05May Head of Vatican doctrinal congregation confronts LCWR for noncooperation

 |  

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the leadership group they were ignoring procedures for choosing speakers for their annual conferences and questioned if their programs were promoting heresy.

Using the most direct and confrontational language since the Vatican began to rein in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious two years ago, Müller told leaders of the conference that starting in August, they must have their annual conference programs approved by a Vatican-appointed overseer before the conference agendas and speakers are finalized.

Müller also told the women religious that their choice of conference speakers and the printed material they make available to their membership cause him to question if LCWR has “the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia (feel with the church).”

“This concern is even deeper than the Doctrinal Assessment’s criticism of the LCWR for not providing a counter-point during presentations and Assemblies when speakers diverge from Church teaching,” Müller said. “The Assessment is concerned with positive errors of doctrine seen in the light of the LCWR’s responsibility to support a vision of religious life in harmony with that of the Church and to promote a solid doctrinal basis for religious life.”

A copy of Müller’s address to the LCWR leadership has been posted to the Vatican website. It is dated April 30, when the leadership team was in Rome for its annual visit to the Vatican.

The April 30 meeting at the Vatican included the LCWR leadership — Sr. Joseph Sr. Carol Zinn, Franciscan Sr. Florence Deacon, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Sharon Holland, and St. Jospeh Sr. Janet Mock, LCWR executive director — Müller and officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the Vatican-appointed delegate to LCWR.

A statement Monday from LCWR said that Müller’s remarks “accurately reflect the content of the mandate communicated to LCWR in April 2012. As articulated in the Cardinal’s statement, these remarks were meant to set a context for the discussion that followed.”

The discussion that followed, the LCWR statement said, “was an experience of dialogue that was respectful and engaging.”

The spokeswoman for LWCR told NCR Monday that the organization would not be granting interviews.

Müller specifically challenged the LCWR leaders for deciding to bestow its 2014 Outstanding Leadership Award to “a theologian criticized by the Bishops of the United States because of the gravity of the doctrinal errors in that theologian’s writings.” Although he does not name her, Müller is referencing St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, a theologian at Fordham University.

“This is a decision that will be seen as a rather open provocation against the Holy See and the Doctrinal Assessment,” Müller said. “Not only that, but it further alienates the LCWR from the Bishops as well.”

His harshest criticism, however, was reserved for the LCWR’s promotion at its assemblies and printed resources of conscious evolution, which Müller compared to gnosticism, a term that describes various sects that arose in the second century that exalted arcane knowledge, mixing Christian belief with pagan speculation and theories. “Gnosis” is the Greek word for knowledge.

“We have seen again and again in the history of the Church the tragic results of partaking of this bitter fruit,” Müller said. “Conscious Evolution does not offer anything which will nourish religious life as a privileged and prophetic witness rooted in Christ revealing divine love to a wounded world.”

Two years ago, a keynote speaker at LCWR’s annual conference was a leading thinker on conscious evolution, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Since that address, Müller said, “every issue of your newsletter has discussed Conscious Evolution in some way. Issues of Occasional Papers have been devoted to it. We have even seen some religious Institutes modify their directional statements to incorporate concepts and undeveloped terms from Conscious Evolution.”

“Again, I apologize if this seems blunt, but what I must say is too important to dress up in flowery language,” Müller said in one of several apologies for blunt language. “The fundamental theses of Conscious Evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation.”

In April 2012, the Vatican appointed Sartain as the LCWR’s “archbishop delegate” and gave him authority to revise its statutes and programs. In Müller’s statement, he said this appointment has been criticized as “as heavy-handed interference in the day-to-day activities of the Conference. For its part, the Holy See would not understand this as a ‘sanction,’ but rather as a point of dialogue and discernment.”

That LCWR did not discuss with Sartain the outstanding leadership honoree this year “is indeed regrettable and demonstrates clearly the necessity of the Mandate’s provision that speakers and presenters at major programs will be subject to approval by the Delegate.

“I must therefore inform you that this provision is to be considered fully in force. … Following the August Assembly, it will be the expectation of the Holy See that Archbishop Sartain have an active role in the discussion about invited speakers and honorees,” Müller said.

Müller concluded with this warning: “At this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration.”

