The Vatican has given strict orders to a major organization of nuns in the United States to follow the lead of Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. The Archbishop is settled in Seattle. According to the high command of the Vatican, it is the duty of the Archbishop to discipline and shape the behavior of the nunnery.
On April 30th the decree was conveyed after a parley. A certain Cardinal Muller pointed an accusing finger at the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) for awarding a distinction to Elizabeth Johnson, a nun whose writings were not in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. It was his contention that this bold and provocative step taken by the LCWR was clearly against the spirit of Catholicism.
Cardinal Gerard Muller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said: “This is a decision that will be seen as a rather open provocation against the Holy See and the doctrinal assessment: Not only that, but it further alienated the LWCR from the bishops as well,”
“I must therefore inform you that this provision is to be considered fully in force . . . Following the August assembly, it will be the expectation of the Holy See that Archbishop Sartain have an active role about invited speakers and honorees,” said Muller.
Two years ago, the Vatican had issued a warning to the LCWR of going off on radical feminist tangents which were detrimental to proper faith.
The LCWR however is not a small-time conglomerate. It comprises 57,000 nuns and has a reason for existence of its own. Muller has given the role of chief disciplinarian to Sartain.
In other words, from now onwards, any decisions regarding meetings or programs of the LCWR will be made only after consulting Sartain. These stringent conditions laid down by the Vatican have been indigestible for many American Catholics.
There have been demonstrations against the heavy-handed decision makers and several banners titled “Support the Sisters” have been held up during the protests. It’s sad to see that Pope Francis, who is popular for his kindhearted approach towards the wretched of the earth, has approved this draconian decision.
He was known to be the most softhearted and super-tolerant Pope, a far cry from his predecessor, yet even he has decided to draw the line when it comes to half the human race.