Two related stories. First the Vatican's recent report on its Apostolic Visitation of the LCWR in the US. The report, as you know by now, identified serious theological problems and, in a nutshell, rampant dissent among the sisterhood in that organisation. As expected, the sisters are appalled, hurt, feel rejected, misunderstood (etc, etc). They claim that the accusations made against them are unsubstantiated. "What?" I hear you say as you choke on your midnight corn flakes snack. Indeed - "unsubstantiated". These ladies have been voicing their dissent for years, and they offer this as their defence. The only thing I can say, in charity, is that old age is getting to them and they have become rather "forgetful".
Second story: the issuing of a Notification by the CDF concerning Mercy Sister, Sr Margaret Farley's book Just Love. Published in 2006, the CDF has spent the last couple of years in dialogue with Sr Margaret concerning her views. Even a quick dash through the book will reveal very quickly that this lady does not think with the mind of the Church - she dissents against the Church's teaching in the usual areas of morality. So the CDF point this out. Sr Margaret responds in a way, which seems to me, to be purely arrogant, accusing the CDF of missing the point of her book. I think not. She rejects the Church's teaching on sexual ethics and yet tries to wrap her opinions in a mantle of Catholic respectability.
Meanwhile her superior rushes to her defence. Sr Patricia McDermott expresses regret at the CDF's decision, saying, "[Sr Margaret Farley] assiduously attempts to present the Catholic tradition as formative of her own rich experience while recognizing the ecumenical audience she often engages. While being faithful to her own faith tradition and commitments, her sensitivity to the varied circumstances, realities and needs of her students is the context she consistently honors." With all due respect, her position cannot be regarded as being faithful to the faith tradition of Catholicism, it is not even within an ass's roar of it.
However these two statements are like gifts fallen into the lap of the Vatican - proof that the LCWR's complaint that the findings of the Apostolic Visitation were "unsubstantiated allegations" is false and I might even say disingenuous. These poor women are certainly deluded, they cannot see that what they do is obvious to the world and to the Church, and while they may engage in denial wrapped up in their cocoons, the rest of us are not so stupid.
Here's an interesting article by Jeff Mirus on the Farley affair.