US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Selling out your Sister

Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

There has been no small amount of glee over the Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the general "quality of life" survey of U.S. religious women, best summarized by a blogger for the UK Times, who headlined his post, "Great news: Vatican to investigate America's bossy feminist nuns," the content of which is complete drivel.

But most egregrious is the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious' press releases accompanying the investigation, in which the CMSWR basically throws the LCWR under a bus: "The religious communities of the CMSWR have maintained the historical form of religious life, with sisters living in community and wearing the habit. While many religious orders are currently facing marked decline in novitiates and the aging of their members, the communities of the CMSWR are experiencing growth on a worldwide scale."

In other words "liberal" nuns are to blame for the decline in religious life (despite the fact that all forms of vowed life have shown similar declines). The CMSWR is revealing what it really wants, which is to have LCWR stripped of its Vatican recognition, leaving CMSWR as the sole recognized organization of U.S. religious women.

I've got a column coming out on this, but I can summarize here: I'll take a "bossy, feminist nun" any day. I've learned more from them about being a Catholic and a human being than from anyone else. The Vatican and CMSWR may think they deserve an investigation; I think they deserve a medal.