What's the Status of the Vatican's Final Report on Women Religious?

11/17/2014 Comments (86)
Lisa Johnston/CNA

– Lisa Johnston/CNA

Whatever happened to the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of U.S. Women Religious conducted 2009-2010 by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life?

That question takes on increasing urgency as the predicted deadline for releasing a Vatican report on that visitation looms in just days: Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Vatican’s congregation for consecrated life, told reporters last January that he thought the final report on the visitation likely would be made public before the Year of Consecrated Life begins Nov. 30.

The visitation had been initiated in late 2008 by then-prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Franc Rodé, with the...READ MORE

Filed under ann carey, apostolic visitation of women religious, apostolic visitation of women's religious communities, consecrated life, lcwr, leadership conference of women religious

Joe Biden Hitches a Ride With Nuns on the Bus

09/24/2014 Comments (81)

Recent news reports about the 2014 Nuns on the Bus initiative — a 10-state trip to encourage people to vote in the Nov. 4 midterms — are so bizarre they have me pinching myself to see if I’m really awake.

Consider this: Vice President Joe Biden flew to Iowa on Air Force Two Sept. 17 at taxpayers’ expense to help kick off the Nuns on the Bus 2014 campaign to encourage voter registration. And, according to The New York Times, he praised the sisters for fighting “like the devil” for passage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

He was referring, of course, to the role of Network, the sisters’ lobbying organization that sponsors Nuns on the Bus. Network...READ MORE

Filed under ann carey, doctrinal assessment, joe biden, leadership conference of women religious, national catholic register, nuns on the bus, pope francis, religious sisters, sister simone campbell, sisters in crisis

More Nunsense From ‘Time,’ HuffPost and ‘U.S. News’

09/16/2014 Comments (30)

Articles and columns about the Vatican-mandated reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) are popping up all over the media these days, even in secular outlets like Time, Huffington Post and U.S. News and World Report.

At first glance, one might wonder why these secular outlets are so interested in a group of 1,400 sisters and their differences with the institution they have pledged to serve and obey. One obvious answer is that the media loves criticism of the Catholic Church, especially when that criticism comes from the Church’s own members.

Another answer becomes very clear in reading this material, for most of these pieces seem to be cheerleading for the LCWR...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, blog, cardinal gerhard muller, catholic faith, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, consecrated life, huffington post, leadership conference of women religious, national catholic register, national catholic reporter

LCWR Meets in Nashville, Will They Ignore the Vatican's Mandate?

08/14/2014 Comments (71)

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is holding its annual assembly in Nashville this week, and the event has sparked a glut of blogs, articles and commentary filled with misinformation, propaganda and near-hysteria that paints the sisters as victims of an oppressive male hierarchy.

Most of these pieces are produced by folks who want a democratized Church that diminishes the teaching authority of the hierarchy and the Holy See. Thus, they are urging LCWR members to ignore a 2012 mandate from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to reform the organization because of serious doctrinal problems.

Among the most outrageous musings is a blog by Benedictine Sister...READ MORE

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LCWR Update: Playing Politics Again — This Time With Pope Francis

06/27/2014 Comments (55)

Much ado is being made about a letter reportedly given to Pope Francis on June 23 that claims the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is being treated unfairly by the Vatican.

In 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) mandated a reform of the group because of significant doctrinal errors, and this April, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the CDF, re-emphasized terms of the mandate during the LCWR’s annual visit to the Vatican.

The June 23 letter has not been released by the two groups behind it, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) and Franciscan Action Network. However, a National Catholic Reporter blog quoted the letter in part, which...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop j. peter sartain, archbishop leonard blair, cardinal gerhard muller, catholic faith, catholic social teaching, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, george soros, leadership conference of women religious

Vatican Derangement Syndrome

05/21/2014 Comments (65)

Ever since Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), told officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) on April 30 that the organization must comply with the CDF 2012 mandate of reform, the LCWR and its supporters have been in a state of hysteria.

We’ve seen sensational blog and article headlines such as: “No More Mr. Nice Pope: Vatican Tightens Its Grip on Radical Nuns,” “Why You Should Care That the Vatican Is Going After American Nuns, Even If You’re Not Religious” and “Nuns to Vatican: Quit Picking on Our Sisters.”

Now, with incredible hubris, a coalition of dissident groups is calling on Pope Francis to remove the CDF...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop j. peter sartain, cardinal gerhard muller, catholic church, catholic faith, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, conscious evolution, leadership conference of women religious, new age

'Nuns' Gone Mad

03/20/2014 Comments (48)

“Stand With the Nuns in Support of Birth Control."

This startling statement is the name of a petition to be presented to the Supreme Court this month when it hears the cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. The owners of those two companies have religious objections to the HHS mandate to provide sterilization and contraceptive coverage to all employees. Some of the “contraceptives” covered can also cause an early abortion.

Behind the petition is a group that calls itself the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN) and claims to have 2,000 members.

Okay, not so fast: The NCAN is really a paper organization started in 1969 and now made up of a handful of sisters. Furthermore, the...READ MORE

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Reflections on the LCWR Assembly

08/11/2012 Comments (98)
Lisa Johnston for CNA

Sisters Sandra Schneiders, Nancy Conway and Rebecca Ann Gemma at a press conference during the LCWR annual assembly.

– Lisa Johnston for CNA

My observations about the LCWR assembly have to begin with my appreciation to the LCWR for allowing the press to cover their assembly. The sisters were very welcoming and gracious, and we members of the media were extended every courtesy. One sister even walked a good distance across the room at Mass to offer me the Sign of Peace, as I was the lone journalist sitting in the press area.

The sisters also seemed very dedicated to working together to formulate their response to the mandate from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to reform their organization. And many of them appear to be quite convinced that they have developed a new but valid form of religious life and have the...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, lcwr, vatican

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About Guest Blogger/Ann Carey

Ann Carey
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Ann Carey is a veteran journalist who has written hundreds of articles for many prestigious Catholic publications during her 31-year career in the Catholic press. She is a member of the Catholic Press Association and has won awards for news and feature writing, as well as investigative reporting. Her specialty is women religious, and she is working on a new, updated edition of her book, Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities, to be published by Ignatius Press. She and her husband live in Indiana and are the parents of three grown children.