Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dear Leadership Conference of Women Religious: Huh?

In her address to the assembly, LCWR president Sister Florence Deacon, OSF presented reflections on what it means to be a faithful woman of the church as a framework for a way forward in LCWR’s relationships with church leaders. Referring to LCWR’s doctrinal assessment, she concluded, “Our situation reflects larger questions and concerns such as the ongoing implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the ecclesial roles of women religious and of the laity, especially women; understandings of authority, faithful dissent, and obedience; and the need for spaces where honest, probing questions about faith and belief can be raised and discussed.”

Personally? I don't get it. I don't get what "faithful dissent" means. I mean, I understand that many saints—Joan of Arc, Theresa of Avila, and Bernadette come easily to mind—had to argue…strenuously!…with the Powers That Were about what they saw, and what they believed.

But "faithful dissent?"

Also, I don't get the concern about the "ecclesial roles of woman religious and of the laity, especially women…" [emphasis mine, but really…come on].

Freud once asked "What do women want?"

The Lady in the Pew asks: "What do `Women Religious Leaders'" (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one) really want?

Here's the whole press release…I mean, do religious sisters generally give out press releases? 

I admit it. I don't get them. I really, truly, do not understand them. But then, maybe it's the pant suits. I'm not being snarky…it's just that, to me, Roman Catholic sisters are sisters and lay women are lay women. And these…ladies…seem to want to have the respect due to their orders…and the power—yes, the secular power!—of their lay sisters in Christ. You tell me. What am I missing?