Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quote of the Day

The fact that there is a “magisterium,” a body of the church composed of the bishops and under the authority of the pope, is not the problem. The fact that the role of the magisterium is to teach and interpret the rules of the faith is not the problem either.

The problem is that the teaching and interpretation of the faith must not be static but must develop in the light of the world in which we live. But in order to grow with the times, it is necessary to be close to those times. And that is where the sisters become the strength of the church.

Instructed by Vatican II to adapt their lives to “the signs of the times,” they did it. They saw the new pain around them and headed straight into it: into peace centers, into women’s issues, into the new poverties, into interfaith work, into social justice centers, as well as more deeply into adult education and health care and residential institutions. It took them into advocacy for minorities as well as into charity for the needy.

The “signs of the times” raised many questions, demanded much study, and took them into many public discussions. It also taught them that to admit that there are unanswered questions is not infidelity; it is the foundation of discernment. It is the beginning of growth. It is often the beginning of doing things differently in order to achieve what we have always valued.

The sisters have listened to every side of every question in an attempt to discern their best role in the church, their best gift to these people at this time. This has apparently made them, in the minds of some, a danger to the faith. How sad. . . .

– Joan Chittister
"A 'Hostile Takeover' of Women Religious"
July 2012


  1. This is precisely where the best contemporary Catholic mystics have gone. Into the margins, both human and scientific. Rahner was right, the future Catholic is a mystic or not.....The LCWR knows this, so do a lot of us other marginal people.

  2. The Magisterium is acting out of fear of their own marginalization, which explains the recent attack on LCWR and ongoing efforts to undermine all lay formation programs throughout the country. They need our love and support and should not be demonized. I hope the LCWR continues to take the high road, the path of Christ, through all of it. They need not nor should they react in anger or fear, as I believe in the end the Way, the Truth and the Light will prevail.

  3. I believe the sisters will act as they so often have in the past, by taking the "high road".

  4. Vatican II states that when the Pope speaks infallibly on certain matters his "his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable". (LG 25) So on many theological issues simply referring to the "signs of the times" is grossly negligent and has little to do with VII.

    1. Yes, LG 25 does state this, but it doesn't imply that future councils can't over ride the pronouncements of one pope. It also says that a teaching must be consistent. Pope Pius XII most certainly changed the philosophical under pinning of Casti Connubbi written by Pius XI, in that he allowed for the intent to control conception through NFP. Many of us found Humanae Vitae a joke, on those grounds alone. Either you are open to conception or you prefer not to be. That's true whether use NFP or artificial birth control.

      This kind of papal idolatory has to stop. It is heresy.

  5. colkoch,

    You write, "LG 25 does state this, but it doesn't imply that future councils can't over ride the pronouncements of one pope."

    I am not sure what you do not understand about the term "irreformable". In LG 25, the reason that this term is used is precisely because it does mean that a future council (or for that matter a future Pope) cannot overturn an irrformable pronouncement of one pope.

    You write, "This kind of papal idolatory has to stop. It is heresy."

    It is true that "papal idolatory", as you call it, is heresy and should be stopped but since I do not worship the pope I am not sure how it is relevant to what VII said.