Read Müller’s statement: Meeting of the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the Presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious

[Dennis Coday is editor of NCR. His email address is dcoday@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @dcoday.]

27 Responses

  1. Eddie Finnegan

    Mueller’s translation of the phrase ‘sentire cum ecclesia’ doesn’t seem to tally with Francis’s interpretation of the ‘ecclesia’ bit.

  2. Mary O Vallely

    From Cardinal Muller’s address…”Let me begin with the notion of “disproportionate sanctions.” One of the more contentious aspects of the Mandate—though one that has not yet been put into force—is the provision that speakers and presenters at major programs will be subject to approval by the Delegate. This provision has been portrayed as heavy-handed interference in the day-to-day activities of the Conference. For its part, the Holy See would not understand this as a “sanction,” but rather as a point of dialogue and discernment. It allows the Holy See’s Delegate to be involved in the discussion first of all in order to avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”
    In other words, ‘you must let us do your thinking for you as you are not qualified to discern who is a fit speaker.’

    Heaven forbid that you should listen to another point of view, that you should allow the Spirit within you to discern.
    Father knows best, as always…
    Am I reading this right or am I not?

  3. Darlene Starrs

    Muller’s House Is Built On Sand!

  4. roy donovan

    This continual mean treatment of Fr.Sean Fagan, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, LCWR, and so many others under the present leadership of the likeable Bishop of Rome is really hard to stomach. I wonder has Hans Kung got it wrong; is he too optimistic in believing the Church can be saved. The central structures of the Church which do not allow women a share in decision making are obsolete and yet there is not enough desire or will to change them. Reform is too slow, too little and centuries late. Sadly, I am coming more to the view, even with the Holy Spirit, our Church is beyond reform. After all, how long more is one expected to wait? It is more despairing than waiting for Mayo or Limerick to win an All Ireland! I suspect, once again, that neither will win it this year! However, to end on a positive note, I believe in the American Sisters. I believe they shall overcome with the aid of the Holy Spirit!

  5. John

    A fixation on control.

  6. mjt

    But amazingly, isn`t there also a clearly discernible hint of the bizarre in his statement and position, as if the church he represents has already passed, or is passing, even though he sits on a very high chair in it at the moment. And that`s after only as very short period of time under Francis, a measure of his impact indeed.

  7. Con Devree

    The Pope and the Cardinal see “sentire cum ecclesia” as a lifeline for the LCWR. Both are at one in relation to ecclesiality.

    On Wednesday, 8 May 2013 the Pope said the following to 800 superiors of women’s orders:
    “…ecclesiality as one of the constitutive dimensions of the consecrated life. It is a dimension that must be constantly reclaimed and deepened in life. Your vocation is a fundamental charism for the journey of the Church, and it is impossible for a consecrated man or woman not to “think” with the Church. “Thinking” with the Church begot us at Baptism; “thinking” with the Church finds one of its filial expressions in faithfulness to the Magisterium, in communion with the Pastors and the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, a visible sign of unity

    … for every Christian the proclamation of and witness to the Gospel are never an isolated act of an individual or a group. No evangelizer acts, as Paul VI recalled very well, “in virtue of a… personal inspiration, but in union with the mission of the Church and in her name”

    … And Paul VI proceeded: It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Christ without the Church, of following Jesus outside his Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church … Be aware of the responsibility that you have in forming your Institutes in the sound doctrine of the Church, in love for the Church and in the ecclesial spirit.”

    And also:

    “Obedience as listening to the will of God, in the interior movement of the Holy Spirit authenticated by the Church, accepting that obedience also passes through human mediation. Remember that the relationship between authority and obedience fits into the broader context of the mystery of the Church and constitutes a special realization of her role as mediator.

    Be joyful, for it is beautiful to follow Jesus, it is beautiful to become a living icon of Our Lady and of our hierarchical Holy Mother Church.”

    Both men tell the sisters that the Catholic Church needs religious women and that religious women need to be in harmony with the faith and teachings of the Church.

    In contrast to the LCWR the other umbrella group for female religious in the United States is the CMSWR (Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious) representing 20% of the nuns. However they have 80% of the new vocations and their average age is in the high thirties and falling. (That according to statistics a few years ago.) The average age then of the LCWR was in the seventies and rising.

