One Yahoo headline today reads "Vatican orders crackdown on US nun association." The comments below the article are loaded with ignorance. But then, so is the article.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has nothing to do with nuns. They are an "association" of religious sisters.
What's the difference between a nun and a religious sister? Vows. Nuns take solemn vows and go to a cloister. Religious sisters take simple vows. They usually live in a community of their order. But these days many live in private homes. Most have shunned the habit. Looking over the LCWR website, not a single one is in a habit.
Why is the habit important? It is an outward sign of service. I am neither a nun nor a religious sister. But people seem to recognize me as a religious person. Probably due to my long skirts and my Tau, the symbol of my order. Third order. Many people come to me for comfort and advice. To shun one's habit is to shun one's life of service to others.
This article claims that the "conference's" 1500 members represent 80% of the women religious in the US. This is not just an exaggeration, but an outright lie. These people should be ashamed of themselves.
If you take a good look at their website you can see that these women have left Catholicism behind. From their very own website. And yet this article paints them as unjustly accused.
I will tell you from personal experience, back home, I had two such sisters who lived up the street from me. They rented a small house. Looking at them, you would not know they were religious at all. Talking to them you would not know they were religious. They were Mercy Sisters. They supported themselves by runnng a massage parlor out of their home. Did they have a bible study? No. Did they serve at the church across the street? No. Did they assist at hospitals, food banks or homeless shelters? No.
While other sisters are giving freely to those in need, these sisters are charging. For MASSAGE! That is not sisterish at all. It is not a ministry.
I attended a Divine Mercy Conference with a friend. A Vincentian religious sister. Sister does wear a habit. Her ministry is prisons. She goes to prisons to bolster the spirits of individuals there. She gives spiritual advice and religious education. We bumped into the two Mercy Sisters there. They looked down their noses at her in her habit. Dear Sister was undaunted and utterly kind in the face of their rudeness.
Many of these free wheeling sisters have embraced ideas that are outside of Catholicism. As such they should excuse themselves from Catholicism. Rather than throwing tantrums about being questions, just admit to having beliefs outside of the church and leave their orders. Stop claiming to be representative of something that you are not - and may never have been. And definitely STOP claiming you speak for others who are in agreement with the church.
Fr. Frank Parvone immediately issued a thank you to the Holy See for it's review of the LCWR. Their stance, or lack thereof, on abortion and euthanasia goes against everything we as Catholics stand for. These ladies reject priestly ordination, and thereby question the Eucharist as source and summit of our faith - since it requires a priest.
Go ahead, disagree with the church. Tell Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament that he is not welcome in your worship because he requires a priest and you reject that. But when you do these things -- do not call yourself a Catholic organization.