By far, the biggest Vatican story at the moment in the American media market is an announced overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella group for superiors of the roughly 400 women's orders in the States. The move has been presented by the Vatican as a "reform" but styled as a "crackdown" in most press coverage.
As is by now well known, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's powerful doctrinal watchdog agency, has faulted LCWR for silence on issues such as abortion and euthanasia, a climate of "corporate dissent" on matters such as homosexuality and women's ordination, and the inroads of "radical feminism." The congregation appointed Archbishop James Peter Sartain of Seattle as its delegate to oversee reform, with power to do things like reviewing documents before publication and signing off on speakers for LCWR meetings.
Chittister, of course, is a Benedictine and probably America's most prominent feminist sister. Weigel, a biographer of John Paul II, is a champion of orthodoxy. Politically speaking, they're usually matter and antimatter, yet on the question of how LCWR ought to respond to its present travails, they're on the same page.
Chittister made her comments in NCR's day-one story on the Vatican announcement. In effect, she said LCWR ought to disband canonically and then regroup outside the official structures of the church. Doing so, she said, might be the only way to avoid "giving your charism away" and "demeaning the ability of women to make distinctions."
In an April 23 essay for National Review, Weigel wrote that Chittister's suggestion "had the virtue of honesty" and "drew the curtain on a long-running charade" -- by which he meant that in his opinion, LCWR is outside "the boundaries of Catholic orthodoxy and orthopraxis," so dissolving its official status would be recognizing reality.
Do Orthodox monks and nuns have monastic associations or organizations, similar to the LCWR in the Catholic Church?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 08:29:30 AM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.