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Monday, April 23, 2012

More on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Author Says Women's Conference should return to Authentic Religious Life

Amen to that! Here's an excerpt:

In the early 1960s, the Second Vatican Council called on religious orders to renew and update themselves, removing “outdated” rules and customs so as to engage the modern world.
For example, many religious orders were continuing the custom of waking up at dawn and going to bed at twilight, she said. This rule was left over from a time before electricity was in use, and it is now unnecessary and outdated.
But while the council called for renewal by returning to the orders’ original founding ideas and adapting them to modern times, many people misinterpreted this call and instead proceeded to “totally throw off some of the essentials of religious life,” she said.
The result was an abandonment of central elements of religious life, such as living and praying in community, serving in a corporate apostolate and wearing some type of distinctive religious garb, she explained.
Carey said that after Vatican II, members of many religious orders began to live in apartments and find their own jobs, separate from a corporate apostolate such as teaching or care for the sick.
In addition, they threw off the “loyalty and faithfulness to the Church” as well as the “deference to the hierarchy” that had previously characterized religious life.
The changes were so drastic that they caused some women to leave the LCWR, Carey said. These women formed another group, which eventually became an alternative superiors’ conference known as the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.
This more traditional group, which requires its members to adhere to the essentials of religious life as understood by the Church, is attracting the bulk of young vocations today, she noted.

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