Who Are The Real Schismatics?

NUNSThe LCWR was given 5 years (starting in 2012) to implement a reform and thereby conform itself which Church doctrine and morals. What have been the results of this reform and how has the treatment of the LCWR differed from [that of]  the SSPX?

Once again, the LCWR is in the news for pretty much the same reason:

“Actions by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) at its latest annual assembly suggest that it may be closed to the possibility of reform, one writer on Catholic religious life has said.”[1]

This mega organization of female religious superiors was recently given this description by the Catholic News Agency:

“With some 1,500 members, the LCWR constitutes about 3% of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. However, the group says it represents 80% of American sisters since its members are leaders of their respective religious communities.”[2]

 So, what is the problem with the LCWR? After all, this organization was canonically-erected. And though it acts like the USCCB for female religious, nevertheless, “democratization” of the Church (or collegiality) is in vogue.

The “minor” problem is that this mega power of sisters acts as if it can pick and choose—as heretics are wont to do—what it wants to accept of Church doctrine and authority. This problem of the LCWR was no secret. Despite cries for bringing the dissenting sisters into conformity with Church teaching, they were winked at by the hierarchy. Finally in 2011, the Vatican ordered an Apostolic Visitation to be made by Archbishop Peter Sartain. Not surprisingly, several of the sisters immediately issued an open letter denouncing the visitation as a “witch hunt.”

Paradoxically, the New York Times simultaneously reported on the drastic decrease of priests and religious who were serving as chief executives in Catholic hospitals. For example in the 1960s, the presiding total was 770 in 796 of the nation’s ecclesiastically-run hospitals, whereas today, the figure is 8 out of 636 hospitals.[3] In retrospect, perhaps the literary denouncers should have considered the Visitation as more of a haunted house tour—with mere ghosts of sisters—than a witch hunt!

It is also interesting to note that even the Times drew the connection that the near “extinction” of sisters from hospitals was “accompanied” by the rise of feminism, the sexual revolution and changes wrought by Vatican II.

It is no surprise that the 2012 publication of the LCWR visitation report indicated serious dissent on various Church matters, not only in the doctrinal sphere on such topics as the divinity of Christ and the priesthood, but also in morality, such as on sex and gender matters.

Rather than calling the LCWR to task to immediately rectify these matters of dissent (even to sign on the dotted line), the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith granted Archbishop Sartain an “extension” of up to 5 years to lead a reform.

So how much of this reform has been accomplished within the past two years? Not much as can be witnessed by the recent statement of LCWR board members during its annual assembly just held in Nashville from August 12-16:

“The board members said they wanted to continue in conversation with Archbishop Sartain in order “that new ways may be created within the church [sic] for healthy discussion of differences.”[6]

 What is the implication of such a statement? That these religious have adopted the modernist tactic of “stay put and rock the boat from within”! In fact, this was confirmed by Cardinal Franc Rode in 2011, when he affirmed that there were some in religious life:

“who have chosen paths that have carried them away from communion with Christ in the Catholic Church, even though they have decided to physically “be” in the Church.”[4]

 Hence, it is clear that the LCWR is playing by the same modernist tune of “alter from within”.

Perhaps in the confusion of the post-conciliar crisis these sisters simply “can’t get” what the Catholic Church actually teaches. Such a naïve notion was debunked by Ann Carey, a noted author and contemporary expert on female religious (Sisters in Crisis and Sisters in Crisis Revisited), who just recently told CNA:

“These are educated women, and certainly they have the intellectual ability to understand the doctrinal teachings of the church… Rather than actually engaging some of the doctrinal issues involved, they tend to bring in speakers who reinforce their own views and even propose unproven theories such as ‘conscious evolution’ and ‘new cosmology’”[5]

 So there we have it—the LCWR leadership definitely knows what it is doing in dissenting with Catholic doctrines and morals, let alone Church authority.

The irony here is that the “kid-glove” treatment has been consistently applied to the blatantly dissenting and heterodox LCWR and others of this attitude during the post-conciliar era, while traditional groups such as the Society of St. Pius X, whose fidelity to the Catholic Faith is unquestionable, have received stricter treatment.

