PopeWatch: Nunsense





If there are any Catholics still dense enough not to understand the trajectory of the current pontificate, the ludicrous ending to the investigation of American nuns and sisters in this country should cure their ignorance.  Rorate Caeli gives us the grisly details:

Final report on American women religious issued

The “Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States of America” has been issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and apparently American sisters and nuns are in perfect communion with the Catholic Church.  Nothing to see here, folks.
There was no mention of social issues, no mention of habits, no mention of open dissonance, and, in fact, the tone of the report seemed to apologize to dissident women religious who obstructed during the process and refused to participate in the apostolic visitation.  One would never know why the apostolic visitation was called for in the first place under Pope Benedict.Contrast that to the Franciscans of the Immaculate under this papacy.
What is interesting is how even the mainstream media understands there has been a significant rupture between Benedict and Francis, most recently reflected in today’s report of the visitation that began in 2008.

Go here to read the rest.  What surprises PopeWatch slightly is what a direct slap in the face to the Pope Emeritus this report is.  None of the concerns that caused the visitation have been addressed,  and the powers that be who have led so many female orders and institutes to the brink of extinction in this country have basically received a pat on the back.  The response to the report by the orthodox sisters and nuns who make up the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious may be read here.   I love the way they diplomatically explain what separates them from the dying liberal orders of nuns and sisters:

The findings of the 2009 Center for the Applied Research on the Apostolate (CARA) study on candidates to religious life ring true to the Members of the CMSWR.3 These candidates are seeking a way of life which includes elements which have always been core to the identity of religious life, and yet they do so without the influence of a culture where such elements – or even religious life itself – is prevalent or familiar. What are some of these elements?

 They have encountered the living Lord in prayer and begun to follow Him in a new life in the Spirit. Young women look, above all, to live a religious life founded on the Sacraments and which includes a rich, robust and daily common and personal prayer life as an irreplaceable means of personal growth and of spiritual communion in community.

 They know precisely through experience that to follow the Lord means to not be alone, and they want to walk this path closely together with others who share the fire of their love for the Lord. They want to be assisted and held accountable in a community where all are sincerely, even if imperfectly, striving towards perfect love.

 These women know they could live quite well, and successfully, in the world as lay women. The call they have experienced interiorly is to separate themselves from that world in order to serve it with and from the Heart of Christ. They want to be externally recognizable as tender mothers in the Church – so they can be found and approached at any moment, in any circumstance, with confidence, by the poor and needy who are often hidden on the margins of society or in the darkness of fear.

While we cannot but rejoice to see the initiative of God in the lives of the young, the Church and the world look for the witness of mature women religious who, by the radiance of their lives, communicate the fact that God’s promises are true and trustworthy. There is no act so powerful, no act that can “wake up the world,”4 as much as a consecrated woman who says in her very being, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Ultimately the future of Catholicism is with those Catholics who love the Gospel of Christ as reflected in the traditional teachings of His Church.  That remains the same no matter who is Pope.


More to explorer


  1. One picture is worth a million words. The woman does not believe in the immediate ensoulment of the human person at fertilization and the Immaculate Conception. She wants to be ordained without a vocation, a calling by God to Holy Orders. Now, Priests for Life is being investigated. Papering over this tsunami is not going to work. Our society and now our Vatican thinks that people are stupid, “too stupid”.(see: Johnathan Gruber)

  2. This story may actually be a case of successful liberal spin doctoring. The report which was released is NOT the conclusion of the investigation into the LCWR, which is still ongoing. It’s the publication of a set of findings of a more general Apostolic Visitation which actually concluded and turned it its report before Benedict retired, but which hadn’t yet been published.

    Further, the report sounds like it was not nearly as easy on the sisters as the AP (basing its reporting on a whitewash job put out by John Allan at The Crux) suggested. Jen Fitz read the report itself and quotes some samples:


  3. The report is written in typically restrained Church bureaucrat language, but I think some of the following bits are kind of critical:

    “A review of the Constitutions and other directives of apostolic religious institutes generally revealed that institutes have written guidelines for the reception of the sacraments and sound spiritual practices. This Congregation asks the members of each institute to evaluate their actual practice of liturgical and common prayer. We ask them to discern what measures need to be taken to further foster the sisters’ intimate relationship with Christ and a healthy communal spirituality based on the Church’s sacramental life and sacred Scripture.”

