Friday, April 27, 2012

The Anchoress in the WSJ

In the Wall Street Journal today, a thoughtful and even-handed explanation and assessment of the Vatican and the LCWR from Elizabeth Scalia who many of us know as The Anchoress.
Not all sisters have been as combative. Two years earlier, in a thoughtful presentation that some believe spurred the investigation, then-Leadership Conference president Sister Laurie Brink had acknowledged that while many sisters walked unevenly with Rome, some had moved "beyond the church, even beyond Jesus." She called that a post-Christian mind-set that might ethically require those who held it to leave the church.

That assessment by Sister Brink was quoted in the Congregation's findings, but the document says nothing ill of Sister Brink. Rather, it worries that post-Christian mind-sets too often "go unchallenged" by the Leadership Conference—that it is falling down on the job of bringing Christian witness to its own members. While Sister Brink's work provides "a phenomenological snapshot of religious life today," says the document, "pastors should also see in it a cry for help."
I'm proud to call her my friend. Go. Read.


  1. This is (as is to be expected from Lizzie) a beautifully reasoned summary of what's really going on. I am saddened, however, by the comments, and by the WSJ's title, which reduce this to a US political issue. It's not Reps vs Dems, conservatives vs liberals, any more than it is men vs women. What is has become (not in the action itself, but in the reaction) is one more example of Catholics vs Catholics, duking it out in comboxes, on blogs, and in the Twitter feed, and that's dismaying. Considering the numbers potentially affected, this kind of scandalous public behavior may do more damage than the LCWR's internal discussions of moving beyond the Church.

  2. I concur. If the quality of the tree is known by its fruit, we are a dismal harvest. (So to speak.)

    This has been the subject of much thought for me in the last few days. Thought that proceeds along the lines of pointing out the splinter in someone else's eye while ignoring the plank in our own. Lord have mercy on us.

  3. I don't know why an "even-handed explanation" is warrented. In fact even-handedness is a detriment when one position is so wrong as that of the LCWR. It tends to project credibility when a clear denoucement is required. I know a nun who to my horror actually supports abortion. That said, the LCWR and their supporters must be reprimanded and possibly disbanded.