Cracking down on the LCWR : Is orthodoxy the only problem?
The Vatican’s so-called “crackdown” on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for doctrinal heterodoxy generated a bit of press on the part of the American Catholic left.
If leftist media reports are to be believed, LCRW leaders were “stunned” and their ire has been raised by the crackdown. Rome is “bullying” those selfless, consecrated women whose lives of humble charity in imitation of Jesus endeared them to many Catholics and non-Catholics alike. After all, LCRW leaders only seek “honest, respectful dialogue towards peacemaking and reconciliation.”
Now that the initial fallout has settled a bit, The Motley Monk detects what may be a new twist surfacing in the narrative. This slightly revised version raises the specter that conservative American cardinals living in Rome were pivotal in what The Motley Monk previously called a “hostile takeover” of the LCWR.
That “conservative” American cardinals engineered this shocking maneuver, according to the American Catholic left, is bad enough.
But, compounding evil upon evil—yes, in the eyes of many on the American Catholic left, conservative Catholicism is an intrinsic evil that’s intent upon destroying the authentic reform of the Church envisaged at Vatican II—the Catholic left’s media has reported that one of the key players in the LCWR’s hostile takeover was none other than Cardinal Bernard Law. He’s the former Archbishop of Boston.
If previous media reports are to be believed, Law’s cover up of priestly pedophilia and ephebophilia in Boston required the Vatican to usher him out of the United States and ensconce him safely in the Vatican. Doing so under the Vatican’s protective cover of “diplomatic immunity” would ensure that a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church wouldn’t be indicted on U.S. soil.
Cardinal Bernard Law kisses the papal ring
According to Robert Mickens in The Tablet, Cardinal Law was “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting” the LCWR investigation that began in 2009 and ended in 2011, with the hostile takeover being announced in April 2012. Minkens reports one American cleric calling Cardinal Law the “prime instigator” of the investigation.
It has been alleged that Law’s cohort included the former Archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond Burke, as well as Cardinal James Stafford, the former Archbishop of Denver who worked in the Roman Curia since 1996. Then, too, another American, the former Archbishop of San Francisco, Cardinal William Levada, conducted the actual investigation.
Is the “crackdown,” as it’s being suggested, “pay back” for the grief the LCWR has caused the American hierarchy for the past several decades?
The Motley Monk thinks maybe not.
With the leftist media linking the hostile takeover of the LCWR to the pedophilia and ephebophophilia scandal, The Motley Monk wonders whether operatives of the American Catholic left and their media outlets are attempting to distract attention away from what’s a very important question that’s not being asked, at least in public: What was the LCWR’s role, if any, in a glossing over—if not a coverup—of pedophilia and ephebophilia on the part of Catholic women religious?
Check out how Sr. Joan D. Chittister, OSB, the 1976 LCWR President, avoids the question (begin at 9:05)
Promoting the narrative that the women religious were 100% “pure as the driven snow” as they set about effecting greater “peace with justice” in the post-Vatican II era, the media’s sole focus became the alleged machinations of evil clergymen who engaged in an unconscionable covering up of the pedophilia and ephebophilia scandals. There’d be little reason to suspect that women religious—and especially the LCWR—would ever engage in similar heinous behavior.
Perhaps CNN’s Christiane Amanpour didn’t do her homework.
Doctrinal heterodoxy may not be all that’s problematic with the LCWR. It may very well be that the “Nuns [are] on the Run from the Truth,” as Frances Kissling observed three years ago and as a Daily Kos article has detailed. There’s also a long list of allegations posted at BishopAccountability.org.
Just ask the folks at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) about how the LCWR treated them when they started asking questions.
To read The Motley Monk’s post at The American Catholic, click on the following link:
To read about Robert Micken’s report, click on the following link:
To read Frances Kissling’s article in Salon.com, click on the following link:
To read the Daily Kos article, click on the following link:
To read the National Catholic Reporter article about SNAP’s experience with the LCWR, click on the following link: