(CNS) -- Citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life," the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women's religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Well it's about time! Actually, this is very encouraging news. When seen together with the apparent steps forward with the SSPX, it would appear the pope has finally got the Vatican tuned up close enough to where he wants it, to finally effect some change in the Church worldwide. It will be interesting to see where all this leads.
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican announced April 18. The archbishop will be assisted by Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., and draw on the advice of fellow bishops, women religious and other experts.
The LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, represents about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious...
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I fully expect some to rebel, but that should be no surprise. They were rebels from the start. Most however, are just misguided, and it is steps such as this are are sorely needed to save them from ignorance.
Of course this fully explains the crisis in women religious vocations, and why nuns have virtually disappeared from the U.S. Catholic landscape. For starters, the few that remain are unrecognisable. They no longer wear habits any more, nor any distinctive head covering, and are often dressed in an outfit one could just as well see on a receptionist or volunteer worker. That being said most of these have left the work of witnessing to the gospel for some kind of pet political agenda. For example; I once met a nun of this type who said she was fasting. I asked her what for? She replied it was for union negotiations. Now don't get me wrong. I'm sure there are some times when fasting for such a cause might be necessary, but it seemed to me this was all she was concerned about. It just struck me as odd. With this kind of a witness we can see why young American women are no longer drawn to the religious orders. This also explains why convents run by the LCWR are shutting down all over the nation due to lack of new postulates. Meanwhile, the few convents around the nation that stick to traditional practices are now busting at the seams with new postulates, suffering a vocation crisis of a different kind -- to many nuns, not enough rooms to accommodate them. With any luck, the LCWR will be reigned in by Archbishop Sartain, with the hope of making a new beginning for women religious in the United States.