The case of the LCWR—to use their own words—is unfortunately another case of the post-conciliar double-standard: those who adhere to the “new ways” are “in” the Church, while those who stand fast with the “old ways” are to be regarded as if they are “out”.  Source

Footnotes
1 Quoted from the August 20, 2014 CNA article, “LCWR may not be open to reform, commentator worries”.
2 Ibid.
3 Cited from the August 20, 2011 article, “Nuns, a ‘Dying Breed,’ Fade From Leadership Roles at Catholic Hospitals”.
4 Cited from December 5, 2008 CNA article, “Renew religious life by returning to founding charisms, Cardinal Rode tells orders”.
5 CNA article of August 20th.
6 National Catholic Reporter piece of August 22, 2014, “LCWR: business as usual despite cloud of Vatican mandate”.

Comment

It’s almost beyond belief that there are still ignorant people out there who describe the SSPX as “schismatic” when no pope has ever said that – quite the reverse. Pope Benedict’s appointed representative said many times (5 times in one interview alone) that anyone who thinks the SSPX is in schism “does not understand the situation.”   In any case, maybe even those numpties who insist on accusing the Society of being in schism, even now as the crisis in the Church lurches from worse to catastrophic, will stop short and ask themselves why on earth the Vatican is tolerating these nuns, whose relationship with Catholic doctrine is about as solid as a bowl of ice-cream, while effectively persecuting the SSPX.  Despite the fact that even the Modernist Pope Francis has not pronounced the Society to be in schism, the continuing  irregular SSPX situation allows the less intelligent (or, at least , the less theologically literate) among us to continue to accuse them of schism. The basic question here then is… what the heck is going on?  Why are these (anything but) religious sisters being treated with kid gloves? 

41 responses

  1. The idea that the SSPX are schismatic, and I have read this so many times from the ignorant, mainly online, is beyond a joke.

    Today at our Parish, we concluded 40 hours adoration with the third Mass; a solemn sung Mass and a procession around the block. Two and a half hours long in total. Solid Catholicism.

    The Novus Ordo are schismatic if anyone, perhaps going the way as the other heretic protestant splinter groups. And as the Priest reminded us in his sermon, the innocent being led astray are not to blame, but those that are doubtful and yet follow the wrong path along with the bad shepherds will have a reckoning and need to account for their sins.

    I really think that Traditional Catholics are a painful reminder to the establishment heads of the Catholic Church that they are in the wrong but are to proud to admit it. A mortal sin and a sore vice to cling to. So they lash out.

  2. Summa,

    If only the Modernist claim that the SSPX is schismatic were a joke. The fact is it’s a malicious calumny geared at prevented good Catholic souls from taking the steps they need to take to preserve their faith in all its integrity. There are way too many proofs of non-schism on the part of the SSPX, many of them provided by senior clerics and prelates in “good standing”, for anyone to now make that false claim without culpability before God.

    As regards the LCWR, that photo says all that needs saying. Those women are about as religious as a cream bun. The very look of them screams SECULAR. They are a disgrace to the Church and should be disbanded immediately. But no, it was the ever expanding Franciscans of the Immaculate who were disbanded, and for no apparent reason other than their fidelity to the Traditional spirit of their Order. As the Americans are wont to say – Go figure!

    What a terrible crisis we are presently living through; rebellion on the part of those consecrated to God in the religious life, no real leadership from the hierarchy and complete indifference on the part of the majority of the faithful who should be seeing and opposing the present apostasy but who apparently couldn’t care less.

    It’s a good job Our Lord is still in charge of His Church or there would be a serious temptation on the part of many to give up on what seems to be, humanly speaking, a hopeless situation.

    But Our Lord is in charge and He will put this mess right when the time comes, which I firmly believe is now very close. In the meantime, we can only lament the scandals of the so-called conciliar reform and ask “how much longer, O Lord”.

