LCWR Responds

Predictable. Here’s the text of a statement that was posted this morning:

[Washington, DC] The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held a special meeting in Washington, DC from May 29-31 to review, and plan a response to, the report issued to LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The board members raised concerns about both the content of the doctrinal assessment and the process by which it was prepared.  Board members concluded that the assessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency. Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their ability to fulfill their mission. The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization.

The board determined that the conference will take the following steps:

  • On June 12 the LCWR president and executive director will return to Rome to meet with CDF prefect Cardinal William Levada and the apostolic delegate Archbishop Peter Sartain to raise and discuss the board’s concerns.
  • Following the discussions in Rome, the conference will gather its members both in regional meetings and in its August assembly to determine its response to the CDF report.

The board recognizes this matter has deeply touched Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world as evidenced by the thousands of messages of support as well as the dozens of prayer vigils held in numerous parts of the country. It believes that the matters of faith and justice that capture the hearts of Catholic sisters are clearly shared by many people around the world. As the church and society face tumultuous times, the board believes it is imperative that these matters be addressed by the entire church community in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and integrity.

When you’re innocent, you argue the facts. When you’re guilty, you blame the process.

There is no discussion. Talk time is over. You had decades of discussion. The result? This.

What the good sisters fail to realize is that they have exceeded their mandate, which was leadership formation and networking, and injected themselves into politics to the detriment of the church. If their mission is what it was supposed to be (supporting the leaders of women’s religious group), then how on earth could the very mild oversight outlined in the report affect their ability to do their work? If, however, their true “mission” is reshaping the church and advocating for every left-wing political cause and trendy theological nonsense that comes down the pike, then, yes, I guess I could see where oversight might be a problem.

And never forget that American nuns requested this intervention because LCWR was at odds with clear and consistent Church teaching.