Rome vs. the Sisters III: The Line in the Sand

May 12, 2012 at 9:02 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Back in April, I outlined four points demanding attention as a result of the Vatican “doctrinal assessment” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the central organization of Catholic sisters in the US. Ten days ago I addressed the first three of them in an article on Religion Dispatches. Now, in a Religion Dispatches blog, I consider the fourth point, that the Vatican attack may well be the last straw for a significant number of US Catholics:

“When, in January, the Obama administration mandated free contraceptive coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) responded ferociously. In his rejection of the administration’s mandate, the president of the USCCB, now-Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, declared, “The Obama Administration has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand.”

“I’ve been thinking lately about a Catholic line in the sand, but it’s not the one announced by Cardinal Dolan. For me, and, I suspect, for a lot of educated Catholics like me, the line in the sand is the “doctrinal assessment” issued in April by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for 80% of US Catholic sisters. The assessment accuses the LCWR of grave doctrinal problems, radical feminism, and spending too much time on justice and peace. As a result, for the next five years, a conservative archbishop will control whatever the group does.  Continue

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