The 1,000 leaders of U.S. Catholic religious orders meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Saturday said that following Jesus simply didn't mean being dutiful mouthpieces for the Vatican or the American bishops.Be prophetic? Many, if not most of their orders are dead or dying - what is so bold about that? Is that something of which to be proud? Their 'prophetic' voices will, in time, be silenced and will no longer be heard because they have chosen to reject the successors of the Apostles.
Rather, they urged one another not to allow the church to be hijacked by seemingly dictatorial pronouncements by a conservative hierarchy. Be bold, prophetic and, when necessary, even defiant, they told one another.
"A lot of religious communities have concerns about speaking out because they fear the Vatican or their bishops will sanction them," said Sister Carol Beckermann, a Franciscan nun from St. Louis. "We can't let that intimidate us any longer."Sr. Carol is in St. Louis - We wait to hear more of her 'speaking out'...maybe she will tell us how many new vocations her order is getting. Maybe she can shout that from the rooftop of the cathedral?
The leaders were from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 73,000 U.S. nuns, and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents 2,000 priests and brothers belonging to male religious orders.Nothing else needs to be said!
The organizations represent the majority of religious orders in the United States, which have seen dramatic drops in membership since the 1960s. The groups tend to be progressive theologically. Only a few sisters wore traditional veils, and almost none of the men were cloaked in clerical garb.Theologically progressive? That must be why thousands