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'Tainted by radical feminism'? More like 'living the Gospel'

Joan Chittister | Apr. 24, 2013 From Where I Stand

The BBC just called, an incident that in itself may well be a measure of the larger import of the situation. It's a strange moment in history: Suddenly everyone in the world, it seems, wants to know what is happening to the nuns and what they can do next. "Next," of course, means what they can do now that the Vatican is back to questioning both their intelligence and their faith.

In fact, what self-respecting journalist could possibly skip the story? After thousands of years of life-giving service to the church at poverty level -- building its schools, its orphanages, its hospitals, its missionary outposts, its soup kitchens, its homes for the indigent, its catechetical centers -- the nuns are told the problem with their work is that it has been "tainted by radical feminism"? And that by a group of men whose chance of knowing what the term "radical feminism" even means is obviously close to zero.

So what is going on? Especially at what seems to be a moment of the great change in the church of the autocrats and monarchs to the church of the Jesus who walked among the people and loved them?

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The men of CDF and the women of LCWR by the numbers

Phyllis Zagano | Apr. 24, 2013 Just Catholic

Don't you find it odd that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is issuing press statements about what it says Pope Francis said to congregation prefect Archbishop Gerhard Müller? I mean, can you find another example of a Curia head touting papal support? Doesn't Pope Francis seem to say what he wants to say without someone else saying it for him?

Here are the statistics:

On April 5, Müller's congregation issued a 139-word "communiqué" in Italian stating he had met with Pope Francis and discussed various issues "pertaining to CDF." The press release noted that the Holy Father particularly recommended the congregation carry on its work regarding priestly pederasty and sex abuse. No other topic was mentioned.

On April 15, Muller's congregation issued a 323-word communiqué in English reporting on its annual meeting with the presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, also stating that Pope Francis has "reaffirmed" the findings of the doctrinal congregation's "assessment and the program of reform" of LCWR. Question: Had the pope "affirmed" what the doctrinal congregation says he then "reaffirmed"?

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19th April 2013

Editorial: Vatican, LCWR approaching critical crossroads

An NCR Editorial Staff Report which uses the content of a letter written by Pope Francis to  highlight the situation of the LCWR

“A church that does not go out of itself, sooner or later, sickens from the stale air of closed rooms,” Pope Francis has written in a letter released Thursday to his fellow Argentine bishops. This is a similar message to the one he delivered to his fellow cardinals before the conclave, impressing them enough to elect him bishop of Rome

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 26th February 2013

An article on what American Nuns Built - Click here to read more 

The investigation began about 8 years ago.

You can read the Church's results by Clicking here

The best responses from Leadership itself and former leaders can be found:

  • Tom Fox of NCR interviewed Sr. Theresa Kane - Click here
  • Christiane Amanpour interviews Sr. Joan Chittister, who explains with her usual passion, intelligence, and clarity the following: about the Vatican attack on American religious women:
    . . . The problem is not radical feminism, it's radical patriarchy. That's where exclusion is built right into the DNA. Women are nowhere on any of these commissions, on the writing of any of these documents. So how would they know what a woman's answer is to these things? 
  • One of the points on which Amanpour presses Chittister is the issue that Cardinal Levada has now labeled "product identity": if Catholic religious women represent the Catholic "product," aren't they obliged to do what the men who (we're asked to imagine, it seems) produce and control and brand the Catholic product tell them to do? (For incisive commentary on Levada's phrase and the corporatist roots of the phrase--and, by implication, the corporatist CEO mentality that now dominates the imagination of the men running the church--see Colleen Baker at Enlightened Catholicism and Barbara at Fur-licity.)

    On this point, too, Chittister is crystal clear: what dominates the thinking of the sisters is not the corporate mentality of CEOs, but that of the gospels:
    The sisters will tell you that their corporate mind comes out of the gospel . . . .
With good coverage of the attack on LCWR by one major news outlet after another in recent days, the media seem to be intent on proving Professor Margaret Susan Thompson correct as she notes in the Tablet recently that modern media have made it impossible for the hierarchy to control the scope, content, or direction of discussions of the Vatican attack on American religious women. When there are women with the breadth of vision and expertise of Joan Chittister, who are very capable of thinking and opening their mouths to speak the truth, at the disposal of journalists trying to understand what the men of the church are doing to the women of the church, I think Professor Thompson is absolutely correct.

  •  National Catholic Reporter:  LCWR president message

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