+Dolan on LCWR

by Michael Sean Winters

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan has a post up at his blog about religious sisters in America and the LCWR specifically. Dolan brings his historian's eye to the role of religious women in the history of the Church in the U.S. but he also goes further, calling on everyone to reject the more extreme interpretations about the Vatican's oversight of the LCWR: Dolan rejects both the "old, bad hierarchs" and the "dangerous, heretical nuns" narratives.

The most interesting comments, though, were these:

When the Second Vatican Council urged a renewal of religious life, with characteristic vigor, they obeyed, and perhaps more than any other group in the Church, took the providential council seriously.

Lord knows, that was not easy. Mistakes were made; many left; divisions occurred; controversy was common. But they kept at it.

Here Dolan is confronting what I think is the most false charge leveled at the sisters, that their divergence from Rome, real or perceived or a bit of both, was the fruit of a lack of fidelity. It was not. They may have erred in ways, even in significant ways, when it comes to interpreting the theology of Vatican II. They have have boldly explored new and important avenues in the fight for justice. But, the women religious of the LCWR were and are engaged in the renewal of religious life called for by Vatican II. Those who cast aspersions on their integrity encounter in Cardinal Dolan's column a very sturdy rebuke.

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