    “This Dicastery calls upon all religious institutes to carefully review their spiritual practices and ministry to assure that these are in harmony with Catholic teaching about God, creation, the Incarnation and the Redemption.”

  4. The Argentinian has overruled Pope Benedict with the implied
    message to all radicals within the Church that the Church has
    embraced their pagan anti-Catholic agenda and that traditional
    faithful Catholics will have to bend to their radical agenda of the
    new Catholic Church or leave.

    I hope Pope Benedict has recognized the colossal error he made when
    he appointed the Argentinian to the position of Cardinal and the
    error he and St. John Paul II made when they refused to drive
    the radical, anti-Catholic elements within the clergy out of the Church.

  5. By their fruits you know them. They do not reproduce and they do not reproduce spiritually-they have no or almost no new vocations to the false “calling” they have pursued-they are literally dying and their houses die with them. Funny how they seek others in death throes with whom to combine their finanacial portfolioes; but it truly is last one out the door turn the light off-since long ago they doused the Light of Truth. Why would a young woman in today’s world want to be like them, be one of them – there is no “spiritual there” there. While those true to the magisterium thrive. If they think they have a vocation to the ministerial priesthood [which they need to be told is different from having a right to the ministerial priesthood since there is no right to a gift from God] they are either mistaken, since Jesus never gave His Church the power to ordain a woman, or they are lying, knowing that they have no call from God. I had an aunt, 60 + years in professed vows, who told me she and her fellow nuns had been taken prisoner by the dissenters and warehoused in the old nuns home til they died off. She was helpless in their feminun prison. But she is now with God, a “good and faithful servant.” And oh yes, she knows better than all the feminuns that He is her Father. Guy MCclung, San Antonio

  6. The explanation for the very different treatment of the LCWR on the one hand and the FFI on the other is siomple enough.
    The Vatican fears schism far more than it fears heresy and it will ruthlessly surpress separatist tendencies (“neo-Lefebvrist” or otherwise) , real or perceived.
    That is why participating in the ordination of women is just about the only thing that liberals can do that will result in instant excommunication. They can argue for it without censure, but any actions that may lead to the establishment of a parallel hierarchy will call down the fulminations of the Roman dicasteries on their heads.
    This is far from unprecedented – Think of the Peace of Clement IX

  7. If only the report “researchers” picked up a WELL researched copy of Donna Steichen’s, “Ungodly Rage” they might see the true apostasy, paganism and leftist political views of so many nuns. Thankfully, there are good and holy sisters out there … and many of them are young and filled w/ the Holy Spirit. My sympathy lies with older true nuns who have had to live through the “nunsense” of feminist “pro-choice” pseudo-sisters.

  8. Michael Paterson-Seymour: “That is why participating in the ordination of women is just about the only thing that liberals can do that will result in instant excommunication.”
    Aborting one of God’s children also results in instant excommunication.

  9. “This Dicastery is well aware that the Apostolic Visitation was met with apprehension and suspicion by some women religious. This resulted in a refusal, on the part of some institutes, to collaborate fully in the process.” (Excerpt from the Apostolic Visitation report made public 12/16/14). It may be as Darwin observes that this report was “not nearly as easy” as the AP reported, but it is highly doubtful given the intransigency and obstinacy of many of the US women’s religious groups—which are, we all acknowledge, dying out from lack of vocations—that there is going to be a corrective disciplining of these groups. I am not holding my breath on the CDR report.

    As A Cloney observes, and we see a lot of the blatant exhibition of it on the Left Coast, the paganism, apostasy, and atheistic nihilism of many progressive sisters’ groups is breath-taking: for example, the Sisters of the Holy Names, a once-proud west coast order (Holy Names U. in Oakland) has turned their retreat house (“Sabbath Center”) into an organizing center for world social and global water issues. Because they havent had a true vocation in years, they now have “associates” who “think about” becoming a permanent sister. Their average age is well into the 70’s, and they only have about 30 or so sisters under the age of 65, creating a retirement crisis for thei order.

