maryknoll Missioner who said she is speaking for herself and not as a Maryknoll. Mattingly said she has a hard time reconciling the wealth in Rome with funding problems here.
"We try very hard to review our own lives and how Jesus is calling us to live, but I'd like to call on Rome to work on that," she said.
The women being studied are those who work in "apostolic activities," as opposed to cloistered nuns who live in relative seclusion and lead lives of prayer and contemplation.
Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas said there are far more apostolic nuns than cloistered nuns in the U.S. today, which might be the reason for the Vatican's focus. He said the study is being done to "strengthen religious life, and to explore ways our religious communities in the United States can ... increase in numbers."
Sister Elizabeth Ohmann, a Franciscan nun who works for Humane Borders, believes there's a different reason the focus is on apostolic nuns.
"I think — and this is my opinion — that they are saying they believe it's the active communities that are really encouraging, say, women priests and are also upholding the rights of homosexuals and even homosexual marriage," she said.
Ohmann said some of her personal beliefs, and those of some of her fellow sisters, are not in keeping with what the church proclaims.
"Are we going contrary to Rome's teachings? I say, 'Yes, it is contrary to Rome's teachings.' But it is not contrary to my own conscience," she said.
Kicanas said the bishops are being invited to pay for the study, but it is not required. He doesn't know if they will help with the cost. The Diocese of Tucson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2004.
The nun study was announced last January and written portions were due last week. Next, there will be on-site visitations to some congregations.
A Vatican-approved Web site on the study (www.apostolic includes information from Cardinal Franc Rodé on the reasons for the study.
"Like other vocations in the church, religious life has passed through challenging times," Rodé wrote. "Apostolic works have also changed significantly because of societal changes. These and other areas need to be better understood and assessed in order to safeguard and promote consecrated life in the United States."
Kicanas said people often react to inquiries like this with fear.
"There's always a level of trepidation that comes with a review and yet it has always been extremely beneficial," he said. "I think our religious communities will have an opportunity, through this study, to identify the significant contributions they have made to the mission of the church."
Laurie Olson, a local member of Call to Action, a national Catholic reform movement, said other Vatican studies have been conducted following a crisis or scandal, which is not the case this time.
"One can only conclude it's an attack on the sisters, that they are trying to rein them in in some fashion," she said. "It seems to be the pattern of the hierarchy, to attack and further diminish the role of women in the church."
Sister Rina Cappellazzo, the Tucson Diocese's vicar for religious, said the study is a chance to look at all the contributions nuns are making, and how things can be done better in the future.
"It's another review of who we are, what we do and why we do it," she said. "After any kind of study, there is a new direction, a clarified vision and sometimes you take a new direction."
She hopes the study will help attract more women to religious life. There are 194 sisters in the Diocese of Tucson.
"One of the things that we're hoping is that women will look at this and say, 'This is what I want to join. I want to be a part of this,' " she said.
Contact reporter Patty Machelor at 235-0308 or


Templar said...

It's always a dead give away which way the journalist leans when you skim through the article and find a spokes person from "Call to Action".

The Apostolic Visitation is desperately needed for women religious. The notion that the good sisters are free to follow their conscience in lieu of Church teaching is a Protestant ideal.

This visitation to US Seminaries in the 80s called the Marshall Committee also started out with a massive questionnaire for gathering information. And many Seminaries played the same game some of the Orders of Woman Religious seem intent on playing. They will fail, as the heterodox Seminaries failed.

For a brief article on the Marshall Committee try this link:

Rome is not blind. Just as it could see the decline of the Seminaries in the 80s and took steps to fix it, so too it sees the decline in woman religious and is taking steps to correct it. Just don't expect the "Spanish Inquisition" (because no one ever does, LOL).

Dan said...

Interesting that it still amazes me that a nun would say something like: "....are we going contrary to Rome's teachings? I say, 'Yes, it is contrary to Rome's teachings.' But it is not contrary to my own conscience....."

I wonder what she would say if someone said: "Am I living in a way that is contrary to God's will? Yes, but it's NOT contrary to MY will..."

Jean said...

From my own experience, as the niece of a cloistered nun and a student at a Catholic High School; Cloistered Nuns gave of themselves, entirely to God and the needy. They were touched by the world around them (helping the impoverished and lost souls seeking God; receiving assistance from the local Jewish community that surrounded them), but they were not Worldly. IOWs; they didn't live in a vacuum. They chose to listen to God's Will, without unnecessary distraction.

Being fortunate enough to have the rare privilege of seeing inside their world; there was a beauty and simplicity that even a child could appreciate and respect.

Some reforms I embrace.

It was so nice to actually have the ability to visit and be visited by my Aunt and the Sisters. Their joy was palpable.

As a teenager seeing Nuns in the world as teachers (but oddly not as theology teachers - that was left to a young hippy-throwback; and probably contributed to my abysmal catechism), I saw nuns out of a traditional habit for the first time in my life. They only had to dress in the color of their order. I can tell you, we had no respect for the theology teacher. The Nuns out of their habit were respected less (seen as worldy "targets" of teenage ridicule), whereas the Nuns in habit were respected by everyone I knew; even if they were disliked.

As I look back, the cloistered nuns were never angry, always giving, and joyful. The reformers would have you think their lives were "wasted" and/or pitiful; sexism to the extreme.

I think reformers miss the point entirely, and their worldliness has led to temptations of worldly proportion.

Effective evil creeps in the back door, it doesn't bang down the front door and announce its intentions.

My soul cried out for something more; God in His greatness brought me to the Latin Mass at St. Joseph.

From experience, with conviction, I know; watered down faith is not the answer, it is the darkness creeping in the back door.