'Nuns' Gone Mad

Thursday, March 20, 2014 4:40 PM 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

Saturday, August 11, 2012 4:38 PM 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

LCWR assembly Day 3: High Expectations

Friday, August 10, 2012 9:22 PM Comments (53)
Lisa Johnston for CNA

Sister Pat Farrell, president of the LCWR addresses the annual assembly in St. Louis, Mo.

– Lisa Johnston for CNA

Day three of the LCWR assembly brought high expectations here, for most people thought we would hear how the membership had decided to respond to the "Doctrinal Assessment" issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

As I wrote yesterday, the LCWR leaders had been sending mixed messages about which way they were leaning all week. By this morning, however, we media folks had concluded that there probably would be no dramatic announcement at this afternoon’s press conference. We were right.

LCWR's president, Sister Pat Farrell, read a prepared statement to the press conference: “The members charged the LCWR officers with beginning a conversation with Archbishop J. Peter...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop j. peter sartain, bishops, congregation of the doctrine of the faith, lcwr, sister pat farrell, women religious

Day 2 of the LCWR Assembly: Contemplating a Response to the Vatican

Thursday, August 09, 2012 7:24 PM Comments (69)
Lisa Johnston for CNA

– Lisa Johnston for CNA

On this second day of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly here in St. Louis, the “elephant in the room” — the Vatican mandate for reform of the LCWR — was recognized just a bit more than yesterday.

The most dramatic incident occurred in a question-answer period after a panel discussion on the future of religious life. A sister asked the three panelists: “If you were in our shoes, what would you do?”

When panelist Tom Fox responded bluntly, “Just say, ‘No,’” audible groans could be heard from some of the 900 sisters. Fox, who is the publisher of National Catholic Reporter, seemed to be taken aback by this reaction, and he scrambled to recover.

“What I mean by that...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, lcwr, national catholic reporter, women religious

Futurist Addresses LCWR Assembly

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:37 PM Comments (57)
Lisa Johnston for CNA

Sisters surround keynote speaker Barbara Marx Hubbard.

– Lisa Johnston for CNA

A late Amtrak train kept me away from the opening of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly Tuesday night, but I am told that Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis gave a warm welcome to the 900 sisters who are at the event.

Archbishop Carlson said he realized the importance of the meeting for LCWR and prayed that the LCWR dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) would not be politicized, but rather “worked out within a community of faith.”

That question about how LCWR members will respond to the reform of their organization mandated by the CDF is on the minds of everybody here, but that burning issue is the “elephant in the room” that we all...READ MORE

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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.