Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Nuns working on response to Vatican rebuke

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It will be interesting in seeing how this plays out. The nuns seem to be approaching their duties from considering the precepts of Christ whereas the Vatican views the duties of the nuns based on demands and requirements of the organization. Laurie Goodstein reports in the NY Times:

American nuns are preparing to assemble in St. Louis next week for a pivotal meeting at which they will try to decide how to respond to a scathing critique of their doctrinal loyalty issued this spring by the Vatican — a report that has prompted Roman Catholics across the country to rally to the nuns’ defense.

The nuns will be weighing whether to cooperate with the three bishops appointed by the Vatican to supervise the overhaul of their organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of women’s Catholic religious orders in the United States.

The Leadership Conference says it is considering at least six options that range from submitting graciously to the takeover to forming a new organization independent of Vatican control, as well other possible courses of action that lie between those poles.

What is in essence a power struggle between the nuns and the church’s hierarchy had been building for decades, church scholars say. At issue are questions of obedience and autonomy, what it means to be a faithful Catholic and different understandings of the Second Vatican Council.

Sister Pat Farrell, the president of the Leadership Conference, said in an interview that the Vatican seems to regard questioning as defiance, while the sisters see it as a form of faithfulness.

“We have a differing perspective on obedience,” Sister Farrell said. “Our understanding is that we need to continue to respond to the signs of the times, and the new questions and issues that arise in the complexities of modern life are not something we see as a threat.”

These same conflicts are gripping the Catholic Church at large. Nearly 50 years after the start of Vatican II, which was intended to open the church to the modern world and respond to the “signs of the times,” the church is gravely polarized between a progressive wing still eager for change and reform and a traditionalist flank focused on returning to what it sees as doctrinal fundamentals. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2012 at 9:58 am

Posted in Religion

One Response

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  1. As a catholic agnostic (one never really gets rid of that cultural impregnation, however one’s believes may change), I am reluctant to side with the nuns. It seems to me that they want to have their cake and eat it, too. Once you really question the Vatican’s authority (and there are all possible good reasons for that!), you’re not catholic anymore: Catholicism is based on the central role of interpreting tradition besides the scripture, and that means essentially the hierarchy that is the steward of that tradition. You can, of course, stay within the Christian believe system and interpret the bible by yourself, but then you are a Protestant of sorts.



    29 July 2012 at 11:46 am

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