… A few weeks ago, approximately 800 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious gathered in Nashville, Tenn. Against a backdrop of Vatican criticism of their organization and of the sister who would receive LCWR’s annual award, the sisters listened as a Vatican representative listed eight points for their reflection.
“A letter from the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life — the acronym they use is CICLSAL — challenged the sisters, asking: 1) about their return to the sources of Christian life; 2) had they adapted in an evangelical way to the changed conditions of the times; 3) if their supreme rule is to follow Christ in the Gospel; 4) do they preserve their founding charisms; 5) do they “think with the church”; 6) are their members made aware of the needs of the church so they may live in communion with others; 7) is each member loved personally; and, 8) whether obedience and authority are dimensions of the life of true fraternity amongst them or instruments of power and of enslavement, perhaps disguised by an unhealthy spirituality?
“My friends, can we not surround clericalism with this octagon of statements? Can we not consider the specter of an unfeeling church bureaucracy that ignores real situations? Can we not reflect on the ways some clerics personally and institutionally treat others?”
By Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column
Notes for Sunday’s sermon (on clericalism) / National Catholic Reporter