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Thank you for completing the poll question. Women Religious, please click here to tell us more about the quality of your life as a women religious and share your opinion on the apostolic visitation. Lay people, please click here to take our Reader Survey on the apostolic visitation of women religious.

UPDATE: The deadline for our Reader Survey has passed.  Thanks for participating.  Look for the results in our upcoming January issue!

Necessary
72% (1701 votes)
Reasonable and justified
10% (241 votes)
Unnecessary
3% (81 votes)
Insulting and unjustified
15% (351 votes)
Total votes: 2374

Comments

Submitted by Patrick Finley (not verified) on

First, I will start with the Justification,

Not withstanding the differences between communities, the few profession of vows I have been to, involve some sort of promise of Fidelity to the Catholic Church.

Jesus Christ Himself... You know, the guy who died for all of us.. and btw is GOD Incarnate, delegated authority to Peter. The current Delegate of that Authority is the Pope, and the college of Bishops, and Cardinals. In Other words, they are who God has provided to us for guidance, wether or not is politically correct, or "fair".

secondly , the Necessity

My comment above demonstrates it . The very notion that a community would not be humble about a visitation, and instead would take offense to it, shows a lack of understanding of that Authority that was granted from Christ Himself, to the first Pope, Peter. Think of it as "Constructive Papal Criticism". We all learn what constructive criticism is in school. In Cahtolic Schools, we are even grade on how well we accept it.

Lets all pray for each other during these times. The Holy Spirit knows what he is doing, through the arm of the Holy Father. Rejoice in that.

Submitted by Jarrett (not verified) on

As others have done, I will declare openly that I have come here from Fr. Z's blog to cast my vote. No one is attacking anyone. I am Catholic and, presumably, U.S. Catholic's editorial staff wants to know the opinion of a large cross-section of Catholics.

I also presume that the magazine's IT techs know how to program an online poll so that, even if I were to vote repeatedly in order to skew the results, my subsequent votes would not be registered.

Why shouldn't convents be visited? These women in consecrated life claim to represent the Universal Church established by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet the shepherds whom He has placed over His flock are not welcome in the houses of their consecrated sisters in Christ? Further still, they are not willing to submit in humility to the guidance or requirements of those shepherds, when Christ Himself submitted in all humility to the guidance and requirements of St. Joseph and Our Blessed Lady, and even to the judgements of sinful men who condemend Him to death?

'Tis an odd spirit indeed this, "Spirit of Vatican II."

Any large organization must plan for the future.

Of course many of these religious orders of women might not believe that they are part of the Roman Catholic Church.

But, if the trends of the past forty years are continued, the Church must begin planning for the medical care and housing for women who are too old to work and have no younger member to support them.

Most of the those religious orders were never farsighted enough to enroll their members into the Social Security and Medicare systems. So we already are having collections to support them.

I doubt that anybody in Rome really cares much about what they believe and practice because those orders will disappear in the forseeable future. For a 2,000 year old organization, it's not worth fighting about.

But somehow their leaders think it is. There are no assets, only liabilities, in your orders, Sisters! Why would the Church want to take them over?

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on

I am in favor of the current visitation. What I would like to know is how can visitations be arranged for the dioceses. While there are some issues with Religious Women, the current situation in most diocese is much more serious. What Vatican I did for the papacy, Vatican II has done for the bishops. Somewhere there has to be accountability for them too.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

If the woman religious orders want to grow the nuns should strive for holiness, listen to the voice of Christ and his Church, wear their habits, and live with their communities not in an apartment in the community!

Submitted by LittleBear (not verified) on

Sorry, but too many of you don't know the difference between a Nun (takes solomn vows--lives in monastic setting---Benedictines an example). Sisters are religious women who take simple religious vows.

Many of the founders of religious orders/congregations never wanted their followers to live in monasteries or wear anything but what the ordinary woman wore at the time of the foundation of the institute. It was Rome who insisted that women either be at home and married or living in a convent following a monastic life-style.

When religious came to America (responding to bishops pleas for help in dealing with the vast immigration of Europeans to America at the end of the ninteenth and in the early twentieth centuries) often found that they could not continue to live as they had in Europe.

Religous women had to build their own institutes, fight off illness (among their charges and within their own membership), and educate their members to certify them to teach/nurse/run charitable institutes etc. And they had to face the fact that the Euro-centered Vatican did not understand America or the American society.

The Euro-centered Vatican STILL does not understand America or the American society.

Submitted by GA Catholic (not verified) on

Actually St. Francis de Sales founded the visitation sisters as a group of active sisters in 1610, and St. Vincent de Paul founded the daughters of charity in 1633. The founding of these groups had nothing to do with America and they always wore a habit of some sort.

For sisters to take off the habit is a very strong symbolic gesture saying "I don't wish to be identified as a Catholic religious", which is a shameful thing to say, even in gesture.

And in any case the current visitation has much less to do with habits, than it has to do with heterodoxy and the stunning self-destruction these orders have engaged in.

Submitted by Caroline (not verified) on

GA Catholic said:

For sisters to take off the habit is a very strong symbolic gesture saying "I don't wish to be identified as a Catholic religious", which is a shameful thing to say, even in gesture.

That may be your (rather uncharitable) interpretation of a sister deciding not to wear a habit. Perhaps others would see it as "I wish to be closer to the people I serve by dressing more like them, rather than in a uniform that may hold people at bay."

But rather than either of us putting our own words into a fictional sister's mouth, we should hear from them instead.

Submitted by Emily S. (not verified) on

Any sister or layman today must recognize that the religious life in the United States is facing a crisis. The statistics of new vocations and the ages of nuns and sisters are clear indications of the threat that faces women religious today. Why, then, is an apostolic visitation seen as something negative? The crisis has not been improving; it has been getting worse as the median age of nuns increases, and vocations continue to decline. It is the epitome of pride to resist help when it is so clearly needed.

I also hope that Rome will encourage the many good convents in this country through their pending investigation. Traditional, conservative convents have several new vocations a year, and the average age of their sisters is often younger than the youngest sister in a liberal convent. Hopefully the visitation will help all to realize what these convents are doing right, so that others can follow their example and likewise become vibrant, joyful examples of Catholicism.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Vote early and vote often, just like the Democrats do. Oh, illegals are free to vote too.

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