  8. Sean O'Conaill

    I see that according to the NCR article the CDF’s Cardinal Gerhard Müller has special concern about what he alleges to be a dangerous fixation of the LCWR – ‘Conscious Evolution’.
    .
    According to Wikipedia, Conscious Evolution “refers to the claim that humanity has now acquired the ability to choose what the species Homo Sapiens becomes in the future, based on recent advancements in science, medicine, technology, psychology, sociology, and spirituality. Conscious evolution assumes that human beings may be positioned at the crest of the ongoing evolution of the universe.”
    .
    Could Müller’s fundamental misgiving be that the LCWR has bought into an interpretation of de Chardin et al that veers too far towards Pelagianism, i.e. a too optimistic trust in our own ability to live a virtuous life without divine grace.
    .
    There is a lot of stuff in that US leftish intellectual climate influenced by what I would call era-chauvinism – the belief that some kind of evolutionary breakthrough has recently been made, and that we humans are even becoming ‘hyperconscious’. I reviewed a book on that some years ago ‘The God Shift’, by Adrian Smith.
    .
    That review is at: http://www.seanoconaill.com/?p=303
    .
    It’s extremely difficult to live in NI (or anywhere else?) and to believe that human consciousness is evolving. I’m going to withhold criticism of Cardinal Müller until I hear more from the LCWR on their attachment to ‘conscious evolution’. Any kind of intellectual hubris is a sure formula for disaster.

  9. Eddie Finnegan

    Yet in Mueller’s defence [who, mjt, is a mere youngster of 66 to Francis’s 77], if the LCWR’s current guru is Barbara Marx Hubbard and her ‘Conscious Evolution’, who will their pin-up be for next year’s conference? Gwyneth Paltrow and her ‘Conscious Uncoupling’? I guess Mueller and Sartain feel that the LCWR have uncoupled long ago.

  10. Matthew O'Hora

    The Church that Cardinal Muller talks about is the one that is based on the Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Gospel! It is build on rock! How can a Catholic organisation like the LCWR claim to be Catholic when they are doing silly things like this?? Personally, I think that they have been given numerous chances to reform and this has not happened yet! If this Organisation that claims to represent Catholic Sisters does not uphold the teachings of the Church then it should be abolished!!

  11. Darlene Starrs

    And the Magisterium/Vatican/Hierarchy has been given many chances to reform as well!

  12. mjt

    Eddie @ 9, The Beast number 66 versus the Angel of 77 wisecrack is just a reminder of the phenomenon of the young (er) fogey, of whom we have our share on this site, who think that all we need is a good clear out of all kinds of modernity in the church, with its lay this and lay that, communion in the hand, women unveiled, and then there are the altar rails to close, Latin to chant, and get rid of all that racket in the -mixed- choir. I see the whip-cracking, you- sit-and- listen- to-me attitude of Mueller as being of this type, an attempted replay of the behaviour of Cardinal Ratzinger in his day in the office, who then as Pope was able to inculcate it still further. But if the reforms being shaped by Francis bear fruit, Mueller`s effort to prevent change and evolution will fail. According to Francis,
    “Say you err, [or] make a blunder – it happens! Maybe you’ll receive a letter from the Congregation for Doctrine [sic], saying that they were told this or that thing…. But don’t let it bother you. Explain what you have to explain, but keep going forward…. Open doors, do something where life is calling out [to you].”
    I know he also expressed a worry about the direction of certain meditative practices encouraged by some American religious superiors, but rather than take the Ratzinger way, of intellectual demolition and rejection, would prefer to persuade, to move with love and respect for the persons involved, recognising them as having the dignity of baptised persons with equal access to the love and grace of God. As Cardinal Maradiega of Honduras, of Francis` G8 group of cardinals, said of Cardinal Mueller in relation to the issue of the sacraments and the divorced, but nevertheless identifying this particular authoritarian mentality,
    ” But I say, my brother, the world isn’t like this, and you should be a little flexible when you hear other voices. That means not just listening and then saying no.”
    I don’t mean there shouldn’t or can`t be doctrinal orthodoxy in the church, but that it should be arrived at with due process.

