[Post updated with links at the bottom, and may add more as they become available. Post title was also changed after reading that this action is not originating from the visitation, but to the doctrinal assessment which was also announced around the time of the visitation. Update 2: I have a new post out which is more extensive - here].
No surprises here for me, other than the fact that the news was released today that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has ordered a "renewal" for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the wake of the 2009 announcement that it was being investigated (See also, an excellent overview of the visitation of religious orders for women by Ann Carey at Catholic Culture).
While it is tempting to crack jokes about this, the most God-pleasing thing we can do is to pray for those involved. Things have really been messed up the last 50 years. While there were people who took a lead in doing the messing, there are others who got pulled along, thinking they were doing the right things. In your compassion, pray!
I once heard an interesting story from a religious sister who attended an annual diocesan meeting of superiors. Sister was from an order that is part of the newer, more traditional, Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR). She had excellent formation in the fundamentals of religious life. At the meeting, the bishop gave a talk on some of those fundamentals. A sister sitting next to her, whose community was from the LCWR, expressed amazement and enthusiasm for what she learned that day. The sister from the more traditional order conveyed a sense of sorrow for the fact that this woman, who had been a religious for some years, had been cheated out of this formation.
With God, all things are possible. Please pray that the sisters will be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit. With the average age of sisters in the LCWR pretty much running in the senior range versus the CMSWR's younger average age, they need to open themselves to this renewal or they will simply cease to exist, as communities, at some point in the future (poke around those two sites and look at the contrast, especially with respect to age). It's obvious looking at where vocations are spiking that the Holy Spirit is driving the bus among many CMSWR communities. In the meanwhile, LCWR communities are aging, merging, and phasing out altogether, even though 85% of religious communities in the US are represented by them.
The effort will be led by Bishop Peter Sartain of Seattle.
Here is the full text of the press release. Follow the embedded links for the actual meat and potatoes (my notes in Red). I gotta tell you folks, if I could have a glass of wine right now, I would. My mind is having a hard time grasping the fact that, after 50 years, someone finally hit one of the nails on the head.
Vatican Names Archbishop Sartain To Lead Renewal Of LCWRSOURCE LINK: http://usccb.org/news/2012/12-062e.cfm
FURTHER READING (This list will be updated later with more links):
Not a surprise here, either... there be public rebellion in the
- Father Z "fisks" an article at the National Catholic Reporter (for those who don't know, the National Catholic Reporter was condemned in 1968 as heterodox by the responsible bishop (don't confuse this with the other NCR - the National Catholic Register, which is owned by EWTN, and very sound. The Reporter's commentaries and articles can often be out of harmony with Catholic teaching especially in the area of sexual morality. The exception there is John Allen whose articles are solid and well written).
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.