  3. I completely agree with the above comments. You don’t have to attend an SSPX Mass to know they are not in schism but those “nuns” are. They look like badly dressed old women, not like nuns at all. Not like those lovely Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate dressed in proper habits and looking young and full of vitality. These LCWR people are has-beens, they are not attracting new vocations so they will die out soon. Sorry to sound uncharitable but that article really got to me. How dare the Vatican treat them with kid gloves and punish the SSPX and other traditional groups. I can’t get my head round it at all. The devil is having a field day.

  4. I too agree with the above comments. Spot on Margaret Mary. Too true that the Vatican treats the LCWR people with kid gloves, yet punish the SSPX, Franciscans of the Immaculate and other traditional groups.

    This is the reality of the New Springtime of Vatican II.

    Editor: Theresa Rose, that website is a sedevacantist site, so I removed the link to the video as it is against our policy to promote sedevacantism in any way. I know you wouldn’t want to anyway, so I presume you didn’t realise it was a sede site.

  5. Just looking at that photo of ‘nuns’ or ‘sisters’ or whatever they are is just cringe worthy. You can bet that they are all feminists or lesbians who support abortion and women Priests in the name of ‘pastoral understanding’. Just look up Sr. Laurie Brink O.P and Sr. Theresa Kane R.S.M. Shocking. However, there are many good orders, even mainstream ones in the USA. such as the Dominicans of St. Cecilia (who have set up shop in Elgin) or the East Coast Dominican Province. Then there are Clear Creek Benedictines, who say the TLM. Most orders in the U.S.A wear the habit, and even though many don’t say the TLM, they do really good work in wider society, such as the Redemptorists, Passionists, Franciscan Conventuals (who are now in Oxford and elsewhere in England) amongst others. Even orders of Brothers are growing in the U.S.A, such as the De La Salle Brothers or the Marist Brothers. Likewise business is booming for the FSSP and the ICKSP. I just wish that certain SSPX supporters would shake off this habit of dismissing all Novus Ordo Catholics as heretics, as if they don’t have the true faith, because I’ve met many Priests who possess the true faith and are fully in line with traditional doctrine. For example, I asked an Opus Dei Priest what his views were on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and he gave as good an answer as any SSPX Priest. I spent some time at an Opus Dei residence teaching an English course to Spanish teenagers, and the Mass was said in a traditional manner, for a Novus Ordo, as the Priest faced away, kept the thumb and forefinger joined after consecration and communion was administered kneeling and on the tongue (which they are very strict about).

    In short, only a minority of Catholics are schismatics, and this includes Bishops, Priests, laity and religious, who deny integral doctrines of the faith and who have practically set up a parallel Church and are holding the Holy See to ransom. I believe one can be Novus Ordo and still be faithful, it’s just harder, but thankfully, and I have it on good authority, that seminarians nowadays are orthodox, and I know of one in Allen Hall who is learning the extraordinary form (ahem).

    • Catholic Convert,

      I don’t have time to address all the issues raised in your post and I pray someone else does speedily! But I presume the “ahem” at the end of your comment is in place of the quote marks which should be around “extraordinary form” – we never use that term on this blog. It is the Traditional Latin Mass or the traditional Mass – the only thing that is “extraordinary” about it is the fact that all attempts to destroy it have failed.

    • I just wish that certain SSPX supporters would shake off this habit of dismissing all Novus Ordo Catholics as heretics, as if they don’t have the true faith, because I’ve met many Priests who possess the true faith and are fully in line with traditional doctrine.

      CC

      I am willing to be corrected on this by those who know better, but my understanding on this is that if you have gone astray with the rest of the post-conciliar Catholic Church and attend novus ordo, and buy into all the other nonsense being promulgated, then you are either innocent of the sins of it and are not guilty, or you are one of a group of Catholics who either doubt what is going on and do nothing about it, or you are a leader of the Church and lead souls down the wrong road. This latter group as I mentioned above are heretical and are guilty of aiding and abetting the scandal of the Church.

    • Catholic Convert,

      I’ve read from you before that Opus Dei are very strict about Communion on the tongue. This is only half true. They administer Holy Communion this way in their Centres, but I doubt they would refuse to give Communion in the hand. In fact, I know they give Communion in the hand in St. Thomas More Parish in London.

