"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fr. Zuhlsdorf Corrects the Magisterium of Nun (again)

Fr. James Martin, SJ, sticks up for Sr. Farley and her teachings

The usual suspects are encircling with nurturing and supportive embraces Sr. Margaret Farley, author of a  dreadful book, filled with grave errors concerning faith and morals.  Click HERE.
Fr. James Martin, SJ (whose recent Twitter campaigndemonstrates that he sides with the Magisterium of Nuns rather than CDF in the matter of the LCWR) has in the Jesuit-run America Magazine come out with a full-throated defense of Sr. Farley and her ideas.
Here is a sample.  Don’t feel compelled to go there, though some of the comments are a hoot:
Book by Margaret Farley, RSM, Condemned by Vatican
POSTED AT: MONDAY, JUNE 04, 2012 07:51:55 AM
One of the most respected [by whom?] Catholic [c] theologians in the United States has been severely critiqued by the Vatican for one her most recent books. Margaret A. Farley, RSM, who teaches moral theology at Yale Divinity School, [isn't she now listed as "emerita"?] and has served as a mentor for generations of Catholic theologians[no wonder so many of them are so screwed up] has been critiqued for her book Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, published in 2006. Sister Margaret has served as past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and was also awarded (among her many awards) her peers’ highest honor, the John Courtney Murray, SJ Award. [Well!  Isn't that something!] The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has condemned her book for its presentation of several topics: “Among the many errors and ambiguities in this book are its positions on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage and the problem of divorce and remarriage,” read the Notification from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. [Those are pretty serious matters.  Perhaps Fr. Martin doesn't agree.]
The Vatican Notification read, in part: [You can find all that  on your own.]
Sister Margaret responded to the Notification in a statement released to NCR[akaFishwrap.  They all stick together, don't they?] “Although my responses to some particular sexual ethical questions do depart from some traditional Christian responses[You are suppose to infer that those "responses", being "traditional", are outdated and subject to change.] I have tried to show that they nonetheless reflect a deep coherence with the central aims and insights of these theological and moral traditions[Sister Farley: You failed.] Whether through interpretation of biblical texts, or through an attempt to understand ‘concrete reality‘ (an approach at the heart of ‘natural law’), the fact that Christians (and others) have achieved new knowledge and deeper understanding of human embodiment and sexuality seems to require that we at least examine the possibility of development in sexual ethics. This is what my book, Just Love, is about.”  [You see, modern man is all grown up now.  We moderns have a new reality.  We aren't any longer subjected to those old restrictive ideas and taboos.]
In reviewing the book for America in 2006, the Boston College [Yet another Jesuit run place.  Isn't it amazing how often Jesuits and their acolytes turn up when it comes to dissent to Catholic moral teachings?] moral theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill wrote, “This long-awaited work by America’s leading Catholic feminist theological ethicist, Margaret A. Farley, is the product of years of experience, reflection, scholarship and wisdom. [and errors.  Don't forget the errors.  Farley gets it all wrong.] Just Love is decisively shaped by Farley’s longstanding interests in the sexual equality of women and men, and of gay and straight couples; and, more recently, in advocacy for people affected by AIDS, especially women in Africa. [Just forget about the Church's centuries of consistent moral teachings about any of those things.] Just Love’s thesis is that justice [can "justice" be separated from the truth made clear in the Church's teachings?] is central to sexual morality, especially justice in the sense of respect for the real identity and needs of the other….As a theologian, Farley gives us a social ethic of sex that incorporates both thebiblical ‘option for the poor’ and the orientation of Catholic social thought to the universal common good. As a feminist, she reminds Catholics that their tradition should make its global option for women more consistent, more explicit and more effective, especially in the areas of sex, motherhood, marriage and family.” [I suspect this gobbledygook is merely a justification for "You can have sex with whatever and however many warm-blooded critters you want without anyone mentioning sin.]
Margaret Farley is an immensely well respected theologian and scholar, [I suspect that's going to change.] and is a revered mentor for many Catholic theologians. It would be difficult to overstate her influence in the field of sexual ethics, [And THAT, friends, is why the CDF Notification about her dreadful book is very important.  First, if her awful book wasn't subject to such an examination, then no one's should be.] or the esteem in which she is held by her colleagues. With this stinging critique, the Vatican has again signaled its concern about theologians writing about sexual morality[Watching out for Catholic teaching on failth and moral?!?  The CDF?!?  What'll they come up with next?] This Notification will certainly sadden Sister Margaret’s many colleagues, her generations of students, and those many Catholics who have profited by her decades of reflection on the faith. [I wonder if it will sadden anyone who lost the happiness of Christ's Kingdom because they, at her urging and bad teaching, endangered their immortal souls through deviant sexual practices or the erosion of their faith and morals under he influence.] It will also, inevitably, raise strong emotions among those who already feel buffeted by the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of Catholic sisters in the US, and its intervention into the LCWR.  [Boo hoo.]
NCR also has an extensive list of reactions from prominent Catholic theologians here. And Michael Peppard’s provides an analysis of the CDF Notification on Dotcommonweal.
Will Fr. Martin start a new Twitter campaign for poor, persecuted Sr. Farley?
He could use the hashtag #WhatSrFarleyMeansToMe !
He’ll have WDTPRS’s full support!
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    Posted in Linking BackMagisterium of Nuns | Tagged  | 65 Comments

