Catching up on my email this morning, I read a quick note from my old friend Steve, a cradle Catholic like myself, who sent me a link to the Slate story on the Vatican's attempt to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, along with the following cri de coeur:
No argument over whether the Vatican has the authority to do what they’re doing, but is this really worth the knocks the Church will take over this? I mean, how many people outside the clergy really pay close attention to the groups being targeted for re-education? Now I can pretty well guarantee they will get much more coverage than they ever would have absent this crackdown. I’m not saying the Church should let it all slide, I’m just saying there has to be a better, more compassionate-looking way to address the issue. Not very good for recruitment, either, if we’re even interested in the female vocations any more.
Well, there are several ways to address such a question, such as pointing out that the second orders represented by the LCWR have already done everything necessary to make themselves irrelevant and unattractive to faithful Catholic women, and that part of the reason for the reform is precisely because we're interested in the return of female vocations. But the irrepressible Father Z has uncovered some information that truly illustrates the need for LCWR reform.