Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Never let facts get in the way of distorting news on LCWR assessment

Sr. Jeanne Grammick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry
which was disapproved by the USCCB

Bill Donohue has a point (emphasis mine in bold) 
Critics of Vatican efforts to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) have their talking points down so well that everyone now just assumes that the reform initiative was triggered by concerns over these nuns pushing for ObamaCare. All of them are wrong, and it is not a matter of opinion.  
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) legislation wasn’t introduced in the House until September 17, 2009. The decision to undertake a doctrinal assessment of the LCWR was announced on April 8, 2008, while George W. Bush was president. In other words, the narrative about “payback” is simply faulty: the timeline undercuts the critics’ argument.

Why let a little fact like that get in the way of objectivity?  In the latest distortion at the dissenting National Catholic Reporter, we get this (emphasis mine in bold; comments in red):

One sister who works as advocate for Catholic issues in Washington said she thought the Vatican's document "certainly" was influenced by members of the U.S. bishops' conference. [As we learn above, it was called for in 2008 by the U.S. bishops, so yeah - I think they had some concerns]
"Clearly, the U.S. bishops are involved in this," said Sr. Simone Campbell, a member of the Sisters of Social Service and executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic political lobbying group. "Clearly church politics, as well as I think some secular politics, were playing into this." [Moral issues, and matters of justice, may also happen to be political issues, and often are; but, that shouldn't cause the Church, through the bishops to not guide consciences to act in harmony with Church teaching.]
In what some see as a reference to LCWR's support of NETWORK initiatives to advance U.S. health care reform, the Vatican congregation's document announcing the LCWR order said "while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church's social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States." 
Campbell said she thinks there is a culture clash between the sisters and members of the episcopate who don't understand the nature of U.S. political discourse [No. It is some Religious who dismiss Church teaching in forming their consciences], referring to LCWR's support of health care reform and whether it played into the Vatican's order. 
"The irony is that we who exercise a democratic right, which Catholic social teaching makes very clear we're supposed to do [only in harmony with Church teaching], would be questioned by a canonical organization," Campbell said. "Does that mean all political, democratic activity is to be limited by bishops?" [No. But the Church teaches that the bishops are the teachers of the faith, when in union with the Pope.  The bishops aren't making up their own rules they are merely applying God's]

We must all act on our consciences, but we must also form our consciences according to the teachings of the Church, which are in harmony with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium.

As I showed  yesterday, the LCWR does not speak for all Religious under it's umbrella.

Mother Assumpta Long, O.P. of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor (boy, they have a real vocation "problem"has an excellent article in the National Catholic Register about the LCWR Doctrinal Assessment.

And, Father Z has an interesting post:  Tweeting for the Magisterium of Nuns in which he examines Fr. James Martin's project to support the LCWR.

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