LCWR coverage in the Prairie Messenger

The latest catholic dialogue column in the Prairie Messenger is titled Difficult conversations have a greater need for dialogue.  It builds on a previous blog reflection on Sr. Pat Farrell’s strategy for dialogue as described in her presidential address to the LCWR Assembly in August.

I’m proud of the Prairie Messenger for its coverage of the ongoing story surrounding the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. One might wonder why a news journal from the Canadian prairies is so interested in what happens to an American organization of religious women. The Catholic Church extends far beyond our local parish walls, and the PM tries to give a fair and balanced coverage of local, national, and international church stories. The more we learn about each other, the more we can rejoice in shared gifts and support each other in our struggles.

The present situation between the bishops and the women of the LCWR is a microcosm of the bigger issues facing our church today. What are the roles of women and men in our church, whether vowed religious, ordained or lay? How do we address the tension that exists between an authoritarian,  hierarchical style of leadership and deep seated beliefs in participatory leadership, equality and freedom of conscience? How do we begin to build the bridges across the ideological chasms that continue to divide liberals and conservatives, progressives and traditionalists?

I believe we have much to learn as we watch the drama unfold to the south of us. Dialogue is key. We can only pray that true, respectful dialogue will be possible.

Check out the August 29, 2012 issue of the Prairie Messenger for more LCWR commentaries and reports.

4 thoughts on “LCWR coverage in the Prairie Messenger

  1. Reading an Aquinas primer… wondering again how those things once taken as natural law (women as only fulfilling procreative functions, monarchy as the best form of government, black people as slaves due to natural inferiority) have been disproven to the satisfaction of most critical people… and also thinking of the MLK letter from a Birmingham jail, in which power and autonomy must be demanded, and not accepted on the terms of the powerful.

    That’s too aggressive (in which one does not care whether the other side is injured or hurt) — I’m aiming for assertive, where one does care. Only in that way can bridges be built — provided both sides see the need and benefit.

    Cheers again!

    • I’m all for assertive, Kurt. It’s especially needed when the other becomes aggressive. A good bishop friend of mine used to tell us that being Christian never meant being a doormat.

      You make a very clear and logical argument for seriously questioning what we consider as natural law. So much that was passed as natural was really MAN made. But then again, did women even have a soul????!! 😉

      Thanks for your insights. They always add depth to the dialogue!

      With a heart cheers to you, too!

  2. Love your piece in the Prairie Messenger, Isabella. I like how you present the “tools” the sisters bring to the dialogue.

    Thanks for pointing us to the other LCWR coverage in the PM, too. I found the profile of Pat Farrell especially moving. Love this quote: ““For me, that spirituality and the work for justice are entirely inseparable. … If either one is authentic, it leads to the other.”

    Happy Labour Day to my North American friends!

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