  13. John

    There may well be defects in the philosophy of conscious evolution but there is something unseemly in the way the vatican goes about this kind of business. The vatican’s big failing seems to be no evolution at all. It seems unseemly to have a the male head of male dominated organisation riding herd on an association of women, especially as the failings of the vatican itself have become a scandal : the careerism, the failure to protect children, the male exclusiveness, the financial scandals, the fixation on control. The methods of the CDF itself have become a scandal. We have seen clerics silenced by the CDF in a dubious procedure, with the story then put out that the said clerics had in fact been disciplined by their own order and not by the CDF. I suppose that if half the vatican staff were women that would be an example of conscious evolution, and this kind of debate would take on a very different character. No wonder the vatican wants to stamp on it and scare anyone who talks too much about it.

  14. Eddie Finnegan

    mjt@12, I made no wisecrack about Beasts or Angels. I just remarked in passing that, in the nature of things, Fr Mueller at 66 may have certain temporal advantages over Fr Bergoglio at 77, with one lung I might add. Just as most contributors to this site probably have temporal advantages of at least five or ten years over me. Fr Bergoglio may need to get a bit of a move on if Fr Mueller’s comparative youth is to be trumped.
    And, you may recall, the Number of the Beast was surely 666, not 66.

  15. MM

    Fundamentalism of both the Catholic and Protestant varieties will always find common cause in their fear of evolution.

  16. Darlene Starrs

    I still consider myself a newcomer to the site of the ACP and I have enjoyed many, many, of the contributions therein. I have, however, a special mention, and that goes to John above. Consistently, you submit comments that are refreshingly clear, insightful, and honest. Keep those thoughts coming John…Thank you

  17. mjt

    Eddie Finnegan@14, To judge by the reasons given (leaked out) for the overwhelming vote for Francis in the last conclave, the discernment by the cardinals of who and what is necessary for the church today, it`s unlikely that what Cardinal Mueller represents will suddenly become very attractive again. I`m going by hearsay, of course, one of the things Pope Francis has asked us to avoid, but in the context of a discussion of the different forces at work in the church, it`s impossible to avoid it completely. Cardinal Mueller`s age is beside the point, if he represents an old model of what church is. The 66/77 point was facile but also impossible to pass over, the symmetry irresistible at the expense of the accuracy which you so kindly provided.

  18. Paddy Ferry

    These are two excellent pieces( below) in today’s NCP in response to Muller’s blast at the American nuns. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we could forget about the bad-old-days pre-Francis. mjt@17 for me the truly amazing thing about Francis’ election was when he told the Bishops and Cardinals in one of the big congregational meetings before the Conclave that one of the big problems afflicting the Church was ” theological narcissism”.
    Now, instead of chasing out of Rome right back to Buenos Aires, which is what I would have bet good money they would have done, the Cardinals in Conclave made him Pope a couple of days later. So, they all obviously knew the gravity of the situation.

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/just-catholic/evolution-consciousnessct:

    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/cardinal-kasper-popes-theologian-downplays-vatican-blast-us-nuns

  19. Con Devree

    The clear messages from God in the Exodus event is that God wished to be allowed by the people to lead them in the way He wished to lead them.

    Pope Francis has outlined the core of following this Divine leadership today. He says that for every Christian the proclamation of and witness to the Gospel are never an isolated act of an individual or a group. No evangelizer acts, in virtue of a… personal inspiration, but in union with the mission of the Church and in her name.

    For the LCWR women religious “lived experience” became the personal inspiration – a theological reference point more important than the official voices of the Magisterium of the Church.

    Polarization within sisters’ communities abound. Even in community meetings, sisters who might not agree with positions of their leadership often believe it is not in their best interests to speak up. In the keynote address at the LCWR 1997 annual assembly, Sister Sandra Schneiders, IHM “proposed that the decisive issue for women religious is the issue of faith: ‘It can no longer be taken for granted that the members [of a given congregation] share the same faith.’”

    Over time the Trinity; the divinity of Christ; the sacraments; the constitution of the Church as episcopally ordered and governed; the very idea of “doctrine”; the notion of moral absolutes; the nature of marriage; the inalienability of the right to life — Catholic teaching on all of these is not infrequently regarded in the LCWR and among its affiliated orders as impossibly old hat. There are instances of some acting as escorts at abortion clinics. There is the well known Sister Donna Quinn “Nuns for choice” sweat shirt.

