Excerpt From an EDITORIAL: April 27, 2012
"To say that the sisters are at a critical crossroad is an understatement.
They know, as we do, that it is their properties more likely than their policies that today are in the bulls eye of Rome. It is no coincidence that the current situation collides with the steeple grab of parishes hitting a major obstacle in Cleveland. Bishop Richard Lennon must back down and re-open the 12 parishes on which he hung closed signs with the bulldozer disregard he honed in Boston as an auxiliary of Cardinal Law's. In St. Louis the Missouri Supreme Court sided with the trusteeship organization of the parish of St. Stanislaus Parish and bluntly told the archbishop that he does not own the $9 million assets of this parish no matter how much excommunicating gets waived about or how much hold he thinks he has over the parishioners souls.
The religious sisters hold and manage valuable properties in the United States and a number of the congregations are involved in the lucrative business of health care both in hospitals and nursing homes. If Rome's worst way prevails and canonical status is taken from the sisters' congregations, all, some, a few, will lose their properties and the threat of that the Vatican knows is more than enough to give the sisters pause.
Pause enough to heed and heel or pause to seize the moment in true freedom and heal the Church itself only time will tell us."
Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC)
Bridget Mary's Reflection
Yes, sadly it is apparent that the Vatican's "take-over" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious/LCWR is all about power and control. I am sure the savvy Sisters will get smart legal advice about their properties. I hope that the religious orders will declare their independence from the Vatican, continue their prophetic ministry and service to the church, and affirm nuns called to a renewed priestly ministry. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests stand in solidarity with our Sisters at this crossroads. It is time for all of us to work together so that justice rises up for the nuns and for all women in the Roman Catholic Church! One of the ways we can support them is to donate money to LCWR so that they will have the resources they need at this time.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,www.arcwp.org