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LCWR pledges dialogue without compromise in response to Vatican assessment

August 13, 2012

Nearly four months after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released its doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the conference’s officers pledged to engage in dialogue with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle and not to compromise its “authentic expression” of religious life.

In releasing its doctrinal assessment, the Congregation named Archbishop Sartain its archbishop delegate for the LCWR’s reform. While the Congregation’s statement refers to him as the “archbishop delegate” and charges him to “work collaboratively with the officers of the LCWR to achieve the goals outlined in this document,” the LCWR’s new statement refers to him as “the apostolic delegate appointed by CDF to oversee LCWR.”

“While acknowledging deep disappointment with the CDF report, the members proclaimed their intention to use this opportunity to explain to church leaders LCWR’s mission, values, and operating principles,” the officers said in their statement. “The assembly articulated its belief that religious life, as it is lived by the women religious who comprise LCWR, is an authentic expression of this life that must not be compromised.”

The LCWR statement added:

The assembly instructed the LCWR officers to conduct their conversation with Archbishop Sartain from a stance of deep prayer that values mutual respect, careful listening and open dialogue. The officers will proceed with these discussions as long as possible, but will reconsider if LCWR is forced to compromise the integrity of its mission.

The members reiterated the importance and value of LCWR’s mission to its members and its role as a voice for justice in the world. They urged the officers not to allow the work with CDF to absorb the time, energy, and resources of the conference nor to let it distract the conference from the work its mission requires.

“Also during the assembly, Barbara Marx Hubbard, a futurist and author, spoke on consciousness evolution where she noted that the very crises humanity is facing on a global scale require exercise of a higher level of ethical, shared commitment and social synergy to realize positive change,” the statement continued. “She observed that the crises are potential signals driving the world toward more cocreative, coevolving humanity, where people become more fully aware of their potential for healing and evolving the world in new ways, new forms and ever-expanding relationships.”


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  • Posted by: Contrary1995 - Aug. 13, 2012 10:44 PM ET USA

    It is most instructive to see how the extremists of both Left and Right think exactly alike. The buzz words differ (coevolving humanity versus the Rome of Tradition)but both extremes live in their own ghettos deluded in thinking themselves the center of God's action in the world. Ubi Petrus ibi ecclesia ibi Christus.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 13, 2012 9:09 PM ET USA

    When dealing with blithering nonsense like that of the "futurist", most times it is sufficient to attempt to translate the gobblygook into another language. It can't be translated because it makes no sense!

  • Posted by: brownjudith2930 - Aug. 13, 2012 8:33 PM ET USA

    The souls of these women are so corrupted with New Age 'spirituality' and radical feminism, only the Holy Spirit can tear down the veils around their minds. All they newspeak is the Human Potential Movement without the Holy Trinity and without the action of authentic grace. They must be declared outside the Church, but some arrangement must be made for the elderly nuns belonging to these orders who suffer in silence. Perhaps they could somehow be transferred to an 'umbrella' orthodox order.

  • Posted by: Gerry H - Aug. 13, 2012 7:14 PM ET USA

    Silly women. The question is not whether their expression is authentic, but whether it is Catholic. Or perhaps they think we are the ones who are silly and cannot see through their dialectic?

  • Posted by: - Aug. 13, 2012 6:57 PM ET USA

    They have surely maximized double-speak. And if they actually engaged in "deep prayer" they'd hear a different message than what they're hanging onto now.

  • Posted by: Louise01 - Aug. 13, 2012 6:35 PM ET USA

    Pride doth come before the fall!!

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Aug. 13, 2012 10:42 AM ET USA

    Sadly I see this group as defiant and lost. The buzzword and buzzphrase replaces (eg."work collaboratively" dealing with the issues. This "work collaboratively"-phrase is usually indicative of a deficient ecclesiology that skews obedience as if this were simply a political struggle. Sadly I think it's time for medicinal penalties envisioned by canon law which perhaps will heal some of these sisters Deo volente.