Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hey! Who called in the air strike on the convents?

WARNING! Harsh langu --- (Wonk, wonk, wonk. Insert Charlie Brown's teacher's voice here.)

I could save the Vatican a helluva lot of time and money. This one isn't really all that hard to figure out.

Here's some of the article from the AP: (Emphasis mine)
Vatican orders review of women's religious orders

The Vatican has begun a first-ever comprehensive study of women's religious orders in the United States, four decades into a steep decline in the number of Roman Catholic sisters and nuns in the country.

The Vatican released results of a similar canvass of U.S. seminaries earlier this month in light of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. That review gave special attention to chastity and celibacy, and the Vatican found seminaries had largely been successful in rooting out "homosexual behavior."

The reasoning behind the Vatican's focus on women's religious orders is less clear. A Web site on the visitation said the church wanted "to safeguard and promote consecrated life in the United States."
(Insert magazine. Lock and load)

It also said "many new congregations have emerged in the United States, while many others have decreased in membership or have an increased median age." (Aim in.)

The number of Catholic sisters in the U.S. declined from 173,865 in 1965 to 79,876 in 2000, according to Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The average age of a member of a women's religious community was between 65 and 70 in 1999, the center says. (Open fire.)

"The numbers tell you everything one needs to know why they're undertaking an effort like this," said Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who called the church's interest "very late in the game." (Noooo... you goombas were the ones who dropped the ball long ago, and now you blame Rome for your ineptness... time for Pope Benedict's mad minute in a free fire zone.)

"For many of these communities, the handwriting is on the wall. They're disappearing," he said. (No shit.)

Historically, Catholic sisters concentrated on teaching and health care. Since the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, many sisters have become activists of social causes ranging from protesting nuclear weapons to marching with migrant farmworkers. Some also advocate for women to be ordained as priests or challenge church teaching against abortion rights or gay marriage.
(This paragraph says it all -- nuns went from being nuns, to generic social workers.)

In recent years, newly formed traditional orders — whose members dress in habits, show fidelity to Rome and focus on education, health care and social work — have reported growth. More established orders that tend to take more progressive social stances have seen their members' ages and numbers of vocations dwindle. (Maybe the "Progressives" should ask Obama for a bail-out.)

"The Vatican may be asking the question, 'Why is this happening, and is there something these more traditional orders offer that the more progressive orders can learn from?'" said the Rev. Jim Martin, editor of the Jesuit magazine America. (Oh shit... who gives a rat's ass what the Jesuits think?)

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the nation's largest association of Catholic women religious communities, said it was informed of the study in a bulletin Friday. (Not even a heads-up from Rome? Looks to me like the Holy Father's lil' way of kicking in the doors to the covens. Oops, didn't I mean to type "convents"? No... I didn't. BTW, make sure to check out the LCWR website. More pantsuits than Hillary Clinton's closet. And I don't think that even they realize how prophetic their link to Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America -- A Museum Exhibit is.)

"We hope that the results of the apostolic visitation will demonstrate the vitality and depth of the life and service of women religious in the United States," the conference said in a statement. (As they muttered "Oh goddess, we're boned this time!" under their breath.)

The study, expected to be completed by 2011, will be limited to women's religious communities doing work in the church and society and exclude cloistered and contemplative orders. (A shot fired directly at Sister Mary Bulldyke and the Sisters Of The Golden Enneagram.)


Blogger Simplex Vir said...

And of course the LCWR has a special link all by its lonesome for Social Justice. I tell you the 60s really screwed this country bad. Hippie freaks every damn one of them. I am gonna puke now!

12:29 AM  
Blogger Al said...

"I could save the Vatican a helluva lot of time and money."

So could I, in fact I did in a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago. ("God's Take on the Decline in Many Religious Orders" Now if I could only get them to read it & send me the money the would have spent on the study.

4:02 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

FemaNazies of the "Religious" world....Unite!

9:35 AM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

th know of the grown of women's religious orders dedicated to an active life in teaching, health care, and social work, but almost nothing is stated in Catholic & secular news organizations about the current health or prospects of women's (and men's) religious orders oriented towards monasticism. Monasticism saved what was worth saving of Roman culture as the Roman Empire declined. I wonder what monastic orders are doing (or might do) for the decline of modern Western culture? And our Western culture--European, American, Canadian, and Australian--is dying due to secularism, abortion, birth control, homosexuality, etc.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

The few women's religious orders that kept the veil and live in community after Vat2 continued to draw vocations. The ones who moved into the "world" and took on civilian garb immediately went into decline. Notice, also, that all the orders started since Vat2 have (let me see..., oh, yeah) the veil and communal living.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Why would any young women look at some of these women and say, "damn, that's just what I want to do "Grow up and wear ugly polyester pants and generally look like a bull dyke - all for the greater glory of God???"

10:39 AM  
Blogger Thomas L. said...

You're right about the pantsuits. It's funny, these are supposedly all nuns and there's not a single veil or habit in sight!

11:25 AM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

It's about time!!

6:42 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

Thanks for the inspiration to write about this. If you want specific details on how one order of nuns have went off the rails, right in my hometown, read here:

12:03 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

I should have kept the URl. but i read the letter from the Vatican, and it went so far as to identify five types of community, include those ...who have left the communion of the church, but stay...

That's a close paraphrase!

Glad tidings from his holiness to us, who have had to put up with this crap our entire adult lives.

2:29 PM  

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