    Of course, they are not alone. Sr. Donna Quinn (of the aptly-named Sinsinawa Dominican), pictured above with her “Nuns for Choice” sweatshirt has had conflicts with the Vatican going back to the time of Card. Hamer—whom she outlasted and outlived (he died in 1996), so she could smirk in the face of a useless Vatican authority. Sr. Kay Ashe, a fellow-traveller, has done the same. Well, these are just a few examples, which are well-documented, but there are so many more of them: and they will outlast and outlive Card. Muller and every other branch of a useless hierarchy that saves its venom for its most humbly obedient children.

  10. Is there no respect at all for the Papacy and for an obviously hardworking, God fearing, Church loving man? Here is exactly what keeps God’s Holy Church in turmoil and exactly why vocations to the convent are so low. People stopped sending their children to Catholic school, nor were they encouraged too. I could go on and on but among the nasty commenters ( the Pope is the Pope not “the Argentinian” by the way), has there been any support of Catholic schools? Any donations to convents? Any attempt to seek out orders and make their life easier?

    The majority of this is down right mean!!!

  11. Millie, blaming the messenger is a time honored way of not facing up to bad news. For the past half century faithful Catholics have been told to ignore their lying eyes and put implicit faith in the men at the top, even as the traditions that have guided the Church have been treated like tinker toys. That strategy has worked out rather poorly and I for one am not going to pretend that all is well when such manifestly is not the case.

  12. And, Donald, relatively small matter, but there is the $3 billion $$ of the faithful’s donations those on top have paid out because of actions of those on top. I shake my head each and every time anyone associated with any parish or diocese says “we need some more of your money for ________”. You want them to sit up and take notice? You want a letter from a bishop or a chancellor or vicar? Don’t send them evidence of blatant schismatic liturgical abuse or of a pastor preaching heresy on a Sunday-there will be no response; but do or say something that in any way threatens the funding of their “$ocial Go$pel” “ministries,” and you will be the largest brightest blip on their radars. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  13. Guy McClung: Our Constitution forbids Bills of Attainder, that is punishing relatives and family of offenders for the crimes of offenders. My Diocese is bankrupt. Everything was taken. I committed no crime. Guilt by association is not prosecutable. The Catholic Church offered and has never not offered the insurance money and a $25,000.00 settlement for anyone victimized. In fact, this fact was held against the Church. The minor child ought to have secrecy.
    There are victims’ compensations boards statewide that offer $25.00, yes, $25.00 for one to bury his family and pick up his life if a Starbucks coffee will do the trick.
    I wonder if the state paid out that $25.00 for not protecting the victim.
    My family paid dowries for nuns to enter the convents, but that was when women priests and abortion was not on their agenda.

  14. Millie Foyle wrote:
    “Is there no respect at all for the Papacy…”
    Where was respect from liberal progressives for the Papacy during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI? How much did liberal progressives respect the Papacy when Pope JP II said no women’s ordination and when Pope Paul VI said no to contraception? These liberal progressives have NO respect for the Papacy. Rather, they are infatuated over this Peronist Pope for his Marxist leftist pronouncements. They have no love for the Papacy. Those on the other hand who advocate a return to orthodoxy are the ones who love the Papacy. I wonder if with his left leaning tactics this Pope himself loves the Papacy.

  15. Millie Foye, this article is about the disastrous capers and uncorrected deviations and disobediences of many (not all) US Sisters’ groups and esp. of the LCWR. For example, it is not at all unknown that [at least] individual sisters who staffed Holy Names’ College in Oakland, as well as many other places, were just as blatant abortion advocates for the students as was Planned Parenthood and Sr. Donna Quinn (pictured above) (Sr. Donna Quinn was a pro-abort keynote speaker at a Planned Parenthood California conference in 2012—where were you, Ms. Foye?) I and many many others have protested these and similar groups in front of their conference centers, and I can assure you, if the F-word were a blessing, we would already be beatified. The Pope just gave these sisters groups a green light, dear MIllie, with this pronouncement. He knows what he is doing.
    My point is this: the present Pope could have made our work to protect life and to encourage young women to seek alternatives to abortion a lot easier, but he, and only he, had to specifically trash Catholic moral advocates and their efforts early in his papacy—all the people you blame for “division”. Well, as Simeon warned the BVM, this Child will be a sign of contradiction, one to be opposed, so that “the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (Luke 2:34) I guess we know where your heart is.

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