Friday, May 4, 2012

Celebrity Jesuit And Framing The LCWR

Fr. James Martin, S.J., an editor for America magazine, launched a Twitter  hashtag “#WhatSistersMeanToMe” to show appreciation for all religious sisters on the microblogging site where 140-character text messages and popular tags can spread with rapidity. “Catholic sisters teach me what it means to persevere without the benefit of institutional power,” he tweeted April 19. “Framing things in that way, I thought, meant that people could show their gratitude for sisters, and read other messages of support, without being in any way negative. No need to be anti-Vatican or anti-bishop or anti-anything. Just pro-sister,” he said in an April 26 Washington Post column reflecting on what came next. His comments brought in many appreciative tweets from those affected by religious sisters’ work in education, health care and spiritual direction. 
They also drew a response from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, a blogging priest who believes some LCWR defenders are ignoring the problems in the women’s religious orders. “The upcoming reform of the leadership of the LCWR is not about the Holy See or American bishops being mad at under-appreciated women who built and ran hospitals, schools, and orphanages,” he said April 24. “The reform is not about their backing this or that political horse.” “The reform is about the fact, the FACT, that many of the women religious in leadership positions over several decades embrace and still actively propagate a radical feminism to such a degree that they now promote, as part of their systems and power structures, unnatural acts between people of the same sex and the killing of babies within, and even mostly out of, the womb.” Fr. Zuhlsdorf encouraged his readers to use the “#WhatSistersMeanToMe” Twitter hashtag to note problems in the women’s religious orders, such as sisters who advocate for abortion rights. Fr. Martin said some critics of the LCWR were “vindictive, cruel, mocking” on Twitter and flooded the hashtag with “snotty comments about who were faithful sisters were and who were not.” 
The spat follows the release of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s assessment of the women’s leadership conference, which has more than 1,500 member organizations representing 57,000 vowed religious. The assessment found a doctrinal “crisis” within the organization. It called for a greater emphasis on the conference’s relationship with the U.S. bishops’ conference and on the need to provide “a sound doctrinal foundation in the faith of the Church.” The Twitter initiative also prompted some to criticize the Catholic hierarchy. Although Fr. Martin said he did not intend his effort to be “anti-Vatican or anti-bishop,” the Huffington Post’s report on his initiative depicted it as a response to the Vatican “cracking down” on the LCWR. Commenters at the Huffington Post also took a dim view of Vatican action. While many voiced appreciation for religious sisters, many also responded to Fr. Martin’s initiative by criticizing the bishops as oppressive and anti-woman. One self-described Catholic commenter attacked Mother Teresa, claiming she was primarily motivated by “money and power.”
Link (here) to read the full article at


Anonymous said...

Hard to take Rev. Z. seriously: he has a picture of President Obama dressed as a storm trooper on his blog.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Z is one of the most knowledgeable and informative Catholic commentators currently blogging. He is fully faithful to Christ and his Church's magisterium, and he explicitly advocates such.

Can't say the same about Fr. Martin.

Anonymous said...

"He is fully faithful to Christ and his Church's magisterium, and he explicitly advocates such."

Translation: He is a Catholic fundamentalist who has a narrow understanding of his faith.

Pay, pay, & obey?!

Maria said...

The decision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to undertake a
doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) was
communicated to the LCWR Presidency during their meeting with Cardinal William Levada
in Rome on *****APRIL 8, 2008*****. At that meeting, THREE MAJOR AREAS OF CONCERN were given as motivating the CDF’s decision to initiate the Assessment:

1. ADDREESSES AT THE LCWR ASSEMBLIES: “Addresses given during LCWR annual Assemblies manifest problematic statements and SERIOUS THEOLOGICAL, EVEN DOCTRINAL ERRORS. The Cardinal offered as an example specific passages of SR. LAURIE BRINK’S ADDRESS about some Religious “MOVING BEYOND THE CHURCH” or EVEN BEYOND JESUS. This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a REJECTION OF FAITH is also a serious SOURCE OF SCANDAL and is INCOMPATIIBLE WITH RELIGIOUS LIFE.” The LCWR does not denounce such statements.

2. POLICIES OF CORPORATE DISSENT: The Cardinal spoke of this issue in reference to letters
the CDF received from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, among them
LCWR Officers, protesting the Holy See’s actions regarding the question of WOMEN’S ORDINATION and of a CORRECT PASTORAL APPROACH TO MINISTRY TO HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS. e.g. letters about NEW WAYS MINISTRY’S CONFERENCES. The terms of the letters suggest that
these sisters collectively TAKE A POSITION NOT IN AGREEMENT W/ THE CHURCH’S TEACHING ON HUMAN SEXUALITY. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are NOT PROVIDING EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP and example to their communities, but PLACE THEMSELVES OUTSIDE THE CHURCH’S TEACHING.


3. Radical Feminism The Cardinal noted a prevalence of certain radical feminist
themes INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE CATHOLIC FAITH in some of the programs and presentations sponsored by the LCWR, including theological interpretations that risk distorting faith in Jesus and his loving Father who sent his Son for the salvation of the world.
Moreover, some commentaries on “patriarchy” distort the way in which Jesus has

while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is SILENT ON THE RIGHT TO LIFE FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH.

Fr. Martin's obsequios pandering to the LCWR Sisters, proffered as fraternal regard and respect, for the purposes of advancing the homosexual agenda is contemptible.
Sister Carol Keehan's salary for 2011 will exceed $ 1, 000, 000.00. How Keehan or her Sisters in the LCWR are victims of the "hierarchy" stains the imagination. I would posit that it it is we who we who are their victims.