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Vatican hopes for “mutual understanding” with U.S. nuns


The Vatican said on Monday it hoped to reach a “mutual understanding” with a group of American nuns criticized by a recent Vatican report as feminist and politicized.

On Tuesday, nuns from the Leadership Conference of Women’s Religious (LCWR), whose 1,500 members represent some 80 percent of the more than 60,000 American Catholic nuns, will meet Vatican doctrinal officials to discuss their differences.

In April, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict headed for many years before his election in 2005, issued a blistering report on the LCWR.

The report was issued after a Vatican investigation determined the LCWR had “serious doctrinal problems” and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith”.

It criticized the LCWR for challenging bishops and for being “silent on the right to life”, saying it had failed to make the “Biblical view of family life and human sexuality” a central plank in its agenda.

Many nuns said they were hurt by the Vatican’s report, which they felt misunderstood their intentions and work for social justice.

“We hope that we can reach a mutual understanding of the reasons behind the Congregation’s position and have a constructive approach to the process that has started,” the Vatican’s chief spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters on Monday.

“Obviously there is a hope for a positive usefulness for all parties, for the church and the persons involved, and for the orders of nuns.” [more]





  1. Tony says:

    I for one do not want to go back to those days when racism was in vogue and all people were not granted the dignity they are today.

    • Jim says:

      So Tony, to what post does your comment respond? If it’s my “Father Knows Best” post, well — I most definitely would like to put society back to that time, and so would virtually everyone else. Certainly, the 40% of babies born out of wedlock would like that, as would the children of the 50% of marraiges that end in divorce. Until the father is recognized for his importance and leadership, we will continue to see the destruction of the family, which hurts not just boys and men, but also girls and women. If you love the women, Tony, you will want to restore order in the family — and that will only happen when father is allowed to be the captain of the ship.

    • Jim says:

      And, with regard to your equation of racism and fathers being in charge: that’s a ridiculous association. No one is advocating racism. With regard to dignity: no one is advocating the denigration of women. I am advocating that both men and women have their strengths and weakneesses recognized. God did not give women the personality to be leaders; He did not give men the personality to knit people together like women do effortlessly. If you have the carpenter doing the electrical work, and the electrician doing the carpentry, you’ve got problems.

  2. Janet says:

    I have long wondered about Nuns who said there were other issues other than abortion.
    There are some verses in the bible that make abortion the most important, in my view
    I knew you even before you were conceived Jeremiah 1:4-5
    I chose you when I planned creation Ephesians 1:11-12
    I knit you together in you mother’s womb Psalm 130:19
    For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
    That says it all. If God knew before conception He had a plan for that life. Who is able to take that away from God?

    • Jim says:

      On top of that, Janet, these nuns aren’t even always pro-life — I know that for an incontrovertible fact.

  3. Eileen Kovatch says:

    Let us hope (and pray) that there will be listening and and a sincere desire to reach a collabarative conclusion. Tony expresses my own dismay concerning the judgement of some bloggers.

    • Jim says:

      No collaboration, Eileen — that’s how women approach things. The Church is not a democracy — the nuns either need to collaborate with the Church, or they need to understand that they no longer are in communion with the Church, and they need to be honest about that and leave.

      • Carlos says:

        I’m sorry, my friend Jim, but I must correct you. Not all women approach things like this and some men do. Please, let’s not be like that. Men and women are different, yes; however, to castigate all women with one swath is uncalled for. Yes, the Church is not a democracy. In fact, it makes the military look like kindergarten. I also suspect that there is something in all of this that the Vatican knows that we don’t. Why did the investigation lead to a censure? Subsidiary states that things should be cared for at the lowest level. In order for the Vatican to have become involved means that it’s pretty severe… whatever “it” is. This is where DIAlogue comes into play. The Vatican has invited the sisters’ representatives to Rome. Again, since the vast majority of us do not have all the facts, let’s wait and see what comes of it. If the nuns say that there is a “misunderstanding”, well, now is the time for them to clarify it. If they have criticized their bishops, something which can get clergy into very hot water, then they – as religous – should be subject to the same rules.

        • Tony says:

          The men in the church want to women to sit down and shut up, they think they know best, you know “daddy knows best” this is how you are to dress, this is what your are to say and think, this is how you are to pray and how you may not pray.
          Bull dung!!!!!!!!!!!
          We are dealing with mature, well educated deeply spiritual women who can and should determine their own lives within the context of the Religious Community.

          • Carlos says:

            I have to disagree slightly with that. There are men of the clergy fold who rely very heavily on women and invite them to speak up. I’m thinking of DRE’s, youth ministers, book keepers, nuns who run hospitals. But you said something which is quite illuminating: “within the context of the Religious Community.” If the Religious Community is Catholic then it needs to adhere to the Catholic Church’s teachings which have been handed on to us for the past 2 millennia. Personally, I think that Catholic Church would not be anywhere near what it is without women. Just look at who is in a Church parish’s office. Many times the only male of the species is the priest. However, if the sisters want to continue being called Catholic, they must accept all of the teachings, not just some. Certainly, if the reports are true that some are teaching stuff that is in direct opposition of the teachings of the Church, then there needs to be a change in the sister’s/sisters’ teachings. We cannot pick and choose what we accept from the Magisterium.

          • Jim says:

            Tony — well, when “Father Knows Best” was on TV, and when fathers were acknowledged as the head of the family, you saw families stay together much more than they do today. So, let’s go back to that time, when men were correctly recognized as the leaders of their family.

        • Jim says:

          Carlos — there was no castigation in my comment, unless you consider collaboration to be a negative. My only point is that women are not prepared for leadership roles, because they want to dialogue and reach consensus — which has its place, but not here. The Church has been over-feminized, and the men are afraid to confront these women — but I am not. Men don’t know how to handle these women, but someone has to have the courage to tell them they are trying to usurp male headship.

        • Jim says:

          Carlos — please see my comment below in response to this post — I accidently clicked the wrong “reply” button in responding. One other comment, though: when these women, and men like Tony, talk about dialogue, they do not mean it in the way you assume. By dialogue, they mean they want the Vatican to listen to why they think women should be ordained, homosexual sex should be allowed, and why masturbation is not a sin. All of these things are claimed by heretic Farley. So, again, dialogue is code for democracy, and these women (and Tony) need to understand that there can be no dialogue about dogman.

        • Jim says:

          Carlos — I clicked on the wrong “reply” button — so two comments I made to this post can be found below.

    • Jim says:

      Also, Eileen, with regard to being judgmental: you should read Luke 17:3 and Ezekiel 33:7-9 — the entire Bible is available at usccb.org, so you easily can reserach those verses. Please do not respond with some blather unless you check out those verses first.

  4. Tony says:

    Please God these meetings will be held in a collaborative manner which will lead to credibility on both sides.
    I am pleased to see that neither side is suggesting the heavy hand of excommunication nor are they using the term heritic, as some on this website use.

  5. Marion says:

    I believe I said something similar in the past. Dialogue and transparancy on BOTH sides will lead to resolution.

    • Jim says:

      Marion — only if the nuns LISTEN to the Vatican. They are equal in dignity to the bishops, but they were not assigned a teaching role by our Creator.


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