Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pope Cracks Down on American Liberal Nuns, Priests

Pope Francis is wasting no time in calling out apostasy and hypocrisy in the Roman Catholic Church, while recognizing the world-wide persecution of Christians. The Pope told priests to "practice what they preach" and intends to replace feminism with Church doctrine in the American Catholic women's group.

For background, read Pope Francis Says Gay Agenda is Work of the Devil and also read All Religions to Team Up Against Gay Agenda as well as Pope Says Gay Agenda & Abortion Dooms Society

And remember the assurance from Pope Benedict XVI: Public Opinion Won't Liberalize the Church

-- From "Pope Francis reaffirms crackdown on U.S. nuns" by Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times 4/15/13

The Vatican said in a statement Monday that Francis had reaffirmed the doctrinal evaluation and criticism of U.S. nuns made last year by the Holy See under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The assessment accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious [LCWR], an organization that represents most U.S. female Catholic orders, of promoting "radical feminist themes" and ignoring the Vatican's hard line on same-sex marriage and abortion.

At the time, the Vatican dispatched an archbishop to rewrite the group's statutes and set up reeducation programs to bring nuns back into line, alleging that leaders of U.S. orders had challenged the church's teachings on women's ordination and ministry to homosexuals.

The move was denounced by Pat Farrell, then the head of the organization, as creating "pain and scandal." Protest vigils were held outside churches, and a petition attacking the Vatican's decision attracted 50,000 signatures.

Since his election, Francis has won positive reviews for his informal style, his off-the-cuff homilies and his desire to reach out to the poor. But he has long been known for his conservative views on social issues.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pope Francis reaffirms Vatican's call for reform of U.S. nuns' group" by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service 4/15/13

Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the U.S.-based nuns' group that he had "recently discussed the doctrinal assessment with Pope Francis, who reaffirmed the findings of the assessment and the program of reform for this conference of major superiors."

LCWR is a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, representing about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious.

Last April, the doctrinal congregation issued an assessment of LCWR, citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life." The assessment called for the organization's reform to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality. LCWR's canonical status is granted by the Vatican.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Christian credibility undermined by hypocrisy, pope says" by Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service 4/15/13

"One cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one's life," the pope said April 14 during a homily at Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

In his homily, Pope Francis said people outside the church "must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips."

"Inconsistency on the part of the pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the church's credibility," the pope said.

Pope Francis said St. Paul teaches Christians that following Christ requires a combination of three things: proclaiming the Gospel; bearing witness to the faith in one's life, even to the point of martyrdom; and worshiping God with all one's heart.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pope Francis Prays for Persecuted Christians" by Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter 4/15/13

"Let us pray especially for Christians who suffer persecution," he said during his sermon on the third Sunday of Easter at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy, in front of a crowd of nearly 80,000 Christians.

"[The apostles'] faith was based on so powerful and personal an experience of Christ crucified and risen, that they were not afraid of anything or anyone, and even saw their persecution as a badge of honor, that made them capable of following in the footsteps of Jesus and to be like Him, bearing witness with their lives," the pope said.

"… and in these times, there are many Christians who suffer persecution, a great many, in many countries: let us pray for them from our heart, with love, that they might feel the living and comforting presence of the Risen Lord."

According to International Christian Concern, 200 million Christians across the world suffer persecution due to their faith

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 12/16/14: From "Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns" by The Associated Press

A sweeping Vatican investigation into Roman Catholic nuns in the U.S. that began amid fears they had become too feminist and secular ended up praising the sisters for their selfless work caring for the poor — a major shift in tone that reflected the social justice mindset of Pope Francis.

The report was most remarkable for what it didn't say, given the criticism of American religious life that prompted the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI to launch the investigation in 2009.

There was no critique of the nuns, no demands that they shift their focus from social justice to emphasize Catholic teaching on abortion, no condemnation that a feminist, secular mentality had taken hold in their ranks.

The average age of U.S. nuns today is mid-to-late 70s. They are facing dwindling finances to care for their sisters as they age and haven't had much success in finding new vocations. The report asked the sisters to make sure their training programs reflect church teaching and ensure their members pray and focus on Christ.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 12/16/14: From "Vatican report calls U.S. women religious to continued dialogue" by Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Although initially seen by many religious and lay Catholics as a punitive measure, the apostolic visitation concluded with the publication Dec. 16 of a 5,000-word final report summarizing the problems and challenges the women themselves see in their communities and thanking them for their service to the church and to society, especially the poor.

The visitation process, carried out between 2009 and 2012 with detailed questionnaires and on-site visits, mainly by other women religious, "sought to convey the caring support of the church in respectful, sister-to-sister dialogue," says the final report by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

In summarizing the results, the congregation called for special attention in several areas, including: formation programs for new members; the personal, liturgical and common prayer life of members; ensuring their spiritual practices and ministries are fully in harmony with church teaching "about God, creation, the Incarnation and redemption" in Christ; strengthening community life, especially for members living on their own or with just one other sister; living their vow of poverty while wisely administering financial resources; and strengthening communion within the church, especially with the bishops and Vatican officials.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Vatican 'Gay Mafia' Reports; Cardinal Resigns