Surrexit Christus Vere!
Two items of note concerning the upcoming doctrinal investigation into the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR), about which I posted earlier this week:
1. Jack Smith, Editor of The Catholic Key and its excellent blog, sets the standard, IMHO, for solid Catholic investigative reporting and commentary. He has an insightful post on just why the Vatican is compelled to give these sisters what Vatican II called for– the throwing open of the windows to let in the fresh air. Although this time the fresh air is actually fresh– instead of the odor of compromise, look for the breath of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth.
The Key links to a PDF document of the keynote address of the 2007 LCWR Annual Assembly in Kansas City. It discusses four options for the future of LCWR communities. It is a long document, but if you wish to understand the mindset of the dissenting religious communities, it is an essential read.
It acknowledges demographic realities facing these orders, and lays out four possible courses of action (or inaction). They are described differently, but in a nutshell they are as follows: 1) dying out (by default or intent); 2) returning to orthodoxy (which, while sneered at by the speaker, is acknowledged to actually work to cause a congregation to flourish); 3) reveling in heresy and acting without regard to the Church while clinging to a persecution complex; and 4) staying inside the Church and trying to get the “oppressors” to compromise the Catholic Faith and to join you in misery (an option labelled euphemistically as “reconciliation”).
The speaker chooses option 4, speaks lovingly of option 3, understands option 1, and sneers at option 2. The speech quotes one nun who is living out option 3 as saying “I’ve… moved beyond Jesus.” Perhaps this is why their numbers dwindle.
2. The second item to note out of the announcement by the Holy Office is that this effort will be headed by His Excellency Leonard P. Blair, Bishop of Toledo. Bishop Blair has been rising on the list of rumored candidates for the vacant Archiepiscopal See of Saint Louis. It would indeed be highly ironic, and perhaps a little satisfying, too, if the successor to Archbishop Burke were to be tabbed to carry on the work of ensuring dynamic orthodoxy in the Church’s religious orders.