Busted Halo
December 29th, 2012

Street Seekers: Standing With the Sisters

Busted Halo hits the streets and talks with people about the Vatican’s demand for reform of the LCWR


In 2008, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith began an investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (or LCWR), the largest association in the United States of leaders of Catholic nuns and sisters in religious communities. During its study of the LCWR, the Vatican office analyzed how Catholic doctrine was being addressed within the organization. This past April, the results of the investigation were revealed.

This week, as the LCWR is meeting to develop a response to the Vatican’s investigation, we’re here on the street asking Catholics who are marching to support the sisters what they think.

[Published on: May 31, 2012]

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  • John P

    Lynn Steiden asks why the church is so preoccupied with sex and women?

    She acts as if the church is somehow less “preoccupied” with men!

    Basically the church is “preoccupied” with sin, that is, it tries to combat it. Regardless of gender.

    “Pro-life they cheer for–but they forget that the death penalty, children dying from hunger and aids….Are those not right to life issues? I choose to follow Jesus, not the Vatican who need to clean their own house up first.”

    Of course. Which is why the church is the biggest obstacle of the death penalty in the world. And why they provide a vast amount of aid to Africa, and put each of us on a spiritual path to help our less fortunate neighbours.

  • Maria

    Proverbs 16 31-32

  • Blaise

    After watching the video and reading the various comments that have been posted, I decided to read the “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” for myself. Clearly, the Vatican’s concerns are not about matters as trivial as habits and hair colors; they are about serious matters of theology and doctrine. Whether you agree with the Vatican or not, the Vatican’s concerns should not be trivialized as merely the attempts of a bunch of males to put the nuns in their traditional habits. Don’t take my (or anyone else’s) word for it; have a look at the document for yourself. At least you will be fair enough to let the Vatican speak for itself.

    I also found myself speculationg about how some of the Roman Catholic nuns in question view their relationship with the Church (this is something I haven’t done the background reading on). By all accounts, the nuns are doing tremendous works of charity and social justice in the most difficult of circumstances. However, one does not need to be a nun to engage in such Christian acts; indeed, one doesn’t have to be Christian at all, there are plenty of humanistic atheists and agnostics helping out the poor and downtrodden who would put most believers to shame. I’ve always thought that the thing that made nuns special in this regard was their motivation for such acts, the fact that their actions are grounded in their faith in Christ and His Church. What is the point of being a Roman Catholic nun if one doesn’t have a special devotion and relationship to the Roman Catholic Church? If one doesn’t recognize the apostolic authority of the Magisterium, why continue being a nun (or being Catholic at all)? Clearly a deeply personal question that I’m reasonably sure some nuns have to tackle on a daily basis as they do their good work among the poor. My prayer is that we all become ever more deeply rooted in our Christian spirituality.

    Finally, although it is very true that a plurality of beliefs and practices has always existed within the Church, it is also true that the Magisterium has always determined what the limits of that plurality are. In this regard, the Vatican is simply performing one of the essential functions it is supposed to perform. The apostles themselves (guided by the Holy Spirit) spent time and energy determining what the limits of plurality were in their own day.

  • Matt from St. Ignatius, NYC

    Great video BustedHalo! I was there that day at St. Pat’s and it was a wonderful expression of support. Here are some pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150933881192138.441670.781792137&type=3&l=4c576fb6a9

  • Nino

    I find that this is a time for “Purifying” the nuns. Many Saints have undergone this type of purification. This is God-sent! Look at St. Mary MacKillop who was once excommunicated. . . She was the one canonized, not the bishop who excommunicated her. Continue living the Gospel, dear Sisters! The world needs you! Easter time will come in a while!

  • Natalie

    These women are taking the Church in the direction it so badly needs to go! Maybe they are being contradictory in some ways, but I would rather contradict the CEO in good conscience than blindly follow some sexist, discriminatory, outdated doctrine.

  • Daniel

    The sexist power hungry hypocritical hierarchy of the Vatican has been driving away Catholics In droves for decades. Clean up your own house and stop trying to divert the attention away from your own disgraceful behavior.

  • mary donahue

    The Sisters I have seen color their hair,wear earrings and street clothes and are not identifiable as religious.
    But this correction of the LCWR is because of disobednience to the voiws they took.
    Obedience is a sign of holiness.

  • Emily

    and the whole habit discussion really grinds my gears. Does anyone know why some orders choose not to wear a habit? Because they don’t want preferential treatment. Think about it. If a habited sister is on a bus vs a woman in regular societal clothes, who’s going to get offered a seat? No. they are wearing what the lower class citizens of the country are wearing for a reason. I don’t know any poor people these days who wear robes, do you?

    So to say that they are less devout because of their choice of garment is just ridiculous.

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