Thursday, April 26, 2012

The LCWR and the Vatican

The Catholic blogosphere has been humming over the actions taken by the Vatican concerning the Leadership Conference of Religious Women.  The National Catholic Reporter’s website has been reporting continually on this story, and offering commentary on it.  Here is a link to their reports.

The LCWR has been famous for pushing the envelope on hot button issues within the Church; and within society at large.  They challenged the Church leadership on certain policies, and certain teachings of the Church.  The LCWR leadership decided to play a prophetic role within the Church, and we all know what happens to prophets.

 Now the Vatican is in smack down mode, appointing an American bishop to oversee “reforms” of the LCWR structure.  The liberal side blames the American bishops, claiming that this is their revenge for the LCWR supposedly supporting the Obama healthcare program; and for their disrespect of the bishops’ authority.  The conservative side is clamoring for the LCWR to be dissolved, and their member congregations be brought to heel..

Most of the nuns I have known have been dedicated women of God, striving to live the Gospel of Jesus.  They are out there in the world, performing works of charity, doing their best to build up the Church.  Their congregations have progressive and conservative members; they wear a habit or just street clothes.  Some of their communities are slowly dying out; others are receiving new members in great numbers. 

Ideally, there should have been a dialogue by all sides, an understanding arrived at.  Unfortunately, I think one side sees dialogue as a weakening of their authority; the other side may be wedded to their ideology.  Wherever the truth lies, it is a sad day for the Church.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reunification At Last?

The Catholic blogosphere has been abuzz with the news that there may be finally a reunification of the the Society of Saint Pius X, with the Roman Catholic Church.  John Allen posted a story on the National Catholic Reporter website, and the Catholic News Service also posted a report.

The Vatican, after much discussion with the Lefebvrites, gave them a "doctrinal preamble."  If the SSPX agreed to the document, then reunion was possible.  No details about what is in the document has been revealed, so we do not know how much of the store the Vatican is willing give away in order to heal the only major schism since Vatican II.  Of course in many ways the SSPX is like North Korea, just when you think you have a deal, they change the rules.  In this case, the leaders of the Lefebvrites are submitting changes to the preamble.  Many find it hard to believe that they would agree to rejoin the Church unless Rome totally repudiates the teachings of Vatican II.

The Lefebvrites are living in the past, struggling to hold onto a vision of the Church that no longer speaks to the hearts of a majority of Catholics in the world today.  Unfortunately, there seems to be those leaders in the Church who also wish to turn back the clock.  There does need to be continuity with tradition and the teachings  that have to come to us from the time of the Apostles; but there also needs to be a flexibility that will allow the Church to meet the needs of a world in changing times.  The Church leadership needs to be careful that in its desire to bring them back into the fold, that the SSPX does not become a weight its neck, holding it back.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

"Christ is Risen!"  "He is Risen indeed!"

To all members of my family, to all my friends, and to all my readers; may this Easter Sunday bring you hope and joy; for the good days, and especially for the difficult ones!

Pax et Bonum!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview with a Deacon

While scanning the National Catholic Reporter website, I came across an interview by Mercy Sister Camille D'Arienzo of Don Zirkel, who, in his eighties, was once arrested for protesting against the Iraq War in a New York mall.  He was walking around the mall, wearing a protest t-shirt.

He and his late wife have been peace activists for many years.  He had worked for a Catholic diocesan newspaper, and was an ordained permanent deacon.  The interview reveals a man of service to his Church and his community.  And it is nice to know that there are deacons who are, shall we say, "left of center."  The interview can be found here.