    A request to bloggers about the the phrase “Magisterium of Nuns”

    Please use the sharing buttons!  Thanks!
    I have a request to make of all Catholic bloggers.
    Whenever you write anything about the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, try to work in the phrase “Magisterium of Nuns“.  I don’t care if you give any sort of attribution.  Just use it.  Use it all the time.
    The LCWR isn’t the “Magisterium of Nuns”. It is a subset, a “subsidiary” if you will, a symptom of a larger phenomenon.
    Never mind the distinctions about “nuns” and “sisters”… blah blah blah.  Lump them all together for this, because it is more annoying that way.
    The phrase “Magisterium of Nuns” came out of the obvious attempts of some women religious, such as Sr. Carol Keehan (GIVE BACK THAT PEN!) of the Catholic Health Association, to establish themselves as a Catholic teaching authority over and against the teaching authority exercised by bishops.  (“The bishops might say X, but we say Y.  You are still Catholic and in good conscience if you listen to us and not to them. “)  At that time they desired to give cover to Catholic politicians (mostly pro-abortion democrats) so that they could claim to have a good conscience in keeping with Catholic teaching and vote in favor of Obamacare (which would lead among other things to tax payer funding of abortion and other objectionable things).
    This is a pernicious phenomenon and it must be unmasked.
    The moniker is getting some traction. It (therefore I) was attacked explicitly in America Magazine in an article by someone I had never heard of, one Christine Firer Hinze who works for Jesuit-run Fordham University. Here is the relevant paragraph:
    As Vatican II affirms, the episcopal office uniquely serves the revealed truth of the gospel. But that truth resides in and with the whole church. Beholden to military or business organizational models, pundits who deride L.C.W.R. sisters for posturing falsely as a “magisterium of nuns” disrespect the authentic authority not only of religious communities, but of the laity in their various charisms and vocations. Because the official magisterium does not have a monopoly on gospel truth, office-holders must constantly listen for that truth in the whole church, and all must work to avoid what Avery Dulles, S.J., called “excessive conformism” and “excessive distrust” among hierarchy and faithful.
    First, what, may I ask, is the “authentic authority” of religious communities?  More on that, below.
    I particularly enjoyed the shot about being “beholden to military or business organizational models”.  I think that means that I am a cog in the Catholic equivalent of a Military Industrial Complex.  In other words, I am a warmongering capitalist and, therefore, my phrase “magisterium of nuns” is not accurate.
    Did you feel the iron-jaws of logic closing upon your brain?
    Be careful when reading any defense of the Magisterium of Nuns to watch for code language like this: the phrase “the official magisterium”.
    Let’s see it in situ:
    Because the official magisterium does not have a monopoly on gospel truth, office-holders must constantly listen for that truth in the whole church, and all must work to avoid what Avery Dulles, S.J., called “excessive conformism” and “excessive distrust” among hierarchy and faithful.
    We can rest our case on that.  The writer proposes that there is a “magisterium” over and against that exercised by the bishops.  It is “unofficial”, but it is – for her and those who hark to the Magisterium of Nuns – more compelling.  They owe their obedience to that “magisterium”, the “unofficial magisterium”.
    A “Magisterium of Nuns”.
    Since there was no citation in the paragraph above for the late Card. Dulles’s phrases (which I am guessing are from the old Models of the Church, which Dulles later in life revised), I suggest that you review Lumen gentium 25 and 12 and then get your hands on – get your hands on NOW – Dulles’s bookMagisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith (UK link HERE).  Therein you will find a more accurate account of what Dulles thought about the Church’s Magisterium and our role when there is any doubt, contrast, or – quod Deus avertat – conflict.
    In a nutshell, presumption should always favor the Magisterium.  Theologians who have doubts and who may even dissent are invited, as we find in Donum veritatis, to express their concerns privately to the CDF.   If they have useful observations, they can actually be of service to the Church!  In all cases, people must avoid scandal, which – as Dulles put it – “harms the Church in the eyes of the general public” and which divides Catholics against each other.
    That is exactly what the LCWR (a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns) is doing.  When you hear them talking of the “official” Magisterium, they are suggesting that there is another “magisterium” over and against that exercised by the Church’s shepherds.  Those who defend the “official” Magisterium will be fixed by them with labels such as “militarist” or “capitalist”, as the writer did, above.
    Here now is something for reflection from Lumen gentium 12:
    “The holy people of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office; it spreads abroad a living witness to Him, especially by means of a life of faith and charity and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the tribute of lips which give praise to His name. The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God. Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints, penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life” .
    And as far as the women religious are concerned, this from the Apostolic Exhortation Vita consecrata 46:
    “In founders and foundresses we see a constant and lively sense of the Church [sensus ecclesiae], which they manifest by their full participation in all aspects of the Church’s life, and in their ready obedience to the Bishops and especially to the Roman Pontiff. […] A distinctive aspect of ecclesial communion is allegiance of mind and heart to the Magisterium of the Bishops, an allegiance which must be lived honestly and clearly testified to before the People of God by all consecrated persons, especially those involved in theological research, teaching, publishing, catechesis and the use of the means of social communication. Because consecrated persons have a special place in the Church, their attitude in this regard is of immense importance for the whole People of God. Their witness of filial love will give power and forcefulness to their apostolic activity which, in the context of the prophetic mission of all the baptized, is generally distinguished by special forms of cooperation with the Hierarchy. In a specific way, through the richness of their charisms, consecrated persons help the Church to reveal ever more deeply her nature as the sacrament ‘of intimate union with God, and of the unity of all mankind’”.
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      Posted in "How To..." - Practical NotesBrick by BrickLinking BackMagisterium of NunsOur Catholic IdentityThe DrillThrowing a Nutty | Tagged  | 22 Comments

