(CBS/AP) The leadership group of U.S. Catholic nuns charged by the Vatican with promoting radical feminism and being out of touch with church teachings rejected those charges Friday, asserting the Vatican had its facts wrong.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the LCWR, which represents 57,000 U.S. Catholics nuns said the charges were "based on unsubstantiated accusations and ... a flawed process." The nuns also charge that the Vatican campaign against them has "created greater polarization" in the U.S. church.

CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andews reports that this is not the most dramatic step the nuns could have taken. There had been internal calls for the LCWR to disband as a Vatican-chartered organization and to regroup later as a Catholic nonprofit organization. At the same time, this is not quite the prayerful discussion the Vatican had ordered the nuns to begin with a group of U.S. Bishops. The nuns propose instead to discuss the charges in Rome June 12 with the cardinal who wrote the charging letter earlier this year.

In April, the Vatican agency concluded an investigation of more than two years by concluding the group has "serious doctrinal problems," including taking positions that undermined Catholic teaching on the all-male priesthood, marriage and homosexuality.

The national board of the nuns' group issued the statement, its first since the Holy See ordered the overhaul, after a three-day private meeting.

"Board members concluded that the assessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency," the statement said. "Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their ability to fulfill their mission."

Read the rest here.


So ... it would appear as though the LCWR are NOT willing to remain "in silence with all subjection," as 2 Timothy infamously instructs.  Apparently they are willing to get in Joe the Rat's face on this issue, a serious, perhaps first of a kind THROW-DOWN with the Vatican.  All I have to say to the LCWR in response is a hearty, resounding BRAVA!!!

It is entirely past time that the RC church be taken down a notch.  That the challenge comes from within its very structure is so much the better.  I saw this story on the CBS Evening News this evening and therewith the bombastic and utterly predictable response by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who as much as suggested that if the nuns didn't like their current status, they could leave.  Oh, can you imagine the impact if they actually DID!

Personally, I think something significant is STARTING here ... and I will be most curious to see what comes of it.

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If a substantial cohort of nuns did leave en mass, it would send a powerful signal.

And even if they DON'T leave, that they have the guts to challenge the hierarchy of the church and not be meek and mild as they are expected to be is an event of no small proportion in and of itself.

My thoughts xactly.

I heard about this on NPR this morning. The actual Vatican bureaucracy which is doing the dirty work here is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Believe it or not, this is the new name given to the old Inquisition.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the same Inquisition that burned heretics at the stake, during the Middle Ages. They never went away, they just changed their name.

On a personal note, the hitman, umm, archbishop that is in charge of repressing the nuns is none other than Peter Sartain. The very same Peter Sartain that signed and acknowledged my personal defection/excommunication papers from the Catholic Church. I got his autograph!!!! I'm framing the damned thing, as it almost brings a sentimental tear to my eye (please note the extreme sarcasm here - but I really do have his autograph on the excommunication papers).

In a strange sort of way, I hope Sartain and the Inquisition don't back down. And, that this causes the nuns to say, "You know. We don't like the rules, and therefore, we're no longer going to play you're game. Adios MF's!" This could have the potential of causing a stampede of defection not unlike the Oklahoma Land Rush.

The current pope used to the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

I have weird freudian mental slips sometimes.  For a moment I thought you said "my personal defecation from the Catholic Church".  I though, that's an interesting way to put it.  Then I re-read it and saw that was not what you said.  Sometimes a mind is a terrible thing to have.


I guess a name change can be helpful.  It's like Blackwater USA is now called Acadami.  So now the Inquisition is the Doctrine of the Faith.  Maybe next it will be Sweet Home.

Well to paraphrase a former President, when I finally got the document, the relief I felt was like successfully crapping out a pineapple.

... that signed and acknowledged my personal defection/excommunication papers from the Catholic Church.

How do you go about doing that, anyway?  I want myself off of the rolls.

I initially got the formal defection form from the the Irish web site Countmeout.ie.  Fortunately for me, I filed mine on time, before the Vatican changed Canon Law.  They no longer recognize formal defections. Apparently, once the Irish posted the form, diocese around the world were hit with a flood of them. Nevertheless, I'd still give it a shot.

What you'll need to do is write the bishop of the diocese where you were baptized. You'll need to provide: 1) the parish in which you were baptized, 2) the date of the baptism (if you know, or just your date of birth), 3) the name of your parents (including your mother's maiden name), and if you know, your godparents.  You will also need to make a statement acknowledging that your defection is a free and voluntary act, being done without duress, coercion, or undue influence, and that you are fully aware of the consequences of your action, including the inability to receive any sacraments. And, if the foregoing were not enough, a list of the reasons why you want out (I personally waxed poetic on this part - it was 2 typed pages, single spaced).

The Irish website no longer provides the form. It gives the reasons why. But as I said, I'd still give a shot. The bishop of the parish where you were baptized may not know of the change in the law. But, even if he does, he'll definitely get the point.

I don't have the form on the computer I'm using right now, but email a reminder to me.  I should be able to send it to you on Monday, when I'll be at the one where it's stored.




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