In the past year, many have noticed a "Francis effect" taking place around the world as throngs of disaffected Catholics have given the church a second look. Yet we may rightly wonder whether this is actually a double effect -- for not only are lay Catholics returning to the pews, but some clergy are feeling empowered to reach toward the ambiguous margins of modern belief.
Here he goes again! Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has sounded off once more about the shortcomings of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
Grace on the Margins: With both Francis and his doctrinal watchdog joking about misogyny, it's unlikely that any substantive treatment of issues related to women is on the horizon.
"Above all we have to clarify that we are not misogynists, we don't want to gobble up a woman a day!" Cardinal Gerhard Müller told L'Osservatore Romano.
LCWR spent four days conducting business any large organization requires -- despite the subtext of an ongoing Vatican investigation and orders to reform.
In accepting LCWR's Outstanding Leadership Award, St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson praised the sisters and urged them to stay the course.
Bulletins from the Human Side: It might have been better if Cardinal Gerhard Müller had simply told LCWR, "We just don't like the way you decide things."
Simply Spirit: Too often, Catholics raised in our Catholic culture are unaware that it is sometimes our duty to speak about matters concerning the good of the church.
As the Leadership Conference of Women Religious prepare to gather, the group is on a precipice. What lies on either side, no one can say.
Commentary: When religious leaders equate religion's ancient mythologies with demonstrable facts, faith will suffer, and religion will become increasingly irrelevant.