    • “Just looking at that photo of ‘nuns’ or ‘sisters’ or whatever they are is just cringe worthy. You can bet that they are all feminists or lesbians who support abortion and women Priests in the name of ‘pastoral understanding’.”

      I would suggest checking the meanings of “bigotry” and “argumentum ad hominem”.

      • Andrew,

        Well, they were taken to task under the Pontificate of Benedict XVI for holding precisely those kinds of dissenting views and publishing the fact. So no “bigotry” or “argumentum ad hominem,” just sad reality, I’m afraid.

  6. CC,

    I think you do a very grave injustice to “certain SSPX supporters here” by suggesting that they dismiss all Novus Ordo Catholics as heretics. I am a very committed SSPX supporter, have been for 25 years, and I can tell you that I consider very few of my fellow Catholics in the Church to be heretical. I would certainly never accuse any of being so unless I had solid evidence to back it up, and even then I would try to give the benefit of the doubt to that person by suggesting material rather than formal heresy.

    The problem with those many good souls you speak of is that they either approve or support, for reasons of poor education in the Faith or out of a false notion of obedience to Modernist superiors, the Novus Ordo Mass, which is inconsistent with the Traditional Liturgy of the Church. They do likewise with Communion in the hand and other liturgical novelties also inconsistent with Traditional practices and teaching, and they approve or support ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and other such new doctrines, again by open support or by silence, despite the obvious fact that all these previously condemned innovations have shown themselves to be dangerous and destructive to the Faith.

    In other words, through ignorance or by accommodation for peace’ sake, they compromise the integrity of the Faith which has been seriously breached since Vatican II. And this behaviour encourages only indifference.

    Take the FSSP and ICK, for example. Now these certainly preserve the Traditional Liturgy of the Church, a very good thing, and members doubtless preserve in their own souls and minds the Traditional doctrinal teaching of the Church, another good sign. But what of the rest of the Church? Do they not realise that by refusing to take a public stance against false ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and all the other novelties I mentioned above, they effectively approve them? Silence for the sake of obedience and as a condition for continued existence is not an option when it comes to the Faith.

    Why do you think the SSPX chooses the position it does, accepting calumny and persecution rather than remain silent while the Faith gets diluted? The SSPX does not wish to be in this unenviable position but it has no choice if it is to remain faithful before God to what has been handed down. It is worth bearing in mind that that there would be no FSSP, ICK or other Traditional-leaning institution in the Church today had it not been for this uncompromising stance of the SSPX.

    Don’t misunderstand me, I have attended Masses at FSSP and ICK churches while on holiday and I have been to confession to Novus Ordo priests who are sound in respect to the administration of that Sacrament. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction that the SSPX alone has chosen the royal road of the Cross by its uncompromising stand for the integrity of the WHOLE Faith, not just the liturgy. All others, while well intentioned and doubtless welcome from the point of view of at least preserving the true Mass of the ages, come a distant second in terms of fidelity to the preservation of the entire Sacred Tradition of the Church.

    As for those good Novus Ordo priests and religious you mention, well, I don’t doubt their very good will and intentions. It is their effectiveness I doubt by reason of the post-conciliar baggage they are forced to carry around with them. None of these people are willful heretics, they are just poor souls caught up in the worst crisis to ever hit the Catholic Church, a time of universal confusion for the ignorant and compliant and a time of spiritual martyrdom for the informed who resist.

    • Athanasius,

      I’ve just read that beautiful article at Rorate Caeli about the purchase of St James’ church by the SSPX. What a wonderful example of Divine Providence blessing the efforts of the Society. Superb. Thanks for posting that.

  7. It is my belief that the vast majority of Catholics do not think the SSPX is schismatic, mainly because I suspect most Catholics (in this country at least) have never heard of the SSPX. An unscientific straw poll among my Catholic relatives and friends would seem to bear this out.

    • Good point, but it is an interesting point to ponder upon, as to why more Catholics have not heard of the SSPX?