      LCWR is planning how not to obey

      From the site of Vatican Radio:
      Statement by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain in response to the LCWR statement
      Following the May 31 statement by the national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR ) concerning the assessment that led to the Vatican decision to reform the organization, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, appointed to oversee the reform, has issued the following statement:
      Both the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and I are wholeheartedly committed to dealing with the important issues raised by the Doctrinal Assessment and the LCWR Board in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, integrity and fidelity to the Church’s faith. I look forward to our next meeting in Rome in June as we continue to collaborate in promoting the important work of the LCWR for consecrated life in the United States.
      The Holy See and the Bishops of the United States are deeply proud of the historic and continuing contribution of women religious – a pride that has been echoed by many in recent weeks.
      Dramatic examples of this can be witnessed in the school system and in the network of Catholic hospitals established by sisters across America which are lasting contributions to the wellbeing of our country.
      So… what did the LCWR (a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns) do?
      Here is their statement:
      LCWR Board Meets to Review CDF Report
      June 1, 2012
      [Washington, DC] The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held a special meeting in Washington, DC from May 29-31 to review, and plan a response to, the report issued to LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.[If the CDF asks a group to do something, the first meeting held should aid at figuring our how to jump as high as necessary. But in the case of this subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns, that seems not to have been on the agenda.]
      The board members raised concerns about both the content of the doctrinal assessment and the process by which it was prepared. Board members concluded that theassessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of aflawed process that lacked transparency. Moreover, the sanctions imposed weredisproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their ability to fulfill their mission. The report has furthermore caused scandal and painthroughout the church community, and created greater polarization.  [I guess they didn't like the CDF's plan.]
      The board determined that the conference will take the following steps:
      On June 12 the LCWR president and executive director will return to Rome to meet with CDF prefect Cardinal William Levada and the apostolic delegate Archbishop Peter Sartain to raise and discuss the board’s concerns.
      Following the discussions in Rome, the conference will gather its members both in regional meetings and in its August assembly to determine its response to the CDF report[Is that the same LCWR Assembly where they are scheduled to hear talks from the editor of a dissident catholic rag, a lesbian activist, and a talk about "co-creating a cosmic shift" and "entering the cosmic mystery"?]
      The board recognizes this matter has deeply touched Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world as evidenced by the thousands of messages of support [Like the one here?] as well as the dozens of prayer vigils held in numerous parts of the country.[Each attended by tens of people!] It believes that the matters of faith and justice that capture the hearts of Catholic sisters are clearly shared by many people around the world. [Watch this...] As the church and society face tumultuous times, the board believes it is imperative that these matters be addressed by the entire church community in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and integrity. ["by the entire church community"....  Just how would that work, exactly?  This is nothing other than a dodge.  They don't want to obey.]
      Contact: Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM – LCWR Director of Communications – 301-588-4955 (office) – 301-672-3043 (cell) – asanders@lcwr.org
      June 1, 2012
      Remember ladies: When you decide to disband you will immediately become …


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