Catholic Sisters II

October 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

It seems I owe Ken Briggs an apology. He’s the author of a book about Vatican mistreatment of American Catholic sisters titled Double-Crossed, the very title of my last blogpost. I can assure you that I did not consciously steal Mr. Brigg’s wording. It would be harder, though, to argue that the connection wasn’t lurking back there in my unconscious someplace. Well, as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery: the phrase really seems to describe the current situation (as well as the past: Briggs’s book was published in 2006, well before the current investigations).

On a happier note, my former student, Benedictine Sister Suzanne Fitzmaurice, writes to say that on Sunday November 1 a segment on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly will feature the life of her Benedictine community at Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. (One of the reasons Sister Suzanne, who’s the Vocation Minister for her monastery, has time to think about this is that the Benedictines, as an international congregation, aren’t subject to the Vatican investigation, which applies only to American congregations of sisters). There’s a preview of the segment on the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly webpage.



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  1. Marian,

    So outrageous to “investigate” the religious sisters in the U.S. Do you know whether all the older orders founded in Europe, Dominicans and Franciscans as well as Benedictines, are exempted from this exercise??
    Also Madams of the Sacred Heart, etc.


  2. Mary Anna:
    I think it depends on the congregation. A lot of American congregations of sisters separated from their founding congregations and came under the auspices of the local bishop. But some did not. The nuns I went to school with, the Sisters of Notre DAme de Namur, retained their governmental membership with their international foundation. It’s local diocesan communities that are most up against it in this visitation, though many of the American provinces of international congregations belong to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which is also being investigated, and in a much more unambiguously hostile fashion, for “doctrinal irregularities.”


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