    Ironically enough, it was men, not liberated women, who charted the path to the radical feminism that eventually led many LCWR sisters and the LCWR itself into a mental universe unmoored from even the minimal requisites of Christian orthodoxy. Take two examples of this unmooring:

    In the keynote address at the LCWR 2007 annual assembly, Sister Laurie Brink, OP spoke about four “directions” religious congregations seemed to be moving, saying “not one of the four is better or worse than the others.” One of those models was “sojourning,” which she said “involves moving beyond the church, even beyond Jesus. A sojourning congregation is no longer ecclesiastical. It has grown beyond the bounds of institutional religion” and “in most respects is Post-Christian.”

    In reaction to some CDF initiative Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., a leading exponent of the LCWR worldview, said flatly that “there is only one way to deal with this . . . they [the LCWR] would have to disband canonically and regroup as an unofficial interest group.”

    Ironically in their determination to be countercultural, many LCWR-affiliated sisters have become precisely the opposite, parodies of political correctness who embrace every imaginable New Age “spirituality” and march in lockstep with American political progressivism as it has defined itself since the Sixties. The results have been disastrous in terms of vocations. Many of the affiliated congregations are facing a terminal “demographic winter.” Which is a pity given the great work some still do.
    (Much of the above is form work by Ann Carey)

  20. MM

    Here’s another great NCR must read article (8th May) relevant to this thread
    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/lcwr-vision-builds-john-paul-ii-initiative

  21. Con Devree

    St Paul’s denunciation “For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men?” is pertinent here. Catholicism is not about duels such as Mueller v Kaspar, Mueller v Maradiaga, Kaspar/Francis v Mueller. Cardinal Meuller does not personalise his statements in this way. If Cardinal Kaspar and others are seeking to pitch it that way, then according to Vatican II, wiser counsels should prevail in a Catholic context.

    The meetings between Pope Francis and Cardinal Meuller are probably of a pattern similar to those between Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Saint John Paul II, – weekly on Friday afternoons. Both hardly engage in a weekly theological boxing match. The Pope is hardly trying to run with the hare etc. He has affirmed the orthodox teaching on every one of the “hot” Church teaching issues addressed by him to date. He has not contradicted the Cardinal’s articulations of doctrine.

    In the case of the LCWR Pope Francis has said to religious sisters (to repeat) “Be aware of the responsibility that you have in forming your Institutes in the sound doctrine of the Church, in love for the Church and in the ecclesial spirit.” And: “it is impossible for a consecrated man or woman not to “think” with the Church. “Thinking” with the Church begot us at Baptism; “thinking” with the Church finds one of its filial expressions in faithfulness to the Magisterium,”

    Here he follows the line of Pope Saint John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, no. 29. “Since theology seeks an understanding of revealed truth whose authentic interpretation is entrusted to the Bishops of the Church, it is intrinsic to the principles and methods of their research and teaching in their academic discipline that theologians respect the authority of the Bishops, and assent to Catholic doctrine according to the degree of authority with which it is taught.

    Ex Corde Ecclesiae, no. 29. Draws on two Vatican II documents:
    Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, nn. 8-10:
    Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, n. 25:

    The task of theological reflection is never accomplished by the mere repetition of formulas. The real issue [in relation to the LCWR and Sr Elizabeth Johnson] is whether or not new attempts at theological understanding are faithful to the deposit of faith as contained in the Scriptures and the Church’s doctrinal tradition. All theology is ultimately subject to the norm of truth provided by the faith of the Church.

    In their second statement of October 11, 2011 nine bishops of the USCCB Committee on Doctrine demonstrate clearly that the language used in the book by Sr Elizabeth Johnson does not adequately express the faith of the Church. On several points, as the Committee showed, the “different” language used in the book does not in fact convey the faith of the Church.

    It is the responsibility of bishops to judge works of theology by that standard, in terms of how adequately they express the faith of the Church.

  22. Joe O'Leary

    I think the sisters are trying to characterize this as a religion vs. science flap when the issue clearly is new age spirituality. I do think it would do them and us no harm if they were a little more critical of the cosmological rhetoric of admired gurus, including our own Diarmuid O’Murchu.