      Part of this could be that most Novus Ordo Catholics do not take their faith seriously. This is only anecdotal evidence on my own part, having been brought up Novus Ordo and identified myself as a Catholic but committed all the same errors of modern society as non Catholics. The irony is, it is only when I drifted away from the Church and then came back, really searching for the Church, that I began to appreciate what had happened at Vatican II.

      For me, leaving the post conciliar Catholic Church and living a secular life was the catalyst to me discovering the real Church. Strange but true.

      • Summa,

        Your experience is not unusual at all. A friend of mine in Ireland was lapsed for many years. He had a great career and family and was doing really well in worldly terms. Then things began to fall apart, both work and family. He went into a church in the town where he lives, and checked out the Mass times. Now, he lapsed prior to Vatican II, so had no idea there was any such thing as a “new Mass”.

        Hence, when he went along to Mass the following Sunday, he was completely puzzled. He whispered to the person next to him, to ask if this was a Catholic Church and then said he was expecting Mass. The parishioner told him it was, indeed, Mass, and my friend – we’ll call him Tony in case he’s reading this and sues me under copyright laws – was stunned.

        He immediately began researching and discovered all about the “new Springtime” of Vatican II, new Mass, new everything and kept researching until he found the SSPX. So, right from the git-go, he was on red alert and did not rest until he’d uncovered the safety net provided by God – the SSPX.

        It is, of course, interesting to note that both he – and your good self – had sufficient Catholic sense to realise that something was/is wrong.

        Sadly, that Catholic sense has been stifled in the majority, it seems, of souls.

        And of course the diocesan clergy are hardly going to be telling their parishioners about the SSPX – if only!

      • For me, leaving the post conciliar Catholic Church and living a secular life was the catalyst to me discovering the real Church. Strange but true.

        That is exactly my experience took, Summa.

        Even as a child, I could perceive some issue with the Novus Ordo, though I had no clue then that what we were given was any different to the history of the Church.

        It would be strange to me how, on arrival before mass, my Grandmother and her auld pal (a neighbour) would be straight down on their knees to pray and yet my mothers generation would be sitting, chatting and laughing away with those nearby about last nights TV etc.

        I could never understand how the material being served up by the Church would ever make anyone into fervent Catholics, like my granny and her neighbour. (And – guess what – it doesn’t!). Even as a kid I thought “this is pretty puerile”.

        I used to reconcile these stark differences between my grans and my mums behaviour by thinking “It must be an old persons thing”.

        I love arriving at St Andrews (SSPX) before mass and being able to say some private prayers or quietly reflect on things. Its so peaceful and focused, compared to the bustling fish-market that is the typical novus ordo parish.

    • Eileenanne,

      It shouldn’t take an unscientific straw poll for you to answer this one….what do you think of the women in the picture?

    • Eileenanne,

      It’s a tragic reality that many Catholics in this country probably know little or nothing about a good many things pertaining to the Faith. I don’t say this out of nastiness, but from experience. In fact, I am aware of young Catholics who don’t know what the Rosary is and could not recite even one of the Ten Commandments. That’s pretty damning of the conciliar reform. And if they don’t know even the basics then I’m not surprised that matters such as the SSPX are foreign to them. The whole business is so utterly tragic.

    • Eileenanne,

      Most Catholics today don’t know anything about the Church, period. I’ve heard from friends about friends of their teenage children who don’t know the Hail Mary. After several years of Catholic school, you’d expect them to know basic prayers if nothing more. So, I’m not surprised your friends and relatives don’t know anything about the SSPX. They probably don’t know that the Mass they attend is the product of at least six Protestant Ministers and a Freemason (Bugnini) or even that there is a crisis in the Church.

      • True, Fidelis. However there were many more ‘Catholics’ on Vatican II than masons and Protestants. That is the real tragedy.

        I am mildly surprised that the girl you mentioned did not know the Hail Mary, but as shocking as that is as a product of a Catholic school, the question shouting out to be asked is….Where were the parents in all of this?

