Weigel on LCWR

by Michael Sean Winters

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Regular readers of my blog will know the very, very low regard in which I hold the opinions of George Weigel. He and his neo-con fellow RCs have tried to subvert Catholic social teaching for decades and still seem incapable of believing that the Master meant what he said about avarice and riches.

Now, he has set his sights on the Vatican's "assessment" of the LCWR in a post at the National Review. The article is filled with his usual absurd arguments - if only nuns wore habits, all would be well with the world - and his usualy penchant for nostalgia - invoking the memory of Ingrid Bergman in Bells of St. Mary's - but this paragraph of his was especially disturbing even by Weigel's standards:

Thus, if the LCWR refuses to accept the Vatican’s decision and dissolves itself, the realities of the situation will be clarified. And that would be an improvement over the muddle — created in part by the resistance of the sisters and in part by the fecklessness of Church authorities — that has gone on for decades. A clear delineation of who stands on which side of the boundaries of Catholic orthodoxy and orthopraxis, which are not infinitely elastic, would have a cleansing effect.

The best argument for the Vatican's decision is that it amounts to call to unity, that the CDF fears the LCWR is moving in a dangerous theological direction and wants to make sure we are all swimming in the same direction. But, that is not Weigel's goal. He wants a "clear delineation of who stands on which side of the boundaries of Catholic orthodoxy and orthopraxis." And, needless to say, he has a few ideas about where those boundaries exist, certainly not in his willful jettisoning of key Catholic social teachings.

But, what really disturbs was the word "cleansing." Maybe he was thinking that, at Eastertide, we are all aware of the cleansing effects of baptism. Maybe. In recent years, the word "cleansing," when applied to people, has had a more sinister meaning. It was what was done to Bosnians and Tutsis. I pray that Weigel did not intend such a reference, even metaphorically, but given the whole tenor of his article, it is a difficult prayer to sustain.

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