  23. Joe O'Leary

    The USCCB and the CDF are horrendously heavy-handed in their dealings with women. They could learn from academics who are long accustomed to discussing feminist opinion of every stripe. The CDF should recover Paul VI’s ignored charter for their post Vatican II role.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/05/09/3436268/nuns-catholic-church-feminism/

  24. MM

    “The term “conscious evolution” was not coined by Barbara Marx Hubbard, although she has made significant contributions in understanding the implications of conscious evolution for our age. The term itself emerges from the sciences of evolutionary biology, quantum physics and cognitive neuroscience, among others. The term does not belong to science per se but is descriptive of our species, Homo sapien sapien: evolution brought to self-reflective awareness. To use the words of the renowned Jesuit Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “We are the universe become conscious of itself.” We are the ones “who know that we know” (Homo sapien sapiens); hence it is important to reflect on our choices and decisions for the future. Conscious evolution refers to the idea, expressed by Teilhard, that we humans are the arrow of evolution, the crest of the ongoing evolution of the universe. We are co-creators of an unfinished evolutionary process toward more being ………”
    Read full article at http://globalsistersreport.org/column/speaking-god/spirituality-trends/renewing-conversation-between-faith-and-science-2486

  25. Con Devree

    Fr Joe O’Leary # 23
    Can you reference regarding Pope Paul VI.

    The Emily Baxter article (#23) hardly reflects the soon to be beatified Pope. She is narrowly selective and reveals a lack of understanding of the nature of religious life in the Catholic Church.

    The CDF, acting in accordance with the teachings of the Church is in fact throwing a lifeline to the LCWR as a whole, most of which will have vanished in a decade. I don’t doubt that many in the LCWR see themselves as “fighting for their own integrity and survival.” (Baxter) But other member sisters have suffered in the process. Ann Carey recounts instances where “Some communities of LWCR sisters no longer participate regularly in the Eucharist.” Counterfeit Eucharists were celebrated by a circle of women, as others in community were deprived of the real thing.

    Equating the CDF to the Inquisition is farfetched, even given the more benign new historical insights into the latter.

    Emily Baxter ignores how remarkably patient the CDF has been with the LCWR. Depicting the latest communication merely as a “dressing down” reveals this.

    Sister Laurie Brink’s the keynote in 2007 forced the CDF to leave to one side its previous patient approach which obtained on foot of the traditional and in some cases still current “eloquent, even prophetic witness of so many faithful religious women” cited by Cardinal Mueller. The CDF text speaks about the “great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor which have been founded and staffed by Religious over the years.” But Sr Laurie spoke of moving beyond the Church or even beyond Jesus. “The doctrinal Assessment comes as a result of several years [=10] of examination of the doctrinal content of statements from the LCWR annual conferences.” (CDF http://www.usccb.org/upload/Doctrinal_Assessment_Leadership_Conference_Women_Religious.pdf)

    The LCWR does not represent all sisters in the United States. For instance then CMSWR publicly welcomed the Apostolic Visitation of women Religious in the United States and prayed for its success.

  26. Joe O'Leary

    The Roman Inquisition was renamed the Holy Office in 1908 and then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1965.

    Paul VI’s charter is here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_p-vi_motu-proprio_19651207_integrae-servandae_en.html

  27. Con Devree

    Fr Joe O’Leary
    Thank you for the reference. (#26)

    I presume the relevant paragraph to your comment #23 is:

    “But, because there is no fear in love (1 Jn 4:18), the defense of the faith is now better served by promoting doctrine, in such a way that, while errors stand corrected and those who err are gently called back to the truth, heralds of the Gospel may find new strength. Moreover, the advance of human culture, whose the importance the religious field must not overlook, is that the faithful follow the directives of the Church with greater adhesion and love, if, insofar as in matters of faith and morals it is possible to make clear to them the reasons for definitions and laws.”

    I would add Norm 4:

    “4. It [the CDF] examines new teachings and new opinions in whatever way they are spread, it promotes studies in this area, and encourages the Congresses of scholars; it condemns those teachings found to be contrary to the principles of the faith, after, however, having heard the view of the Bishops of those regions, if they are specifically connected with the issues.”

    Given that the CDF have spent many years dealing with the issues related to the LWCR, and have been frank in their explanations, it is reasonable to say that all three leaders of the CDF have adhered to the spirit of this MOTU PROPRIO. This is all the more so given that the Leadership do not have 100% backing in their communities.