Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Catholic hierarchy stands up to distortions over LCWR

Why let facts get in the way of distortions?

Objective reporting is hard to come by these days as idealogues engage subjective journalism and withholding of facts in a way that radically skews a story. Others, like the LCWR, have "helped" journalists to go in the wrong direction. A reading of actual documents reveals the distortions.  It has not gone unnoticed by some bishops. In fact, some of the distortions are as comical as watching a three-year old explain that his hand wasn't really in the cookie jar against Mom's will, he was just getting one for Dad.

Phil Lawler, in his commentary, "Bishop Blair pounds the facts; LCWR pounds the table," provides some background, and links, to bring you up to speed.  In his article, he also discusses the Vatican statement released yesterday on the meeting between the LCWR and CDF officials.  I'll start you off with the beginning of his commentary and you can click the link above to read the rest.

You know the old lawyer’s advice to a new practitioner? “If the law is on your side, pound the law. If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, pound the table.”

Liberal Catholics have been pounding the table recently in their defense of radical women religious. Today the Vatican pounded the law. Bishop Leonard Blair pounded the facts.

Two separate cases have set the liberal media to howling about a supposed Vatican crackdown on defenseless American nuns. First the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) ordered a reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), citing “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life.” Then the CDF issued a warning that a book by Sister Margaret Farley contains arguments that are “in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality.”
Do click that article link to read Phil's piece.  He captures it very well.
In the meanwhile, John L. Allen reports on CDF chief, Cardinal Levada's reaction to some things in the LCWR sphere.  It's at the National catholic Distorter, but it's written by John Allen, who is a reasonably objective reporter who happens to work at the dissident rag.  Here's a snippet (emphasis mine in bold; my comments in red):

In his NCR interview, Levada said he believes the breach between Rome and the LCWR can be repaired.

"I believe it can work," he said. "That's my hope and prayer." [It's really dependent on the LCWR.  If the LCWR is going to wait until the Church goes against her constant teachings, and against Sacred Scripture, they'll have to wait until Hell freezes over]

At the same time, Levada described the risk of a "dialogue of the deaf," saying the Vatican has been in talks with LCWR for four years, but along the way the group has made choices that, in Levada's eyes, signal it's not taking their concerns to heart. [Great way to put it because they don't hear the Church. Dialogue for dissenters means they want the Church to listen to them and they have no interest in aligning their understanding and views with the mind of the Church]

Specifically, Levada cited publication of an interview with Fr. Charles Curran, a moral theologian censured by the Vatican in the 1980s for his views on sexual morality, in a recent issue of the group's Occasional Papers as well as decisions to invite Barbara Marx Hubbard, often described as a "New Age leader," to address the upcoming August assembly meeting and to bestow an award on Immaculate Heart Sr. Sandra Schneiders, another theologian sometimes critical of Vatican policy.

Levada acknowledged he had given LCWR the go-ahead to proceed with its August assembly, but said he wasn't aware at the time of the choice of speakers or honorees, and that "I wish they hadn't made these choices." [They were given some rope!]

"Too many people crossing the LCWR screen, who are supposedly representing the Catholic church, aren't representing the church with any reasonable sense of product identity," Levada said. [Well, "product identity" is a business term - something I don't care for when discussing the faith, but remember that he is addressing an organization that uses "Systems Thinking" and "Mental Models" to arrive at their strange teachings, rather than Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium.]

Levada said while church officials cannot force LCWR to change course, if things come to an impasse, they can withdraw official recognition.

"What we can do, and what we'd have to do, is to say to them, 'We will substitute a functioning group for yours,' " he said.

He also addresses the possibility of the LCWR withdrawing itself:

"We would like to see an effective and strong LCWR," he said.

Levada also acknowledged that the Vatican cannot block the LCWR on its own from withdrawing from the official orbit and re-incorporating under civil law, but said that should the group make that choice, "the Holy See isn't going to give patronage to it."

In the short term, Levada said he would take as evidence that things are moving in the right direction if LCWR enters into "a sincere, cordial and open dialogue" with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, tapped by the Vatican to oversee the reform envisioned in the doctrinal assessment.
To date, Levada said, that hasn't happened. [They're too busy listening to themselves]

On other points, Levada denied that the move against LCWR was motivated by a desire to assert control over property and other assets of women's orders in America and rejected suggestions that the aim of the overhaul is to bring LCWR under the permanent control of the American bishops. [ROFL!!!!]

Rather than "conspiracy theories," Levada said, the focus should be on the substantive issues in the Vatican critique. [Oh, this was precious.  I'll bet they aren't used to be called out like that!]

"The church is a broad umbrella, and it doesn't quickly exclude people, even people who disagree on one point or the other," he said. "But ultimately, this is about a group that represents the church doing so in a way that is accountable to the teaching and tradition of the church."

Perhaps the LCWR could use some hearing aids to help them in their dialogue. 

Go read John L. Allen's entire piece: Vatican official warns of 'dialogue of the deaf' with LCWR

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