You may or may not know that Pope Francis has called for a special year long focus on Religious life for men and women. It will begin for the full year Advent 2015.
At the Nashville meeting of the LCWR, Vatican representative, Oblate Fr. Hank Lemoncelli, an undersecretary from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life presented the following, certainly mandated by His Holiness:
These are the questions and these are for all religious, men and women; but presented to the LCWR takes on special importance and when the good father did present the, the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) reported,"though the questions were not directed at LCWR specifically, given the criticism the group has received, they caused murmurs throughout the crowd when Lemoncelli read them." : (my comment" what a happy, delicious, inebriating name!)
- At what point are we ... to return to the source of every form of Christian life and to the founding charisms of our institutes?
- Are our institutes adapting in an evangelical way to changing conditions?
- Is following Christ, as taught by the Gospels, the fundamental norm?
- Are we faithfully observing the spirit and names of our founders and foundresses so as to preserve their charism?
- Is Sentire Cum Ecclesia, thinking with the Church, a strong feature of our institute? Are we seeking to realize the goals of the church in biblical, liturgical, dogmatic, pastoral, missionary and social fields?
- Are all members of our institute made aware of the condition of our times and the needs of the church in such a way as to awaken in them the commitment to living in community with others, animated by a spirit of faith and ardent apostolic zeal?
- Is each member of our community loved personally, taking into account their physical, spiritual, psychological and cultural conditions?
- Are obedience and authority dimensions of a life true fraternity amongst us, or do they remain instruments of power and enslavement, perhaps disguised by unhealthy spirituality?
Hm, I'm not sure how to take #8. Depending on how you read it, I can see it as either positive or negative.
"Certainly mandated by His Holiness"?
Railing against the Church.
These women are not going to be compliant and I doubt there will be any significant consequences.
Our Lord said that he is the vine and we are the branches - any of us cut off from him with wither and be cut off.
Are all these institutes represented by the LCWR growing or dying out?
Their fruits - have they made converts among all the people they've ministered to over the past 40 years? If the people they directly work with and for are not active Catholics in the pews on Sunday, are not obeying the way of life that comes to us through the Church's moral teaching....then what is their fruit?
I have at times been some of those things, but I believe in a God of mercy. I certainly hope that doesn't define me now! But you have my compliments on your cleverness.
Good luck with THAT, Holy Father...let us believe in and pray for a miracle.
All of that, Robert, and Anonymous is merely a coward hiding behind his anonymity.
Oh for god sake, what is the bombshell? The LCWR are a bunch of heretics and everybody know it, cut them loose and go on with things.
Why are they being treated with kid gloves while the Franciscans of the Immaculate are being crushed. Why!
9. Are you gaining new members (vocations)?
Feast of Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus(August 13)
Hippolytus was a strong defender of orthodoxy. He was not a formal heretic, but an overzealous disciplinarian. He was a rigorist, a intransigent man for whom even orthodox doctrine and practice were not purified enough. He is, nevertheless, the most important theologian and prolific religious writer before the age of Constantine. He remained in schism through the reigns of three popes. Banished to the Island of Sardinia (along with Pontian) he eventually reconciled wity the Church.
“Christ, like a skillful physician, understands the weakness of men. He loves to teach the ignorant - and the erring he turns again to his own true way. He is easily found by those who live by faith; and to those of pure eye and holy heart, who desire to knock at the door, he opens immediately."
I would love to hear what the relevant Vatican officials really hope to accomplish from all this. Surely they don't expect these women to change their theology so drastically during these final years of their lives. The time for Vatican interventions was thirty or forty years ago, when it could possibly have made some small difference in a few of the infected member congregations/societies.
The best thing for the Vatican to do now is just let the member groups die out, or change the status of any that survive into "lay associations".
We laity often err by approaching conflict as between hostile strangers rather than as parents with wayward children or pastors reaching out to lost sheep.
It's simply the case that pastors (and parents) have more responsibility for their flock (or children) than strangers would to generic "neighbors" the evangelical call notwithstanding.
In an emergency if I run for my life and by pass some stranger it need not be cowardice. But if I abandon my son or daughter then it would almost always be cowardice as a parent has a graver responsibility for their child.
So too with these sisters. Laity have suffered from their arrogance and usurpation for 40 years so can perhaps be forgiven for our tendency to callousness. But clergy....clergy 'ex officio' must go the extra mile. They must never shut the door (and thus spark a formal schism that may endure for centuries).
It's simultaneously a higher calling and a greater challenge.
Many of those women have suffered various forms of trauma at the hands of men in their youth 40 years ago, so that's another factor often overlooked. Others have suffered various emotional upheavals since 1965 as their 'wave of the future' choices have resulted in the terminal decline of their orders. One must resist the urge to kick a person when they're down so as to salvage those orders for the Church.
While your promotion of pastoral charity is admirable, it is hard to see how these women could go into a multi-generational schism. Schism requires at least one bishop, as well as biological offspring to carry on the schism into the future, or at least a constant stream of young converts to the movement. The LCWR lacks all the necessary elements for schism.
FWIW, in the picture I am able to count exactly one woman distinctly wearing a religious habit, out of all those in the room.
Yes, this is true, and you can only imagine the murmurs going through that room over that! So pre-Vatican II!
That Sister is a Daughter of Charity from the Province of the West. i imagine there would two or three more DCs there wearing a coiffe. The only other community wearing a habitanf veil is The Oblate Sisters of Providence, a community of Afican American woman founded by Mother Mary Lange
Although the 8 questions may have caused murmurs among the audience, they were not directed specifically at the LCWR, but have been proposed to every religious community in the Church as preparation for the coming Year of Consecrated Life.
Their leadership continues to spin the Vatican's concerns by insisting that they are against their good works. Their focus of their efforts is one thing, but the more critical part of the problem is their lack of common life, common prayer, and some semblance, at least for some of the members, of a common mission.
We must not forget, either, forget the suffering of those members of the LCWR communities who have suffered for decades from the decisions of their leadership and progressive disappearance of their members and ministries.
Yes, there is disingenuous,deflecting falsehoods being spouted by these post-Catholic sisters. The investigation isn't about them operating soup kitchens, helping the poor or even promoting the Church's social justice issues. It is about undermining the bishops in the areas of religious liberty, what the bishops are trying to accomplish with their concerns for Obama Care and these sisters in many cases being pro-choice, pro-women's ordination and open to redefining marriage. They also support post-Christian theology concerning Jesus Christ and in many cases have become new age in their spirituality.
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