        • Summa,

          I don’t know the young people or their parents personally, so can’t really answer for them, but I don’t think it’s that surprising. Not every family prays together and I guess the parents presumed that their children were being taught the basics at school. Even without being taught at home, you would think they would be saying at least the Hail Mary and Our Father at school, so would get to learn it that way.

          I had a friend myself who was brought up in a lapsed home and learned everything about the Church from school. I don’t think that’s unusual. So, I think the schools have to answer for such ignorance, whether or not the parents are doing their duty, although I think that is a scandal also, if they don’t.

    • Typical Frankier one-liner. Your jokes are much better than the professional comics, not that I’ve heard any recently – long story, won’t even try to cut short! Anyway, thanks for your latest witticism – made me smile, I can tell you!

  8. Ed.

    You never know, maybe if ISIS spots this horde of modern day Huns on the march they will decide to leave the Catholic Church out of their plans.

    We just have to hope and pray that they don`t get their hands on a nuclear weapon, especially the one on the left of the picture.

  9. Frankier,

    Supernaturally speaking, those so-called nuns are truly weapons of mass destruction!

  10. One of our priests at the Sunday sermon mentioned that the day we should see women priests will be day that a child is fed from his father’s breast.

    The marching maidens have failed to understand that the priesthood is supernaturally ordained for the exclusive realm of men as priests of Christ. And to be fair, the priest did mention that women and their natural dispositions, might well be excellent priests, but that it was impossible and unthinkable, a complete violation of God’s will.

    • Summa,

      How true! Historically, only pagan religions had/have priestesses. What does that tell us about the road Protestantism is heading down? My message to all Protestants of good will would be to open their eyes and return home. There will never be priestesses in the Catholic Church despite the LCWR (Lamentable Coalition of Wayward Religious).

    • Summa,

      Technically it is possible for a man to breast feed a baby. It’s one of those bizarre things. Maybe you should tell your priest this next week….joke!

      It would be one strange man who tried!

  11. Petrus,

    No, they only take on that title if and when the authorities in Rome do their duty with a “toe the line or else” ultimatum that they subsequently spurn unto excommunication.

    • Summa,

      I’ve only had time to skim that linked article but the writer is one confused soul. He equates the LCWR with the SSPX, arguing that their situation is “complex” when it is no such thing – the LCWR are a bunch of heretics, end of. Not remotely comparable to the SSPX.

      He then makes a further gaffe by stating, falsely that: “For the SSPX, Archbishop Lefebvre has become the authority against which his successors must be judged.” whereas, of course, the authority against which Catholics judge Vatican II, the new Mass etc. is Tradition, which, at school (what a memory) we were taught is one of the two pillars of Catholicism, of equal weight with Scripture. When was the last time anyone heard a novus ordo priest preach that?

      So, that writer is one mixed up soul. Yes, “away and boil yer heid!” is about the nicest thing (certainly the most helpful!) anyone could possibly say to that poor, theological-illiterate.

  12. The SSPX is not schismatic but it is irregualr in that the faculties of the priests are not approved by the local bishop. It would be a simple matter for a community within a diocese who has a faithful bishop to become regularised and play a real part in hekping him recatholicise his diocese. We should not see the universal society as a football team we must support and stick together. Loftus can write in the Catholic Times and be believed for there is no one to preach the truth within the mainstream Church. Maybe I will still seem unchaitable but I repeat no matter how hard you fight you can only be successful within the battle.

    Ed: sorry, didn’t notice this until closing down the thread, John, but – as explained over and over again on this thread – the fact that the SSPX is denied faculties to operate within the diocesan structures, is the fault of the church authorities. Not the fault of the Society, which is, as you acknowledge, within the Church, i.e. not in schism. Protestant ministers are permitted to preach in Catholic churches (it’s a fairly regular occurrence in Glasgow, or certainly was under Archbishop Conti) but an SSPX priest would never be permitted to do so. It’s the hatred of the church authorities (from the top down) for the traditional Catholic Faith and liturgy that is the problem – not the SSPX. Remember the words of the twice excommunicated (now a canonised saint and Doctor of the Church) St Athanasius, which apply to the SSPX today: “they have the buildings, we have the Faith.”

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